Chapter 7
Red Bank Township
Part 2


The rest of the territory of this township, except a portion in the southeastern part, was covered by warrants to Harmon LeRoy & Co., and to Wilhelm Willink & Co., that is, to the Holland Land Company. That company, by H. J. Huidekoper, attorney-in-fact, agreed, sometime in September, 1805, to sell and Judge Young to purchase the tract call "Lingan," No. 2899, 990 acres, which agreement was consummated by the execution and delivery to him of Willink & Co.�s deed, dated September 1, 1810, the consideration therein expressed being $990. The major part of this tract is in what is now Mahoning township. This tract having become vested in Stephen B. Young by conveyance from his sisters, September 16, 1845, to whom it had been devised, he conveyed 250 acres to Robert Morrison, March 11, 1846, for $2000; 100 acres to Craig Thorn, April 7, for $1000; 100 acres to Samuel S. Harrison and Hugh Campbell, December 19, for $500; 100 acres to Alexander Colwell, July 9, 1847, for $500; 343 acres to Hugh Campbell, February 6, 1849, for $1000.

The next sales of tracts of Holland land in this township, some of them partly in what is now Mahoning township, made by Willink & Co., were: The one covered by warrant No. 2897, called "Quito," 930 acres, which adjoined "Lurgan" on the north, was first assessed to Thomas Hamilton and Alexander Craig in 1808; No. 2903, adjoining "Lurgan" on the south, to Dr. James Posthlewaite in 1808, and to Hamilton and Posthlewaite in 1809; No. 2906, adjoining "Lurgan," and No. 2903 on the east, to Thomas Hamilton in 1809, so that the agreements for their sale and purchase were probably made between 1807 and 1809. "Quito" became vested in Thomas Hamilton, to whom Willink & Co. conveyed it, September 21, 1814, for $1018.25, and who devised 500 acres of the western part of it to Isaac Cruse, and the residue or eastern portion, adjoining the Pickering & Co.�Yost Smith tract � on the north, to Thomas McConnell, who devised it to Cruse. The latter conveyed 200 acres to Philip Kentzleman May 24, 1834, for $725, and 250 acres, which had been sold to Cruse by Sheriff Hutchinson as the property of William Smith, to, Samuel Craig, August 31, 1838, for $750, both of these parcels being parts of the portion devised to Cruse; and 2971/2 acres, included in the devise to McConnell, to George Weinberg, September 14, 1837, for $966.88; 120 acres and 60 perches, to Daniel Otto Junes 21, 1838, for $346, which the latter conveyed to Jacob Miller, March 13, 1844, for $550.

Posthlewaite�s interest in No. 2903 became vested in Thomas Hamilton, to whom Willink & Co. conveyed it, October 19, 1818, for $838.80. Hamilton�s surviving executor conveyed 410 acres and 76 perches of this tract to Robert and William R. Hamilton, April 18, 1837, for $963.50. Robert conveyed his undivided moiety to William R., June 6, for $1.00 and "natural love and affection."

Tract No. 2906 adjoined "Lurgan" and No. 2903 on the east, in the western part of what is now the present township of Red Bank, in this county. It was assessed to Willink & Co. until 1808; the next year to Thomas Hamilton; it does not appear thereafter on the assessment list until 1821, when and afterward it was assessed to Willink & Co., who conveyed 145 acres and 53 perches of it to John Holben, June 21, 1837, for $212; 127 acres to J. E. Brown, August 18, 1847, for $157.75; 170 acres to John A. Colwell & Co., November 24, 1848, for $255.

Passing northeasterly from the northeast corner of the last-mentioned tract, across No. 3050, and the two above-mentioned Anderson tracts, the tract covered by warrant No. 3053, called "Deer Park," is reached. It is another of the Holland Land Company�s tracts, included among the early Hamilton purchases. Paul Berti conveyed it, as containing 941 acres and 152 perches, to Thomas and James Hamilton, December 2, 1816, for $942. It having become vested in James Hamilton, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, he conveyed 853 acres and 49 perches to James E. Brown and Thomas McConnell, November 13, 1842, for $985. One of the previous occupants of it was Charles Miller, who was first assessed with 100 acres, in 1837. After Brown and McConnell had made their purchase, the latter was deputed to visit the occupants and inform them on what terms they could purchase from the new owners. He went on his mission on horseback. Riding up to within talking distance, not venturing to dismount, and keeping at a respectful distance, he informed Miller at what price per acre he could retain the parcel occupied by him. There was then and there an exciting scene. Miller became intensely irate, and McConnell, putting whip and spur to his fleet horse, fled with great celerity beyond the reach of the violent hands which that tenant, in that sudden ebullition of wrath, might just then have laid upon him. His fiery anger cooled, and in due time he agreed to pay the price asked for the land, which, 100 acres, they conveyed to his administrator, December 25, 1842, for $800, who conveyed the same to R. M. McFarland, July 30, 1845, for $1000.

