The first schoolhouse within what are now the limits of this township was a primitive log structure, which, according to a rather ancient draft of that portion of the manor tract purchased by Jonathan Smith, was located a few rods north of the present site of the Appleby Manor Presbyterian church, on the Duncan purpart of the manor tract, very near the line between it and the Cobeau purpart on the right hand side of the Kittanning and Leechburgh road, facing to the north. It was probably erected, as early as, perhaps earlier than, 1802, and was for years the only one within a circuit of several miles, to which the children of this then sparsely settled region resorted for instruction. The first teacher in it was probably Harrison Cook; the next ------ Conkling, who was succeeded, several years afterward, by one whom his pupils rather ungraciously called "the old girl."
He taught there in 1811-12. Hugh Campbell was one of his pupils and the only one of those who attended that school, so far as the writer has learned, now living. He had previously taught elsewhere in this county, His names was pronounced as if it were spelled Girl or Gurl, neither of which is correct. His name in full is Edward Gorrell. The orthoepy was faulty, as much so as in our own times is the construction of Horrell into Hurl or Hirl. His name appears for the first time on the assessment list of Allegheny township in 1811; in 1813 he was assessed with twelve acres of land. In 1814 the assessor wrote his name as "Gurral." He may have been a kinsman of Lt. Gorrell, who commanded the English garrison at Green Bay, in the summer of 1763, when the great Pontiac's mighty conspiracy was raging, and which, through the tact and good conduct of its commandment, was the only forest garrison that was not then overpowered. Perhaps some of that name in and about Pittsburgh are descendants or other kindred of that early teacher in the manor.
These were considered, so far as the writer can learn, good teachers in those times; they were good penmen, and taught thoroughly the few branches then embraced in the course of study in those early schools. Gorrell's pupils say he wrote a very fine, neat and beautiful hand.
That primitive temple of knowledge, in the course of several years, was abandoned and another log one was erected about sixty rods southwest of it, on the opposite side of the last-mentioned road, which continued in use after the adoption of the common school system until 1866, when a frame one was erected, about forty rods east of it, a few rods below the church, which is still used for school purposes.
In 1860 the number of schools was 7; average number months taught, 4; male teachers, 7; average monthly salaries, $20; male scholars, 179; female scholars, 143; average number attending school, 191; cost of teaching each per month, 46 cents; amount levied for school purposes, $646.82; amount received from state appropriation, $87.51; amount received from collectors, $317.01; cost of instruction, $560; fuel and contingencies, $31; repairs, etc.,$11.
In 1876 the number of schools was 9; average number months taught, 54; male teachers, 2; female teachers, 7; average salaries per month of male teachers, $32; average salaries per month of female teachers, $33.29; male scholars, 247; female scholars, 202; average number attending school, 283; cost per month, 65 cents; total amount tax levied for school and building purposes, $2,380.68; received from state appropriation, $298.53; from taxes and other sources, $2792. 75; cost of schoolhouses, viz., purchasing, renting, etc., $996.20; teachers' wages, $1320; fuel and contingencies, $588.16.
The proprietor of this factory for the manufacture of grain-cradles, Thomas Montgomery, commenced the business in his twelfth year on a very limited scale, and with a very meager stock of tools. In the manufacture of his first cradle he used an old drawing knife, a shingle nail, ground sharp for a chisel, a fire-poker for a bit or boring tool, and a condemned cradling scythe, which he procured from his brother. His first cradle, thus made, was used for several years. It won a somewhat extensive reputation, which induced several of his neighbors to apply to him to make cradles for them. He did so, they finding the scythes and trimmings, and he finding the wood. They demand for his cradles increased to such an extent that the boy began to regard himself as a manufacturer. He collected about $25, with which he purchased, at Pittsburgh, one and an half dozen scythes, a brace, three bits, three chisels of different sizes. He also purchased on credit an additional dozen and a half of scythes from P. H. Laufman, who insisted on his thus taking them, and which he used in making thirty-six cradles, which were readily sold. The next year he made 160 cradles - all by hand. He thus continued to manufacture on a small scale until his father moved from the Manor to near Cochran's mills, where he made them about four years-during the latter part of that period at the rate of 350 annually. He removed thence to near the junction of the Anderson Creek road and the Clearfield turnpike, in what is now Valley township, where for nine years, he annually made nearly 600. Thence he removed to Manor township, where- except two years during the war, on that portion of the lower tract taken by Thomas Duncan and purchased by Moses Patterson- in connection with his agricultural pursuits, he had continued to manufacture them at the rate of 450 to 600 each year. He had from first to last made and sold 18,000 cradles, and still continues to make them.
