Franklin Ellis.

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

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followiui; IVoui (ienige I). S|.>\ .ii-..!! : '1 j.ropose to
find all materials and plaster ycmr liouse in a good
and workmanlike manner (with a vestibule) for
$208,511; without vestibule or lobby, for $187.50.'
John Harvey offered to build tlie foundation wall,
40 bv 60 feet, tlie committee to find tlie materials, for

53 cents a perch ; or find the materials himself and
do the work for $1,561 a perch. David Jones' bid
for the stone-work was $1.87i per perch and find the
materials himself. Thomas Prentice offered to fur-
nish ' good stone for the foundation at 75 cents a
perch, or stone raised at the quarry at 48 cents a
j perch, the committee to haul the same.'
I " Hague & Meredith offered to lay 85,950 bricks for
$287,781. Reuben Hague's bid for the same work
was to find the lime, sand, scaflblding, tenders and
boarding, and lay the bricks for $2.80 a thousand.
Joseph Brashear, of Franklin township, proposed
under the conditions laid down by Hague to do the
j work for $2.75 a thousand. Edward Hyde wanted
1 $3.75 a thousand. John P. Sturgis and Benjamin
; Riddle proposed to furnish and deliver 100,000 bricks
I at $5.50 a thousand. James McCoy underbid them
■ 50 cents a thousand and got the contract. William
1 Maquilken offered to do the painting for $37.94.
Ephraim McLean proposed to furnish 42 locust posts,
4 by 5, good butts, 81 feet long, at 311 cents each,
delivered. Absalom White offered to find all the
materials and do all the carpenter-work for $1240 ; or
j find no materials and do the work for $650. On his
consenting also to furnish the glass and do the neces-
sary priming his bid was accepted. Following is a
copy of the report of the committee appointed to
audit and close the accounts of the building commit-

" The committee appointed by the congregational

meeting held in November last, for the purpose of

closing the accounts of the building committee, met

at the house of Isaac Beeson on the 25th of Nove

I ber, 1835, and proceeded to an examination of the

I accounts of said committee, as per documents here-

j with inclosed :

Wefind that Isaac Beeson has ]iaid out $3061. n9

And has received and assumed 2702. 7S

Leaving a balance due to Isaac Beeson, for which we

gave him a certificate for 358.31

Also a certificate to Hague & Meredith for 25.00

" " William MoQuilken for 18.94

" " James Boyle for S5.76

Making the cost of said building, including lot 3190.79

Leaving a balance due from congregation to individ-
uals 488.01

"There remains uncollected subscriptions to the
amount of $127,291, which in all probability cannot
be collected.

"Henry H. Beeson,
"John Canon,
"Charles Peach,

" Committee.

" Dec. 28, 1835.

"A gentleman who has a retentive memory re-
cently reinarked to the writer that to the older resi-
dents of the town a considerable degree of interest
attaches to the old church. John Quincy Adams
spoke there once. He was on his way back from
Cincinnati, where he had attended the laying of the
corner-stone of an observatory, and the jieople of


Uniontown of course gave the distinguished traveler
a reception. The address of welcome was delivered
by Dr. Hugh Campbell, and according to our infor-
mant, brevity was not one of its merits. Famous dis-
cussions on temperance and baptism also took place
in the church. On the former question there was a
division of opinion between the advocates of total
abstinence and teetotal abstinence, and the wordy
warfore was waged night after night with great vigor
and intensity. One of the speakers is remembered
as having declared, in the warmth of debate and as a
presumptuous advertisement of his own acquirements
and habits, that he knew more law than Blackstone,
more medicine than Dr. Blank, and was more temper-
ate than Christ himself. One of the principal par-
ticipants in the discussion of baptism was the well-
known Rev. Dr. Fairchild. The debates on this
subject were not confined to the Cumberland Presby-
terian Church, but were held alternately in all the
churches in town. When the body of Col. Roberts
was brought home from Mexico, where he was killed
in battle, the funeral services were held in the Cum-
berland Church."


