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 quantity of cornmeal, which, for want of shelter for it, became wet and was spoiled. The nearest points of supply were Pittsburgh and Brownsville. Food was very scarce. They lived for about six 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 much 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 on the ground whereby the deer were traced and captured.
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 tub-mill, about sixty rods from the river, at a short turn on the stream still called Tub-mill run. The forebay was constructed from the trunk of either a gum or sycamore tree, and a pair of small millstones, from material 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, elsewhere mentioned, was erected.
The Indians were numerous and had camps on both sides of the Allegheny river. From 1787 until 1792, they were not troublesome. They had their war-dances where Rosston now is, and occasionally vied with the white settlers in running foot-races.
Soon after the Indians became troublesome and dangerous, Col. Charles Campbell wrote to William Green to remain there ten days longer, and assured him that he would send thither some soldiers. Mrs. Green and the children for safety occupied the fodder house at night, which consisted of a ridge-pole, placed upon two forked stakes which were sunk into the ground, with poles about four feet apart, slanting therefrom in opposite directions to the ground, on which smaller ones were fastened transversely. Bundles of topped corn were placed on the outside, and calves, husks and pumpkins were deposited within. In ten or twelve days thereafter, a body of soldiers arrived and built a log fort about the size of a common blockhouse, and a number of huts around it for soldiers' dormitories, about thirty-five rods above the mouth of Crooked creek, or what is now the Heighley lot, or lot # 22, eight or ten rods below the street extending from the railroad past Christy's store to the river. It was called Fort Green, at least it is so named on the historical map of this state. There were different commandants, one of whom was Capt. Sparks, who is the only one whose name the writer's informant, Samuel Green, of North Buffalo township, a grandson of William Green, remembers to have heard mentioned in connection with the foregoing and following facts respecting these pioneer settlers, and that fort. Both drafted and enlisted men were stationed there. The number of scouts usually sent out together was twelve or fourteen, and the number of spies two. Among the events that occurred, while that fort was occupied, and which Samuel Green remembers to have heard related, is this: Capt. Sparks and William Green discovered, one day, an Indian under a large sugar tree on the opposite side of the river. Having crossed to Bushy Island, afterward called "Cast-off," they shot at him. But the scouts who were sent over to ascertain whether he had been killed could not discover any trace of him. They supposed, from the appearance of the trail, that there were about thirty Indians on the top of the hill further back from the river.
After Harmar's defeat on the 19th and 22d October, 1790, the Indians became more troublesome, aggressive and dangerous, and still more so after St. Clair's defeat November 4, 1791. Before the first of these defeats, early in the year 1790, correspondence respecting the alarming and defenseless condition of the frontier counties of this state-of which Westmoreland was one-was commenced between citizens of these counties and Gov. Mifflin and Gen. Knox, then the United States Secretary of War. The General Assembly, February 23, 1790, having set forth that for many years the Indians had harassed and distressed the inhabitants on these western frontiers, that they were likely to continue to do so unless provisions were made against their future murders and depredations, and that this commonwealth was desirous of procuring the protection and safety of all its citizens, recommended the Supreme Executive Council to apply to the President and Congress of the United States to afford protection to those inhabitants, but which was rescinded within two weeks thereafter, but why does not appear from the published minutes of that body. James Marshall and David Redick, of Washington county, were among the first to call the attention of Gov. Mifflin, by their letters, to the perilous situation of persons and property along these frontiers, of which the territory of Armstrong county was then a part, who transmitted them to President Washington. Some murders were committed on the Allegheny in March 1791, respecting to which Maj. Jonathan Heart, in his letter, May 10, wrote to the Secretary of War, assuring him that they were not committed by the Munsee and Senecas- not by the Indians on the Allegheny, for they in every particular manifested the most sincere attachment to the United States. He intimated that they were committed by Indians living on the Beaver waters, some of whom were friends and relations of the Indians killed by Capt. Brady. Presley Neville and others had fears that the Senecas were really hostile, though professedly friendly.
In those days the intelligence of murders committed by the Indians spread rapidly from settlement to settlement, considering the kind of facilities then enjoyed for transmitting it. On the 29th April 791, William Findley, who resided beyond Greensburgh, wrote to A. J. Dallas, secretary of the commonwealth, that "yesterday morning the Indians attacked the house of James Kilpatrick" (Kirkpatrick) "on Crooked creek" - near the mouth of Plum creek- "and killed two men and broke a child's leg. The people, however, supported the house. There were six militiamen stationed at the house, and nine, I understand, at a house in the neighborhood." That event made a wide and deep impression. David Stewart wrote concerning it, "Sunday, 8th day of May, 1791," to Gov. Mifflin: "I have this day received information which may be depended upon, that a party of Indians known to be Senecas, sometime in the last week of April, killed two men and one child***
at a place known by the name of Crooked creek, near Kittanning Old Town, and within twenty-eight or thirty miles of our frontiers,*** Our settlements are in considerable fear and danger." Andrew Gregg, in his letter to Col. Bryson (16) dated "Penn's Valley, 16th May 1791," wrote: "We have received some tolerably well authenticated accounts of the Indians being on our frontiers. Not many days since they attacked a house on Crooked creek, where a party of seven men had assembled for their mutual defence, and killed two men and one boy in the house. The Indians had one killed on the spot and another appeared badly wounded. Crooked creek, where the above happened, is not more than eighty or ninety miles from my house.*** The people here are a good deal alarmed, and are urging me to do something in the way of preparing for defence."
