Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 98 of 193)
Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 98 of 193)
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John Richards.

were authorized to employ Freeman Lewis " to make

John Jaquis.

John Rape.

a survey and draft of the borough." The work was

John Johnston.

James Reyntdds.

accordingly done by Mr.
October the Council "0

Lewis, and on the 20th of

James Johnston.

John Robinson.

rdered that survey monu-

Samuel Jackson.
John Johnson.

Samuel Rose.

ments be erected in the centre of Market Street and

James Jones.

Robert Ritchie.

elsewhere, under the direction of Freeman Lewis,"

Job Jones.

Henry Rigden.

which was also done.

John Juil.

Michael Rusler.

List of Taxables in


Jaccib Kennear.

Levi Springer.

Kobevt Ayres.

John Chenney.

Mary Kennear.

William Stephenson.

Jubn Allcnder.

Church Cashing.

George Kennear.

Patrick Sullivan.

Daviil Auld.

James Carter.

Basil King's heirs.

Michael Sowers.

David Aviel.

Charles Campbell.

Michael Kelly.

Henry Stoy.

JaQies Allison.

Jacob Crawl.

Mary Kennedy.

Lewis Swiizer.

Thomas Aubcrrj.

Landon Crocker.

John McCartney, Jr.

Charles Sheets.

David Allen.

William Crawford.

Edward Maloine.

Philip Shafner.

David Anderson.

Emmanuel Crossin.

William Miniken.

George Shunian.

J. Auld.

Thomas Carter.

John McMordac.

Nathan ."^mith.

Ephraim Butcher.

Thomas Downey.

George McMicbael.

Isaac SafTel.

D. Bayliss & Co.

John Di.Non.

John Marsh.

James Spencer.

John liiddle.

Henry G. Dales.

Ready McSherry.

Thomas Stephenson.

Peter Beaker.

George Dawson.

William Moffit.

Henry Shreve.

John liuwman.

John Duvale.

Israel Miller.

John Suiith.

Basil Brown.

William Drake.

John McCartney, Sr.

Philip Smith.

Basil lirashear.

John Davis.

William McFall.

Robert Scott.

John Bcokley, Admin.

Neal DufiTeo.

Charles Michael.

Andrew Stark.

Edward Burns.

Bartholomew Depsey.

John McCadden.

William Scale.

Henry IJarkeman.

Peter Elston.

Thomas .McKibben.

Jacob Sheffner.

James Boner.

John Everhart.

John McKcnnon.

Sanuiel Shuman.

James Blaine.

Charles Ford.

John McCadden, Sr.

Thomas Sloane.

George Boyd.

John Fletcher.

Robert JlcClane.

Henry Sweitzer A Co.

Bank of Brownsville.

John F"^ter.

John McCormick.

Joseph Thornton.

Nathan Briggs.

Kobert Fordis.

William McMullen.


James Breading.

Jacob Fouch.

Allen McCurdy.

George Trucks' heirs.

James S. Bowlin.

John Frew.

George Murre.

Aaron Townsend.

Ezckiel Baldwin.

Henry B. Goe.

Henry Morrison.

James Thomspon.

Jacob Bowman & Son.

Robert Graham.

Hugh McDonald.

Ebenczer Taylor.

Thomas Berry.

George Graff.

John Murry.

Eli Tascour.

Charles Brown.

Patrick Gormley.

Yardner McGuire.

Matthew Thona.

Simeon Bowman.

Valentine Giesey.

David McGraw.

Abram Underwood.

Joseph Baldwin.

Neal Gillespie.

James Morrison.

David Victor.

Sarah Brown.

John Gribble.

William Morgan.

Thomas Wells.

Handle Black.

Henry Graham.

Joseph Noble.

Henry Wise.

Benjamin Berry.

John Gordan.

Solomon Norris.

John Wise.

James Butterfield.

John Givin.

Joseph Novis.

James Workman.

James Boyle.

Robert Hamilton.

Daniel Osten.

