Erection and Organization in 1845-First Officers Elected-Successive Owners of and Residents on the several Land Tracts-The Great Western Iron Works and Brady's Bend Iron Company-Mention of Founders and Managers.
Brady's Bend township was organized by virtue of the 59th section of the act of April 16, 1845, and bounded thus: Beginning at a point on the Allegheny river, where the line dividing Perry and Sugar Creek townships stretches (touches) the same; thence by the line of Perry township to the Butler county line; thence by the Butler county line to the house of Daniel Kemerer, or near it; thence by a direct line to the Allegheny river, at the mouth of Snyder's run, on the farm of Thomas Templeton; and thence by the Allegheny river to the place of beginning. The citizens of this township were authorized to hold the general and township elections at the house then occupied by John R. Johnston, and to elect township officers and two justices of the peace, as provided for other townships, on Saturday, July 6, 1845, at Johnston's who were to hold their offices until the then next spring election--notice of that special election to be given by the constable of Sugar Creek township. By the act of April 11, 1850, the place of holding elections was changed to schoolhouse No. 4, "near the public house kept by James Morrison," where they are still held.
At the election July 6, 1845, the following citizens were elected to the various offices: Joseph King and John A. Thompson, justices of the peace; Daniel B. Balliet, constable; Andrew Kayler and Andrew McKee, supervisors; Ephraim Myers, judge of election; George Duncan and William Hagerson, inspectors of election; William H. Davis, Daniel Kemerer, Jacob Millison, Robert A. Phillips, John Truby and Simon Wiles, school directors; James E. Crawford and Thomas Donaldson, overseers of the poor; Thomas S. Johnston, township clerk. Four persons had each 1 vote for township auditor.
At the spring election, 1846: Daniel B. Balliet, constable; Peter Kemerer, judge of election; Leonard Rumbaugh and John Truby, inspectors of election; Andrew Kayler and Andrew McKee, supervisors; James Summerville, assessor; Joseph King and Matthias C. Sedwick, assistant assessors; Hugh Moore and John Wiles, township auditors; Samuel M. Bell, Daniel Kemerer, M. C. Sedwick, John A. Thompson and John Truby, school directors-there was a tie vote between Peter Brennenau and Joseph King; Thomas Donaldson, overseer of the poor-a tie vote between Jacob Millison, Patrick Mehan, Andrew McKee and M. C. Sedwick; Samuel M. Bell, township clerk; Thos. Donaldson and John Quinn, fence viewers.
In the southwestern part of what is now Brady's Bend township is a strip of the northern part of South "Campbelltown," mentioned in Sugar Creek township, and the whole of a similar tract, a rectangular parallelogram, lengthwise from south to north 436 acres and 108 perches, warranted to James T. Campbell, whose interest became vested in Charles Campbell, to whom the patent was granted simultaneously with the one adjoining it on the south, to distinguish it from which it is here called North "Campbelltown," which with South "Campbelltown," it will be remembered, Campbell conveyed to Nicholas Allimong's executors in trust for his legatees. These executors conveyed 88 acres to Margaret Yorkey, wife of Abraham Yorkey, which they conveyed to Adam Kemerer, October 29, 1811, for $80. Those executors conveyed 149 acres at the same time, August 19, 1809, to Barbara Lauffer, which she probably conveyed to Adam Kemerer. Jacob Allimong conveyed 53 � acres of the parcel devised to him to Kemerer June 8, 1811, for $142.66, who was first assessed in Sugar Creek township, of which this was then a part, with 266 acres in 1816, at $130.25. The parcel which he purchased from Mrs. Yorkey he conveyed to David Kemerer May 20, 1818, who conveyed it, as containing 96 acres, to Samuel Kamerer, January 18, 1869, for $250. This entire tract appears to belong to the Kamerers, except the portion owned by Adam Barnhart.
