Franklin Ellis.

History of that part of the Susquehanna and Juniata valleys, embraced in the counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder, in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania ... (Volume 2) online

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Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of that part of the Susquehanna and Juniata valleys, embraced in the counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder, in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania ... (Volume 2) → online text (page 23 of 126)
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a fall from a horse when twelve years old ;
Margaret, born 17(38, married James Johnston,
of Toboyne, by whom she had eight children ;
her son John represented Perry County in the
Legislature many years ago. William Ander-
son, the fourth child of Wm. Anderson, Sr.,
was born in 1771, married Isabella Blaine, and
was a member of the Legislature from Cumber-
land before the creation of Perry County, and
after 1820, when this county was organized, he
became one of the associate judges, which post
of honor he held at the time of his death in
1832. Andersonburg was named after him.
In the assessment of Toboyne for 1820, he had
the highest valuation in the township, and was
the only one assessed with a " negro slave."
His children were William B., Matilda, Mar-
garet, Mary and Hon. Alexander B., all of
M'hom are dead. William B. was a member of
the Legislature for three years and a State Sena-
tor for three years. Matilda married Rev.
Lindley Rutter, of Lancaster County ; Mar-
garet married Stuart Turbett, of Juniata County ;
and Mary, Dr. B. F. Grosh, for many years one
of the leading physicians of the county. A.
B. Grosh, the efficient prothonotary of Perry
County for six years, is their only living child.
A. B. Anderson, Esq., married Mary Ann
Lackey, daughter of Wm. and Elizabeth Lack-
ey, of New Bloomfield, in 1853. He was an able
member of the Xew Bloomfield bar, and was an
associate judge of the county. He lived on the
old homestead, where he died about fifteen
years ago. His widow, with her family, is liv-
ing on the farm to-day. Ann, another daughter
of William Anderson, Sr., married William
Douglass, and moved to Ohio. James moved
to Ohio. Mary, who married a Mr. Russell,
also moved to Ohio. George married Mattie
Douglass and died in 1831. Alexander Augus-
tus, educated at Washington College, married
Jane Patton, who was a lawyer in Huntingdon.
Samuel married Mary Linn.
• John Garber, whose land lies west of the

original Anderson land, owns a portion of the
Alexander Blain survey of one hundred and
thirty-one acres, made on the 8th of October,

"N^'ith this glimpse at the early settlers on
the north side of the Limestone Ridge, we cross
over to near Andersonburg, on the Xew Bloom-
field and Germantown Road. Here is some of
the best land in the county. On both sides of
this road, from the Anderson firm to and in-
cluding a portion of Samuel AIcKee's farm,
on the hill to the west, the land was located
by Alexander Murray, whose first warrant was
for three hundred and twenty-six acres on the
l-lth of August, 1766, and his second for one
hundred acres in 1767. This land is now in-
cluded in the highly cultivated farms of Ander-
son's heirs, — A. B. Grosh and Samuel McKee.
David McKee, whose farm joins Samuel's on
the west, is a brother, and his farm at one
time was a part of the same tract. These bro-
thers purchased their farms from their father,
who bought this farm from the McCord heirs
before 1835. John McKee, of Xewport, is
also a brother.

The land lying south and east of the Alex-
ander Murray tract, and upon which is the
town of Andersonburg, and also the Benjamin
Beistline farm and a portion of the Martin
farm, was taken up by John McNeere
(McAneer) in 1766 and 1767. In the same
years Alexander McNeere, probably a brother,
took up two hundred and sixty-nine acres just
south of John's, which land is now in the
farm of George ]\I. Loy, who is a full brother
of Andrew Loy, on the Robinson tract. This
farm was for a long time owned by Abi-aham
Bowers, whose daughter Mr. Loy married.
South of this tract, but joining it, John Doug-
lass warranted, in 1788, " fifty acres, including
an improvement bounded by his other lands on
the south and east, Robert Adams on the west
and Alexander Mclnear on the north." The
Green Point school-house is on this tract and the
balance is owned by Samuel Kerr's heirs, who
likely own some of the other land taken up by