The northwestern part or corner of "Deer Park" lay in what is now Clarion county, which, or a portion of which, was inadvertently included in Willink & Co.�s conveyance of 43 acres and 94 perches to George Geist as a parcel of allotment 5, tract 254, warrant 3058, which adjoined "Deer Park" on the north. George conveyed that parcel to Daniel Geist December 17, 1838, for $3000, which the latter conveyed to John Hess, December 26, 1839, "together with a gristmill and sawmill in Clarion county," for $1500. These mills had been erected by Geist, as it was made to appear, on Brown & McConnell�s land, the conflicting claims to which were finally and conclusively adjusted by a compromise. Hess� mills were in the track of the destructive tornado which swept through this section in May, 1860.

George Mitchell was another occupant of "Deer Park." He was first assessed with 100 acres of it in 1841. Its proprietors were then extensively engaged in purchasing and selling land and were greatly in need of ready money, so that when Mitchell offered to pay the whole amount of the purchase money at once for the parcel which he occupied, it was readily accepted, for it was just then needed to relieve those proprietors from an imminent pressure. So they conveyed to him 100 acres, "excepting one-half and acre, on which a schoolhouse was erected, so long as it should be used for school purposes," December 27, 1842, for $950. Mitchell, not being acquainted with the German language, and his partial deafness preventing him from understanding much that was said in his presence, he conceived that his German neighbors had taken a dislike to him, and, therefore, with a sad heart besought these vendors to take back the land, which they declined to do. It so happened that they were afterward traveling through this section, and stopped by his house and found him and his wife and family distressed because their horse and wagon had been levied on and were to be sold for a store bill which they had not the money to pay. The younger of these proprietors, moved by a grateful sense of the benefit which had resulted to them from that vendee�s paying the full amount of the consideration for the land which he had purchased from them, suggested to the elder that they should contribute equally to the payment of the debt for which that property was to be sold. Both promptly contributed, and relief came to the distressed, like the bursting of joyous sunlight through a dark, threatening cloud.

Another purchaser of a parcel of "Deer Park" was John Shirey, to whom the proprietors conveyed one hundred and thirty-seven acres and twenty-seven perches, March 2, 1846, for $1026. They conveyed another parcel of it, called "Chestnut Hill Lot," one hundred and two and a half acres, to Jonathan Mohney, June 22, 1854, for $985. Shirey probably settled on the parcel which he purchased, in 1826, and Mohney not long before the date of his conveyance. John Hess purchased one hundred and seven acres and fifty-four perches May 17, 1864, for $1073.73.

Adjoining "Deer Park" on the south was the tract covered by the warrant to H. LeRoy & Co., No. 3052, which Paul Berti conveyed to James Hamilton, December 1, 1816. It was awarded in proceedings in partition to Sarah Hamilton, who conveyed it, December 3, 1833, to Mrs. Susan H. Thorn. Adam Brinker settled and made an improvement on a part of it, not previously covered by the warrants to Joshua and Robert Anderson in 1826, and John Neis on an adjoining portion in 1837, to both of whom Mrs. Thorn and her husband conveyed three hundred and eighty acres, January 24, 1845, for $1330.25, on which Neis had built a sawmill in 1843. Brinker conveyed his interest in the undivided moiety, or Neis� part in the partition, which was one hundred and eighty-nine acres and one hundred and fifty-nine perches, to Moses Markle and Emanuel Rettinger, Neis� assignees, who conveyed it to Phillip Mechling, May 13, 1846, for $1246, and he to Jacob Stohlman, May 5, 1852, for $1900. Mrs. Thorn and her husband also conveyed two parcels, one hundred and fifty acres and thirty-four perches, to Adam Mohney, July 29, 1848, for $600.

Adjoining the last-named tract on the east, was the one covered by the LeRoy & Co. warrant, No. 2941, called "Willinkfield," nine hundred and ninety acres, most of the eastern division of which was in Jefferson county, which Willink & Co. conveyed to Thomas McConnell, September 21, 1814, for $900. He conveyed one hundred and seventy-five acres of the "western division" to George Coleman, Sr., September 12, 1831, who settled on it that year, for $481; one hundred and seventy-four acres to Frederick Yount, May 6, 1837, for $398, who was first assessed therewith the same year.

The Holland Land Company sold none of their entire tracts, and but few, if any, parcels of their lands in this township for more than a decade of years after they had made their foregoing early sales. These tracts which they sold thus early remained on the unseated list, assessed respectively to those vendees for a considerable period before they were parceled out to their vendees. That company�s sales of the rest of their lands in this township commenced about 1830, and continued with increasing briskness, so that here there were but few parcels and no entire tracts to be sold after that company�s transfer of their interest in the lands covered by their warrants in this township, and elsewhere in this and adjacent counties to Alexander Colwell and his co-vendees.

