Blanket Hill � Relics of the Battle Fought There � Original Tracts of Land In the Township � Residents In 1805 � Beers� Mills � John Guld � a Circle Hunt � The Paper Town of "Benton" � Churches � Population � Temperature � Postal � Humboldt Gardens � Geology.
KITTANNING township, since it has been shorn of so much of its original territory as is now included in that of six other entire townships and in the major part of two others, as at present formed, is one of the most regular in shape in the county, being nearly a parallelogram in that respect, as it appears on the map.
The earliest notable event that occurred on the present territory of this township was the desperate fight between Lieut. Hogg and a superior force of Indians, described in the general sketch of that country, on what has since been called Blanket Hill, being on the tract originally surveyed on a warrant to Christian Signitz, dated February 4, 1776, and, the same day, conveyed to Joseph Cauffman by deed, the executors of whose surviving executor, June 30, 1834, conveyed it to Frederick Hileman and John Cravener; Hileman having conveyed the larger part of his interest therein to Cravener, the latter conveyed his interest April 1, 1844, to Philip Dormyer � commonly called Dunmire.
Besides the relics of the Blanket Hill battlefield, elsewhere mentioned, is a one-edged sword, found by John Nolder, which came into the possession of Gen. Orr. The blade had not been much injured by rust when it was found, but the wood part of the hilt had completely decayed, nothing but the silver mounting having been left. Its appearance did not indicate that it had been in its scabbard when it was lost. Various other relics have been found there at different times, viz.: a spear sixteen or eighteen inches long, an arm carried, in 1756, by a commissioned officer; the iron and brass of a pistol; a gun barrel; a black quart bottle, broken in two pieces, the glass remarkably thick; and a piece of brass with a curious device on it representing several Indians in different attitudes, supposed to have been a large clasp of a swordbelt. About sixty-two years ago, Samuel Nolder found the iron-bound bucket, heretofore mentioned, hanging on a limb of a tree, which had probably swung there since the battle.
About or soon after the beginning of the revolutionary war, are related to the writer by Mrs. Joseph Clark, Fergus Moorhead and Andrew Simpson were, as their turn came, sent out from the blockhouse at or near the site of the borough of Indiana on a scout of two weeks duration, which was extended to the Allegheny river probably by what Jacob Waltenbough says was the Pullen path, which branched off from a tree on the farm now owned by Peter Heilman, and struck that river near the mouth of Garrett�s run. On their return they were unexpectedly surrounded by Indians in the vicinity of Blanket hill. Simpson was shot and scalped in the presence of Moorhead, and soon afterward the latter�s horse was shot. He was then taken prisoner by the Indians and rapidly driven on ahead of them. One of them wrote a letter in English, placed it against a tree and secured it from the rain by placing it in a saddle, the purport of which was that that affair was nothing compared with what the English settlers might expect. When Moorhead learned that the Indian could talk English, he inquired why they didn�t shoot him as well as Simpson. The Indian replied that they had shot and missed him three times, and that the Great Spirit wouldn�t allow them to shoot at the same person more than three times. Those scouts had a supply of venison, which the Indians took and dealt out to their prisoner as rations. After it was exhausted the Indian fare was hard and unpalatable. They took him to Quebec and delivered him up to the English, where he was kept in garrison until he was released on his parole of honor. It was about nine months from the time he left Indiana until he returned.
The above-mentioned letter was found, soon after it was written, by another party that was sent out in search of those scouts, who found the body of the one that was killed and the other�s horse.
Col. Archibald Lochry, in his letter to Thomas Wharton, Jr., president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, dated "Westmoreland, ye 20th May, 1777," stated that among other things that on his arrival on the 4th of April he found the county in a confused situation. The alarm of the killing of Simpson and the absence of Moorhead struck the people with such terror that they fled from the frontiers into the heart of the settlements, and great numbers of them over the mountains. In order to prevent them from entirely evacuating the country, he stated that he had ventured to raise sixty men and station them on the frontier between Two Licks and the mouth of the Kiskiminetas, in four divisions, under command of two captains and two lieutenants, which covered that frontier so well that the people generally had returned to their plantations and resumed their labors. It will be borne in mind that the territory of this township was then in Westmoreland county, over which Lochry�s authority as county lieutenant extended.