The vote, February 28, 1873, for granting a license to sell liquors, 34; against it, 85.
The Ross' Mill postoffice was established June 16, 1843, George Ross, postmaster. The only one now within the limits of this township is the one at Rosston. It was established June 5, 1858. The first postmaster was Thomas McConnell; the present on is John C. Christy.
According to the census there were, in 1850, white, 754, and colored inhabitants, 11; in 1860, white, 1210; in 1870, native, 1,013, foreign, 58. There has been a considerable accession of colored persons, employes and their families, at the quarry, since the taking of the last census. The present number of taxables is 426, making the present population 1,967, exclusive of Manorville, whose population was included in that of the township in 1850 and 1860.
is a town or village on the Ross tract, extending from the mouth of Crooked creek up along the left bank of the Allegheny river, on its west side, and the Allegheny Valley Railroad on its east side. It was surveyed and laid out into thirty lots for Washington Ross-hence its name- by James Stewart, September 18, 1854. Its shape, by reason of the curvature of the railroad and the bend in the river, is nearly lanceolate. Lot. No. 30, the one between the southmost street and the mouth of the creek, contains 1 acre and 70 perches. The width of the east ends of each of lots Nos. 1, 2 and 3, fronting on Railroad street, is 66 feet and 10 inches, and that of the eastern ends of all the rest, except No. 19, is 66 feet. The width of the western ends of lots Nos. 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 is 66 feet each; of lots Nos. 12, 13 and 19, 68 feet each, and that of the west end of No. 11 and east end of No. 19 is 65 feet. Their lengths vary, the greatest being 277, and the least 100 feet. The plan of this town shows four streets and two alleys to have been laid out. Water street is 40 feet wide, and extends along the river, between two unnamed streets, which intersect it, north 44 degrees east 672 feet. Railroad street extends from the southmost street north 50 degrees east 332 feet to an alley, thence north 44 degrees east 342 feet to the northmost street, and thence north 34 3/4 degrees east to the upper extremity of the plot. The two alleys are each 12 feet wide, and cross each other at right angles nearly midway between the northmost and southmost streets. At the upper extremity of the plot is a parcel of ground that was not laid out in lots, containing 100 square perches, which Anthony Kealer purchased for an acre more or less for $100, by deed dated March 3, 1863.
On lot No. 22, fronting on Water street, which is the third lot below the northmost street, that is, the street extending from the railroad station west to Water street, now known as the Heigley lot, was the site of Fort Green, elsewhere mentioned. Some of its outworks extended back on to lot No. 9. The first sales of lots appear from the records to have been made November 25, 1854, to John Isamon, No. 1 for $106; to Jacob Isamon, Nos. 3, 27 and 28 for $281, averaging $93.66 for each.
A steam sawmill was erected by Messrs. Washington Ross and George Householder on lot No. 30, which cost $3,000. Ross purchased Householder's interest in the mill, and afterward, September 23, 1859, sold it and that lot to Andrew J. Faulk for $4,500. Faulk reconveyed the same to Ross, April 1, 1861, for $4,000, who conveyed the same, April 8, 1867, to William T. and George Reiter for $6,300, from whom it was subsequently passed by public sale to Elisha Robinson, Jr. For the first three years its capacity was such as to enable the proprietors to saw 3,000 feet a day. Afterward, by the introduction of the muley saw, the capacity was increased to 10,000 feet a day. The Allegheny Valley Railroad afforded an extensive market of the stuff sawed until the completion of the Bennett's branch or Low Grade division. A large quantity of the lumber sawed here was also used in the construction of boats or barges, which was carried on at Rosston for several years. The number of employes in the mill, which was run by steam, and the boatyard was from fifteen to twenty.