In the fall of 1830 several members of the Meth-
odist Episcopal Church of Uniontown withdrew from
it, and at a meeting held by them at the court-house
were organized into a class of the Methodist Protestant
denomination by the Rev. Zachariah Hagan. The
class was composed of the following-named members, [
viz. : John Phillips and Polly, his wife ; Joseph Phil-
lips, Rebecca Phillips, his wife, and Mary Ann Phillips,
their daughter; Mary Lewis (now Mrs. Mary Clem-
), William Ebbert, Walter Ebbert, Howell Phil-
lips, and his wife, Eliza Phillips.

In March, 1840, a lot was purchased of John Phil-
ips, located on the corner of Bank Alley and Church
Street, and on this the present brick edifice of the so-
ciety was erected soon afterwards. The first preacher
was Moses Scott. He was succeeded by James Rob-
inson, William Marshall, Joseph Burns, and others,
while the society was yet served by circuit preachers.
The Rev. John Scott was appointed to the charge
when it was first made a station. Among others who
became pastors were George McElroy, George Brown,

Ball, George Conaway, William Wallace,

Brinnell. The church is at present without a pastor.
Its membership is one hundred and ten.


St. Peter's Church edifice at Uniontown was built
in 1842, and being furnished with temporary seats
and benches (the legs of which were made of spokes
from old stage- wheels), was opened and consecrated in
October of the same year by Bishop Onderdonk. Be-
fore that time services were held periodically, first in
the (old) court-house, and next in the Reformed
Methodist Church, the walls of which the Episcopa-

lians plastered, and furnished in part with the afore-
said temporary seats, the Rev. W. W. Arnett officia-
ting for the Episcopalians, and continuing rector of
the parish till December, 1844, when he resigned.
Capt. John Sowers and Hon. R.» P. Flenniken were
at a vestry-meeting held March 21, 1842, appointed
wardens of said St. Peter's Church, then building,
and L. W. Stockton, Daniel Smith, Daniel Huston,
Dr. A. H. Campbell, and William P. Wells were the
other vestrymen. On Mr. Arnett's resignation Rev.
S. W. Crampton accepted a call, but resigned in May,
1845, after which Mr. James Mcllvaine (then a vestry-
man) held services as lay reader once every Lord's Day
till March, 1846, when Rev. Norris M. Jones took
charge of the parish, and resigned in October, 1848,
and in November of the same year Rev. Mr. Lawson
was appointed to the parish by the bishop (Potter).
Rev. Mr. Lawson resigned in 1849, and Rev. Dr.
Rawson had charge of the parish till 1851, when Rev.
Theodore S. Rumney succeeded him, and resigned the
charge in the fall of 1855, when Rev. Hanson T. Wil-
coxson took charge of the parish, but was compelled to
resign on account of impaired health in November,
1856, and in July, 1857, Rev. Faber Byllesby (then a
deacon) took charge of the parish, which he resigned
in October, 1859, after which occasional services were
held by Revs. John Seithead, Jubal Hodges, and
others till April, 1862, when Rev. R. S. Smith took
charge of the parish, of which he is still (March,
1881) the rector.

The present vestry are Messrs. Alfred Howell,
Judge Wilson, James A. Searight, Dr. A. P. Bowie,
John N. Dawson, George Morrison, William H. Play-
ford, Charles E. Boyle, John Thorndell, and Thomas
H. Fenn, of which number Mr. Alfred Howell and
Thomas H. Fenn are the wardens.