James White, of Pine township, informed the writer that John Guld was with Simpson when he was killed, and escaped down Cherry run toward Crooked creek, and that the Indians, after chasing him several miles, captured and kept him seven years.
The following are the original tracts within the present limits of this township: George Gray,* 324.7 acres, partly in Manor township, seated by William Hurtman; a part of the Michael Huffnagle tract; Robert Smith tract, 317 acres, partly in Burrell, seated by John King; the Charles Uhl or John Phillips tract, 335 acres, southwest corner in Burrell, seated by John Shall; the William Stewart tract, 415 acres, partly in Burrell, seated by John Serfoos; the James Todd tract, 439 1/4 acres, partly in Burrell and Plum creek, seated by John Altman; the Thos. Smith, Sr., tract, 411 acres, seated by Jacob Hankey and _____ Shised; Thomas Smith, Jr., tract, 415 acres; the John Smith tract, 337 acres, seated by Jacob Waltenbough and Philip Harman; the Robert S. Steele tract, 341.9 acres, seated by John Shotts; the Jacob Rudolph tract, 366 acres; the Robert Smith, Jr., tract, 400 acres; the Jacob Neninger tract, 330.9 acres, seated by Michael Hartman; the Charles Grubb tract, 330.4 acres, seated by John and Daniel Hileman; the Jacob Lindeg tract, 339.9 acres, seated by Henry King; the Martha Phillips tract, 345 acres, seated by George Wensel; the John Smith tract, 346 acres; the Martin Dubbs tract, 365 1/2 acres, seated by James Patton; the Peter Thompson tract, 319.4 acres; the Charles Betts tract, 416.8 acres; the John Schenck tract, 301.8 acres seated by Fred�k Hileman and George Olinger; the Christian Signitz tract, 406.4 acres, seated by Hugh Blaney; the Isaac Franks tract, 395.4 acres; the William Cooper tract, 408.4 acres, partly in Plum creek; the Samuel Smith, Sr. (member of the assembly from Bucks county, Pennsylvania, in 1777-8), tract, 416.8 acres, seated by Robert Lafferty; the Samuel Smith, Jr., tract, 387.8 acres; the Thomas Hutchinson tract, 300.8 acres, partly in Plum creek, seated by Henry Bowers; the John Ewing tract, 400.6 acres, partly in Valley; the William Henderson tract, 328 acres, seated by Sebastian Bowers; the Peter Thompson tract, 407.6 acres; the Fred�k Rohrer, Jr., tract, 330 acres, seated by John Cravenor; the Thomas Salter tract, 384 1/2 acres; the Robert Smith tract, 399.8 acres; the Johnathan Shoemaker tract, 312.2 acres; the Clemburg tract, 294 1/4 acres; the John Guld tract, 359 1/2 acres, seated by Andrew Lopeman; the Moses Bartram* tract, 338 1/2 acres, partly in Valley, seated by Jacob Schrecengost; the Christopher Oury (or Ourich) tract, 312 1/2 acres, seated by Richard Graham and Abram Tiscus; the Frederick Kuhl tract, 313 1/2 acres, seated by Adam Olinger; the John Pomeroy tract, 283 1/2 acres, seated by George Williams; the Fred�k Rohrer tract, 90 acres, seated by Francis Rupp; the Francis Rupp tract, 157 acres, seated by himself; the Benjamin Hogan tract, 352 acres, seated by Daniel Fitzgeralds; the Peter Hileman tract, 200 acres, seated by himself; the John Carson tract, 319 acres, partly in Manor, seated by Daniel Bouch; the Tobias Long tract, 341 1/2 acres seated by Daniel Hileman and Adam Waltenbough; the Benjamin Schrecengaust tract, 200 acres, seated by himself.
