Franklin Ellis.

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

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Beginning with the year 1826, the roll of members


runs iis fnllnw>: (iO, f,l. fiO, 77, 81, 86. Beginning
with 1832. till' lir-t vimi' oi' Mr. Stoneroad's pastorate,
during tlie ten yiar> nf his hibors here, the member-
^^llip i^^ as follows: 1U8, !:«, 170, 18G, 215, 217, 240,
201, 206,209,157.

In regard to this period it should be observed that
the large increase was reached by the reception of
many who lived at Mount Washington and Peters-
burgh and Sandy Creek, and indeed but few were re-
ceived from the congregation here. The largest addi-
tion the church has ever received in one year was at
the beginning of Mr. Stoneroad's labors, when there
were forty-eight added. The annual additions during
the history of the church vary from this number down
to one, which was the report for the year immediately
preceding Mr. Agnew's ministry. The rapid decrease
in the membership of this church towards the close
of Mr. Stoneroad's pastorate was owing chiefly to the
organization, of the churches at Mount Washington
and Petersburg, and also somewhat to the severS dis-
cipline of the session. About this period some cases
of discipline were up at almost every meeting, the
ofl'enders being chiefly in the mountain regions. Dis-
cipline seems to have been eventually the death-blow
of the Petersburg Church, for it soon became ex-

Beginning with the year 184.3, the roll of the cliurch
runs as follows: 107, 1.00, 141, 149, 154, 1.05, 151, 1.35,
120, 121, 131, 127, 127, which brings the report to the
close of Mr. Callen's pastorate. In 185C,, Mr. Ham-
ilton took charge of the eliureli, and, beginning- with
this year, the report runs as follows during the ten
years of his labors here : 121, 107, 108, 124, 114, 109,
112, 113, 118, 117, 130. The largest addition to the
church during this [lastorate w^as in tlie last year,
when tliere were tweiity-Tiine received.

Beginnin- witli 1>m;7, tlie report is: 134, 137, 138,
149, 107, Mii, l.'il, 14.^. It will be noticed that during
two ])eriods of four years each in the history of the
church the decrease was regular. The mendiership
reported in 1874 was 148, in 1875 it was 181, and in
1876, 195. The present membership of the church is

The five oldest members of this church whose
names are now upon the roll are the following, given
in the order in which they united with the church :

Jlrs. Elizabeth Lewis, received by baptism and
confession, June 26, 1825.

Mrs. Ann L. Ewing, widow of Hon. Nathaniel
Ewing, united by certificate, Nov. 13, 1830.

Jlrs. Eliza AVilson, united by certificate, Oct. 6,

Mrs. Catharine Dicus, united by examination, Oct.
6, 18.33.

Miss Agnes Dutton, united by examination, Aug.
12, 1836.

of the benevolent work of the church in the earliest
times we have no statistics. The first record of a con-

tribution is that in 1829, — three dollars were given
for the commissioners' fund. In 1838, S325 were con-
tributed to the general work of the church ; in 1842,
$160 ; in 1843, S66 ; and in 1845, S440, and in 1849,
S102. These are the only statistics recorded in the
session-book up to 1850. For the last quarter of a
century the statistics are quite full, being given an-
nually. The figures just cited furnish a very good
idea how the benevolence of the church varies with
the most astonishing and unaccountable irregularity
until near the present time.

The five years in our history that are marked by
the highest contributions to the general work of the
church are the following: 1866, S1132, of which was
the special contribution of $1000 by Judge Ewing;
1867, .?1291. These two years were during the pastor-
ate of Mr. Hamilton. In the year 1872, of Mr. Rals-
ton's pastorate, S1066 were contributed; in 1875,
§1203, and in 1876 S1129 were given to the boards
of the church. From 1876 to the 1st of May, 1881,
$13,464 has been contributed.

