The Bryan lands included a number of tracts in this township. Tract covered by warrant No. 674, partly in Wayne, granted to Dr. William Smith, of Philadelphia, druggist, October 20, 1780, as containing 549 ¾ acres, which Smith conveyed to George Bryan, December 31, 1787, "particularly in consideration of the sum of five shillings." The act of assembly of March 17, 1820, subsequent to Bryan’s death, authorized Jacob Spangler and Thomas Smith, of Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, and Robert Orr Jr., of this county, to make partition of his real estate, and it also authorized his son, George Bryan, Jr., to sell and convey all the title to and interest in the same of Sarah, daughter of the elder Bryan. Among the lands thus allotted to her was the eastern half of this tract, which George Bryan Jr., conveyed to Robert B. Stille, October 12, 1826, for $1,200, and which the latter reconveyed to the former four days afterward for the same consideration, who conveyed it August 6, 1833, to Archibald Marshall for $800. The earliest settlers upon it were probably Harmen Lenhart, who was first assessed with 30 acres in 1832, and Adam Lenhart, with 90 acres in 1833, who migrated thither from the Le Roy & Co. tract No. 3045. It was sold in June, 1834, for taxes, by Samuel McKee, county treasurer, to George Bryan, who again conveyed it to Archibald Marshall, April 15, 1837, for $1,300, to whom the patent was granted June 6, 1840. The latter conveyed 108 acres and 135 perches to Samuel McCarthy, January 1, 1841, for $979, and 163 acres and 53 perches to Robert McMeans, December 3, 1841, $637.87 ½ . The tannery on this tract was probably established in 1850. John Marshall was first assessed with it in 1851. William Gallagher’s store is also on the same original tract, which he opened there in 1873-4.
The George Bryan tract No. 669, 548 ¼ acres, adjoined the above-mentioned Dr. Smith tract on the southwest. It became vested in Richard R. Bryan, to whom the patent was granted February 13, 1850, who conveyed it April 6, 1851, to Robert Orr, Jr. Its earliest settler appears to have been Michael Thomas, in 1835. John Butler, Jr., was first assessed with 125, and William McGaughey with 208 acres of it in 1838. Gen. Orr conveyed 14 acres and 127 perches of it to John Marshall, April 10, 1872, for $369. It is traversed by a southern branch of Pine run, on which, about 100 rods above its mouth, is schoolhouse No. 3. Samuel Gourley was first assessed with a tanyard on this tract in 1844.
The George Bryan tract No. 672, 1,097 ¼ acres, the warrant for which is dated October 20, 1785. John Schrecongost, Sr., and Martin Schrecongost, brothers, were each first assessed with 100 acres of it in 1814, and John Schrecongost, Jr., with 1,000 acres in 1819. The elder John began the manufacture of plows with wooden moldboards, soon after he settled here. He was called " Gentleman John" because of the comparative neatness of his apparel and his comparatively polished manners and gentlemanly bearing. Martin owned a part of this, but resided on another tract, containing about 100 acres, which he purchased from Archibald McGaughey. The former acquired title to about 550 and the latter to 100 acres of this tract by "improvement," as it appears from the assessment lists Bryan’s heirs conveyed this tract to Richard R. Bryan, October 9, 1847, by whom it was conveyed to Gen. Orr, April 6, 1859, who conveyed 48 acres and 14 perches thereof to C.O. Schrecongost, January 30, 1872, for $681.79; and 59 acres and 98 perches to Henry Giger, November 25, 1874, for $1,031.41
Two military companies- the Wayne Artillery and the Pine Creek Infantry- and a large number of citizens celebrated the Fourth of July, 1837, at Martin Schrecongost’s house. The Declaration of Independence was read, and some remarks were made by Mr. A.L. Robinson. The other features were the parade and evolutions of those military companies and volunteer toasts of a decided partisan tone given by members of both of the political parties, Whigs and Democrats.
An early resident on a portion of the Bryan tract, No. 672, was James Cogley, who was first assessed with 100 acres in 1818, and continued to be until 1834. He was one fo the pioneer schoolteachers in this region before the passage of the common school law of 1834. His knowledge, like that of most of the other teachers of those early times, was limited to reading, writing and arithmetic. Some of the older citizens of this county, though not his pupils, remember him out of his pedagogical sphere, as an entertaining singer of the entire ballad of "Robin Hood," and other shorter ones. He was the nephew of the surveyor Robert Cogley elsewhere mentioned.
Robert Orr conveyed 94 acres and 77 perches to Thomas Foster, March 30, 1871, for $2,078.
The Pleasant Union Evangelical Lutheran church edifice is situated in the northwestern forks of the cross-roads fifty rods northwest of Thomas Foster’s residence.