Mary Workley.

Nancy Beekley.

Peter Humerickhouse.

W.IIiam Ogle.

David Wilson.

Bonnell, Gregg & Carruthers.

John Hazlip.

Patrick O'Hair.

H. H. Wadsworth.

Chads Chalfant.

George Hanes.

Charles O'Donnold.

Frederick Weigle.

John Connelly.

Matthew Hutchinson.

John Pattinger.

William Willis.

James Chalfant.

William Hogg.

Robert Philson.

Henry Wilson.

Joseph Craig.

E. A C. Hunt.

John Peters.

Simon Watson.

John Christmas.

Caleb Hunt.

Thomas Pierson.

John Weaver.

Robert Clark.

George Hogg A Co.

Ruel Perry.

Robert Whole.

Jonah Cadwallader.

William Howard.

William H. Parks.

William Walker.

William Craig.

William Hanes.

Jacob Keucheneker.

Benjamin Whitehouse.

Jacob Conrad.

Robert Henderson.

Thomas Rhoads.

Jonathan WorrelL

Joseph Copley.

Henry Hull.

William Rhoads.

James Walters.

Matthew Coffin.

Thomas Headon.

Samuel Rogers.

Travers Worcester.

Elijah Clarke.

James Hutchinson.

John Rogers.

John Wright.

John Collins.

John Harris.



George Craft.
Jacob Coplan.
Charles Chadwick.

Michael Harris.

Henry Holman.

The following list of persons, following the several

James Harkness.

occupations indicated

in 1818, is from the assessment

Nathan Chalfant.

Henry Irwin.

roll of that year :



Jncob Bowman (P.M

D. B. Bayliss & Co.
James E. Breading.
Robert Clarke.
Wilson Drake.
John Everhart.
Valentine Geisey.
Matthew Hutchinson

E. &C. Hunt.
Caleb Hunt.
George Hogg & Co.
Robert Henderson.
Adam Jacobs.
John Johnston.
William Motfit.
Israel Miller.
Thomas JIcKibben.
Samuel Rogers.
John Rogers.
AVilliam Stephenson.
Philip ShafFner.

H. H. Wadsworth.
" Dealers."

Edward Burns.

George Boyd.
" Doctors."

Lewis Sweitzer.

Samuel Shuman.

Henry W. Stoy.
" Schoolmasters."

Robert Ayres.

Davi.l Taylor.

Basil Brashear.

Nancy Becklcy.

John Connelly.

AVilliam M.,Orullen.

.To«.ph T. X(,lile.

James Reynolds.
Copjiersmith and ti

Geiu'ge Shuman.



Abraham Underwood.

John Robinson.

Allen McCurdy.

Ready McSherry.

John Johnston.

David Allen.

John Bowman.

Charles Campbell.

Robert Ritchie.

John McCaddu, Sr.

John McCaddu, Jr.

Robert McClane.

William Ogle.

Andrew Stark.

James Thompson.

Ebe. Taylor.

William" Walker.

John Wright.

John Beadle.

Nathan Briggs.
• Isaac Saffell.

John Weaver.

Ephraim Baldwin.

John Allenden.

Thomas Rhoads.

Henry J. Rigden.

James Spencer.

James Blaine.

Landon Crocker.

Henry Irwin.

George Michael.

Charles Michael.

ig additional names appear on the roll

of LSI 9, viz.:

Robert Fee.

James Workman.

Nathan Chalfant.

James Carter.

Thomas Carter.

John McCartney.

James McCartney.

Joseph Thornton.


Henry Dales, Jr.

John Williams.

Edward Byrne.

James Johnston.

James Auld (and shoe-

Evan Cadwallader.

John McCartney.

Merchants. Henry Sweitzer.
James L. Bowman. " Quit-rents."
Jacob Bowman & Son. Sally Brown (daughter
Simeon Bowman. of the original pro-
Peter Humrickhouse. prietor).
Nathan Smith.