Robert INIorrow, executor of William Hamil-
ton, on the 9th of September, 1766, took up one



hundred and fifty-three acres, and on the same
day and date the Widow Hamilton took out
an order of survey for some land. These tracts
are now owned by William and Jonathan
Moore. The William Hamilton referred to
■was killed by the Indians, along Avith John
Logan, Coyle and others, as before mentioned,
near Daniel Ernest's house. The William
Moore farm was owned by John Nelson, whose
wife was a daughter of William Hamilton.

The principal part of the land included in the
Martin Motzer and Thomas Martin farms was
taken up by James Morrow in 1766 and 1767,
who had three hundred and fifty acres of land.
Near to this tract John Irvin located one hun-
dred and ninety-four acres in 1766, and one
hundred acres in 1767, and Alexander Morrow,
Esq., in trust for heirs of John Irvin, in 1790,
warranted a tract. All these tracts are now
owned by William and Thomas Martin and
William Zimmerman, the latter of whom is of
the family so long identified with the early his-
tory of Toboyne.

The Creighton Junk farm (but which was
long known as the " McClintock farm ") was
taken up in 1766 by John Murray.

John Nelson warranted, in 1766, over three
hundred acres, lying near the Hamilton tracts,
which is owned by George M. Loy, Adam
Sheaffer and others. The John Blair surveys
for two hundred acres, made in 1766 and 1767,
are mostly owned by William Moore.

Bartholomew Davis, whose remarkable escape
from death at the hands of the Indians in 1763,
when all his companions were killed, near
George McCord's, surveyed a part of the land
now owned by John Moore and Samuel Kern.
The date of his order was the 27th of August,
1766, and was for one hundred and eighty-
seven acres.

Thomas Clark, by order of survey No. 1165,
and dated 9th of September, 1766, took up two
hundred and forty-two acres, which land is now
owned by Robert A. Clark, a descendant, and
Abram Stahl. Clark also took up one hundred
acres in 1767. Robert Clark, a son of Thomas,
came to Sherman's Valley from Carlisle as a
volunteer to defend the settlers against the In-
dians, and seeing the fine water, timber and soil

of the valley, settled on this tract, but the order
of survey was taken out in the name of his
father. This Clark tract and the Adams tract,
in .Tackson, are the only two in the upper town-
ships that are 3'et in the name of the original
settler. Robert Clark married Mary, tlie third
child of Hugh and Martha Alexander. Robert
Clark died in 1819, aged eighty years, and his
wife in 1838, aged seventy-six years. Their
children were Thomas, Hugh, Frances, John,
David, Martha, Margaret, .lames and Andrew.
Thomas Clark married Nellie Black, 30th of
December, 1809, and moved to Ohio, where he
died in 1846, and she in 1871.

Hugh Clark did not marrv, his residence
being in Piqua, Ohio.

Frances Clark married Richard Morrow,
probably a neighbor, in 1814, and moved to
Miami Count)', Ohio, where he died in 1864,
and his wife a few months later in the same
year, aged seventy-six and seventy-five respect-

John Clark married a Susan Clark, of Perry,
probably a daughter of Roger Clark, and moved
to Ohio in 1816.

David Clark married Margaret Blain, likely
one of the Jackson township Blains, in 1815,
and moved to Ohio, where he died in 1839, and
his wife in 1836.

Martha Clark married Robert Adams, a far-
mer of Toboyne ; lived in Sherman's Valley,
where she died in 1813. Her daughter Jeniza
married Fisher Nesbit, whose children were
John, William, James and Martha. This
family and their descendants are mostl_v in the

Margaret Clark married Robert McClure
about 1819, and moved to Ohio, where she died
in 1840.