During the period covered by the statistics that are
quite full this church has contributed as follows to
the various causes which have been presented : Home
missions, $324o ; foreign missions, .S2942 ; church
erection. $1380 ; relief fund, siiGO; publication, $549;
freedmen, $247 ; sustentation, ?jlS7 ; miscellaneous,
$3901 ; congregation, $41,00(1, or more than two-thirds
of the whole. In all, over $50,000 have been given
according to the statistics, and much has been con-
tributed of which there is no record.

In February, 1875, a missionary society on a some-
what extended scale, including the foreign work, was
organized, and in the course of the year attained a
membership of one hundred, and gave a contribution
of $100 to the foreign missionary cause.

The following were the ofticers for the first year;

President, Jlrs. Eleazer Robinson.

Vice-Presidents, Mrs. 8. S. Gilson, Mrs. Dr. Fuller,
Mrs. Ewing Brownfield, Mrs. M. M. Browning, Mrs.
^\'illiam Carothers, Mrs. C. M. Livingston.

Secretaries, Miss JIary B. Campbell, Mrs. Susan

Managers, Mrs. Daniel Kaine, Mrs. J. K. Beeson,
Misses Lizzie Reynolds, Sadie Cope, Lizzie Moreland,
Annie Williams, Maggie Francis, Lida Harah, Laura
Beeson, Lou Hatfield, Sallie Gaddis, and Sarah Mc-

Treasurer, Mrs. W. H. Baily.

The germ of the Sabbath-school of this church, the
first Sabbath-school of Uniontown, was a class taught
by the wife of the Rev. AV'illiam Wylie in her own
home. A school was formally organized about 1820.
Dr. Hugh Campbell, who was then present, is the
chief authority in regard to the earliest history of the
Sabliath - eli.H,l. Tlje following statements are from
a written dorument jirepared by himself:

One of the teachers at the time of the organiza-


tion was Miss Elizabeth Hadden, " Betsy" Hadden,
as she was called, who gave her time incessantly
to the interest of the school, sometimes conducting
it for long periods entirely alone, never giving up
the school in its darkest days. Two others of the
early teachers deserve especial notice, — Mr. John
Lyon and Mr. John St. Clair. Mr. Lyon was a
lawyer of unusual ability, an orthodox Presbyterian,
and no ordinary theologian. He was fond of children,
and apt to teach. He died a member of the State
Senate of Pennsylvania. Mr. St. Clair was the pro-
tbonotary of the county. Few men excelled him in
the imparting of knowledge.

Rev. William Wylie superintended the school until
his removal to Wheeling. Col. Ewing Brownfield
still has in his possession a reward-of-merit card,
signed in their own handwriting by William Wylie,
superintendent, and Andrew Stewart, secretary.

After Miss Hadden's death the school was super-
intended successively by Nathaniel Ewing, Joseph
Kibler, Ethelbert P. Oliphant, Dr. Hugh Campbell,
W. H. Baily, and A. W. Boyd. Mr. Oliphant was
elected superintendent in January, 1847, and J. K.
Ewing, Esq., assistant.

In 1848, Dr. Campbell was elected superintendent,
and held the office until 1865, the longest period of
service ever given by one man. Up to 1848 the aver-
age annual attendance of scholars was about eighty.
During the period of Dr. Campbell's superintendency
the contributions to the cause of missions were about
one hundred and twenty-one dollars. The school has
always been supported by the church, and the con-
tributions of the children have gime to the general

The present superintendent of the Sunday-school
is Nathaniel Ewing ; average attendance of scholars,
one hundred and twenty ; number of volumes, one
hundred and seventy-five.

William and Samuel Campbell, sons of Dr. Hugh
Campbell, are the only ones who have entered the
gospel ministry from this church.