Many of the locations occupied by the business
men mentioned in the above lists have passed from
the memory of those who were living in Brownsville
at that time, but some of them have been ascertained
and are given below.

The store of Jacob Bowman & Son was on the lot
where J. N. Snowdon and Jolin Anderson now reside.

Hogg & Bowman (George Hogg and Simeon Bow-
man) did business on Water Street, two lots south of
the site of the United States Hotel. Where the hotel
stands was the store of Henry Sweitzer.

James L. Bowman kept a store in the " Neck,"
where now is Armstrong's drug-store, but whether he
was located there at the time referred to (1818-lK) has
not been definitely ascertained.

The store of D. B. Bayliss & Co. was on Front
Street, where S. P. Knox now lives. James E. Bread-
ing's store was in the Central Hotel building on Mar-
ket Street. Thomas McKibben's store was on Front
Street, adjoining or near that of Bayliss & Co.

Peter Humrickhouse kept his store on Front Street,
now the residence of George E. Hogg. Humrick-
house came from Hagerstown, Md., to Brownsville
about 1S14, and removed to Coshocton, Ohio, about

John and Samuel Rogers (twin brothers) were lo-
cated in trade on Front Street. They had been in
business there at least four years before 1818.

Elisha Hunt and Caleb Hunt kept a store in the
Neck, where now is Reiser's jewelry-store. The Hunts
were members of the Society of Friends.

Matthew Hutchinson (an Irishman) did a small
mercantile business on Front Street, on a lot adjoin-
ing the Black Horse tavern.

The store of Adam Jacobs, Jr. (father of the present
Capt. Adam Jacobs), was in Market Street, where
Charles Johnson's grocery-store now is. His father,
Adam Jacobs, Sr., had commenced business as early
as 1800 in a store located on Water Street, next below
the site of the rolling-mill.

Israel Miller's store was on Front Street, opposite
the old Monongahela Bank building (now Dr. Rich-
ard's residence). Miller afterwards moved his busi-
ness to a store where Joseph Sanforth's cabinet-shop
now is on Market Street. Later still he removed to
where Samuel Graham resides.

The store of Valentine Giesey was opposite the
Black Horse tavern on Front Street.

Philip Shaffner's location was on Water Street.
Besides the business of his store he also carried on a
coppersmith and tin-working shop.

Robert Clarke's store was in a building that stood


on the site of theSnowdon House, and upon the erec-
tion of the latter the store was kept in it.

Henry J. Rigden's watchmaker-shop was on Front
Street, though he afterwards had other locations in
different parts of the town. An earlier watch-maker
than he in Brownsville was Isaac Goodlander. Mr.
Eigden first started business here in 1817.

Dr. Lewis Sweitzer's office was in the three-story
stone house now owned by Ayres Lynch, on Front

The boat-yards of Nathan Chalfant and James and
Thomas Carter were on the river-bank, below and near
the site of the United States Hotel. Chalfant was
one of the earliest boat-builders in Brownsville.

Jacob Bowman's nail-factory (built before 1800, but
not in operation at the time to which the preceding
business list has reference) was located on the sloping
ground on Front Street, below the present residence
of N. B. Bowman. Eli Abrams, George Michael, and
Henry Irwin were workmen in this establishment,
which (as tradition has it) produced the first nails
made west of the mountains. ■

The old grist-mill and saw-mill owned by Robert
Clarke and Neal Gillespie is not mentioned in the
business list referred to, but was built at about that
time. In the Navigator,^ published at Pittsburgh in
1821, is found the following mention of this old mill :
" There has been built lately on the town side a valu-
able grist- and saw-mill, turned by the water of the
river, in which are wool and cotton carding machines.
The mills are owned by Messrs. Gillespie & Clark, who
got an act of Assembly passed to throw a dam across the
river by engaging to make a safe way for the passing
and repassing of boats up and down the river. This
was at first done by a chute in the dam, and since by
a lock canal." The old mill building, a long, low,
gambrel-roofed structure, is still standing on the
bank of the river north of Britton's distillery. It is
used as a store and warehouse by S. S. Graham.

