John Woolf Jordan.

Genealogical and personal history of Fayette county, Pennsylvania (Volume 2) online

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William and Eliza (Houston) Oliver. Her
father was born in 1799 and her mother in
1802 both in Washington county, Pennsyl-
vania. Her father was a hatter by trade
and manufactured hats, making a specialty
of fur hats and caps in Philadelphia. Wil-
liam Houston, the first white settler in
W'ashington county, father of Eliza, was a
native of Scotland, a soldier in the revolu-
tion in the American army. William Oli-
ver's father was a loyalist. His home was
in Trenton, New Jersey, but he had grants
of land elsewhere in New Jersey and in
Washington county, Pennsylvania, where
he removed immediately after the revolu-
tion. William Houston built the first hotel
in Washington, Pennsylvania, called the
Houston Inn, built of stone, and it was in
use until it was taken down about 1897. An
heirloom of the Oliver family in the posses-
sion of Alexander Wilson Hart is an old
checker-board given to his great-great-
grandmother by Lord Loveridge, in the old
country. Children of WilHam Hart: i.
Oliver L., living in a western state; served
in the rebellion in the War Department at
Washington. 2. Jennie. 3. John C, of New-
castle, Pennsylvania ; is in the marble and
stone business. 4. Eliza O., a school teach-
er for twenty-five years in Washington Sem-
inary, now retired. 5. Alexander Wilson,
mentioned below.

(Ill) Alexander Wilson Hart, son of Wil-
liam Hart, was born in Washington coun-
ty, Pennsylvania, June 17, 1858. He at-
tended the public schools of Washington,
and for three years was a student at Wash-
ington and Jefferson College. He then en-
gaged in the marble and stone business in
partnership with his brother John C. Hart,
and afterward alone at Newcastle, Pennsyl-
vania. After his father died in 1891 he
moved to Washington, Pennsylvania, where
he conducted a grocery business. He came
to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, May 12, 1900,
and established a marble and tombstone
business, with ofifice and shops on South
Eighth street, on the west side of Connells-
ville. He deals extensively in granite, mar-
ble and other stones for monumental and
other purposes. He is a prominent and
highly successful business man. In politics
he is a Republican ; he and all of the family

are members of the Presbyterian church.
He is a citizen of public-spirit, an upright,
able and successful business man, kindly,
popular and beloved, especially in his home,
to which he is devoted.

He married, July 27, 1880, Florence Les-
lie, born at Newcastle, Pennsylvania, a
daughter of George and Mary McMiller
Leslie. Her father and mother were of
Scotch-Irish descent. Their parents were
among the pioneer settlers of the country.
Children: Mary Leslie, born May 22, 1884;
George Edward, March 14, 1886.

The Marshalls of Broad
MARSHALL Ford, Fayette county, Penn-
sylvania, herein recorded,
descend from Henry Marshall, born in Ire-
land, where he learned the art of weaving. He
came to rhis country about 1785 and settled
in Eastern Pennsylvania. He was then a
single man, but soon married an Irish lass,
Rebecca Crane, who had preceded him to
this country. During the whiskey insurrec-
tion he came to Western Pennsylvania with
the United States troops to suppress the re-
bellion, and liked the country so well that on
his return home he sold out all but what could
be carried by his wagon and team. In 181 1
he crossed the mountains with his household
goods and wife, finally reached a desired loca-
tion in Fayette county, on Possum creek, in
Dunbar township. Here he purchased forty
acres of John Strickler, and lived all his after
life. He set up a loom in his home and in
addition to working his forty acres did weav-
ing. He prospered and added to his farm
acreage. He was a Methodist in religion, and
an industrious upright man. Children:
John B., of whom further; Samuel, was a
major of militia, a title he always retained in
Dayton. Ohio, where he died; Phoebe, mar-
nea Elisha Castle, and moved to Illinois.

(II) John B., son of Henry and Rebecca
(Crane) Marshall, was born in Eastern Penn-
sylvania, September 10, 1809, died September
1880. He was two years of age when his
parents came to Fayette county, where he was
educated and grew to manhood. He culti-
vated his father's farm, then rented and
worked other farms, but always was a farmer
and always lived in Dunbar township. He
married (first) Priscilla Wilhelm, born near




Breakneck, in Fayette county, in 1814, died
in 1850, with four of her children — Mary,
Jane, James, John and George — during an
epidemic of typhoid fever; one son survived,
Joseph Crawford, of whom further. He mar-
ried (second) Cynthia Garven, who bore him
several children, now all deceased.

