The Township Struck off from Sugar Creek in 1858 - First Election of Officers - Major Part of the Township South of the Donation Land Line - The Pioneers and First Owners of the Principal Tracts - Church of the Brethren of Christ - Lands North of the Donation Line - Van Buren Laid Out - Wattersonville - Methodist Episcopal Church - Statistics - Geology.
The petition of citizens of Sugar Creek township was presented to the court of quarter sessions of this county April 3, 1858, representing that their township was entirely too large to be convenient, being nearly sixteen by six or seven miles; that many of them living on the river and in the outskirts were virtually disfranchised on account of their great distance from the place of holding the elections and "the difficulties of the roads", and prayed the court to appoint suitable persons to divide their township by a line beginning on the southern boundary east of William Campbell's farm, and extending to or near Nicholas Cook's, on the Allegheny river, and to name the part east of that line Washington. The course of the proposed line was nearly from southwest to northeast. Other citizens remonstrated against such a division. The court, August 11, 1858, appointed James Douglass, Franklin Reynolds and James Stewart the commissioners. Their report, presented September 18, was adverse to the proposed division, because the proposed line would not "divide the township fairly;" would "destroy two school districts and disturb a third," "running within eight feet of the Templeton schoolhouse and within 17 perches of McClatchey's schoolhouse," and would leave many of the voters in as "bad if not worse condition than they were in before." They believed "Sugar Creek township large enough to make two good townships, giving to each an area of about thirty square miles, by a line running north and south." They therefore recommended to the court such an alteration in the order given them as would make the division satisfactory. Their report was held over until October 18, when, by consent of the attorneys for the petitioners and the remonstrants, the court granted leave to withdraw the petition and the order to be so amended as to give those commissioners full power to divide the townships by such lines as they should think best, and an alias order was accordingly issued. The township was then divided by a line beginning at a point on the Allegheny river, on the heretofore mentioned Maxwell-White tract (*1), and extending somewhat southeasterly to the Franklin, now the East Franklin township line.
The first election held in Washington township, in February 1859, resulted thus: Leonard Fair and David Wolf were elected justices of the peace; Geo. W. Cousins, constable; Samuel H. Dickey, treasurer; Geo. L. Davis, Jacob Woods and David Wolf, auditors; James F. Cowan and David Yerty, supervisors; John A. Foster, town clerk; William S. Campbell and George Claypoole, overseers of the poor; George C. Claypoole James F. Cowan, John A. Foster, Phillip Templeton (of S.), David Wolf and Jacob Woods, school directors; George W. Cousins, assessor; Jacob Woods, judge; and John A. Foster and Absalom Wolf, inspectors of election. For the place of holding elections, Henry Helzel, 69, Adam Wyant, 52, and William Groves, 5 votes.
The greater portion of the territory of Washington township is below or south of the depreciation and donation line, the original tracts of which will be first sketched. The eastern portions of the Michael Red and David Henry tracts, as heretofore mentioned (*2), are in the southwestern part of this township. Adjoining the Henry tract on the north is one, a rectangular parallelogram, 407 1/2 acres, extending north to the donation line, and west into what is now Sugar Creek township, which is but partially bounded on the Gapen map, on which is the name of "Alexr. Denniston," to which Charles McClatchey acquired title by improvement and settlement, to whom it was surveyed by Ross, deputy surveyor, April 23, 1805, 407 acres and 91 perches, with 400 acres of which, 1 horse, and 1 cow he was assessed in 1805 and 1806 at $191, and which he conveyed to Archibald Dickey, March 1, 1834, for $400. The latter conveyed it to John McGarvey, October 12, 1836, for $700, who conveyed it to his sons: 213 acres and 148 perches to William, November 16, 1849, for $100, in the northeastern part of which is the McClatchey schoolhouse. He conveyed 113 acres and 106 perches to Peter Mobley, June 5, 1850, for $904, which he conveyed to John Sutton, April 11, 1855, for $____, who conveyed 57 acres to Christopher Foster, May 29, for $803.70. John McGarvey to his son David, other 213 acres and 138 perches, the southern part of the tract, December 13, 1849, for $1,000, of which he conveyed 25 acres to James B. Morrison, September 8, 1864, for $500, and 38 acres and 30 perches to John McBride, April 24, 1866, for $826.
Adjoining the northern part of that Denniston-McClatchey tract on the east is a partially bounded one, a rectangular parallelogram, if completely bounded, lengthwise, east and west, with the name of "Arch'd Denniston." John Kerr was its original settler, to whom it was surveyed by Ross, deputy surveyor, May 4, 1805, as containing 403 acres and 123 perches, with 350 acres of which, and 1 cow, he was assessed in 1805, at $93.50, and the next year with the same and 2 additional cattle, at 108.50. James Fulton obtained a judgment against Kerr, for $109.32 of debt, on which the latter's interest in this tract was sold by Jonathan King, sheriff, who conveyed it to Robert Orr, December 19, 1809, for $46, who conveyed it to Paul Morrow, December 21, 1810, for $50, which Morrow conveyed to Nathaniel Steward, April 9, 1813, for $200, who conveyed it to Joseph Taylor, August 12, 1816, for $1,000, the last-mentioned names being on it on the other map. The records do not show what became of Taylor's interest in it.
Matthias Buiheimer claimed, acquired an interest in, obtained a warrant for about 75 acres of the northern part, which David Johnston, county treasurer, sold to Alexander Colwell, for taxes, and conveyed the same to him, June 26, 1830, for $2, which he conveyed to Michael Fair, September 8, 1838, for $103, which he conveyed to Simon Fair, April 8, 1841, for $75, who conveyed 23 3/4 acres to William McClatchey, September 30, 1843, for $50; 40 acres to Nicholas Clark, March 16, 1842, for $67, both of which parcels have been considerably subdivided.
James Cowan was first assessed with 240 acres of it, and 1 cow, in 1825, at $180. He continued in the occupancy of it until 1843. That portion of it was thereafter assessed to James F. Cowan, to whom the warrant was granted April 24, and the patent July 3, 1848, for 241 acres and 156 perches for 39 cents, exclusive of the amount paid on obtaining the warrant, to whom Orr conveyed whatever interest he had in it by virtue of Sheriff King's sale to him, November 23, 1867, for $1. Cowan conveyed 7 acres March 9, 1868, and 241 acres and 56 perches, the same day, to John W. Littey, for $7,500, and removed to the West. The northern part began to be cleared about 1856, and it has since been occupied by divers persons, whose proper title is not apparent from the records. A portion of the northwestern part became vested in David Hays, which he conveyed to John Donnell, who conveyed it to William Donnell, who conveyed 67 acres and 100 perches of it to Michael Fair, February 1, 1865, for $500, reserving 1 acre and 40 perches, the Methodist church lot, on which a frame church edifice was erected in 1854, while Hays owned it, as stated by David J. Reed, who was the contractor and builder.
Adjoining that Archibald Denniston-Kerr tract on the south is an incompletely bounded one on the Gapen map, bearing the name of "Jas. Nichols." On the other map is a hexagonal one, the northern part, like the short blade of a square, extending eastwardly, and the other part, like the long blade, extending southwardly along the Henry, and the northern part of the Red tract, on which the original settler appears to have been Robert Galbraith, who was assessed with 400 acres in 1805 and 1806, at $100. He probably had some one else on as settler for him, for he had a tannery near where Worthington now is, where he died in 1807, when the 75 acres which he had there occupied were "rated to David Graham, doctor." Galbraith's interest in this tract, 150 acres, was sold by Jonathan King, sheriff, on a judgment in favor of Samuel Matthews for $50 of debt, and $2.50 of costs which the sheriff conveyed to James Mateer, September 16, 1811, for $60.25, and which Mateer agreed to sell to William Gibson, tailor, June 8, 1813, for $200, one-half in cash and the other half in trade, who was first assessed with 400 acres in 1814, at $100, to whom it continued to be assessed until 1828, when it was noted on the assessment list as "seated by John Green." John Remor was also a settler on this tract, against whom James Monteith obtained a judgment for $27.37 of debt, on which fi. fu. to No. 41, June term, was issued and a levy taken on 400 acres, about 4 acres of which were cleared, on which a cabin house and barn were erected. Inquisition was held and the land was appraised at $744 and condemned. It was sold by Robert Robinson, sheriff, to Monteith for $55, who devised it to his daughters, whose husbands, Gilpin and Johnston, obtained a patent for the entire tract, March 29, 1837. They and their wives conveyed 121 acres and 64 perches in the central part, including the settler's improvements, to Nancy McGregor, to whose husband, Allen McGregor, it was assessed after John Green left, July 25, 1837, for $75, which she conveyed to Conrad Helm, August 1, who conveyed the same to Jacob Helm, June 12, 1849, for $200. They and their wives conveyed 137 acres and 32 perches of the southern part to William Dickey, July 25, for $411, to whose estate it still belongs. They also conveyed 55 acres of the northern part to James Porterfield, August 12, 1848, which he the same day conveyed to his son, James C. Porterfield, which he conveyed to Robert Dickey, April 8, 1854, which he conveyed to Phillip Templeton, July 25, 1857, for $1,200.