The Reynolds and Clark lands consisted of one tract, partly in Wayne, covered by warrant No. 6041, granted, probably, in 1817 to David Reynolds and William Clark. It was returned on the unseated lists of Plum Creek and Wayne townships from 1818 until 1843. It adjoined the Bryan tract No. 672 on the east and the Holland Company’s lands on the north, west and south. It was probably not much occupied except by Philip Drum, a hunter from some other county, who had a cabin and hunting camp, located near the present residence of john H. Hill, for ten years or so from about 1790, until after Alexander and Absalom Reynolds, David Reynolds’ executors, and James Clark, guardian of Julia, James and William Maize, heirs of William Clark, conveyed it, December 8, 1859, to Henry Clever for $1,125. On the 21st of that month he conveyed one-half of it too Judge Buffington and one-fourth to Horatio N. Lee for the last-mentioned sum. They conveyed 114 acres and 120 perches to John H. Hill, March 24, 1866, for $918, and 34 acres and 54 perches to Joseph Keifer for $248.90, who, five days afterward, conveyed the same to William Garner for $300; 100 acres to Samuel and Wilson Shcrecongost for $800; and 196 acres to Henry clever, May 10, for $1. Clever conveyed 30 acres and 9 perches to Jacob McAfoos, May 2, 1870, for $360.60k, and 46 acres to George McIntire, March 2, 1871, for $552, small portions of which are in Wayne township. The public schoolhouse No. 1 and the Salem Reformed church edifice are situated on this original tract, 425 rods nearly southeast of the northwest corner of this township.
Next west of the Reynolds and Clark was the Le Roy & Co. , or Holland Co. tract, No. 3036, viz., of allotment No. 1, and tract No. 368, the main portion of which was in what is now Valley township. The first settler on the Cowanshannock portion of it was the eccentric Frederick Altman,11 to whom Wilhelm Willink and others conveyed 160 acres, December 19, 1833, for $90. He probably settled on it in 1834, as he was first assessed with that number of acres in 1835, and built his sawmill in 1839, with which he was assessed from 1840 until 1846. He also manufactured for awhile stone pumps, which were one of his inventions. The next earliest settler on this tract was probably Andrew King, who was first assessed with 155 acres of it in 1843.
Adjoining the last mentioned on the south was another of the Holland Co. tracts, No. 3022. The earliest settler on the Cowanshannock part of it was probably Andrew King, to whom Wilhelm Willink and others conveyed 155 ¾ acres of allotment No. 3, June 18, 1828, for $77.88, with which he was first assessed in 1829. They subsequently conveyed as follows: To Abraham Rosenberger, 216 ½ acres of allotment 8, September 17, 1828, for $108.25, 122 acres of which Rosenberger conveyed to Abraham Hill, April 28, 1837, for $300, and to Joseph Hill, 116 ¾ acres, March 14 , 1837, for $230.
The Timothy Pickering & Co. lands in this township lay to the east of the Findley lands and consisted of the following tracts: No.25, 1132 ¼ acres. The earliest permanent white settler on it was William Kirkpatrick. In or about 1800 he commenced occupying 200 acres of its northwestern part, and with which he was assessed, successively, in Toby, Kittanning, Plum Creek and Wayne townships, and which James Potter Murry, a devisee of Gen. Potter, conveyed to him, September 28, 1807, for $800, payable in annual installments, without interest. In the same instrument Murry agreed to deliver to Kirkpatrick a good and sufficient title in three years, and Kirkpatrick agreed to secure the payment of the purchase money by bond and mortgage. Murry was enabled to comply with his part of the agreement by these 200 acres having been conveyed to him by Potter’s executors, May 19, 1810, and by granting of the patent therefor to him, January 12, 1813. In April he consummated the performance of his covenant by delivering his deed to Kirkpatrick, whose name appears on the northwestern part of No. 25, on the map of original tracts. After residing there about thirty years, he removed to the Blaine tract No. 553, 12 with 150 acres of which he assessed in and after 1831. He conveyed that part of No. 25 to William Porter, April 17, 1832, for $1,300. Porter conveyed 194 acres and 89 perches of it to John Cowan, May 8, 1837, for $1,960, on which there is a log barn which was raised about 1808, which, although now under its third roof, is still a substantial structure. It required two days to notify the men then living within a circuit of thirty miles of such a raising. Until as late as 1834 trees suitable for building-logs on this and adjoining tracts were considered common property. If any one saw a tree that would answer his purpose, either on the tract on which he had settled or on any other, he appropriated it to his own use, without leave from any one and without apprehension of litigation.
