Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 85 of 193)
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" David Barnes presented his plan for a market-house,
which was duly considered and agreed to, and or-
dered that the town clerk give public notice by ad-
vertisements that he will receive proposals for build-
ing the market-house until Wednesday morning, the
11th of October inst., when the Council will again
convene for the purpose of considering any proposals
that may be laid in."

At a meeting of the Council Oct. 11, 1809, "David
r>;irii(s laid in a proposal for erecting the market-
hou^e, agreeably to the plan and conditions laid down,
for ninety dollars, which proposal was considered and
accepted, and a bond taken from him for the faithful
performance." Greensbury Jones appeared before
the Council on the 12th day of February, 1810, and
" agreed to sell to the Council for the use of the bor-
ough an additional part of lot No. 94 for the purpose
of erecting the market-house, and it was agreed that
he should receive eight dollars and fifty-one and a
half cents for the same. An order was then drawn
on the treasurer for the amount, and a deed drawn by
the town clerk for the premises."

On the 5th of March, 1810, two orders (one for
eighty dollars, one for twenty dollars) were drawn on
the treasurer in favor of David Barnes for part pay-
ment of erecting the market-house. " David Barnes
then agreed to make two sufficient double gates for
the market-house and hang the same, inclose the
house with lath in such a manner as to prevent sheep
from entering the same,' and erect sufficient steps on
the front end of the same, for which he is to receive
the sum of eight dollars when the same is completed.
He is also to put a curb of timber along the whole
front of the ground appropriated, which is twenty-
four feet, and also put in three sufficient posts along
saicl curb, for which he is to receive a further sura of
one dollar." An ordinance was passed March 12,
1810, providing and fixing rules for the market.

On the 2d of April, 1810, an order was drawn on
the treasurer in favor of David Barnes for two dollars
and twenty-five cents, part pay for erecting the mar-
ket-house, "after which the Council took into con-
sideration the manner in which the work of the
market-house was executed, and were of the opinion
that the floor of the same was not executed in the
manner prescribed, and resolved that the undertaker
should amend the same so as to make it compleat, or
that he should be docked five dollars out of the spec-
fied price of erecting the house."

May 10, 1810, an order was given David Barnes for
the balance due him on the market-house. Otho G.
Williams was placed in charge of the house, but re-
signed the 26th of May, and Elijah Crossland was
appointed clerk of the house. They also rented to
him a stall in the northwest corner for the sum of
four dollars and thirty-three cents per year, and pro-

vided that no stall should be rented for less time
than a year. At this meeting an ordinance was passed
that " Any person or persons selling beef, porke, veal,
or mutton in the market-house by less pieces than the
quarter shall pay a fine of two dollars for each and
every offense in less they rent a stall."

Stated market-days were established by resolution
of the Council, viz. : Wednesdays and Saturdays. The
hours established were " from dawn of day until nine
o'clock" for the season beginning on the 1st of April
and ending on the 31st of August, and for the season
I'rom September 1st to March 31st, inclusive, the hours
were extended from nine until eleven o'clock. By
the same ordinance it was provided that any person
exposing any commodity for sale out of the market
during the market hours should be liable to a fine
equal to the value of the commodity and cost of suit.
The list of commodities to be sold in the market em-
braced " Fresh meat of all kinds, bacon, dried beef,
hog's lard, sausages, poultry, butter, eggs, cheese,
candles, tallow, beeswax, country sugar, vegetables of
every sort, fresh fish, fruit, grain, flour and meal of
every sort and kind." Any person buying a com-
modity and selling it again on the same day at an
advanced price was made liable to a fine of one dol-
lar. But this ordinance was not to affect '-store-

In March, 1817, the price fixed for front stalls in
the market-house was ten dollars; for middle and
back stalls, seven dollars per year. On the 5th of
May, 1818, the Council " Resolved, That the market-
house be locked for the purpose of keeping out sheep,
etc. ; that the renters of the market-stalls provide
locks for that purpose immediately, and charge the
expense of the locks to the borough, and at the expi-
ration of their lease deliver said locks in good order
to the treasurer." After this time, except the ap-
pointment of clerks and the renting of stalls, very
little in reference to the old market-house is found in
the minutes of the Council.

At the same meeting (May 5th) the Council took
the following action, viz. :

"WllKREAS, There lias of Intr- bocn si-v.-r:.! riots fidil san-
guinary alTrays cotnmitte.I wilhin tlji- li.iruou'li, lo the great an-

morality, it is therefore beenni'- ab^olurrly iiooossiiry for the
preservation of good order that a society be formed for the
better guanling against disorderly behaviour and preventing
such riots within the borough in the future. Therefore re-
solved that such society be called ' The Moralizinu SoerETY.'
"The citizens of the borough and its vicinity are invited to
assemble themselves for the purpose of establishing such society
by such rules as shall be determined on at the next meeting of
the Town Council, to be held at the dwelling-house of James
Francis, Esq., on Tuesday, the 12th day of this instant, May, at
2 o'clock in the afternoon."