In the southwestern corner of the township a run empties into Crooked creek at the upper or northern part of the loop, which received in early time the name of "Horny Camp run," because the Indians hung deers� horns on the trees along its banks. Some years ago � Jacob Waltenbough, now ninety-one years of age, from his early life familiar with the Crooked creek region, thinks it was in 1840 � a tree was cut down on the land of a Mr. Young, in which some deer�s horns were found, covered by the growth of the tree and partially decayed.
The Jacob Lindeg tract was called "Medway"; the warrant is dated May 12, 1773; Lindeg conveyed his interest to Andrew Groff, to whom John Penn, and John Penn, Jr., issued their patent, dated July 4, 1776. It was sold for taxes in 1818 to Robert Orr, Jr., who conveyed it the Henry King December 8, 1821, for two hundred and twenty-five dollars.
The Benjamin Hogan tract was called "Worms;" patent to Joseph Cauffman August 2, 1781, the executors of whose surviving executor conveyed it to Daniel Fitzgeralds July 27, 2827, for $1,409.
The Tobias Long tract was called "Georgia," and one hundred and seventeen acres of it became vested in Adam Waltenbough by deed in December, 1807.
The Robert Smith, Jr., tract was called "Erasmus." The proprietor advertised it for sale in the Western Eagle September 20, 1810, and described it as "situate on a run on the north side of Crooked creek, about one mile southeast of Adam Waltenbough�s, and about the same distance from Michael Hertman�s � Hertman lives west of this tract. About four miles to the Kittanning county town." He also stated that families might have from forty to fifty acres, planting six fruit trees of different kinds on each acre � to erect such buildings as would best suit themselves, to keep the land improved and under good fence, and to supply rails in the place of those decayed; and that there was a prospect of several very public roads passing through that land by the then next summer or fall, which would be "a market at the door for produce raised." Those who wished to make such improvements were directed to apply to William Crawford or Robert Sloan. The warrant for this tract is dated September 13, 1784, and the survey September 3, 1787.
The George Stine tract, a considerable portion of which is in this township, was called "Wheatfield;" the John Smith (337 acre) tract, "Smith�s retreat;" the Moses Bartram* tract, "Hopewell," which was conveyed by the executors of the will of Mark Wilcox, deceased, to Thomas McConnell July 17, 1827, for $1,600; the Isaac Franks tract, "Walnut Bottom."
Glancing over the assessment-list for Allegheny township for 1805-6, the writer infers that at least the following-named persons were then residing and had perhaps for several years before resided on the territory now included within the present limits of Kittanning township:
George Beer, gunsmith, 140 acres of land, valued at $115 in 1805, and $126 in 1806, his trade being valued or assessed at $10. Samuel Beer, 30 acres, 1 gristmill and 1 sawmill, 1 horse and 1 head of cattle � total valuation, $69 in 1805, and $74 in 1806. John Beer, 53 acres, 1 head of cattle, $31.50. Daniel Fitzgeralds, 100 acres, 2 horses, 3 cattle, $160 in 1805, and $155 in 1806. John Guld (often written Gold), 245 acres, 1 horse, 1 head of cattle, $198.75. Daniel Guld, 76 acres, 4 cattle, $77 in 1805, and $77.50 in 1806. Michael Hurtman, 2 cattle, $10 in 1805, and $15 in 1806. Peter Hileman, 200 acres, 1 horse, 2 cattle, $170 in 1805, and $180 in 1806. John Hileman, single man, $5 in 1806. Daniel Hileman, single man. John Howser, 400 acres, 1 head of cattle, latter $5 in 1805, both in 1806, $220. Jacob Howser, 135 acres, 3 cattle, $116.25 in 1805, and $121.25 in 1806. Jacob Hankey, joiner, 92 acres, $61 in 1806. John King, tailor, 50 acres � trade $10 � land $37.50 in 1806. Jacob Lafferty, single man, 150 acres, $75 in 1805, "married a wife," $85 in 1806. Christopher Oury, 300 1/2 acres, 1 distillery, 3 horses, 3 cattle, $345.50 in 1805, and $350.50 in 1806. Adam Oury, 3 cattle, $15 in 1805. Francis Roop, 157 acres, 1 horse, 4 cattle, $187. Adam Waltenbough, 100 acres, 1 horse, 1 head of cattle, $65. Thomas Williams, 100 acres, 2 horses, 2 cattle in 1805, $70; no horse, 1 head cattle in 1806, $55. Jacob Waltenbough, 1 head cattle in 1805, $5; 163 acres in 1806, $86.50. Peter Waltenbough, 80 acres, 2 horses, 1 head of cattle, $85; only 1 horse in 1806, $75. Daniel Yount, 341 acres in 1805, 1 head of cattle, $175.50; 152 acres in 1806, 2 cattle, $86.