There are eighty-seven communicants, eleven Sun-
day-school teachers, and eighty Sunday-school schol-

For a period of nearly thirty-five years from the
erection of the edifice of St. Peter's Church, in Union-
town, there hung in its tower an ancient bell, bearing
the device of a crown and the date 1711, it having
been cast in England in that year, during the reign
of Queeu Anne, and by her presented to Christ
Church of Philadelphia. It was used by that church
for almost fifty years, and in 1760 was transferred to
St. Peter's Church of that city, where it remained
more than eighty years, being displaced in 1842 by a
chime of bells which had been presented to that
church. At that time St. Peter's Church building in
Uniontown was about being completed, and as the
congregation had no bell, it was proposed by the sec-
retary of this church, Daniel Smith (who had lived in
Philadelphia, and was acquainted with the fact that
St. Peter's of that city had a bell not in use) that this
church should make application for the loan of it, to
be returned when wanted. The suggestion was acted


ou, the application made, and favorably considered by
the Philadelphia church, and the bell given in charge
of the Uniontown church, under the following agree-
ment, viz. :

" November 28, VSi'l. — We, the undersigned, com-
]io.sing the Wardens and Vestry of St. Peter's Church,
Fayette County, Pa., hereby covenant, agree, and bind
ourselves and members of said vestrj' hereafter to re-
turn to the vestry of St. Peter's Church, Philadelphia,
at any time they may demand it a bell which we have
asked of them the favor of borrowing until such time
as they ask the return of it. [Signed] John Sowers,
H. V. Roberts, M.D., Wardens; W. P. Wells, John
Dawson, L. W. Stockton, Daniel Huston. Daniel
Smith, Sec'y."

The bell was accordingly taken to Uniontown and
used by St. Peter's Church for almost thirty-five years
as above stated. In 1877 the owners re(iuested its re-
turn, and on Monday, May 21st of that year, it was
taken dowu and shipped to Philadelphia.


About the year 18.50 a Eonian Catholic house
of worship was erected on Morgantown Street, in
Uniontown.' The first mention which is found of its
congregation is in the communication of the Rev.
Malachi Garvey in 1856, when he reported sixteen
families and forty-two communicants at the Easter
Communion in that year. On the 5th of September
in the same year Bishop O'Connor, of this diocese,
administered confirmation to fifteen persons.

In June, 1881, the Uniontown Mission and adja-
cent districts were set off as the Uniontown District,
with the Rev. C. T. McDermott as pastor. At the
present time about sixty families are in connection
with the church.


In the year 1822 a class of colored Methodists was
formed at Uniontown, under charge of the Rev.
George Dollar, a regular minister, sent out by the
Annual Conference of the African M. E. Church. The
luembers of that class were Mrs. Hannah Burge-ss,
John Woods, Henrietta McGill, John Webster, Sarah
Woods, Sarah Griffin, David Lewis, Betsey Pritch-
ard, Hannah Webster, and Barney Griffin. Meetings
were held in the house of Mary Harman for two
years, when they moved to Joseph Allen's house, on
the same street.

A lot was bought for $75, June 10, 1835, of Zadoc
Springer, and on this lot a log building was erected
as a place of worship. In 1855 the old building was
demolished, and their present brick edifice was erected
on the same site.

Their preachers have been the following: Rev._

Boggs, 1825; Noah Cameron, 1826; Charles Gray,
1827; Paul Gwin, 1829; Samuel Clingman, 1832;
Thomas Lawrence, 1835 ; A. R. Green, 1838 ; Charles

Peters, 1841 ; S. H. Thompson, 1843 ; Coleman ;

Hargraves ; Fayette Davis; J. Bowman; Wil-

liam Muman, 1855 ; S. H. Thompson, 1857 ; N. H.
Turpin, 1859 ; William Ralph, 1861 ; Severn Grace,
1864; R. A. Johnson, 1866; C. R. Green, 1867;
Daniel Cooper, 1868; J. W. Asbury, 1869; W. C.
West, 1871; W. J. Phillips, 1872; S. T. Jones, 1874;
W. S. Lowry, 1880, to the present time.
The church has now 133 members.


A colored class of this denomination, composed of
five persons, was organized by the Rev. Isaac Cole-
man in the fall of 1848. The class was under a mis-
sion charge, and for several years was supplied by the
Rev. Isaac Coleman, J. B. Trusty, and T. S. Jones.
It became a .separate charge under Rev. Charles
Clingman. His successors have been J. P. Harner,
William Burley, Charles Wright, William Johnson,
N. H. AVilliams, D. B. Matthews, William J. Mc-
Dade, H. H. Blackstone, W. A. McClure, and J. W.
Tirey, the present pastor. The church has at present
fifty-five members.

