Organized in 1851 from Territory in Madison, Pine, Wayne and Red Bank Townships- Boundaries- First Election- Mahoning Creek Navigation Company- The Early Settlers and First Owners of the Land Tracts- Transfers- Village of Texas, now Oakland- Joint Stock Company- Methodist Episcopal Church- Baptist Church- Brethren in Christ Congregation- Oakland Classical and Normal Institute- Red Bank Cannel Coal and Iron Company- Dunkard Church- Mahoning Furnace- Casper Nulf and Wife, Centenarians- German Reformed and Lutheran Churches- Putneyville- Building Flatboats- Methodist Episcopal Church- United Presbyterian Church- Firebrick Works- Population- Educational and Other Statistics of the Township- Geology.
THE petition of divers inhabitants of Madison, Pine, Wayne and Red Bank townships having been presented to the court of quarter sessions of this county, December 19, 1849, praying for the erection of a new township out of parts of the above-mentioned ones, James Stewart, William Kirkpatrick and Joseph Lowry were, December 21, appointed viewers, to whom the usual order was issued May 14, 1850, which was not executed. A second petition, therefore, was presented December 17, held over March 7, and March 21, 1851, the court appointed William Kirkpatrick, James Stewart and Archibald Glenn viewers. Their report, favoring the granting of the prayer of the petitioners, was presented and read June 9, and confirmed September 20, 1851, and the new township was then organized and christened Mahoning. Omitting a tedious, formidable number of courses and distances, its boundaries or outlines, as designated in the report of the viewers and confirmed by the court, are: Beginning below Olney furnace, on Mahoning creek, at the point where the new line* between Wayne and Red Bank townships strikes the creek; thence down the Mahoning to a point opposite the mouth of Pine run; thence by various courses and distances northwesterly to a white oak; thence northerly along a line dividing school districts, i.e., sub-districts, as they then were, along the eastern boundary of Robert Morrison's land; thence northwesterly to the Red Bank creek, at or near the west end of the Fort Smith tract; thence along the left bank of Red Bank creek, around its big bend to a point opposite the mouth of Leatherwood creek; thence southwesterly to "a school district line;" thence along that line passing George Nulf's improvement, "taking a section off Madison township," to a black oak; thence southeasterly to the Mahoning creek; thence down the same, "taking a section off Pine township," to a hemlock, the corner of George Reedy's land; thence southwesterly, northeasterly and northwesterly to the corner of Pine and Wayne townships, as it stood before the division; thence southeasterly to a white oak by the roadside; thence northeasterly and southwesterly to the place of beginning, "containing about twenty-five square miles."
At the first township election the following officers were elected: Judge of election, William R. Hamilton; inspectors of election, John Sheridan, John McCauley; assessor, Samuel Ferguson; assistant assessors, John A. Colwell, Alexander Cathcart; supervisors, William Smullin, Thomas Buzzard; township clerk, Milton Osbein; township auditors, David Putney three years, R.C. Williamson two years, John Sheridan one year; school directors, J.W. Powell and J.J. Wich three years, James Stockdill and John Shoemaker two years, James McLaw and Thomas Buzzard one year; overseers of the poor, Peter Shoemaker and John Duff; justice of the peace, James T. Putney; constable, Absalom Smullin.
This township was, of course, named from Mahoning creek, which skirts its southeastern, and, with its deep bends, flows through its southern, part. The meaning of Mahoning, as elsewhere given,** is a stream flowing from or near a lick.
By the act of assembly, March 21, 1808, this creek was declared to be a public highway for the passage of rafts, boats and other vessels, from its confluence with the Allegheny river to the mouth of Canoe creek in Indiana county. That act authorizes the inhabitants along its banks, and others desirous of using it for navigation, to remove all natural and artificial obstructions in it, except dams for mills and other waterworks, and to erect slopes at the mill and other dams, which must be so constructed as not to injure the works of such dams. Any person owning or possessing lands along this stream has the liberty to construct dams across it, subject, however, to the restrictions and provisions of the general act authorizing the riparian owners to erect dams for mills on navigabel streams. William Travis and Joseph Marshall were appointed to superintend the expenditure of $800 for the improvement of this stream, authorized by the act of March 24, 1817, to whom an order for their services for $201 was issued by the commissioners of this county December 23, 1818. The erection of the first bridge across it was at a point a short distance above its mouth, on the Olean road, which was granted to John Weld June 19, 1822, at $500. Vestiges of its southern abutment are still visible.
By the act of assembly, April 22, 1858, the Mahoning Navigation Company was incorporated, and Henry Brown, Stacy B. Williams, Isaac C. Jordan, Harrison M. Coon and James E. Mitchell were appointed commissioners- for the last-named three William Bell, Charles Kremer and Irvin Gillespie were substituted by the supplement to that act passed April 10, 1863- who were authorized to open books for subscription to the capital stock of the company, and keep them open until $5,000 should be subscribed, but no longer. The par value of each share is $10. The charter officers are one president and four managers, who are to be elected annually. Each stockholder has one vote for each of his shares not exceeding ten, and one for every five shares exceeding ten. The president and managers have the requisite power to make such by-laws and regulations not inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States and of this state. Besides the usual powers conferred upon such corporations, the special ones conferred upon the president and managers of this company are to clean and clear the Mahoning, Canoe, Big Run Stump, and East branch creeks from all rocks, bars and other obstructions; to erect dams and locks, to bracket and regulate and alter the dams that were then and to be thereafter erected in these streams, so that no injury be done to the water power of the owners; to control their waters by bracket or otherwise for the purpose of navigation; to levy tolls not exceeding one and one-fourth cent for each five miles run upon the Mahoning, and by the supplementary act of April 10, 1863, on the other above-mentioned streams, per thousand feet of boards or other sawed stuff; one and one-fourth cent for every fifty feet, lineal measure, of square or other timber; the same per foot of every boat passing down these creeks, to be collected at their mouths, and at such other points along these streams as may be necessary; and, besides various other specified things, including the levying of tolls upon logs, viz., twenty-five cents per hundred logs for every five miles they are driven down these streams, generally to do all things necessary for their safe navigation. Any person who runs his rafts, boats, logs and other craft past a collector's office without paying his toll is subject to a fine of five dollars. The tolls are liens upon the property on which they are assessed and levied, into whosesoever hands it may come. Among other provisions is this: Whenever the dividends arising from the tolls shall in gross equal the amount of stock actually subscribed, clear of all expenses, and ten per centum per annum, the tolls shall be reduced so as to be only sufficient for the improvement of these streams.
The act of assembly, April 2, 1869, declares the Mahoning creek to be a navigable stream and public highway for all kinds of crafts that can navigate it, both up and down, from its mouth to the Mahoning furnace or iron works. It also authorizes John A. Colwell to make, at his own expense, a towing-path for horses to travel on along this stream between those two points, for the purpose of towing boats laden with metal or merchandise. When thus made, it is to be open for public use, free of expense or toll to him. He has the right, on the same conditions, to improve the bed of the creek by removing stone and widening the channel. He is to pay the owner of the land for the right of way for the towing-path such an equivalent as may be agreed upon between him and them, but if they cannot agree, the damages are to be assessed by three persons "appointed by the courts," in the same manner as damages are assessed for lands taken for public roads in this county; and in case of a failure to agree, the owners of land along the route of the towing-path shall not delay the making of it, but he is authorized to tender them a bond for the payment of such damages as may be legally assessed, and thereupon he shall proceed to make the towing-path.
The portion of "Quito" in this township, elsewhere mentioned as conveyed by Isaac Cruse to George Weinberg, was successively owned by William Benton, Abraham Mohney, Rev. John G. Young, who conveyed 115 acres, April 26, 1867, to Moses Stahlman for $2,600. Other portions of "Quito" in this township are now owned chiefly by John A. Colwell, Elias and John Cunselman and William Procious and Blinker & Jones, to the latter of whom and another Craig conveyed 272 acres and 130 perches, June 2, 1874, for $12,500, excepting the half acre on which schoolhouse No. 6 is situated. John McClelland and his family occupied a log house on this parcel in the winter of 1845-6. On one of the severely cold nights of that winter, the house- it was a log one- caught fire in the upper part from, it was supposed, the chimney, which was constructed of wooden slats and daubing of clay. The four children, sound asleep in the loft, were consumed by the flames, which had enveloped them before they were aware of their peril. The father and mother were not awakened until the devouring element had nearly caught them asleep on the first floor, from which they had barely time to escape with their lives in their nightclothes through a window near their bed. Frederick Mohney was the first one who discovered the fire. He hastened to it, and found Mrs. McClelland trying to keep from freezing by walking to and fro near the burning cabin, and her husband sitting on a log near by sadly moaning. When asked why he moaned so, he pointed to the flames, and with heart-rending anguish, said: "There is my all- my four boys!" The population in this region was then sparse, but as the painful intelligence of their terrible calamity spread, contributions of clothing, provisions and other necessaries flowed in upon them, and thus they were made as comfortable as that intensely afflictive bereavement would permit. They soon afterward removed to Craigsville, in the western part of this county, where he for several years followed his trade of miller. In 1867, he received the nomination as republican candidate for county treasurer, but died before the election. Samuel W. Hamilton, of Mahoning township was nominated and elected.
There is a larger area of "Lurgan" than of either "Quito" or No. 2903 in this township. That parcel of it conveyed by Stephen B. Young to Samuel S. Harrison and Hugh Campbell was by them conveyed, March 3, 1850, to William Horn, who conveyed 50 acres, May 10, 1856, to Elias Cunselman for $800. A considerable portion of the parcel conveyed by Stephen B. Young to Robert Morrison is now owned by the latter's son, James H., and a portion by another son, Harvey Morrison, besides the 100 acres conveyed by Alexander Cathcart, April 7, 1863, to D. Slade for $1,000.
The parcel containing 310 acres and 116 perches which Young conveyed to Henry D. Foster, December 1, 1840, for $2,000, the latter conveyed to Mrs. Elizabeth Hewett, September 6, 1843, for $3,000, who conveyed 100 acres and 50 perches thereof to her son, Robert Ferguson, June 6, 1854, for $1 and the annual payment to her during her life of $20, and the residue she divided between her other son, Samuel Ferguson, and her son-in-law, John Duff, or his wife. The Fergusons settled here 1844, and Duff in 1845. The parcel, 343 acres and 108 perches, purchased by Campbell, was conveyed by him to Alexander Colwell, June 7, 1849, for $1,000, which was devised to and is retained by his daughter, Mrs. Harriet H. Calhoun.
Of the parcel contiguous to "Lurgan" on the south, No. 2903, William Hamilton conveyed 117 acres and 19 perches to Alexander Colwell, May 19, 1843, for $110, which he also devised to Mrs. Calhoun. William R. Hamilton conveyed 225 acres and 142 perches to John A. Colwell & Co., February 2, 1854, for $1,000, the other portions remaining as noticed in the sketch of Red Bank township.
