ONE OF THE ORIGINAL "MANORS" OF PENN FAMILY-FIRST SETTLERS-HARDSHIPS-PIONEER PRICES-AN ORIGINAL GENIUS-ROSSTON-MANORVILLE-SCHOOLS-APPLEBY MANOR CHURCH-POPULATION-GEOLOGICAL
This division of Armstrong county was formed in 1849 from the western portion of Kittanning township. The first township election was held in March, 1850, at which the following officers were elected: Judge of electon, George M. King; inspectors of elections, John Christy and Michael Isaman; constable, Isaac Bouch; assessor, David McLeod; justice of the peace, William Copley; supervisors, George Bouch and John Hileman; township auditors, Richard Bailey, John Shoop and John Williams; township clerk, A. J. Bailey; overseers of the poor, Josiah Copley and William Truby; fence fewers, John davis and John R. Shoop. The record shows only five school directors to have been then elected, Matthew (Matthias) Bowser, John Christy, William Ehinger, Rev. Levi M. Graves and John Robinson.
The name of this township originated from one of the proprietary manors, which was a part of the territory within what are now its boundaries. The word manor is derived from manere, to remain, because, in England, the usual residence of the owner. It was a piece of land generally consisting of several thousand acres, owned and held by a lord or some great personage, who occupied as much of it as was needed for the use of his own family, and leased the remainder to tenants for certain rents or services. This is said to have been the original of copyhold estates, which were those held by copy of the court roll, or a tenure for which the tenant had nothing to show except the rolls made by the steward of the manor, who was the registrar of the courtbaron, and who held that court when business relating to tenures and tenancies, was before it.
The charter granted in 1681 by Charles II to William Penn vested in the latter and his heirs the absolute ownership of all the land in Pennsylvania, with comparatively slight exceptions. From then until July 4, 1776, all titles to that land were derived either from Penn himself or some of his family. Though a manor had not been granted in England since the reign of Edward III., which began in 1327, the surveyor general under the Penns surveyed to them forty-four manors in the eastern, western and other parts of Pennsylvania, aggregating 421, 015 acres, 82 perches. One of them was "The Manor of Kittanning," which was surveyed, March 28, 1769, on a warrant dated February 23d next preceding. Its boundaries, as given in certain quit-claim deeds and releases, were: "Beginning at a black oak on the east or southeast side of the Allegheny River, which was about 125 rods below the mouth of Garrett�s run, and running thence by land surveyed to Rebecca Smith, south 72 (Degrees) east 391 perches to a "Lynn" (linden tree); thence extending by hilly poor land south 18 (degrees) west 977 perches to a white oak; thence extending by hilly poor land north 35 (degrees) west 560 perches to a birch at the side of Crooked creek, at the first bend above its mouth; thence down said creek, the several courses and distances thereof about 170 perches to a hickory at the side of said river; and thence up the said river the several courses thereof, crossing the mouth of said creek, 969 perches to the place of beginning, containing 3,960 acres, and allowance of six per cent for roads, but, according to later surveys, 4,887 acres and 86 perches."
Neither records not the oldest inhabitants solve the question why, by whom and just when the name of this manor was changed to "Appleby."
John Penn, of Stoke Pogis, and Richard Penn, of Queen Anne street west, in the parish of Marylebone, in the County of Middlesex, England, by John Reynal Coates, of Philadelphia, their attorney in fact, conveyed this entire manor to Frederick Beates, of the last-mentioned place, by deed dated June 26, 1804, in which it is mentioned as "all that tract of land called and known by the name of �The Kittanning Manor,�" for the sum of $6,400. Beates, by his deed, dated the next day thereafter, conveyed "the undivided moiety or half of the Kittanning manor" to Thomas and Robert Duncan for $8,000, and the other undivided moiety to Alexander Cobeau for an equal sum, a gain of $9,600 in the brief space of twenty-four hours. The Duncans and Cobeau mutually agreed upon a partition of this manor tract, by which the former took 2,367 acres, 130 perches of the upper or northern part, and the latter 2,458 acres of the lower or southern part, as mentioned in their quit-claim deeds. The division line between their purparts began at a witch-hazel, on the left bank of the Allegheny river, about 200 rods above the mouth of Tubmill run, and extended thence south 52 (degrees) east 98 perches to a post; thence south 48 (degrees) west 69 perches to a post; thence south 53 � (degrees) east 245 perches to a white oak; thence north 33 (degrees) east 9 perches to a post; thence south 55 (degrees) east 324 perches to a post, on the line between the manor and the John Biddle tract.