Houses of Worship. — Before the erection of a
church building the congregation worshiped in the
old court-house, which stood on the site of the pres-
ent one. About the year 1824 a church edifice was
begun, which after various difiiculties was finally com-
pleted and dedicated in January, 1827. It stood on
the public ground, near the southwest corner of Mor-
gantown and South Streets, a little south of the site
of the present town hall. It was a plain, neat one-
story brick, about thirty by fifty feet in size, without
steeple or ornament, with the gable end fronting
Morgautown Street, and standing a little back from
' the street. There was but one room, which was sub-
! stantially pewed in the ordinary manner, each slip
j having the high, old-fashioned back and rectangular
lend. The building cost about three thousand dol-
I lars.
I On account of objections which were subsequently

riiised to this occupancy of public ground, the lot
upon which the present church stands, on the south
side of Church Street, just at the point of the angle
made by its deflection northward, was purchased in
the year 1836, and a second building, considerably
larger and more pretentious than the first, was
erected thereon. This building, of which Elder
William Redick was the architect, contractor, and
builder, stood a few feet back from the street, though
j not as far as the present building. It was a two-story
brick, with high windows' answering for both stories,
with vestibule, steeple, and bell ; open on the front,
with large wooden columns extending as high as the
square and supporting the gable. The lecture-room
on the first floor was occupied in the fall of 1837, and
the audience-room above in the following spring.
' This building cost about five thousand five hundred
', dollars. This structure, though sufficiently large and
intended to be imposing, failed to satisfy the taste of
the congregation, and after an occupancy of only
I some nineteen years, in April, 1857, a fire, originating
from a stove-pipe, somewhat damaged the interior.
This was generally hailed as a pretext for erecting a
new church, and the enterprise was at once set on
foot and generously and heartily carried out. Thus
the present church edifice came to be constructed.
It was dedicated to God April 10, 1860. It occupies
nearly the identical spot covered by the previous
building. It is forty-seven by seventy-five feet in
j size, of brick, two stories, semi-gothic in style, with
{ a belfry surmounted with a spire. The walls and
' ceiling of the lecture-room are neatly painted. The
I audience-room is handsomely frescoed. The windows
j are of stained glass. The whole house is lighted with
gas. The entire cost, exclusive of the value of the
I lot, was about ten thousand dollars, a sum much less
than it would have cost at any time since, and the
economy of its construction is largely because of the
excellent financial management and close attention
of the building committee, especially of J. K. Ewing,
chairman. The handsome and substantial iron fence
along the front of the lot was erected about 1865.
i The material of each of the old buildings, as far as
I suitable, was used in the construction of the subse-
quent one, so that at least some of the bricks of the
first edifice form a part of the present church building.
The memorial fund raised by the congregation was
set apart for the construction of a parsonage. This
work was undertaken in September, 1875, and com-
pleted in September, 1876, and stands as a monument
of the centennial year. The erection of the parson-
age at a very reasonable cost is due chiefly to the
building committee, which consisted of Messrs. Jasper
M. Thompson, Wm. H. Baily, and Daniel F. Cooper.
It is a handsome, commodious, and convenient two-
story brick house, located north of the town, a few
feet outside the borough line. It is situated on about
' half an acre of ground, on the west side of Gallatin
Avenue, with a fine view of landscape and mountain


scenerv, and also a good view of the town. The cost John Miller.

Samuel Hudson.

of the house alone was four thousand two hundred Marv McClean.

Christian Leehrone.

dollars. James Gaddis.

Catharine Leehrone.

Ann M. Wood.

Daniel Brubaker.


"A brief narrative' of the rise and organization
of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Union
Town, Peuna. :

" In that vast series of events arising in the ad-
ministration of Divine Providence, such events oc-
curred as directed the labors of the Cumberland
Presbyterian missionaries to this place. In the month
of I)eccml>er, 1S31, a protracted meeting was held by
tlie Rev. A. M. Brien and Milton Bird, which con-
tinuid tivc days. Although it commenced under
very iiiau-|.i(ii>us circumstances, yet it closed with
(|uiti' lav(.ralilc auspices. Owing to the numerous
and imperious calls elsewhere, another was not held
until the latter part of January, 1832. A third was
lield during the month of February, both by the
above-named niiiiisters. Those two last occasions
were iiicna-in-lv -i-iialized with displays of Divine
influence in iln- ■ ,,ii\i( lion and conversion of sinners,
and in exiitiiii; the attention of many who had hith-
erto been ilmu-litli - tn serious reflection and decision
on the subjct ot Christianity.