In February, 1857, a lot was purchased of Joseph
Benson, on the National Road, east of Redstone
Creek, and an old building standing on it was fitted ■
up as a house of worship during the following sum-
mer. This was done while the church was under
charge of the Rev. Charles Wright. On the 27th of
April, 1869, additional land was purchased and added
to the lot, and the present brick church edifice of the
society was erected on it soon afterwards.

A branch of this church was organized at Georges
Creek, and a church building was erected for its use
on the Baxter farm. It is still under charge of the
Zion Chapel.

In the old Methodist churchyard on Peter Street
(the most ancient burial-place in Uniontown) the
oldest slab. which bears a legible inscription is that
which stands " Sacred to the memory of Suky Young,
who departed this life the 20th of Sept., a.d. 1790,
aged 2 yrs., 1 mo., 17 days." It has been stated, how-
ever, that a son of Jacob Murphy was buried here
some years earlier. In this ground was buried John
Wood, who was for many years a justice of the peace,
and who died Nov. 12, 1813. Among other inscrip-
tions are found those of the following-named persons:

I Rev. Thornton Fleming, an itinerant preacher in

j the M. E. Church for sixty-one years, died Nov. 20,

' 1846, aged 82 years.

t Hannah, wife of the Rev. Mr. Blackford, died Oct.
16, 1845.
Daniel Limerick, for eighteen years in the ministry

I of the Methodist Episcopal Church, died April 28,

■ 1837.

! Rev. Alfred Sturgis, died Nov. 4, 1845. He had
been for fourteen years an itinerant preacher of the
Methodist Church.

! The " Oak Hill Cemetery" is a burial-ground lying
on the northeast side of Redstone Creek, and formed



of a graveyard fully ninety years old, with a later ad-
dition. The original ground was set apart for the
purpose of burials by Henry Beeson some time before
1793. An addition was afterwards made to it by Mr.
Gallagher. Many of the old citizens of Unioatown
were interred here, among whom were Henry Beeson,
the donor of the ground and proprietor of the town ;
Jacob Beeson, his brother, who died Dec. 16, 1818, in
his seventy-seventh year ; Jesse Beeson, son of Henry,
who died June 8, 1842, aged 73 years and 11 months;
John Collins, died Nov. 3, 1813, aged 72 years ; Capt.
Thomas Collins, his son, died Nov. 1, 1827, aged 51
years ; Joseph Huston, died March 6, 1824, aged 61
years ; Dr. Adam Simonson, died Feb. 4, 1808, aged
49 years; Alexander McClean, the veteran surveyor,
who took the leading part in the extension of Mason
and Dixon's line and in the establishment of the dis-
puted boundary between Pennsylvania and Virginia,
who was born Nov. 20, 1746, and died Dec. 7, 1834.^
On his headstone is inscribed, " He was a soldier in
the Revolution, a Representative from Westmore-
land county in the Legislature of Pennsylvania at the
time Fayette county was established, and was Regis-
ter and Recorder of this county from its organization
until his death. In his departure he exemplified the
virtues of his life, for he lived a patriot and died a
I Christian."


The ground on which the old Baptist Church and
graveyard are located was purchased in the year
1804, but it had been used as a burial-place several
years before that time, as is shown by some of its
headstones. The earliest of these which has been
found is that of Priscilla Gaddis, who died Feb. 17,
1796, aged 78 years. One, marking the grave of
Anna Gaddis, tells that she died, aged 17 years, on
the 29th of March, 1796. Another, of Sarah Gaddis,
gives the date of death Jan. 7, 1802, age 50 years, and
that of James Allen records his death on the 8th of
April, 1808, at the age of 37 years. Among those
interred here in the earlier years of the borough were
Levi Springer, died March 26, 1823, aged 80 years;
Dennis Springer, died April 6, 1823, aged 75 years ;
Morris Morris, died Feb. 1, 1825, aged 51 years ; John
Gaddis, died April 12, 1827, aged 27 years; and
Jonathan Downer, died June 8, 1833, aged 79 years.