Other lots were sold at various times for different prices. For instance, lot No. 22, the site of Fort Green, was conveyed to Emmanuel Heigley for $51, and Nos. 15 and 16 to Jacob Spencer for $100, both on February 6, 1858. Lots Nos. 2, 4, 6, 7, 8 were conveyed to Andrew J. Faulk, afterward governor of Dakota territory, November 25, 1859, for $420, averaging $84 each. At a later period, February 16, 1863, Nos. 13 and 14 were conveyed to George C. King for $90. There have been several transfers of lots Nos. 9 and 10, from Ross to George Bovard, July 29, 1856, who soon afterward conveyed to Joseph L. Reed, and in which Thomas McConnell acquired an interest, which he released to Reed, who conveyed the same, including the storehouse erected by McConnell and Reed on No. 10, to James Ross, February 17, 1863, for $2,200, whose collateral heirs conveyed both lots to John Christy, August 31, 1867, together with two other small parcels out of the town plot, for $2,500. No. 10 has been the site of the only store in Rosston. The first storehouse erected on it, while in the possession of Christy, was destroyed by fire on the night of August 30, 1974. The present structure, better and more substantial than its predecessor, was soon afterward erected on the same site, which is on the corner of Railroad street and the northmost cross, or as it is called in some of the records, Market street, opposite to which, on the east end of lot No. 11, is the Allegheny Valley Railroad warehouse, in which, when emergencies require, a telegraph office is kept in operation.
Rosston is not an incorporated or separate municipality. For all municipal purposes it is part and parcel of Manor township, and its inhabitants are liable for their proportionate part of the township taxes. There is no schoolhouse within the limits of the town plat, but there is one a few rods east of its eastern boundary, where the children of Rosston and of the southwestern part of the township resort for instruction, the cost of which is paid out of the township school tax for five months in the year. The cost of maintaining a "summer school" is raised by subscription; such schools are also called "subscription schools," the teachers of which, in some places, are too often ill-qualified for the important work of teaching young children, whom some, aye, too many, unreflecting parents think such teachers can properly instruct. The truth is, that class of pupils require the most intelligent, skillful and faithful teachers, so that the foundation of the educational work may be thorough and soled. The best and most experienced and skillful teachers are selected in Prussia for the youngest scholars.
There is not as yet any church edifice in Rosston. The schoolhouse is occasionally used as a place of public worship by different religious denominations. The number of taxables shows the population of this village to be about one hundred and seventy-four. Various occupations: Merchants, 2, one doing business elsewhere; teachers, 2; boss, 1;
brakemen, 3; carpenters, 2; laborers, 12; conductor, 1; mechanic, 1; saddler, 1; cobbler, 1.
Slabtown is a hamlet in the northwestern corner of the township, with a population of about ninety. The chief occupation of the men is that of laborer.
THE BOROUGH OF MANORVILLE
was formed out of a part of the Thomas Duncan purpart of the Manor tract and a part of "Rebecca's Hope," or the Rebecca Smith tract. Twenty-four lots were laid out for John Sibbett "in the town of Manorville," June 28, 1854, lying between the present eastern boundary of the borough and Water street, and between the northern boundary of the manor tract, which extends through the borough along the center of a "lane 22 feet wide," as designated on the plat of the borough, and which is between H.M. Lambing's shop and dwelling-house - between that lane and the unnamed street, 35 feet wide, extending from the eastern line of the borough past the Copley brickyard and James Cunningham's store to Water street. At and before the time of laying out these lots this place was called Manorville, obviously from the manor. The northern line of the manor tract is about equidistant from the northern and southern lines of the borough, but the southern portion being considerably wider than the northern, the major part of the borough was taken from what was formerly that tract. Those Sibbett lots appear from the plat to be the only ones that have as yet been numbered. Arnold and others laid out lots at different times on that part of the borough taken from "Rebecca's Hope."
