Chapter 34

Mahoning Township

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ORIGIN OF NAME -- SETTLERS AND LANDOWNERS -- AN OLD COUPLE -- MAHONING FURNACE -- PUTNEYVILLE -- OAKLAND -- "BOSTONIA" MINE -- SOUTH BETHLEHEM -- RELIGIOUS -- MODERN INDUSTRIES -- SCHOOLS -- GEOLOGY

Named after the creek which winds its way through the southern portion, this township was established in 1851, being formed from parts of Madison, Pine, Wayne and Red Bank townships, and contains about twenty-five square miles. The first election resulted as follows: William R. Hamilton, judge of elections; John Sheridan, John McCauley, inspectors of election; Samuel Ferguson, assessor; John A. Colwell, Alexander Cathcart, assistants; William Smullin, Thomas Buzzard, supervisors; Milton Osbein, clerk; David Putney, R. C. Williamson, John Sheridan, auditors; J. W. Powell, J. J. Wich, James Stockdill, John Shumaker, James Lee, Thomas Buzzard, school directors; Peter Shumaker, John Duff, overseers of the poor; James T. Putney, justice of the peace; Absalom Smullin, constable.

SETTLERS

The first settlers and landowners of this township were: William R. Hamilton, John Kuhns, George Weinberg, William Benton, Abraham Mohoney, Rev. John G. Young, John A. Colwell, William Procius, John Counselman, John McClelland, Stephen B. Young, Samuel S. Harrison, William Horn, Alexander Cathcart, Henry D. Foster, Mrs. Elizabeth Hewitt, Robert Ferguson, John Duff, Samuel Ferguson, Alexander Colwell, Thomas McConnell, James E. Brown, Jacob Hetrick, Robert Cathcart, John Moorhead, Dr. W. S. Hosack, James Parker, Stofel Reichard, Edward Blakeny, Robert Blakeny, Arthur Bryan, George Bryan, William Smullin, Thomas Park, Isaac Anderson, Jeremiah Murray, George Roberts, Jacob Anthony, John Edwards, Jacob Nulf, Adam Nulf, George Smith, Andrew Foreman, Rheuben Huffman, John Doverspike (in German, Daubenspecht), David McCullough, David Putney, Lewis Daubenspecht, James McMillen, Jacob Anthony, Benjamin Price, David Gumbert, James Bleakeney, George W. Goheen, Joseph Hetrick, John McCauley, Samuel Adams, Samuel W. Kinney, Joseph K. Wright, Conrad Lamberson, Daniel Reedy.

The earliest white settlers were William R. Hamilton and John Kuhn, who established themselves at Camp run, near the Mahoning, not far from the site of Putneyville, about 1787. They called the run "Camp run," from an Indian camp which was used for some time after they came to this section. It seemed to be an old resort for the savages, as there was a large cavity near where the coal had been burned away, probably by some ancient campfire.

Adam Nulf built a cabin about 1799 on the Mahoning, near the present site of Caldwell, and also set out an orchard, which was still bearing in 1885. Casper Nulf, a brother, settled on the Mahoning near the present village of Eddyville, in 1808. He died in 1837, his wife preceding him the previous year. The Kittanning Gazette of the year 1837, in a notice of their deaths, said: "Died, February, 1, 1837, Casper Nulf, aged 103 years, and on November 11, 1836, Phoebe, his wife, aged 103 years. They had lived together more than eighty years, and were the parents of eighteen children. Their descendants are believed to number three hundred. They had supported themselves by their own industry until within three years of their deaths." In the little Smith burying ground, on the side of a hill near Eddyville, are their graves, marked with almost undecipherable tombstones, and surrounded by a stone wall.

James Parker, who settled on the Mahoning west of Putneyville, in 1805, located near a place called by the Indians "Fish-basket," from the immense schools of fish that were to be found there in early days before the mines and mills had polluted the waters and killed their inhabitants.