(Ill) Joseph Crawford, son of John B. and
Priscilla (Wilhelm) Marshall, was born in
Dunbar township, Fayette county, Pennsyl-
vania, November 30, 1843. He attended
school in his early years, but at ten years of
age left home to make his own way in the
world. He worked among the farmers, do-
ing such work as a young boy was fitted for,
but as he grev^ stronger and experienced he
found ready employment, finally making a
permanent home with Alexander Murphy, a
farmer near Broad Ford. He remained with
Mr. Murphy until May 30, 1861, the date of
his enlistment in Company F, nth Regiment
Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry, to serve three
vears. He fought at Fredericksburg, where
he was wounded in the left thigh; at Gettys-
burg he was one of the defenders of Little
Round Top, and during his three years saw
much active service and hard fighting with
the Army of the Potomac. On May 30, 1864,
his last clay of service, he was captured at
City Church, near Cold Harbor, \"irginia, and
sent to Andersonville Prison, where he was
confined most of the time until the war be-
tween the states was brought to a close at
Appomattox, when he was released and re-
turned to Fayette county*. There are now
(1912) but five men in that county that were
confined in Andersonville. After a short
time in Fayette county he moved to Alle-
gheny county, Pennsylvania, where he was
employed in the mines digging coal for three
years. In 1869 he located at Broad Ford, Fay-
ette county, worked in the coal mines, fol-
lowed cnrpentry, finally opening a general
store, which he has conducted for the past
sixteen years. He has served as justice of
the peace, constable, school director, and ten
years as tax collector. He is independent in
politics, is in favor of prohibition, but is in
sympathy with the principles of the Demo-
cratic party on national issues. He is a mem-
ber of the Methodist Protestant church, the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the
Grand Army of the Republic. He married,
January 30, 1869, Mary B. Holliday, born in

Dunbar township, Faj-ette county, December
20, 1846, daughter of Ebenezer, died 1852
and Elizabeth Hollidav, of Connellsville!
Mrs. Marshall was also a member of the
xMethodist Protestant church. She died May
14, 1892. Children: i. Elizabeth, born De-
cember 17, 1869; married Walter Menefee;
living at Connellsville, west side. 2. Jose-
phine, resides at iSroad Ford, her father's
homekeeper since the death of his wife. 3. Mary
Jane, born 1875; married John Hawthorne;
resides at Scottdale, Pennsylvania. 4. John
Burt, of whom further. 5. George, born Au-
gust I, 1878; now a practicing physician lo-
cated at West Leisenring, Pennsylvania; mar-
ried Maude Lint, of Vanderbilt, Pennsylvania.
6. Winifred, born 1883, died 1896.

Mr. Marshall resides at Broad Ford, his
home for the past forty-three years. He has
fought well the battle of life, was a good sol-
dier in actual warfare, and is a good citizen
of the land he helped defend. He is held in
highest esteem, and is one of the most reput-
able business men of his village.

(IV) John Burt ("Burt"), eldest son and
fourth child of Joseph C. and Mary B. (Holli-
day) Marshal, was in Broad Ford, Favette
county, Pennsylvania, May 17, 1876. He at-
tended the public schools, and after finishing
his studies became clerk in his father's store.
In 1899 he purchased a lot in South Connells-
ville, erected a suitable building, and estab-
lished and opened a general store. He has
prospered and expanded until he is the lead-
ing merchant of that part of the city. In
1904 he was appointed postmaster of South
Connellsville, and has held that ofifice con-
tinually until the present date (1912). He is
a Republican in politics, active in the prirty,
and interested in all that pertains to South
Side development.

He married, September 7, 1904, Lily May,
born at Dickerson Run, Fayette county,
daughter of Benjamin and Martha Ann Orbin,
both born in Fayette county. Children:
Edwin C>rbin, born August 13, 1905; Martha
Frances, April 19, 1908; Lily May, May 9,

The name Frank [s], German
FRANKS Fraunk, means free (free born).

The Franks claim their descent
from one of the German tribes inhabiting
Franconia, who in the fifth century under



their leader and King, Clovis (Lewis), overran
and conquered Gaul and gave it the name of
Franco (or Franc). This may account for
the claim of some that they are of French
blood. Prior to, and on down, from the
great religious Reformation under Martin
Luther, we find them well established along
the Rhine and throughout that region of Ger-
many. Many of them- seemed to have im-
bibed the spirit and te::chings of the Great

The more immediate ancestors of the
Franks families in this country, it is claimed,
came from some of the Free cities along the
Rhine and settled in Alsace-Lorraine (a Ger-
man possession), and probably in Lorraine.