The location of this old burial-ground is on Mor-
gantown Street, in the southwest part of the borough.


In the year 1866 a number of gentlemen, whose
names are given below, associated themselves in the
purchase of a tract of nearly seven acres of land
lying south of the National road, and just touching
at one point the northwest corner of the borough
boundary, for the purpose of laying out a cemetery

• 1 The stone gives Jmt. 7, 1834, as the date- of liis death, but this is ii
mist-ike. The correct date of his death is December 7th of that .Year, as
above stated.

upon it. The land was purchased of Daniel Sharp-
nack, the deed bearing date November 5th in the year
named. A stock company was organized and incor-
porated Feb. 12, 1867, as the Union Cemetery Com-
pany of Fayette County, with the following-named
corporators : Smith Fuller, John K. Ewing, Eleazer
Robinson, F. C. Robinson, William H. Bailey, Hugh
L. Rankin, Alfred Howell, E. B. Wood,' Daniel
Sharpnack, R. M. Modisett, Eli Cope, John H. Mc-
Clelland, Andrew Stewart, L. D. Beall, Daniel Kaine.
The company caused its grounds to be laid out in
burial lots, with walks and carriage-wiiys on the
modern plan, and handsomely embellished with trees
and shrubbery.

This cemetery is now the principal burial-ground
of Uniontown. Many tasteful and elegant memorial
stones are found within its inclosure, and near its
northw^estern corner there has been erected an im-
posing and appropriate Soldiers' Monument.


The first banking institution established in Union-
to\vn was named " The Union Bank of Pennsylvania,"
which commenced operations (though then unchar-
tered) in the autumn of 1812. The promoters of the
])roject were a number of gentlemen, whose names are
embraced in the following list, it being that of the
first directors of the bank, viz.: John Kennedy,
Nathaniel Breading, J. W. Nicholson, Jesse Evans,
Joseph Huston, Samuel Trevor, Thomas Meason,
Hugh Thompson, T^llis Bailey, Jacob Reason, Jr.,
John Campbell, Reuben Bailey, John Miller, David
Ewing, George Ebbert.

The articles of association were signed May 1, 1812,
and the bank (or rather the unchartered association
which so designated itself) commenced business in
October of that year, in an old frame building which
stood on the site of Mr. Z. B. Springer's present store.
By the tenor of the following letter (copied from the
old letter-book of the bank), it will be seen that the
amount paid in was less than one-eighth of the nom-
inal capital :

"Union B\vt "f I>in-v=vi vivn, 7th Dec, 1813.

"Sir,— The Directors .,1 i : ,! , have unanimously

agreed to accept the Com] I'.- 1 1 i n i> i I in the Act of Con-
gress ' laying duties on n.ji. ■ .i Mml, , liiukers, and certain
Companies, on Notes, Bonds, and Obligations discounted by
banks, bankers, and certain companies, and on bills of exchange
of certain descriptions, passed Aug. 2nd, 1813, and I have been
directed to write you on the Subject. As we have re-'d no let-
ter from you we are at a loss to know precisely the information"
that may be required.

"This Bank went into operation in October, 1812, on a Capi-
tal of only S60,000, and declared a dividend on the first day of
May last of five per cent. An additional sale of Stock was then
made of jniHi shares of SlU each, and on the first of November

l:i,-l a S iiii] Tiividend was declared of five per cent. At pres-

ciit i.ur i'a|iiral i.< $100,000 actually paid in. According to the
Ailidr- nf as-oriation the directors may sell stock until the



this time to make any addition to Ihe present amount. Should
they do so, you shall be regularly advised. Any further infor-
mation you may wish, I will with pleasure communicate, and

"With much respect,

" Your Obt Servant,

•• Artlnp Scc'll of the Treamirii, V. S."