The taxables of Manorville were first assessed by themselves, or separately, in 1851.
The construction of the Allegheny Valley Railroad a few years thereafter gave the chief impetus to settlements here.
The first petition for incorporating this place into a borough was presented to the court of quarter sessions of this county, December 7, 1865, but was not approved by the grand jury. A second one, signed by two-thirds of its taxable inhabitants, was presented at June sessions, 1866, which having been approved by the grand jury and having laid over the time required by law, the court ordered and decreed June 6, 1866, that the village of Manorville be erected and incorporated into a body corporate and politic, to be known and designated as the borough of Manorville, with the following metes and bounds: Beginning at a red oak on the bank of the Allegheny river; thence on the line between Calvin Russell and P. F. McClarren south 68 degrees east 28 perchers to the Allegheny Valley Railroad; thence along said railroad 17 degrees east 5 8/10 perches to a post; thence by land of John Shoop south 68 degrees east 20 perches to a post; thence by land of Chambers Orr, now of Adam Reichert, north 14 degrees east 64 perches to a post; thence 68 degrees west 1 perch to a post; thence north 14 degrees east 56 perches to a post; thence north 10 degrees east 27 perches to a post; thence by land of Arnold's heirs north 77 degrees west to said railroad; thence along said railroad north 19 degrees east 35 � perches to a post; thence south 61 degrees east 4 perches to a post; thence north 25 degrees east 3 perches to a black jack; thence south 68 degrees east 7 perches; thence north 10 degrees east 34 perches to a chestnut; thence north 68 degrees west 13 perches to a post on the bank of the Allegheny river; thence down said river south 28 degrees west 80 perches, and 22 degrees west 130 � perches to a red oak and the place of beginning.
The first election of borough officers was directed to be held at the public schoolhouse in Manorville, on Saturday, June 23, 866, of which 10 days' notice was ordered to be given by Alexander Cunningham, the then constable of Manor township, and James Cunningham was appointed judge, and William Copley and Joseph D. Brown were appointed inspectors of that election. The subsequent elections were ordered to be held at the same place.
The following borough officers were elected at the first borough elections: Burgess, Joseph M. Kelley; town council, Jesse Butler, Calvin Russell, David Spencer, Peter F. Titus and Samuel Spencer; justices of the peace, John McIlvaine and A. Briney; school directors, for three years, David Spencer and Dietrich Stoelzing; school directors, for two years, A. Rhoades and M. M. Lambing; school directors, for one year, R. C. Russell and Jesse Butler; high constable, Jonas M. Briney; borough auditors, Robert McKean, Milton McCormick and W. M. Patterson; judge of election, Joseph M. Kelly; inspectors of election, William Copley and H. M. Lambing; assessor, David Spencer; overseers of the poor, James Kilgore and George W. Shoop.
If the minutes of the town council and the ordinances passed during the first few years after the incorporation of this municipality are extant; they cannot be found by the present clerk of council, so that what the council did in those years has not been ascertained. The records, since they have been kept in the book now used therefor, do not show that there has been any of what may be termed municipal legislation of notable interest. Indeed, the affairs of the borough seem to have moved along with but slight control of specific rules and regulations.
The first resident on the territory within the present limits of Manorville, after the revolutionary and Indian wars, was probably William Sheerer, who, about 1803, established a tannery on a small scale, at the foot of the hill just below and adjoining the northern line of the manor tract, with which he was assessed in 1805-6-7 at $15. He was the clerk of the general and presidential elections in Allegheny township in 1804. He was also assessed with one horse at $10, making his total valuation $25 for each of those years. He must have abandoned his tannery and removed thence in 1807, as that is the last year in which his name appears on the assessment list. For 1805-6 it is on the assessment list of Allegheny township, and for 807 on that of Kittanning township, which, the reader will bear in mind, was organized to September, 1806.
What is now the site of Manorville remained unoccupied by any permanent settler for many years after Sheerer left. It was swampy and covered with thickets of laurel.