Adjoining North "Campbelltown" on the north is a square tract, 400 acres, the warrant for which was granted to David Nixon, probably in 1794, on which George King appears to have made an early improvement and settlement. He and Leonharte Kealor entered into a written agreement February 1, 1815, for the sale and purchase of 200 acres of it for $200, each to bear one-half the expense of the survey and patent. If there should prove to be an excess of more than 50 acres within the designated boundaries, Kealer was to pay $2 an acre for such excess, and defray one-third of the expense of the patent. They mutually bound themselves in the penal sum of $300 for the due performance each of his part of the contract. Peter Kealer was assessed with a sawmill on this tract, first in 1817. John McCullough, of the adjoining township of Donnegal, had some interest in or claim to this tract, that he had acquired from Jacob and John Spangler "by article of bargain and sale," which he conveyed to King August 15, 1816, for $150. The Spanglers' interests in lands in this region originated thus: John Elliott, Jr. of Derry, Westmoreland county, was empowered by John Denniston and McCall to settle their bodies of lands on the waters of Buffalo and Sugar creeks. He as their agent entered into an agreement May 27 and June 23, 1796, with James Craig, George and John Spangler, and nearly twenty others. He agreed that each party who signed that agreement should have 200 acres of the tract on which he should settle. Each settler was to pay his own share of the purchase money due the commonwealth, to live at least five years on and cultivate not less than 8 acres of his chosen tract, and the parties were mutually bound in the penal sum of �100 for the performance of their respective parts of the contract, and that there was no prior claim to the land.
King conveyed 20 acres to John Richard, May 18, 1818, for $80, on which he was first assessed with his carding machine, in 1822.
George King conveyed 70 acres of this tract, October 24, 1818, to Jonathan King, Sr., for $3.50 per acre. This tract was sold by Robert Brown, county treasurer, for taxes, and conveyed by him to Joseph Brown September 17, 1816, as a tract of 400 acres "surveyed on a warrant to John Spangler." Joseph Brown conveyed it to Alexander Colwell January 24, 1818, who conveyed to Daniel Torringer 100 acres, to James Torringer 100 acres, to Andrew Kayler 70 acres and to Jacob Kayler 40 acres, those being the quantities of which they were respectively in possession, September 15, 1832, for $71. Nixon's warrant, having been prior to Spangler's, prevailed. Nixon's interest became vested in McCall, to whom the patent was granted December 6, 1827. He conveyed August 8, 1829: To Samuel McCartney, 115 acres, more or less, for $76 2/3, which he conveyed to John Y. McCartney, November 13, 1853, a part of which, on which is the Torringer schoolhouse, with some that he had bought from John Sybert, in all 150 acres and 67 perches, he conveyed to Joseph Torringer, February 20, 1856, for $2,000, where he was first assessed with a fulling-mill, in 1844, afterward with 1 and then with 2 carding machines, and last as a "woolen," in 1867, and with a store in 1868; McCall to Daniel Torringer, a parcel of which the latter conveyed, 18 acres and 47 perches, to Jonas Grove, November 19, 1863, for $262; McCall to James Torringer, 100 acres, which the latter conveyed to Michael Barnhart, July 11, 1837, on which was a schoolhouse, built while this was in Sugar Creek township, which he conveyed to Moses Copler August 17, 1839, and which he conveyed to Isaac Myers, April 27, 1850, for $800, which Myers conveyed to John Barr, January 5, 1865, and he to Daniel Carney, April 14, 1871, for $3,500. McCall to Jacob Kayler, a parcel of which the latter conveyed, 38 acres and 121 perches, to Thomas Butler, September 13, 1866, for $425; McCall to Jacob King, 42 acres, for $36. McCall's heirs, by Lloyd Mifflin, their attorney-in-fact, conveyed 70 acres and 74 perches to John Y. McCartney, July 26, 1843, for $1 and other land conveyed to them by him the same day, 66 acres of which he conveyed to John Wassol, July 1, 1848, for $125. A portion of this tract, consisting of several parcels was included in the conveyance from McCall's heirs to William F. Johnston. He conveyed one of them, 42 acres and 95 perches, to Thomas Butler, July 5, 1849, for $510; another, 50 acres and 6 perches to Henry Fennel, October 10, 1863, for $684.18, 45 acres and 64 perches of which Christopher Fennel conveyed to Matthias Olcus, July 6, 1870, for $1,800; Johnston to Jacob Snow, October 10, 1863, 106 acres and 110 perches, for $1,280.18, 5 acres of which Elizabeth Snow conveyed to Christopher Fennel, November 1, 1867, for $200. The mineral rights were excepted in those several conveyances from Johnston and in the subsequent ones.
Adjoining that Nixon-Spangler tract on the north is a similar one, extending to the Perry township line, the warrant for which was granted to Thomas Elder, probably in 1794, whose interests became vested in McCall.