The quit-claim deeds or releases of the Duncans to Cobeau, and of the latter to them, are respectively dated the 11th and 12th July, 1805, in which the land thus divided is still mentioned as "The Kittanning Manor." Cobeau conveyed 681 acres, 151 perches in the southwestern portion of his purport to Samuel Cochran, by deed, April 25, 1807, for $4,086, in which it is mentioned as a tract of land situate in "the Manor of Appleby," this being the first instance in which that name is applied in the old records. "The Kittanning" is an expression almost invariably used in the old records and documents, and it must have included a much longer stretch of territory along the left bank of the Allegheny river than was included in the extent of the site of the old Indian river destroyed by General Armstrong. The idea that the borough of Kittanning is located on this manor is erroneous, for the borough is a mile or more north of the manor�s northern limit.
The Duncan portion of the manor remained undivided about eighteen years after the death of Robert Duncan. By his will, dated April 5 and registered May 2, 1807, he directed that the residue of his real and personal estate, after paying his debts, shoud be divided into fifteen parts, nine of which he bequeathed to hid wife, Ellen Duncan, and six to his daughter Mary.
Thomas Duncan�s part was sold to John Christy, Moses Patterson, John R. Johnston, William Ehinger, Rev. Gabriel Reichert, Mary and Eliza Sibbett, David McLeod and John McGraw. Ellen and Mary Duncan sold their parts to John Mechling, Daniel Torney, John Houser, Jacob and Joseph Hileman, and Jacob Wolf. The Cobeau portion of the manor was sold to the late Judge Ross and Jonathan Smith of Philadelphia, who later divided it into smaller tracts and sold it to various parties.
One of the earliest settlers in the upper part of the manor, in fact in this region, was Jeremiah Cook, Sr., who emigrated from Virginia, having moved up to Crooked creek in 1769. He was the father of Conrad, George and Jeremiah Cook, whose names are on the assessment lis of Allegheny township for 1805, within whose limits the manor tract was then included. Others were James Barr, one of the associate judges of this county, James Claypoole, John Monroe, Joel Monroe, Jonathan Mason and Parker Truitt. John Mason volunteered in Captain Alexander�s company, and was killed by a bombshell. What induced Claypoole, and probably the others, to settle here was their impression that the manor bottom would be divided into tracts of about 100 acres each, and sold at moderate prices. But when the Duncans became the owners they determined not to sell in small tracts. Barr and Claypoole purchased elsewhere. Some of the others remained as renters.
Among the first, if not the very first, white settlers on the southern part of the Manor were William Green and his sons James, John, and Samuel, who emigrated from Fayette County, in the spring of 1787, and took up their abode above the mouth of Crooked creek, on what is now the site of Rosston. They brought with them a quantitiy of cornmeal, which, for want of shelter, became wet and was spoiled. The nearest points of supply were Pittsburgh and Brownsville, ans as food was very scarce, they lived for about 6 months on milk, venison and ground-nuts. They boiled the ground-nuts in milk, which imparted to them a taste somewhat like that of potatoes. John Green said that he and the rest of them became quite weak on that kind of food, so that it required two of them to carry a rail. Deer were caught by means of a large steel trap set in a deerlick, with a chain to which three prongs were attached, which left their marks upon the ground, whereby the deer were traced and captured.
Wolves, bears and deer were numerous. Samuel Green, Sr., killed a very large bear with a club. He shot and killed a panther on Green�s, now Ross� island, which is said to have been the largest one ever killed in this county. It measured eleven feet from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail.
The pioneer settlers here experienced the want of a mill for grinding corn and other grain. For a few years they used handmills for that purpose. In 1789, or the next year, William Green erected a small tubmill, about sixty rods from the river, at a short turn on the stream still called Tubmill run. The forebay was constructed from the trunk of either a gum or sycamore tree, and a pair of small millstones, from materials near the run, which were moved by the stream that flowed through the millrace and forebay falling on fans attached to the shaft. That was the only mill for grinding grain in this region, until Alexander Walker�s mill in Bethel township was erected.