The Lambing brothers settled here in 1830, and were first assessed in Kittanning township, the next year, viz.: Matthew Lambing, with 1 head of cattle, $18; John Lambing, with 50 acres (of Rebecca Smith tract), $100 and "young man", 25 cents,"
Michael Lambing, "young man, 25 cents;" Henry Lambing, 3 horses $60, 1 head of cattle, $6, and "young man, 25 cents," total, $66.25. Manorville was then a wilderness of swamp and thickets. In 1832 John Lambing was assessed with the same 50 acres as in the previous year, also with a distillery, total, $375; and Michael Lambing, as shoemaker, at $50. That distillery was situated near the foot of the hill, a few rods above the northern line of the Manor tract, with which was connected a run of stone for chopping the grain used in distilling. The mill part must have been adapted during that year to grinding grists, for in 1883 John was assessed not only with the distillery, but as a "miller, " and Henry with a steam mill. For a year or so afterward, the land assessed to John and the distillery were rented to John West, and afterward the mill was assessed to Henry, and the distillery to Matthew Lambing. The mill had a capacity for grinding sixty bushels in twenty-four hours. It and the distillery ceased to be operated about 1840-1. Since then, these almost first settlers have carried on their respective trades - one a shoemaker and the others carpenters, cabinetmakers and machinists.
Josiah Copley began the manufacture of firebrick in 1847-8, and continued it until 1858. It was thereafter carried on by his sons for two or three years, and then by his brother, William Copley, until the latter's death, and since then by William S. Copley. The brickworks are located on land belonging to Miss Eliza Sibbett, between the railroad and the hill, on the south side of the street, extending from the latter past the railroad station to water street. They have a capacity for making 3,000 bricks a day. They were destroyed by a fire, but were soon after rebuilt. The number of employes was at first fifteen, which was subsequently reduced about one-third by the use of improved machinery.
The late Andre Arnold, about 1850, established a tannery on a somewhat large scale, about 35 rods north of the northern line of the Manor tract, on that part of the 62-acre tract which he purchased from Robert Speer, lying between the railroad and Water Street, with which he was assessed from 1851 until 1855. The next year it was assessed to A. & H. J. Arnold. Its valuation varied form $600, in 1851, to $1,000 in 1853, and to $1,200 in 1856. It was assessed to H. J. Arnold in 1859 at $2,000, and in 1862 at $1,500. It was first assessed, after their deaths, to Mrs. Isabella Arnold in 1865. The Arnolds carried on the manufacture of fire-brick, the father from 1852-3 till 1856, the brickyard being assessed, each of those years, at $50; and another year thereafter by father and son, the valuation being $500. The tanning was done on the old slow process of keeping the hides in the vats a year- those for sole-leather eighteen months. The number of layaway vats was about forty-five. The capacity of the tannery was 3,500 sides of leather a year-sole, upper, harness and bridle leather, including 1,000 sides of calfskin.
Dietrich Stoelzing was first assessed as proprietor of this tannery in 1867, and as owner in 1868. He came here in May, 1863. From then on during the continuance of the
war 5,000 hides were tanned yearly, making 10,000 sides of leather for the United States government, which was used for gun-slings and cartridge-boxes. During the first year after the close go the war this tannery turned out 10,000 sides of harness leather, and the next year 5,000. Then followed the tanning of cupleather at the rate of 2,500 sides annually. He commenced the process of tanning in air-tight vats, or vessels, in 1875.
The number of employes during the war, and a year or two after its close, was twelve, and since 1867 from four to six.
The apparatus consists of forty-eight lay-away vats, four lime-vats, four leach-tubs, four bates, one large cistern, two posts, six handlers, one stopping-wheel, one steam-pump, and a steam-engine of twenty-five horse-power. The tanhouse is a large two-story frame structure.