Another original settler was Lewis Daubenspecht, in 1806, at the point now occupied by the town of South Bethlehem. John Daubenspecht, in 1816, settled on the run that empties into the Mahoning east of the town of Caldwell. He was said to have operated a mill at this place, sometimes called the "Narrow Sluice," from the fact that the creek is only 22 feet wide at this point. No traces of the mill remain. The descendants of these two men are numerous and prominent in the township in 1913. They have Anglicized their name, calling it "Doverspike."

MAHONING FURNACE

The iron furnace was built in the summer of 1845 by the Colwell brothers, Alexander and John, and was operated as a cold blast until 1860, when the fuel was changed to coke. In forty-six weeks of 1856 it produced 4,796 tons of iron from the blue carbonate ore of that region. The only building near the furnace during its erection was the little log cabin of Adam Nulf, on the north side of the Mahoning creek, which was used to house the workmen. The site of the furnace was a beautifully picturesque one, on the Mahoning, at the apex of a sharp bend, opposite Reedy run. By 1855 the region around the furnace developed into a thriving settlement, a sawmill was in operation and a schoolhouse, used also as a church, erected. There were then thirty buildings near the furnace and a fine bridge spanned the creek. But this furnace and its surrounding settlement have gone the way of all the rest of the old iron industries, and at the present time the only evidence of the once busy hive of industry is a pile of stone and a heap of slag and cinder.

The little town of "Caldwell" is situated slightly east of the site of the furnace and is comparatively prosperous since the opening of the Shawmut railroad through this section. The railroad crosses the creek both above and below the town.

PUTNEYVILLE

In 1833 David Putney purchased from the Holland Land Company, at $1.50 per acre, a tract of 1,000 acres of land surrounding and including the site of the present village named after him. Soon after this purchase was made Mr. Putney, his three sons, James Thompson and George Stevenson came to the spot where the village now stands. The bottomlands and the hillsides were then covered with a thick growth of laurel and hazel brush, through which a road was cut with considerable difficulty. A little shanty was erected upon the creek bank, near where the old gristmill now stands. The material of which it was constructed was slabs gathered along the creek, and it was roofed with bark taken in large pieces from trees in the vicinity. About four months later a second cabin was built, similar to and near the first. This was to serve the purpose of a store, and was stocked with a limited assortment of staple goods brought from Freeport and Pittsburgh. For about a year there were no other buildings erected, but during that period Mr. Putney was engaged in working upon a headrace and dam and taking out timber for a grist and sawmill, employing ten or twelve hands. The sawmill was completed the second year. Shanty life no longer possessing the charm of novelty, and now having a mill to manufacture lumber, a story-and-a-half frame dwelling house was erected -- the first in the neighborhood. The rest of the family moved up from Freeport, and George S. Putney commenced getting out the lumber for the gristmill, which was built and put in successful operation during the third year of the settlement. The elder Mr. Putney was a natural genius in mechanics and a typical New England pioneer, able to turn his hand to almost any industry. With the improvements alluded to business was continued very successfully up to the spring of 1840, by which time considerable land had been cleared and the sunshine allowed to reach the fertile soil of the little valley. A few houses for tenants had also been erected. About this time David Putney contracted to furnish a large amount of timber for the completion of dam No. 1 on the Monongahela river, at Pittsburgh, and to meet the contract he purchased some rafts on Mahoning and Red Bank creeks.

In a reasonable time the timber was all taken out and in readiness for high water to run it to market. George S. Putney, having to remain there waiting a rise, went to work and took out frame timber for the Methodist Episcopal church at Freeport. To their misfortune there was no freshet during the fall sufficient to afford them the opportunity to make a delivery, and the timber was frozen up in the ice the following winter and lost. In consequence, David Putney became financially involved, and in 1842 was obliged to effect a sale of the greater part of his property to meet his indebtedness. It was then that James Thompson and George S. Putney, by request of the creditors, purchased the grist and saw mills with about 190 acres of land surrounding them, agreeing to pay therefor the sum of $4,000. Fortunately for the young men, who succeeded their father in business, the Mahoning furnace was put in operation, in 1845, by John A. Colwell & Co., and an outlet was demanded for the metal which they manufactured. This the Putney brothers supplied, putting up a boat scaffold and building boats upon which, under contract, they carried the company's pig iron down the creek and the Allegheny river to Pittsburgh. They put up a new sawmill, entered into a general lumber business, and in 1848 engaged in merchandising, taking into the partnership in the latter a third brother, David T. These industries were fairly remunerative, but it was the business of building and purchasing boats to carry metal for the furnace people which gave them the greater part of the revenue with which they discharged their indebtedness.