Another parcel of it became vested in Thomas McConnell, who conveyed one-half of it to James E. Brown, so that they are its present joint owners. Camp run, formed by tributaries from the northeast and northwest, traverses this tract and empties into the Mahoning creek at the foot of the deep bend northeast from Putneyville. It is so named from an Indian camp that existed on the bottom between the mouth of this run and that of Little Mud Lick, before and for a short time after the beginning of this century. Some of the early white settlers, Robert Cathcart and others, used to state that some of the Indians who occupied that camp were still there after they came here. About 125 rods east of the junction of these tributaries to Camp run is a subterranean burnt district, containing about three acres, judging from the red color of the surface above it. The roof of the cavity, caused by the burning of the coal, appears to be two or three feet thick, as it extends under the hill. The roof appears to have been slate, fireclay and other matter, as appears from cemented portions of it. At least some of the coal is of two kinds- block coal, an analysis of which is elsewhere given, and bituminous, closely united without slate or any other matter between them- the former about eleven and the latter four feet thick The depth of the ashes on the floor or at the bottom of the cavity is from three to four feet. Their color is similar to that of lime. The block coal is very easily ignited, and the subterranean ignition in this instance may have originated from some fire kindled by the Indians who occupied that camp. The trees on the surface appear to have grown up since the extinguishment of the subterranean fire. One of them, near the opening, is about eighteen inches in diameter.
The earliest permanent white settlers on 2903 were William R. Hamilton and John Kuhn. It is still sparsely inhabited.
Adjoining "Lurgan" on the west was the upper or northeastern portion of a large vacant tract, in the northern part of which, as Lawson & Orr's map of original tracts indicates, Jacob Hettrick settled as early as 1808, for he was assess ed that year with 50 acres at $37- his kind of title being "improvement." Next south of that parcel was the one occupied under an "improvement" right by Robert Cathcart, who must have settled on it in or before 1805, as he was first assessed in 1806 with 330 acres, one horse and three cattle, at $320. His two-story red house, the first frame one in this section, was for many years one among the few for several miles around. The commissioners of this county granted him an order, March 20, 1810, for $16 for killing two panthers. Before his death- June 4, 1846- which occurred in the fore part of August, 1847, he had agreed to sell 51 acres and 31 perches of his land to John A. Colwell & Co., which his executors conveyed to them, March 23, 1849, for $255. They also conveyed 15 acres to his son, Alexander Cathcart, March 19, 1851, for $225, in pursuance of an agreement made in that decedent's lifetime. The rest of his estate, real, personal and "merchandise," he devised and bequeathed to his children.
Contiguous to the above-mentioned parcels of that vacant land on the west, including the one covered by Alexander Cathcart's warrant, was another one, on which John Moorehead, who came from Franklin county, Pennsylvania, settled, probably in 1807, was first assessed with 100 acres, "improvement," two horses and two cattle, at $88, in 1808, and was somewhat notable in those early times as a moneyed man. He obtained a warrant, No. 6029, for 438 acres and 47 perches, March 20, 1811, which, mainly, by his will, registered March 19, 1839, he devised to his sons Isaac and Joseph, to be divided by them "according to the division made by Robert Richards," which they did by conveyances to each other, February 5, 1848, the patent for the same having been granted to them, June 30, 1844. Isaac took the eastern purpart, containing 194 acres and 117 perches, and Joseph the western, 239 acres and 44 perches, Several town lots were laid out on each side of the Anderson Creek road in the southern part of Joseph's purpart, surveyed by J.E. Meredith probably in February, 1848. Joseph Moorehead conveyed 176 acres of the southern portion of his purpart along the northwestern side of the Anderson Creek road, to William R. Hamilton, March 14, 1854, for $3,000, who laid out a number of lots, surveyed by John Steele, consisting of a part of the town of Texas, now Oakland, within the limits of which there were a very few residents in 1848. The assessment list of Red Bank township for 1850 shows that this town or village then contained eight taxables, including one stonemason and one bricklayer, and a total valuation of real and personal property and occupations amounting to $772. All of the Hamilton lots are on the northwestern side of the Main street, as the Anderson Creek road is here called, between the Brethren in Christ Church and the eastern line of the Lamberson land, about eleven rods east of the road which intersects Main street and extends thence northwesterly across Red Bank creek, about 350 rods below the point where the Rockport road crosses it. The lots west of that road were laid out on Isaac Lamberson's land, and those on the southeastern side of that street and east of that road are parcels of the Joseph Moorehead purpart.
For the purpose of showing the general value of these town lots, the following conveyances are here given, as found in the public records: Wm. R. Hamilton to Jane Hettrich, May 7, 1858, lots Nos. 7 and 8 for $90; to Mary Reese, March 4, 1859, lot No. 5,$68.33; to Mahoning school district, same day, lot No. 10, for $40, on which the present frame, painted schoolhouse was erected; to Christian Reesman, April 1, 1861, lot No. 2, $50; to Lewis W. Corbett, December 12, 1864, lots Nos. 6, 7, 10, $145. Lot No. 1 appears to have been purchased by Henry Musser, and by sheriff's sale and other transfers became vested in Hamilton, Shoemaker & Co., who conveyed it to Joseph T. Shoemaker, June 19, 1863, for $25. On this lot was located the storehouse of the Joint Stock Company of Oakland, or the Oakland Company trading store. The organization of this company was effected in the summer of 1856, and it went into operation under a constitution signed by John Steel, Samuel Ferguson, John Shoemaker and William R. Hamilton, September 26 of the last-mentioned year, and was recorded in the recorder's office of this county, March 10, 1858. Forty-seven persons, five of whom were females, became stockholders, their respective number of shares varying from one to six, amounting to $5,200. The constitution contained stringent and prudential provisions for starting and managing the business of this company, which was not to be dissolved before 1862. A joint stock store was opened and supervised by three directors, prudent, conscientious men, chosen by the stockholders. Its business, however, after a continuance of several years, was not a financial success, and in winding it up there was incipient litigation, which was finally checked.
Plots of the Lamberson lots were made by Jonathan E. Meredith in February, 1848, and March, 1849, and another one by David Putney, March 19, 1868. Some of them were sold thus: To Joseph W. Moorehead, May 17, 1869, 19,200 square feet of lots 13 and 14, for $205, and 5,152 square feet of lot 14, April 26, 1871, for $52; to P.W. Shoemaker, April 28, 1875, the portion added to lot 9, for $158. Lamberson conveyed 2,970 square feet on the south side of Main street and about fifteen rods nearly west from the angle in this street, to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church of Oakland, September 19, 1874, for $10, on which, in that year, was erected the present church edifice, frame, 30×40 feet, one story, fifteen feet. The writer has not ascertained when this church was organized. It is without regular classleaders, and enjoys preaching, generally, only once in two weeks. The old Oakland schoolhouse, frame, unpainted, was situated northwesterly from this lot, on the opposite side of the Anderson creek road.
The lots on the southeastern side of Main street were surveyed by Jonathan E. Meredith probably in 1848-9, and belonged originally to the Joseph Moorehead purpart (except the one owned by David Jones), which, or a considerable portion of which, appear by recitals in some of the conveyances to have been purchased of Moorehead by D. and J. Baughman. As a number of those conveyances are not recorded, so full a statement of the prices for which these lots were sold as is desirable cannot be here given. The one now occupied by Dr. W.S. Hosack, containing about one-quarter of an acre, appears to have been owned by Stephen Norris, which was conveyed by Sheriff Kelly to Wm. R. Hamilton, June 3, 1857, for $30, by whom it was conveyed to Samuel McGary, May 10, 1858, for $92, who, the same day, conveyed it to James A. Truitt for $274.50. Adjoining the road from Mahoning furnace on the east was a parcel containing 2 acres and 55 perches, consisting partly of the George Nulf tract, which, with other contiguous land, became vested in Samuel Copenhauer, who conveyed to John Carson, and he to John and James Murphy. They conveyed these 2 acres and 55 perches to Mary Reece, March 27, 1855, for $275, of which she conveyed 1 acre and 32 perches to Joseph T. Shoemaker, February 2, 1874, for $65. George C. Nulf conveyed 85 perches to Mrs. Reece March 25, 1857, for $35. Along both sides of the road from Mahoning furnace and along the southeastern side of Main street, contiguous in part to the Norris lot, was a parcel containing 12 acres and 138 perches, the northern part of which Moorehead conveyed to Joseph Baughman, and Nulf the southern part to Samuel Copenhauer; the Moorehead and Nulf portions having thus became vested in Copenhauer, he conveyed the entire parcel, February 12, 1848, to John Carson, and he to Joseph W. Powell, March 8; Powell to George C. Nulf, December 8, 1852; Nulf to George Reesman, January 21, 1859; Reesman to John McCauley, November 18, and McCauley to James A. Truitt, January 30, 1860, for $420, on which Truitt, resides, and where he has had his store and kept the Oakland postoffice for several years, he having been the deputy and, the postmaster since about 1848. This office was established in 1841, and was kept elsewhere until about 1846. George Nulf kept a hotel on this parcel from about 1847 until the building thus occupied was burned in 18-. Truitt started his tannery about 50 rods south of Main street, on the eastern side of the road from Mahoning furnace, on this parcel in 1860. The present church edifice of the Baptist Congregation, frame, 36×56 feet, two stories, the first twelve and the second sixteen feet in the clear, which cost $5,000, was erected on this parcel in 1874, adjacent to which is the parsonage.*** This church was organized April 10, 1837, by Rev. Thomas Wilson, and worshiped elsewhere until the completion of this edifice. It was incorporated by the court of common pleas of this county September 13, 1876, its corporate name being the "Red Bank Baptist Church of Oakland." The number of its members is sixty, and of Sabbath-school scholars seventy-five. A union Sabbath school, with different officers, which most of the scholars of the Baptist school attend, is held, at a different hour, in this edifice, except in the winter. Lot No. 1 was conveyed by John Heighhold, who purchased it at sheriff's sale, to Mary Reece October 3, 1856, for $75, and the lot now owned by Julia Taylor, contiguous to the church lot, was conveyed to her by Truitt, November 23, 1867, for $75.
The Brethren in Christ congregation have a church edifice at the northeastern extremity of this village, on Peter Shoemaker's land, frame, 31×41 feet, one story. It formerly belonged to the Methodist congregation, and was erected in 1844 on that part of the Bryan lands conveyed to William Smullin, and was purchased by Peter Shoemaker in 1872, taken down, removed to its present site, and reconstructed just as it was before its removal. This church was organized prior to 1846, and worshiped elsewhere until the present edifice was provided. It has been so carefully fostered by Peter Shoemaker and some of his kindred that it has frequently been called "Shoemaker's church." Its membership is 67, but is at present without a resident minister.
The educational facilities of this village have been thus far those afforded by the public school.(4*)
Dr. W.S. Hosack is the first resident physician of Oakland. He settled here in 1874. The second one is Dr. P.W. Shoemaker, who settled here in 1875.