While making leather for gun-slings and cartridge boxes the hides were kept in the vats six weeks, afterwards six months, and now on the vacuum plan, tow weeks for heavy belting and sole-leather, and only four days for calfskins. The idea of tanning on this plan originated, as the writer is informed, with one Davis, of Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, in 1868. Stoelzing tried it then and made a success on a small scale, but could not make large vats or vessels air-tight, i.e., he did not make it a success on a large scale. In 1875 J. J. Johnston, patent agent, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, took out a patent in his own name for a large, air-tight vat. Stoelzing put up one of that kind in his tannery at Manorville, and made it successful beyond his expectations. The process of tanning by the vacuum method is this: After the hides are prepared in the usual way they are suspended in the air-tight vat; the vat is then closed and the air exhausted, so that the pores of the hides are opened and the liquor from the bark is absorbed, the pressure being at the rate of ten pounds per square inch, the liquid rising, of course, to fill the vacuum caused by exhausting the air. The liquor is changed until the hides are completely tanned. It is made by placing ground oakbark in an air-tight swinging circular leach; when filled with the bark the air is exhausted and spent liquor is forced in from below with a pressure of ten pounds per square inch; after standing an hour the leach is turned half around, so as to reverse its ends; after standing another hour the liquor is run into the airtight vat; the bark remains in the leach, and whatever liquor remains in it is expelled by a pneumatic pressure of twenty-five pounds per square inch, caused by pumping the air in on the top.
The leather thus tanned is of better quality and greater weight than is that tanned by the old process. The leaching extracts almost instantaneously all the tannic acid contained in the bark.
In the spring of 1861, J. C. Crumpton established an oil refinery on a tract about 20X15 rods, next below the brick-yard and railroad station, between the railroad and an alley extending along the easterly line of the borough, and a tank lot between the railroad and Water street. The capacity of its still was at first only thirty barrels, or sixty a week, as there were but two runs in that time. During the proprietorship or superintendency of Benny, several stills were added, varying in capacity from 80 to 250 barrels. Between 1867 and 1870, while Oliver B. Jones was proprietor, another still, with the capacity of 500 barrels, was added. During those years the refinery and ground were assessed at $7,000, and the tank lot at $600. The capacity was not subsequently increased. The proprietorship passed from Jones to King, Barbour & Goodwin, who gave it the name of the Federal Oil Works. John B. Barbour and Edward L. Goodwin sold their undivided two-thirds interest in these works to the Standard Oil Company May 18, 1876 for $8,000, by whom they have been removed to some other point down the river.
Henry J. Arnold opened a store near what is now the upper part of the borough, on the river side of the railroad, in 1855, which was continued by, at least assessed to, James Daugherty until 1862. James Cunningham opened his store, opposite the railroad station, in 1864-5, which is still open. John McElwain kept a store in the Arnold storeroom in 1867-8. These are probably the only mercantile houses that were ever within what are now the borough limits. This year, only one, and that in the fourteenth class, appears on the mercantile appraiser's list.
Manorsville has not yet been adorned by a church edifice. Religious services are occasionally held by different denominations in the schoolhouse.
The first school in what are now the limits of this municipality was opened in a log dwelling house, built by James Kilgore, probably a year or two before the adoption of the common school system. That house was situated in the rear part of the oil refinery lot, or between the railroad and the hill, a few rods below the brickyard. It was a pay or subscription school, taught by William Stewart. The next one, nearest to Manorville, was a one-story dwelling, converted into a schoolhouse, on the lower side of the Leechburgh road, near its intersection with the river road. Tin 1853 a frame schoolhouse was erected by the school board of Manor township, at the head of School or Butler street, in the Sibbett plot, near the hill, which was several years afterward moved from its base by a land-slide. The present school-building is a substantial frame, painted white, 38 X28, ceiling 12 feet, with a cupola and bell, erected by the last-mentioned board in 1862. The first annual report of Manorville was for the school year ending June 1, 1868, for which year the statistics are:
School, 1; number months taught, 5; male teacher, 1; salary per month, $50; male scholars, 40; female scholars, 39; average number attending school, 49; cost per month, each, 77 13/100 cents; levied for school purposes, $315.18; levied for building purposes, $121.22; received from collector, etc., $355; from state appropriation, $21.08; cost of instruction, $250; fuel and contingencies, $54.94; repairs, $4.82.