Adjoining that Nichols-Galbraith tract on the south, vacant on the Gapen map, is one on the other map, a rectangular parallelogram, lengthwise north and south, 399 acres and 146 perches, on which Jacob Steelsmith began an improvement in 1793, a settlement May 7, 1796, which Ross, deputy surveyor, surveyed to him July 9, 1801, and for which, called "Smith's Choice," the patent was granted to him September 3, 1810, who conveyed 100 acres and 8 perches to John Leard, April 11, 1814, for $325, which the latter by his will, dated November 29, 1814, and registered March 16, 1821, devised to his son Oliver.
Steelsmith conveyed that portion of "Smith's Choice" on which he then lived, 110 acres, to his son Simon, August 16, 1816, for natural love and maintenance; also the 116 acres and 116 perches heretofore mentioned (*3), which latter parcel he conveyed to Michael Fair, who conveyed to John Fair, who conveyed 56 acres of that part of it in what is now Washington township, April 16, 1866, for the comfortable maintenance of himself and wife the rest of their lives.
East of "Smith's Choice" on the Gapen map is vacant territory, but on the other is a square tract, 331 acres, on which Anderson Truitt was the original settler. He was assessed with 300 acres of it, 1 horse and 1 cow, in 1805, at $101. On the assessment list of that the land is noted as "transferred." He and Elijah Mounts agreed July 30, to sell and purchase 150 acres of it for $350, in payments: �50 in hand, and the rest in annual payments of �50, except the last, which was to be �17 10s, Truitt to make "a clear deed" by May 1, 1806, which he did not do. The warrant was not granted to him until February 5, and the patent July 5, 1810. He conveyed this tract, called "Albany," to John Beatty, November 15, 1813, for $220, which he conveyed to Robert Beatty and David Rankin, November 15, 1813. Rankin having released his interest therein to Beatty, the latter conveyed the entire tract, 353 acres, to Martin John, Jr., January 18, 1833, in pursuance of an agreement made November 16, 1827, for $430, 20 acres and 6 perches of the western part of which he conveyed to Oliver Leard, July 3, for $50, and 85 acres and 96 perches to his oldest son, Michael, April 19, 1855, for $1 and "natural love and affection," with which the latter is assessed in 1876 at $1,190, and by his will dated March 8 and registered April 30, 1856, devised the rest to his wife "to have and to hold for her living and to dispose of as she pleases," and which she by her will, dated December 27, 1866, and registered September 12, 1870, devised to her son Christman John, who conveyed 106 acres to George H. Foster, June 10, 1873, for $3,930.
Adjoining "Albany" and "Smith's Choice" on the north is vacant territory on the Gapen map, with the name of "Allan McCard," for 400 acres of which, a rectangular parallelogram lengthwise east and west, John Mounts obtained a warrant November 18, 1807, and the patent January 16, 1809, 200 acres of the western part of which he conveyed to Leonard Hearley, June 6, for $800, which he conveyed to Christian Ruffner, October 17, 1812, for $1,809, which he occupied until his death. All his heirs except Hannah Marvin and Daniel Ruffner released their interests to Alexander and Solomon Ruffner, December 15, 1843, for $500. In subsequent proceedings in partition this parcel was divided by the inquest, May 26, 1859, into two purparts, "A," 91 acres and 70 perches, valued at $731.50, and "B," 121 acres and 20 perches, at $969. "A" was awarded by the court to Alexander, and "B" was accepted by Solomon, September 7, at the valuation. Daniel was absent and had not been heard from for more than twenty years prior to the inquisition, and was supposed to be dead.
Mounts conveyed the eastern part of this tract, 200 acres, to Martin John, Sr., September 20, 1809, for $250, which, and 325 acres in Toby township, he conveyed to his sons John and Peter, and his sons-in-law, John Christman and Henry Helsel, June 4, 1836, for $5 and "natural love and affection."
Adjoining that Mounts-John Ruffner tract on the north is a hexagonal one, "435a," bounded on the north by the depreciation line, surveyed by Gapen, deputy surveyor, to "Arthur Denniston," on which the original settler was William Freeman, to whom and A. McCall, it was surveyed by Ross, deputy surveyor, May 3, 1805, 422 acres. Freeman was assessed with 400 acres of it and 2 cows, in 1805, at $112, and the next year, with the same and 1 horse, at $122, and the last time with the same in 1812, at $125. What disposition he made of his settler's right is not apparent from the records. Henry Heltzell was assessed with it and 1 cow, in 1825, at $106. The patent was granted to him and McCall, October 29, 1831, 200 acres and 50 perches of which McCall conveyed to Heltzell, June 21, 1832, for $1, 31 acres of which the latter conveyed to Valentine Bowser, who conveyed the same parcel to John Ellenberger, Sr., which the latter conveyed to John Ellenberger, Jr., and was included in his conveyance of 108 acres and 30 perches, the major part of which was included in the survey on warrant to John Ellenberger, Sr., April 16, 1830, to Simon Ellenberger, June 4, 1859, for $2,200. Heltzell by his will dated July 15, and registered August 4, 1866, devised the rest of this purpart, about 160 acres, to his stepson, "Emanuel Rydybush" (Roudabush). McCall conveyed 100 acres and 122 perches of his purpart to Peter John, July 10, 1834, for $250. The other portion, 130 acres and 18 perches, was included in the sale by McCall's heirs to William F. Johnston, 80 acres and 16 perches of which he conveyed to Gideon Morrow, June 24, 1856, for $568.70, which the latter had occupied for several previous years, where he opened a store in 1860 and started a distillery in 1865, and 50 acres and 100 perches to Alexander Chilcott, August 9, 1853, for $354.38.
The place for holding the elections in this township has been since its organization at Heltzell's, and since his death at Roudabush's house.
Adjoining that Denniston-Heltzell-McCall tract on the east is one, nearly a rectangular parallelogram, extending south and lengthwise from the depreciation line, which appears on the Gapen map to have been surveyed by Gapen, deputy surveyor, to "Simon Hovey, 400a.120." Contiguous to it on the east and the depreciation line on the north is one just like it, except a slight southern projection of its southeastern part, which appears from that map to have been surveyed by Gapen, deputy surveyor, to "John Elliott, Jr., 410.80." The original settler on the former of these two tracts was Valentine Bowser, with 100 acres of which, 2 horses and 1 cow he was assessed, in 1804, at $55, and the next year at $67. This tract was surveyed to him and McCall as containing 375 acres and 63 perches, by Ross, deputy surveyor, May 4, 1805. He was assessed with 400 acres and the same stock in 1806, at $182, and the next year at $186. One or another of his sons appears to have been afterward assessed with it, or a portion of it. The name on the latter of these two tracts in not legible; on the other map there is nothing but its boundary lines and "410a."
James Sloan, "farmer," appears from Ross' descriptions of the lands surveyed to Bowser and McCall to have been the original settler, for "James Sloan," there mentioned as the eastern adjoiner, and in his survey to McCall and Elijah Mounts as a southern adjoiner. He was assessed with 400 acres, 2 horses and 2 cows, in 1804, at $172, and the next year with the same, less 1 horse, at $172. Patents for these two tracts were granted to McCall October 29, 1829. He conveyed 185 acres to Valentine Bowser, June 21, 1832, for $1, who by his will, dated October 21, 1835, and registered March 12, 1836, devised this land, on which he then resided, to his children "as tenants in common, and not as joint-tenants," in equal portions, except that his daughter Christina should have $50 over the otherwise equal proportion. All or nearly all of this purpart still belongs to his heirs.
McCall conveyed 150 acres and 94 perches of his purpart of this tract to John McCauley, July 16, 1834, for $602. Sixty-one acres and 110 perches of it were included in the conveyance from McCall's heirs to William F. Johnston, which he agreed to sell to William Neville, who failed to pay the purchase money, so that an ejectment was brought to recover either the land or the purchase money. The land was restored to the vendor by a writ of habere facias, which was subsequently purchased by John McCullough, the stepfather of Neville's heirs. It is not apparent from the records what disposition was made of the settler's right to a portion of these two tracts. A. and Daniel Bowser appear to have acquired it, for they conveyed 85 acres and 8 perches of it to Christian Yerty June 20, 1831, who conveyed 108 perches, including the cold spring, on which schoolhouse No. 13, then in Sugar Creek township, was to be erected, to the school directors, September 8, 1849, for $1. Yerty's heirs conveyed this Bowser-Yerty parcel to Benjamin S. Bowser, July 13, 1863, for $725. Daniel Bowser conveyed 94 acres and 28 perches to McCall, June 17, 1833, for $330. McCall's heirs conveyed 338 acres and 64 perches of this tract, among other parcels, to William F. Johnston, 120 acres and 118 perches of which he conveyed to William Grover, August 9, 1833, for $955.90, on which the latter opened his store and hotel; 101 acres and 45 perches to John John, August 2, 1854, for $706.40, which the latter's heirs conveyed to Benjamin S. Bowser, March 22, 1862, for $1,350; 103 1/2 acres to Frederick R. Bowser, June 27, 1850, for $826.