Philip Mechling remembers seeing but one house between Yost Smith�s ferry on the Red Bank, in the northwestern part, and Martin�s ferry, on the Mahoning, in the southeastern part, of this township, as he passed from one to the other when he was collecting the United States internal revenue tax in 1817-18, which was in the vicinity of the latter ferry. There was but a slight increase of population throughout this township until after the resumption of the sales of the Holland lands in 1830.

The following conveyances of parcels of those lands in various parts of the township are instanced for the purpose of showing the prices at different times, and other indications of the progress of several of the industrial interests. They are presented in topographical, not in chronological, order. Beginning with the eastern section of the township, several of the tracts covered by that company�s warrants were partly in this and partly in Jefferson county. In the northeastern corner is the major part of the one covered by warrant No. 3244, of which A. Colwell�s executor, Alexander Reynolds, and their co-vendees conveyed ninety-five acres to Powell Gearhart October 16, 1871, for $222, including what had been paid prior to their purchase.

Willink & Co. conveyed 105 acres of allotment 5, tract 264, warrant 3245, next south of the last preceding one, to George Coleman April 18, 1831, for $450. That allotment is in the southwestern part of the tract, on which the flourishing little town of Freedom is situated, which was founded in 1871 by Jonathan Yount. It contains about twenty houses, two stores, a postoffice (The North Freedom postoffice was established here in 1878.), and one church edifice (frame) 30 x 40 feet, which was erected in 1848 by the German Reformed and Lutheran denominations, and dedicated the next spring. The churches were, however, previously organized. The first pastors were Rev. J. G. Young, Lutheran, and Rev. L. D. Lateman, German Reformed. The building committee consisted of George Coleman and Peter Minnick, Lutheran, and John Shirey and Jacob Zeats, German Reformed.

George Coleman conveyed one acre and eight and a half perches, on which this edifice is erected, to John Shirey and Peter Minick, trustees of the Evangelical Lutheran and German Reformed congregations of Red Bank township, June 7, 1850, for $1.

Willink and Co. conveyed 165 acres of allotment 1, tract 276, warrant 2930, south of "Willinkfield," to Isaac Redinger May 15, 1833, for $160, on which is a public schoolhouse and on which he built his sawmill in 1848; 166 acres and 132 perches of the east end of allotments 2 and 3, tract 295, warrant 3286, adjoining the last foregoing tract on the south, to Christian and John Miller March 7, 1849, for $371. On the eastern of this tract is a little hamlet, in which is one store. Contiguous to that tract on the south was the one covered by warrant No. 3276, which is numbered 304 on the company�s maps and books, allotment 3 of which Colwell & Co. conveyed to David Yearger December 27, 1862, for $70.50, and eighty-four acres and sixty perches of allotment 5 to George Emery November 6, 1856, for $168, on which is John Emery�s sawmill; Willink & Co. 156 acres and 103 perches of allotment 4, tract 323, warrant 3114, next south of last tract, to William Gallagher�s administrator, August 4, 1840, for $117.50.

Next south was tract 336, covered by warrant No. 3104, the southwest corner of which is in Wayne township. John Organ, whose house was the only one which Philip Mechling found between Smith�s and Martin�s ferries in 1817-18, settled on allotment 1, in the northwestern part of this tract in 1808, and was first assessed with one hundred acres of it the next year, at $15 (as an innkeeper in 1823). This parcel is now owned by Mrs. Susannah Hammond, and assessed at $12 an acre. Allotment 5, 173 acres, in the southern part of this tract, seems to have been claimed by Henry Lott many years ago, for it bears his name on the map of original tracts, though it does not appear on any of the assessment lists of this township. Benjamin B. Cooper�s executor conveyed thirty-two acres and sixty-two perches of allotment 4 to Jacob and Martin Lantz June 3, 1845, for $69. A saltwell was drilled in the western part of allotment 5 in 1843-4. The drilling was probably begun in the fall of the former year, for on October 13, Daniel Wann and John Mock entered into a written agreement to purchase and jointly pay for eighty acres of this tract, and to be "at equal expense in lumbering and erecting works of any kind" they might deem proper, and Mick was assessed with this well in 1844. It is situated at or near the mouth of a small run that empties into, at that point, the east side of the Mahoning creek. Its depth is 425 feet, at first large iron kettles set in stone were used as grainers. This well produced eight barrels a day, the principal market for which was in the surrounding county. Some of it was transported in wagons to Brookville. In 1861 this well was assessed to James Mansfield and David Anderson, to whom B. B. Cooper�s executor conveyed eighty acres of this allotment (5) October 1, 1863, for $353.25. The well was assessed to Beck & Anderson in 1865, and to William Beck from 1866 until 1868. It is now owned by William M. Brinker, but it has not been worked for several years.

James Morgan probably settled on the eastern part of allotment 5 �the Henry Lott parcel�and the western part of allotment 6 in 1843, for he was first assessed in this township as a single man in 1844, and with 150 acres in 1846. Adjoining his parcel on the west was one called the "Ore Lot," ninety-three acres and thirty perches, from which a considerable portion of the ore used by Phoenix Furnace was obtained. Hugh Allen and Wesley Coleman have owned this with other parcels.