James Clark married Ann Coyle, a daughter
of David Coyle, who was mentioned as living
for many years on the Benjamin Rice farm in
Madison. James Clark lived on the old farm
now owned by his oldest son, Robert A.
Clark, where he died in 1858, aged sixty years.
His wife survived him until the year 1885,
dying in Nashville. They had seven children
— Robert A., David C, Martha L., Andrew
M., Mary A., Elizabeth A. and William S.



-Robert A. Clark married Matilda Q., daugh-
ter of James McNeal, of Centre, who died some
years ago. His present wife is of the Smiley
family, of Carroll. He has a family of seven
children. The old farm under his careful
cultivation is in fine condition, and the build-
ings and impi'ovements indicate the thrift and
prosperity of the owner.

David Coyle Clark married Maggie Sharp,
and resides near Chambersburg.

Martha Lynn Clark married William A.
McCulloch, and lives near Xewville.

Mary A. Clark married Samuel Sharp, and
resides near Newville.

Andrew Mitchell Clark, the youngest child
of Robert and Mary (Alexander) Clark, died
unmarried at the residence of his brother James
in 1858, aged fifty-eight years.

Adjoining the Thomas Clark survey on the
north and west, John Crawford located one
hundred and thirty-eight acres in 1766, and
one hundred acres in 1767. On this latter
tract is situated the St. Paul Lutheran Church.

The farms of Jacob and Samuel Burrell,
south of Clark's, were warranted by Robert
Nelson in 1766.

On the 18th of June, 1774, William Erwin
warranted " fifty acres along the south side of
the Limestone Ridge, joining the lands of
James Murray, John McNaire, Alexander
Murray and Alexander Clarke." This land is
owned by A. B. Grosh, Anderson's heirs and
Thomas Martin. This warrant names, as
joiners, a few of the extensive land-owners of
the neighborhood. Christopher Bower warranted
a considerable portion of the land in the
Woods' and Gray's farms. The same farms
also contain the Conrad Wolf warrant of 1786
for " two hundred acres, including an improve-
ment, adjoining lands of John Garner, William
McCord, Andrew Eberhart, Jacob Grove and
John Byers."

The land Iving around Cisna's Run was the
earliest warranted in this part of the town- i
ship. It was warranted in the name of John
Garner (Gardner) on the 4th of February,
1755, and was for "two hundred acres, in-
cluding his improvement on Cedar Spring, a
branch of Sherman's Creek : " also one hundred

acres in 1767. John Hench's heirs, George
Bryner, Samuel Shupe and others own this
land. The large scope lying west and north of
this point, and which includes the most valuable
land in the county was also warranted early,
but as the warrants were not found, the dates
cannot be given. We have given, wherever
possible, the names of the joiners to the tracts
already described, and it is believed that by
this method few names of early settlers
have been omitted. The only person in the
western end of the county capable of supplying
the omissions in this narrative is James Woods,
Esq., of Blaiu, who will no doubt cheerfully
gratify those who may be interested.

The land now owned by John Milligan's
heirs and Thomas Messimer, and lying south of
Cisna's Run, was taken up in the years 1762,
1767 and 1792 by Hugh Gibson, who was
taken prisoner by the Indians in 1756 at
the time of the attack on Robison's Fort,
when his mother, the Widow Gibson, the wife
of James Wilson and several others were killed
and scalped. He was adopted by the tribe and
kept a prisoner for some time, but finally made
his escape.

Samuel Lightner owns the land, taken up by
James Brown in 1766 and 1767, that lies on
the south side of Sherman's Creek.

Adjoining the Brown tract William McFar-
land took up three hundred acres in 1789,
which land is now owned by James Adair's
heirs and Samuel Lightner.

The James Adair farm was a part of the
large tract taken up by John Byers (Ryards) in
1767, which contained two hundred acres. In
1794 he took up over five hundred acres, likely
ridge land, which is owned by John Martin
and George M. Loy. It is probable that this
is the same Byers who took up the Judge
Stroup farm, in Sandy Hill, and who was the
presiding justice of the Cumberland County
Court in 1763, when Toboyne township was
erected. On the Byers tract at Adair's, is the
large brick grist-mill known as the "Trostle
mill," and erected by William Owens and for a
long time owned by the Bruner brothers. It
is now owned by David Metz.