Adjoining these two last-described tracts on the south is a very nearly square one on the Gapen map, which was surveyed by Gapen, deputy surveyor, to "Sam'l Kincade, 400.38." Kincade's interest in it having become vested in Archibald McCall, by the transfer to him of Kincade's survey and obtaining a warrant of acceptance. McCall and Elijah Mounts entered into an agreement respecting it, August 30, 1796, the terms of which were: McCall having paid the purchase money, Mounts agreed to improve, settle, and reside on it as required by law, to enable McCall to obtain a patent for it, who agreed to make title to Mounts for 120 acres, "including Kincade's improvement," "to be taken of good and bad according to the quantity and quality of the whole tract." It was accordingly settled by Mounts, to whom it was surveyed as containing 399 acres and 93 perches, by Ross, deputy surveyor, March 5, 1805, and resurveyed by him as containing the same quantity, December 18, 1806. Three hundred acres were assessed to Mounts in 1805, at $105. The warrant was granted to McCall and Mounts' administrators, John Mounts and Jesse Young, March 6, 1809, to whom McCall conveyed 120 acres of the western part of the tract, making a hexagonal parcel, March 5, 1815, which they conveyed to Martin John, Sr., May 16, 1817, for $450, and which was included in his above-mentioned conveyance to his children, being a part of the 320 acres which they agreed to sell to Jacob Frick in his lifetime, who by his will, dated October 12, and registered November 6, 1838, bequeathed and devised all his personal and real estate to his wife Elizabeth during her life or widowhood, to be divided equally among his children, except Michael, who had received his share, after her death or marriage. This parcel of 120 acres and the 200 acres which John had purchased from John Mounts were conveyed by John's heirs to Mrs. Frick, May 4, 1839, for $3,000. Some of Jacob Frick's heirs subsequently conveyed their interests in the residue of the real estate which their father and mother had left, to Adam Wyant, some of which he conveyed to Christian Wyant, March 21, 1864.
The patent for this tract was granted to McCall, November 2, 1827, whose purpart was included in his heirs' sale to William F. Johnston, who conveyed it, October 5, 1854, thus: 134 acres and 85 perches to Peter Bowser, for $1,100, and 173 acres and 51 perches to David J. and Samuel M. Reed, for $1,473.20. Bowser conveyed his parcel to Henry Isaman, April 13, 1857 for $2,152, whose widow, guardian of his children, conveyed 114 acres and 85 perches of it to Christopher Wyant, by virtue of an order of the orphan's court of this county March 13, 1865, for $1,000. The Reeds conveyed portions of their parcel, March 28, 1863, 92 acres to Bartholomew Wyant, for $1,472; 4 acres to Adam Wyant, for $80, and 20 acres to Bartholomew Bucher, for $300.
Adjoining that Kincade-McCall-Mounts tract on the south is the northern and major part of the Francis Johnston tract heretofore mentioned (*4). Alexander W. Johnston, executor of Alice Johnston, who was the sole executrix of Francis Johnston, conveyed the Johnston purpart of this tract, February 26, 1839; 106 acres and 7 perches to Eli Fair for $212, who traded 7 acres with Martin John for an equal quantity, June 17, 1845; conveyed 4 acres to George S. King, September 1, 1847, for $40, and 95 acres and 7 perches to Phillip Christman, May 2, 1849, for $650, Johnston conveyed 108 acres and 146 perches to Peter Fair the same day as to Eli, for $217.75, which the latter for $1 "and natural love and affection" conveyed to Leonard Fair, August 17, 1849.
The early settlers in this section were Lutherans, to whom Rev. Gabriel A. Reichert occasionally preached in private houses, barns and groves in his early ministerial itinerations. In February, 1824, he organized the Limestone Evangelical Lutheran church, of which John Christman and Michael Fair were the first elders. They and their wives, Frederick Christman, John Ellenberger, Peter Fair, Peter and William Toy, David and John Wolf, and their wives, and Jacob Wolf were the original members. The religious services were held at the house of John Crissman from 1824 until 1844, and at the house of Leonard Fair thereafter until 1855. The name of this church was changed in 1844 to Bethlehem, and in 1855 to St. Mark's, its present one. The present number of members is 150, and Sabbath-school scholars 50. The various pastors of this church have been Rev. G. A. Reichert from 1824 till 1837; Rev. John Errenser, from 1843 till 1844; Rev. Krantz, from 1844 till 1847; Rev. J. A. Miner, from 1847 till 1851; Rev. M. Steck, from 1851 till 1854; Rev. A. C. Ehrenfeld, from 1855 till 1858; Rev. F. Rutherauff, from 1858 till 1859; Rev. C. Whitmer, from 1860 till 1862; Rev. J. Singer in 1863; Rev. H. J. H. Leneke, from 1864 till 1866, and from then Rev. J. W. Schwartz, the present one, to whom the writer is under obligations for these facts. The present church edifice, frame, painted white, 30 x 40 feet, on the right bank of the Limestone, was erected on the Johnston purpart of this tract. Leonard Fair conveyed 135 square perches of the parcel which his father conveyed to him to John Fair, Jr., and Jacob Toy, trustees of this congregation, November 1, 1859, and Phillip Chrissman, 34 1/2 square perches of the parcel which he purchased from Eli Fair, to these trustees, March 17, 1860, each for $1.
Adjoining the central part of that Johnston-McKee tract on the east in what is now Washington township, about one-third of the heretofore described Ingersolt-Henry tract, (*5) contiguous to which on the north is a hexagonal one which appears on the Gapen map to have been surveyed by Gapen, deputy surveyor, to "Alex'r Trimble, 431.60," whose interest became vested in Archibald McCall on which Benjamin Leasure was the original settler, who was assessed with 400 acres of it and 1 cow in 1804, at $86, and the next year with the land only, at $80. The patent was granted to him and McCall, February 13, 1809, in which this tract is named "Canton." McCall not having released the settler's portion to Leasure before his assignment to Du Pont, the latter by Thomas White, his attorney-in-fact, conveyed 150 acres of the southern part to Benjamin Leasure, as his purpart, June 21, 1832, to whom Du Pont himself conveyed it, May 24, 1836. Leasure conveyed 85 perches off the north side of his purpart, including schoolhouse No. 23, to the school directors of Sugar Creek township, in January 1846. Leasure by his will, not dated, but registered March 19, 1847, devised his "plantation on which George Hooks lived," which was this purpart of "Canton," to his son George, who became satisfied from his father's acts and declarations, both before and after making his will, that the person who wrote it had erred in limiting the devise to George -- that his intention was to devise it to both him and his brother Abraham. They, therefore, made an amicable partition, and George conveyed one parcel of 29 and another of 34 acres to Abraham, August 19, 1853.
The Brethren in Christ Church was organized in this part of what is now Washington township, about 1842, by Rev. George Shoemaker, and was sometimes called the "Shoemakerian church." The church edifice, frame, was erected in 1858 on the above-mentioned portion of "Canton," conveyed by George to Abraham Leasure. For the purpose of conveying a moiety of the edifice and ground to the Church of God, Abraham Leasure conveyed the lot to Nicholas Leasure, Samuel Stouffer and Adam Wyant, February 13, 1864, which they conveyed, the same day, to Abraham Leasure and J. C. Plowman, who conveyed "one half of a house of worship and graveyard with all the appurtenances" and the 80 square perches on which they were situated, to "John Hovis, chairman of the Standing Committee of the West Pennsylvania Eldership of the Church of God," March 26, 1866, for $302.67, since when the property has been jointly owned by both congregations. The membership of the Brethren in Christ church is about 25; number of Sabbath-school scholars, 15.
The McCall purpart of "Canton," 272 acres and 130 perches, passed from his heirs to William F. Johnston, a part of which he conveyed to Abraham Leasure, Jr., July 19, 1852, 61 acres and 150 acres of which, including about 32 acres previously conveyed, he conveyed to Abraham Leasure, Sr., August 25, 1853, for $587.50, that is for both parcels. Johnston conveyed a portion of the land to John John, June 27, 1856, whose heirs conveyed 72 acres and 27 perches to Phillip John, January 26, 1869, for $500, which their father in his life-time had agreed to sell to him.
Adjoining "Canton" on the north is another hexagonal tract, which appears on the Gapen map to have been surveyed by Gapen, deputy surveyor, to "Jas. Trimble, (*6) 354" acres, whose interest became vested in McCall. The original settler was Samuel Clark, to whom and McCall it was surveyed by Ross, deputy surveyor, as containing 361 acres and 43 perches, May 3, 1805, who was assessed that and the previous year with the 400 acres and 1 cow, at $106, to whom it continued to be assessed until 1816, then to Robert Colgan until 1817, when it was transferred to John Wolf, who probably acquired the settler's purpart, which chiefly belongs to his heirs.
The patent for it was granted to McCall May 28, 1833, 203 acres and 47 perches of which his heirs conveyed to William F. Johnston, of which he conveyed 134 acres and 34 perches to Bartholomew Wyant, April 15, 1852, for $739.52, and 64 acres and 156 perches, August 16, for $505.80, who soon afterward sold 6 acres to John Wolf for $10 an acre, and about three years later 25 acres to Matthias Wolf at $17.40 an acre. Johnston conveyed 72 acres and 77 perches to Daniel Woods, August 31, 1854, for $497.37, which the latter conveyed to Barbara Woods, October 19, 1857, at the same price, which she and her husband Jacob Woods, conveyed to Bartholomew Wyant, March 17, 1866, which he conveyed to Jeremiah Wyant, April 5, 1879, for $2,900. There must have been a considerable surplus in this tract.