William Green and his sons removed, prior to 1804, to the west side of the river, and Judge Ross became thereafter the first permanent white settler in this southwestern portion of the Manor, as he is first assessed in Kittanning township in 1808. He and his family occupied for a while one of the cabins near Fort Green. In the course of a few years he built the stone house now owned and occupied by Margaret, the widow of his son, Washington Ross, which was the first one of that material erected in this region, on the east side of the Allegheny river, except the one in Kittanning borough. He was then assessed with 100 acres, valued at $4 per acre. He was first assessed with a grist mill and sawmill in 1820, so that they were probably erected in 1819. They were situated on the right bank of the Crooked creek, about 200 rods above its mouth. In the former were two runs of stone. Grists were brought to it at times from a distance of from twenty to thirty miles. It is said that this portion of the Manor tract was once called "Egypt," on account of the abundant quantity of grain which it yielded.
Lieut. Samuel Murphy related in his lifetime that a man by the name of McFarland had a store about fifty rods below Fort Run, between 1787 and 1790, and carried on a considerable trade with the Indians, with whom he was apparently on friendly terms. They finally captured and took him to Detroit. McFarland was a brother-in-law of General Andrew Lewis, of Virginia.
Among the white settlers near the mouth of Garrett�s run, in the latter part of the eighteenth and the early part of the nineteenth century, was James Henry. Jeremiah Lochery, a singular and somewhat noted character in those times, lived with him. Lochery was reputed to have accompanied General Armstrong in his expedition to Kittanning, and to have been wounded in one of Capt. Sam Brady�s raid.
AN INDIAN TRADER
The original tracts outside of the Manor appear to have been unoccupied for many years after they were surveyed, except for those who seated them and a few others who were transient residents. Patrick Dougherty, however, settled on the northwestern part of the Davison tract, a short distance below where the rolling mill now is, and above the small run, in 1790, where he resided twenty-two years, during a part of which period he traded with the Indians and others, and transported freight to and from Pittsburgh in a canoe capable of carrying twelve barrels of flour, according to the statement of one of his descendants.
His accounts were kept in pounds, shillings, and pence, in Pennsylvania German, probably by his wife, who was a daughter of the elder Jeremiah Cook, elsewhere mentioned. It appears from the entries that Daugherty was trading there as early as October, 1793. On the fourth day of that month, Stephen Allen was charged with sundry quantities of cherry, walnut and poplar boards, and about the same time Gollit and Himmig were also charged with divers quantities of the same materials. Those person, perhaps, resided in Pittsburgh, whither Daugherty transported these articles in his large canoe. The reader may be curious to know the prices which those kinds of lumber then brought. The following items are therefore given: 450 feet cherry boards, 1 pound, 10s. 6d; 400 feet walnut boards, 16s; 700 feet poplar boards, 2 pounds, 5s. 6d. The price of liquors, probably whiskey appears to have been two shillings a quart in 1799. Daugherty also kept a ferry between his place and Sloan�s on the opposite side of the Allegheny river. The ferriage for one person was sixpence, and same for one horse.
AN EARLY GRAIN CRADLE MANUFACTURER
One of the earliest small industries of the Manor was the manufacture of grain cradles by Thomas Mongomery, who began business at the age of twelve with a drawing-knife, a shingle nail and a fire poker. His first cradle was in use for several years and was quite a success. This induced him to make others and he soon became a manufacturer. He continued the work until his death, having built up a fine business. One of his former workmen, Alexander Hileman, is still manufacturing grain cradles in Manorville.
This village was laid out in 1854 by Washington Ross, who soon thereafter built a sawmill. His home, a neat stone structure, was the first of that kind in the Manor and still remains the home of his descendants.
The first postmaster here in 1858 was Thomas McConnell. The first storekeeper was John C. Christy. The village is at present perhaps even smaller than in the beginning, as it has only one store and no industries. The present storekeeper and postmaster is Lewis P. Rearich.
John Sibbert in 1854 laid out the town of Manorville, which lies between Kittanning and Ford City. It was incorporated as a borough in 1866.