The Council met on the day appointed, and Isaac
Meares and John B. Trevor were chosen " to draft an
address to the citizens of Connellsville and the vicin-



ity at large resjiecting the necessity of forming a
society for the more prompt and vigorous guarding
the public peace." Nothing further has been found
in reference to the formation of the " Moralizing So-
ciety" of Connellsville in 1818.

June 27, 1817, .John B. Trevor petitioned the Coun-
cil for ]icniii>~ii)ii to erect a warehouse on the Public
Ground. Imt withdrew it on the 30th. On the 22d
of Sc|>(i-iiil)i_T in tlie same year, "The Council agree
that it sliall be incumbent on the street commissioner,
under the direction of the burgess, to notify John B.
Trevor immediately to desist in the jirosecution of

building a warehmis i th<' |iuMic iii'ound, and all

others u-ho may Iniild >;■ attrni|.t to cie.-t any buil.l-
ing ,.n said public gronnds other tliun the Council
siiall allow."

On the -'loth of June, 1817, permission was granted
by tlie C'ouncil to ,Iose[di Keepers and George Sloan
"to build a small liuildiiiLi- lor a ferry-house on the
public ground at or llic t.ri-y."

In April, 1818, Elislui Clayton, borough treasurer,
presented his account for the preceding year to the
Council as follows :
" Amount of cn«li an>I iioti's r,r\l from tl.e 9tli day of

, u|. tM th- :M ^1 ,y ..f ISIS 821l4.94i

Ca.«li 1


Treasury :;d of Apnl, ISI

Nov. 11, 1818, the Council


' Resolved that the
Water Course on the south side of Main St. be con-
veyed by the dwelling-house of Mr. David Eogers, in
a Strait Line, across Water St. into the River by a
Sewer to be dug for that purpose, and lined through-
out with Flag Stone, and of a sufficient depth across
Water St. to allow of its being cleaued out from time
to time."

The foUowin- from the minut.'s is found under
date ..fthe 'IM ..f M.iy, Isi'l : •■ .Mr. IlenJ. Wells laid
before the Couueil a suli>eri|ilion-|.aper ,-igned by a
number of the inhabitants who resided here in the^
year 179(1, obligating themselves to pay Mr. C. Trevor
and the said B. Wells for taking measures to get the
charter of the town recorded. 'Mr. Wells wished the
Council to take measures to enforce the fultilhnent of
tlie saiil obligation by the subscribers, he having t'ul-
tlUcd the trust reposed in him. The Council con-
cluded to take time for holding said request."

"June 1, 1821, Council considered application of
Mr. Wells and concluded they had nothing to do with

Oct. 7, 1822.— The Council resolved "that tlie bur-
gess be authorized to give license to Mr. Todd to
exhibit his traveling museum, etc., as publislied in
his advertisenuiit, until Thursday next, inclusive, in
this borough on paying live d.. liars for the use of the
borough and the usual lee."

April 1, l.'^2;3.-Couneil " agreed to lake a Bark-Mill
atlJ44.*, and transfer of Judgment vs. George Mari- '
etta for $14."". and an order on William L. Miller for
two hundred pounds castings, in lieu of judgment

Council held against E. Crossland." Nearly two
years later the bark-mill was sold to H. Gebhart for

April 14, 1824. — The Council granted a license for
the sum of five dollars " for the exhibition of a Lion,
Leopard, Cougar, and five other Animals" in the

Feb. 18, 1826.— Council received a petition to build
a public hall as a second story to the market-house.
This, however, was never accomplished.

April, 1827. — " Benjamin Wells presented to the
Council a fine piece of parchment, and it was ordered
that the Clerk have a plan of the Borough made upon
it with the present owners' names upon the margin."
This old plat has not been found, nor has any knowl-
edge of it been obtained.