Next west was the Holland Company�s tract No. 335, warrant either 3109 or 3040, only a portion of which is in this township. The patent is dated April 5, 1838. Colwell and his co-vendees conveyed 156 acres and 52 perches of allotment 4 (surveyed by J. E. Meredith to Daniel Wann April 15, 1846, as containing 173 acres and 125 perches) in the eastern part of this tract to George B. McFarland September 3, 1849, for $165, in pursuance of a previous agreement between their and his predecessors, on which Henry Smith, W. B. Travis, Jonathan Grinder and Andrew G. Workman had erected Phoenix Furnace in 1846, which was first assessed to Smith & Guthrie in 1849, and to George B. McFarland in 1850. Its operations ceased in 1853. It was a cold-blast charcoal furnace eight feet across the bosh by thirty feet high, producing from twenty-five to thirty tons a week. Its ore is described as a loamy outcrop of the lover or buhrstone kind, making excellent foundry iron.

Benjamin B. Cooper�s executor conveyed 160 acres of allotment 2 to Charles Coleman, June 13, 1850, for $340, now owned by Wesley Coleman.

Next north was tract No. 333, covered by warrant No. 3110, of which Willink & Co. conveyed 305 acres and 50 perches of allotment 5 to William B. Neal, March 13, 1845, for $396.25, on which is schoolhouse No. 10, and in the southern part, on the Mahoning, is the sawmill first assessed to him in 1846, and to William C. Neal, in 1867. Arthur Fleming steeled in the northwestern part in 1837, and was first assessed with 100 acres, the next year. He was soon after elected a justice of the peace and school director, and subsequently county commissioner. The building which he first occupied here, and in which his oldest son was born, was afterward used as a schoolhouse, in which that son first attended, and in which he first taught school. The present schoolhouse in this locality is No. 1. Fleming�s agreements with the Holland Company for the purchase of his parcels of allotments 1 and 2 were not hastily consummated, for it was not until July 4, 1849, that Colwell et al. Conveyed to him 201 acres and 44 perches for $152.50, and forty acres and six perches of the west end of allotment 2, June 19, 1857, for $270. A large portion of this tract was surveyed by Jonathan E. Meredith in 1840 and 1843, and the rest of it August 30 and 31, 1875.

North of the Wallis 4128 and west of the last preceding tract was No. 334, covered by warrant 3150, the western parts of allotments 1, 3, 5, being in Mahoning township. Adam Beck settled on allotment 1 in 1833, and built his gristmill on the right bank of the Mahoning in 1836, and was first assessed with it the next year, to whose administrator Cooper�s executor conveyed in trust, etc., 109 acres, November 15, 1851, which, with the mill, Arthur Fleming, Beck�s administrator, conveyed to Chambers Orr, December 4, for $2500 (excepting a piece which Beck had sold to Geo. Gould), and which Orr conveyed to Robert Walker (of A.), February 24, 1858, for $9500, to whose estate it still belongs, in connection with which he operated a distillery several years before his death. The northwestern corner of this allotment embraces a portion of Eddyville, a small town containing besides a gristmill about a dozen other buildings, and including a blacksmith ship, a store, a boatyard, and a post office which was established May 21, 1857, Turney S. Orr, postmaster.

Next north was the tract No. 321, covered by warrant No. 3279, on allotment 3, on which Joseph and Isaac Butler settled in 1831, with 100 acres, of which the former was first assessed in 1832, and with a sawmill in 1841. Willink & Co. conveyed to him 137 acres and 128 perches, September 15, 1855, for $310. John Kuhn settled on that part of allotment 1 about the mouth of Big Pine run, in 1838, and was assessed the next year with 144 acres. The eddy, made by the flowing of that run into the Mahoning, was called Kuhn�s Eddy, and hence the name of the little town Eddyville. Kuhn built a sawmill at the mouth of that run in 1838, which was afterward operated by Joseph and Isaac Butler, the title to which became vested in James E. Brown and Thomas McConnell, who agreed, June 23, 1847, to sell it and 190 acres of adjacent land, "known as the Kuhn mill property," to Adam Beck for $2000. The mill was assessed to Francis Dobbs in 1849, to whom Beck�s administrator had conveyed it; to John Beachel in 1851, who had purchased it from Jeremiah Bonner; to Bonner in 1862, who had purchased Beachel�s interest at sheriff�s sale, and who conveyed it to George D. Smith, September 17, 1872.

North of the eastern division of the last preceding tract was the one covered by warrant No. 3274, of which Colwell and others conveyed 150 acres and 135 perches to Joseph Butler, June 3, 1856, for $262.50, and which the latter conveyed, as containing 154 acres and 17 perches, to David Rumbaugh August 16, 1867, for $2900.