Adjoining that Elder-McCall tract on the east is a similar one, 405 acres, for which the warrant was granted to John B. Elder, on which John Linaberger was the original settler, and with which he was assessed in 1804 and 1805, at $100 and the next year, with the land and one cow, $106. He acquired title to the settler's share which descended to his children. Eli Linaberg released his interest in 150 acres of the northern part to his brother John, January 29, 1859, for $50, and Adam Linaberger released his interest to John, March 2, for $60, with the major part of which the latter is still assessed. The patent for this tract was granted to McCall, March 9, 1820, whose heirs conveyed 285 acres and 80 perches more or less to William F. Johnston, who conveyed 50 acres and 97 perches to William Torringer, October 5, 1854, for $607.50, and 135 acres and 118 perches to Jacob J. Hallabaugh, for $1,608.10. Matthew Smith, of Fairview, Butler county, had a claim to 200 acres of the southern part, which appears to have been recognized as valid, which William G. Watson, who was appointed a trustee by the orphans' court of this county, conveyed to William McGarvey, in trust for Smith's heirs, March 22, 1854, for $500, who conveyed 75 acres and 20 perches to George Heath, December 5, 1855, for $806, which his executors sold by order of the proper court for the payment of debts, and conveyed to John Lloyd, March 2, 1858, for $802.
McGarvey, as trustee, conveyed 136 acres and 24 perches to Joseph Jenkins, July 6, 1865, for $1,413.40.
Adjoining that Spangler-McCall tract on the south is a similar one, 439 acres and 118 perches, on which George Spangler was the original settler, with 400 hundred acres of which and 2 cows he was assessed in 1804 at $120, and the next year, with the land and 1 cow, at $190. He applied to the land office and obtained a warrant for that quantity May 3, 1814, which was surveyed to him September 3, for which the patent was granted November 22, 1816. He conveyed 302 acres and 140 perches to Henry Sybert, January 3, 1817, for $957 "in hand paid." He had probably settled on this parcel several years before, for he was assessed with a mill and 1 cow on the Sugar Creek township list in 1812, and afterward with a grist and sawmill. In 1830 he died, and the land and the gristmill were noted as transferred to his heirs on the assessment list, after which it was assessed to Adam Sybert until 1834-5. A second patent for this entire tract was granted to McCall, December 6, 1827. Mrs. David Rumbaugh, Daniel and Barnard Sybert conveyed their interest in 30 acres to John Truby, in 1843, for $400. Bernard Sybert conveyed his interest in 33 acres "and the old mill seat, race and dam, and all the land alleged to have belonged" thereto, "and all the water privilege of the creek passing through the land." Hamilton Kelly as trustee conveyed Daniel Sybert's interest to Truby, January 14, 1859. Truby conveyed one-half his interest to David and Michael Truby, which they conveyed to Simon Truby. February 24, 1860, to whom Jonathan Myers, sheriff, conveyed John Truby's interest, which, 30 acres and 120 perches, the latter conveyed to Joseph Rodgers, September 6, 1864, for $4,000. Eighteen acres a short distance below, on Sugar Creek, became vested in Peter Brenneman, on which he opened his store in 1874. In the near vicinity of this mill, chiefly along the creek, is a population dense and numerous enough for a town or village, in which are, in 1876, 2 stores and 3 hotels.
McCall's heirs conveyed another portion of this tract, 63 acres and 75 perches, to Sebastian Sybert, which he conveyed to Michael McClosky, May 23, 1853, for $700, six parcels of which, aggregating 48 acres and 82 perches, he and his widow sold to various parties, from December 7, 1854, till October 4, 1867, for $1,488.80, besides leasing 10 acres to a coal company, October 17, 1863, who were to pay him 15 cents per ton of clear merchantable coal taken therefrom.
George Spangler conveyed 145 acres and 44 perches in the form of a trapezoid, partly in the eastern but chiefly in the southeastern part of this tract, to John Barnhart, April 25, 1829, for $435. McCall's heirs compromised with Barnhart, John Y. McCartney, and Henry Sybert's heirs, July 26, 1843, for a nominal money consideration and the mutual exchanges of certain parcels of this and another tract.