Dec. 27, 1832.— The Council resolved that Valen-
tine Coughenour be appointed to superintend the
business of the Stone Coal Bank, and " that the price
of coal at the Bank should be H cents per bushel
until the expense of opening shall be defrayed."
The eoal-baiik referred to was the one granted by the
original charter of the town to the citizens. From it
every original property-owner was entitled to dig his
own fuel at his own expense. The privilege, how-
ever, never proved to be of much real value, for coal
could be purchased at all times at but a trifle more
than the cost of mining it. The location of the public
coal-bank was on Jlounts' Creek, on the upper end
of the Buttermore farm. The Pittsburgh and Con-
nellsville Gas-Coal and Coke Company having pur-
chased the coal-lands around it, it was absorbed by
that company, no one interested making any ob-


On the 11th of June, 1816, "a motion was presented
[to the Council] in order to have bills of Currency
struck for the Borough of Connellsville. The Coun-
cil appointed Isaac Meares to inquire into the plan
and easiest mode of having them struck, and report."
On June 21st he reported " that the easiest way of
having Bills of Currency struck will be to have then
printed." The " matter was brought to a vote, which
resulted in five yeas and two nays," and the following
is entered on the record immediately after: "So it ap-
pears that became an Ordinance by the majority of
three votes."

The fact that the proposed borough currency was
struck off and put in circulation is made apparent by
the following from the record:

" Knolml [April 4, 1S17], by tlie Town Council of the Ii..r-
ough of Connillsvillc. that it is thought proper, and they do lie-
solve, to sell unto John Lamb all their interests into and of all
(he Borough Tickets issued and to be issued of such as are n^w
printed to his own proper use; and the said John Lainb leitl
■agreed with said Council to give to the Borough aforesaid eu,
hundred dollars free and clear of all Expenses, Drawback, oi
Damages that may hereafter accrue in consequences of the i^f u
ing. distributing, or redeeming the same, and also to keep tiu
borough aforesaid indeiunifiefl for or in consequence thereof."



On the 29th of May, 1817, the Council, " after hav-
ing taken into consideration the propriety of taking
a bond of indemnity and a bond for the payment of
a sum of money of John Lamb, to complete a con-
tract respecting the issuing and payment of the bor-
ough tickets, agreeable to a resolution passed the 4th
day of April last, Resolved, that Isaac Meres, George
Mathiot, Esqr., and Caleb Trevor be and are ap-
pointed a Committee for the purpose above men-
tioned." In July of that year A. Baldwin was
added to the committee. This is the last reference
to the matter found in the records.

The following list, from the assessment roll of Con-
nellsville for the year 1823, shows the vocations then
pursued by the persons named. The list includes not
only the borough but the entire township, but the
names given are principally those of residents of the
borough at that time, viz. :

Juhn Fuller, tan-yard.
Gebhiird & Smith, nail-faotorj.
David liarnes, brick-yard.

Abraham Baldwin, carding-macliine manufacturer and cotton-
William Clement-, schoolmaster.
John Eicher, tanner.
T. A J. Gibson (heirs), furnace.

John Gibson, ironmaster, forge, slitting-mill, grist-mill.
Samuel Gibson, miller.
William Lytle, postmaster.
William McCormick, potter.
Charles McClane, doctor.
Robert D. Moore, doctor.
Samuel Mitchell, miller.
John Simon, founder.
George iMathiot, doctor.
Kobert McGuire, silversmith.

Lester L. Norton, fulling-mill and carding-macbine.
John Reist, oil-mill.
D. & J. Rogers & Walker, paper-mill.
John & Martin Stouffer, grist-mill.
John Slomaker, pottery.
James Shaw, lawyer.
William J. Turner, schoolmaster.
Isano Taylor, tan-yard.
John Trump, saw-mill.
Jacob & John Willard, distillery.
Steward H. Whitehill, schoolmaster.
Samuel G. AVurts, ironmaster.


The Fourth of July, 1824, was celebrated with great
enthusiasm by the people of Connellsville, and the
Mount Pleasant Volunteers and Youghiogheny Blues
(the latter under cominand of Capt. Samuel Trevor)
were present to add brilliancy to the occasion.

The day was ushered in by the usual artillery sa-
lute, and the forenoon was passed in dis|ilayiii!i' the
evolutions of the military. " About our (I'cl.Mk I'.M.
the Blues, the Volunteers, and the citizens npain d
to the bower which Iiad been provided and partook

I of a dinner, at which William Davidson presided, as-
sisted by Capt. J. B. Trevor, Capt. David Cummings,
and Mr. Daniel Rogers, acting vice-presidents. The
Declaration of Independence was read by Capt. Sam-
uel Trevor. Volunteer toasts were given by Capt. J.
B. Trevor, Col. William L. Miller, Maj. Joseph Tor-
rence, Stewart H. Whitehill, Capt. Samuel Trevor,
Lieut. Hubbs, of the Mount Pleasant Volunteers,
Capt. David Cummings, Eli M. Gregg, Abraham
Baldwin, Samuel Marshall, Daniel P. Lynch, and
Sergt. Smith." The day was in every respect a b'ril-
liant one for Connellsville, and there are many of her
citizens who still remember its festivities.