The following borough officers were elected at the first borough election: Burgess John M. Kelley; town council, Jesse Butler, Calvin Russell, David Spencer, Peter F. Titus and Samuel Spencer; justices of the peace, John McIlvaine and A. Briney; school directors, for one year, R.C. Russell and Jesse Butler; high constable, Jonas M. Briney; borough auditors, Robert McKean, MiltonMcCormick and W. M. Patterson; Judge of election, Joseph M. Kelley; inspectors of election, William Copley and H. M. Lambing; assessor, David Spencer; overseers of the poor, James Kilgore and George W. Shoop.
The first resident in this part of the Manor was William Shearer, who established a tannery in 1803. He was a resident here until 1807. The Lambing brothers settled here in 1830, engaging in milling and other occupations. One of their descendants, Father A. A. Lambing, is a Catholic priest of high reputation as an historian and man of letters, and now resides in Wilkinsburg, near Pittsburg.
Josias Copley began the manufacture of firebrick here in 1847, the business being carried on after his death by his sons. Andrew Arnold had the largest tannery in the county here in 1878. This industry was started by him in 1850.
An oil refinery was operated here from 1861 to 1875 by various firms. The founder was J. C. Crumpton and the last owner was the Standard Oil Company.
The first storekeeper was Henry J. Arnold, in 1855. The present ones are Lesser & Baker, E. M. Shaul, and Charles Bovard.
The Manorville post offie was established in 1862, James Cunningham holding the office for twenty years. Miss Mollie Shearer is the present one. Dr. James G. Allison is the resident physician.
The Lutherans secured a foothold first here when Rev. G. W. Lesher canvassed the town in 1878 and succeeded in organizing the Manorville Evangelical Lutheran Church. F. S. Shoop and William Truby were elected elders, and Alex. Hileman and G. W. Crytzer, deacons. The members were: Alex. Hileman, Laura Hileman, John Wolf, Sarah Wolf, William Truby, Christina Truby, W. S. Heffelfinger, Catherine Heffelfinger, Levi Crawford, Sarah Crawford, Kate R. Leisher, Elizabeth Shoop, Mary McClarren, Nancy A. Schall, Christina Marks, Elizabeth Truby, John A. H. Crytzer, Margaret Crytzer, F. S. Shoop, Rebecca A. Shoop, John A. Fry, Lucinda Fry, George W. Crytzer, Turner Neal, Ella Neal, Caroline Otto, Susannah Truby, Amelia Euchler, Susannah Mansfield.
The first services were held in the Manorville school and also at other times in the No. 9 schoolhouse, north of here. In 1882 the present church building was erected at at cost of $1,659. It was dedicated in 1884.
The pastors have been: Revs. G. W. Leisher, 1878-85; J. W. Tressler, 1886-99; Franklin J. Matter, 1900-10; and the present pastor, Rev. J. G. Langham. Membership, 100; Sunday school, 200. The title of the church has been changed to Grace Evangelical Lutheran, since the date of organization.
The Methodist Episcopal Church here is under the charge of Rev. Samuel M. Cousins.
The Phoenix Firebrick Works were established in 1880 by Isaac Reese, who was the inventor of the first silica firebrick, for furnace linings in the United States. He obtained a patent on the process and amassed a fortune from the businees. The average daily production was 8,000 bricks per day. The plant was sold in1905 to the Harbison-Walker Company, of Pittsburgh. They found it unremunerative to operate the works, owing to the cost of shipping the clays used in the process from Brookville and other points, so they shortly thereafter dismantled the works and moved the machinery to Templeton.
The Ford City Fertilizer Works are located at Garrett�s Run, a suburb of Manorville. Here also were the shops and power house of the West Penn Electric Company, operators of the trolley lines through Kittanning, and who now supply that city with light and power.
SCHOOLS OF MANORVILLE
The first school in what are now the limits of Manorville was opened in a log dwelling house, built by James Kilgore, probably a year or two before the adoption of the common school system. That house was situated between the railroad and the hill, a few rods below the brick yard. It was a pay or subscription school, taught by William Stewart. The next one, nearest to Manorville, was a one-story dwelling, converted into a schoolhouse, on the lower side of the Leechburg road, near its intersection with the river road. In 1853 a frame schoolhouse was erected by the school board of Manor township, at the head of School or Butler street, near the hill whic was several years afterward moved from its base by a landslide. The next school building was a substantial frame, with a cupola and bell, erected by the board in 1862. The present schoolhouse is brick. The first annual report of Manorville was for the school year ending June 1, 1868, for which year the statistics are:
School, 1; number months taught, 5; male teacher, 1; salary per month, $50; male scholars, 40; female scholars, 39; average number attending school, 49; cost per month, each, 77 13/100 cents; levied for school purposes, $315.18; levied for building purposes, $121.22; received from collector, etc., $355; from State appropriation, $21.08; cost of instruction, $54.94; repairs, $4.82.