How long before 1805 the mills, assessed to Samuel Beer, were erected is not known, probably two or three years. They were on Big Run, on a part of the John Guld tract. Although then called Beer�s Mills, it is possible they at first belonged to Daniel Guld, for John Guld conveyed the portion of his tract on which they were, to Daniel Guld, August 10, 1795, and the latter to Samuel Beer, December 2, 1809, who conveyed the same to John Howser, October 29, 1810, who conveyed it to Benjamin Schrecengost in June, 1820. Since his death they have been owned by George Howser and Joseph Frantz, the present proprietor. Some of the chestnut clapboard sawed at that sawmill are still a part of the covering of the outer front side of the house erected by Michael Mechling, on lot No. 120, in Kittanning, in 1804, they having been placed there a few years after its erection. The warrant to John Guld for the tract on which these mills are situated is dated March 22, 1786, and the patent, August 8, 1787. He was a notable man in his day. The writer is informed by one of his descendants, that he was a scout as early as 1749. He was often employed, on account of his fleetness, intrepidity and power of endurance, as a bearer of dispatches form one military post to another, during and after the revolutionary war. He belonged to a company of rangers, and for a while carried the mail from Fort Pitt to or near the Great Meadows, which point is in what is now Fayette county, between Chestnut Ridge and Laurel Hill. While on one of his scouting tours, a surveyor was shot from his horse by ambushed Indians near Blanket Hill. He finally settled on that tract of land, from which he was occasionally forced by the Indians to flee to the blockhouse on the Allegheny river below the mouth of Fort Run. In part pay of his military services he received a grant of 200 acres of donation land, situated near Mercer, Pennsylvania, which he sold to John Dunbar for �5. He was frequently in Kittanning during the latter part of his life, and his Indian-like appearance is still distinctly remembered by some of the oldest citizens of the borough. His last will and testament is dated December 9, 1815, and it was proven and registered December 19, then instant. He thereby devised his plantation in this township to his two sons, John and George, directed that the former should properly keep him the rest of his life, and left bequests of minor value to the rest of his children. It would be naturally supposed that he died between the ninth and nineteenth of that month. Yet the records further show, that on the 7th of May, 1818, he conveyed 183 acres of that tract to his son George for $10 and his keeping the rest of his life, and on the 14th of the same month, seventy acres thereof to Thomas McConnell for $280.40 � nearly two and a half after the probate and registration of his will, which is a singularity.
These mills appear to have been the only ones within the present limits of this township for many years. In 1849-50 John Hileman was assessed with a sawmill, and thereafter Daniel Hileman, which is probably the one near the Hileman schoolhouse, on a run flowing southeastwardly into the west branch fo Cherry run. Jacob Hankey, Jr., was assess with a sawmill for several years from and after 1852. George Loyster�s grist and saw mills, on Spruce run, in the northeastern par of the township, were erected in 1868-9. Martin V. Remaley�s steam flourmill, situate about 170 rods in an air line northwest of the Hileman sawmill, was erected in 1872.
For an agricultural people, as the great mass of the inhabitants of this township have been since its first settlement, the number of tradesmen and mechanics usual in every community has been adequate.