It was from this country that Michael
F''r:^nks came with his three children, Jacob,
Michael (2) and a daughter Elizabeth. They
landed at B?itimore, Maryland, about the year
1748. The father seems to have been in very
poor health. The writer has failed to find
any proof that he and his daughter ever came
to the High House settlement. He probably
died shortly after arrival, and the daughter
probably married. But the two brothers,
Jacob and Michael (2) became the progenitors
of two great lines of families in this country,
whose descendants have multiplied into thou-
sands, end are scattered over perhaps all parts
of the United States westward of the Alle-
ghenies, to the Pacific Coast. Jacob, the
older, was born in 1732.

They decided to go westward and to carve
out a home in the wilderness. It is claimed
Jacob came over first to "spy out the land."
He returned to Baltimore and married Bar-
bary Brandeberry, a German emigrant girl. A
littfe later Michael mp.rried a Miss Livengood
also a German girl, whose parents had come
from Germany. Neither of the brothers had
attained his majority when he married. With
their little families (Jacob now had one child)
they set out together on their somewhat dan-
gerous journey. The women rode horses,
with blankets thrown across,' tent canvas and
a light outfit of cooking utensils attached.
The men walked, carrying their guns and an
ax. When night came on they would pitch
camp. In order to protect themselves against
the more dangerous wild animals, they built
log fires, and when the wolves, bears and
panthers came prowling around, they pulled

out burning firebrands, and by swinging them
about kept the savage beast at bay, or until a
lucky shot from the trusty rifle brought down
the furtive beast and made it harmless.

But it is not known that they were molested
by the Indians at any time coming over. Sev-
eral times they missed their course and wan-
dered about for days in circles without mak-
ing any real progress. At last they struck
an Indian trail which they followed the rest
of the way across the mountains.

At one of their camping places in the moun-
tains on the Yough river, a son was born to
Michael and his wife. They called him
Henry. This event occurred June 11, 1753.
This Henry, in a sense, was a child of destiny.
This event is also very important as it fixes
the time closely as to their arrival at what was
later known as High House, Fayette county,

Each of the brothers took up by "Toma-
hawk" right two large tracts of land, lying in
its primitive state, covered with majestic
forests of oak. Jacob's claim included the
more northerly and northwesterly tract and
extending to, if not across, Brown's Run,
while Michael's claim lay on the southwest

At this time this whole region was sup-
posed to be in Virginia, and was so claimed
by Virginia. Afterwards when this dispute
iiad been settled and the line established, the
rights of these "Tomahawk" claims by the
settlers were respected by Pennsylvania. Pat-
ents for these lands were granted in 1789 and
ijyp, based on warrants issued in 1784 or
1785 and signed by Thomas Mifflin as presi-
dent of the council. By this time quite a
community of Franks had developed, and the
settlement Vv'as called Frankston, and patents
and other early conveyances were given under
the name of ' Frankton. As before stated,
Jacob and his brother Michael, with their lit-
tle families, arrived in June, 1753. They were
among the very first permanent pioneer set-
tlers in this region, west* of the Allegheny
Mountains. A few others came about the
same time or a little later. Of these Frederick
Walser (Waltzer) was among the more prom-
inent ones. Also a Mr. Wendel Brown and
two sons, came from eastern Virginia, follow-
ing the Potomac river to near its source,
crossed over and went westward, it is said, as



far as to the mouth of Dunkard Creek, Greene
county, Pennsylvania. Wendel Brown made
friends of the Indians here. They told him of
6ome rich lands lying northeast across the
Monongahela river and offered to take him to
them. He at once accepted their kindly offer.
When he saw the rich limestone hills and rich
little valleys, covered with fine timber of oak,
sugar maple and walnut, he was delighted with
it and resolved to secure some of it. A few-
years later he carried out this purpose and
secured a large tract of this valuable land.
This formed the nucleus of what became
known as the Brown Settlement, located a few
miles west of Uniontown. A part of this
Wendel Brown tract later was owned by
Christopher Brown, better known as "Stuffle
Brown." A spring at the house of this farm
is the head of Brown's run.

The Walsers, Browns and others of the
High House settlement married and intermar-
ried with the Franks.

But little can we know of the hardships to
which these first settlers were exposed. The
country at first was almost an unbroken wild-
erness. Aside from the troublesome wild ani-
mals and poisonous snakes, there was the far
more dangerous and treacherous redskins.
And in order to protect themselves against
the murderous tomahawk and scalping knife
Ihev erected a strong fort.