The Secretary of War, May 9, 1791, informed Gov. Mifflin, in accordance with the latter's request, he had given Col. Clement Biddle, the quartermaster-general of this state, an order on Maj. Craig, at Fort Pitt, for 200 arms and accouterments and a proportionate quantity of ammunition.
Col. Chas. Campbell, at Greensburgh, August 13, wrote to Gov. Mifflin that in consequence of the latter's letter of the 19th of May he had ordered by draft a full company of militia of Westmoreland county to guard the frontiers until the general government would grant them protection; that he had applied to Major John Clark, who had command of the troops in that county, for the discharge of all its militia, but as the latter had not sufficient men to guard so extensive a frontier, he requested Campbell to continue fifty of his men, which he did, having discharged the captain and thirty of his men; those retained served their proper time. When their term had expired Gen. Butler informed Campbell that he intended to withdraw the new levies from their posts, and requested him to protect the frontiers of his own county. He added that he had agreed with the lieutenants of Allegheny, Fayette and Washington counties to furnish for his quota for that purpose seventy-five men, which force he found to be insufficient on account of there being so many of the enemy along the frontiers constantly stealing horses, but doing no other damage. He therefore ordered to their assistance one lieutenant and twenty-five men, and with all of them he found it difficult to keep the frontier inhabitants from breaking up, i.e., fleeing to some other less exposed part of the state. In conclusion, he said he expected the governor would order the expenses to be paid to William Findley, as his character was at stake for the punctual payment of the men and provisions.
Lt. J. Jeffers, Fort Franklin (in what is now Venango county) December 26, 1791, sent a message to the commanding officer at Pittsburgh, or to Maj. J. Irwin of the militia, stating that he had just then "received authentic accounts from the cornplanter that an attack on this garrison will almost immediately take place, for the Indians from below declare that they are determined to reduce this place, and shall shake the Cornplanter by the head and sweep this river from end to end," and he earnestly requested that one subaltern and thirty men, with his men who had been left sick at Pitt should be immediately sent to him as a reinforcement. At the same time he wrote to Eli Williams, the contractor: "I am happy to inform you that the cattle and salt arrived safe; the danger is so great in this country, that I sent soldiers and Indians to escort them. The bearer of these dispatches and one from Col George McCully of the same date, said that a council of hostile Indians was then sitting at Buffalo creek (N.Y.), and that Cornplanter had been summoned to it." The reliability of that information could only be estimated by the then late disasters. These dispatches reached Pittsburgh at 3 P.M. on the 28th of December.
A few days before the reception of these dispatches, the inhabitants of Allegheny, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties drew up a memorial to Gov. Mifflin, dated at Pittsburgh, December 21, presenting the defenseless state of their frontiers, the fearful apprehensions of the people resulting from the defeat of the army under Gen. St. . Clair, requesting arms and ammunition to be furnished, recommending the raising of 800 active partisans under experienced officers and provided with good rifles so as to meet the enemy on equal terms, and to scout and give the alarm when needful, who should be paid in proportion to the price of common labor, which then averaged 50 shillings per month, as the pay allowed to the troops of the United States would not be a sufficient inducement to able-bodied men, possessing the requisite qualifications, and representing that the drafting of men in those counties had been going on all the preceding summer, and in Westmoreland even until the time of their meeting. It was signed on behalf of the last-mentioned county by Charles Campbell, then the lieutenant thereof, and John Young, afterward president judge of the courts in the tenth judicial district of this state.
Such having then been the imminent need of protection to the people and their property along this as well as other parts of the frontiers of Western Pennsylvania, President Washington through the secretary of war, December 26, 1791, communicated to Gov. Mifflin his adoption of the following measures, which were then being put into execution: On the 16th of that month, orders were issued to Maj. Isaac Craig to build a blockhouse at Fort Pitt and surround it with palisades, so as to contain about 100 men, where, viz., at Fort Pitt, a commissioned officer and thirty-four non-commissioned and privates should remain, they being taken from two companies, a part of which had been stationed there from the 20th of October to the 15th of December, when they were under orders to descend the Ohio. On the 26th of December, besides commissioned officers, a detachment of about 120 non-commissioned officers and privates were to march from Philadelphia, a part of whom to be stationed at Fort Pitt, and detachments posted at such other places on the Ohio and up the Allegheny as would be most conducive to the general safety of these parts. Then the lieutenants of Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland counties were to be authorized to call out scouts or patrols not exceeding eight for each county, who were to be the best of hunters or woodsmen, and to be allowed, as an inducement to render such service, the high pay of five-sixths of a dollar a day, which was equal to the amount paid for that kind of service on the frontiers of Virginia. On the 29th of December, the secretary of war issued this circular to the lieutenants of those three counties, informing that the above-mentioned detachment of recruits for the regular army had marched for Fort Pitt, who were to be posted so as best to conduce to the safety of the inhabitants, reiterating what had been communicated to Gov. Mifflin as to the kind of men that should be selected for scouts and the high pay they should receive, and directing how they should be mustered into and out of the service.