The separate assessment list of Oakland for 1876 shows its number of taxables to be 55; laborers, 26; carpenters, 7; single men, 3; merchants, 2; physicians, 2; shoemaker, 1; plasterer, 1; schoolteacher, 1; farmer, 1; artist, 1; pauper, 1; landlord, 1. Before the completion of the Allegheny Valley and Low Grade railroads, when the travel and hauling of freight along this route were considerable, there were two hotels, which were reasonably well patronized.
Adjoining the Isaac Moorehead purpart of the John Moorehead tract on the east was another part of the vacant land which was covered by the warrant to Alexander Cathcart, dated February 22, to whom the patent was granted May 29, 1836. No important transfers of any of this tract occurred until January 15, 1870, when Cathcart's two parcels (including the one conveyed to him by his father's executors), aggregating 399 acres and 96 perches (exclusive of the "Gumbert lot," which had been previously conveyed to James E. Brown), to James H. Mayo for $14,095. On the same day Jacob Anthony conveyed to Mayo 50 acres and 32 1/2 perches, part of the Isaac Moorehead purpart, and 50 acres conveyed to him by Philip Shoemaker, guardian of the minor children of Jos. Shoemaker, for $3,000; and Philip Shoemaker to same 50 acres and 32 perches, which he had purchased from Alexander Colwell, and 35 acres, which he had purchased at sheriff's sale for $3,400. Mayo purchased these lands for the Red Bank Cannel Coal & Iron Company, of which he was a member. This company commenced operations in six or seven weeks after those purchases were made, but little was done, except to prepare for shipping their coal, when railroad facilities should be afforded. It was incorporated in accordance with the general act of assembly, passed April 21, 1854, to enable joint owners, tenants in common, and adjoining owners of mineral lands to manage and develop the mineral resources in their lands. The charter members were Chester Snow, of Harwick; Jonathan Higgins, Orleans; J.K. Butler, Dennisport; Francis Childs, Charlestown; Charles B. Lane, Boston; George W. Lobdell, Mettapoisett, Massachusetts; and James H. Mayo, Ridgeway, Pennsylvania. Their certificate or application for a charter set forth, among other things, the objects of the company to be, the developing of their lands, and the mining, preparing for and the carrying to market of the coal, iron, fire-clay and other minerals and mineral products which might be found in and under their lands; to construct roads, railroads on their lands; to erect dwelling-houses and other necessary buildings; to introduce all necessary machinery for raising, preparing their minerals for and removing them to market, and to make all other improvements preparatory to leasing their lands; that their land was divided into 5,000 shares, the par value of each $100; and that each of the above-mentioned members owned 625 shares. F. Carroll Brewster, then the attorney-general of this state, having examined and considered their certificate or application, certified, January 24, 1871, that it was properly drawn and signed, and the same was duly recorded, February 14, in Deed Book No. 39, page 221, in the recorder's office of this county.
The writer has ascertained these additional facts from a communication of A.S.R. Richards, one of the company's clerks: "This company now owns nearly 2,000 acres of land in fee simple, most of which is well adapted to agriculture, affording all the feed necessary for their stock and a surplus for sale. The local name of the colliery, which is a mile and a quarter in an airline northeast of Oakland, is 'Bostonia.' The first shipment of their coal east was in June, 1873, just after the opening of the Low Grade division of the Allegheny Valley Railroad. There are five workable veins of coal on this company's property- an excellent gas coal known as the Red Bank 'Orrel,' which is extensively mined, and shipped to gas companies in Northern and Eastern New York, northern part of this state, to Canada and elsewhere. Veins 2, 3, 4 have not yet been worked; vein 5 is cannel, the largest in the United States, and which is claimed to be superior to the Scotch and but little inferior to the English cannel, large quantities of which are shipped to Boston, Philadelphia and New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Michigan and Canada, where it is used as fuel in grates and stoves in dwelling-houses and to gas companies within a radius of 500 miles, by which it is used as an 'enricher.' The company's extensive deposits of iron ore, limestone and other minerals remain as yet comparatively intact, awaiting their demand hereafter for manufacturing purposes in their native territory. When the vein of coal already opened is worked to its full capacity, the daily shipments from it reach 250 tons, requiring the services of sixty miners, three inside and two outside drivers, two inside and four outside laborers, one blacksmith, one engineer, one weighmaster, one stableman, one inside foreman, one clerk and one manager, in all about seventy eight employés on an average, but sometimes numbering 125. All the employés are paid in full on or about the 15th of each month, each monthly disbursement amounting to about $5,000; the colliery is equipped with a locomotive; numerous pit-cars, a large blacksmith and car shop, all the tools necessary for the prosecution of an extensive business; pockets, screens and other appliances to prepare the coal for the varied demands of the market. Connected with these works are about five miles of a track of T iron rail; their capacity is equal to a daily production of 350 tons of coal, and twenty-eight neat and comfortable cottages have been erected for the employés, which are provided with all the modern conveniences, the circumjacent grounds of which are tastefully laid out and beautifully adorned with flowers, shrubbery and fruit-trees. The general depression of business has caused a considerable reduction of the quantity of coal mined at and shipped from this colliery, and all connected with it are eagerly waiting for a general revival of business and consequent increase of the demand for the immense products which this colliery is capable of yielding.
In the assessment list of Mahoning township for 1876 is a separate one for this colliery, or cannel coal works, showing this company to be assessed with 1,019 acres of land at $20,980, and with personal property, $550; the number of taxables, 26, and their personal property and occupations, $1,741.50. The 26 taxables are of course that portion of the employés residing at the colliery. The total valuation of the company's and the employés' property and occupations is $23,271.50.
James Parker appears to have settled contemporaneously with Robert Cathcart (in 1805) on a portion of this vacant land, probably adjacent to the southern line of the latter's tract, with 400 acres of which, and two horses and one cow, $335, he appears to have been assessed in 1806. His name appears for the last time on the Red Bank list in 1810, with the same quantity of land, and with one horse and one cow, $306. He and Cathcart occasionally went out together on hunting expeditions, and it may have been on one of these that the latter killed the panthers above mentioned. It used to be related by John Millison, who was an early settler in another part of what is now this township, that on a certain occasion Parker went to a point on the Mahoning, called in those times the "Fish-Basket," to obtain some fish. He hitched his mare on the bank or bluff above the creek, which was captured by an Indian while he was getting his fish. When Parker discovered his loss, he made immediate pursuit, recaptured his mare, and remarked: "That young Indian will never steal another horse." That was probably in 1807, as Parker was thereafter assessed with only one horse.
The name of Stofel Reighard appears on the map of original tracts as occupying at least a part of the land which Parker to have abandoned. His name is on the Red Bank tax list only for the year 1822, when he was assessed with 206 acres. Edward Blakeley settled on the southeastern part of this large tract of vacant land in 1806. He was first assessed in Red Bank township for the next year with 200 acres, "improvement," two horses and two cattle, at $140, and Robert Blakeney with 100 acres, "improvement," and one horse, for 1808, at $58. Both of those parcels appear to have been covered by a warrant to Mrs. Catherine Blakeney in February, 1836. By her will, registered August 1, 1837, she devised the northern part, or "end" as she designates it, on which she and her youngest son, Robert, had resided before her death, to him, and the remainder south of a division line from east to west, to her son James, and her daughters Jane, wife of Jacob Nulf, and Margaret, wife of Samuel Buzzard. The southwestern portion of this southern purpart is skirted by the northern half of the deep northeastern bend in the Mahoning. The northern purpart contained, according to J.E. Meredith's survey, 130 acres and allowance, and the southern one 190 acres and 94 perches. James Blakeney and his sisters conveyed 158 acres and 80 perches of their purpart to Charles Johnston, September 16, 1835, for $300; Johnston, 60 acres and allowance to Christian Shunk, June 29, 1846, for $240; Shunk to A. and J.A. Colwell, 63 1/2 acres, April 11, 1848, for $700, of which they conveyed 10 acres and 105 perches to Joseph Shoemaker, December 30, 1856, for $85.25. Johnston conveyed 131 acres to Philip Shoemaker, October 14, 1854, for $850, of which the latter conveyed 7 acres and 27 perches to Joseph Shoemaker, March 5, 1857, for $28.67. Philip Shoemaker also purchased- the records do not show either when or for what amount- Robert Blakeney's purpart, a part of which, along "the road leading from Nulf's old fording to McKallip's mill," he conveyed to James and Eli Simmers, July 23, 1855, in 67 acres and 21 perches of which John Shobert had, in 1844, an interest, of which he was divested by sheriff's sale, and of which Jeremiah Bonner became the purchaser for $350, and which he conveyed to Peter George, March 10, 1845, for $400. It is described as lying "along the Hogback road," and adjoining land of George Nulf on the west. One acre and four perches of it was sold by James Simmers to Hannah Simmers, September 6, 1856, for $62.
Philip Shoemaker settled on that parcel of these vacant lands north of Blakeney's, probably in 1814, for he was first assessed on the list of Red Bank township the next year, with 400 acres- perhaps the same that had been occupied by James Parker- and two horses, at $400. His cousin, Peter Shoemaker, who, it is said, was his favorite kinsman, settled on the western portion of that parcel probably in 1824. He was first assessed in 1825 on the last-mentioned list with 200 acres and one horse at $421. He was a prominent and active member of the Brethren in Christ church, which seceded from the German Baptist, or Dunkard church, of which his brother George was for many years the pastor. A church edifice, brick, about forty feet square, was erected on his land, about 235 rods east of Oakland, in 1846, and was completed in the autumn of 1847. In 1872 the edifice heretofore mentioned, at the northeastern extremity of Oakland, was substituted for this one, which has since been converted into a dwelling-house. Fifty rods north of this brick building is an acre of ground which Philip and Peter Shoemaker conveyed to Alexander Cathcart, Jacob Anthony and William Smullin and their successors, "including a house sometimes occupied as a schoolhouse," "intended as a public burying-ground," February 27, 1840, for $5. It is a part of the land included in the patent to Philip Shoemaker, dated May 25, 1827, and in the purpart which he had conveyed to Peter, June 17, 1824.
Another portion of these vacant lands lay south of Joseph Moorehead's, west of the Blakeneys' purparts, on which George Nulf settled, probably, in 1821, when he was assessed with two oxen and one cow at $38; in 1824, with 160 acres; in 1826, with 100 acres, "improvement;" in 1826, with 100 acres, "Mahoning," i.e., on the Mahoning. He obtained a warrant, dated June 12, 1837, on which a patent for 208 acres and 48 perches was granted to John Gebhart, April 11, 1838, for $4.84, the upper or northern part of which was included in the above-mentioned conveyance of Nulf to Copenhauer, and which is now owned by Truitt. Nulf conveyed 111 acres of it to Wm. McMillen, March 6, 1848, for $950. John Thorn obtained a warrant for 100 acres of these vacant lands March 6, 1827, and the patent August 7, 1828, 24 acres and 70 perches of which are south and east of the Colwell and Shunk warrant for 33 acres, and north of the Mahoning, and the rest in the northern part of the eastern bend of this creek, which he conveyed to Yost Smith January 25, 1831, for $280, and which the latter's widow and heirs conveyed to Colwell and Shunk September 29, 1845, for $1,300.