Every commamity had its fort. Every one
was on the qui vive, and often a swift courier
would suddenly arrive and give the alarm that
the Indians were murdering some of the
whites of a neighboring community, and the
cry "Flee to the fort!" was heard. It was
from this fact the little town afterward and
still is to-day called Flee Town. The men
carried their rifles wherever they went,
whether to work, to worship God at their re-
ligious meetings, or what not.

The lands of Jacob have been divided and
sub-divided into many small tracts and are still
held mostly by some of his numerous descend-
ants, while that of Michael has long ago
passed into other hands. It is Michael's fam-
ily which we are mainly considering. Some
of Michael's children went to Wayne county,
Ohio, and became pioneer settlers there, and
later others of the family followed them. A
portion of the old homestead was later pur-
chased by Colonel Henry Core. The same,
or a part, is now owned by Charles Jones.

The children of Michael (2) were: i. Henry,
of Indian captivity, of whom further. 2. Char-
lotte, who became the third wife of Jacob
First (German, Furst). 3. Abraham, who set-
tled in Luzerne township, Fayette county,
Pennsylvania. 4. John, went to Ohio. Also
the following sisters with their husbands and
children followed and settled in Ohio, viz.:
Mary, married Nicholas Helmic; Elizabeth,
married Phineas Flaherty; Dorothy, married
Jacob ]\Iiller; Catharine, married Jacob Hat-
field. George settled in the upper part of
Greene county, Pennsylvania, near to Bb.cks-
villc. John also went to Ohio. Charlotte
First and her brother Michael remained here,
the latter settling in Nicholson township, near
New Geneva.

Much confusion has already arisen among
the later posterity of the Franks families in
Fayette county. Some cannot tell whether
they are descended from Jacob or Michael, or
of what Jacob and what Michael. There were
so many of these two names, especiallv the
latter. To make more simple and for con-
venience the chronicler of the Michael branch
has designated the Michaels as Michael ist,
2d, 3d, etc. To add to this confusion, another
Michael who had two sons, a Jacob and a
Michael, came liere from Germany some years
later. This later Michael was a cousin of
Jacob and Michael 2d, the first arrivals. The
cousin and his two sons settled on lands in
German township, a short distance northeast
of Germantown, now Masontown.

It was an extensive tract of land, involving
what is now embraced in the St. Jacob's
Lutheran church grounds, with its farm and
lands later held by the Haydens and the
Davids eastward to the road leading from
High House to Old Frame Cross Roads in
Nicholson. The father, two sons and a daugh-
ter Catharine, who married a man by the
name of Baccus, not mentioned above, were
all Lutherans. The two sons, Jacob and
Michael, were very zealous and agreed to do-
nate the land and build a church, others of
like faith in the neighborhood to assist in
building. Although brothers, Michael was a
member of the English Lutheran and Jacob
a mem-ber of the "German Lutheran. The
church was built nnd dedicated as the St.
Jacob's Lutheran Church, named in honor o!
its principal founder. It was and is still known
as the Dutch Meeting House.



At his father's death Jacob came into pos-
session of the eastern section on which there
is a noted spring which is the head of Jacob's
creek and which took its name from the
owner, Jacob Franks. This part of the write-
up is a digression, mainly for the purpose of
clarifying much of the Franks history in Fay-
ette county.



Into the acres of the newborn state

He poured his strength and plowed his ancient

And, when the traders followed him, he stood
Towering above their furtive souls and tame.

That brow without a stain, that fearless eye
Oft left the passing stranger wondering
To find such knighthood in the sprawling land,
To see a Democrat well-nigh a king.

He lived with liberal hand, with guests from far,
With talk and joke and fellowship to spare —
Watching the wide world's life from sun to sun,
Lining his walls with books from everywhere.

He read by night, he built his worldi by day.
The farm and house of God to him were one.
For forty years he "preached and plowed and

wrought —
A statesman in the fields, who bent to none.

His plowmen-neighbors were as lords to him.
His was an ironside, democratic pride.
He served a rigid Christ, but served him well —
And for a lifetime saved the countryside.

Here lie the dead who gave the Church their best
Under his fiery preaching of the word.
They sleep with him beneath the ragged

The village withers, by his voice unstired.

And though his tribe be scattered to the wind
From the Atlantic to the China Sea,
Yet do they think of that bright lamp he burned
Of family worth and proud integrity.