The president having directed the secretary of war to consider the above-mentioned memorial of December 21, the latter reported, January 1, 1792, that it was unfortunate that the United States had no general militia law, and as the frontiers required immediate protection, no other expedient presented itself except requesting the executives of the states that had exposed counties to call out such numbers of militia as would afford the necessary air. He suggested that, as the militia were to be called out for the general defense and to be paid out of the general or national funds, they should be called for six months, unless sooner discharged. The general assembly of Pennsylvania, in order to make some effectual provision in aid of the measures of the federal government for the protection of the frontiers, passed an act, January, 1792, authorizing the governor to engage for six months, unless sooner discharged, a number of active and experienced riflemen, not exceeding 228 non-commissioned officers and privates, who were to be stationed at such places and in such proportions as should be in his judgement be best calculated to defend these frontiers. He was required to organize the men thus engaged into three companies, over which he might, if necessary, appoint and commission one major, and one captain, one lieutenant, one ensign, four sergeants, four corporals and two musicians for each company to consist of sixty-six privates. The pay of the commissioned officers was the same as that of like officers in the service of the United States, and that of the non-commissioned officers and privates, with the bounty added, was equal to 60 shillings per month to each sergeant, 55 shillings to each corporal, and 50 shillings to each musician and private. The sum of 4,500 pounds was appropriated for rendering that act operative.
The circular letter of Gov. Mifflin, January 20, 1792, to the lieutenants of Allegheny, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties, advised them among other things, that those three companies, when filled, should be stationed thus: The first one in the southwest corner of Washington, now Greene county, and range thence to the Ohio; the second one at the mouth of Great Beaver, and range thence by the heads of Pine Creek to Fort Crawford; the third one at the Kittanning, and range thence up and down the Allegheny river.
Maj. George McCully was appointed commandant of the corps. To Col. Clement Biddle, who was then quartermaster-general for the state, were assigned the inspection and management of hte same. John Wilkins, Jr., was the contractor of rations. The commissioned officers of the first company were: Captain--James Paul, Fayette county; lieutenant--Henry Enochs (17), Washington county; ensign--Jeremiah Long, Washington county; ensign--Jeremiah Long, Washington county. Those of the second company: Captain-- Samuel Smith, Washington county; lieutenant--Daniel Hamilton, (18) Washington county; ensign-- William Jones, Allegheny county. Those of the third company: Captain--John Guthrie, Westmoreland county; lieutenant-- William Cooper, Westmoreland county; ensign--Samuel Murphy, Westmoreland county.
The estimate of the money required for the then immediate purpose of raising and equipping the troops under the command of Maj. George McCully, as made by Q.M.G. Clement Biddle, which included one month's pay, rifles, powder, lead, etc., was 2,700 pounds, for which Gov. Mifflin, February 8, 1792, directed a warrant to be drawn.
The stationing of these companies at the above-mentioned points covered the frontiers of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties quite effectually, but left a considerable gap open in the northwesterly part of Washington county, as David Redick demonstrated by his pen and ink sketch or map of the river and region on that side of the last-mentioned county, which accompanied his letter of February 13, 1792, to Gov. Mifflin, in which letter he stated that he had been informed that many of the riflemen of that county had declined entering into the six months' service for that reason. Said they, "Why will we go into a service which appears to be calculated for the protection of Allegheny county, whilst our own friends and families will continue exposed?" A meeting of the inhabitants living on the Ohio, at and near Holliday's cove, held on Saturday, February 4, took a similar view of their situation, and resolved, among other things, that the drafting of the frontier inhabitants to serve on militia duty in any other part of the county, except where they resided, was unjust, oppressive and impolitic. They bound themselves to keep respectively, in good order, at least one gun, and to have always in readiness a sufficient quantity of ammunition to be prepared at a minute's warning to repulse any attack which might be made on the frontier inhabited by them. Maj. McCully was satisfied from the survey shown him by David Redick that there was "a frontier of forty miles on the southwest of that county, exclusive of ninety miles from Yallow creek to Kittanion, on the Ohio and Allegheny," and intimated to Gov. Mifflin, two days before the meeting at Holliday's cove, that if the Governor would order one company of militia to be drafted for that uncovered part of the frontier, he would dispose of his three companies on the river, hoping to give a good account. He wrote to the quartermaster-general from Greensburgh, March 31, that Capt. Paul, with a beautiful company, had marched from Pittsburgh on Wednesday, the 28th to cover that southwestern frontier.