In 1858 the gristmill was burned, but at once replaced by a larger one. This mill is still standing, but is not operated now.

The boatbuilding occupied an average of twenty persons, the output being fifteen flats, 80 by 18 feet, yearly. B. H. Putney, grandson of old "Father" Putney, was the last to construct flatboats in 1880.

The dam was carried away by the flood of 1862, rebuilt the following year, and lastly destroyed in the spring of 1880.

The town which grew up around the Putney projects was definitely named about 1842. David Putney was the first postmaster in 1844. Dr. J. H. Wick located here in 1848 and Dr. Theodore P. Klingensmith in 1874. George W. Goheen opened the first store in 1845, and in 1847 the Putneys purchased it. This store has been in the Putney family for the succeeding years, the present owner being the genial B. H. Putney, nephew of old David. This is the only store on the south side of the creek. L. G. Schreckongost has a store on the opposite bank, in the building used as a hotel by Joseph C. Schreckongost in 1880. Another hotel, once a resort for travelers, and kept by S. Nulf in 1875, is now in the possession of O. D. Smith. Eugene L. Brown was druggist here in 1883-90.

There are about thirty-eight houses in the town at present, but no industries. Dr. G. L. Angueney is the only resident physician.

The place of worship of the Methodist Episcopal Church was changed from an edifice near William Smullin's to this place in 1844, and public services held in the schoolhouse and occasionally in the Associate Reformed or U. P. Church edifice, until the present edifice, frame, 40 by 60 feet, two stories, costing $5,000, was erected in 1873, on a lot conveyed, Dec. 27, 1870, by George S. Putney to Amzi Loomis, John F. Gearhart, William B. Smullin and himself, trustees, "containing sixty-four perches, also five feet from the south line for hitching purposes." The building is still standing and is used as often as the divided time of the pastor allows. Rev. B. H. Morey served here until 1912, being succeeded by Rev. John Walls.

The Associate Reformed, now called United Presbyterian Church, was dependent on supplies most, if not all the time, until 1870, when it ceased to exercise its ecclesiastical function. Its membership was too small to maintain a regular pastor. The lot on which its frame edifice was situated was conveyed by J. T. and G. S. Putney to James L. Armstrong, John Duff and Samuel Ferguson, committee or trustees, and their successors, Dec. 8, 1853, for $1. The congregation became divested of their title to it by sheriff's sale to William R. Hamilton, who had been one of the chief contributors to the maintenance of the organization during its ephemeral existence.

The first bridge across the Mahoning, connecting the two parts of this town, was erected at an early date. The present superstructure, the fourth one, was built in 1890 by the county.

Rev. J. A. Campbell, the first county superintendent of schools, taught a normal class here in 1855-56.

The first separate assessment list for Putneyville was in 1851, showing that the entire town then contained 24 taxables, indicating the number of inhabitants then to have been 110. Though the occupations were assessed at $320, there are no specifications of what any of them were. The aggregate valuation of real estate was $1,735, and of personal, $165. The assessment list for 1876 shows: taxables, 51, indicating the population to be 234. The occupations were specified thus: Minister, 1, school teacher, 1; surveyor, 1; physician, 1; farmers, 2; laborers, 8; merchants, 2; millers, 2; shoemakers, 2; blacksmith, 1; cabinetmaker, 1. The last separate assessment was in 1873.