Much of the land lying on the Limestone



Ridge, and Dorth of Cisna's Run, was taken
up by Stephen Cessna, who for many years
lived at this point and owned considerable
land in the vicinity. His name has become
fixed to this locality and some of his descendants
are still living in the township. He was
related to John Gardner. Dr. Reed Cisna,
formerly of Ickesburg, is a descendant, and
also Captain Gardner C. Palm. Hon. John
Cessna, of Bedford County, is a representative
of a collateral branch of the same family.
The farm now owned by John A. Garber, a
brother of Hon. Jos. B. Garber, was war-
ranted by Stephen Cessna and Henry Zim-
merman as early as 1789.

A short distance east of the Bj'crs tract, and
on the main road, where George Hench's tan-
nery and the village of Centre are located,
Jane McCreary and sons warranted one hun-
dred and sixty eight acres on the 2d of June,
1762. She was the widow of Thomas Mc-
Creary. A portion of this land is now in the
George M. Loy farm, which he purchased from
Samuel Arnold about fifteen years ago, and it
joins the James Wilson survey, described as one
of the joiners of the Robinson tract.

The tannery of George Hench, on this tract,
was erected before 1820, although A. L.
Hench, in his semi-centennial narrative, does
not put it earlier than 1825, and gives John
Loy the credit of being the founder of it. If
it was not in existence in 1820, where was the
" tan-yard" for which Nicholas Loy, the father
of John, was assessed in Toboyne toM'nship in
that year? On the 17th of December, 1825,
John Loy purchased it from his father, and it
then consisted of a " log building, two stories
high, containing two limes, one bate, beam-
house and currying-shop. The bark was
ground in a hoop on the first floor of a shed
adjoining. One pool, one loach and the sixteen
vats, still numbering from one to sixteen, com-
prised the whole establishment."

On the lUth of April, 1832, the property was
bought by Atcheson Laughlin, and, on the 10th
of August, 1832, George Hench became a part-
ner of Mr. Lauglilin's, which partnership con-
tinued until 1837, when Mr. Hench purchased
Laughlin's entire interest for one thousand

five hundred dollars. ]\Ir. Hencli was a young
man of energy and character, and began at once
to improve his property. He erected the present
main building in 1842, and, in 1851, put in an
engine and two boilers, by which wet spent-tan
could be used as fuel. In 1857 a saw-mill was
attached, and, in 1860, a furnace for burning
wet tan was put in, being the first successful
venture of the kind in the State west of the
Susquehanna. On the 1st of April, 1865, A.
Ti. Hench, th6 eldest son, became his father's
partner, securing a one-third interest. On the
1st of April, 1872, the partnership was dis-
solved by mutual consent, the junior partner
withdrawing, the assets of the firm at this time
being: over ninetv thousand dollars. From
that time to the present Mr. George Hench has
been the sole proprietor. He has been living in
Carlisle for about ten years. Much of the
thrift of the laboring classes in the neighbor-
hood is due to Mr. Hench's successful manage-
ment of this tannery. For more than fifty
years he has been the active head of this enter-
prise, and during all that time has been a
jjotent factor in the intellectual, social and
moral advancement of the community. His
sou, Atcheson L., married Alice, a daughter of
Jacob Bixler, moved to Bedford County in
1872, and erected a large tannery near Alum
Bank. His son Thomas, after graduating at
Princeton College and Seminary, became a
Presbyterian minister, and is located in the

On the 10th of August, 1882, Mr. Hench in-
vited his friends, neighbors, Philadelphia and
New York business men with whom he dealt,
and many others, to join with him and his
family in celebrating, in a fitting manner, his
successfully reaching the fiftieth milestone of
active business life. It was a happy idea, a
credit to the heart that conceived it, and grace-
fully managed for the comfort and pleasure of all.