" A desire having been and still being expressed
by sundry individuals for tlie formation of a Cumber-
land Presbyterian congregation, and God in his
in-ovidence having opened an efl'ectual door in tliis
borough and adjacent neighborhood, the above de-
sire was complied with in the formation of a Cum-
berland Presbyterian congregation in 1S32. It having
been manifest that such an event would meet the
Divine approbation, additions were made from time
to time, and on the day of , 1832, this con-
gregation was regularly organized, and its narrative
])roceeds from this date in the records of the session."

The names of the original members are not given
in the record. The first names that appear with dates
are Sabina Campbell, Lewis Marchand, Sarah Mar-
chand, and Ann Maria McCall, who appear to have
been admitted as members on the 23d of December,
1832. The first pastor of the church was the Rev.
Milton Bird. The following names are those of per-
.sons admitted to membership in the church during
the vear 1833 : 20, 1833 :
Eliza Minor.
William Wood.
George Meason.
Mary Meason.
James Piper.
Mary Lewis.
Margaret Boyle.

Nancy Cannon.
Matilda Aldridge.
David Campbell.
William S. Cannon.
Isaac Beeson.
Louisa C. Beeson.
Van Rensselaer Taylor.
Ann Morris.

Priscilla Springer.
Xaucy Taylor.
Ann Dawson.
.Tane Todd.
Samuel Yarnell.
Ausley Gaddis.
John McDowell.
John Minor.
Louis F. Wells.
Caleb AV'oodward.
Phebe Woodward.
Hannah Johns.
Perry Tautlinger.
Henry H. Beeson.
.\daline Shelcart.

April 21, 1833 :
Xancy Abrams.
David Hess.
Catharine A. Balsinger.
Hannah Downard.
Isaac Vance.
Mary Vance.
Ruth Downard.
Rachel Downard.
Charlotte McClelland.
Mary Hess.
Priscilla Shotwell.
Mirah Whitmire.
Malinda Hall.
William Scott.
Juliet Sealon.
Elizabeth Beeson.
Sabina Malaby.
John Whitmore.
Conrad Ritchard.
Ann Scott.
Mary Scott.
Elizabeth Young.
Mary Derolfl'.
:Mary Sullivan.

Aug. 4, 1833 :
Henry Dougherty.
I']leanor Kaine.

Sept. l.i, 1833 :
Mary Scott.
Elizabeth McCormick.
John Beatty.
Ann Mariah Beatty.
Hannah Wolten.
Elihu Gregg.
Sarah Law.
Joseph Price.
George Wiggins.
John Jackson.
Joseph Rockwell.

Ephraim D. Kellan.
Lucinda Payne.
Jane Osborn.
Mary Dougherty.
Mary Snelling.
John King.
James Collins.
Jesse Payne.
Thomas Stewart.
Rebecca Rager.
Catharine Cornell.
Catharine Payne.
Priscilla Wiggins.
Elizabeth Yarnell.
Nancy Kean.
Mordecai Yarnell.
Margaret Bowers.
Eliza Dougherty.
Susan Roderick.
Nancy Carrol.
Elizabeth Desmond.
Sarah McCubbins.
John L. Dicus.
John Lazure.
Nancy Holley.

Sept. 16, 1833:
Samuel Swearingen.
Sarah Williams.

Sept. 17, 1833:
Hannah Stewart.
Mary Fulton.
John Blackford.
Mary Walker.
Edward Richards.
Susan Sharrar.
Mary McCormick.
Nancy Deselms.

Dec. 21, 1833 : '
Elizabeth Boyle.
Elizabeth Richart.
Mary Springer.
Susan Bright.

Dec. 29,1833:
JIargery Vanhook.
Rebecca Dixon.
Mary Collins.
Jane McCleary.
Hannah Turner.
Elizabeth Clark.
Ann Carson.
Elizabeth Kurtz.
Thomas D. Miller.
Barbara Bevier.

Feb. 23, 1834:
Jacob Beeson.