A small tract of 33 acres and allowance in the southwestern part of these vacant lands, west of the southern purpart of the Blakeney and west of the Thorn-Smith tract, was left vacant after George Nulf had acquired title to his tract, for which a warrant was granted to John A. Colwell and Christian Shunk, April 3, 1845, and which was thereon surveyed to them May 1, by J.E. Meredith, special deputy surveyor. The patent was granted to John A. Colwell March 11, 1847. A narrow strip of it extends across the Mahoning to the northern line of "Pleasant Valley." In the northeastern acute angle formed by the eastern line of this narrow strip and the left bank of the creek, on the southeastern side of the creek, is the site of the Mahoning Furnace, which was erected by Alexander and John A. Colwell in the summer of 1845. It was a steam, cold-blast, charcoal furnace until 1860, when its fuel was changed to coke. It is ten feet across the bosh by thirty-three feet high, and made in forty-six weeks, in 1856, 4,796 tons of forge metal out of hard blue carbonate, lying on a limestone bed in the coal measures, 100 feet above water level, within the distance of a mile from the stack. Its annual average production has been about 2,000 tons, and the number of employés 100. The metal is transported in flatboats down the Mahoning creek and Allegheny river, some to Kittanning, but most of it to Pittsburgh. John A. Colwell purchased Shunk's and his wife's interest in this tract and the adjoining Thorn-Smith one, both containing 133 acres, March 2, 1846, for $8,000, and in the 63 1/2 acres of the southern purpart of the Blakeney tract, as above mentioned, April 11, 1848, for $700, those parcels constituting but a small portion of the aggregate quantity of land in this vicinity belonging to the furnace property. The only dwelling-houses within convenient distance when the erection of the furnace was begun were the log one, built by Adam Nulf many years ago, on the opposite side of the creek, and another log one on this side. The latter was used for some time as a boarding-house for the large number of men employed in that erection. The present number of buildings on both sides of the creek is twenty, besides the schoolhouse, built in 1855-6, and used for church purposes, sawmill, coal and coke yards, and 150 rods of rail, or tramway. The partnership in this furnace business between Alexander and John A. Colwell was dissolved by the death of the former in 1868, and since then it has been controlled by the latter. The bridge across the Mahoning at this point was erected in 1847-8 by the furnace company; also the second superstructure. It was afterward declared a county bridge, and the present superstructure was erected at the joint expense of the county and the owners of the furnace.
There was still another parcel, a small one, of these vacant lands south of Nulf's, covered by a warrant to Shunk, which became a part of the Furnace property.
Contiguous to those vacant lands on the east and southeast was a considerable body of the Bryan lands, for which Arthur Bryan obtained a warrant dated October 20, 1786, which he, in October, 1787, conveyed to George Bryan, and of which, among other lands, the act of assembly, March 17, 1820, as stated in the sketch of Cowanshannock township, authorized partition to be made among the latter's heirs, by Robert Orr, Jr., of this county, Thomas Smith and Joseph Spangler, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Within a month after the passage of that act the partition was made, and the instrument evidencing it is dated April 20, and which was recorded May 8, of the same year. It and the accompanying diagram show this tract to have been thus divided into three purparts, each containing 363 acres and 120 perches. The northeastern one, No. 3, was allotted to Francis Bryan, of Albany, New York; the western and central one, No. 2, to George Bryan, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the southern one, No. 1, to Mary Bryan, probably of Philadelphia. Francis Bryan, by Robert Orr, his attorney-in-fact, conveyed his entire purpart to William Smullin, April 3, 1835, for $1,455, to which he removed about that time, where he has ever since since resided, most of which has been retained by him, and on which substantial improvements have been made. One of the township schoolhouses, erected many years ago, is at the cross-roads near his homestead, a few rods south of which is the site of a camp-ground where the Methodist denomination of the circumjacent region formerly held their camp-meetings. About 1843-4 the frame church edifice was erected near that site, which was subsequently removed to Oakland by Peter Shoemaker, and which was the only one used by the Methodists in this township for a period of eight years. Smullin conveyed 103 acres and 115 perches to Henry R. Hamilton, March 13, 1839; he to William Hamilton, January 12, 1841; and he to Wm. R. Hamilton, April 21, 1843, for $1,237.42, on which he resides and where he has established his homestead and made valuable improvements. He purchased from Smullen 12 acres and 113 perches, February 12, 1846, for $131.25.
An Indian path in old times extended from the run near Wm. R. Hamilton's house across the Mahoning about forty rods above the mill at Putneyville to the vicinity of Olney Furnace, where it forked- one branch extending to Punxsutawney, and the other via Dayton, and across the north branch of Plum creek near Plumville, Indiana county.
George Bryan conveyed his entire purpart to John Smullin, May 16, 1838, for $2,200; he conveyed 265 acres to Samuel Hamilton, April 1, 1845, for $1,584, who devised the same to John J. Hamilton, and he to Joseph K. Hamilton, the present owner, April 16, 1855, for $5,000.
Mary Bryan, to whom the southern purpart, No. 1, was allotted, married Thomas Park. After his death she conveyed this entire purpart to George T. Bryan and John McCarter, the latter of Charleston, South Carolina, in trust for Sarah, wife of Jonathan Bryan, which they conveyed to Alexander Colwell, February 17, 1848, for $1,818.75, 100 acres of which he conveyed to Joseph Shoemaker, April 5, 1850, for $800. Other portions of it have not been much, if at all, cultivated. At the northern bend of the Mahoning in the southern part of it was the "Fish-Basket," heretofore mentioned, which was a favorable point for catching fish, and to which the early white settlers and Indians in this region resorted for that purpose. In 1865 a well was drilled here for oil to the depth of 800 or 900 feet, and then abandoned. A large deposit of very strong salt water was found, a few buckets of which having been boiled yielded a large percentage of salt.
In the southern part of what is now this township, including what has from early times been called "the Cove," "the Big Cove," "the Mahoning Cove," west of the two deep bends, crossed by a line extending due south from a point about 60 rods east of the mouth of Long Run, on the Red Bank to and across the Mahoning, and east of that part of the Mahoning which is the southern part of the western boundary line between this and Madison township, lay three contiguous tracts, the easternmost one of which, called "Pleasant Valley," was covered by warrant No. 5172, 660 acres, granted to Isaac Anderson February 15, 1794; the central one, called "Curiosity," was covered by warrant No. 453, 413 acres, granted to Jeremiah Murry May 17, 1785, and the western one, called "Isaac's Choice," covered by warrant No. 3833, 220 acres, granted to Isaac Anderson April 27, 1793. Murry conveyed No. 453 to Anderson December 13, 1790, and Anderson conveyed all these three tracts, February 4, 1795, to George Roberts, of Philadelphia, to whom the patents were granted February 10. The aggregate number of acres in the three tracts was 1,293, which, in 1807, were assessed at $646.50. "Curiosity" was seated by Jacob Anthony in 1816, and John Edwards was assessed with 125 acres of it, one horse and one cow, in 1818, at $88. "Isaac's Choice" by Philip Anthony in 1817, and "Pleasant Valley" in 1818. There was, however, a sale by Roberts' heirs of 43 acres and 141 perches of "Pleasant Valley" to Jacob Nulf December 23, 1806- probably a mistake either in the deed or the record, as the deed was acknowledged December 24, 1836- for $88. That parcel is described in the deed as adjoining lands of John Shoemaker, Alexander and John White, and "the meeting-house lot." It does not appear from any of the tax or assessment lists that either Nulf or any of his adjoiners resided here when that conveyance was made. Thomas Blair, it may be remarked in passing, offered these three tracts for sale by advertisement in the Kittanning Gazette March 22, 1826. Roberts' heirs conveyed 15 acres and 78 perches of "Pleasant Valley" to Nulf, April 30, 1832, for $31, which, with an additional quantity subsequently purchased by him, aggregating 220 acres, he agreed to sell to Christian Shunk, November 27, 1844, for $3,000, which the latter agreed to sell to John A. Colwell, March 2, 1846. Nulf having died without executing a deed to Shunk or Colwell, by virtue of a decree of the proper court for the specific performance of the contract between Nulf and Shunk, James Galbraith, Nulf's administrator, conveyed these 220 acres to Colwell on the payment of $905, the unpaid balance of the purchase money. This "meeting-house lot" contains five acres of "Pleasant Valley." It was conveyed by Roberts' heirs November 21, 1832, for $10, to John White and John Shoemaker, who agreed and declared, December 16, 1834, that they and their executors and administrators should hold, possess and be interested in these five acres and all their appurtenances, and "the buildings erected and to be erected thereon," in trust for the persons resident in the vicinity thereof, for the purposes of a public burying-ground, the erection thereon of meeting-houses, schoolhouses, and other buildings for public use. They also agreed that upon a written request of two-thirds of the male citizens residing within five miles of this lot being presented to them, their heirs and legal representatives, they would duly convey their trust to such trustees as should be selected by those persons, who should hold the same in trust for those purposes in the same manner as they then held them, subject to such modifications as two-thirds of such citizens might deem best calculated to effect the design of the trust. A log church edifice was erected thereon perhaps in 1812 or 1813, for Philip Mechling remembers having passed it one summer-day when a meeting of some kind was being held in it, and having noticed the people within looking at him through the open spaces between the logs, which had not then been filled with clay or mortar. The house then had the appearance of having been built several years. He is not certain whether he was then riding as constable or sheriff. If as the former, it was in 1815, but if as the latter, it was in 1817-18. That edifice was used for church purposes by different denominations, and for a schoolhouse for several years after the furnace went into operation. Some portions of it still remain. This "meeting-house lot" is situated at an angle on the eastern side of the "Hogback road," and is designated "Cem." on the township map, being about 130 rods south of Mahoning Furnace. Rev. B.B. Killikelly preached in that house occasionally.