Adjoining that James Trimble-McCall tract on the north is a pentagonal one, the boundary of whose northwestern part is the depreciation line, its northeastern side being skirted by the Allegheny river. From the Gapen map it appears to have been surveyed by Gapen, deputy surveyor, to "Thos. Patterson, 334.132." William Fish appears to have had an early claim to it, to whose son John it was assessed as containing 370 acres, in 1804 and 1805, at $92, on which another of his sons, Robert Fish, settled in 1809, and was then assessed with 330 acres, 1 horse and 1 cow, at $100. He became its permanent occupant, to whom John Fish and Rebecca, his wife, as legatees of William Fish, September 23, 1814, released all manner of actions and claims which they ever had or might thereafter have, concerning the management and disposition of the lands and tenements of William Fish in Sugar Creek township, or of any money, rents, issues and profits received therefrom by him, or by reason of any matter, cause or thing whatsoever, "from the beginning of worlds until the date" thereof, and to whom this tract continued to be assessed until his death in 1824, which was thereafter assessed to his widow until 1841. Patterson's interest became vested in McCall, to whom the patent was granted November 11, 1830, and to whose heirs Fish's heirs conveyed their interest in 190 acres, August 13, 1849, for $1. There was probably a surplus of 18 acres and 96 perches in this purpart, as each heir's share seems to have been subsequently ascertained to have been 33 acres and 6 perches. The heirs released to one another: Elsa Phillips and her husband conveyed her share to William Hooks; William Fish conveyed his interest in 86 acres and 80 perches to Andrew Henry, July 5, 1851, for $10; Mary Bowser and her husband conveyed her share, 33 acres and 6 perches, to John Paxton, September 1, 1849, for $440, which he conveyed to John McClatchey May 23, 1863, for $700, which the latter conveyed to Joseph and Simon Fair, and William T. Richardson, February 13, 1865, for $1,000; Sarah Adams and her husband conveyed her interest in her father's heirs' purpart to Matthew S. Adams, November 30, 1843, who conveyed it to Andrew Henry, March 22, 1844, for $75; Alexander Adams' interest was conveyed by John Tuly, sheriff, to David Wolf, March 23, 1842, for $57, which he conveyed to Henry, May 4, 1848, for $100.
McCall's purpart was conveyed by his heirs to William F. Johnston, who conveyed 86 acres and 126 perches to Andrew Henry, October 5, 1854, for $683.90. The interest of Henry and his wife in this parcel, and in their share of her father's heirs' purpart, that is in 120 acres, was conveyed by George B. Sloan, sheriff, to Phillip Templeton, of Kittanning, September 9, 1861, for $480, who reconveyed it to them June 1, 1869, "for value received." David Wolf conveyed one-fifth of 129 acres of the Fish estate, which John Tuly, sheriff, had conveyed to him, March 23, 1842, to Andrew Henry, May 9, 1848, for $100. He, his wife and her mother, Elsie Gold, formerly widow of Robert Fish, joined in conveyance of 123 acres, partly of the Fish and partly of the McCall purpart, to Joseph and Simon Fair, and William T. Richardson, February 20, 1865, for $10,000, which Joseph Fair conveyed to Samuel Fair, August 26, 1868, for $3,500, subject to the payment of a mortgage on the land to Walter Titley for $1,200.
Between the Patterson-McCall-Fish tract, the James Trimble-McCall tract, and the Allegheny river and other as yet unmentioned tracts, is a pentagonal one, which appears on the Gapen map to have been surveyed by Gapen, deputy surveyor, to "George Elliott, 402" acres, on which John John was an early settler, who was first assessed in Sugar Creek township as a single man and with 1 horse, in 1810, at $25, and in 1815 with 400 acres, 1 horse and 1 cow, at $66. He acquired title to the southern half of this tract, about 200 acres, by improvement and settlement, one-half acre in the eastern corner of which he conveyed, January 5, 1838, to the school directors of Sugar Creek township, so long as it should be used for school purposes, on which schoolhouse No. 1 had been erected in accordance with the provisions of the school law of April 1, 1834, and its supplements. He agreed to sell about 50 acres of the eastern part of this parcel to his daughter Esther, wife of Elijah Flanner, but did not execute the deed before his death, which his heirs conveyed to her daughter Esther Florence March 1, 1866. He conveyed about the same quantity of the western part to his son Adam C. John. There were 119 acres left undisposed of at his death. The inquest in subsequent proceedings in partition valued this parcel at $20.41 per acre, June 28, 1867, at which it was taken by his eldest son, Martin John, on which is the first brick house erected in what is now Washington township.
The legal title to the rest of this tract became vested in John W. Johnston, which, 202 acres and 118 perches, he by John Gilpin, his attorney-in-fact, conveyed to Robert L. Brown, George F. Frishcorn, William H. H. Piper and Simon Truby, Jr., April 28, 1871, for $3,097.82, in pursuance of a previous agreement with William Bartheld and Piper.
Next south of the Elliott-John tract is a hexagonal one, its southern part projecting eastward, which appears on the Gapen map to have been surveyed to "William Trimble, 432.65," on which William McAnninch was the original settler, who was assessed with 400 acres of it, in 1804 and 1805, at $80, who conveyed his interest in it to Mordecai McDonald, July 9, 1806, for $300, which he conveyed to John McNickle, August 7, for the same consideration, but what became of his interest the records show not. The patent, in which it is called "Williamsburg," nevertheless, was granted to McAnninch and McCall, to the latter of whom Trimble's interest had passed. "Williamsburgh" was included in McCall's assignment to Du Pont. Samuel Matthews, county treasurer, sold it for taxes to William Wylie, to whom he conveyed it September 17, 1820. Du Pont reconveyed it to McCall January 17, 1833, whose heirs conveyed whatever interest they had in it to Wylie, July 27, 1847, for $500, who conveyed a portion of it to John J. John July 2, 1857, a portion of the northwestern part of which he conveyed to Adam C. John, and another parcel he agreed to sell to his son Isaac, to whom his heirs conveyed it after his death. A small parcel of it, 9 acres and 105 perches, remained undisposed of at his death, which the inquest valued at $36.66 per acre, at which it was taken by John J. John. Wylie conveyed the remainder of "Williamsburgh," 212 acres and 47 perches, to George Leasure, September 30, 1852, for $615. John John agreed in his lifetime to convey parcels of his part of "Williamsburgh," but not having done so before he died intestate, his heirs, March 1, 1866, conveyed 88 acres and 14 perches to Isaac John, for $790; 72 acres and 27 perches to Phillip John for $500.
Contiguous to "Williamsburgh" on the south is an octagonal tract, about one-fifth of which extends south into what is now East Franklin township, which appears on the Gapen map to have been surveyed to "David Cooper, 413" acres, whose interest passed to McCall, which appears to have been seated by Joseph McKee, who was assessed with 400 acres of it in 1804 at $80, to whom and McCall it was surveyed as containing 411 acres and 89 perches by Ross, deputy surveyor, May 1, 1805. McKee was afterward assessed with a less quantity, the last time in 1810, with 200 acres, when it was noted on the assessment list "transferred to Jacob Andoni" (Anthony). John Christman must have acquired the settler's interest, for McCall, to whom the patent was granted May 28, 1833, conveyed 200 acres of the "south end" to him July 16, 1835, for $1, who conveyed 100 acres "partly in Franklin township," to ex-sheriff George Smith, February 28, 1848, in consideration of the proper maintenance of his son, Michael Christman, during his natural life, who had been tried for arson and acquitted on the ground of insanity, and was then a charge upon Franklin township, which parcel Smith conveyed to John P. Davis, April 6, 1850, for $600. Christman conveyed 6 acres in Franklin township to his son John, April 20, 1866, for $284, and by his will, dated December 11, 1860, and registered March 13, 1862, devised the remaining part of this purpart and his other real estate to his daughters, Catherine, Jane, Margaret and Susannah, for "the valuable services" which they had rendered as well as for "natural love and affection."
McCall conveyed his purpart, 210 acres, of this tract to John John, June 14, 1839, for $1,050, which he parceled out to his sons in his lifetime, for two parcels of which he did not execute deeds. Hence his heirs, March 1, 1866, conveyed 71 acres and 52 perches to Frederick John for $356.62, and 69 acres and 88 perches to Peter John for $436.76.
The site of the German Baptist or Dunkard church edifice is in the southwestern part of "Williamsburgh," which is frame, 30 X 40 feet, one story, erected in 1865. The present pastor of this church is Rev. J. B. Wampler. it s membership is 75; Sabbath-school scholars,, 40.
Between "Williamsburgh" and the Cooper-McCall-McKee tract and the Allegheny river is a hexagonal one, "Vacant" on the Gapen map, on which Caleb Paull was an early settler, who was assessed in 1804 with 1 horse and 3 cows at $66. On the other map this tract bears the name of "John Orr, 400a," of which and the Mahoning island, about 27 acres in the Allegheny river, opposite the northern part of this tract, he became seized, but did not obtain a patent for the same before his death, after which his administrators, Robert Orr, Jr., and Samuel C. Orr, by virtue of an order of the orphans' court of this county, to sell his real estate on the first Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of April, 1825, for the payment of his debts and the maintenance of his children, conveyed both this tract, 410 acres and 144 perches, and that island and another small one near it, to Archibald Dickey, February 12, 1838, for $671, to whom the warrant and patent were subsequently granted, who agreed, May 14, 1830, to sell the same to Ezekiel Dickey for $800, which the latter paid in the former's lifetime, who did not execute a deed therefor. The specific performance of that agreement was decreed by the proper court December 15, 1845, whereupon George Means, administrator, the same day conveyed this tract and the island to the vendee. The latter conveyed 117 acres of this tract to Rev. John Dickey, May 21, 1846, for $500, which he conveyed to Samuel H. Dickey, June 12, 1849, for $300. Ezekiel conveyed 8 acres and 121 perches to Charles Morrall, May 6, 1853, for $87, and 96 acres and 38 perches to Samuel H. Dickey, May 26, 1853, for $886, to whom he agreed, June 18, 1868, to convey 200 acres more providing him with proper maintenance during the rest of his life. Simon Torney either leased or owned 57 acres of the northeastern part of this tract, on which he drilled a salt-well in 1831, which does not appear to have been operated after his death, which soon after occurred.