Willink & Co. conveyed, November 23, 1830, to Adam Smith for $300 196 acres and 8 perches, described as being parts of allotment 5, tract 305, warrant 3277, part of allotment 1, tract 322, warrant 3146, and a part of allotment 5 �it should be 4�tract 321, warrant 3279, on which, near the mouth of Mud Lick, he erected a gristmill in 1854, which was burned several years afterward, and a new one, with three run of stone, erected on its site by Charles W. Ellenberger in 1864. This mill, and the store opened by Adam Smith, became the nucleus of the present little town of Charlestown, containing, besides the gristmill, about ten dwelling houses, a schoolhouse, sawmill and blacksmith shop. The distillery, assessed to John W. Smith & Bro., in 1862, was located on this parcel. By the act of assembly, passed January 1844, Adam Smith�s house was designated as the place in this township for holding township and general elections.

Solomon Nulf probably settled on allotment 2, tract 321, warrant 3279, in 1831, to whom Willink and Co. conveyed 156 acres June 9, 1836, for $234, and on which he erected his sawmill in 1849, for he was first assessed with it in 1850.

Tract No. 322, warrant No. 3146, adjoined the last above-mentioned one on the east, of which Willink & Co. conveyed seventy-eight and three forth acres of allotment 3 to David Yeager, Jr., March 2, 1846, for $157.50; 117 acres and 129 perches of allotment 1 to John Thompson August 5, 1842, for $265; eighty acres and forty perches, allotment 6, to Jacob Long, March 31, 1849, for $100; and Colwell et al. Conveyed fifty-nine acres and sixty-one perches to Jacob Fisher June 2, 1864, for $226. Hereabouts was situated the carding machine, assessed to Alex. Richards in 1843. He was assessed with two in 1859.

Tract No. 305, warrant No. 3277, adjoined the last above-mentioned one on the north, of which Willink & Co. conveyed 171 acres, allotment 1, to Henry Feather February 9, 1842 for $256.55.

Adjoining the last-mentioned tract on the north tract No. 294, warrant No. 3050. Tobias Shick settled on allotment 2 probably in 1827-8, to whose son Jacob Colwell et al. conveyed a parcel of it May 4, 1850, on the west end of which is situated the town of New Salem, which was laid out prior to 1853. Its first separate assessment list was for that year, according to which it then contained one church, one physician, Dr. Alex. P. Heichhold�who wielded considerable influence in changing the political complexion of this township by means of the organization commonly called "Know Nothing"�one carpenter and seventeen taxables. The total valuation of property and occupations was $1,270.

The Evangelical, or Albright Methodist, called the Salem church, at this place was organized by Rev. Daniel Long about 1851, and its frame edifice was erected the next year, then the membership was about fifty, which is now nearly four hundred, and they own a parsonage.

The first dwelling-house (including a storeroom) was built by Jonathan Houpt, the second by Peter Aulenbaucher, and the third by William Buffington and Adam Miller. The Pierce post office was established here December 14, 1857, Soloman Wyant postmaster, whose successors have been Wm. Buffington and Peter Hoch. The lots were sold, each, prior to 1860, for $30, more or less. For instance, Wm. Buffington paid Jacob Shick $30 for the one in the central part of the town, which was conveyed to him April 27, 1857. The assessment list for 1876 shows: Preacher, 1; school-teacher, 1; blacksmiths, 2; shoemakers, 2; innkeepers, 0; merchants, 0; wagon-makers, 0; there should be at least one each of the three last named occupations. Number of taxables, 23, representing a population of 105. One of the citizens of this place, William Buffington, was elected county commissioner in 1872, and re-elected in 1875. One of the Red Bank district schoolhouses is situated in the upper part of this town, a short distance west of the church, near the intersection of the public roads. In the winter of 1865 the writer was accompanied by one of the school directors of this township in his official visit to this school. He exhibited here, as in the other schools in the county, a hemisphere globe, and explained by it what is intended to be represented by the map hemispheres in the atlas, the shape of the earth, and how the relative motion caused by the earth�s diurnal revolution makes the sun seem to rise and set�seem to move from east to west; and had whatever satisfaction there was in learning a few months afterward that that school director had said, substantially, it was very foolish for the state to pay a county superintendent a salary (then $400 per annum) for carrying such a thing as that globe with him to the schools and teaching such nonsense as that this earth is round, that all things on its surface are kept in place by the attraction of gravitation, and that it is kept moving in space in its orbit around the sun by the centrifugal and centripetal forces. That school director believed then, if he does not now, that the earth is not round, that it is stationary, and that the sun daily moves over and around it.

Willink & Co. conveyed 160 acres and 59 perches of the last-mentioned allotment 2 to James Kerr, September 13, 1839, for $240.50.

Next west of the last-mentioned tract was No. 293, warrant No. 3135, skirting tract No. 306, warrant 2906, on the north and northeast, and "Lurgan" and "Quito" on the west. Willink & Co. conveyed 157 � acres of allotment 1, June 22, 1831, for $200, and 323 acres and 112 perches of allotments 2 and 3, September 17, 1834, for $325, to John Holben, who conveyed 46 acres and 48 perches of allotment 1 to J. Wise, May 16, 1856, for $231.52; and 177 acres and 143 perches of allotment 5 to Mary Smith, June 18, 1833, for $127.20.