The first bridge across the Youghiogheny River
from Connellsville to the western side of the stream,
in what is now the borough of New Haven, was built
under authority conferred by an act of the Legisla-
ture, passed March 15, 1800, by which it was provided
and declared —

ic Meason and
•ect, build, sup-
over and across
vhere the great

"That it shall .

nd may


riah Conncll,

their he


nd maintain

I good a

the Y


river at

road leading from Philadel

and t

at the prope

ty of sa

the s^

iiie is hereby



,i;,h Conuell,

their he


saac Meason

and Za

[here follows
always and i
shall extend t
Connell, their
in this act b
consent of th
such manner
tion of said r

i.i^r, ul„i, built, shall be and
e aforesnid Isaac Meason and
id assigns forever, and that the
ah Conncll, their heirs and as-
nd receive toll from travelers and others
fication of the rates of toll] ; Provided
less that nothing in this act contained
ize the said Isaac Meason and Zachariah
ul assigns, to erect a bridge in the manner
ntioncd on any private property without



r as in any way to interrupi or ii
river or the passage over tlir Im d a.-io-s the same
the said bridge may be erected." And it was fur-
id liy the act ''That all poor persons, or those who
in))ted from payment of county rates and levies,
bcrty to pass and repass over and across said bridge

The precise time of (he opening of the bridge is
not known, but it was commenced soon after the pas-
sage of the act authorizing its erection, and completed
within the required time, three years. Its location
was nearly one hundred feet up stream from the
present bridge. It was a wooden-bent structure, rest-
ing at the two ends on abutinents, each formed of
a strong crib-work of logs filled in with stones. The
bridge remained for nearly or quite fifteen years, and
was carried away by flood some time in the year 1816
or early in 1817, as a memorandum is found showing
that in the spring of that year a ferry was in opera-
tion, run by Joseph Keepers and George Sloan. The
abutment at the Connellsville end remained standing

I largely obtained fro



for a number of years after the bridge was gone. The
old toll-house which stood in front of the property of
Edward Dean, on Water Street, is still well remem-
bered, having been demolished at a comparatively
recent time by the railroad company.

The second bridge across the river was built in the
year I.'^IS. It was, like its predecessor, a woodeu-
lieiit structure, supported above by four heavy arches
lornu'cl 111' two-inch oak planks bolted together, and
it rested between the abutments on tlini- ^tiuni: lieiit~
of heavy timber, having breakers extern liuLi IVom iluir
liases up stream between thirtv and Inrty Icrt. and

the 1".M of tin- r'nry In lli.' rhoi.K olllu- \nu\-r. Tlio
model. .r this l,iid;iv wa- luniislu-d l,y Ad:,iii Wijsnn,'
an ingenious Scotchman.

This bridge stood intact until 1827, when the west-
ernmost span (next to the New Haven shore) fell,
while a heavily laden wagon, drawn liy a team of six
liorses, was upon it; but, stranLicly iiioui^li, though it
went down with a crash, yet it Ml s.i s.|uarely that
neither the horses, driver, wagon, nor load sustained
any serious damage 1"he fallen sjian was relmilt the
satne year, and the wooden arches of the bridge re-
])laced by a kind of truss-work. Daring the time of
the repairs a ferry was run across the river by Samuel
Downey. In February, 1831, by the breaking up of
the ice in the river, all of the bridge was carried away
except the new span on the New Haven side.

The third bridge was built in 1832, by the Meason
and Connell heirs. This was a great improvement on
the structures wdiich had preceded it. It was built
with two spans, resting on stone abiitnients and a
stone pier in the river. The sjians were su|i|iorted l>y
solid wooden arches, and the superstnulurc was cov-
ered to protect it from tlir weatln-r. 'flii- l.ridgi diil
duty for about twenty-, inlit years, until A|.iil, l^iio,
when a great an. I su.M.ii rise in the river larrie.l it
away, the jjier in the river lieing undermined. The
water rc^ise at that time t.i witiiin less than three feet
of the bridge, anil within eiglieen inches of the road-
way of Front Street, New Haven. 1 luring the suni-
Mie'r and fall succeeding the destrneti..n ..f tliis bridge
.Tam.'s H. White made tw.i or three uuMiecessful at-
tempts to build a Lent bri.l-e ol'sh.irt spans son),, f.rty
.,r hfty leel up the stream lr..m where the present bri.ige
stands, but each altemjit was frustrated by a rise in
the river, which carried away his bents, and finally
the plan was abandoned.