Mahoning Island was early surveyed to Thomas Thompson, whose interest became vested in John Orr, who conveyed it to Hans J. Huidekooper, September 22, 1813, for 5 shillings and a debt of $320, whose reconveyance to Orr, if any was made, is not on record.
North of the Orr-Dickey tract, north and east of "Williamsburgh," and east of the southern part of the George Elliot-John John tract, is one, nearly a rectangular parallelogram, lengthwise from east to west on the right bank of the Allegheny river, which appears on the Gapen map to have been surveyed by Gapen, deputy surveyor, to "Jane Denniston, 434" acres, on which Thomas Thompson made an actual settlement and improvement, March 21, 1796, who conveyed his interest to Henry Christman, of Franklin county, Pennsylvania, January 1, 1810, for �200. Thompson was succeeded by John Burns, to whom the land, 1 horse and 2 cows were assessed in 1805, at $112, and the next year, at $127. It was surveyed as containing 430 acres to Henry Gristman (Christman) by Ross, deputy surveyor, January 2, 1808. The patent in which it is called "Coll Hill," was, however, granted to Burns and McCall, February 13, 1809. Burns remained thereon several years. Christman retained the settler's and acquired nearly all of the McCall purpart. His heirs in their conveyance to John Christman, August 7, 1845, state that their father, late of Franklin county, died intestate, seized of 404 acres, that is, "Coll Hill," leaving nine children, of which John conveyed 350 acres to Charles Bonner, May 15, 1850, for $2,806.80, of which he conveyed 170 acres and 90 perches to Thomas D. M Gibson, May 31, 1862, for $2065.54, which he conveyed to James Mosgrove, April 19, 1864, for $3,000. Bonner conveyed 186 acres and 25 perches to George Best, September 17, for $3,500, who conveyed 48 1/2 acres to John K. Best, for $862.84, which he conveyed to Mosgrove, April 19, 1864, for $1,213. George Best conveyed 48 1/2 acres to John L. Gaughegan, September 26, 1864, for $1,000, and 100 acres to Brown and Mosgrove, for $3,000.
The McCall purpart of "Coll Hill" was included in the sale by McCall's heirs to William F. Johnston, stated in their deed to be 239 acres, which must be a mistake as to quantity, for 33 acres that he conveyed to Peninch Hooks, November 19, 1856, for $330, appears to be all thereof that he really had to convey.
"Coll Hill" was included in McCall's and Du Pont's conveyance and reconveyance.
Contiguous to "Coll Hill" on the north is a hexagonal, almost pentagonal tract, surveyed by Gapen, deputy surveyor, to "William Elliot, Jr., 353 3/4" acres, whose interest became vested in McCall. The early settler on this tract was Frederick Christman, who was assessed with 350 acres, 2 horses and 1 cow in 1804-5, at $198. Ross, deputy surveyor, January 2, 1808, surveyed 170 acres and 88 perches of the southern part to Christman, and 175 acres and 81 perches of the northern part to McCall. The patent was granted to both of them for the entire tract, March 7, 1820, and they released and quit-claimed to each other, May 29, 1835. Frederick and Henry Christman entered into a written agreement, January 5, 1810, "by and in company with Peter Pence and James Thompson," for the exchange of an equal quantity of land. Frederick to leave an open road on the parcel conveyed to him by Henry, and to have the use of the improvement on the parcel conveyed by him to Henry for three years. Frederick and John Christman exchanged 128 acres, July 4, 1840. Frederick conveyed 51 acres and 59 perches to his daughter, Katy Wyant, December 28, 1848, for $8 "and natural love and affection." By his will, dated June 6, 1850, and registered, January 22, 1851, he devised all the rest of his real estate to his "poor dumb son, Henry Christman."
McCall conveyed his purpart with those of other tracts to George A. McCall, November 4, 1834, which was included in the latter's conveyance to William F. Johnston, July 10, 1847, which now appears to belong to Brown and Mosgrove, and on which is the western terminus of a ferry across the Allegheny river.
Contiguous to the Elliott-McCall-Christman tract on the north is one on the Gapen map, which appears to have been surveyed on warrant to "Wm. Denniston, "371a80," whose interest passed to McCall, on which Francis Thompson was the original settler, who was assessed with 380 acres and 1 cow, in 1804, at $158, and the next year at $150. Ross, deputy surveyor, December 31, 1807, surveyed 187 acres and 21 perches, the northern part, to McCall, and 181 acres and 30 perches to Thompson, to both of whom the patent was granted March 7, 1820. Thompson having conveyed his interest to Jacob Wolf, McCall conveyed to him the Thompson purpart, June 20, 1845, for $1. Wolf by his will, not dated, registered December 19, 1838, devised his real estate to his wife during her life or widow-hood, and to be sold after her death -- if she remained till then his widow -- and the proceeds to be equally divided among his sons, David, George, Jacob, Joseph, Matthias, and Solomon, and his daughter, Christina and Elizabeth. But if she should remarry, all his real estate was to vest in his children and grandchildren and the alienee of one of them conveyed their respective interests to and in this purpart and in other 42 acres to David Wolf, at different times from May 4, 1848, till May 11, 1867, for $1578. The Wolf schoolhouse is on this purpart. The other purpart, extending to the foot of the deep northern bend or loop in the Allegheny river, was conveyed, among others, by McCall's heirs to William F. Johnston, which he conveyed to Thomas Armstrong, who, by his will, dated September 2, 1847, and registered November 19, 1851, devised 30 acres of the upper or northwestern corner to his daughter, Eleanor Shall, 30 acres adjoining Mrs. Shall's to his son John, 30 acres adjoining John's to his son William, and the rest of this purpart to his son Adam. There is a hamlet of a few years' growth along the south side of the public road, near the foot of that loop, consisting of eight or nine dwelling-houses, one store, opened this year (1876) by Benjamin McElroy, and a frame church edifice, called Union, because erected by the contributions of and used by various religious denominations. There appears to be the conveyance of only one of the lots in this hamlet on record, which is the one consisting of 1 acre that William B. Summers conveyed to Rebecca Summers, January 19, 1866, for $150, which she conveyed to Robert Fulton, May 26, 1873, for $750, which he conveyed to McElravy, September 11, 1875, for $600. It was then ascertained that the first of the above-mentioned conveyances of this lot had not been acknowledged so as to make it a legal conveyance, so that William B. and Rebecca Summers joined in a legally acknowledged deed therefor to McElravy, September 13, 1875, for the nominal consideration of $1. Fulton was first assessed with a store on the lot, in 1870, whose successor is McElravy.
There is on the Gapen map a rather narrow strip of land between those William Denniston and William Elliot, Jr., tracts and the Allegheny river on the west, whose southeast corner touches the southwest corner of "Coll Hill," and its southwestern corner is on the right bank at the foot of the sharp southern bend in the Allegheny river, noted "vacant," but on the other is the name of "Benjamin Edwards," which does not appear on the either early or late assessment lists of Sugar Creek township. It is noted on the assessment list of 1817, "Three hundred acres transferred from Maria Edwards to Frederick Christman." Jacob Wolf acquired a title to at least a portion of the northern part of this strip, and Frederick Christman to southern part, for which he obtained a warrant January 15, and the patent June 7, 1836. He conveyed 105 acres to Simon Singer, May 9, 1838, for $100, which passed under the sheriff's hammer to Thomas Williams, and which he conveyed to Alexander Reynolds, November 28, 1864, for $350, as the alienee of the interests of John Jamison therein under an agreement between him and Williams, June 26, 1856.
The remainder of Washington township is north of the depreciation line and consists of what were formerly donation lands, so that the Gapen map again and finally ceases to be used in developing the early land history of the remaining portion of this county. The Lawson & Orr map of surveys is the only one meant in subsequent references to such a map.
About 550 rods above the heretofore-mentioned sharp southern bend in the Allegheny river is the depreciation line, adjoining which on the north is a long and comparatively narrow tract, lengthwise from east to west, rendered trapezoidal by the southeasterly course of the river, which skirts it on the northeast, bearing on its face on the map "Charles Campbell, 361a67p," whose interest in which or a part of which probably became vested in Michael Fair, who was first assessed with 100 acres, 1 horse and 1 cow, in 1806, at $66, and with a distillery first in 1831. The patent was granted to him February 4, 1831. He conveyed 189 acres and 33 perches of this tract to his son Isaac, May 10, 1830, for $1, "and natural love and affection," on which, opposite the American furnace, now Rimerton, he erected his sawmill in 1855, now operated by steam. Isaac Fair leased all the land thus conveyed to him, except 20 acres, on which were his orchard and improvements, to J. M. Gillette and A. J. Warner, June 18, 1870, for the term of 30 years, for oil and mining purposes, for $1, and one-eighth of all oil and minerals obtained therefrom. Those lessees soon after drilled a well, which was unproductive.