Roberts' heirs conveyed other parcels thus: 103 acres and 41 perches of "Pleasant Valley" to John and Alexander White, September 1, 1830, for $303, for which they were first assessed in 1831; 91 acres and 60 perches, partly of "Curiosity," to Michael Hollobough, November 1, 1830, for $182.70; 186 acres, wholly of "Pleasant Valley," to John Nulf, April 21, 1838, for $314; 58 acres, parts of "Pleasant Valley" and "Curiosity," to Adam Nulf, November 1, 1830, for $116.40; 100 acres, parts of "Curiosity" and "Isaac's Choice," to John Martin, November 1, 1830, for $200; 112 acres, parts of the last-mentioned tracts, to Jacob B. Hettrick, September 4, 1828, for $225; 51 acres of "Curiosity" to George Stewart, June 17, 1837, for $115.50; 68 acres and 29 perches of "Isaac's Choice" to Philip Anthony, June 18, 1837, for $160. In the southwestern part of this township is a portion of the Robert Morris tract, No. 4528, noticed in the sketch of Pine township, 235 acres and 80 perches of which Robert Orr conveyed to George Reedy, August 28, 1847, for $824, now owned in part at least by James Roberts. All the rest of what is now Mahoning township, besides those three tracts, and the northwestern corner of the S. Wallis tract, No. 4128, was covered by warrants of the Holland Land Company. Adjoining "Curiosity" and "Pleasant Valley" on the north, was that company's tract No. 317, warrant No. 2880, the southeastern part of which, consisting of allotment 6 and part of allotment 4, became vested in Adam Nulf, on the right bank of the Mahoning, in the southeastern part of which he settled. The log house in which he lived is still there, and is said to have been built in 1799 or 1800. He must have planted an orchard soon after his settlement, for it contained the oldest trees and the largest number of them in this section of the country. If he settled here as early as above indicated, he must have escaped the assessor's notice for several years, for his name is not found on any tax list until that of Red Bank township for 1809, when he was assessed with 50 acres, improvement, and one horse, at $190. He died intestate, and his heirs entered into an agreement, November 14, 1837 (his widow having previously died), for an amicable partition of the lands which he had left, consisting of about 215 acres, nearly all of which was then in Red Bank township, which, except the 15 acres on the left bank of the Mahoning, then in Wayne township, which their father had agreed to sell to Jacob Nulf, on which about 40 acres were then cleared, and on which there were a house, stable and the above-mentioned orchard, which they finally agreed to sell to the highest and best bidder on the first Monday of April, 1838. They, however, did not thus sell their land, but subsequently conveyed them to the Colwells, so that they are now included in the Furnace property.
In the eastern part of the broad, deep bend in the Mahoning in the southeastern part of this township, opposite Eddyville, is a portion of the Holland land, covered by warrant No. 3150, the patent for which is dated July 21, 1836, in the southeastern portion of which is the Smith burying ground, quite an old one, which is somewhat overgrown with weeds and bushes, in which are the graves of Gasper or Casper Nulf, Sr., and his wife. They had formerly resided on another Holland tract on the north side of the Red Bank. The assessment list of 1817 shows that he had "moved away" - that is, he had the year before removed thence, where he had resided since 1808, when he was first assessed there with 100 acres, two horses and one cow at $51. He was first assessed on the Plum Creek township tax list for 1817, when the territory within this bend was in that township. His and his wife's deaths were noticed in the Kittanning Gazette thus: "Died, February 1, 1837, Casper Nulf, aged one hundred and six years, and on November 11, 1836, Phebe, his wife, aged one hundred and three years. They had lived together more than eighty years, and were the parents of eighteen children. Their descendants are believed to number 300. They had supported themselves by their own industry until within three years of their deaths."
George Smith, almost a centenarian, who was employed as rodman, axman or chain-carrier in the surveys of the Holland lands many years ago, was an early settler on this tract, in this part of what is now this township, of which Willink & Co. conveyed to him 105 acres, September 17, 1839, for $275.
There may have been some other cotemporaneous early settlers on it besides those above mentioned. The later settlers appear from the following conveyances: Willink & Co. to Andrew Foreman, who had settled on it in 1830, 105 acres in the northeastern part of the bend, January 9, 1839, for $250, and he to Reuben Huffman, March 14, 102 acres and 32 perches thereof for $900; Willink & Co. to John Doverspike, March 12, 1840, 121 acres and 120 perches for $303.
The German Reformed and Lutheran churches were organized in this bend. Services were held by clergymen of both these denominations in George Smith's house, in an old log schoolhouse and elsewhere until 1873, when the present neat and substantial frame edifice, 40×40 feet, was completed, in which there has been regular preaching, alternately, by clergymen of both these denominations.
This Le Roy & Co. tract and warrant No. 3119 were laid over the southern part of an earlier one to Charles Campbell. It was not known for many years just where the latter was laid, but it extended about an equal distance north and south of the Mahoning, was surveyed on warrant No. 3832 April 22, 1793, and contained 226 acres and 70 perches, and which was conveyed by Campbell's heirs to John McCrea, who instituted an action of ejectment, October 6, 1857, against its occupants, John Kuhn, John Huffman, Daniel Doverspike and Andrew Foreman, which finally resulted in McCrea's recovering all but the 58 acres included in the commissioner's deed to Doverspike.
Adjoining the last-mentioned tract on the west was tract No. 320, covered by warrant No. 3119, the eastern part of which is traversed by Millseat run, which flows in a northwesterly course and empties into the Mahoning about 150 rods below the "Narrow Sluice," where this creek is only twenty-two feet wide. Tradition relates that a mill, with one set of stone, was erected in the first decade of this century, by Adam Smith, on this run, 75 rods northeasterly from the present schoolhouse No. 5, but ceased to be used many years since. John Daubenspike's name on this tract is one of the few that appears on the map of the original tracts which were between the Mahoning and Red Bank creeks. He settled on it in 1816, and was assessed on the Plum creek township list for the next year with 130 acres at $130. The Holland Company did not obtain their patent for this tract until November 3, 1827. They conveyed to him 92 acres and 110 perches of it June 24, 1830, then in Wayne township, for $150; and 56 acres and 46 perches of it March 21, 1832, for $28.75; 150 acres and 91 perches to Andrew Foreman, February 26, 1841, for $125, on which is the public schoolhouse No. 5; 85 acres and 48 perches to David McCullough, December 15, 1842, for $70; 100 acres and 39 perches to John Huffman, September 21, 1842, for $82; 208 acres and 100 perches to David Putney, March 14, 1843, for $150- he must have settled on this tract in 1834, about which time he removed hither from Freeport, for he was first assessed for the next year on the Wayne township list, with 750 acres of No. 3119, and two horses, at $622. He may have agreed to purchase that or a greater quantity from the Holland Company, and they may have conveyed directly to his vendees. The only persons, according to the tax lists, assessed with parcels of this tract in 1840 were John Daubenspike and David Putney. The latter built his sawmill in 1835-6 and his gristmill in 1838-9, on the western part of his parcel, near the left bank of the Mahoning.
That portion of Putneyville on the same bank was founded by him. Fifteen town lots, between East Main and East Water streets, were laid out in 1841, surveyed by J.E. Meredith July 7, 1842, several of which are numbered. The two earliest sales of them were, according to the public records: David Putney to Dr. J.H. Wick, the first resident physician here, lot No. 5, containing 45 perches, September 29, 1848, for $40; lot No. 6, 24 perches, to Ambrose Shobert same day for $30, and lot No. 3 to David Kirkland for $20. The following conveyances are given as indicating the value of real estate in various portions of the eastern part of this town, at different periods: David Putney to George S. Putney, 1 acre and 118 perches, December 27, 1850, for $10, which was not, of course, the full pecuniary value, but as he also conveyed another parcel for a similar consideration to one of his other sons, portions of which the former and the heirs of the latter conveyed to others, it is here given; 13 4/10 perches to Wm. Cunningham, February 28, 1861, for $50, which, with the improvements, the latter conveyed to G.S. Putney, November 25, 1865, for $800; 1 acre and 25 perches to S.B. Putney for $50; 504 feet to Wm. A. Brown, March 26, 1861, for $5; lot No. 2, 26 perches, to Andrew Bradenbaugh et al., October 28, 1865, for $5; George S. Putney to George Beck, same day, one-half an acre and one-half a perch for $50; David Putney to W.C. Putney et al., 2 acres and 81 perches, between Main street and the Mahoning, November 30, 1867, for $150; George S. Putney to Adam Nulf, 90 perches, December 12, for $50; to Susan Boyle, one-fourth of an acre, December 25, 1862, for $33; to C.C. Keesey, two lots between First, Second, Keesey and Walnut streets, May 11, 1874, for $510.
The postoffice, David Putney, postmaster, was established here July 18, 1844.
The building of flatboats for transporting pig-metal to market was begun here in 1847-8, which has been continued to the present time by the Putneys, and has afforded employment to an average of ten or twelve persons. About fifteen are built annually. Their length, at first, was seventy-five or eighty, and their width eighteen feet. Since the improvement of the navigation of the Mahoning below this point, their width has been increased to twenty-five, and their length to one hundred and seventy-five feet. The boat-yard is at the junction of First, East Main and East Water streets.
The tannery south of Walnut, and between Second and Third streets, was established in 1852-3. James Wilson was first assessed as a tanner here in 1853. This tannery was first assessed to J.T. and G.S. Putney in 1855. It was originally one of the common kind, but it is now operated by steam.
The common school has afforded the chief educational facilities. Rev. J.A. Campbell, the first county superintendent, taught a normal class here in 1855-6.
The second resident physician in this part of the town is Dr. Theodore P. Klingensmith, who settled here in 1874.
The first store here was opened by George W. Goheen in 1845, with which and a house and lot he was then assessed at $700. He does not appear to have been assessed with the store after 1846. The mercantile business in this part of the town has since then been chiefly limited to the Putney brothers and sons. G.S. Putney and sons are the present owners of two stores- one containing a general assortment of goods and the other limited to hardware.
The place of worship of the Methodist Episcopal church was changed from edifice near William Smullins' to this place, in 1844, and held public services in the schoolhouse and occasionally in the Associate Reformed or U.P. church edifice, until their present edifice, frame, 40×60 feet, two stories, costing $5,000, was erected, in 1873, on the northeast side of First, about sixteen rods above Grant street, on a lot conveyed, December 27, 1870, by George S. Putney to Amzi Loomis, John F. Gearhart, William B. Smullin and himself, trustees, "containing sixty-four perches, also five feet from the south line for hitching purposes."
David Putney, endearingly called Father Putney by his neighbors, was elected a member of assembly in 1853, but was defeated for the nomination the next year on account of the hue and cry raised against him because of his instrumentality in procuring the passage of an act authorizing the taxing of dogs for the purpose of paying damages for the loss of sheep killed by them- a piece of legislation that was needed and which has since been supplied. His son, George S. Putney, was elected to the same office in 1870, and served during the next session of the legislature.
The Associate Reformed, now called United Presbyterian church, was dependent on supplies most, if not all the time, until quite recent years, when it ceased to exercise its ecclesiastical functions. Its membership was too small to maintain a regular pastor. The lot, containing 100 perches, adjoining Grant, between Third and Fourth streets, on which its frame edifice is situated, was conveyed by J.T. and G.S. Putney to James L. Armstrong, John Duff and Samuel Ferguson, committee or trustees, and their successors, December 8, 1853, for $1. The congregation became divested of their title to it by sheriff's sale to William R. Hamilton, who had been one of the chief contributors to the maintenance of the organization during its ephemeral existence.
The first bridge across the Mahoning, connecting the two parts of this town, was erected at an early date. The present superstructure is the third one.
Lodge No. 735, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was established here December 1, 1870.