North of tract 294, warrant 3050, or the New Salem tract, was tract No. 277, warrant No. 3051, into the northwestern part of which the southeastern part of the Joshua Anderson tract seems, in the maps of connected drafts, to penetrate. Willink & Co. conveyed 165 acres of allotment 5 to John Holewig May 14, 1832, for $165; 180 � acres of allotment 1 to Joseph Zangert April 27, 1837, for $271; 165 acres of allotment 4 to Peter Gearhart May 18, 1838, for $247.50; 166 acres and 133 perches of allotment 2 to George Kunselman June 18, 1842, for $255; 163 acres and 33 perches, which Himes had purchased from Moses Markle, September 15, 1845, for $756, on which Himes was first assessed with a mill in 1851, being the same which Willink & Co. had conveyed to John Holben, Jr., May 14, 1832, for $165; Holben to J. and A. Miller May 5, 1845, on which was located the clover and feed-mill first assessed to them in 1847.

Passing down to the southeastern part of this township, there was a portion of the LeRoy & Co. tract covered by warrant No. 3132, or, according to the later numbering of the Holland Company, No. 344, of which Benj. B. Cooper conveyed 175 acres and 20 perches to Hugh Martin, November 15, 1825, for $298.72. This parcel lay chiefly in this township, some of it in Wayne. It was sold on a scire facias as the property of Hugh Martin, in the hands of his executors, by Sheriff Truby to Hugh Allen, March 23, 1844, for $700, who conveyed it to John and Thomas Allen, March 25, 1844, and they to John Segar, April 6, 1848, and he to Archibald Glenn, June 8, 1850, on the portion of which in Red Bank township the latter laid out the town of Presque Isle, containing twenty lots, 66X1165 feet, ten of which being on each side of Main street, or the Clarion road, which is 60 feet wide, intersected by an alley, 16 � feet wide, between lots 5 and 6, and 15 and 16, which were surveyed and platted by James Stewart, April 29, 1851. There was not an instant demand for many of the lots. Glenn, however, conveyed some of them: Lot No. 17 to Michael B. Hileman, October 1, 1852, for $12.50; lots 11 and 12 to Wm. T. Glenn, the same day, for $37.50, and he to Davis H. Thompson, March 26, 1858, for $15; lots Nos. 18 and 19 to Sarah Yales, March 8, 1854, for $25; and lots Nos. 5,6,7,8 to Davis H. Thompson, September 2, 1859, for $60. The first house in this town was erected in 1852. The first separate assessment list was for the year 1853, when it contained nine taxables, representing a population of 41, with a total valuation of $466. It appeared on the assessment list for several years as "Presqu� Isle City." It reached its most magnitudinous proportions in 1858, when its number of taxables was 15, and the total valuation of property, $1,303. Its last separate list, the next year, shows only two taxables and the total valuation of five and a half acres and some personal property, $283.

About one hundred and ten rods to the southwest of the Mahoning, in the same Holland Company tract, is the little town of Independence, which received its name in the dry summer of 1855, when it contained but four houses, the first of which was built by Wm. T. Glenn in 18--, thus: Dr. Sims, arriving here one day, asked the name of this place, to which James L. Thompson replied that thought they would call it Independence, as they were then, by reason of the drought, independent of anything to live on. A. D. Glenn and his sister were attending the Dayton Academy that summer, and gave Independence as the place of their residence, by which it has ever since been known. It was separately assessed first, in 1859, when it contained five taxables, one sawmill, one foundry and one blacksmith shop, with a total valuation of $1,245. According to its last separate assessment list, in 1860, it then contained one sawmill, one foundry, with a total valuation of $1,312. Michael Hileman was first assessed with a sawmill here in 1853; Isaiah Hopkins as a molder, in 1852; Glenn, Hopkins & Co., with a sawmill and foundry in 1859; E. V. Thomas, sawmill and foundry in 1860-1, Hopkins, with the foundry, in 1863; Hopkins & Lamb, with foundry, in 1865, and Hopkins & Thompson, foundry, in 1867.

About fifty rods southeasterly from Independence, up the creek, was Martin�s ferry, heretofore mentioned, which was established�the writer has not ascertained when�by Hugh Martin, who settled on that part of tract No. 344 in 1805, then in Toby, afterward successively in Kittanning, Plum Creek and Wayne townships. His craft consisted of a canoe, at least a part of the time while he kept this ferry, which seems not to have been deemed of sufficient value by assessors to place it on their lists, even as the lowest or a seventh-rate ferry�one of that rate being then valued, for taxable purposes, at $10. It was at this point that emigrants and travelers from Westmoreland and adjacent counties to what is now Clarion county, in the early part of this century, crossed the Mahoning, many of whom were accustomed to say that they noticed a marked difference in the forwardness of vegetation in the spring, south and north of this stream, which seemed to them to be the line of demarcation in this respect.