Adjoining that Spangler-McCall tract on the south is a similar one, 400 acres, the warrant for which was granted to James C. Campbell, a portion of whose land history is given* in the sketch of Sugar Creek township, a considerable portion of its southern part being still in that township. The warrantee's interest became vested in Charles Campbell. Its original settler was Jonathan King, who was assessed with 200 acres, 1 horse and 3 cattle in 1804, at $148, and with the same and an additional horse the next year, at $158. He was residing on this tract when he was elected the second sheriff of this county in 1808. After the close of his term, on being asked if he had made or saved any money from the income of his office, replied that he had not, but that he had had "a good living" during his term. He was in his early life a soldier in the revolutionary war, and was at the time of his death, which occurred here June 16, 1837, aged 79 years 8 months and 14 days. There is not any conveyance on record of any part of this tract either to or from him, which was on his tenure when Jacob Mechling conveyed it to Daniel Stannard, December 7, 1828, when 100 acres were cleared, and there were on it four cabin-houses and a cabin-barn. Dr. Gilpin conveyed 90 acres of the part in this township to Abraham F. Myers, March 25, 1858, for $975; 31 acres and 40 perches to David T. Lewis, December 24, 1859, for $468.75, and Lewis to Thomas W. George, October 18, 1862, for $331; Gilpin to Jacob Ellenberger, 70 acres, March 15, 1848, and he to Isaac Myers, April 9, 1861, for $1,400; Gilpin to Thomas W. Ginge, 155 acres, March 25, 1858, for $2,333.75; he to William Llewellyn and William P. R. Stevens, 131 acres and 60 perches, January 23, 1863, and they to David, John and William Williams, July 22, 1863, for $2,364.75; Gilpin to Philip King, 25 acres partly in Sugar Creek township, February 19, 1840, for $10, which King by his will, dated August 12, and registered August 24, 1842, devised to his son-in-law and daughter, John and Mary Yockey which they conveyed to John Jenkins, April 8, 1845, for $170, and which he conveyed to Joseph Hertwick, May 1, 1869, for $1,450. If there have been other conveyances of parcels of this tract by Gilpin they have not been recorded.
The early history of the next tract east of that Campbell-King one has already been given.* John Weil conveyed 76 acres and 26 perches, chiefly in what is now Brady's Bend township, in two parcels, to Benjamin Swain, May 8, 1820, for $437. Swain's interest in about 78 acres was sold by Robert Robinson, sheriff, on a judgment against Swain in favor of Alexander Colwell, to whom the sheriff conveyed that quantity, December 19, 1821, for $101, on which there were then a cabin-house and barn and about 20 acres cleared, and which Colwell conveyed to James Summerville, Jr., March 25, 1834, for $250. Adjoining that Swain parcel on the east were the 260 acres which Weil conveyed to John Crawford, May 8, 1820, for $549, which the latter conveyed to Jonathan Mortimer, January 10, 1832, for $1,000, on which the latter built a fourth-rate log gristmill in 1833, which and 91 acres and 145 perches he conveyed to William Holder, November 4, 1845, for $1, and a deed for 101 acres and 55 perches of other land, after which the run on which that mill was situated was called Holder's run. Holder conveyed 2 � acres to James Summerville, May 23, 1846, for $18, and 50 acres, except 1 acre marked to David Boyes, to Jacob and John Millison, September 15, 1858, for $300, and 15 acres with the gristmill and water privileges, excepting the mineral privilege, to George Howser, April 17, 1860, for $900, which he conveyed to James Summerville, October 4, 1865, for $1,000.
Mortimer conveyed 72 acres of his purchase from Crawford to F. W. Redmond, January 13, 1844, for $430.61.
Next north is a similar tract, covered by a warrant to John Nixon, February 3, 1794, on which Nicholas Snow was the original settler, with 63 acres of which and 1 cow he was assessed in 1804 and 1805 at $41.20, and in later years with 400 acres. Whether Snow purchased Nixon's interest is not manifest from the records. If he did not, he acquired a title to the whole tract by improvement and occupancy. By section 5 of the act of April 18, 1853, the surveyor-general was authorized to issue a patent on payment of office fees and any balance of purchase-money that might be due, to Nicholas Snow's heirs, or to his administrators, for their use, for this tract which he owned and on which he resided at the time of his death, containing 405 acres and 112 perches, more or less. The patent was accordingly granted to J. Alexander Fulton, administrator, for the use of those heirs. Nicholas Snow, before his death, which occurred prior to May 29, 1852, when his administrator was appointed, agreed to sell parcels of this tract to his sons and others, but did not execute the deeds therefore, but which were subsequently executed and delivered by the administrator by virtue of the decrees of the proper court for the specific performance of the decedent's agreements. He conveyed 45 acres to James Sage, August 6, 1853, for $90; 57 acres and 24 perches to James Parker, September 12, for $114.30; 10 acres to the Brady's Bend Iron Company. Jacob Snow conveyed parcels of his portion thus: 44 acres and 84 perches to Daniel Jenkins, May 11 1858, for $890, and 32 acres and 88 perches to John E. Rees, November 19, 1856, for $552, which (39 � acres) the latter conveyed to David R. Lewis, March 14, 1865, for $1,000. Samuel Snow conveyed 48 acres of his share to Charles Boyle September 13, 1854, which the latter conveyed to Patrick Cusick, September 23, 1857, for $550. Sage conveyed his parcel to Henry Dyerman and Harrison Miller, November 19, 1856, for $850, who made an amicable partition April 4, 1859, by which Miller took 21 acres and 118 perches, which he conveyed to John Snow, Jr., April 8, 1859, for $6,400.