McCully wrote to Biddle, March 11, that on the arrival of several articles which the latter had ordered to be forwarded, he would "send detachments to fixed posts."
Such was the exposure of the white settlers to hostile attacks from the Indians along the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, from above Kittanning to Yellow creek, when the site of Fort Green was selected as one of those "fixed posts," whither it is probable "ensign Murphy marched, on Thursday, 29th, with twenty-eight men of Capt. Guthrie's company, completely armed, to join some who had been sent out before to cover the frontiers of Westmoreland county," as Maj. McCully wrote from Greensburgh on the 31st, adding that he was then on his way to those frontiers, and that he should order Capt. Guthrie out with the rest of his company with all possible haste. In his letter to the secretary of hte commonwealth, April 6, regretting the non-arrival of any part of his and the companies' camp equipage, a portion of the rifles, which prevented him establishing posts on the frontier of Allegheny county, which would otherwise have been done, he stated that the three companies needed but six privates to complete the whole two companies, and that he had posted the one on the frontier of Allegheny county, and the other on the frontier of Westmoreland county, though not completely armed and equipped. The latter probably remained at Fort Green several weeks, and then the principal portion of it was stationed several miles below; for Col. Charles Campbell, from Black Lick, his residence in what he is now Indiana county, May 28, wrote to Gov. Mifflin, that on the 22d the Indians attacked Lieut. William Cooper's station, near the mouth of the Kiskiminetas, and killed one man and wounded another, and that Maj. McCully had taken all his men away from Green's and Reed's stations, except a few to keep up Green's. He suggested that as Smith's and Guthrie's companies were to be stationed at the mouth of the Puckety--Fort Crawford--he would have to give up the settlements near these stations, or, as requested by McCully, send the militia thither. He insisted that both of these stations should be supplied or manned by continental troops, as it was distressing to call on the militia of the one county to guard so extensive a frontier, to stand as a barrier to the interior, but that, if a sufficient number of men were not kept out, those settlements would break up, as they could not support themselves without raising some crops. In a postscript he stated that he had just received a dispatch by express, that 100 Indians had crossed the Allegheny river, and fifty others had been seen the day before in the inhabited parts, and one man had been killed. William Findley, in his letter June 1, to Secretary Dallas, after relating that the attack at Reed's station, stated that the alarm caused by it spread rapidly. The Indians heralded their approach by burning some of the houses which they first reached. There were only about forty of them, but they created so great a panic that the people fled before them. They went out in squads of from five to seven, keeping nearly the course of the Kiskaminetas. They did not seem to be so anxious to kill as to plunder. Their eager desire to capture horses seemed to divert their attention from shedding blood. A scout pursued one of these squads up the north side of the Kiskaminetas to the mouth of Black Leg's creek and down to the Allegheny, but could not get a shot at them, on account of the unfavorable character of the ground, but succeeded in recapturing ten horses. The scarcity of arms among the whites was a distressing circumstance. Thus voluntary exertions were prevented and many families were compelled to flee. The white settlers had become so confident that the Indians would not wage war again and the need of money was so imminent, to repair their desolated homes, that they had sold their guns to the people going down the river. On the 18th he wrote that Col. John Pomeroy, one of the best and most trustworthy officers on this side of the mountains, was then out with six companies of militia.
In his letter of the 18th he stated that the neglect and disobedience of the officers and scouting parties along the Allegheny river had obliged Maj. McCully to keep two companies -- mentioned by Col. Campbell--embodied at one station where he could enforce the execution of his own orders; that the small scouting parties, sent out by Capt. Guthrie, never went the length of their appointed tours; Cooper did not sent out any scouts; and there was excessive drunkenness.
The secretary go war, July 11, informed Gov. Mifflin that the troops of the United States, in considerable numbers, would soon arrive on the frontiers of this state, and that a sufficient portion of them would remain there until the effect of certain pacific overtures to the Indians should be known. In that condition of affairs, and as the time for which the state troops were raised would soon expire, he asked whether it would be compatible with the views and arrangements of his excellency to permit the continental officers, recruiting in this state, to endeavor to enlist such non-commissioned officers and privates of those companies as would be inclined thereto.
