Franklin Ellis.

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

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Pa., born Oct. 27, 1789. He attended Jefferson Col-
lege at Canonsburg, Pa., after which (about 1810)
he came to Fayette County and commenced the
study of medicine with Dr. Benjamin Stevens, who
was then on his t'arin in Union township, wdiere Robert
(iaildis n'jw lives. He continued his studies with Dr.
Stevens 1. M- more than a year after the removal of the
latter to I'niontown. He then went to Greensboro',
(ireene Co., and eommenced practice, but had been
there h— - than a year when he was invited by his
Iriend, 1 »r. Stevens (who was then suffering from the
illness which soon after proved fatal), to return and .
assist him in his prartiei' in Uniontown. Dr. Stur-
geon are. pled the invitation, but before he had com-
pleted his arrangements Dr. Stevens died. His li-
brary was then purchased, and his practice assumed
l)y Dr. Sturgeon, who from that time became a resi-
dent (d Uniontown. He married Nancy, daughter of
Mrs. Nancy Gregg.

Dr. Stnrireon earlv entered piditical life, and filled
nianv olliees, both Slate and national, among which
was that of Tnited Stales senat.n- from I'ennsylvania,
wbieh he held irom 1X40 to 1S51.

.\s a pbvsieian he was trusted, respected, and de-
servedly i.opular. He. died July 2, 1878, in the
einbty-nirilh year of his age. His son James was a
printer, hut later received the appointment of pay-
mastei- in tie- army. He died about 1847. Another
son, John, studied law at Uniontown. He went into
the Mexican war in (.'apt. (.Quail's company of Roberts'



regiment, but died before reaching the city of Mexico.
Dr. William H. Sturgeon, another son of Dr. Daniel
Sturgeon, studied medicine with Dr. Alexander H.
Campbell, in Uniontown, in 1847-48. He attended
Jefferson Medical College in 1848-49, after which he
returned to Uniontown and commenced practice,
which he has continued till the present time, with the
exception of a few years spent in Pittsburgh and Phil-

Dr. Robert McCall was a native of Shippensburg,
Cumberland Co., Pa., where he studied medicine with
Dr. Simpson. He was an army surgeon in the war of
1812-15, and soon after its close moved to Union-
town, and opened his office in a building that stood
where the law-office of Daniel Downer now is. In
1819 he married Anna, daughter of Samuel King, and
practiced in Uniontown till his death in 1823.

Dr. Hugh Campbell was born in Uniontown, May
1, 1795. In 1812 he entered Jefferson College, at Can-
onsburg, Washington Co., but after a year of study
came back to Uniontown, and entered the office of
Dr. Daniel Marchand as a student of medicine. After I
two years' study with Dr. Marchand, he attended a
course of lectures at the University of Pennsylvania,
and graduated in 1818. He returned to Uniontown,
and .soon afterwards became associated in business
with Dr. Lewis Marchand. From that time he was
in practice during the remainder of his life, except
from 1864 to 1869, when he was warden of the peni-
tentiary at Allegheny City. He died Feb. 27, 1876,
aged eighty-one years.

Dr. C. N. J. Magill was in practice in Uniontown
in 1835. On the 23d of September in that year he
advertised that he had " opened an office for surgery
and the practice of medicine next door to E. Bailej^'s
watchmaker shop, on Main Street. Dwelling, No. 3
Stewart's Row, Morgantown Street." He afterwards
removed to Salt Lick township, and died there.

Dr. H. C. Martherns was au early practitioner in |
Smithfield, and removed thence to Uniontown. In j
April, 1836, he announced that he "has removed his j
office to the brick dwelling formerly occupied by Mrs. \
Gregg, four doors east of the court-house, where he
will attend to all calls." How long he continued in
practice in Uniontown li:is nut liicn ascertained.

Dr. Alexander Hamilton ('ain]ilMll was a son of
Samuel Y. Campbell, and u native of Uniontown.
He studied medicine with his uncle. Dr. Hugh
Campbell, about 1840, then attended lectures at Jef-
ferson Medical College, in Philadelphia, and after
graduating returned to Uniontown, where he prac-
ticed till his death in 1859.

Dr. David Porter was a native of Virginia. His
father, William Porter, was a teacher in Washington
County, Pa., where he lived until March, 1794. He
then moved to Wheeling, Va., where his son David
was born. After the death of his father, about 1798,
he was adopted by William Woolsey, a retired sea-
captain, then living on a farm in Rostravor township.