Adjoining that Nixon-Snow tract on the east is a similar one, covered by the warrant to Simon Nixon, February 3, 1794, who conveyed his interest in it to Jacob Millison, to whom the patent was granted March 25, 1816, who conveyed 405 acres and 112 perches to the Brady's Bend Iron Company, September 17, 1845, for $3,000. It was afterward ascertained that a small parcel of 11 � square perches, diminutive as it was in quantity, was nevertheless important on account of its locality, for then every site for a store or other business stand outside that company's lands was eagerly sought, was not included in that conveyance, and which Millison conveyed to his sons, John and Jacob, April 23, 1846, for $1. Millison was the original settler on this tract. He was assessed with it and 2 cows in 1804, at $132, and the next year with 1 horse and 2 cattle besides, at $156. After his sale to that company he removed to what is now Valley Township.+
Adjoining that Nixon-Millison tract on the south is the one heretofore mentioned,� a portion of which is in this township, included in the sale of Samuel and William Crawford to William F. Johnston, parcels of which he convened to Richard Charles, Thomas Griffith, Evan A. James, William Hart, Adam Myers, John McBride, John Richards and Paul Rosser, most of whom have transferred their interests to others. There are on this part of the Johnston purchase a dozen or more houses, two stores and a hotel.
Adjoining the northern part of that McCoy-Moyers-Crawford- Johnston tract in this township is the northern part of James McCoy-Frederick Shoop tract, heretofore mentioned, 112 acres of which Shoop conveyed to Jacob Hepler, October 19, 1825, which he conveyed to F. W. Redmond, June 26, 1846, for $1,500, except 6 acres and 40 perches which he had conveyed to Andrew Snyder.
Adjoining the northeastern part of that Shoop tract is a hexagonal one, 297 acres, covered by a warrant to David McCoy, February 3, 1794, whose interest became vested in Jacob Hepler, to whom the patent was granted August 6, 1836, 150 acres of which he conveyed to Leonard Rumbaugh, September 9, 1837, for $150, 57 acres of which and the ore and coal on 100 acres Rumbaugh conveyed to Philander Raymond, of Geauga county, Ohio February 4, for $10; Hepler to Raymond, February 16, 1839, 57 acres and 157 perches, February 16, 1839, for $145; and 100 acres to F. W. Redmond, June 26, 1846, for $1,500, in pursuance of an agreement, made June 2, 1845, who conveyed 106 acres and 40 perches to Raymond, December 29, 1846, for $3,000. This tract has been chiefly occupied by the operatives of the Brady's Bend Iron Company, who were engaged in working the Summit colliery, the coke yard and the Greenfield ore hill, which are on it.
Passing over to the deep eastern horseshoe bend, the first above Brady's bend, is a tract, 350 acres, covered by a warrant to John Denniston, which was early settled by John Weems (Major), who was assessed with 400 acres in 1804 and 1805 at $160. He conveyed his interest in it to Sarah Weems, April 26, 1807, who afterward married Francis Lease. They conveyed to William Ferguson, May 12, 1820, for $16 per acre. The patent was, however, granted to Charles Campbell, who conveyed 150 acres to Ferguson, February 6, 1826, for $375, which and 94 acres in Toby township he conveyed to Andrew Grinder, March 21, 1832, for $574, and which the latter conveyed to Henry Sybert, April 3, 1845, for $2,800, who laid out five lots varying in quantity from 1 to 10 acres. He having died intestate in 1863-4, proceedings in partition were instituted. The inquest valued this parcel, exclusive of those five lots, July 12-13, 1864, at $11,018.75. It having been suggested that a portion of the land is claimed absolutely, the court ordered, December 14, 1864, that proceedings be stayed until the title should be tried by an action of ejectment, and if that should not be brought within three months the right would be adjudged against the demandents.