Whereupon A. J. Dallas, secretary of this commonwealth, presuming that the proposals in the communication of the secretary of war were satisfactory to Gov. Mifflin, proposed:
That instructions should be transmitted to the lieutenants of the exposed counties, that they should keep up the same number of spies, drafted from the militia, that had been authorized to be employed before the organization in the appropriations of the 1791-2 should be used for bounties to engage the best woodsmen in that service; that the spies should be engaged to commence their services at the expiration of the term of service of these companies; that so much of the arms and ammunition of those companies as were necessary should be supplied to the spies, and the rest given into the custody of the county lieutenants; that it should be stipulated that the spies should be in constant motion on the exposed parts of the frontiers, and keep up a constant communication with the federal camp on the upper part of the Ohio and at Fort Franklin, giving all the information possible; and that a copy of these instructions should be sent to Maj. McCully, inclosed in a letter of thanks to him and his corps. He deemed it imprudent to enter into that arrangement of suggest it to the officers for some time, because a delay of two or three weeks might obviate its necessity, either by the receipt of the news of peace, or some unexpected and untoward event might render a more powerful exertion unavoidable.
John Wilkins, Jr., December 21, informed the quartermaster-general that he had advertised in the Pittsburgh Gazette that he would be at Washington on the 4th, at Uniontown on the 7th, and at Denniston's mill on the 17th of January, 1793, to pay the officers and men of the six months state militia. Captain Guthrie's company was of course paid off at the last-mentioned place.
Col. Charles Campbell, from Black Lick, February 27, wrote to Gov. Mifflin that although there had not been any damage done for some time, the people on the frontiers of his county were apprehensive that they would receive a stroke from the Indians in the spring, as the winter had been very open and clear of snow. In the same letter he stated that there were then about thirty of the continental soldiers stationed "at the Cattannian" and at Coe's station. The latter on the west side of the Allegheny river, about a mile below a point opposite Fort Crawford, or the mouth of Poketas. The former must have been Green's, as it was called "the Kittanning" for several miles along the river above Crooked creek. Kittanning was pronounced and spelled variously in these times by those who knew not its correct orthography and orthoepy. That station became and was called a fort-Fort Green-on being occupied by United States troops.
The secretary of war informed Gov. Mifflin, September 3, 1793, that information had that day been received that, notwithstanding the utmost efforts of the commissioners, the pacific overtures to the Indians north of the Ohio had been rendered abortive by their insisting upon the Ohio as the boundary. The majority of the Indians of various tribes determined on war, notwithstanding Capt. Brandt and his Mohawks, who were among them, strongly urged the hostile ones to make peace with the United States. Gen. Knox thought the sword only, under the circumstances, could afford ample protection to the frontiers, and although it was believed that the militia collected on the frontiers and the scouts, under the governor's orders, were sufficient for their defense, he deemed it proper to caution the people immediately that every measure necessary to guard against surprise should be adopted.
A few weeks later an Indian runner, sent by Cornplanter, raised an alarm by informing the people that a party of Indians was about to attack some part of the frontiers, which caused Col. Campbell and others at a meeting, held in reference thereto, to recommend
that a company should be raised and stationed on the frontiers. Gen. William Jack wrote the governor from Greensburgh, November 19, that he had consulted with Gen. John Gibson, several militia officers and "respectable characters of this county," and he and they were of the opinion that there was reasonable cause for continuing in service the additional company under Capt. Murray, which had for some time been stationed on the Westmoreland frontier. Gov. Mifflin, February 29, 1794, requested the secretary of war to loan four brass nine-pounders to be used in defense of the frontiers. An act of assembly was passed the same day providing for that defense, and on the 1st of March the governor issued his circulars to the lieutenants and ensigns of the three defensive companies, who were therein directed to apply immediately to their respective captains for instructions to raise their respective complements of non-commissioned officers and men. One of them was directed to Samuel Murphey, lieutenant, Allegheny county; James Patterson, ensign, Allegheny county, and Stephen McHuffy, ensign, Westmoreland county.
The secretary of war, May 19, transmitted to Gov. Mifflin the act of congress directing a detachment from the militia of the United States, and stated that in pursuance thereof the president desired the governor to take effectual measures as soon as might be to organize, arm and equip according to law, and hold in readiness to march at a moment's warning, 10,768 of the militia of Pennsylvania, including the officers, who were to be either the militia officers or others at the option of the constitutional authority of this state, and organization of the corps or detachment was to be conformable to the act of congress, May 8, 1792, which provided for establishing a uniform militia throughout the United States.
At that time, the present territory of Armstrong county lay partly in Allegheny, Northumberland and Westmoreland counties. It appears, from the roll designating the several brigades which were to constitute that detachment, that the quota of Allegheny county was 297; of Northumberland county, 456, and of Westmoreland county, 410. Brig.-Gen. Wilkins was assigned to the command of the brigade, which consisted of the quotas from Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.
Military discipline must have been very lax, for John Adlum wrote to Gov. Mifflin from Fort Franklin, August 31, 1794:
"The posts along the Allegheny river kept by the eight-months' men are a burlesque on the military art, at least those of them that I have seen, for the officers and men are generally jack fellows alike, and I have passed them when the men have been lolling about without either guard or sentry, and , from inquiry, find it to be too generally the case, and I am certain they might be surprised any day of night by an inferior number."