Westmoreland Co., near the Fayette County line. It
was on this farm (which he afterwards owned) that
he was reared. He received a liberal education
under the tutorship of Gad Tower, a noted classical
teacher of that time. At the age of about twenty
years he commenced the study of medicine with Dr.
Lewis Marchand, who was then living on his farm
below Brownsville ; Dr. Leatherman, of Canonsburg,
Washington Co., being a fellow-student with him
under Dr. Marchand. He attended a course of lec-
tures at Philadelphia by the celebrated Dr. Benjamin
Rush, and practiced about two years, then attended
lectures at Baltimore.

After graduating he returned to Rostravor town-
ship, and practiced there for several years. From
there he removed to Cookstown (now Fayette City),
and remained two years, then located in Brownsville,
whence after a few years he removed to Pittsburgh.
There he obtained an extensive practice, bnt after
about two years returned to his farm in Rostravor,
where he remained for thirty years, but was only a
part of this time in activr i.nirticc th.rc In Janu-
ary, 1869, he removed to I'lrKinl'iwn, wlnrr he lived
until his death, which occurred Sept. 22, ISl'i, at the
age of eighty-three years.

Dr. Porter was recognized as standing in the high-
est rank of his profession, and consultations with him
were constantly sought by the best practitioners in
his section of country, including the city of Pitts-
burgh. He said of himself, " My mind was always
slow." But if slow, there were none more sure. "He
was fifty years in advance of his age," was the opin-
ion expressed hy Dr. John Dixon, an eminent physi-
cian of Pittsburgh, on Dr. David Porter.

Dr. John F. Braddee (who has already been no-
tii'ed ill tlie account of the great I'liiontdWii mail
riililicry i was a man concerning wlmm flicn' is a doubt
whether his name ought to be mentioned with those
of respectable members of the medical fraternity of
Uniontown, but the question has been decided in
the affirmative by some of the present leading phy-
sicians of the borough. He was a charlatan, a man
of little or no education, but fertile in resources. He
was .said to have come into this section of country
about the year 1830 as an assistant to a party of
horse-dealers from Kentucky, and having for some
cause severed his connection with them, and finding
himself in a very low financial condition, he came
to Uniontown and boldly announced himself as a
physician. Being a man of fine personal appear-
ance, of pleasing address, great tact and unbounded
assurance, he became at once successful, and se-
cured a more extensive practice than was ever
enjoyed by any regular physician of the town or
county. It is said that in a single day nearly one
hundred patients from the surrounding country came
into Uniontown for treatment by Dr. Braddee, and
waited for long weary hours to see him in their turn.
He was soon enabled to purchase the National Hotel



property, at the corner of Morgantowii and Fayette
Streets, and in that house he made his professional
headquarters. His remarlcable success, however, did
not deter but rather seemed to incite him to illegiti-
mate projeets for money-making, and in 18-tO ho,
witli the aid of confederates, executed a cunniuirly
devised plan for robbinir the T'nited States mail while
in transit through Uniimtown. For this cilfeiiso he
was arrested, tried, and convicted, and in l.'>41 his
professional career in Uniontown was closed by a sen-
tence of ten years at hard labor in the penitentiary.

Dr. H. T. Roberts is a native of Allegheny County,
and a son of Judge Roberts, late of Pittsburgh.
Having studied medicine in that city, he located in
Uniontown in 1841 and practiced a few years, after
wliich he removed. Some two or three years since
he returned to Uniontown, but is not in practice.

Dr. Frederick C. Robinson, a native of Saratoga
County, N. Y., removed thence to Erie, Pa., wdien
quite young. In 1841 he came to Uniontown, and
commenced the study of medicine with Dr. H. F.
Roberts. In 1844 he
completed his studies.
IS-iO, when he entered I
Heg-raduatcl in llie winler ..I' is.-,u-:,l, :,nd r.:liiri..-d
to Uniontown, when, he has lollowe.l In- prole-iMn
until the present time. He wa^^ exaniinin- snrL'.nn

examining physician for the I'niteil Slates Pen-^inn
Office for thirteen years.

Dr. Robert M. Walker is a native of Franklin
County, Pa. He was educated in Ohio at Franklin
College. He studied medicine with Dr. Jo.seph I\Ic-
Closkey, of Perryopolis, and Dr. John Hassan, of
West Newton. In the spring of 1843 he commenced
practice in Uniontown. In the winter of 1844-4.'3 he
attended lectures at Jefferson Medical College, and at
the close of his course in Philadelphia returned to
Uniontown. where he is still in practice.