Chambers Orr, sheriff, conveyed 200 acres, the Campbell purpart of this tract, to Matthew Pugh and John Truby, Jr., March 20, 1835, for $600. They conveyed 90 acres to John Richards, which they had purchased for him, April 28, 1844, for $1, which (97 acres and 60 perches) he conveyed to Henry, Sr. and Jr., and Sebastian Sybert, February 12, 1849, for $600. John Mechling conveyed Truby's interest in 50 acres, on which were one hewed log cabin house, two carding-machine houses and one spinning jenny, to Matthias C. Sedwick, September 17, 1849, for $450, on a judgment in favor of E. & F. Faber & Co., for $210.86 of debt. Sedwick having agreed to sell 10 acres to H. J. Thompson, they united in conveying that quantity to H.A.S.D.Dudley, July 7, 1857, for $500 which the latter conveyed to William J. Chiswell, July 13, for $1,100, on which is a quarry of sandstone, which Criswell leased to John Harrison, of Pittsburgh, the latter to pay 15 cents for every perch quarried and removed, but, if a railroad should be constructed along this side of the river, 25 cents per perch, for the term of five years, and five years longer Harrison to pay Criswell whatever the stone should be valued at in the same neighborhood with equal facilities for shipping. Some of the stone from this quarry was used in the construction of the new jail at Kittanning.
Hamilton Kelly, sheriff, conveyed 41 acres, on which were a two-story frame dwelling-house, a frame stable, a sawmill, and two acres cleared, to Dudley, March 11, 1857, for $560, on judgment in favor of Samuel Lowrey against Sedwick. Dudley having conveyed these two parcels to Criswell, the latter conveyed them, 51 acres, to Henry H. Cummings and John Hunter, April 18, 1876, for $4,000. Matthias Pugh having died intestate, the inquest in proceedings in partition valued the 61 acres and 62 perches which he left at $3,560.47 �, July 12, 1864, which was taken by Henry Sybert, the alience of three of Pugh's heirs, at the appraised valuation, by virtue of the decree of the court, December 16, 1864.
Certain relics and vestiges found on this tract indicate that the Indians formerly had a town or camp on it. Among the relics which the writer has seen are a completely finished small arrowhead and an implement for skinning animals. The latter is trap or green stone, very neatly wrought, its lower end wedge-shaped, from which to the other end it is tapering and rounding, and very accurately proportioned. It's length is about seven inches, and it is well adapted to the purpose for which it was designed.
Henry Sybert, Jr., was first assessed with his distillery on this tract in 1849.
Adjoining that Denniston-Weems tract on the west is one, a rectangular parallelogram, 327 acres, partly in the neck of the horseshoe bend, covered by a warrant to Robert Campbell, on which Thomas Armstrong was the original settler, and which was claimed by him by virtue of his actual settlement. He and Campbell's executors, however, compromised, made an amicable partition, and they conveyed to him 163 � acres of the eastern part to him, December 1, 1840, which he conveyed to Robert Farley and others, trustees of the Brady's Bend Iron Company, October 23, 1845, for $2,200. The Campbell purpart also became vested in that company.
Adjoining that Campbell-Armstrong tract on the west and southwest, and the heretofore-mentioned William Jameson, Simon Nixon and John Nixon tracts on the north is a large area of vacant territory on the map, containing about 1,800 acres. A warrant for 200 acres in the northwestern part was granted to William Benson July 22, 1836, which were surveyed to him by Meredith, deputy surveyor, September 17, which, or most of which, belongs to his heirs. William Benson, by his will dated October 12, 1858, and registered June 20, 1859, devised that part of his land north of Peters' Spring run to his daughter, Eleanor Hooks, which 28 acres and 128 perches she conveyed to Thomas Hooks, September 6, 1873, for $100; 5 acres south of that run to his daughter Susannah Snow, and the rest of his tract equally to his three sons-John to have the southwestern part, Thomas the east end, and William the northwestern part. South of the Benson tract are three smaller contiguous ones. James Barrickman improved and settled 100 acres hereabouts," including a part of Pine run," which he conveyed to Raymond, December 4, 1836, for $150. For one of which, an octagon, 144 acres and 37 perches, a warrant was granted to Philander Raymond, December 17, 1836, was surveyed to him by Meredith, deputy surveyor, May 30, 1838, a tongue of which, 34 perches wide, one side 100 perches, and the other or western side 83 perches, extends between Robert A. Phillips' and Philip Snow's tracts, to the southern line of the Benson tract, on which, near the mouth of Pine river, is a public schoolhouse, which, and the Benson, Phillips and Snow tracts, make an area of the usual size of tracts as they were originally surveyed in this part of this surveyor district. Adjoining the southern half that tract is a hexagonal one, 160 acres, for which a warrant was granted to Robert A. Phillips, December 17, 1836, and surveyed to him by Meredith, deputy surveyor, January 26, 1838, which with other 27 acres and 156 perches he conveyed to Raymond, February 17, 1839, for $35, having previously conveyed 100 acres for $150.