Michael Fair also conveyed 127 acres and 25 perches of the western part of this tract to his son Simon, May 10, 1836, for $1, "and natural love and affection."
Adjoining that Campbell-Fair tract on the north is an irregularly shaped one, with 400 acres of which, 1 distillery, 1 horse and 1 cow, Thomas Miller appears to have been assessed in 1804, at $241, and the next and the following year for the last time with the same, less the horse and cow, at $160. On the map this tract bears the name of "Peter Miller, 404a65p," whose interest probably became vested in Robert Brown, who is mentioned as an adjoiner in conveyances of portions of some of the contiguous tracts. John Foster, Jr., was first assessed with this tract in 1827-8, to whom and James E. Brown the patent was granted October 18, 1831. Foster was assessed with 150 acres at the time of his death. He, by his will, dated October 1, and registered November 5, 1851, devised all his real estate to his wife as long as she should remain his widow, and one-third if she should remarry, and the rest to be equally divided among his children. The other purpart, about 250 acres, belongs to Brown & Mosgrove, who leased a strip along the river to J. M. Gillette and A. J. Warner, August 2, 1870, to be used by the lessees "for oil and saline purposes only," for one-eighth of all oil and salt-water" that they might therefrom produce.
Stretching north along the river is a narrow strip of land bearing the name of "John Fulton" on the map, the warrant for which was granted to Daniel Dahle, February 27, 1838, who conveyed his interest to John Evans, August 7, 1841, which the latter conveyed to Nicholas Cloak, to whom the patent for about 105 acres was granted September 23, 1853, 17 acres and 61 perches of which he conveyed to John D. Mhelly February 17, 1854, which he conveyed to David Kelly May 19, and which he conveyed to Walter Litley, May 24, 1855, for $300. Cloak conveyed the rest of this tract, 88 acres and 25 perches, to Joseph Fair, April 1, 1865, for $2,900, to whose heirs it now belongs.
Adjoining that Fulton-Dahle tract on the north, and extending to a point on the right bank of the Allegheny river about 80 rods below the mouth of Red Bank creek, is another narrow tract which became fully vested in James McClatchey, Sr. He was probably the original settler on this and one of the hereinafter-mentioned contiguous tracts, for he was assessed with 600 acres, 1 horse and 1 cow, in 1804, at $271, and the next year with the same and 3 more cattle, at $291. He made his first improvement on that contiguous tract probably before 1800. He was first assessed with 200 acres in 1810, probably soon after he commenced his exclusive occupancy of this tract, for which he obtained a patent April 2, 1831, and which, 225 acres and 33 perches, he conveyed to his son James, May 10, 1831, for $75, who conveyed 47 acres and 23 perches to William McClatchey, July 5, 1841, for $424.22. He also conveyed 91 acres and 42 perches to Hugh, James and Stephen Forrester, which they conveyed to David Lewis, November 14, 1848, for $1,025. He may have conveyed another small parcel or two to others. There were about 50 acres left at the time of his death. By his will, dated, July 8, 1841, and registered May 7, 1842, he directed that his land should be sold immediately after the death of his wife, and the money arising from the sale should be divided equally among his seven children, and in case of the death of any of them before the sale, the children of each deceased should receive his or her share, that is, one-seventh, and appointed his wife Elizabeth executrix, and his son James executor. The former survived the latter, so that the land was not sold during the life of either (*7). Both the Fulton and McClatchey portions of this narrow strip are denominated "the Adam Maxwell Improvement" on the map of connected drafts of surveys made by James Buchanan.
The rest of the territory of Washington township, except the eastern strips of three tracts already mentioned in Sugar Creek township, among which is the presently again-mentioned Adam Maxwell tract, consists of six tracts between the depreciation line on the south and the large northern bend in the Allegheny river, which were warranted and settled thus: Archibald Denniston, warrantee, James Watterson, succeeded by William Holder, settler; John Elliott, warrantee, John Foster, settler; Robert Patrick, warrantee, James Craig, settler; Samuel Kincade, warrantee, John Bowser, settler; Alexander Denniston, warrantee, Michael Guyer, settler; William Denniston, warrantee, Hugh Gillespie, settler. These six tracts and the Adam Maxwell one became vested in Levi Hollingsworth, of Philadelphia, who entered into a written agreement, November 15, 1819, with James Craig, John Foster, Hugh Gillespie and James Watterson, the terms and conditions of which were: These settlers having settled on several of these tracts, and desiring to compromise their respective claims, were to furnish Hollingsworth with the proper, necessary proof of the settlement of such tracts as they respectively had settled. The patents were to be issued in the names of the settlers for the warrantee, who were each to have 150 acres of the tract he had thus settled, to include the improvement he had made, and to be of equal quality with the rest of the tract, which was to be conveyed to Hollingsworth or his assigns in fee simple, who was to refund to them their respective proportionate shares of the taxes which they had paid on the entire tracts.
The southwestern one of these tracts adjoins the depreciation line on the south, and its central part is traversed from south to north by Denniston's run, the original name of Huling's or Riggle's run. The warrant for 376 acres and 71 perches was granted to Archibald, February 28, 1794, on which James Watterson settled a few years later, who was assessed with it, 2 horses and 3 cattle, in 1804, at $248, and the next year with the same, less one cow, at $236. In October, 1815, he and William Holder entered into a written agreement, the terms of which were that Watterson should be at one-half of the expense and furnish one-half of the material for building a mill on this tract, then occupied by Holder, who was to furnish the other half for building and keeping it in repair, and to have the privilege of taking all the timber needed for its erection from this tract, and each party was bound in the penal sum of $100 for the due performance of his part of the contract. Holder erected a log mill, and was assessed with this tract from 1815 until 1817, when it was transferred from him to John Crawford. Watterson, it will be borne in mind, was one of the parties to the above-mentioned contract with Hollingsworth. The patent for this tract was granted to Watterson, February 7, 1820, who conveyed 205 acres and 59 perches of it to James McClatchey, March 25, 1843, probably in pursuance of a previous agreement for the sale and purchase from Watterson to him, for he was first assessed with the gristmill thereon in 1832-3, which was known as "McClatchey's mill" for thirty years afterward, and which with 205 acres and 59 perches McClatchey conveyed to George B. Sloan, April 7, 1863, which he conveyed to David Shields, April 9, 1864, for $4,050, who subsequently rebuilt the mill on an enlarged and improved scale, and it was known for several years as the Shields mill. He conveyed several parcels, aggregating 64 acres and 166 perches, to Christopher, James and Thomas H. Foster, January 14, 1868, for $2,100, and D. S. Reed, sheriff, conveyed to Christopher and James Foster 50 acres, another parcel of Shield's land, April 4, 1869, for $1,445, which he sold on a judgment in favor of James Y. Foster for $346.84 of debt. Christopher and James Foster conveyed the undivided one-third part of 63 aces, that is of two of the first of the above-mentioned parcels, to James Y. Foster, May 13, 1869, for $4,590. The heirs of James Foster conveyed one undivided third of 193 acres, the "McClatchey mill property," to Thomas V. McKee, in 1875, for $8,200. The present steam and water mill with two runs of stone, was erected in 1868-9. Redick, Foster & Co. were first assessed as merchants here in 1866. The mill property was first assessed to James Foster & Co., in 1867; to Foster, McKee & Co., in 1873; to McKee & Foster, in 1876, when McKee & Litley were first assesses with their store.
The Hollingsworth purpart of this tract became vested in McCall, whose heirs by Amos N. Mylert, their attorney-in-fact, conveyed 100 acres of the western part to Alexander Foster, August 10, 1848, for $100, which was included in his devises to his sons (*8), and to Robert Foster the rest of the tract, supposed to be 113 acres, after deducting Watterson's 197 acres and 55 perches, and Alexander Foster's 100 acres, July 13, 1848, for $340. There must have been a surplus of nearly 39 acres in this tract.
Adjoining the Denniston-Watterson tract is another similar one, a rectangular parallelogram, lengthwise from the depreciation line north, warranted in the name of John Elliott, 382 acres, on which John Foster was the original settler, who was assessed with 400 acres in 1804, at $76, and the next year, at $84. He afterward resided permanently on this tract, and his residence on the Watterson Ferry road was the beginning of the circle for a circular fox hunt in the spring of 1828. It extended thence to Andrew Harshy's; thence to Henry Wiles'; thence to Thomas Hindman's; thence to Joseph Shields'; thence to John McDowell's; thence to Thomas Milliken's; thence to John Mateer's, and thence along the Watterson Ferry road to John Foster's, the entire circle being within the then limits of Sugar Creek township. The coming-in place was at Bushy run near the present site of the Templeton schoolhouse. The chronicles of these times do not state whether these huntsmen were silently intent upon encircling coveted game, or were too carelessly colloquial to prevent its escape(*9). They captured one deer, which they did not retain, and either five or seven foxes.
The patent for this tract was granted to John Foster in 1837, who transferred the 150 acres to which he was entitled by the Hollingsworth agreement to his son Robert, November 19, 1850.
The other purpart became vested in John Graham, of Butler, who conveyed 59 acres and 32 1/2 perches to Thomas Morrow, February 28, 1852, for $181.85, who was the first postmaster of the Sherrett postoffice, which was established here, August 5, 1861, and was afterward removed to McKee and Foster's mills, D. C. Mobley being the present postmaster.