The western portion of Putneyville is situated on the right bank of the Mahoning on a part of the Le Roy & Co. tract No. 319, warrant No. 3000, the patent for which to the Holland Company is dated February 12, 1829, which Willink & Co. conveyed to John Millison, October 8, 1836,(5*) that is, the upper or northwestern part of the 98 acres and 8 perches which were then conveyed to him for $197- that part seeming on a connected draft to project into the northeastern and southern purparts of the Arthur Bryan tract. This part of the town does not appear to have been laid out, like the eastern part, into town lots. Small parcels have, however, been sold to divers persons at various times. Millison conveyed half an acre to J.T. and G.S. Putney, July 7, 1842, for $2; 1 acre and 84 perches to John Grinder, June 17, 1850, for $200, and 1 acre and 8 perches to him, December 7, 1853, for $100; Grinder to John C. and Miles D. Gray, part of the parcel which Millison had conveyed to him, June 17, 1850, for $111.50- they were first assessed on the Putneyville list in 1856, and John C. Gray as a merchant in 1862- his store being on this lot, south of West Main and west of Short streets. South of the former and east of the latter street is the parcel which Millison conveyed to Grinder, 1 acre and 84 perches, June 17, 1850, for $200 (where the latter opened a hotel in 1860), 52 4/5 perches of which Grinder reconveyed to Millison, January 28, 1860, for $100, and which Millison conveyed to Michael Huffman, June 2, 1866, for $100, where the latter kept one of the two hotels in this town for several years, and which is now kept by S. Nulf. Opposite this hotel, on the corner of West Main and West Water streets, is the other hotel, kept by Joseph C. Schrecongost, which is on the parcel conveyed by Millison to Enoch Lewis, November 11, 1848, who conveyed it to George W. Goheen, May 1, 1861, for $500, and he to Schrecongost, June 6, 1850- their deeds evidence this anachronism- for $500, where he was first assessed as an innkeeper in 1860. Grinder to L.W. Corbett, one-fourth acre, which the latter conveyed to Jas. L. Hettrich, July 21, 1861, for $52.50. Conveyances of various other parcels have been made from one to another which have not yet been recorded.
The first separate assessment list for Putneyville was in 1851, showing that the entire town then contained 24 taxables, indicating the number of inhabitants then to have been 110. Though the occupations were assessed at $320, there are no specifications of what any of them were. The aggregate valuation of real estate was $1,735, and of personal $165. The assessment list for 1876 shows: taxables, 51, indicating the population to be 234. The occupations were specified thus: Minister, 1; school-teacher, 1; surveyor, 1; physician, 1; farmers, 2; laborers, 8; merchants, 2; millers, 2; shoemakers, 2; blacksmith, 1; cabinetmaker, 1.
Willink & Co. conveyed other portions of this tract: 87 acres and 6 perches to John Daubenspike, June 17, 1829, for $168; 224 acres and 19 perches to John Shoemaker, December 20, 1832, for $140.07, and he to Jacob Smith 164 acres and 87 perches, June 23, 1840, for $662.50; 93 acres and 63 perches to Peter Hine, December 19, 1833, for $58.30, and he to George S. Putney; 186 acres and 100 perches to A. and J.A. Colwell, August 18, 1847, for $186.60. Sixty-five acres "in the northwestern corner" of this tract in the southern half of the eastern bend of the Mahoning, southeast of the furnace, were conveyed by Benjamin B. Cooper to John Thorn, January 6, 1819, for $97.50. This parcel appears to have belonged to the heirs of Yost Smith, and it is now a part of the furnace property.
Passing up to the northern portion of this township, west of "Quito," is the territory convered by the warrant to Willink & Co., No. 2896, on tract No. 280, called "Lisburn," 990 acres, divided into six allotments, the patent of which is dated September 6, 1802. Allotment 2 is in the northeastern part and chiefly on the northern or Clarion side of the Red Bank, traversed by Leasure's Run, and on which the town of New Bethlehem is situated. Lewis Dauhenspecht appears to have been the first permanent white settler on this allotment when it was in Toby township. He was first assessed on the list of that township as a single man in 1806, and the next year with 200 acres, "improvement." Willink & Co. conveyed 130 acres and 16 perches to him October 5, 1811, for $195. The portion of this allotment on the southern, or Armstrong side of the Red Bank continued to be owned by Daubenspike and his heirs, who released to his son Lewis April 2, 1850, for $654, until the latter conveyed 54 acres and 124 perches, including one-half an acre formerly sold, to William R. Hamilton, January 22, 1874, for $7,500, on a part of which he laid out the town of South Bethlehem. As indicating the value of real estate in this new town a few years since and up to the present time, the following conveyances are here given: Wm. R. Hamilton to C.C.Cochran, lot No. 79, 64 perches, October 23, 1875, for $250; 12 acres and 49 perches, "beginning at the corner of Short and Broad streets," to Washington Craig & Co., November 16, for $2,750; lots Nos. 5 and 7 to James H. Craig, November 19, for $500; lots Nos. 10 and 12 to C.H. Ide, March 15, 1876, for $1,500; lot No. 81 to Mary C. McMillen, March 25, for $300; lot No. 8 to George E. Cowan, April 6, for $200; lots Nos. 16, 18, 20, 22, 78 to Philip Eaker, May 7, for $1,200; lots Nos. 104, 106 to W. Craig & Co., December 28, for $200; lot No. 85 to James McMillen, May 10, for $250;(6*) lot No. 8 to L.W. Corbett, May 27, for $500. In West Bethlehem: Lots 40, 42, 44 and part of 46 to Jacob F. Anthony, June 2, for $1,325; two-fifths of an acre to L.M. Putney, January 6; 64 perches to Mahoning school district September 1.
The major part of allotment 1, in the northwestern part of this tract, is on the north side of the Red Bank. This allotment has upon it on the map of original tracts the name of Casper Nulf, probably the younger. Casper Nulf, Sr., was first assessed with 100 acres, two horses and one cow, on the list of Red Bank township in 1808, at $51, and Casper Nulf, Jr., with 50 acres, one horse and two cows, in 1812, at $100. It was probably from this allotment that the former "moved away" - to Plum Creek township in 1816-17, where he and his wife died at the advanced age heretofore mentioned. Benjamin B. Casper conveyed this allotment to John Mohney, December 20, 1831, for $165, and he to Frederick Mohney, March 7, 1835, for $300, who had been assessed with it, one horse and one cow at $207, in 1833. Willink & Co. conveyed 157 acres and 46 perches of allotment 6 to James Cathcart, who had formerly occupied a parcel of "Lurgan," March 13, 1838, for $118. He must also have acquired allotment 4, or a portion of it, for he conveyed 59 acres and 148 perches off the east end of it and allotment 6 to John Corbett, April 1, 1851, for $49.62, and 137 acres and 12 perches off the same to George Space, March 29, 1855, for $1,500; he had been assessed with 94 acres at $94, in 1844. Moses McLain was assessed with 100 acres of allotment 3, one horse and two cows at $72, in 1831. It does not appear from the records that he purchased this parcel. A portion of this tract was included in the purchase made by Alexander Colwell and his co-vendees, for they conveyed 157 acres of it- it seems to have been of this allotment- to Thomas McKelvy, April 15, 1863, for $460, which he conveyed to Isaac Lamberson July 22, 1865, for $600, 28 acres of which the latter conveyed to George Seward October 14 for $250. The father of the last-named, Chauncy Seward, who claimed to be a kinsman of ex-Governor, Senator, Secretary William H. Seward- he may have descended from the family or a branch of the family of Deacon Seward, of Durham, Connecticut, where there were families by the name of both Chauncy and Seward- settled on this part of this tract about 1839, for he was assessed with 350 acres of it, two horses and two cows in 1840, at $435. Whatever inchoate title he may have acquired does not appear to have been perfected. Lamberson conveyed 100 acres to John McClain, July 31, 1866, for $ -----, and McClain to James H. Mayo, June 28, 1871, for $1,500. Willink & Co. conveyed 94 acres and 93 perches of allotment 4 to Frederick Mohney, March 13, 1838, for $70.90. The latter conveyed 27 acres and 139 perches, either of this or an adjoining allotment, to John Lamberson, May 12, 1862, for $350. James McLain was assessed with 170 acres of allotment 5 and one yoke of oxen in 1837, at $115. Colwell et al. conveyed this allotment to him December 19, 1849, for $171.50, and McClain to Mayo, June 6, 1872, for $5,000, so that this allotment, on which was formerly a schoolhouse, and the above-mentioned John McClain parcel are now a portion of the Red Bank Cannel Coal and Iron Company's property.
Adjoining the last preceding tract on the west was the Holland tract No. 281, covered by warrant to Willink & Co. No. 2891, the chief part of which was in the upper part of the Great bend in Red Bank creek, in what is now Clarion county. It contained six allotments. Portions of 2, 4, 6 are on the east side, and portions of 3, 5 are on the west side, of the Great bend. Jacob Anthony was assessed with 200 acres of it, two horses and three cows in 1824, at $93. James Anthony's name appears on the Red Bank township assessment list the same year. He appears to have been assessed with 50 acres, the eastern part of allotment 2,260 acres of some other tract, one yoke of oxen and two cows at $120. Willink & Co. conveyed 72 acres and 32 perches of the east end of this allotment to him February 3, 1837, for $54.45.
Benjamin Price was assessed on the Red Bank township list in 1833 with 140 acres in the east end of allotment 4, two horses and two cattle, at $201. Willink & Co. conveyed to his administrator in trust for his heirs 111 acres and 4 perches thereof June 14, 1841, for $130, which his widow and heirs conveyed to Jacob Nulf March 19, 1845, for $700, which, with other land belonging to his estate, was divided by proceedings in partition February 20, 1854, into two purparts, the one of which contained 108 acres and 137 perches and the other the same quantity less three perches. The former, "A," valued at $1,632.84, was taken by Barbara Baughman, and the other, valued at $1,197.21, by the guardian of Jacob Nulf, Jr., which the latter with his mother and the other heirs, for the purpose of releasing him from his recognizance, conveyed to David Gumbert August 21, 1865, for $1,525. A parcel in the west end of allotment 5, on the west side of the Great Bend, was formerly conveyed to James Bleakney, who conveyed the same to George W. Goheen March 15, 1845, and Goheen to the present owner, Joseph Hettrich, 82 acres, May 19, 1857, for $300. The Rockford road seems to cross the Red Bank on or near the line between allotments 4 and 6.