In the publication above referred to (the Navigator)
the following account is given of the condition of [
Brownsville in 1821 :

" Brownsville (or Redstone) lies immedirvtely below Dunlap's
Creek, on the cast side of the river, finely situated on a first
and high second banli. It conti.ins (1S10=) about one hundred
and twenty houses, principally of wood, some hiindsomely built
with stone .and brick, a market-house, an Episcpal Church,
eighteen mercantile stoi es, two tan-yards, a ropp-walk, two boat,
yards, two tin and copper manufactories, two factories of nails,
one printing-office, which issues a weekly paper, a post-office,
a warehouse, one scythe- and sickle-maker, blacksmiths, silver-
smiths (one of whom makes surveyors' compasses), tailors,
shoemakers, saddlers, etc. Within a few miles of the town are
four Friends' meeting-houses, twenty six grist-, saw-, oil-, and
fulling-mills, and within four miles, up Redstone Creek, a val-
uable paper-mill.

1 A book "Containing directions for Navigating the Monoiigahcla,
Allegheny, Oliio, and Ilississipiii ISivers, with descriptions of Towns,
VillagfB, Harbours, ic."

2 Meaning by the CL-nsns of ISIO. I

" Burd's fort formerly stood here. In addition to the above,
a manufactory of steel, established by Morris Truman A Co.,
was in full operation in ISll. Mr. John Gregg, near Browns-
ville, has contrived a machine for planking hats, citlier by
horse or water. It is calculated to save much labor in the
halting business. Cotton and wool cards are also made. A
large cotton manufactory is erecting, in which the sleam-iiower
will be used ,* and a foundry on an extensive scale has been
erected, as also a manufactory for making mill-saws. A slcaui-
boat was commenced in 1813, and has now made several trips;
the engines constructed by Mr. French. The Monongahela
B.ank was established here in 18i:i, with a capital of $300,000.
[Here follows the mention of Gillespie & Clark's old mill, as
before quoted.]

" The inhabitants of Brownsville arc remarkably industrious,
and the settlement around the town is the oldest and richest in
the western counlry, and is principally settled by Quaki'V.>>.
This being a place of considerable embarkation, individuals
make it their business to supply travelers with boats and all
for descending the river."


The visit of the Marquis de La Fayette to Browns-
ville in May, 1825, was a memorable event in the an-
nals of the borough. Having started in 1824 from
the Eastern cities on an extended tour of the United
States, he was at the time mentioned moving eastward
from the Ohio on his return. On the evening of the
25th of May he arrived at Washington, Pa., where ho
was to pass the night, and in the morning proceed to
Brownsville and Uniontown. The reception commit-
tee of the last-named place were at Washington to
meet him, and it appears that he considered himself
as in their charge from the time of his leaving Wash-
ington. The message sent forward from that place in
the evening of the 25th was, " He will leave here to-
morrow morning early, will breakfast at Hillsborough,
dine at Brownsville, and su]iaii(l l.nlui'at riii(.mtown."

In accordance with this anaii^rimiu, ( im. La Fay-
ette, accompanied by his son, (iioiLn.' W'a^liiiigton La
Fayette, and his private. secretary, set out from Wash-
ington at a very early hour in the morning of the 26th,
and took the road to the Monongahela River, escorted
by the reception committee and others from Fayette
County. The scenes attending the arrival of the
party at Brownsville were described in an account
written a few years later by one who witnessed them,
as follows :