Adjoining that Elliott-Foster tract on the north is one like it, 423 acres, the warrant for which was granted to Robert Patrick, on which James Craig settled in 1815, when he was assessed with 100 acres, 2 horses and 1 cow, at $51. In 1818 he was assessed with 350 acres, at $87.50, and was a party to the Hollingsworth agreement, and to whom the patent was granted in February, 1820. Robert Randolph was assessed with 400 acres of it in 1826, at $200, and conveyed whatever interest he had in it to Robert Thompson, May 3, 1826, for $20, to who it was not thereafter assessed.
The Craig purpart consists of the northern portion, and still belongs to his heirs. The Hollingsworth purpart become vested in McCall's heirs who by Mylert, their attorney-in-fact, conveyed 64 acres and 125 perches off the south end to John Foster, August 10, 1848, which he assigned to his son Robert, November 19, 1850. Mylert conveyed 176 acres adjoining that Foster parcel on the north to John Graham, October 8, 1857, which he conveyed to Rev. John Sherrett, a Baptist clergyman, August 10, 1859, for $603.25, who released all his interest as tenant by courtesy to Mrs. Rose Ann Sherrett, August 4, "for a full and valuable consideration." They conveyed 33 acres and 119 perches to Thomas Hopper, April 9, 1865, for $200; 100 acres of this Sherrett parcel are now assessed to Mrs. Sarah Litley.
Adjoining that Patrick-Craig tract on the west is one like it, 400 acres, warranted to Samuel Kinkead, the patent for which was granted to John Foster February 7, 1820, the western part being traversed meanderingly by Denniston's run, on which John Bowser appears to have settled in 1815, and George Reickle, in the southern part, in 1825, on which the latter commenced building a gristmill, which was never completed. Reickle acquired title to 159 acres -- probably Foster's purpart, the records show not how -- which, in proceedings in partition; was valued by the inquest, August 26, 1859, at $1,000, at whic0h it was taken by Henry Reickle, and was awarded to him by the decree of the proper court December 14. The other purpart became vested in Amos N. Mylert, who agreed to sell it to John E. Barnaby June 30, 1851. The latter's interest in it passed by sheriff's sale to George B. Sloan, which he conveyed to John Graham December 20, 1856, 120 acres of which the latter conveyed to Georg. J. Bert, July 29, 1861, for $870.24; 49 acres and 23 perches of which Bert conveyed to James McClatchey, October 10, 1863, for $300.
Adjoining that Kinkead-Foster tract on the north is another, trapezoidal, nearly a rectangular parallelogram, 440 acres, extending lengthwise north to the Allegheny river, the warrant for which was granted to Alexander Denniston, the western part of which is meanderingly traversed by Denniston's run, on which Michael Guyer was the original settler. He probably made an improvement and settlement on it prior to 1800. He was assessed with 200 acres, 1 horse and 4 cattle, in 1804 and 1805, at $120, and as a potter in 1812. This entire tract was afterward assessed to him until 1817, when it was "transferred to Hugh Gillespie," that is, Guyer's interest in it. The patent for the whole tract was granted to Gillespie February 7, 1820, who was a party to the contract with Hollingsworth, whose interest became vested in McCall's heirs. J. G. McClatchey owned or was in possession at one time of 127 acres and 50 perches, and William Holder 50 acres and 46 perches, the two parcels aggregating 177 acres and 96 perches of the southern part, conveyances either to or from whom are not on record. Mylert, as attorney-in-fact for McCall's heirs and John E. Barnaby, agreed, June 30, 1851, to sell and purchase the rest of the Hollingsworth-McCall purpart, 234 acres and 75 perches, which Mylert conveyed to John Graham October 8, subject to Barnaby's interest, which afterward passed by sheriff's sale to Samuel Owens and Darwin Phelps, which they conveyed to Graham December 12, 1855, which he reconveyed to them December 30, 1856, and which they conveyed to Mary Stephens January 15, 1858, who, and her husband, Robert Stephens, granted the ore privilege and so much timber as was needed for mining the ore, to Thomas McCullough and Alexander Reynolds April 25, 1863, and, subject to that grant, they conveyed 102 acres and 34 perches to Marius Hulings, January 10, 1865, for $771, of which he conveyed the undivided fourteen-twentieths to Andrew Barron, Jacob Boolyer, S. A. Chamberlin, Evans Davis, William A. Lee, John Rees and Thomas Scundreth, November 28, at $40 per acre.
Gillespie appropriated the northeastern part of his purpart of this, and the northwestern part of his parcel of the tract adjoining on the east, to a town, which he named Van Buren, after the then president --the eighth president -- of the United States. This town was surveyed or laid out by Gillespie, prior to March, and surveyed by J. E. Meredith on Wednesday and Thursday, July 19 and 20, 1837, "dry and very warm." The 96 in-lots were laid out in two sections, between which is a parcel containing territory for nine lots of various areas called the reserve. The first tier of lots in the section above, that is the tier nearest the river, are 62 X 100 feet; those in the second and third tiers 62 X 95 feet; those in the fourth tier, 62 X 92 feet. That first section bears along down the river north 75 degrees east, and back south 15 degrees east. The section below the reserve bears down the river north 87 degrees east, and back south 3 degrees west. The area of each lot in the first tier is 62 1/2 X 100l feet; in the second tier, 62 1/2 X 95; in the third tier, 62 1/2 X 93. The streets parallel with the river are Back, Carroll, 30 feet wide, and Water. Those extending back from Water, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth, each 16 feet wide. The alleys, Bredin and Jackson, parallel with the river, 12 feet wide. The gristmill and sawmill lots, each 10 acres, are several rods above the mouth of Denniston's run. The twelve out-lots, each 4 X 40 rods, are several rods below the lower section of in-lots, on the adjoining tract.
Gillespie conveyed in-lots Nos. 52 and 53 to Marcus Hulings, March 8, 1837, for $18 and $13, respectively, and one of those mill-lots, 10 acres, August 21, 1847, for $200, "with the privilege of using the stream of water running through from the line of the same to the Allegheny river," probably in pursuance of a previous agreement, for Hulings had erected his grist and saw mills thereon in 1845.
The records do not show how many other lots and to whom Gillespie sold. He conveyed his remaining interest in this purpart and other 50 acres and 20 perches to the Brady's Bend Iron Company, April 20, 1849, for $1,282.38. James Craig purchased in-lots Nos. 45, 46 and 95, which he conveyed to John Craig, which the latter conveyed to William P. Connor, February 4, 1851, for $100, who conveyed them to John E. Barnaby, May 9, 1853, for $75. A number of them became vested in Nicholas Liebling, who conveyed Nos. 33, 35, 38, 40, 41, 48 to Barnaby, September 25, 1853, for $120, and Nos. 49, 55, 56 and the reserve, April 14, 1854, for $105, of which Nos. 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 46, 47, 48, 49, 55 were sold on John Thomas' judgment against Barnaby, and conveyed by Joseph Clark, sheriff, to Samuel Weir, December 12, 1855, for $55, who otherwise acquired four others, for he conveyed the eleven last-mentioned ones and Nos. 33, 34, 50 and 56 to John Truby, Jr., September 28, 1859, for $107.26. Truby conveyed lot No. 28 to Mary Montgomery, February 22, 1860, for $1. A much larger number of lots was owned by John Truby than those above mentioned, over 30 which were afterward assessed to Henry Crum. Twenty-three were for a few years assessed to Simon Truby, Jr. The first and only resident physician at Van Buren is Dr. A. M. Barnaby, who settled here in 1867. The first separate assessment list was in 1838, on which are the names of eighteen owners of lots, some of one and others of several, more or less. It never attained the magnitude and importance which its founder undoubtedly desired and anticipated.
The most important industrial enterprise in this place was the large cooperage business carried on by Barnaby, William Geddes and John Meyer, who entered into a copartnership for the term of five years, from April 1, 1853, for carrying on "the business of coopering and all things thereto belonging, buying and selling all goods necessary for carrying on this business."
The assessment list for 1876 shows only six or seven taxables, 1 of whom is a physician,3 are laborers, and 1 a brakeman.
Adjoining that Denniston-McGuyer tract on the east is one similar, 440 acres, for which the warrant was granted to William Denniston, February 28, 1794, on which the original settler was probably James McClatchey, Sr., that is the first James McClatchey, Sr., for after his death his son James became Sr. Indeed, James has been a continuous name in the McClatchey family. The first one, as before stated, was assessed with 600 acres, which must have included this tract and the one between it and the river. He was, perhaps, employed by James Watterson to keep up the settlement to enable him to procure the patent for it, which was granted to him June 28, 1837. The Hollingsworth purpart became vested in McCall's heirs, who by their attorney-in-fact conveyed 240 acres of the southern part to William McClatchey, July 12, 1848, for $700, which he conveyed to Joseph Thomas, October 3, for $1,100, two parcels of which, 25 acres and 32 perches, and 115 acres and 128 perches, he conveyed to John E. Barnaby, June 10, 1849, for $500; 115 acres of which, more or less, Sheriff Clark conveyed to John Graham, of Butler, December 20, 1855, for $495; of which 15 acres were cleared and on which a coalbank had been opened -- which Graham conveyed to George Swisher, March 10, 1860, for $1,002, and which Swisher conveyed to Thomas McCulloch and Alexander Reynolds, April 4, 1863, for $1,400, and which is now a part of the Red Bank Furnace property. Another parcel of this tract which Barnaby had purchased was conveyed by Sheriff Clark as containing 75 acres, of which 70 were cleared and fenced, 12, in meadow, and on which there were a two-story plank dwelling-house and kitchen attached, and barn, etc., to Jonathan H. Sloan, December 5, 1855, for $1,380, who conveyed to H. A. S. D. Dudly, October 24, 1861, for $1,700. The same parcel was conveyed by Sheriff Sloan to E. S. Golden, who purchased for H. A. S. D. Dudley the interest of Barnaby, William Geddes and John Meyer, December 8, 1860, for $25, which Dudley conveyed to S. J. Carr, June 30, 1863, for $1,500; the judgment on which this last sale was made being against the defendants as copartners.