And many a sturdy grandchild hears ,his name
In reverence spoken til! he feels akin
To all the lion-eyed who built the world —
And lion-dreams begin to burn within.

Henry, eldest child of Michael (2) Franks,
was born June 11, 1753, at a camp in the
mountains as before noted. He was a power-
fully built, muscular fellow, very active
and fleet-footed. As a frontiersman much of
his life was wuld and romantic, a rugged and
hard life from his youth onward. But he was
a born fighter and gloried in it. Both he and
his father were in the colonial and revolution-

ary wars. Henry was also in the war of 1812.
At one time he was engaged in a desperate
battle with the Indians near Sandusky, Ohio.
Here, with a number of others, he was taken
a prisoner. As to the length of time he was
held a prisoner there has been some difference
in the traditional statements.

This battle was probably the one fought by
Colonel Crawford in 1782. The warring
Wyandottes had been giving much trouble in
northwestern Ohio, and Colonel Crawford had
been commissioned by Washington to go and
quell them. But Crawford's httle army was
defeated by the savages who many times out-
numbered them. The Colonel, with a num-
ber of his men (many were killed in the battle)
were taken prisoners. Crawford was put to a
cruel death by burning at the stake. As
stated, Henry was one of the prisoners, and
he was tested for Indian citizenship by caus-
ing him to run the gauntlet between two lines
of redskins armed with withes to lacerate h"is
bared back and shoulders. If he reached the
goal (wigwam) at the end of the race for life,
tor that is what it was, without succumbing
to pain or fear, his life would be spared and
his prowess revered. If not a cruel death
Viould follow. Suffice it to say, he performed
so well, even to the knocking down with his
hatchet and almost killing an Indian who
tried to block his way in running, that a great
savage war whoop of admiration rang out.

Although in this mighty test of valor he re-
ceived a knife w^ound at the hands of the In-
dian he had struck down with his hatchet, yet
his stoicism and valor made them his friends,
ihey nursed him and doctored him (Indian
fashion) until he had entirely recovered. He
soon learned their habits of life and skillfully
adapted himself to them, thus strengthening
their confidence, so that in time they allowed
him to go away by himself for several days
at a time, but he never broke his word with
them until the time of his escape.

They roamed together over the very lands
on which he afterward settled with his family,
though his oldest son John seems to have set-
tled on land in Wayne county, Ohio, before
his father. Henry's wife, Christina {Van Bus-
kirk) Franks, died August 16, 1842, aged sev-
enty-seven years.

The account of the escape of Henry Franks
back to civilization and finally to his friends




in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, is the one
given the writer by Isaac Franks, as he re-
membered his father, Michael, brother of
Henry, tell it. The account as ^-iven in the
history of Wayne county, Ohio, says he made
his escape by reaching' the lake coast, board-
ing an English vessel bound for Montreal,
Canada, thence crossing to the American side
and walking to Philadelphia,^ thence to Pitts-
burgh, and from there back to his family in
the P'ranks settlement at High House, Fa}'-
ette county, Pennsylvania. This account also
differs as to the length of time Henry was
in captivity, having the time as much as four
or five years. As to the fact of his being in
the Indinn wars and his capture at a battle
near Sandusky, Ohio, there can be no doubt.

Henry Franks died May 5, 1836. His body
has been reinterred and now rests in Chestnut
Hil! cemeterv at Doylestown, Ohio. A few
years after his return home to High House
settlement he moved with his family and old
mother to Ohio and settled on Chippewa
creek, Wayne county. His mother lived to
a great age.

The names of Henry's children are as fol-
lows: Sons, John, Michael, Henry, Uriah and
Abraham. Daughters, Abigail Huffman,
Betsy Higgins, Christina Collins, SaUie Roat-
son, Phoebe and Katie not married. Abigail,
born 1802, died September 22, 1841. John,
oldest child of Henry, who settled in Wayne
countv before his father, is buried in the Huff-
man lot at Doylestown. Mrs. Mary Elliot, a
widow, and a daughter of John, is still living
(1912) at Doylestown, Ohio, at the advanced
age of eighty-three years. Also a Mrs.
Bowlby, of Canon City, Colorado. D>ata of
the rest of John's children not known.

IMichael (3), son of Michael (2) Franks,
was born in German township, Fayette coun-
ty, Pennsylvania, at the High House settle-

Online LibraryJohn Woolf JordanGenealogical and personal history of Fayette county, Pennsylvania (Volume 2) → online text (page 47 of 57)