In the summer of 1913 the Mahoning Coal Company opened a coal mine under the farm of W. J. Sullivan, formerly the W. R. Hamilton farm. This is close to Putneyville and will have an effect on the future prosperity of the town. The Shawmut railroad has a station on the north side of the Mahoning, within the limits of the town.

OAKLAND

This town was originally called "Texas" in 1848 by Joseph Moorehead, the owner of that tract. It was changed to Oakland by William R. Hamilton in 1854, who laid out the lots and made the sales. He also started the Oakland Trading Company in 1856, which was a stock company of forty-seven members, for the purpose of operating a communistic store. The project did well for a few years, but finally wound up in a litigation.

The assessment list of Oakland for 1850 gave the number of taxables as eight and the total valuation as $772.

The Methodist Episcopal church here was built in 1874. The congregation had previously worshiped in a frame building, built in 1843 on the land of William Smullin, south of the Mahoning furnace. Services are held here occasionally by pastors from nearby towns.

The present church edifice of the Baptist congregation, frame, 36 by 56 feet, two stories, the first 12 and the second 16 feet in the clear, which cost $5,000, was erected on this parcel in 1874, adjacent to which is the parsonage. This church was organized April 10, 1837, by Rev. Thomas Wilson, and worshipped elsewhere until the completion of this edifice. It was incorporated on Sept. 13, 1876, its corporate name being the "Red Bank Baptist Church of Oakland." The number of its members was 60, and of Sabbath school scholars, 75. A union Sabbath school, with different officers, which most of the scholars of the Baptist school attended, was held, at a different hour, in this edifice, except in the winter. This practice is still continued. There is no regular pastor. The site of the first church edifice, used until 1873, when it was destroyed by fire, was at the side of the old graveyard directly opposite the schoolhouse, on the Anderson ferry road. That church was erected in 1846.

The Bretheren in Christ congregation have a church edifice at the northeastern extremity of this village, on Peter Shoemaker's land, frame, 31 by 41 feet, one story. It formerly belonged to the Methodist congregation, and was erected in 1844 on that part of the Bryan lands, conveyed to William Smullin, and was purchased by Peter Shoemaker in 1872, taken down, removed to its present site, and reconstructed just as it was before its removal. This church was organized prior to 1846, and worshipped elsewhere until the present edifice was provided. it was so carefully fostered by Peter Shoemaker and some of his kindred as to be frequently called "Shoemaker's church." Its membership at present is small. The resident minister is Rev. L. R. Holsinger.

Dr. W. S. Hosack was the first resident physician of Oakland. He settled there in 1874. The second one was Dr. P. W. Shoemaker, who came in 1875. The later practitioners to locate at Oakland were: Dr. C. A. Duff in 1882, S. J. Heffner in 1892 and B. J. Longwell in 1904.

The Oakland Classical and Normal Institute, under the principalship of Lebbens J. Shoemaker, A. B., a graduate of Princeton College, was opened in the first story of the Baptist church, April 11, 1877. Instruction was given in the common and higher English branches and the Greek and Latin languages. The average number of pupils, male and female, was sixty-eight, and of those pursuing the higher English branches and Greek and Latin, sixteen. This institution had a very brief existence, however.

The separate assessment list of Oakland for 1876 shows its number of taxables to have been 55; laborers, 26; carpenters, 7; single men, 3; merchants, 2; physicians, 2; shoemaker, 1; plasterer, 1; school teacher, 1; farmer, 1; artist, 1; pauper, 1; landlord, 1. Before the completion of the Allegheny Valley and Low Grade railroads, when the travel and hauling of freight along this route were considerable, there were two hotels, which were reasonably well patronized.

At this date Oakland is included in the township assessment list. There are 105 houses here, two hotels, two butchers, and four blacksmiths. The storekeepers are W. T. Johnson, John Allen, G. B. Doverspike, W. W. McEntire and G. B. Miller.