Dr. Smith Fuller, born in Connellsvillc, Pa.,
studied medicine with Dr. John Hassan from the
spring of ixi'.x till 1840, when he went to Philadel-
]ihia and attended lectures at Jefferson College. He
then practiced medicine in Uniontown until 1846,
when he resumed his course at .Teflfer.son College. In
1847 he returned to Uniontown, where he has since
been constantlv in active practice, except when serving

ived to Ohio, where he
remained in practice till

•ller-nn Medical C'Mlle-e.



rst two now (June, Issl |,i:
nd the last named atteiiilinj \r
The present physician- nl \
)r. Smith Fuller. D

" R. M. Walker.
" H. F. Roberts.
" F. C. Robin.son.
" William H. Sturgeon.
" John M. Fuller.
" John Bovd.


Miv-in I'liiladelpl

, J. B. Ewing.
John Hankins.
Smith Fuller, Jr
John Sturgeon.
A. P. Bowie.
S. W. Hickman.
L. S. Gaddis.


Years ago several attempts were made to introduce
homojopathy in Fayette County. Dr. C. Bael and
Dr. Ridley ])racticed in Brownsville, but the exact
date of their commencing practice is unknown. B.

F. Connell, M.D., a convert from the old school,
practiced a few years in Uniontown, but subsequently
moved to Ohio, and from thence to Connellsville,
where he practiced several years.

Dr. J. G. Heaton practiced for a short time at Fair-
chance Furnace. None of the above practitioners
remained long enough to establish the practice, and
for a long time after the above practitioners left for
other fields homoeopathy was without a representa-

According to the " History of Homoeopathy," pub-
lished by the World's Homa'opathic Convention,
which met in Philadelphia in 1876, " To A. P. Bowie,
M.D., belongs the credit of the successful estab-
lishment of homo?opathy in Fayette County." Dr.
Bowie commenced in Uniontown in 1869, and is still
in active practice in the borough. The other practi-
tioners in this county are S. W. Hickman, M.D.,
Uniontown: W. J. Hamilton, M.D.. Dunbar; and S.
C. Bosley, M.D., Connellsville.

The early attorneys of Uniontown have been men-
tioned in preceding pages, in connection with the bar
of Fayette County. The list of lawyers now 11881)
residing in and practicing in the borough is as fol-
lows :

Daniel Kaine. S. L. Mestrezat.

Alfred Howell. J. L. Johnson.

John K. Ewing. J. M. Ogelvee.

A. E. Willson.Pres. Judge. A. H. Wyckoflf.
John Collins. L. H. Frasher.

G. W. K, Minor. Daniel M. Hertzog.
Thomas B. Scaright. P. S. Morrow.
William H. Playford. H. Detwiler.
William Parshall. George Hutcliinson.
Charles E. Boyle. William Guiler.
Daniel Downer. M. M. Cochran.

T. B. Schnattcrly. George B. Kaine.

A. D. Boyd. Robert Hopwood.

Edward Campbell. Alonzo Hagan.

Nathaniel Ewing. F. M. Fuller.

Samuel E. Ewing. Robert Kennedy.

The earliest reference found in any record or other
document to schools or to places where they were taught
in Uniontown is in the act erecting the county of
Fayette, passed Sept. 26, 1783, which directs that the
court shall be held "at the school-house, or some fit
place in the Inwn of Union, in the said county," and
in the li tier liefore quoted) written a few months
later by Ephraini D.iuglass to Gen. Irvine, describing
the new countv-seat, he savs it contains "a court-



house and school-house in one," etc. Several deeds of j
about that date mention in their description of boun-
daries, a school-house lot evidently near the present
court-house grounds. In a deed of lot No. 43, exe-
cuted in 1783, Colin Campbell is given the title
"teacher," which probably, but not as a matter of
cuurse, had reference to his occupation in Union-

A school was organized in Uniontown before the
year 1800 under the auspices of the Methodist Church.
That school will be found more fully mentioned in
the history of that church.

Miss Sally Hadden, who was born in Uniontown
in the year 1800, and has always lived on the spot of
her nativity, says the first school she remembers, was
taught by an Irishman named Burns in a log house
which stood on the north end of lot No. 39, now the
property of Mrs. David Porter. Afterwards she at-
tended the Methodist school on Peter Street, taught
by a Mr. Cole.

.Jesse Beeson, grandson of the original proprietor
of the town, was born in 1806. He first attended
school in a log house where the Methodist Episcopal
house of worship now stands. The school was taught
by a Mrs. Dougherty. He afterwards attended at the
school-house on Peter Street mentioned by- Miss
Hadden. A teacher in the Peter Street school about
that time was Silas Bailey, father of William and
Ellis Bailey.