Statistics for 1875 are here given: School, 1; number months taught, 5; male teacher, 1; salary per month, $50; male scholars, 37; female scholars, 28; average number attending school, 51; cost each per month, 92 cents; levied for school purposes and building purposes, $399.99; received from taxes, etc., $430.78; from State appropriation, $38.69; teacher�s wages, $250; fuel, collector�s fees, $86.98.
In 1913 the number of schools was 1; months taught, 8; male teacher, 1; female teachers, 2; average salaries, male $60, female, $50; male scholars, 47; female scholars, 60 average attendance, 99; cost of each scholar per month, $1.95; tax levied, $1,767.99; received fromthe State, $544.84; from other sources, $1,900.74; value of schoolhouses, $6,000; teachers� wages, $1,280; other expenditures, $919,66.
The school directors were: H. C. Richards, president; J. B. Klingensmith, secretary; George Fitzgerald, treasures; Willliam Copley, H. W. Hileman.
A lodge of the Odd Fellows has existed here for many years, and is still in a thriving condition. John Householder, who died in 1913 at Rosston, aged eighty-two years, was member of this lodge for nearly thirty years.
POPULATION OF MANORVILLE
The population of Manorville in 1870 was 330; in 1880 it was 327; in 1890, 392; in 1900, 453; in 1910, 544.
The assessment returns for 1913 show: One sawmill, valued at $1800; houses and lots, 173, valued att $82,190, average, $475.14; horses, 8, value $330, average $41.25; cows, 4 , value, $65, average, $16.25; taxable occupations, 188, amount, $6,630; total valuations, $91,015. Money at interest, $29,545.30.
SCHOOLS OF THE MANOR
The first schoolhouse within the limits of the Manor was located on the site of the present one near the Manor Church, in 1803. The first teacher was Harrison Cook and his successors were a Mr. Conklin and Edward Gorrell. Gorrell�s pupils sa he wrote a very fine, neat and beautiful hand.
That primitive temple of knowledge, in the course of several years, was abandoned and another log one was erected about sixty rods southwest of it, on the opposite side of the last-mentioned road, which continued in use after the adoption of the common school system until 1866, when a frame one was erected, about forty rods east of it, a few rods below the church, which is still used for school purposes.
In 1860, the number of schools was 7; average number months taught, 4; male teacher, 7; average monthly salaries, $20; male scholars, 179; female scholars, 143, average number attending school, 191; cost of teaching each per month, 46 cents; amount levied for school purposes, $646.82; amount received from State appropriation, $87.51; amount received from collectors, $317.01; cost of instruction, $560; fuel and contingencies, $31; repairs, $560.
In 1876 the number of school was 9; average number months taught, 5; male teachers, 2; female teachers, 7; average salaries per month of male teachers, $32; average salaries per month of female teachers, $33.29; male scholars, 247; female scholars, 202; average number attending school, 283; cost per month, 65 cents; total amount tax levied for school and building purposes, $2, 380.68; received from State appropriation, $298.53; from taxes and other sources, $2,791.75; cost of schoolhouses, viz., purchasing, renting, etc., $996.20; teacher�s wages, $1,320; fuel, contingencies, etc., $588.16.
In 1913 the number of schools was 19; months taught, 7; male teachers, 5; female teachers, 14; average salaries, male $50.10; female, $47.50; male scholars, 295; female scholars, 373; average attendance, 489; cost of each scholar per month, $1.73; tax levied, $6,952.10; received from State, $3,787.66; from other sources, $7,518.40; value of schoolhouses, $28,000; teacher�s wages, $6, 327.50; other expenditures, $4,574.72.
The school directors were: J. K. Hobaugh, president; Clarence Wolfe, secretary; J. G. Allison, treasurer; J. Arthur Hileman, Tomer J. Iseman.