A REMARKABLE COAL VEIN

The "Bostonia Mine" of the Fairmount Coal & Coke Company is located a mile and a quarter northeast of Oakland, and has the largest vein of cannel coal in the United States. It has been in operation since 1854, and the "pot vein" is so extensive that it has not been worked out so far. The daily shipment in 1875 was 250 tons, sixty miners were employed, and the company had started the present industrial settlement near the mines. A deposit of the Upper Kittanning coal is also mined. The assessment of the company's property for 1913 is $12,770. The employees number 457 and the output for this year is 290,000 tons. J. A. Beam is the local manager.

This vein of coal is a continuation of the stratum of block coal mentioned in the sketch of Red Bank township, and is from ten to twelve feet thick. it contains, according to the analysis of a government coal expert, Dr. F. A. Genth: moisture, 1.06; volatile matter, 34.00; fixed carbon, 56.78; ash, 8.16 = 100.00; sulphur, .21. This stratum extends northwesterly, and as it approaches Bostonia is what is commonly called cannel coal, though in reality a cannel slate, containing, according to A. S. McCreath's analysis of a specimen of it, 25 per cent of ash. This deposit, says Platt, is irregular, existing only in "pots" or concave areas, disconnected, and often widely separated, so that the occurrence of cannel is confined to certain localities. The thickness or thinness of the mass may be judged by the depth or shallowness of the "pots." A mistaken idea prevails in the Red Bank region that the outspread of the "cannel" is as regular as that of one of the coalbeds of the productive series. The origin of these "pots" is not exactly clear. They may represent depressions which existed originally in the surface when the coalbed was formed; or they may be due to floating sheets of vegetation, similar to those which now exist in the Dismal Swamp, North Carolina. Underlying the "cannel" at all points is a thin layer of bituminous coal, with a regular and continuous outspread, being the equivalent of the Kittanning upper coal, by which the geological horizon of the cannel deposit is defined.

SOUTH BETHLEHEM

William R. Hamilton must have acquired the townsite habit, for after laying out the town of Oakland, in 1854, he founded the town of South Bethlehem in 1874. He was as successful in this investment as he was in the former, for the place is growing rapidly in unison with the thriving borough of New Bethlehem in Clarion county, on the opposite side of Red Bank creek. The population is mostly composed of persons interested in mercantile and industrial investments in New Bethlehem, and they are served by the storekeepers of that borough.

The chief industry at South Bethlehem is the Red Bank Milling Company, C. C. Gumbert, manager, which is operated by the waterpower of the Red Bank creek, through a fine concrete millrace and turbine wheels. The dam, a successor of an early wooden one, is of concrete and fitted to resist the force of any freshet in the future. The mill plant is one of the finest in the county and is kept busy most of the time in and out of season.

The town is lighted and supplied with fire protection by New Bethlehem, on a yearly contract. T. A. Kerr is the burgess in 1913, and N. A. Corbett, treasurer.

In 1913 the number of schools in South Bethlehem borough was 3; average months taught, 8; male teacher, 1; female teachers, 2; average salaries, male, $62.50; female, $50.94; male scholars, 58; female scholars, 71; average attendance, 103; cost per month, $1.48; tax levied, $899.22; received from State, $678.56; other sources, $3,392.96; value of schoolhouses, $3.580; teachers' wages, $1,318; fuel, fees, etc., $2,026.53.

The school directors for that year were: F. M Cribbs, president; R. C. Behan, secretary; W. W. Corbett, treasurer; G. M. Lavely, A. S. Shankle.

The resident physicians are Drs. Edgar K. Shumaker and Philip W. Shumaker.

The assessment returns of South Bethlehem for 1913 show: Number of acres, 28 1/4, valued at $2,431; houses and lots, 190, valued at $51,633, average, $266.48; horses, 19, value, $520, average, $27.15; cows, 8, value, $115; average, $14.37; taxable occupations, 197; amount, $7,285; total valuation, $69,484. Money at interest, $15,926.60.

RELIGIOUS

In addition to the churches mentioned in the sketches of the towns of Oakland and Putneyville there were three edifices in other portions of the township.