East of the McCreary tract was the survey of
Joseph Neejjer, containing one hundred and
eighty-seven acres, and dated the 27th of
August, 1766, and now owned by Reuben
Mover. Tliis tract is south of Wilson's and on
both sides of Sherman's Creek. William Keeper
also located laud in this vicinity, and, in 1789,



he took out an order for what is now the David
Gring tract, in Sheaffer's Valley. Joseph,
James and William wore sous of William
Xeeper. George Connors bought the Neeper
farm in 1816, and sold to George Loy in 1823,
and he to Jacob Lighter in 1824. William
Dalzell warranted one hundred and six acres
east of Neeper's on the lltli of December, 1788.
On this tract was located the old Daniel
Sheaffer tavern. It lies west of Roddj-'s and
south of Robinson's tracts, and is now owned by
John Hohenshilt. The farm on the south side
of the creek from Centre, for some years owned
by David ^Sletz, but now owned by George
Heuch, Jr., was warranted on the 7th of May,
1787, by James ^laxwell. The warrant called
for " two hundred acres, including an improve-
ment, bounded on the northwest by lands oi'
John Byers, on the south by lands of the heirs
of David Brown, and on the east by land ol
William Hunter." Colonel John Maxwell, one
of the commissioners of the county in 1824, and
a son of James Maxwell, owned this property
in 1820, as the assessment shows, and there was
then erected upon it a "fulling-mill "and "power-
mill." James Maxwell was yet living in 1814,
as he is as^sessed for a " fulling-mill " that year.
Joseph Eaton, a relative of the INIaxwells, pur-
chased the property from John and owned it
for many years, and, in 1835, is assessed for a
fulling-mill and cardiug-iuachine and a still.

The land now owned by Andrew Adams'
heirs, along the creek, was warranted at differ-
ent times by the Baxter brothers. John Baxter
located fifty acres in 1767, and one hundred and
fifty acres in 1787, and James and William
Baxter warranted, on the 25th of Xovember,
1789, " one hundred acres joining Andrew
McCurdy, John Baxter and John Shower, and
on the south by a barren hill."

The Adairs, themselves an old and numerous
family in the township, are related to the Bax-
ter family. John Wolf, south of Centre, owns
the greater part of a warrant dated 16th of
April, 1793, and taken out by William Hun-
ter " in behalf of Jas. Baxter, one of the ad-
ministrators of Martha Hunter, widow ofWm.
Hunter, and the surviving children, 100 acres,
including an improvement, bounded by lands of

John Neeper, Sherman's Creek, James Maxwell
and the heirs of Wm. Neeper."

Henry Bear's mill is on a tract warranted
by John Scouller on the 22d February, 1787,
and containing " 200 acres, including an im-
j)rovement, adjoining lauds of the Neepers, the
heirs of Roger Clarke, John Baxter and Wil-
liam McClintock, on Sherman's Creek."

Englehart Wormley owned this property in
1814 and was assessed for a mill and saw-mill,
which proves the erection of the mill at least as
early as that date. The present brick mill was
built in 1841. John Wormley owned the mill in

Across the creek from Bear's mill, AVilliam
McClelland located, in 1766, one hundred and
twenty-six acres, and in 1767 one hundred
acres. This land is owned by James Adair.

The foregoing list of early settlers in Madison
township contains almost one hundred names,
and, while it is not complete, very i'ew of the actual
settlers on the good land of the township have
been omitted. If this, the first attempt of the
kind, is found impei-fect, and occasionally inac-
curate, it is hoped it will induce those who have
the ability to correct and rewrite this very im-
portant part of our local history to do so while
it is possible to get at the facts. But few gene-
alogies are given, and these very briefly — first,
because space was wanting, and second, but few
families have a connected history from the earlv
settlers to the present, and, of course, can-
not furnish it on short notice.