Paul Woolcot seems to have claimed 100 acres pentagonal on the east of Phillips, which he agreed to sell to Thomas Roberts, April 13, 1840, for $8 an acre, the warrant for which has been granted to Randolph Lawrence, November 4, 1837, and for which the patent was granted to him February 10, 1844, and which he conveyed to Roberts, May 6, for $800; east of which, and of the Robert A. Phillips tract, is a long, narrow one, a rectangular parallelogram, the patent for which was granted to Thomas McClure, August 6, 1836, who conveyed 45 acres and 111 perches to John Millison, January 26, 1838, for $150, and July 30, 30 acres to William Holden for $400, and 54 acres and 81 perches to Samuel Le Fevre for $327.
North of these Lawrence and McClure tracts is a hexagonal one, 99 acres and 140 perches, covered by a warrant to Elisha Lawrence, October 6, 1837, and surveyed to him by Meredith, deputy surveyor, January 25, 1838, and to whom the patent was granted, December 6, 1840, 99 acres of which he conveyed to Peter Townsend, July 23, 1841, for $900, and 1 acre in the southeast corner, touching the northeast corner of the McClure tract, to William Morgan, Jr., July 22, 1842, for $100, which he conveyed to Philip Templeton, August 9, 1847, for $300, on which he and his nephews have since done a prosperous mercantile business.
The rest of that area, vacant on the map, was in the early times disputed territory-disputed between Joseph Phillips and Dr. Elisha Wall, that is, there was an interference of their surveys. The former settled on the part adjoining the Benson tract on the east, and was assessed with 400 acres, 1 horse and 3 cattle in 1804, at $211, and the next year with 200 acres less, $135. He conveyed 130 acres of that part of the 400 acres of which he had "become seized and possessed by settlement and improvement," adjoining Henry Sybert on the south, William Horton on the east, and Jacob Millison on the west, to John Phillips, October 31, 1826, for $50, and 200 acres, including the old improvement made by him, adjoining land then in the tenure of William Dougherty on the west, Samuel Phillips on the north, and Thomas McClure on the south, to Randolph Lawrence, October 7, 1831, for $350, in twelve annual payments, but the records do not show any conveyance thereof from Lawrence, except his conveyance of 100 acres to Thomas Roberts. The rest of Phillips' land seems to have descended to his son John, who conveyed 200 acres to Raymond, December 5, 1836, for $125. After John Phillips' death, in proceedings in partition, the inquest, February 19, 1856, valued 67 acres and 92 perches adjoining William Benson on the west, and the eastern part traversed by Cove run, at $643.32, which John C. Ahner, alience of Thomas G. Phillips one of the decedent's heirs, took at the valuation, June 15. Ahner conveyed 2 acres to Thomas Griffiths, March 18, 1858, for $6,000, which he conveyed to William G. Jones, August 25, 1870, for $125, and he to William Dando, August 12, 1871, for $160; Ahner to John Worthington, March 18, 1858, 2 acres for $50, and the latter to Dando, May 28, 1873, for $200; same day to George Heath 1 acre and 40 perches, for $31.75, to William G. Jones 1 acre and 148 perches, for $53.12 �.
The remaining portion of the vacant territory-that is, appears to be so on the map-are 800 acres, two tracts, surveyed to Dr. Elisha Wall, April 4, 1795, in pursuance of his "actual settlement." He resided near the mouth of Sugar creek, and he was assessed in 1804 with 400 acres, 1 horse and 3 cattle, at $211, with same less 1 head of cattle, at $205. He must have made the improvement on what was called "the green" on the left bank of Sugar creek near its mouth. Another early improvement was on the hill, afterward the site of Raymond's house.
The Great Western Ironworks� commenced operations at Brady's Bend in August, 1839, under charge of Mr. Raymond. This company acquired possession of several hundred acres of land lying along the valley of Sugar creek, and in that year selected the site of their first blast furnace, which was completed and blown in about Christmas of the following year. A merchant-mill was also erected; the first intention being to manufacture merchant iron and nails. Several machines for the latter purpose were erected, but on trial the iron was found not adapted for this branch of manufacture. The manufacture of strap-rails was then commenced, and continued until the dissolution of the Great Western Iron Company, in 1843.