An old log cabin stood at the side of the "Hogback road," south of Mahoning furnace, which must have been built as early as 1812. Philip Mechling, sheriff of Armstrong county in 1818, passed it one summer day in 1815 when a meeting was being held in it, and noticed several persons looking at him through unchinked cracks in the logs. He said the building had the appearance of age that date. This structure was used for church purposes and as a schoolhouse for some years after the furnace went into operation. Rev. B. B. Killikelly preached here at intervals during later years. The site is now marked by a clump of briers. A frame church and a small dwelling are now located near here.

Philip Shumaker, who was quite a church builder, constructed a brick building on his land near Oakland in 1846, in which his brother George, of the Dunkard denomination, was pastor till 1872, when Philip turned the building into a residence.

The German Reformed and Lutheran Churches held services in an old log schoolhouse in the bend of the Mahoning opposite Eddyville, until 1865, when they built a frame church in partnership. Services were held in it till 1893, when the congregations separated, the Reformed rebuilding near the same site, the Lutherans going to Eddyville, where they erected a structure of their own.

MODERN INDUSTRIES

The Climax Brick Company, located at St. Charles and Climax, both on the Red Bank west of New Bethlehem, was originally the Stewart Firebrick Company, established in 1872. At their organization the valuation of the land, clay mines and railroad along the left bank of the creek was $32,000. The capacity in 1874 was 8,000 bricks daily, and fifty men were employed. The panic of 1873 affected the finances of the company and it later came into the hands of the present owners. Over one hundred employees are on the payroll at present and the output is many times that of the early days, owing to modern machinery and methods. Most of the employees reside at Climax. P. P. Buffington is the foreman of the plant.

The Fort Pitt Powder Company, a Pittsburgh corporation, has a large powder works east of Putneyville on the northern side of the Mahoning, in which about thirty men are employed. They produce several grades of black mining powder and are capitalized at $15,000. They are now producing 900 kegs of powder per day.

The Shamut road has two new mines in this township. The Seminole mine lies up the run above the old furnace site and near the town of Oakland. It is one of the most up-to-date mines in the state. The superintendent is A. White, and the company doctor is B. J. Longwell, M. D.

Chickasaw is the name of the mining town on a branch of the Shawmut, about half a mile from Widnoon, consisting of about eight hundred inhabitants. The Shawmut Commercial Company store is in the charge of Charles Kennedy. Mr. R. A. Crum is proprietor of the Hotel Chickasaw. The mining plant is entirely modern, all the buildings being of concrete, and the entire mine is operated by electricity.

A new county bridge is being erected near the town of Caldwell, to connect that place with the Shawmut station on the opposite shore.

It is to be hoped that the great waterpower of Red Bank creek will not long remain unused. The locations for dams are many and the proper legislation can probably be obtained. In early days acts of Assembly were passed declaring the stream navigable and prescribing the methods of operating dams and locks, but they were not operated under after the surrounding hills were denuded of timber and the old raftsmen passed into the realm of forgotten things. This stream, as well as the Mahoning, is seldom used by boats of any description, even in flood stages.

POPULATION

The population of this township, including that of the above mentioned towns, in 1860, was 1,446 white; in 1870, native, 1,333; foreign, 69, and colored, 1. The number of taxables in 1876 was 426, indicating a population of 1,959. The population in 1880 was 1,930; in 1890, 1,256; in 1900, 1,457; in 1910, 1,725.

The assessment returns for 1913 show: Number of acres, timber, 4,076, clear, 10,556, value, $166,143; houses and lots, 391, valued at $67,104, average, $171.62; horses, 311, valued at $11,382, average, $36.59; cows, 254, value, $3,778, average, $14.85; taxable occupations, 828, amount, $30,645; total valuation, $370,716. Money at interest, $76,448.60.