The institution became a chartered bank in 1814,
under a legislative act of incorporation approved
March 21st in that year. On the 28th of May, 1814,
Cashier Sims wrote to a correspondent: "... We
expect in a few days to move into a new banking-
house now finishing for our occupation." This is
found in the old letter-book of the bank. The new
liuildiiig referred to in the letter is the depot of the
Siiuthwest Railroad Company. It was afterwards
purchased by the Bank of Fayette County.

It has been often stated, and seems to be the gen-
eral belief, that the Union Bank of Pennsylvania
failed and went out of business in 1817. That this
supposition is erroneous is shown by the matter, of
the following extracts from the Oenim of Liberty of
Uniontown :

" Notice :

" A meeting of the stockholders of the Union Bank
of Pennsylvania is requested at the borough of Union-
town on the 5th day of October next, at 10 o'clock
A.M., in order that they may be made acquainted with
the real state and responsibility of the institution.
" By order of the Board of Directors,

" John Sims, Cashier.
" Aug. 27, 1818."

" Ten Shares of Stock of the Union Bank of Penn-
sylvania for sale. Apply to the Printer.
" "Aug. 29, 1818."

" Umox Bank of Pennsylvania,
"May 3, 1819.

"The Directors have this day declared a Dividend
of three per cent, on the capital stock for the last six
months, payable to the Stockholders or their legal
representatives at any time after the 1.3th inst.

"John Sims, Oin/iier."

"Oct. 4, 1821.

" Notice is hereby given to the Stockholders of the
Union Bank of Penn.sylvania to meet on the first
Monday of November next, at tlie IjankiML'-hmise in
the borough of Uniontown, at which tiiin' ami place
a statement of the affiiirs of said bank will be laid Ijc-
fore them, in conformity to the 10th article in the act
of incorporation, passed 21st March, 1814.

" Benjamin Barton, Cashier."

The exact date of the final closing of the bank has
not been ascertained, but it is certain that it was not
long after the date of the above notice.


By an act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, ap-

! proved Deo. 5, 1857, the Bank of Fayette County was

[ incorporated. The corporators were Isaac Beeson,

j John Huston, Henry W. Beeson, Armstrong Hadden,

I Joshua B. Howell, Ewing Brownfield, Joseph Jolin-

I ston, John K. Ewing, Alfred Patterson, William

Bryson, Asbury Struble, Everard Bierer, Sr., Josiah

I S. Allebaugh, Henry Yeagley, Isaac Franks, Jacob

j Overholt, Thomas B. Searight, Jacob Murphy, Joseph

Hare, Joseph Heaton, John Morgan, and Farrington

Oglevee. The charter was dated July 9, 1858.

The first board of directors was composed of John
Huston, Daniel Sturgeon, Isaac Beeson, Everard
j Bierer, John Murphy, James Robinson, Robert Fin-
I ley, Isaac Skiles, Jr., Henry W. Gaddis, J. Allen
Downer, Joshua B. Howell, Alfred Patterson, Daniel
R. Davidson. President, Alfred Patterson ; Cashier,
W. Wilson.
' The first meeting of the directors was held Aug.
16, 1858, and the bank commenced business on the
first day of September following. For about a year
after opening, the business of the bank was done in
the building now occupied by Z. B. Springer as a
hardware-store. On the 19th of October, 1869, the
directors authorized a committee to purchase the old
Union Bank building on Main Street, at $1500. It
was purchased of William Crawford for $1410. While
this building was in process of repair the business of
the bank was done in an office where Manaway's
saloon now is. In the spring of 1860 the bank occu-
pied the Union Bank building, and its business con-
tinued to be done there for eighteen years. On the
29th of December, 1877, the directors were authorized
to sell the building, and it was accordingly sold, and
became the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad station
as at present. After the sale, and while the bank's
new building was being erected and made ready for
occupancy, the business of the institution was done

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 76 of 193)