Statistics for 1875 are here given: School, 1; number months taught, 5; male teacher, 1; salary per month, $50; male scholars, 37; female scholars, 28; average number attending school, 51; cost, each, per month, 92 cents; tax levied for school and building purposes, $339.99; received from taxes, etc., $430.78; from state appropriation, $38.69; teacher's wages, $250; fuel, collector's fees, etc., $86.98.
The temperance element has for several years been strong. The vote on the question of granting license was 85 against, and 34 for it. A Good Templars' lodge was established in 1873, which continued to flourish for a year and a half, into which among others a goodly number of juveniles were initiated, some of whom had not secretiveness enough to keep secret the passwords and other private matters of the order, which was one of the reasons for disbanding.
There are pleasant sites for residences with extensive views of fine scenery on the extended line of hill adjoining the borough on the east. Rev. Gabriel S. Reichart, the zealous and faithful Lutheran missionary and pastor, elsewhere mentioned, has resided on one of the subdivisions of the Thomas Duncan portion of the manor tract, about one hundred and seventy rods back from the railroad since his return from his pastorate in Philadelphia. Josiah Copley was a resident near the brow of the hill, where he lived many years, when he invented at least one of his modes of navigating our western rivers with steamers in low stages of water. The cottage built some twenty or more years since by the Sibbetts, is a few rods below, which, with eighty-seven acres and fifty perches of land, they conveyed to the late Chambers Orr, who conveyed the same, together with forty-two acres and fifty-two perches of other contiguous land, to Mrs. Emma R. Reichert, wife of Gabriel A. Reichert, Jr., April 6, 1871, for $18,000. It is now called "Reichert Hall." The grounds around it have been tastefully improved.
The only census taken since the organization of this borough is that of 1870, by which it appears there were then 316 native and 14 foreign-born inhabitants. The number of taxables in 1876 is 86, from which it is inferred the population now is 395. The assessment list for the same year shows the occupations to be: Laborers, 23; merchants, 3, two of whom do business out of the borough; carpenters, 3; tanners, 3; coopers, 2; teamsters, 2; brickmakers, 2; teacher, 1; cabinet-maker, 1; plasterer, 1; shoemaker, 1; blacksmith, 1; coaldigger, 1; butcher, 1; refiner, 1.
The Manorville postoffice was established January 27, 1864, and James Cunningham was the first and he is the present postmaster.
Near the mouth of Crooked Creek, the Freeport limestone is within fifty feet of the Allegheny river.
A cutting on the railroad, one-third of a mile below the rolling-mill, which is in the lower part of Kittanning borough, well exposes the small coalbed next above the Kittanning seam, from 9 to 19 inches thick, divided in the middle by a thin band of slate, immediately underlaid by a band of impure, somewhat indurated, fireclay, 2 to 10 feet thick, through which are scattered nodules of rough thick ore. Beneath the fireclay is an irregularly stratified mass of highly micaceous sandstone, the natural color of which is blue, but when weathered is chiefly light olive-green and reddish brown, containing regularly marked vegetable forms, over which are dark-blue shales, 25 feet thick, weathering rusty brown, in some places curiously distorted, become more compact and silicious toward the top, and a thin layer of bituminous shale and coaly matter is interstratified with the mass-dip southwest 2 degrees to 3 degrees. About thirty feet above those small coalbeds, on the Buffington land, is another coalbed, 4 feet thick when regular, but which in some places in the mines thins away to a mere streak. Thirty feet above it the Freeport limestone is nearly six feet thick; ten or fifteen feet above this the upper Freeport bed, 3 feet thick, contains 2 3/4 feet of available coal. The strata rise northwest.
The following imperfect section was partially leveled in the little ravine below the borough of Kittanning: Green shale, 2 feet; light blue shale, 2 � feet; upper Freeport coal, 5 feet; unknown, 6 feet; Freeport limestone in fragments; unknown (shale, etc.) 40 feet; brownish-gray slaty standstone, 8 � feet; blue and gray shale (6 to 8 feet exposed), 25 � feet; coal, 4 inches; shale, brown, passing into sandstone, 5 feet; gray slate, 3 feet; unknown (shale) 29 feet; shale, 5 feet; arenaceous shale, 4 � feet; sandstone, white above, slaty below, 14 feet; blue slate, 3 feet; bed of sandstone, 4 to 6 inches thick, immediately upon the Kittanning coal, 3 feet; unknown, 24 feet to the road, and 15 feet more to the river, at low water. (First geological survey of Pennsylvania.)