SCHOOLS

The population of this township having been small and sparse prior to the adoption of the common school system, the educational facilities were correspondingly meager. The buildings purposely erected for schoolhouses before the passage of the free or common school law of 1834 appear to have been the primitive log ones heretofore mentioned, located nearly a mile east of Oakland, in the "Cove," and on Millseat run. The pioneer teachers were Robert Walker, George Ellenberger and William Foster.

In 1860 the number of schools was 9; average number of months taught, 4; male teachers, 7; female teachers, 2; average monthly salaries of male, $16.86; average monthly salaries of female, $17.50; male scholars, 208; female scholars, 163; average number attending school, 226; cost of teaching each scholar per month, 54 cents; amount tax levied, $734.02; received from State appropriation, $72.07; received from collectors, $673.16; cost of instruction, $612; cost of fuel and contingencies, $185.74; cost of schoolhouses, $378.66.

In 1876 the number of schools was 10, average number of months taught, 5; male teachers, 7; female teachers, 5; average salaries male per month, $31.14; average salaries female per month, $25.40; male scholars, 272; female scholars, 242; average number attending school, 322; cost per month, 76 cents; amount tax levied, $3,035.89; received from State appropriation, $378.51; from taxes and other sources $2,974.56; cost of schoolhouses, $1,158.79; paid teachers, $1,615; paid fuel, etc., $517.90.

The number of school in 1913 was 13; average months taught, 7; male teachers, 3; female teachers, 10; average salaries, male, $48.33, female, $42.25; male scholars, 280; female scholars, 291; average attendance, 387; cost per month, $1.32; tax levied, $4,372.79; received from State, $2,104.48; other sources, $5,985.01; value of schoolhouses, $11,300; teachers' wages, $3,972.50; fuel, fees, etc., $3,476.60.

The school directors for 1913 are: J. G. Orr, president; D. W. Shumaker, secretary; G. B. Doverspike, treasurer; G. F. Culbertson, William Bouch.

GEOLOGY

The Kellersburg anticlinal axis crosses the western part of this township, passing over the Mahoning valley, near the former site of the Mahoning furnace, thence between Oakland and the "Narrows," and across Red Bank creek in the neck of the "Great Bend." The eastern part of this township is a synclinal, perfectly regular and without any disturbances. The deep valleys of Mahoning and Red Bank creeks exhibited conglomerate and subconglomerate rocks. The lower productive measures usually make up the interval between the conglomerate and the highlands, except in the eastern corner of the township, where a small portion of the lower barrens caps the hills. Of these lower barrens the Mahoning sandstone forms the principal part. It is handsomely exhibited on the slopes overlooking Putneyville from the north. it is very massive and seventy-five feet thick. The lower productive coal measures present some exceptional features of interest, the entire group, with all its coals and limestones, being favorably situated for study. At the "Point," at Putneyville, a complete section of those measures is obtained, displaying all the typical members of the group in connected succession. By typical members are meant the following strata in descending order: Freeport upper coal, formerly called Upper Freeport, 3 1/2 feet thick; Freeport upper limestone, the one chiefly mined in this vicinity; Freeport lower coal; Freeport lower limestone, the middle bed at Bostonia; Freeport sandstone, massive and prominent; the Kittanning upper coal; the Johnstown cement limestone; Kittanning middle coal; Kittanning lower coal, 3 feet thick; ferriferous limestone, 10 feet thick, and supports its usual iron ore; Clarion coal; Brookville coal. The last-mentioned coals are not important here. Further down the Mahoning the ferriferous limestone and iron ore were used at Colwell's furnace, where the Upper Freeport coal supplied the fuel for the stack. The Pottsville conglomerate is conspicuous at the base of the slopes at Putneyville and below the furnace site, and extends along Red Bank creek to the outskirts of New Bethlehem, where it sinks under water level.

The highest point in this township is a hill in the eastern part, near the headwaters of Camp run, 1,506 feet above sea level.

Source: Page(s) 251-257, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 19114.
Transcribed July 2001 by James R. Hindman for the Armstrong County Smith Project.
Contributed by James R. Hindman for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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