Another early settler on No. 25 was William Cochran, Sr., who was first assessed with 250 acres of it in 1811, which had been devised by Gen. Potter to John P. McMillen, to whom his executors conveyed the same, consisting partly of tract No. 11, August 19, 1815, and which he conveyed to Cochran, December 2, 1816, for $500. Another portion became vested in Samuel Cochran. William and Samuel Cochran united in conveying 302 acres and 17 perches (except 20 acres of the east end) to Archibald L. Robinson, July 18, 1826, for $1,500, which he conveyed to James E. Brown, June 21, 1839, for $3,650.
Two hundred and fifty acres of Nos. 25 and 11 were devised to Thomas Potter, who conveyed the same to William Marshall, June 18, 1814, for $550, with which the latter was first assessed in 1828, and as a tanner in 1829. He conveyed it as containing 265 acres and 117 perches of "The Grove," he conveyed to Alexander P. Ormond, March 30, 1840, for $2,100.
`Other devisees of portions of No. 25 were John and James P. Jordan. William Stanford occupied 20 acres of it for several years after 1825; Andrew Morrow, Robert Neal and Alexander Rutherford commenced occupying portions of it in 1835. Smith Neal, Sr., settled on the James P. Jordan portion of it January 3, 1833, and afterward on the Le Roy & Co. tract, No. 3125. He was born in what is now Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, in 1763. At the age of sixteen he enlisted in the American army at Carlisle, and participated in a number of the important battles of the revolution. He was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, at Yorktown, Virginia, October 19, 1781. Three of his uncles fell in the battle of Brandywine, September 11, 1777. He settled, some time after the close of that war, in the neighboring county of Butler, when enlisted and elsewhere served in the war of 1812. The gun which he carried is now in the possession of the grandson of Smith Neal. He removed from Butler to this county at the time above-mentioned, and was a resident successively of Wayne and Cowanshannock townships until his death, which occurred August 13, 1863, when he was within three months of being a centenarian.
The James P. Jordan portion of No. 25, viz., 200 acres and 128 perches, was sold for taxes by David Johnston, county treasurer, in June, 1830, to Robert Brown, who conveyed 100 acres to William Morrow, January 26, 1843, for $20, the latter having been first assessed therewith in 1836. Samuel Cassady, Samuel Fleming and Samuel Porter were first assessed with other portions of No. 25 in 1838, and Jacob Linsebigler with 140 acres in 1841.
Tract No. 11, 627 ½ acres, lay next west of No. 25, and south of the Wor and Craig tracts. Isaac and James Simpson were each assessed with 150 acres of it in 1823, the latter afterward with 127 acres. James Craig and Hamlet Totten were jointly assessed with 367 acres of it in 1828. Craig probably settled on it in 1827, and Totten a year or two later. Stewart Fitzgerald was assessed with 327 acres in 1830, James Simpson, Jr., with 65 acres in 1835, and John Morrow with 75 acres in 1834. Three hundred and sixty-one acres and 90 perches of this original tract were sold for taxes to the county commissioners November 19, 1816, who sold the same to James Pinks August 1, 1825, who conveyed the same to Hamlet Totten May 26, 1827, for $150. Gen Potter’s surviving executor and heirs and devisees conveyed that last-mentioned quantity to Elizabeth and Margaret Latimore, August 22, 1834, for the purpose of making up a deficit of two shares of the Potter lands, which had become vested in their father, George Latimore, and which they conveyed to Hamlet Totten December 18, for $350, 151 acres of which he conveyed to John Patterson, of Washington county, Pennsylvania, May 5, 1836, for $750, 46 acres and 26 perches of which the latter conveyed to John McElroy September 1, 1838, for $1,800. John Totten was assessed with some of it for several years, and Sidney Totten with 210 acres from 1837 until 1840, when he removed to the Meason and Cross tract No. 692; Zachariah Knight with 45 acres, first in 1838; James Reed with 100 acres, first in 1838; David Simpson, as chairmaker, in 1838, and wheelwright in 1839; Samuel Smith with 100 acres, first in 1840, though he had purchased earlier; and James Morrow, as a blacksmith, in 1841.
Three hundred and one acres and 45 perches were devised by Gen. Potter to James P. Carothers, including parts of Nos. 11 and 25, to whom Potter’s executors conveyed the same, September 10, 1819, and To whom the patent was granted July 15, 1822. He conveyed 250 acres and 130 perches thereof to James and John Simpson as "tenants in common," September 17, 1822, for $675. James conveyed his interest therein for $1, and John his for $765, to Isaac Simpson, August 12, 1826.