The small coalbed above specified as being next above the Kittanning seam, from 9 to 18 inches thick, because of its insignificant size was not known to be persistent throughout the country, as has been shown in the course of the second geological survey. It has been proven by. J. C. White, who has charge of the district composed of Beaver, North Allegheny and South Butler, not only to be persistent but to increase in bulk westward, culminating as the great Darlington cannel coalbed, in Beaver county. It has also been found by Franklin Platt, another member of the geological corps, as a large and workable bed throughout Jefferson and Clearfield counties, and he has traced it into Cambria county. It is properly called the "Upper Kittanning coal" in the Allegheny valley series, and the "Darlington Cannel" in Beaver county, because "at Darlington the bed seems to acquire its maximum size and importance." (Second geological survey, Pennsylvania, Q.)
Levels above tide: Opposite Rosston station, 788.4 feet; opposite mile post 783.5 feet; opposite mile post, 789.8 feet; opposite mile post 797.6 feet; opposite Manorville station, 796,9 feet; bench mark on outside corner of south wall of culvert No. 42, 794.4 feet; opposite mile post, 43 miles above Pittsburgh, 804.7 feet. (Ibid, N)
On May 31, 1872, Andrew J. Dull leased from William M. Bailey and several other heirs of the late Richard Bailey the exclusive right to operate for and remove all the limestone and iron ore, etc., on 93 acres, being the heirs purparts, for the term of twenty years, on condition that he would commence operations on or before April 1, 1872, and pay the lessors eight cents a ton for all the limestone which he should remove therefrom. On March 27,1873, he took a similar lease from David Spencer for twenty acres of his land contiguous to the Bailey premises, but higher up Fort run, at six cents a ton for limestone.
Operations under the Bailey lease were commenced in February, 1872, and, of course, later under the Spencer lease. The following facts were obtained from Joseph R. Smith, the superintendent of the quarry and the store connected with it. The stone quarried thus far is the Freeport limestone, interstratified with three layers of slate, each about twelve inches thick. The aggregate thickness of the three layers of limestone is about fifteen feet. The number of employes for the first year and a half after the quarrying was begun is 135, forty of whom were colored men who were formerly slaves in the Shenandoah valley, Virginia. The average number of employes since then has been about seventy-five. The quantity of limestone annually quarried and shipped by the Allegheny Valley Railroad to Pittsburgh until 876 has been about 48,000 tons. The pay rolls show that during the same period the amount paid for wages monthly has been $4,000, and an equal amount for freight. From 1872 till 1875, the amount paid as freight from this quarry exceeded the amount received by the Allegheny Valley Railroad as freight from all sources during the first three years after it began to be operated. This limestone is used for fluxing in the manufacture of iron. The quarrying thus far has been along the course of the right-hand bank of Fort run, a distance of about 200 rods up that run from the face of the hill looking toward the Allegheny river. A branch railroad, intersecting the Allegheny Valley road about twenty-five rods below Fort run, has been constructed along the valley of that run, a distance of 275 rods, including the length of a branch to that branch, which is about twenty-five rods, over which the limestone is transported, without transshipment, en route to Pittsburgh.
The Baileys formerly operated a kiln on a limited scale, in which limestone from that vein was burned. It was a draw-kiln. The lime was used as a fertilizer and for building Seven thousand bushels were sold in one summer for the latter purpose in Kittanning, besides a considerable quantity for both purposes in the surrounding country.
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/)
Armstrong County Genealogy Project Notice:
These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format, for any presentation, without prior written permission.
Return to the Historical Index
Return to the Smith Project
Return to the Armstrong County Genealogy Project
(c) Armstrong County Genealogy Project
Return to the Armstrong County Genealogy Project
(c) Armstrong County Genealogy Project