Centre Presbyterian Church. — This
was the earliest church, not only in ]\Iadison
township, but in the western part of Perrv
County. Its history dates back to a period
earlier than that of any church in the county,
although the old Dick's Gap Church, on the New
Bloomfield and Baileysburg road, was probably
erected first. The land upon which the Centre
Church stands was taken up by order of sur-
vey No. 1181, on the 9th of September, 1766,
by " Thomas Ross, John Byers, Edward Allet,
John Hamilton and Hugh Alexander, in trust
for the congregation at Tyrone, in Tyrone town-
ship." The charter of incorporation was
granted by Governor William Findley on the
24th of March, 1819, and the land was patented



in 1820. The tract originally contained seven
acres and five perches, and consisted of a beau-
tiful grove of majestic oaks, many of which are
yet standing. The old graveyard, which con-
tains tombstones as early as 1766, occupies .sev-
eral acres of the tract. A dwelling-house for
the church scxtou and the Centre School-house
are also on the tract. The church is in an his-
toric neighborliood, being in sight of Robi.son's
Fort, and was surrounded by sturdy Scotch-
Irish settlers, whose love for the tenets of John
Calvin was only equaled by their love of lib-
erty and their hatred of despotic power.

The old grave-yard is the final resting-place
of many of these lieroic men.

The first church was built about 1767, of
logs dovetailed at the corners. Like all coun-
try churches of the jieriod, it was fireless, even
in winter. Being the only church within a
radius of many miles, its membere came from
distant points, and, during the Indian wars,
armed with tlieir trusty rifles. Two sernKins
on Sunday was the rule, the members bringing
their dinners with them.

In 1766 the settlers of Sherman's Valley
asked Donegal Presbytery for church organiza-
tion, although as early as 1760 they had asked
for preachers, and they had beeu sent. In Aug-
ust, 17()6, the Rev. Charles Beatty was sent out
from Philadelphia, by the Missionary Board of
the Presbytei'iau ( 'hurch, to visit frontier settle-
ments. He was joined at Carlisle by the Rev.
George Duffield, and, together, they went over
the mountains, and "on the eighteenth day came
to the house of Thomas Ross (Colonel Graham's
farm in Tyrone), where we lodged. On the
nineteenth day rode four or five miles, to a place
in the woods designed for building a house for
worship, and preached. (This was undoubtedly
the site of Centre (Jhurch.) Alter sermon pro-
ceeded about five miles and lodged at the house
of Mr. Ferguss ; the house where he lives -was
attacked by the Indians in the late war and the
owners of it killed." (The house referred to
was very likely the Logan house, as it would be
on his route to the West.)

After several visits from church commiltees,
three churches were organized in the valley —
Old Dick's Gap, (Centre and the Blain Church.

This arrangement was finally approved by Pres-
bytery on the 14th April, 1767. The "Lime-
stone," or "Lower" Church, at "Samuel Fish-
er's," at the grave-yard near George Hoobaugh's,
in Tyrone, was partly erected when the others
were organized, but Presbytery refused to or-
ganize it, as being too near to Centre. However,
on the 24th June, 1772, the request was grant-
ed and this church, with Centre and Upper
(named also Toboyne), called Rev. William
Thorn on the 8th September, 1772, but he de-
clined. Between the years 1772 and 1777 these
same churches called Rev. Jno. Black and Rev.
McKuight, but both declined. On the loth
October, 1777, they called Rev. John Linn, who
was the first minister to accept. Of course sup-
plies were sent by Presbytery during the
vacancy of the jjulpit. In June, 1778, Rev.
John Linn was installed as their pastor, and so
continued until his death, in 1820. A sketch of
his life will be found in connection with the
John Byers tract, which he purchased. After
the death of Rev. Linn the churches were sup-
plied for a time by Rev. Gray. Before this time

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of that part of the Susquehanna and Juniata valleys, embraced in the counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder, in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania ... (Volume 2) → online text (page 23 of 126)