APPLEBY MANOR MEMORIAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH-1843-1892-1908
Appleby is an old English name, and was given to one of the Manors set apart by William Penn and his heirs, the titles to which were never vested in the State of Pennsylvania. This manor comprised about five thousand acres of the most beautiful and fertile land in Armstrong county, extending four miles along the eastern bank of the Allegheny river, near the center of which there stood for fifty years the old Manor Church, and now stands the Appleby Manor Memorial Church to perpetuate the name.
We are told that when George Ross, son of Judge John Ross, lay on his deathbed, he requested his parents to bury him on that spot, assigning as a reason that it was the best site for the church which he believed would some day be built in that part of Appleby Manor.
When Josiah Copley, a well-known editor and writer, removed from Pittsburgh to the hill above what has since become the village of Manorville, he and Mr. Hamlet Totten, of Rural Village, instituted Sunday school and prayer meeting services in the log schoolhouse which then occupied the site of the present parsonage, these good men walking from their homes, three to five miles distant, for this pioneer missionary labor. In this they were joined by John Christy, on whose farm the schoolhouse stood. Later he gave the land for a church building and graveyard.
The history of the organization from the inception of the church life will be best told by extracts from an address at the dedication of the Appleby Manor Memorial Church in 1892. This church building was destroyed by lightning in 1907 and was again erected without expense to the congregation, but to their comfort and great satisfaction.
"The first log schoolhouse built at Appleby Manor was of that primitive sort which marks the first efforts of the early settler. Of its beginning there is neither tradition nor recollection; of its end a few witnesses still remain to tell.
"The house was about twenty feet square, built of unhewn logs of various lengths, with clapboard roof, weight poles, and the renowned greased paper window extending the entire length of the side. Inside, the puncheon floor, backless unhewn benches, together with the stern master of the district school, make up a picture already immortalized in American history.
"It was in this rustic house, standin to the south and within a few rods of the present beautiful and enduring temple made sacred to his memory, that Josiah Copley, together with Hamlet Totten, of Rural Village-both members of the First Presbyterian Church, Kittanning-on a Sabbath day in the summer of 1835, organized the first Sabbath school in Armstrong county outside of Kittanning."
From the address of Rev. J. H. Sloan, D. D., at the dedication of the First Memorial Church building, Jan. 5, 1892:
"Just when the first public proclatmation of the gospel took place in this vicinity, I cannot tell. Tradition says that Elisha McCurdy preached in this region. It is safe to say that previous to the time when religious services began to be held here, the Presbyterians would worship with their brethren at Kittanning on the one side, and Crooked Creek on the other. To Kittanning, as early as 1806, supplies began to be sent by the Presbytery of Redstone; and this was done year by year until Aug. 21, 1822, when the church here was formally organized. In 1829 Rev. David Barclay
was appointed by the same Presbytery to preach a day at Crooked Creek; but it has been claimed that the church there dates from about 1825.
"But by and by the people desired to have the gospel preached nearer their own homes. And so it is on record that in 1839 Mr. John Kerr, then a licentiate of Washington Presbytery and engaged in teaching at Kittanning, held services in the schoolhouse at this place. At times, on pleasant days-as was the custom in bygone years- �worship was conducted in the open air under the forest trees.� �The groves were God�s first temples.�
"These local services naturally suggested thoughts of a local organization. Accordingly application was made to the Presbytery of Blairsville, then having ecclesiastical jurisdiction here, and a committee consisting of Rev. Joseph Painter, Rev. L. M. Graves, Rev. Alex. Donaldson, and Elders Robert Walker and Joseph Harbison was appointed to attend to the matter. Accordingly the committee met and on the 20th of November, 1842, the organization was effected, and Appleby Manor took its place as a separate star in the great galaxy of churches.
"As reported to Presbytery, the church began with nine members, one of whom was chosen as a ruling elder. This elder was John Christy, and for twenty years or longer he had no associate in office."
Few in numbers but earnest in their religious allegiance, the first members of this little congregation were occasionally favored with services by Rev. Elisha McCurdy from 1839 to 1842. These services were held in the schoolhouse on the farm of John Christy, in the winter, and if the weather was propitious in the open air in summer. At the latter date the membership was only twenty, but they felt financially able to support a pastor for part of his time, Crooked Creek sharing the expense and his ministrations. The first organized congregation was composed of the following persons: John Christy and wife, George Ross, Margaret Ross, Josiah Copley and wife, Elizabeth Ross, Mary Ross, Samuel Slaymaker and wife, Richard Bailey and wife and William Wolf.