The following notice, which appeared in the Genius
of Liberty in April, 1817, is given here as indicating
the progress which had then begun to be made towards
the free school system,' which was adopted in the
State some years later:

1 At tbnt lime, and fur more tlian twenty years aftrt wmh]^, rni.'iitnwn
(like most otlier villages of ita size and inipnitarif.-, i>:ti Ih nl:ii l\ i ..uiity-
Beats) was piulific of private scliools, "select s(li. •..]>," :iiiil ;>wralli-il
*' academies," Eume of tliem liaving meiit, but tlie ^leater part being
poor and of sbort duration. Generally tliey were quite pretentious in
their announcements, and nearly every scholar whose parents were able
to incnr the expense i^wbich was not heavy) attended some one of them,
for a "term" of three months if no more.

In the Genius of Librrlij <if June G, 18-^0, are found the advertisements
of two of these schools. One is to the effect that " Mr. and Mrs. Baker
present their respectful compliments to the people of Union Town,
soliciting their support of a School for the instruction of Young Ladies
in all the usual branches of an English erincatitm. Also plain sewing,
marking cotton-work of all kinds, Embroidery, Tambour, Filagree,
Fringe, Netting, Drawing, Painting, and Music, vucal and instru-

The other, in the same column, is that of John A. Donne, who an-
nounces that " Persons desirous of placing pupils under the care of the
Bubsciiber may be accommodated by making early application at his
residence, two doors east of Mrs. Gregg's. His room is spacious and con-
venient, and his prices accommodated to the titues, and proportioned to
the different branches taught. An enumeration of the brandies is
thought unnecessary.

"Without arrogating to himself any superior pretentions, the sub
Bcriber respectfully suggests that he has had some years' experience in
teaching, has made it a profession, and not embraced it merely as a
temporai-y expedient. Grateful for past patronage, he respectfully solicits
a continuance of it, and without promise to perform miracles, pledges
himself that his exertions to merit it shall be unremitted.

"John A. Donnk.

"Union, March 1, 1820."

" March 25, 1817.

" To the Assessors of the County of Fayette :

" You are hereby authorized and required to notify
the parents of the children hereinafter named that
they are at liberty to send their children to the most
convenient school free of expense, and also transmit
a list of the names of the children as aforesaid to the
teachers of schools within your township, agreeably
ti) the eleventh section of an act of General As-
sembly passed April 4, 1809."

The act of the Pennsylvania Legislature " to es-
tablish a general system of Education by Common
Schools," approved April 1, 1834, declares that, —

" Wheeeas, It is enjoined by the constitution as
a solemn duty which cannot be neglected without a
disregard of the moral and political safety of the
people ; And whereas the fund for common-school
purposes, under the act of the Second of April, one
thousand eight hundred and thirty-one, will on the
fourth of April next amount to the sum of five hun-
dred and forty-six thousmul five liiiiidred and sixty-
three dollars and seveiil\ -t\Mi ccnls, and will soon
reach the sum of two liiillion dullars, when it will
produce at five per cent, an interest of one hundred
thousand dollars, which by said act is to be paid for
the support of common schools ; And whereas pro-
visions should be made by law tor the distribution of
the benefits of this fund to the people of the respec-
tive counties of the commonwealth ; Therefore [it
was enacted] That the city and county of Philadel-
phia, and every other county in this Commonwealth,
shall each form a scli,n,l division, and that every
ward, to\Mi~hi|i, and lM,inn,i;li wilhin t lie s(.'\'cral school
divisions shall racli fonn a s, lio,,l .listrirt ; I'fovided,
That any borough whirli is or may !»■ ionMrrt(_Ml with
a township in the assessment and i oil, i lion ot' county
rates and levies shall with the said townsliip, so long
as it remains so I'onnected, form a district, and each
of said ilistricts shall contain a competent number of
common siliools lor the education of every child
within the limits thereof who shall apply, either in
person or by his or her parents, guardian, or next
friend, for admission and instruction. . . . All moneys
that may come into the possession of the county
treasurers for the use of any school district or districts
within their respective divisions shall be paid over
by the said treasurers to the treasurer of the said dis-
trict respectively at such times as the commissioners
of the respective counties shall order and direct."

" .^f Since handing the above for publication it has been suggested
tliat I slinuM decline lakin- jouMg ladi.-s in favor of a certnin Jlr. Buker

may offer."

At about the same time Patrick Talbot modestly advertised that he
was about to open a school in Uniontown for teaching the English



Under this law the county commissioners of Fayette
at their December session in that year ordered the
levying of a tax of double the amount of school
money received from the State. The court of Fayette
County at the January term, 1835, appointed school
directors for the townships and boroughs of tlie
county, those appointed for Uniontown being Richard
Beeson and James Piper. On the 1st of Decemlicr,
1835, the borough complied with the terms of the law,
and the directors reported to the county treasurer.
The amount of State money apportioned to tlie
borough in that year was $73.66 ; from the county,
$147.32; total, $220.98.