From 1828 until 1855 the manufacture of whisky was carried on by a variety of persons at and for different periods, as the assessment lists show. The "Hileman" was regarded as being of very good quality and had the reputation of being genuine among good judges of liquor. At least one person who kept a quantity of it on hand, having occasions to dispense some of it rather freely in a certain emergency, was grievously affected because of one or more of its imbibers that it was not good whisky.
A notable point in early times was on the Christopher Oury tract, where Richard Graham settled and kept an inn, which was a favorite resort for pleasure parties from Kittanning and elsewhere.
On Wednesday evening, April 3, 1828, a large meeting was held in the borough of Kittanning, of which the late Michael Mechling was chairman and the late Chief Justice Thompson, secretary, for the purpose of organizing a grand circular wolf hunt, for which necessary arrangements were made and the following circle was agreed upon: From the mouth of Pine creek along the Allegheny river to the mouth of Crooked creek, thence up to Cherry run, thence across to Beck�s mill (near what is now Oscar), thence to Col. Robert Walker�s, and thence to the mouth of Pine creek. The closing ground was to be on the farm of Richard Graham and the time fixed for the hunt April 22. The result of which was, not the capture of a wolf, but of a number of foxes. It was on that occasion that a clergyman inadvertently became intoxicated, for which he was suspended from the ministry by his Presbytery, but was subsequently restored to his ministerial functions. The people then were deeply interested in the hunt, and the marshals and the men whom they respectively controlled were promptly in their places, and as the signal for starting, which was the blowing of horns, passed round the circle they simultaneously commenced moving from the outer circle to the inner ones, each of which was indicated by small bunches of straw placed on the ground. The huntsmen were mounted on horses and made all the din and noise possible with yells, horns, bells and horse-fiddles, for the purpose of starting the various kinds of game that may have been within the outer circle, which they finally concentrated within the innermost, or smallest circle, where they were to be killed or captured. Some, probably considerable, of the game then started was suffered to escape, says one of the marshals, through gaps in the circles, caused by some of the mounted men stopping or slacking the speed of their horses to talk, regardless or perhaps oblivious of the preacher�s saying, "There is a time to keep silence and a time to speak." One of the times for the former is, from the nature of the case, while a circle of huntsmen are closing in upon their game.
That was also a point for holding military reviews, one of which was on Tuesday, May 21, 1839, of the first battalion of the 126th regiment of the Pennsylvania militia, by the order of Philip Templeton, then the Colonel of that regiment.
On the 10th of February, 1836, Abraham Fiscus advertised that he had laid out the plat of a new town, bearing that name, on the Armstrong and Indiana turnpike road, about five miles southeast of the borough of Kittanning. He stated that it was "beautifully situated in the midst of a thriving neighborhood and will afford an eligible situation for the prosecution of various branches of business;" and that on Thursday, March 15, then next, the lots would be offered at public sale, on the premises � a part of the Oury tract. The deed books in the Recorder�s office do not show that a single one of these lost was conveyed to a purchaser.
The first organization of a church within the present limits of this township was Christ�s, known in these later times at the one at Rupp�s, four miles east of the borough of Kittanning, and one-fourth of a mile north of the Indiana Pike. Its early records were destroyed several years ago by the fire which consumed Mr. Rupp�s house, in which they were kept, so that the writer is obliged to depend upon reliable tradition for the facts of its early history. Jacob Hileman, now in his eighty-sixth year, who came with his father to the Peter Hileman tract in 1796, and has lived there ever since, remembers of this church having been organized about sixty-five years ago, or about 1811, by Rev. Lambrecht, a Lutheran clergyman. A log meeting-house was soon afterward, probably the next year, erected on ground adjoining the site of the present one, on the five-acre tract given as a donation by Christopher Oury for church purposes. The Lutheran and German Reformed congregations had for awhile a join interest in the church property, but which has for many years been exclusively Lutheran. Rev. Wm. Weinel was the German Reformed clergyman, who officiated here for most, if not all the time, while the joint occupation by the two denominations existed.