Wolves, bears and deer were numerous. Samuel Gray, 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.
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, probably in 1807, as he is first assessed in Kittanning township in 1808. He and his family occupied for awhile one of the cabins near Fort Green. In the course of a few years he built the stone house now owned and occupied by his son, Washington Ross, which was the first one of that material erected in this region, and probably one of the first within the present limits of that part of this county which is on the east side of the Allegheny river, except the one in Kittanning borough. He was then (1808) assessed with 100 acres, valued at $4 per acre. He was first assessed with a gristmill and sawmill in 1820, so that they were probably erected in 1819. They were situated on the right bank of Crooked creek, about 200 rods above its mouth, having been since known as "Ross' mills." In the former were runs of stone. Grists were brought to it at times from the 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.
The island opposite the mouth of Crooked creek became the property of William Green by virtue of his "improvement right." His application therefor in writing to the secretary of the land office is dated March 17, 1807, and an order was issued the same day to James Sloan, James Matthews and James McCormick to appraise it. Green conveyed it to Ross, February 18, 1808, for $100. The quantity of land in it, as specified in the deed, was 21 acres and 59 perches. The latter conveyed it to his son Washington, March 17, 1848, containing, as specified in the deed, 38 acres and 6 perches, showing its quantity, as ascertained by a later and more accurate survey, to be 16 acres and 107 perches greater that that ascertained by a later and more accurate survey, to be 16 acres and 107 perches greater that that ascertained by a later and more accurate survey. It is assessed this year (1876) as containing 30 acres, at $40 per acre. The diminution of its quantity has probably been caused by the floods and freshets that have occurred in the Allegheny river during the last quarter of a century.
Crooked creek was declared to be a public highway from its mouth to Jacob Frantz's mill, by act of March 19, 1816.
The small island next above the last-mentioned one contains about seven acres, and is called "Cast-Off" in the records, probably because it has been separated from the other. It formerly belonged to the estate of Samuel Cochran. By the act of March 9, 1847, for the settlement of that estate, P. Fraizer Smith, the present reporter of the cases in the supreme court of this state, was appointed trustee for that purpose. He conveyed this island to Patrick Black, December 14, 1854, for $75, that being the highest and best price bidden for it, who conveyed the undivided half part of it, April 11, 1861, to Simon Truby, Jr., for $200, who conveyed two-thirds of that undivided half to J. B. Finley and Thos. McConnell, on the 15th of the month, for $133.34, showing an appreciation in value of that one-half part of 166 6/10 per cent in a little over six years. The last-named purchasers and Darwin Phelps conveyed the entire island, November 9, 1863 to George C. King for $225.
The other original tracts which and parts of which were within what are now the limits of Manor township, were: The Samuel Findley tract, 202 3/4 acres, seated by Mitchell Ritchards, and adjoined the southeastern part of the Manor, the survey of which was made June 2, 1770, by order dated April 3, 1769, a part of which now belongs to the estate of John Williams, deceased; the Thomas Burd tract, 180 acres, seated by Samuel Simmeral; the John Roberts tract, called "Robertsburgh," 237 � acres, partly in Kittanning township seated by John Hartman; the Clement Biddle tract, called "Biddleburgh," 317 acres, seated by James Kilgore and Joshua Spencer; the John Biddle tract, called "Biddleton," 319.5 acres, became vested in Jonathan Paul, of New Castle, Delaware, who conveyed it to Thomas Newlin, May 2, 1808, for $620; the Simon Herman tract, 295 acres, partly in Kittanning township, seated by Jacob Wolf; the Peter Ehinger tract, 400 acres, partly in Kittanning township, seated by himself; the William Betts, Sr., tract, 401 acres, seated by John Howser; the William Betts, Jr., tract, 378 � acres, seated by Henry Hartman; the Alexander Hunter tract, called "Mahogany," seated by Jacob Hileman; the John Smith tract, called "Maria's Choice," "situate on the Kittanning path," 411 1/4 acres, partly in Kittanning township, seated by Joseph and Tobias Stiveson; the Michael Mechling tract, called "Mechlingburgh," 105 acres and 59 perches, seated by Jacob Wilyard; the John Gray tract, 280 acres, seated by Jacob Wilyard; the Rebecca Smith tract, 390.0 acres, seated by Thomas McMasters; the James Glentworth tract, called "Glentworth Park," 415 acres, seated by David McKelvy; and the Robert Davidson tract, 430.9 acres, seated by James Dougherty and John Truby.