Next north of 344 and one of the Mason and Cross tracts was a vacant tract on the eastern division of which John McDonald settled in 1822-3, and was thereafter assessed with 120 acres. His son, Robert McDonald, obtained a warrant for 155 acres and 148 perches of it, chiefly in Jefferson county, November 8, 1838, and the patent July 8, 1839. The small portion thereof in this county appears to have been divided into small parcels of lots. McDonald conveyed one acre to John G. Thompson June 19, 1849, for $55; seven acres and ninety perches to Stephen Travis March 5, 1851, for $250, on which the latter had erected a foundry in 1848, which was first assessed to him in 1849, which Travis� widow and administrators conveyed to Archibald Glenn in June, 1858, when he carried on the foundry business for several years. He conveyed this and three other parcels which he had purchased from different persons, aggregating ninety-three acres and forty-three perches, to William Burns September 6, 1866, for $1,700, now owned by William M. Brinker.

The western division of that vacant tract, 160 acres, was taken up by William Hannegan in 1838, to whom the warrant was granted May 10 and surveyed May 18, 1839, 116 acres and 30 perches of which he conveyed to William and Andrew D. Guthrie October 18, 1839, for $2,250, and forty-three acres and 130 perches to George Wheatcroft the same day for $1.

The town of Milton is situated on the Hannegan portion of that vacant tract. Its rise began about 1845 by settlers who came from Milton, Northumberland county, Pennsylvania. Its first separate assessment list was for the year 1852, when it contained none taxables and showed a total valuation of $895. The Phoenix postoffice, William Guthrie, postmaster, was established here February 4, 1847. The Methodist Episcopal church was organized here about 1845. The services were held for several years in the schoolhouse. The first church edifice was erected about six years after its organization.

Andrew D. Guthrie conveyed to Joseph Glenn, Archibald Glenn, Thomas Grey, George W. Thompson, James L. Thompson, Joseph W. Travis and Stephen Travis, trustees of this church, 131 square perches "on the road leading from Warren to Clarion" October 18, 1851, for $10.

The assessment list for 1876 shows: Taxables, 24; merchants, 2; carpenter, 1; shoemaker, 1; laborers, 2. Total valuation of real and personal property and occupations, $3,016.

The first settlers may have named this town after the one they had left in Northumberland county. Be that as it may, towns and person of that name in this county have been so christened in honor of the great English poet John Milton, whose devotion to and defense of civil and religious liberty, as well as his brilliant mind and poetic genius, have rendered his memory fragrant to the civilized peoples of the earth, and especially to the free and enlightened people of the United States.

The assessment list of this township, exclusive of Freedom, Milton and New Salem, for 1876, exclusive of farmers, shows: County superintendent, 1; physician, 1; school teachers, 2; blacksmiths, 4; carpenters, 3; merchant, 1; mason, 1; millers, 2; machinist, 1; laborers, 10; wagonmaker, 1. According to the mercantile appraiser�s list there are five merchants, all in the fourteenth class.

The first census taken after Red Bank township was reduces to its present area by the organization of other townships was that of 1860, which shows its population then to have been: White, 1,304; colored, 1. In 1870: native, 1,335; foreign, 6; colored, 0. The number of taxables, including those of the above-mentioned towns, in 1876, is 376, representing a population of 1,729.

The vote in this township was 122 against and 35 for granting license to sell intoxicating liquors.


In 1860 the number of schools was 10; average number months taught, 4; male teacher, 8; female, 2; average salaries male teachers per month $17; female teachers, $17; male scholars, 240; female scholars, 200; average number attending school, 266; cost of teaching each scholar per month, 43 cents; amount levied for school purposes, $900; amount levied for building purposes, --; received from state appropriation, $79.59; from collectors, $1,200; cost of instruction, $664; fuel, etc., $90; repairing schoolhouses, etc., $40.

In 1876 the number of schools was 12; average number of months taught, 5; male teachers, 12; average monthly salaries, $27.50; male scholars, 241; female scholars, 244; average number attending school, 343; cost per month, 70 cents; amount tax levied for school and building purposes, $1,772.84; received from State appropriation, $314.31; from taxes and other sources, $1,973.04; cost of schoolhouses, repairs, etc., $88.68; paid teachers� wages, $1,625; fuel, etc., $228.30.


The geological features of this township are generally indicated thus: This section was obtained above Smith�s sawmill on Pine run: Sandstone, 10 feet; upper Freeport coal, 5 feet 8 inches; Olive shale, 10 feet; lower Freeport sandstone, blue shale, 10 feet; lower Freeport coal, shale, 5 feet; sandstone (Freeport), 73 feet; black slate, four feet; Kittanning coal, 3 feet; Olive shale, 20 feet; ferriferous limestone, 8 feet; 80 feet above the creek (or run) by estimation. (Rogers� Geology of Pennsylvania.)