One of the early successors, if not, the first one, of Rev. Lambrecht, was Rev. J. Sylenfelc, who, traditions says, having obtained the requisite authority and credentials from the proper church authorities, went forth on a mission to collect funds for erecting a new and better meeting-house. He never returned, though as it was ascertained, he had collected several thousand dollars for that purpose. The supposition is that he returned to Germany with those funds. His successor was Rev. Adam Mohler, who became the object of another kind of scandal, whether justly so or not, the writer is not prepared to say. He was followed as early as, if not earlier than October 14, 1825, by Rev. Gabriel A. Reichert, Lutheran, who thereafter made this one of his points in his extensive ministrations, which, in his diary, he denoted as "Williams�." It may be that he sometimes preached at the home of George Williams, Sr., which appears to have been a stopping-place � a minister�s hotel � in those times, for itinerating clergymen, where, as at other points, they were hospitably entertained. This became one of his regular points for preaching on secular as well as Sabbath days. He preached at "Urich�s" �Oury�s � May 27, 1826, form the sixth and seventh verses of the second chapter of Colossians. Whether the services, on that day, were in the log church or at Oury�s house does not appear from his dairy. He held a communion service at "Williams�," May 8, 1829, at which fifty-one communed, many of whose residences were at considerable distances from that point. In his entry, April 18, 1830, Conrad Schrecengost and George Wild (Wilt) are mentioned as elders, and George Farster and John Cravenor as deacons. Rev. ____ Burnheim succeeded Mr. Reichert. Preaching in English commenced here in 1850. This church was incorporated by the proper court, December 16, 1853, by the name of the Evangelical Lutheran Christ�s church, of Kittanning township. The charter officers were Rev. George R. Ehrenfeldt, pastor, who was the first who preached in English; Benjamin Schrecengost and George Williams, Sr., elders; Isaac Fitzgerald and John Cravenor, deacons, and George Williams, trustee. The charter members were Michael Kunkle, John Bouch, Elias Bouch, George Shuster, Isaac Schrecengost, David Rupp, Lewis Coon and Israel Rowley. The pastors since then have been Revs. J. A. Ernest, S. S. Miller, and A. S. Miller. The present number of church members is 65, and of Sabbath-school scholars, 50.
A frame structure 30 x 22 feet was erected in 1850 on the present site, which was burned before completion. The present frame superstructure was erected soon afterward on the same foundation.
The Emanuel (Evangelical Lutheran) church was organized by Rev. ____ Burnheim in or about 1840; the present edifice, frame, 32 X 40 feet, was erected in 1843. It is situated on the Peter Hileman tract, now owned by Jacob Hileman, a son of Peter Hileman, the warrantee and patentee thereof. Its pastors have been Revs. ___ Burnheim, Geo. R. Ehrenfedt, J. A. Ernest, S. S. and A. S. Miller. Members, 124; Sabbath-school scholars, 50.
Both of these churches are attached to the General Synod.
The St. John�s (Evangelical Lutheran) church, commonly designated as the one at Shotts�, was organized in or about 1840 by Rev. Henry Easensy, who was subsequently silenced. A frame edifice 32 X 29 feet was erected in 1855-6 through the exertions, in a great measure, of Rev. Michael Swigert, who has frequently supplied its pulpit in his itinerating ministerial labors. It is situated on the north side of a public road, two mile and two hundred and thirty rods, in a air line, south of the Emanuel church, and two hundred and fifty rods east of "Horny Camp run." Members, 100; Sabbath-school scholars, 60. This church is attached to the general council.
The Methodist Episcopal church was organized prior to 1860. It belongs to the Knox circuit. A frame edifice 37 X 30 feet was erected in the last-mentioned year; was blown down in June and the present superstructure reared on its foundation.
The census has been taken only twice since the last curtailment of the territory of this township, which was in the formation of Burrell in 1855. In 1850, before that curtailment, the number of inhabitants was 1,175. In 1860 the number of whites was 1,236; colored 1. In 1870 the native population was 1,431, foreign, 73; colored, none. The number of taxables in1876 is 396, making the total population of about 1,820.