"Glentworth Park" is skirted by the Allegheny river from the southwestern corner of "Victory" to the northwestern corner of "Rebecca's Hope", or the Rebecca Smith tract, and from which there is an extended view of the beautiful scenery up and down and on both sides of the river. To show the advance in the value of the land in the northern part of Manor township in the lapse of thirty or forty years, the transfers of "Glentworth Park" and the Robert Davidson tract are given. The warrant for the former is dated September 13, 1784. Glentworth conveyed his interest therein January 7, 1788, to John Ashley, the consideration expressed in the deed being $1. Ashley conveyed this tract to Thomas Skelly April 29, 1808, for $605, and the latter to Mrs. Rebecca McKelvy, wife of David McKelvy, "by and with the consent and approbation of her said husband," the undivided one-half part thereof, December 8, 1808, for $310.45, and the residue to David McKelvy, August 10, 1818 for $415, aggregating $725.45. The Robert Davidson tract, adjoining it partly on the north was purchased by the late Judge Buffington from the heirs of Robert Davidson in 1846-7, for $2,170.
The Rebecca Smith tract lay between "Glentworth Park" on the north, "Mahogany" on the east, the manor on the south, and the Allegheny river of the west. The mouth of Garrett's run is near its northwestern corner. One branch of this run rises on that part of the John Schenck tract now owned by Peter Heilman, in Kittanning township. It was probably named after Garrett Pendergrass, who established a trading post near its mouth, about where Patterson's store now is, prior to 1800, with whom Jacob Waltenbough occasionally traded. His stock consisted chiefly of dry goods, which he sold to the whites, and traded with the Indians for skins. He must have left there before 1805, as his name does not appear on the assessment list of Allegheny township for that year, or afterward on that of Kittanning township. The Pullen path, which it is said the Indians traveled when they went east to commit depredations, extended from this point eastward to where it intersected the Kittanning or Ohio path, on the John Schenck tract. Its route, in part, was probably past the front of George Bovard & Sons' store, and thence over the hill a little north of his dwellinghouse, for Alexander Cunningham and William McKelvy found a line of trees along there, which appear to have been blazed by the Indians many years before they cleared the land there, some forty years ago. In the trunk of one of the trees, which they cut down, was a bullet, between which and the surface the concentric circles indicated that it must have been there eighty or more years. When George Bovard took possession of that part of "Rebecca's Hope," in 1853-4, there were on it three or four circular mounds, ten or twelve feet in diameter, and five or six feet high, and about ten feet apart, made of the sandstone which was abundant near them. The warrant for this tract is dated September 13, 1784. Rebecca Smith became Rebecca Bakewell, and this entire tract continued in the ownership of William G. Bakewell and others of her descendants, until they conveyed it to Robert Speer, January 10, 1846, for $1,173, who has since then, at divers times since 1853, sold about two hundred and forty-five acres in twenty different parcels, varying in quantity from about the sixteenth of an acre to one hundred and thirty-seven acres, for 48,210.71. It was formerly thought that a vein of lead existed within what is now the territory of this township; such an idea has crept into Gordon's "Gazetteer" of this state. The supposition used to be somewhat prevalent that there were veins of silver in this western region. As late as December 20, 1866, Speer made the special reservation in his deed to Rev. J. N. Dick for the 13 acres and 121 perches in the northwestern part of "Rebecca's Hope" to search for ten years in the ravine, on the east side of the tract thereby conveyed, "for gold, silver and lead, and, if found, to mine the same." It does not appear that the geological and mineralogical features indicate the existence of any one of these metals in its native state as a natural product anywhere in this county. If pieces of either ore were ever found here, they were probably brought from the west by the Indians and lost.
Among the white settlers near the mouth of Garrett's run, in the latter part of the last and the early part of the present century, was James Henry. Jeremiah Lochery, a singular and somewhat noted character in those times, lived with him. Lochery was reputed to have accompanied Gen. Armstrong in his expedition to Kittanning, and to have been wounded in one of Capt. Sam Brady's raids. Sherman Day learned, more that thirty years ago, from those who knew Lochery, that "he had no family, and wandered from house to house, staying all night with people and repaying their hospitality with anecdotes of his adventures," a knowledge of which has not come down, so far as the present writer is informed, to any of the present generation. Peter Ehinger, with his family, removed from the west side of the river to this side of it and resided, for several years, a few rods above the mouth of Garrett's run, and removed thence to the tract warranted in his name, a part of which is now occupied by his son James.
The original tracts outside of the manor appear to have been unoccupied for many years after they were surveyed, except by 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 between the Armstrong and the Glentworth tracts, 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. The writer had his account book, less a few of its first pages, which have been torn out. 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 Dougherty 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 parties, 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 of cherry boards, 1 pound 10s 6d; 400 feet walnut boards, 16s; 700 feet poplar boards 2 pounds 5s 6d. The price of liquors, probably whisky, 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 the same for one horse. That book shows that some who habitually crossed the river there did not pay their ferriage instanter, for it contains charges therefor against various persons, some of which are quite numerous and extend through the years 1800-1-2, but which appear to have been from time to time adjusted. The names of the persons thus charged are of interest in this connection as showing some of the then residents in the vicinity of that ferry and on both sides of the river. They are: Frederick Monroe, Thomas Williams, Levi Hill, Hamilton Kilgore, William Broch, Samuel Kelly, Jonathan Mason, Andrew McQuirn, Sebastian Wolf, Samuel Sunerall, Archibald Moore, James Hall, Malfus Sisrot.