The Brady's Bend Iron Company acquired possession of the property in 1844, erecting a second blast furnace, which was completed in 1845. The manufacture of strap-rails was continued till 1846, in the latter part of which year the works were altered for the manufacture of T-rails, which has continued to be sole product during their succeeding operation. They are entitled to the credit of rolling the first T-rail made west of the Alleghenies. With a short stoppage from the fall of 1848 to the summer of 1849, the works were in prosperous operation until 1858, when, owing to the death of the principal proprietor, they were completely shut down for five years.
A new organization was effected in the fall of 1862, and work was commenced in all departments in February, 1863, continuing with no noticeable interruption until October, 1873.
From a small beginning, this industry grew to be a blessing to the whole surrounding country, giving employment to from 1,200 to 1,500 operatives, supporting a population of over 5,000, and benefiting not only Armstrong county, but the neighboring counties of Clarion and Butler. The output of coal for the sole use of these works rose to the aggregate of upward of 110,000 tons per annum; of ore, to over 70,000 tons. The product of the mill was shipped to all parts of the country, returning millions of dollars to enrich the laborer, and which, circulating through all the channels of trade, proved a source of wealth to hundreds not connected with the works. From a dense wilderness sprung up a town, built by the proprietors for their employes, of about 700 houses, with churches of every denomination, and schoolhouses which rank with the best in the county for size and convenience, while the neighboring town of East Brady can also be said to owe its existence to this great enterprise.
This hasty sketch would be incomplete without a mention of the managers, to whom in a great measure the success attending the operation of the works was due. Although now the hum of the mill is silent and the furnaces are cold, these different managers can feel the proud satisfaction that this result is due to no fault of theirs.
Foremost on the list stands the honored name of Mr. H.A.S.D.Dudley, a gentleman whose name is nowhere mentioned but with respect by all who knew him. From 1850 to 1864, under his management, the works rose to their highest state of prosperity, ably seconded as he was by Mr. Joseph Winslow in the management of the mill, and by Mr. Richard Jennings in the management of the furnaces and internal development of the lands. His successor, Mr. John. H. Haines, sustained the high reputation of these works, and on his retirement in 1869 to engage in other business, Col. W. D. Slack took charge, a gentleman whose energy was liberally expended in sustaining, under most adverse circumstances, the falling fortunes of the place. This was a task beyond any one man's powers, and in October, 1873, when the financial crash, whose effects are yet but slowly disappearing, burst upon the country, these works succumbed to the pressure.
It would have been difficult to find in any part of this country a corp of employes more devoted to the interests of their locality of who could show longer terms of service. Among those who for over twenty-five years occupied responsible positions, can be named Mr. Alexander Campbell, whose hand guided the first T-rail rolled west of the Allegheny mountains, and who very appropriately in this centennial year, thirty years from the date of this achievement, assisted at the Edgar Thompson steelworks in rolling the enormous steel rail exhibited at the centennial exposition, measuring 120 feet in length and weighing 64 pounds to the yard; the Hon. A. W. Bell, who has just been returned for the second time to our state legislature, and Mr. James Keen, whose skillful hand shaped the rolls through whose massive jaws passed the hundreds of thousands of tons of rails which have borne the iron horse to the remotest sections of this country.
In closing, a few words as to the resources of this property will be very appropriate. Comprising in all about 6,000 acres of diversified surface, covered with much valuable timber and dotted with highly cultivated farms, it is the hidden riches which make its great value as a manufacturing center. The beds of bituminous coal have been pronounced by experts capable of withstanding the same drain as in the past for a hundred years longer, with valuable ores in proportion, while the beds of limestone, whetstone, fireclay, etc., etc., are practicably inexhaustible. The oil development is yet in its infancy, but enough has been shown to make it probable that the wealth from this source may yet compare favorable with, if not surpass, its other mineral riches.
With all these abundant resources it certainly seems but a question of time when the valley shall again be alive with the tread of thousands of prosperous operatives, and the present stagnation and decay seem but a nightmare, which has vanished before the dawn of a brighter day.
That such may be the future fortune of these works must be the earnest prayer of all who have ever been connected with them.
* See Sugar Creek township
+ See Valley township
�See Sugar Creek township
� Contributed by a resident of Brady's Bend
Source: Page(s) 563-570, History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania by Robert Walker Smith, Esq. Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co., 1883.
Transcribed December 2000 by Nancy E. Plain for the Armstrong County Smith Project.
Contributed by Nancy E. Plain for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)
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