James Simpson Sr., removed in 1807 from Indiana county to that part of tract No. 11 bordering on the southwest part of the Wor tract, where Anthony Gallagher now resides. He died some years since. As late as 1855-6 he said that he was offered, soon after he settled there, as much land as he could see from his residence for a cow, but was unable then to pay that price, for he had not the cow to barter for the land. John Simpson was first assessed as a single man in 1809. Isaac Simpson was born in Fort Lydick, five miles east of Indiana, Pennsylvania, in 1790, and removed to this part of No. 11 in 1822, where he still resides in his two-story brick mansion, and is quite active for one of his advanced age. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, in the army of the Northwest, under Gen. William H. Harrison, and participated in the military operations at Sandusky and Fort Meigs. On this part of No. 11, on the crossroads, is the little town or hamlet of Tottenham, called Centerville on the attest township map, containing eleven dwelling-houses, one cabinetmaker, one carpenter, one sewing-machine agent, and about forty inhabitants. It was laid out by Hamlet Totten in 1859 or 1860.
Briefly digressing from the Pickering & Co. lands, the reader’s attention is diverted for a few moments to the "Simpson" tract, as designated on the map of original tracts, but really consisting of three tracts, for which warrants were granted to Robert Simpson dated, respectively, December 21, 1832, May 29, 1834, and January 22, 1847, aggregating about 268 acre, south of No. 11 and east of No. 176, and on both sides of the purchase line, the patents for which were granted to Simpson, respectively, June 1, 1836, and February 26, 1847, the latter tract adjoining the 91 acres assessed to John Morrow, and for which a warrant was issued to him. Simpson conveyed 193 acres and 127 perches to John Simpson, December 6, 1851, for $1 and his proper and comfortable maintenance during the rest of his life. The writer has been informed that he settled here in 1806, but he presumes he did not until 1814, as his name does not appear on the assessment list until 1815. It is said that he served in the Indian war in and about 1790.
Returning from that digression, the Pickering & Co. tract No. 176, 1057 ½ acres, lay west of "Leeds," "Fidelity," and Bryan No. 672, east of Findley No. 3658, and the McClenechan tract, and north of and bordering on the purchase line. It was a part of the Potter lands which became vested in George Latimore of Philadelphia, to whom the patent was granted February 8, 1812, who, by his will, dated July 15, 1823, devised it to his wife Margaret, and after her death, to his daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret Latimore. The Indian Lick run empties into the Cowanshannock from the north about fifty rods east of its western boundary, and Bell’s Camp run from the south 275 rods east of Indian Lick, which was so-called after an old hunter by the name of Bell, of Westmoreland county, who in early times, for many ears when deer were plenty, established on it his hunting camp, which he occupied during a considerable portion of the winter and left in the spring.
Peter Torney Sr., appears to have been the earliest permanent settler on No. 176, with 200 acres of which he was first assessed in 1823. The Latimore sisters , after their mother’s death, conveyed to him 152 acres, September 18, 1833, for $456. Alexander Foster was first assessed with 150 acres in 1829, to whom Mrs. Latimore conveyed 103 acres and 35 perches September 12, 1831, for $336.37; Peter Torney, Jr., with 74 acres in 1829, to whom she conveyed 73 acres and 83 perches September 2, 1830, for $200.50; Samuel Marshall, with 130 acres, in 1830, Moses Miller, with 130 acres in 1831, to whom she conveyed 60 acres, December 20, for $180; the same year. Christopher Schrecongost, with 62 acres, and Jonathan Yount, with 134 acres, 40 acres besides which he purchased from the sisters Latimore, March 18, 1835, for $122.25, both which, 174 acres, Yount conveyed to Lyle Kerr, April 7, for $2,000; John Stoops, with 150 acres in 1832, to whom his father-in-law, Alexander Foster, Sr., conveyed 128 acres, allotment No. 1, July 26, 1854, for $1,000; Daniel Schrecongost, with 61 acres, in 1835; John T. Patterson, with 196 acres- two parcels- in 1836, to whom widow Latimore conveyed 69 acres and 116 perches, December 22, 1831, for $209, and the sisters Latimore, 82 acres and 76 perches, December 20, 1833, for $227; Samuel Patterson, with 123 acres- two parcels- in 1836, which the sisters Latimore had conveyed to him, January 27, 1835, for $370.50; James and Joseph Reed, each, with 94 acres, in 1838; and John Karn, with 52 acres, in 1842. Glancing at the township map of 1876, the reader will notice on the portion of this original tract east of Rural village and north of the Cowanshannock the location of property belonging to the estate of Rev. William F. Morgan, deceased, and that of the farm of Joseph Ritner Ambrose, late of John Neal, deceased, and south of that stream, between it and the purchase line, the farms of T. W. Stoops, Henry, Jonathan and Resinger Yount, William Carson, and John Torney.
Source: Page(s) 286-309, History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania by Robert Walker Smith, Esq. Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co., 1883.
Transcribed December 1999 by Pamela Clark for the Armstrong County Smith Project.
Contributed by Pamela Clark for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)
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