The tract next south of the last preceding one was No. 291, covered by warrant No. 2886, a considerable portion of which is within the Great Bend in what is now Clarion county, the patent for which to Willink & Co. is dated September 6, 1802. Jacob Anthony was, according to one of J.E. Meredith's connected drafts, formerly the owner or occupant of the portions of allotments 4 and 6 east of the Red Bank. He was probably here, or in the vicinity, in 1822, when he was first assessed with one cow at $10, with 200 acres, two horses and three cattle at $93, in 1824, and with 400 acres of Holland land, two horses and two cattle at $500, in 1837, which must have included the quantity in the southern part of the Great bend, which he also owned. The records in this county do not show from whom he purchased or to whom he sold. Willink & Co. conveyed 100 acres of the east end of allotment 2 to Wm. Anthony August 4, 1847, for $109. The eastern part of allotment 6 was settled by William McClain, who was first assessed with 50 acres of it, one horse and two cows in 1832, at $62.50. He afterward, according to Meredith's connected draft, possessed 106 acres and 50 perches, the title papers of which are not recorded. There is a parcel consisting mostly of allotment 1, in the northwestern part of this tract, on which Samuel Buzzard settled in 1833. He was first assessed with 75 acres and two cows at $91; the next year, being then in Red Bank, but after 1836, in Madison, township. Colwell et al., in pursuance of a previous agreement, conveyed 181 acres and 60 perches to Robert Blakeney, in trust for Samuel Buzzard's heirs, December 23, 1852, which they conveyed to William Willison May 27, 1858, for $400, 10 acres of which, along the southern or left bank of Red Bank creek, became vested in David Stewart, on which he erected the firebrick works in 1872-3. The cost of these works, including that of the railroad from them to the claybank, and of the bridge and trestle-work, was about $32,000. The clay used in the manufacture of the brick, which is said to be of an excellent quality, its analysis comparing favorably with that of any other in this country or in Europe, is obtained from a vein from four to ten feet thick on the farm of Thomas Buzzard, about three-quarters of a mile southeasterly from the works, up the creek. The capacity of these works, up the creek. The capacity of these works is said to be adequate to the daily manufacture of 8,000 bricks and work for about thirty employés, though the present daily production is only about 3,000. During the time of their erection about fifty persons were employed. The number employed in 1874, when these works were first represented in a separate assessment list, was fourteen, including the proprietor, one manager, one yard-manager, one clerk, one miner and eight laborers. The number in 1876 is only three. This property now belongs to John B. Bell, of Allegheny City, and the estate of Samuel M. Kiers, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Next south or above that Buzzard-Willison parcel is the one on which Thomas Buzzard settled in 1836, when his land, two horses and two cows were assessed at $225. Willink & Co. conveyed 168 acres and 155 perches of allotment 3 to him, June 19, 1847, for $338. Contiguous thereto on the south is the western end of allotment 5, containing 132 acres and 22 perches, which Willink & Co. conveyed to George Nulf, August 15, 1839, for $265.50, with 50 acres of which, one yoke of oxen and one cow he had been first assessed in 1831. The Oakland postoffice, George Nulf, postmaster, was established here December 20, 1841. The first edifice of the Red Bank Baptist church, frame, was erected on this parcel in 1846, and was burned in the fall of 1873. Its site may yet be recognized by the graveyard north of the Anderson Creek road, nearly opposite the schoolhouse. This part of allotment 5, except the Baptist church lot, and 50 acres and 70 perches of allotment 2, tract 309, warrant 2864, were conveyed by George C. Nulf to John McCauley, October 9, 1855, for $2,800. The latter conveyed these two parcels and another one of 4 acres and 100 perches, which he had purchased from Thomas Buzzard, to W.W. Wakelee, March 13, 1865, and which Wakelee reconveyed to McCauley, January 17, 1868, for $3,000. One hundred and thirty-eight acres of the last-mentioned parcel were, according to Meredith's connected draft, occupied by W. Mitchell. Another parcel, according to the same, 126 acres and 127 perches, southeast and east of the latter and south of the Great Bend, was occupied by Samuel Adams, who appears to have removed hither from "Springfield" - that part of it north of the Mahoning- in 1834, when he was first assessed in Red Bank township with 100 acres of the Holland land, probably the parcel of allotments 1, 3, containing 127 1/2 acres, conveyed by Willink & Co. to James Anthony, August 11, 1845, for $122.50. Fifty acres of it became vested in Samuel W. Kinney, which he conveyed to James Stewart, July 19, 1850, for $400, which passed from him to Joseph K. Wright by sheriff's sale, in March, 1856, and which he conveyed to John McCauley in June, 1862, for $400. East of the last-named parcel and southeast of the Great Bend was another parcel, consisting of parts of allotment 6, of tract 291, warrant 2881, and allotment 2, of tract 308, warrant 2886, with which, 318 acres, two horses and one cow, Conrad Lamberson was first assessed at $209, in 1835, and which Willink & Co. conveyed to him, October 3, for $337. He conveyed this parcel to his son, Isaac Lamberson, and his son-in-law, James Anthony, January 8, 1839, each one's purpart to be determined by the survey and division made by Robert Richards, December 1, 1838. Anthony's purpart, containing 140 acres and 34 perches, included the western portion of the parcel, and Lamberson's, 151 acres and 84 perches, the eastern portion, in the northeastern part of which are the town lots which he laid out in the village of Oakland. The agreement between the grantor and grantees was that the former and his wife should have the privilege of living on either of these purparts, either in the house where they then resided, or with the family of either one or the other of the grantees; that the grantor be furnished with hay and pasturage for one cow, sufficient firewood, one-fourth of all the grain raised on those premises, fifty pounds of beef and fifty pounds of pork annually, and that he should have the privilege of digging for and raising stone coal thereon during his life. Anthony conveyed 35 acres of his purpart to Henry Adams, May 23, 1857, for $175, and 52 acres and 96 perches to John Shoemaker (of Philip), May 19, 1866, for $631; and Lamberson, 136 acres and 130 perches of his purpart to Charles E. Andrews, March 29, 1873, for $5,500.
Other portions of tract 308, warrant 2886, south of the foregoing, were conveyed by Willink & Co., namely: 164 acres and 52 perches of allotment 6 to Philip Shoemaker, June 22, 1831, for $125, and 175 acres of allotment 5, September 20, 1832, for $127.50, and he to his son John, 112 acres and 10 perches of allotment 6, February 27, 1840, for $100, and the east half of allotment 5, together with the east end of allotment 1, tract 317, warrant 2880, for $120.60. John Reedy was assessed with 160 acres of allotment 2 of the last-mentioned tract, one yoke of oxen and one cow, in 1836, at $48. He did not perfect his inchoate title. This allotment was included in the sale from Willink & Co. to Colwell et al., who conveyed 125 acres and 10 perches of it to John Beham, February 5, 1856, who conveyed this parcel to J.A. Colwell & Co., May 10, 1871, for $3,000.(7*) It is singular that in the several deeds this allotment is described as No. 2 of tract 319, warrant 3000, the northeast corner of which adjoins the southwest corner of the southern purpart of the Bryan tract. Willink & Co. conveyed 93 acres and 50 perches of allotment 1 to Daniel Reedy, May 1, 1840, for $93.33, with 46 acres of which he is still assessed; and 172 acres and 72 perches of allotment 3 and 5 to Joseph K. Wright, July 15, 1841, for $112.50, with 160 acres of which his heirs are still assessed.
The population of this township, including that of the above-mentioned towns, in 1860, was 1,446 white; in 1870, native, 1,333; foreign, 69, and colored, 1. The number of taxables in 1876 is 426, indicating a population of 1,959.
In 1860 the number of schools was 9; average number months taught, 4; male teachers, 7; female teachers, 2; average monthly salaries of male, $16.86; average monthly salaries of female, $17.50; male scholars, 208; female scholars, 163; average number attending school, 226; cost of teaching each scholar per month, 54 cents; amount tax levied, $734.02; received from state appropriation, $72.07; received from collectors, $673.16; cost of instruction, $612; cost of fuel and contingencies, $185.74; cost of schoolhouse, $378.66.
In 1876 the number of schools was 10; average number months taught, 5; male teachers, 7; female teachers, 5; average salaries male per month, $31.14; average salaries female per month, $25.40; male scholars, 272; female scholars, 242; average number attending school, 322; cost per month, 76 cents; amount tax levied, $3,035.89; received from state appropriation, $378.51; from taxes and other sources, $2,974.56; cost of schoolhouses, $1,158.79; paid teachers, $1,615; paid fuel, etc., $517.90.
The vote on the question of granting license to sell intoxicating liquors was, for, 35; against, 119.
The population of this township having been small and sparse prior to the adoption of the common school system, the educational facilities were correspondingly meager. The buildings purposely erected for schoolhouses before the passage of the free or common school law of 1834 appear to have been the primitive log ones heretofore mentioned, located nearly a mile east of Oakland, in the "Cove," and on Millseat run. The pioneer teachers were Robert Walker, George Ellenberger and William Foster.
The mercantile appraiser's list for 1876 shows the merchants in this township to be two in the fourteenth class, three in the thirteenth, and one the eleventh.
The general geological features of this township, as communicated to the writer by W.G. Platt, after completing his geological survey of this county: The deep valleys of Mahoning and Red Bank creeks exhibited conglomerate and subconglomerate rocks. The lower productive measures usually make up the interval between the conglomerate and the highlands, except in the eastern corner of the township, where a small portion of the lower barrens cap the hills. Of these lower barrens the Mahoning sandstone forms the principal part. It is handsomely exhibited on the slopes overlooking Putneyville from the north. It is very massive and seventy-five feet thick. The lower productive coal measures present some exceptional features of interest, the entire group, with all its coals and limestones, being favorably situated for study. At the "Point," at Putneyville, a complete section of those measures is obtained, displaying all the typical members of the group in connected succession. By typical members are meant the following strata in descending order: Freeport upper coal, formerly called Upper Freeport, 3 1/2 feet thick; Freeport upper limestone, the one chiefly mined in this vicinity; Freeport lower coal; Freeport lower limestone, the middle bed at Bostonia; Freeport sandstone, massive and prominent; the Kittanning upper coal; the Johnstown cement limestone; Kittanning middle coal; Kittanning lower coal, 3 feet thick; ferriferous limestone, 10 feet thick, and supports its usual iron ore; Clarion coal; Brookville coal. The last-mentioned coals are not important here. Further down the Mahoning the ferriferous limestone and iron ore used at Colwell's furnace, where the Upper Freeport coal supplies the fuel for the stack. The Pottsville conglomerate is conspicuous at the base of the slopes at Putneyville and below the furnace, and extends along Red Bank creek to the outskirts of New Bethlehem, where it sinks under water level.
In the eastern part of this township, including the heretofore-mentioned subterranean burnt district, is the continuation of the stratum of block coal described in the sketch of Red Bank township, where it is from 10 to 12 feet thick, which contained, according to Dr. F.A. Genth's analysis of a specimen of it, moisture, 1.06; volatile matter, 34.00; fixed carbon, 56.78; ash, 8.16 100.00; sulphur, .21. This stratum extends northwesterly, and as it approaches Bostonia, is what is commonly called cannel coal, though in reality a cannel slate, containing, according to A.S. McCreath's analysis of a specimen of it, 25 per cent of ash. This deposit, says Platt, is irregular, existing only in "pots" or concave areas, disconnected, and often widely separated, so that the occurrence of cannel is confined to certain localities. The thickness or thinness of the mass may be judged by the depth or shallowness of the "pots." A mistaken idea prevails in the Red Bank region that the outspread of the "cannel" is as regular as that of one of the coalbeds of the productive series. The origin of these "pots" is not exactly clear. They may represent depressions which existed originally in the surface when the coalbed was formed; or they may be due to floating sheets of vegetation, similar to those which now exist in the Dismal Swamp, North Carolina. Underlying the "cannel" at all points is a thin layer of bituminous coal, with a regular and continuous outspread, being the equivalent of the Kittanning upper coal, by which the geological horizon of the cannel deposit is defined.