Free common schools were first opened in Union-
town in 1836,' the following being the first official
action of the board of directors in the matter, viz. :

" At a meeting of the school directors for Union Borough on
the I9th day of March, lS:iC, it was resolved to open four free
schools in said borough, to commence about the 15th day of
April ne.Kt and continue for si.i months, which period will he
divided into two ses,-ions of three months each. There wil
be a vacation or recess between the sessions of one monti ,
which will happen in August. It was .also resolved that the
directors will receive proposals until the 8th day of April next
from persons wishing to become teachers in any one of said
schools. The proposals will set forth the price per month for
the whole term of six months (excluding the vacation), or the
sum for which the teacher will take charge of a school for tlie
whole time it is proposed to keep the schools open the present
year. One of the schools at least will be put under the cliai\ire
of a female instructor. Proposals from females wishing to en-
gage in the business are respecrfully invited.

"John D.vwso.v, A. L. Littell,

'•William liEnnicK, Jamks Boyles,
"Hugh Espy, William Wilson,

" Directors.
"March 19, 1836."

The east part of the lot of land on which the pres-
ent school-house stands was purchased of William
Salter in 1838, the deed bearing date September 6tli
of that year. On the lot stood a foundry, which had
been occupied by Salter for several years. It was re-
modeled and fitted up with four rooms for school
purposes. This alone was used until about 1850,
when another building, also containing four looms.

hrnte f Mr Bn

' was erected oh the same lot, at the corner of the alley

and Church Street. These two buildings were found

sufficient until the present school-house was erected.

In 1857 an addition was made to the school lot on

j the west by a purchase from Moses Sheahau, on the

IDth of August in that year; and on the 6th of

June, 1860, the lot.known as the Molly Lyon lot was

purchased at sherift''s sale. The three purchases

above named form the school-house lot as it is at


I The law creating the office of county superintendent

of schools was passed in 1854. Joshua Gibbons, of

Brownsville, held the office for twelve years. The

first report which has been found (that of the year

1857) shows that there were then in the borough of

: Uniontown four hundred and one scholars, with seven

i teachers employed in the schools. The sum of $1.56.80

\ was received from the State, and $344.41 from the


The schools of Uniontown were graded in 1855,
under James H. Springer, who was then the principal.
The present brick school-house was erected in 1868,
the commencement being made by breaking ground
ou the 15th of April in that year, and the building
being completed and ready for occupancy in the suc-
I ceeding fall. It was planned by J. W. Kerr, an archi-
I tect of Pittsburgh ; the contractors were R. and H.
Fulton, of Sewickley, Westmoreland Co. The stone-
work was done by John Wilhelm, of Connellsville ;
brick-work by Alfred Dearth, of New Salem, Fayette
Co. The contract price was $30,644; cost of furni-
ture, $2800. The building stands on the corner of
Barclay's Alley and Church Street. It is ninety feet
in length by sixty-five feet in width, and three stories
high. The first floor contains four school-rooms, each
forty-two feet eleven inches by twenty-four feet eleven
inches in dimensions. The second floor is also divided
into four rooms, similar to those below. The third
floor has two rooms and an exhibition hall, eighty-
seven by thirty-six feet.

In 1870 a school-house for colored children was
erected at a cost of $1500. The lot on which it stands
was purchased of William Baldwin, who donated one-
half tht puce It is situated in the settlement known
a~. " H i\ t] ' on the east side of Redstone Creek.

The follow ing statistics have reference to the schools
ot Uniontown Borough for the year 1880:

Number of pu
Number of ten
Total e\pen lit
Valuation ot =

r the year !?6,771.69

roperty .$50,000.(10


. iS principal c

Chir(,(? 1

was succeeded Ity bmith F tii

Ill 18:J9— November 19th — a select school was opened "in Mr. ]
West's school-room'' by George W. Brown, of Monoiignlia County, A'n
but no later notice of it is found.

The school board of the borough for 1881 is com-
posed ot Daniel Kaine, G. W. K. Minor, J. N. Daw-
son, Joseph White, Alfred Howell, and Joseph Beatty.
President, Daniel Kaine ; Secretary, Joseph Beatty ;
Treasurer, A. C. Nutt.

The following is an imperfect list of the school
directors of I'niontown from 1835 to the present time :



1835. — Ricliard Beeson, James Piper, appointed by the court,

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 70 of 193)