The first pastor was Rev. Levi M. Graves, and during his term the first church edifice, a plain frame building, was erected on land donated by John Christy. Rev. Mr. Graves�s term was from 1842 to 1852. His successor was Rev. William College, who remained until 1858. Following as pastors came Revs. George R. Scott, 1867 to 1871; William McLean, stated supply until 1873; Perrin Baker, 1874 to 1883; Samuel J. Glass, 1885-86; Dewitt M. Benham, 1887-89; J. H. Sutherland, 1890-92; S. Robinson Frazier, 1895-98; J. D. Humphrey, 1899-1903; Edwin P. Foresman, 1905-1912.
This membership was larger at one time (1854), but the number has remained at an average of one hundred, as it is at present. The Sunday school is conducted by Mr. Henry King, and has a membership of about seventy-five. The ruling elders are: J. H. Huston, J. R. Christy, J. C. Rhea and Solomon King.
About 1890, owing to the condition of the old frame church, it was decided to rebuild. This resolution came to the notice of Mrs. Mary (Copley) Thaw, of Pittsburgh, who immediately took the manner into her own hands and provided the entire expense of erecting the first brick church, on the lot adjoining the old one. This building was dedicated in 1892 in memory of Mrs. Thaw�s parents, Josiah and Margaret Copley. For fifteen years this pretty rural church stood, and then in 1907 a severe stroke of lightening set it on fire, and notwithstanding the efforts of the surrounding neighbors it was completely destroyed.
Undismayed by this casualty, Mrs. Thaw at once had plans drawn, and in the following year the congregation was enabled to worship in the present artistic and commodious edifice, an illustration of which will be found on another page. This present building, also of English design, is of brick, with a tower, and spacious Sunday school room attached. The bell in this tower was placed in the first church by Henry Kendall Thaw, and after the fire was so damaged as to necessitate recasting; this cost was again defrayed by him.
For further particulars concerning this church, see sketch of Josiah Copley in biographical section.
THE MANOR�S POPULATION
The census of 1850 shows that the population of this township was 775, in 1860 it was 1,210; in 1870, 1,071; in 1880, 1,508; in 1890, 1,604; in 1900, 2,583; in 1910, 3,195.
The assessment returns for 1913 show: Number of acres timber, 1,219; clear, 8,451, value,$230,099; houses and lots, 712, valued at, $218,215, average, $306.48; horses, 293, valued at $8,080, average, $27.57; cows, 349, value, $5,185, average, $14.85; taxable occupations, 1,121, amount, $32,310; total valuation, $509,989. Money at interest, $107,180.
Near the mouth of Crooked creek, the Freeport limestone is within fifty feet of the Allegheny river.
According to the first geological survey of the State, cutting on the railroad, one third of a mile below the Kittanning rolling mill, well exposes the small coalbed next above the Kittanning seam, from 9 to 18 inches thick, divided in the middle by a thin band of slate, immediately underlaid by a band of impure, somewhat indurated, fireclay, 2 to 10 feet thick, through which are scattered nodules of rough iron ore. Beneath the fireclay is an irregularly stratified mass of highly micaceous sandstone, the natural color of which is blue, but when weathered is chiefly light olive green and reddish brown, containing regularly marked vegetable forms, over which are dark-blue shales, 25 feet thick, weathering rusty brown, in some places curiously distorted, become more compact and silicious toward the top, and a thin layer of bituminous shale and coaly matter is interstratified with the mass.
The small coalbed above specified as being next above the Kittanning seam, from 9 to 18 inches thick, because of its insignificant size was not known to be persistent throughout the county, as has been shown in the course of the second geological survey. It has been proved by J. C. White,
who had charge of thedistrict composed of Beaver, North Allegheny and South Butler, not only to be persistent but to increase the bulk westward, culminating as the great Darlington cannel coalbed, in Beaver county.
The highest point in Manor township is located on the line of Kittanning township, in the northeastern corner, and measures 1,383 feet above sea level.
Source: Page(s) 203-210, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 19114.
Transcribed October 1998 by Donna E. Mohney for the Armstrong County Smith Project.
Contributed by Donna E. Mohney for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)
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