The assessment list for 1876 shows that there are in this township, besides the great body of agriculturists, laborers, 31; tenants, 18; hucksters, 6; blacksmiths, 4; shoemakers, 4; carpenters, 3; stonemasons, 3; painter, 1; and stores appraised, 5 in the fourteenth class.
The facts relative to schools which existed before the adoption of the common school system, which the writer has been able to collect, are meager. There was, as he is informed, one of those earyl schools in a log schoolhouse situated about fifty rods south of Garrett�s run and about a mile and fifty or sixty rods east of the Manor township line, and another about a mile and a half southwest of the former and two hundred rods east of the above-mentioned line, in the Hileman settlement, or about a hundred rods south of Emanuel church. The names of early teachers met with are those of George Farster and George Leighley.
After the adoption of the common school system the requisite number of log houses were erected, at the usual distances from one another, over the township, which have finally been replaced by frame ones.
In 1860 the number of schools was 8; average number months taught, 4; male teachers, 6; female teachers, 2; average monthly salaries of male teachers, $16.67; average monthly salaries of female teachers, $16.00; number of male scholars, 155; number female scholars, 158; average number attending school, 251; cost of teaching each per month, 45 cents; amount levied for school purposes, $715.53; received from state appropriation, $89.89; from collector, $715.53; cost of instruction, $528; fuel and contingencies, $34.76; repairs, etc., $10.
In 1876 the number of schools was 9; average number of months taught, 5; male teachers, 5; female teachers, 4; average monthly salaries of male teachers, $27.20; average monthly salaries of female teachers $25.50; male scholars, 264; female scholars, 199; average number attending school, 288; cost per month, 61 cents; amount tax levied for school and building purposes, $1,338.55; received from state appropriation, $332.94; from taxes and other sources, $1,357.25; cost of schoolhouses, $78.23; paid for teachers� wages, $1,272.50; for fuel, collector�s fees, etc., $ 197.58.
The vote, February 28, 1873, on the question of granting licenses to sell liquors, was 16 for, and 36 against.
Blanket Hill postoffice is the only one now in the township. It was established, May 1, 1850, and John M. Daily was appointed postmaster, who kept it at "Graham�s," on the Christopher Oury tract, whence it was afterward removed to its present locality.
In 1861-2, Charles B. Schotte began to extensively enlarge and improve the culture of fruit and garden products on his farm, which he purchased in 1855 and which consists of parts of the John Pomeroy and Fred�k Rohrer tracts. He estimates that he has since the planted from eight to ten thousand fruit-trees of various kinds, among which are many imported from the largest nurseries and gardens in Europe. Among his importations are different kinds of apple-trees from Russia, which he received through the kind offices of Andrew G. Curtin, while he was the minister of the United States to that country; various kinds of fruits, including the small fruits, from the Botanical Gardens, at Berlin, in Prussia; and numerous other specimens of novel productions from abroad, obtained through the Agricultural Department at Washington, for experimental purposes. The various fruits of California and Oregon are also well represented in the Humboldt Gardens. The enterprise, thus inaugurated, it is claimed, has stimulated the farmers of this section of the county to improve their orchards and the culture of their lands. It had undoubtedly been and efficient factor in so doing, and it may have considerably influenced them to make the many and extensive purchases of fruit-trees from the nurserymen of other states, which they have made within the last ten years.
The geological features of this township may be inferred, in part at least, from those presented along Crooked and Cowanshannock creeks and in Manor township. The anticlinal of the fifth, which is the axis of the fourth, basin crosses this township diagonally from northeast to southwest, striking the northern boundary line nearly two miles west of its eastern terminus, and its western terminus. The major part of the township is, the, on the northern slope of the fourth basin, and the rest of it on the southeastern slope of the fifth basin. There is a spring on that part of the John Schenck tract now owned by Peter Heilman, which, the writer thinks, a correct analysis would show to be strongly chalybeate.
Source: Page(s) 179-185, History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania by Robert Walker Smith, Esq. Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co., 1883.
Transcribed October 1998 by Carl Waltenbaugh for the Armstrong County Smith Project.
Contributed by Carl Waltenbaugh for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)
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