" The citizens of Brownsville had also made prep-
arations to give the general a very warm reception.
At that time there was no bridge over the Mononga-
hela at that place, and communication was kept up
between the two counties of Fayette and Washington
by means of a flat-boat ferry. This ferry-boat was
magnificently fitted up by the citizens of Brownsville
for this grand occasion, being nicely carpeted and
decorated with beautiful arches. A company of vol-
unteers, commanded by Capt. Valentine Giesey, was
present, each member of the company having the
following appropriate motto printed and attached to
his cap, ' Welcome General La Fayette I' About the


time of La Fayette's arrival on the opposite side of
the river, the Volunteers, accompanied by twenty-four
ladies dressed in white, representing the then twenty-
four States in the Union, entered the ferry-boat, and
were soon landed on the opposite side of the river,
where the first general reception given to La Fayette
by the citizens of Fayette County took place, on the
ferry-boat on the west side of the Mouongahela

"After a general welcome was extended to General
La F.ij'ette by the large concourse of people assem-
bled on the shore, the ferry-boat returned to the
Brownsville side of the river, and the distinguished
patriot was escorted, amidst the most unbounded en-
thusiasm, to what was then called the Brashear's
Hotel, kept by Colonel Brashear, where a most sump-
tuous dinner had been prepared for the occasion. La
Fayette's reception at Brownsville, in the language of
one of the survivors of that memorable occasion, was
affectionate and touching. So urgent were the citi- ,
zens of that place for the General to remain that the I
committee from tl'niontown, of whom George Crafts,
then sheriff' of Fayette County, was one, were com-
pelled to remind him that a very large concourse of
the citizens of the county was awaiting his arrival at
Uniontown. Upon being thus reminded, the General
very pleasantly remarked to the citizens by whom he
was surrounded ' That he was now in the custody of
the sheriff, and they must excuse him.' "

The reception at Brownsville was much briefer and j
less elaborate than that which was given to the hero
at Uniontown, but it was an occasion wliich will never
fade from the memories of those who witnessed it.


The first ferry across the Monongahela River at 1
Brownsville was established by Capt. Michael Cresap
in 1775, under authority granted by "a Court held
for Augusta County [Va.] at Fort Dunmore" on the
23d of February in that year, which action is recorded'
as follows ; '■ < )ii the motion of Michael Cresap, license
is granted him tn keep a ferry on Monongahela River
at Red.~t..iie Fort to the land of Indian Peter, and
that hi' pnAiilr a r.oat."

Capt. (rr-ai. (liiil in the fall of the same year, and
it is not known by whom the ferry was continued,
but in about 1784 it passed into the hands of Neal
Gillespie, who had purchased the land of Indian
Peter on the west side of the river. In the minutes
of the December session of Fayette County court for

1788 is found the report of certain persons appointed
to view " the road from Friends' Meeting-House to
the ferry at the Fort," meaning Gillespie's ferry at
Redstone Old Fort, or Brownsville.

The landing-place of Gillespie's ferry in Browns-
ville was opposite the old residence of Henry Sweitzer,
now the United States Hotel. Gillespie continued
the ferry, making his landing at this point, until 1820,
when the National road was opened to the Monon-
gahela, and the ferry landing was moved up to the
point where the great highway struck the river in


Concerning the first Ijridge across Dunlap's Creek,
between Brownsville and Bridgeport, very little is now
known. No record is found showing the names of
its projectors, of the artisans who executed the work, or
of the time of its erection, beyond the fact that it was in
existence prior to June, 1794, at which time a petition
was presented to the Court of Quarter Sessions of
Fayette County for tin- laying out of "a road from
Krepps' Ferry t(j the bridge at the mouth of Dunlap's
Creek." That it had been long enough in use before
the commencement of the present century to be at
that time considerably dilapidated and out of repair
is made evident by an entry in the records of the
county commissioners, to the effect that a meeting of
that board, held on the 22d of October, 1801, was
adjourned " to meet at Bridgeport, Monday, October
27th, to view the bridge over the mouth of Dunlap's
Creek, and contract with or appoint some persons to
repair the same." At the meeting held according to
adjournment at Bridgeport, the commissioners de-
cided upon the necessary work to be done on the
bridge, and " appointed and by writing authorized
John Rogers, Septimus Cadwallader, and Andrew
Porter to repair said bridge, at an expense not ex-
ceeding three hundred dollars." No further infor-
mation has been obtained concerning this old bridge,
except what is contained in the following extract
from the old diary of Mr. Robert Rogers, one of the
early residents of Brownsville and Bridgeport, viz.:

" Early in the spring of 1808 there was a heavy
freshet in the Monongahela and Dunlap's Creek,
which floated off the wooden bridge that connected
Brownsville to Bridgeport, and they were without
until the chain-bridge was built in 1809 by James

After the destruction of the bridge, as told by Mr.
Rogers, nearly a year elapsed before any action was
taken towards the erection of another in its place.
On the 13th and 14th of February, 1809, the com-
missioners were in session at the mouth of Dunlap's
Creek for the purpose of viewing the bridge location
and deciding what was to be done. Plans, specifica-
tions, and estimated expense were ordered made out,
and a copy sent to the President of the United States,
with the request for an appropriation in aid of build-



ing the bridge. On the 20th of April following pro-
posals were advertised for, and on the 26tli of May,
in the same year, a contract was made with Isaac
Rogers for building the abutments, "and also one
thousand perches of stone wall along the creek by
the bridge." On the 28th of June the commis-
sioners met at the bridge site " on account of an
unusual flood of water washing away tlie banks of
Dunlap's Creek in such a manner that it was thought
necessary to alter the plan for building the bridge."

No further definite information can be gleaned
from the commissioners' minutes with regard to the
building of this bridge, except that it was completed
(apparently after considerable delay), and the last
payment for its construction was made Nov. 9, 1811.
It was a bridge suspended from chains, as patented
by Judge James Finley, and similar in construction
to the one built across Jacob's Creek, on the north
line of the county.

The floor of this bridge was about thirty feet above
low water, and it was very long, not only spanning
the creek, but a considerable width of the banks on
either side. In March, 1820, it gave way and fell with
a crash under the combined weight of a deep snow
which lay upon it and thatof ateam and heavy-loaded
wagon which was crossing at the time. The occur-
rence is found mentioned in the Brownsi-iUe Register
of March 13, 1820, as follows :

"Accident. — On Thui-sdny last the chain bridge over Dunlap's
Creek, between Brownsville and Bridgejiort, broke down with a
wnggon and si.i horses upon it. The ivaggon fell on the bank,
this side of the stream, the horses in the water. The driver,
who was on the saddle-horse, was pitched between the two middle
horses, where ho was held entangled in the gears until relieved
by the citizens. He received no material injury, but two of the
horses were killed. The team, we understand, was the property
of a person named Hackney, near Winchester ( Va.). The dis-
tance from the floor of the bridge to the surface of the water
must have been at least thirty feet."

In June next following Joseph Torrence, Isaac
Meason, Jesse Evans, James W. Nicholson, John
Oliphant, and William Sweariogen were appointed to
view the site of the bridge and report what was expe-
dient to be done. They reported " that a bridge at
the proposed place is wanting, and they recommend
that one be there erected, and that the county defray
$900 of the expenses, the iron and other materials
of the old chain-bridge belonging to the county to be
taken by the contractor at .f400 in part of said $900."
Brownsville was to pay S380, and Bridgeport the same
amount,' to make up the cost of the bridge (sixteen I
hundred and sixty dollars).

On the 28th of December, 1820, the Council of
Bridgeport appointed Solomon G. Krepps to present a
plan for a bridge to the commissioners of Uniontown,

J This amount was increased (on account of the cost of the bridge ex-
cei-iliiig the eetiniutr) to four hunthed and ten dollars as the borough
qiuta, and this was paid iu couformity to an order of the couimissioucrs

and to urge its adoption. On the 4th of January, 1821,
he reported that the commissioners had adopted the
plan, and subscriptions were then commenced among
the citizens to aid in building the bridge.

Jan. 20, 1821, the commissioners, in session at the
house of James Reynolds, in Bridgeport, "received
proposals for building a bridge over the mouth of
Dunlap's Creek, and after having considered the va-

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 98 of 193)