In 1812 Patrick Daugherty enlisted in Capt. James Alexander's company, accompanied to Black Rock, and died the next year of fever contracted in the service.
A part of the Davison tract was occupied several years after 1826 by James, son of Patrick Daugherty. In 1839 David Crytzer was assessed with 430 acres of the last-mentioned tract; William McKelvy with 200 acres, and James McKelvy with 100 acres of the Glentworth tract; Robert Speer with 200 acres of the Robert Smith tract; James Lowther with 285 acres of the John Gray tract; John Richard with 80, and John Lopeman with 25 acres, of the Michael Mechling tract; Jacob Hileman with 307 acres, Caskey with 50 and George Olinger with 50 acres of the Alexander Hunter tract; Charles Rupert with 00, George Smeltzer with 150, and Philip Houser with 50 acres of the Wm. Betts, Sr., tract; Jacob Wolf with 295 acres of the Simon Hermon tract; John Hustman with 336 acres of the John Roberts tract; John Cunningham with 240, Wm. Harman with 83, and John Wolf with 73 acres of the John Biddle tract; Michael Isaman with 169, Solomon King with 143, and Joshua Spencer with 100 acres of the Clement Biddle tract; and Samuel Simmerall with ---- acres of, probably, the Thos. Burd tract, which was surveyed to George Beck, who conveyed it to Jacob Beck, who conveyed it to Jacob Beck, to whom the commonwealth granted a patent, March 27, 1837, who on April 3, conveyed it to James C. Kerr, as containing 180 acres, for $2,000. He conveyed it to Robert Walker (of A), who devised it to his son Alexander, the present owner and occupant. Jonathan Mason was assessed with 225 acres from 1804 till 1816.
The reader who is familiar with the topography of this township can readily recognize the respective locations of the above-mentioned tracts, by beginning at the Davison tract and tracing them in order in which they are named southerly to Crooked creek. On the draft of the original survey of the Manor tract, the land adjoining the line from it's northeast corner, which is on the tract now occupied by Rev. A.S. Miller, south 18 degrees west 977 perches to a pint about 200 rods nearly west of the present residence of Mrs. M. Lease, including the southern part of the Hunter, the whole of the two Betts and John Biddle tracts, and part of the Clement Biddle tract, is designated as "hilly poor land," from which designation, thus made by the then deputy surveyor-general of Cumberland county, the present owners, it is presumed, emphatically dissent, so far as it includes the qualifying word "poor." Its hilliness is patent, but the soil is generally too productive to be called poor, while the scenery visible from several points is grand, variegated and picturesque.
Among the early settlers in the southeastern part of this township was Joshua Spencer, Sr., who settled on the Clement Biddle tract whose early biography is not without interest, from the fact of his having been a captive in his boyhood. He was about twelve years old at the beginning of the revolutionary war. While he and another person were thrashing in a barn where he then lived in the Susquehanna country, in the fall of 1776, five Indians rapidly entered the barn. Their moccasins being slippery, they fell, but instantly arose, captured Spencer and his companion, and with the aid of three other Indians who remained outside, took the captives to the Indian country, where they were compelled to run the gauntlet, which Spencer did without injury, but the other was badly hurt and covered with blood. When Spencer had finished an Indian came up to him, called him "a d--d Yankee," and knocked him down. Having been adopted by the tribe, a squaw was selected for his wife. One day an Indian having suddenly raised his head from stooping over the fire, in the cabin where Spencer was, struck it against the front of the chimney over the fireplace, and was so provoked by being thus hurt that he seized a butcher-knife with which he chased Spencer to the end of the cabin, where he suddenly stopped and left him unharmed. He was adopted in place of an Indian boy that had died. The men wanted to kill him, but the squaws saved him. He planned his escape thus: While out fishing, daily, he marked his time by the shadow of a tree, so that he knew how much longer he remained away from his Indian quarters one day after another. He escaped on one of these days to the British, surrendered himself as a prisoner of war, was taken to Canada, transferred thence to Prisoner's island, in Lake Erie. Either there or in Canada he and Lieutenant Samuel Murphy, afterward of Murphy's bend were fellowprisoners. At the close of the Revolutionary war he was exchanged. He then returned to his old home in the Susquehanna country, where he married, emigrated in 1799 to what is now Burrell township, in this county, and afterward removed to the Clement Biddle tract, in Manor township, where he died about 1844.
Source: Page(s) 310-345, History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania by Robert Walker Smith, Esq. Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co., 1883.
Transcribed January 1999 by Donna Mohney for the Armstrong County Smith Project.
Contributed by onna Mohney for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)
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