The first report to tlie Prosbytory, in April, 1833,
gave the membership as two hundred and sixteen.
From Dec. 28, 1832, to April 1, 1833, thirty-eight
were admitted, leaving one hundred and seventy-
eight who had been admitted prior to the former date.
A list of ruling elders is given in the record of the
church without date. The names of William Nixon,
James Boyle, and Joseph Pennock appear before the
names of Isaac Beeson and William McQuilken, who
were chosen June 8, 1833. At the same time James
Piper was chosen clerk. As trustees the names of
Robert C. Wood, Daniel Kellar, Isaac P. Minor, and ,
Dr. Lewis Marchand appear before those of H. H.
Beeson and George Meason, who were elected Sept.
30, 1833.

On the 11th of July, 1833, at a meeting of the male ;
members of the congregation, " it was agreed that the
congregation hold a protracted camp-meeting on the '
farm of Brother William Nixon, in George township,
to commence on the second Tuesday of September i

On Monday evening, Aug. 5, 1833, the record says,
" The congregation this evening held their first meet-
ing of monthly concert of prayer."

" Tuesday, Aug. 6, 1833.— The corner-stone of our .
church edifice in Uniontown was this day laid, in
which was deposited a copy of the Old and New
Testaments, a copy of the Confession of Faith, an I
enrollment of the members' names in communion with i
the church, together with a brief narrative of the
rise and organization of the church in this place.
The ceremonies were closed with a few pertinent re-
marks suited to the occasion and prayer by the Rev.
Brother Bird." And under date of Sept. 13, 1834, is
recorded, " The new church was this day dedicated to
the use of Almighty God, an appropriate address
being delivered by the Rev. John Morgan." I

The camp-meeting proposed at the meeting on the
11th of July, as before noticed, was held at the place
designated, beginning on Sunday, the l-'ith of Sep-
tember. The ministers present were the Revs. Milton
Bird, John Morgan, Aston, Sparks, and Wood, and a
icentiate named Robinson. On the first day of the
meeting twenty-five persons were added to the church,
of whom fourteen were baptized. On the second day ;
seventeen were examined and admitted, and on the
third day eight more were added. The meeting ,
closed on the 17th, having resulted in the conversion
of fifty persons.

On the 18th of September, 1833, a report of the
condition of the church was made to the Presbytery
at Washington, Pa., showing that the number of per-
sons added to the church since the 1st of April of the j
same year was seventy-eight.

' Nov. 4, 1833. — The congregation, in pursuance of '
the request of the Pennsylvania Presbytery of the
Cumberland Presbyterian Church, this evening formed
a society auxiliary to the Presbyterian Society, for
the more effectually extending the bounds of the

church by building up and supplying new and vacant
congregations and sending out missionaries, to be
known by the name of the Union Town Congregation:
Auxiliary Missionary Society. Officers, George Mea-
son, president; James Piper, secretary; Richard Bee-
son, treasurer." On the 7th of the same month:
" This day the church formed a Sabbath-school, the
following officers being duly elected : Isaac Beeson,
Dr. Lewis Marchand, and Robert C. Wood, superin-
tendents; Archibald Coulter, secretary; William
McQuilken, treasurer."

The Rev. Milton Bird served this church as mis-
sionary till September, 1834, when the Rev. John
Morgan became its pastor. On the 15th of that
month, " In pursuance of a public notice, the congre-
gation met in the church. Brother R. Beeson ap-
pointed moderator. Rev. Brother Morgan stated the
object of the meeting, the destitute condition of a
number of the brethren in the region and neighbor-
hood of Connellsville, they having no ruling elder
among them. Lutellus Lindley was nominated and
elected. It was resolved that this congregation give
their consent that the Rev. Brother Morgan labor
one-fourth of his time in Connellsville and vicinity,
and that one-fourth of his salary be secured to him by
that people."