Thomas conveyed 101 acres of this purpart to Benjamin and John Fellows, July 26, 1849, for $1,200. Benjamin released his interest to :John, May 22, 1858, who conveyed this entire parcel to McCulloch and Reynolds, June 23, 1864, for $3,900, and which is now a part of the Red Bank Furnace property. Thomas also conveyed 40 acres to William Lambert, July 26, 1849, for $400, 6 acres of which he agreed, July 27, to sell to Mary Wilkinson, and which John Morris, his administrator, in pursuance of a decree of the proper court for the specific performance of that agreement, conveyed to her. The rest of this parcel was conveyed by A. J. Montgomery, trustee, in proceedings in partition by virtue of an order of the orphans' court to sell to Levi Henkey, June 17, 1871, for $40.
McCall's heirs by Mylert conveyed 50 acres and 20 perches of the northwestern part of this tract to Hugh Gillespie, April 4, 1849, for $1, on the northwestern part of which are the 12 out-lots in the town of Van Buren. Gillespie conveyed this parcel to Brady's Bend Iron Company, April 20.
James Watterson conveyed his purpart of this tract, 151 acres and 40 perches, a hexagonal parcel, mostly in the northeastern part of the tract, to Henry Watterson, May 16, 1833, for �125, "Pennsylvania currency," in the northeastern part of which opposite the mouth of Red Bank creek, the latter laid out the town of Wattersonville, which was surveyed off into 44 lots by Marcus Hulings, Jr., August 6, 1842. No. 25 contains 20 perches; No. 27, 24 perches; No. 28, 19 perches; No. 32, 35 perches. The area of each of the rest is 4 X 6 perches. The streets parallel to the river are Water, McConnell and Fish; those extending from Water to Fish are Apple, Market and Mulberry. The two alleys are parallel to Water, McConnell and Fish streets. The first sale of a lot on record is that of No. 1, to James Pinks March 1, 1856, for $25. He sold lots from time to time until October 31, 1871, when he conveyed Nos. 18 and 23 to William Hileman, for $175. If deeds for all the lots which he sold before his death are on record, the aggregate amount of sales is $1,938.67. The first separate assessment list of Wattersonville was in 1862, when there were only three taxables; the valuation of real estate, $920, and of personal property, $106. John Donnell opened his store here in 1865. The assessment list for 1876 shows the number of taxables to be 39; occupations -- laborers 6, car inspectors, 2; agent, 1; blacksmith, 1; carpenter, 1; dentist, 1; engineer, 1; freight agent, 1; innkeeper, 1; operator, 1; tinker, 1; tool-dresser, 1.
The Methodist Episcopal church was organized here in 18--.
The church edifice, frame, one story, was erected on ground that belonged to James Watterson, who conveyed 41 square perches to Alexander N. Chilcott, George W. Cousins, F. A Dietrich, John Donnell, John M. Perkins, Andrew Schall and George Steen, trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church of Wattersonville and their successors in office, for church purposes, May 30, 1872, for $100. The public schoolhouse is situated at the upper part of the town. Watterson conveyed other or rural portions of the land purchased from James Watterson in small parcels at various times before his death for $4,864.46, if the deeds for all the parcels which were sold are recorded (*10). Among these conveyances was that of one-half acre about half a mile below Wattersonville, along the public road, to the school directors, for $1.
Occupations of the inhabitants of Washington township other than agricultural, and exclusive of Van Buren and Wattersonville, in 1876: Laborers, 56; carpenters, 4; blacksmiths, 3; plasterer, 1; merchant, 1; wagonmaker, 1. According to the mercantile appraiser's list for the same year there were then 2 merchants in the thirteenth and 3 in the fourteenth class.
The population of this township including that of Van Buren and Wattersonville, in 1860, was: white, 988. In 1870, native, 1,140; foreign, 40. Taxables, in 1876, 340.
Schools. -- In 1860, number 6; average number of months taught, 4; male teachers, 6; average salaries per month, $18.50; male scholars, 175; female scholars, 135; average number attending school, 168; cost of teaching each per month, 61 cents. Levied for school purposes, $597.58; received from collectors, $380.33; cost of instruction, $444; cost of fuel, etc., $84.55. In 1876: Schools, 8; average number of months taught, 5; male teachers, 7; female teachers, 1; average salaries of male and female per month, $33; male scholars, 220; female scholars, 170; average number attending school, 240; cost per month, 61 cents; levied for school and building purposes, $2,531.32; received from state appropriation, $272.49; from taxes and other sources, $2,419.25; paid for teacher's wages, $1,122; fuel and other expenses, $1,569.74. The people of this township voted, February 28, 1873, on the license question -- for 77; against, 59;
Geological. -- Says Platt: The surface rocks are mainly the lower production in the highlands. Along the river from the mouth of Red Bank to the mouth of Mahoning and beyond opposite Templeton the conglomerate and sub-conglomerate measures occupy the greater part of the slopes. The upper Freeport coal is known only in the southeastern part of the township, unless there is a small patch of it on the extreme hilltop overlooking Watterson's ferry. The lower Kittanning coal is the bed chiefly worked, but the upper Kittanning also assumes prominence in places. The free ferriferous limestone supplies its iron ore. Both are valuable and have been worked along Limestone run from the Lutheran church across into East Franklin township.
Structure. -- An anticlinal axis extends through the southeastern portion of the township, crossing the river near the mouth of Mahoning. Another and similar axis crosses the northwestern corner of the township, so that the central part of the area lies within its synclinal.
*1 See Sugar Creek township.
*2 See Sugar Creek township
*3 See East Franklin
*4 See East Franklin township
*5 See East Franklin township
*6 Alexander Trimble, father of that name above mentioned, came, it is supposed, from the north of Ireland. Little is known of him, says Mrs. Paul Graff in her contribution to the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. He was member of the Second Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, while it was under the pastorate of Rev. Gilbert Tennent. He died prior to 1769, leaving several children, of whom James, above mentioned, was the eldest. Mr. Hamilton states that he was apprenticed in the land office about 1770, when he was fifteen years old. He was a subordinate clerk of the state council as early as 1775. When Timothy Matlack became secretary of the commonwealth, March 6, 1777, James Trimble was appointed deputy secretary, or assistant secretary, of the supreme executive council. Alexander J. Dallas, the first secretary of the commonwealth, under the constitution of 1790, appointed Trimble deputy secretary March 12, 1791. He was deputy secretary through all the administrations from 1777 until 1837. "In the judgment of his contemporaries he was a faithful public servant; a man of unimpeachable integrity, of obliging manners, respected by the community at large, and beloved by his family, to whom he greatly endeared himself by his kindness and affection."
James Trimble married the widow of John Hastings April 22, 1782. Her maiden name was Clarissa Claypoole, a descendant of James Claypoole, an intimate friend of William Penn, who emigrated from England in 1682, accompanying the first settlers of Germantown, on the Concord, and a brother of John Claypoole, who married Oliver Cromwell's daughter, Elizabeth. James Trimble aided in packing and removing the state papers when the British occupied Philadelphia, and when the seat of government was removed to Lancaster in 1799, and thence to Harrisburg in 1812. He was a member of and a pewholder in the Second Presbyterian church in Philadelphia, which he attended until he removed to Lancaster in 1799. After his removal to Harrisburg he was appointed trustee and treasurer of the Presbyterian congregation there, which position he held until his death, January 26, 1837, in his eighty-third year, having served his state faithfully for sixty-seven years. The mortification of his removal from the position which he had so long and creditably filled, although for mere partisan reasons, was too intense, for he died of a broken heart in eleven days after it occurred. There is a portrait of him painted by Waugh, from an original by Eicholz, in the chamber of the secretary of the commonwealth.
*7. It remained unsold several years after her death. Samuel McLaughlin, the executor's administrator, declined to sell that land, and in his written declination suggested the appointment of James Watterson as trustee for that purpose, who, having been appointed by the orphans' court of this county, and, after taking all the required preliminary steps, sold this parcel to Mrs. Margaret Tyler, May 25, 1880, for $900.
*8. See Sugar Creek
*9. Vide Kittanning township.
*10. He left about 12 acres which John Donnell, his executor, by virtue of an order of the orphans' court, sold for the payment of debts, which he conveyed to William Donnell, August 3, 1880, for $500.
Source: Page(s) 547-562, History of Armstrong County,
Pennsylvania by Robert Walker Smith, Esq. Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co.,
Transcribed April 2000 by James R. Hindman for the Armstrong County Smith Project.
Contributed by James R. Hindman for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)
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