Inseparable from the history of the old bridges is
tlie memory of "Aunt Jenny" Wallace (sister of
Zachariah Connell's second wife), who held the posi- [

' Tltis .\d,.\m Wilson was a bachelor .^lud a general mechanical genius,
lie Ijuilt the Mount Braiiiloii; niausinn Sir. Meason, doing both the

carpenter-work and the it e: ._ e, i ihit at a lime when every

part of the work had to hr i iil the aid of mechanical

contrivances. Healsobuili . ^i . inr.- in New Haven, now

owned by Mrs. Giles. Th,- iii".l. I t lli. . in. ll-ville bridge was sold in
lR2.i by Wilson's executor.

tion of toll-taker at the bridge for many years. Mr.
David Barnes speaks of his recollection of her " with
that uninviting ftice and old black dress; we can see
her grab her dress on the right side with her left hand,
whilst the right woidd enter the pocket to make change
from the old ' tip.' We remember a little joke that
was played upon her. A stranger approached the
gate of the bridge and asked the charge for crossing.
He was told one cent. ' Does it make any diflerence
vhat you carry ?' ' No, it does not.' Giving her the
. I lit, he skipped back and shouldered his comrade
an.l started for the bridge. She tried to stop him,
but he went on, and the old lady stood with both
liands hanging straight down her sides, body bent
tiirward, face raised, and eyes strained, to see if he
w I in Id drop his load ; but she saw him pass over with
it. then, straightening up, with a long sigh, exclaimed,
• He will never do that again.' "

After the destruction of the third bridge, other
|iarties made an arrangement with the owners of the
M.asim-Connell franchise,' under which a new bridge
e.nupauy was formed, and was created a corporate
b.iily under the name of "The Yougliiogheny Bridge
Company" by an act — supplemental to that of March
1,), 1800— passed April 17, 1861. The capital stock
was placed at |i20,000, in eight hundred shares at i?25

A meeting of the stockholders was held at the office
of George J. Ashman, July 20, 1861, when George
Nickel was elected president, George J. Ashman, sec-
retary and treasurer, and James Wilkie, Samuel. Ens-
sell, Provance McCormick, James H. White, and Jidin
K. Brown, managers. The managers appointed James
H. White, George Nickel, and Jonathan Hewitt a
building committee, and a contract was made with
Christian Snider, Aug. 24, 1861.

The present suspension bridge was commenced in
that year (l.^ijl), and completed in the summer of
1862, at a cost of §19,600. From an entry in the
books of the company, dated July 30th in that year,
is extracted as follows: . . . "Wherefore the presi-
ilent and managers of the Youghiogheny Bridge Com-
pany congratulate themselves and the stockjiolders
up.m the completion of their bridge, which for some
time pa-1 has be.n open for public use." The first
toll-ki'.ii.i- uu.l. I- the company was Adam Byerly, who
continued in the position until June 30, 1871, when
he was succeeded by the present toll-keeper, Adam
Eckles. The present officers of the company are
Daniel Kaine, president ; A. C. Knox, secretary and
treasurer ; J. T. McCormick, James McKearns, J. K.
Brown, H. L. Shepard, Ewing Brownfield, directors.


Concerning the date of the establishment of the

Connellsville post-office, the most that can he said is



that it was in existence in 1805, wlien John B.Trevor
was postmaster. He continued in the office for sev-
eral years, and his successors, so far as ascertained,
have been as follows: William Lytle (in office under
President J. Q. Adams), Joseph Herbert (from Presi-
dent Jack.son to President Taylor), David Whalley,
John Collins, Provance McCormick (appointed 1852),.
J. D. StillwagoD, Provance McCormick, Benjamin F.
Frankenberger, Joseph Keepers, A. S. Barnes, Mrs.
Moses Collins, Hampton Collins, Henry Porter,
present postmaster.


The earliest mention found in the borough records
of any proposition to procure apparatus to aid in the
extinguishment of fires in Connellsville is the follow-

"At a meeting of the Council, Feb. 16, TSll, A Resolution
was past that there should be procured for the use of the Bor-
ough two ladders of 28 feet long, 20 inches wide in the clear,
with good, sufficient, Iron Sockets at the bottom 9 inches long,
and two other Ladders IS feet long, 12 inches wide in the clear,
with good sufficient hooks at the end of each to hold on the cor-
nice of any house, the rounds as above-mentioned, the whole to
be made of good locust and the sides of good poplar, all of
which must be painted with two good coats oi' brown. And
that .lohn Lamb be appointed to procure the same on as reason-

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 85 of 193)