The Rev. Mr. Morgan continued as pastor until
1841, when he was compelled by disease (of which he
died in Uniontown on the 15th of October in that
year) to send in his resignation. On the 22d of June
in that year, " By reason of the ill health of the pastor,
the Rev. John Morgan, the session was directed to
wait upon the Rev. James Smith, and inform him
that it is the desire of the church that he should as-
sume the pastoral charge, and promise him a salary
of five hundred dollars." Mr. Smith's answer was
favorable, and on the 27th of July following a formal
call was extended to him, but for some reason which
does not appear the matter fell through, and on the
21st of November a letter was addressed to the Rev.
Isaac Shook, inviting him to the pastorate. He ac-
cepted the call, and assumed the charge Jan. 1, 1843,
but resigned soon after. In March, 1843, a call was
extended to the Rev. J. T. A. Henderson, who ac-
cepted, and became pastor of this church May 15,

The increase of membership from 1834 to 1842 is
shown by the reports made to Presbytery from time
to time, giving the number of members at different
dates as follows: April, 1834, 318; September, 1834,
342 ; March, 1835, 391 ; October, 1835, 425 ; April,
1836, 432; August, 1837, 442; August, 1838, 494;
March, 1840, .504; April, 1842, 520.

The Rev. Mr. Henderson remained pastor of the
church until 1847, then the Rev. Milton Bird served
for a time as a supply. The Rev. L. H. Lowry suc-
ceeded as pastor on the second Sabbath of April,
1847, and held the pastorate at a salary of four hun-
dred dollars a year until the spring of 1849. About


this time the Rev. A. D. Bryce frequently occupied
the pulpit as a supply. On the 1st of July, 1849, the
Rev. Hiram A. Hunter became pastor, and remained
till Nov. 1, 1852, then came Rev. S. E. Hudson,
whose term of service dates from April 1, 1853, to
A]iril 1, 1854. He was succeeded without an inter-
mission by Rev. John Gary, who preached until Jan.

Aug. 30, 1858, a call was extended to the Rev. Isaac
N. Biddle, who became the pastor in November of
that year at a salary of $400 per year (afterwards in-
creased to $600), and remained till Aug. 1, 1866,
when he resigned. He was immediately followed by
Rev. A. D. Hail, who served until May 26, 1869. A
year later, in the spring of 1870, Rev. George A.
Flower accepted the pastorate, whose functions he
discharged until his resignation in May, 1872. Rev.
J. H. Coulter acted as supply until February, 1873,
when Rev. Henry Melville was permanently installed.
Mr. Melville resigned April 1, 1879, since when the
church has been without a regular pastor. Rev.
Walter Baugh is now acting as supply. The mem-
bership of the church is now one hundred and seventy.

(_)n the 26th of February, 1873, to consider the pro-
priety of erecting a parsonage a building committee
was ajipointed to select a location and superintend
the work of building. A site was selected on Red-
stone Street, and a parsonage erected on it at a cost
of $2500.

The Sabbath-school in connection with this church
numbers one hundred and thirty scholars and fifteen
teachers, with James Hadden as superintendent.

Recently the ((.nuiei-'iitinn have decided to build a
new house ni' wmshiii. The following article, from
the Erp,ihr,c<iu .^fniahird (if May 26, 1881, is of interest
in its reference to the demolition of the old edifice
and its history:

"The Cumberland Presbyterian Church, now un-
dergoing demolition on Church Street, was built in
1833 and dedicated Sept. 13, 1834. At that time the
Cumberland Presbyterian denomination was one of
the most flourishing in this section of country. Last
week there was found under the pulpit a box contain-
ing bids, contracts, nieipts, memoranda, reports,
etc., written at the tinn' the ciiurch was building.
They give the price "I hilnir and material then, and
show exactly what the church cost, which was, in-
cluiling the lot, $3190.79. These papers were wrapped
up in a copy of the Cniiiis of 1835. The com-
mittee a]i|Hiiritr(l by the congregation to supervise
the Imildiiig of tlie edifice consisted of Isaac Bee-
son, fiicrgr Mcason, Dr. Louis ;\[archand, James
Boyl.-. ami .lolm l)aws..n. .\iiinii- tli,. I. ids was the

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 75 of 193)