Furthermore, near the forks of the Great and Little Mahoning the Freeport (?) limestone appears eighty feet above the water. At the crossing of the Elderton road, over the Great Mahoning creek, the strata begin to dip more steeply and soon the ferriferous limestone and its overlying Kittanning coal rise from the water. The upper Freeport coal is seen northeast of the salt works, a little east of the road, 150 or 200 feet above the creek, the Freeport limestone occurring a little lower level opposite. The fourth axis crosses somewhat below Glade run, but so rapidly does it decline, like all the others, to the southwest, that on the Cowanshannock it does not lift the ferriferous limestone to water level, although where the fourth axis crosses the Mahoning that bed is at a considerable height in the hillsides. (Ibid.)

The rocks here represented above water-level belong mainly to the lover productive group, the lower barren being scarcely seen at all within the limits of this township. The conglomerate and sub-conglomerate rocks make the lower portions of the slopes along Mahoning creek, as explained in the sketch of Wayne township, and the same rocks are seen occupying the same positions on past Eddyville and so on to the mouth of Little Mud Lick. Similar conditions prevail along Red Bank creek, but the structure necessitates a much less area for their exposure there. Thus the ferriferous limestone remains high above the water-level of the Mahoning along the southern edge of the township, while along the Red Bank it gradually approaches the creek, which it finally touches below Adam Smith�s house below Millville. Very little of the upper Freeport coal is represented, there being only a few isolated knobs high enough to hold it. A few such knobs are found southeast of New Salem, a few more west of this village, while at the western edge of the township the coal is brought down from its high level to dip under the western side of the valley of Little Mud Lick. Wherever found it is a workable coal-bed and is usually accompanied by its limestone. The lower Freeport coal is present but unimportant. The upper Kittanning coal here assumes its cannel feature over a considerable area, and it has been repeatedly opened by the farmers. The cannel portions of the bed are from ten to twelve feet thick, and here and there quite good, though very slaty. The whole nature of the deposit makes the bed unreliable in point of persistency. The lower Kittanning coal is three feet thick, and so favorably situated on the hills that it can be cheaply worked for quarry lime. Little use of it has, however, been made.

This township exhibits two important anticlinal axes. The first crosses the Mahoning creek between Milton and mouth of Glade run, as before explained. It quickly passes into Jefferson county. The other axis crosses the Red bank creek in the extreme northeastern corner of this township, passing thence west of Freedom, and soon toward New Salem, where it dies out. It is not felt on the Mahoning. (W. G. Platt, Second Geological Survey of Pennsylvania.)

In this connection the following facts, communicated to the writer by Jacob Buffington, are given: There is a stratum of block coal on Mud Lick and Little Mud Lick runs about three miles wide, extending about four miles from east to west, as far as discovered, varying from seven to fourteen feet in thickness. It burns as freely as a pine know, with but little smoke, leaving a considerable quantity of clear ashes, which make a tolerably good lye. The entry, for a distance of about two hundred feet from west to east, was straight. There a vein of "horse-back" occurs eight feet thick, which is very tough and bends like iron, but is blasted with difficulty. At a distance of three feet east from the "horse-back" is a better quality of block coal. Another vein of "horse-back" occurs about thirty feet east of the other one, which the miner did not work through. Below the coal is a stratum of slate thirty inches thick, above which the coal rises perpendicularly thirty inches, that is, there is a fault. "Faults are produced by the breaking of the beds across the planes of their stratification, and thus permitting the strata to slide up or down, so that the two parts of a given bed are no longer on the same level," which "seriously retard mining operations, for suddenly the end of the bed of coal, or other substance, is reached, and the workmen know now whether its counterpart is above or below the level upon which they have been operating."

There is a cave on the Adam Smith farm on Pine run in hard, fine sandrock, consisting of several rooms or apartments. The first one is about eight feet high, four wide and fifteen long, from which is a narrow opening extending into another one; thence into three other of about the same size. There are several others, one which opens toward the right. The entrance to them is from the east, and their walls are very smooth.

A short distance east of Laurel run is a stratum of slate and cannel coal, the upper part of which is about fifteen inches above the surface, below which is slate of an excellent quality, which can be excavated in blocks of eighteen inches wide, from eight to ten inches thick, and from two to two and a half feet long, which can be separated into slabs one-eighth of an inch thick, well adapted to making slates and roofing. The coal and slate are traversed by rainbow or peacock colored streaks.

The elevation above ocean level at Maysville is 1,107.8 feet; at Pine run, 1,100.8 feet; at Millville, 1,092.8 feet; at Indiantown run, 1,089.8 feet.

Source: Page(s) 186-200, History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania by Robert Walker Smith, Esq. Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co., 1883.
Transcribed November 1998 by Debra Shelkey for the Armstrong County Smith Project.
Contributed by Debra Shelkey for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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