An anti-clinal axis crops the western part of this township, passing over the Mahoning valley, near the Mahoning furnace, thence between Oakland and the Narrows, and across Red Bank creek in the neck of the Great Bend. The eastern part of this township is a synclinal, perfectly regular and without any disturbances.
The elevation above ocean level at New Bethlehem is 1,079.8 feet; at Bostonia junction, 1,073.8 feet; at the west end of the railroad tunnel, Anthony's Neck, 1,050.8 feet; at Leatherwood, 1,026.8 feet.
WILLIAM FREAME JOHNSTON.
(GOVERNOR OF PENNSYLVANIA, 1848-52.)
William Freame Johnston, the third Governor of Pennsylvania under the constitution of 1838, was born at Greensburg, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, November 29, 1808. His paternal ancestors were originally from Annandale, Scotland, where they at one time held valuable estates. The head of the house, Alexander Johnston, however, being killed at the battle of Fontenoy, April 30, 1745, the estate fell into dispute, and finally, through political strife, was lost. The family then removed to Ireland and settled in County Fermagh, where, in July, 1772, the governor's father, Alexander Johnston, was born. He emigrated to America in 1796, and after serving for a time as a surveyor in Western Pennsylvania, located in Westmoreland county, of which he was sheriff when his son, William F., was born. The mother of the governor, Elizabeth Freame, was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, in November, 1781, and was a daughter of William Freame, a private in the British army, who bore arms against the French in America, and afterward accepted the proposition of the English government to remain in this country. The issue of the marriage of Alexander Johnston with Elizabeth Freame was eight sons and two daughters. The subject of our sketch was not the only member of the family who attained exalted position. Several of the sons bore themselves gallantly as officers in the Mexican war and the war for the Union.
The subject of this sketch had a limited common school and academic education, but acquired a great fund of general information by reading and observation. He studied law under Major, J.B. Alexander, and was admitted to the bar in May, 1829, when in his twenty-first year. Shortly afterward he removed to Armstrong county, and here he engaged in practice, and soon rose to a commanding position. He was appointed by Attorney-Gen. Samuel Douglas, and subsequently by Attorney-Gen. Lewis, district attorney for Armstrong county, which office he held until the expiration of Gov. Wolf's first term. For several years he represented the county in the lower house of the legislature, and in 1847 was elected a member of the senate from the district composed of the counties of Armstrong, Indiana, Cambria and Clearfield. "As a legislator, Mr. Johnston," says a biographer, "was bold and original, not beholden to precedents, and was an acknowledged leader." During the period in which he was in the legislature a great financial crisis occurred, and the distress which ensued was extreme. "At this crisis Mr. Johnston came forward with a proposition to issue relief notes, for the payment or funding of which the state pledged its faith. This he advocated with his usual energy and logical acuteness, and though a majority of the legislature was politically opposed to him, it was adopted, and gave instant relief." In 1847 Mr. Johnston was elected president of the senate. By a provision of the constitution- if any vacancy occur by death or otherwise, in the office of governor, the speaker of the senate become the acting executive officer- Gov. Shunk resigning on the 9th of July because of ill health, Speaker Johnston became governor. In 1848 he was the Whig nominee for the office, and was elected over Morris Longstreth, after a very sharp and remarkably close contest. Gov. Johnston managed the financial affairs of the commonwealth during his administration in a very creditable manner. One of the subjects which first and most fully occupied his attention was the material interests of the commonwealth, and he argued with great ability in his first message for a protective tariff. One work of lasting and high value which he accomplished was the publication of twenty-eight large volumes, known as the Colonial Records and Pennsylvania Archives, composed of important papers relating to the most interesting period of state history. Upon retiring from office, after failing to secure a reelection, Mr. Johnston returned to Kittanning, engaged in the practice of his profession, and also entered upon an active business life, at different periods being interested in the manufacture of iron, boring for salt, the production of oil from bituminous shales, and the refining of petroleum. He was prominent in organizing the Allegheny Valley Railroad Company, and was its first president. Under his management the road was built from pittsburgh to Kittanning. During the war of the rebellion he took an active part in organizing troops. and superintended the construction of the defenses at Pittsburgh. He was appointed by President Andrew Johnson collector of the port of Philadelphia, the duties of which office he discharged for several months, but through the hostility of a majority of the senate to the President, he was rejected by that body, though ample testimony was given that the office was faithfully and impartially administered. He then practiced law in Philadelphia, associating with himself Hon. George S. Selden, of Meadville, and subsequently- some time in 1868- returned to Kittanning. In 1871 he removed to Pittsburgh, and he died there at the residence of Mrs. Samuel Bailey, October 25, 1872. At the commemorative meeting of the Armstrong bar Judge Logan made a brief address, a single paragraph from which will convey some idea of the Governor's character. "gladly testify," said he, "to the fine ability of Gov. Johnston as a lawyer, and his powers as an advocate; to his marked courtesy of address, and his uniformly gentlemanly bearing; to his absolute integrity in professional relation, always the characteristic of the great lawyer and man; and to his scorn of the wrong. To say that Gov. Johnston was distinguished in these things is but the tribute of truth to the recollection of a man whose presence commanded affection, and whose memory compels respect."
Mr. Johnston was married April 12, 1832, to Miss Mary Monteith. The offspring of their union were five sons and two daughters.
GEORGE S. PUTNEY.
The father of the subject of this sketch, David Putney, the beginner of the improvement which developed into Putneyville, where his descendants reside, was born in Connecticut, October 18, 1794, and came to Pittsburgh, then considered a town of the Far West, before he was of age. There he married, upon September 29, 1818, Miss Lavinia Stevenson, who was born January 7, 1796. The children of David Putney and wife were: James Thompson, born July 8, 1819; George Stevenson, May 29, 1821; David Taylor, August 20, 1823; Mary Eleanor (Smullin), September 26, 1825; William Nelson, April 13, 1829; Samuel Boyd, May 24, 1831; Nelson Osborne, September 7, 1833, and Ezra Judson, July 31, 1837. Of this family the only members now living are the subject of our sketch and Mrs. Smullin, both of whom reside in Putneyville. Shortly after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Putney moved to Freeport, and it was there that their son George Stevenson was born. In 1833 David Putney purchased from the Holland Land Company, at $1.50 per acre, a tract of 1,000 acres of land surrounding and including the site of the present village named after him. Soon after this purchase was made, Mr. Putney, with his sons James Thompson and George Stevenson, came to the spot where the village now stands. The bottomlands and the hillsides were then covered with a thick growth of laurel and hazel-brush, through which a road was cut with considerable difficulty. A little shanty was erected upon the creek bank, near where the gristmill now stands. The material of which it was constructed was slabs gathered along the creek, and it was roofed with bark taken in large pieces from trees in the vicinity. This served as their home, and in it George S. Putney discharged the duties of head cook. Instead of plates fresh chips of wood were used, each serving for only one meal and then going into the fire over which the next was cooked. About four months later a second cabin was built, similar to an near the first. This was to serve the purpose of a store, and was stocked with a limited assortment of staple goods brought from Freeport and Pittsburgh. For about a year there were no other buildings erected, but during that period Mr. Putney was engaged in working upon a headrace and dam and taking out timber for a grist and saw mill, employing ten or twelve hands. The sawmill was completed the second year. Shanty life no longer possessing the charm of novelty, and now having a mill to manufacture lumber, a story-and-a-half frame dwelling-house was erected- the first in the neighborhood. Father and sons were then made happy by association with the rest of the family, who moved up from Freeport; and George S. Putney, being relieved from the duties of chief cook, was promoted to the position of "boss sawyer" in the mill, and commenced getting out the lumber for the gristmill, which was built and put in successful operation during the third year of the settlement. The elder Mr. Putney was a natural genius in mechanics and a typical New England pioneer, able to turn his hand to almost any industry. With the improvements alluded to business was continued very successfully up to the spring of 1840, by which time considerable land had been cleared and the sunshine allowed to reach the fertile soil of the little valley. A few houses for tenants had also been erected. About this time David Putney contracted to furnish a large amount of timber for the completion of dam No. 1 on the Monongahela river, at Pittsburgh, and to meet the contract he purchased some rafts on Mahoning and Red Bank creeks. But in addition to these purchases he was obliged to buy a tract of timber land on the Clarion river, where he and his son James Thompson went to get out what they needed. The two brothers being greatly attached to each other, James Thompson refused to stay longer than about thirty days, and returned home. His father then summoned George S. to his assistance. In a reasonable time the timber was all taken out and in readiness for high water to run it to market. George S. Putney, having to remain there awaiting a rise, went to work and took out frame timber for the Methodist Episcopal church at Freeport. To their misfortune there was no freshet during the fall sufficient to afford them the opportunity to make a delivery, and the timber was frozen up in the ice the following winter and lost. In consequence, David Putney became financially involved, and in 1842 was obliged to effect a sale of the greater part of his property to meet his indebtedness. It was then that James Thompson and George S. Putney, by request of their creditors, purchased the grist and saw mills with about 190 acres of land surrounding them, agreeing to pay therefor the sum of $4,000. This was for the time, and to them, in their condition, a heavy undertaking, as they were entirely destitute of funds and had to rely wholly upon the proceeds of the mills to pay for the property. About the same time they made another purchase, which time has demonstrated to have been a wise one. This was a tract of pine land in Henderson township, Jefferson county, then of small value, but now, left unmolested and with a railroad running through it, worth from $75,000 to $80,000. Fortunately for the young men who succeeded their father in business, the Mahoning furnace was put in operation, in 1845, by John A. Colwell & Co., and an outlet was demanded for the metal which they manufactured. This the Putney brothers supplied, putting up a boat scaffold and building boats upon which, under contract, they carried the company's pig-iron down the creek and the Allegheny river to Pittsburgh. They put up a new sawmill, entered into a general lumber business, and in 1848 engaged in merchandizing, taking into partnership in the latter a third brother, David T. These industries were fairly remunerative, but it was the business of building and purchasing boats to carry metal for the furnace people which gave them the greater part of the revenue with which they discharged their indebtedness. By 1852 they had discharged the obligations which they incurred at the start. The partnership in the store remained unchanged until 1854, when David T. Putney went to the West for grain, and on his return home was attacked with cholera and died on the steamer, near St. Louis, May 2, 1855, his remains being brought to Putneyville. In the meantime a tannery had been established, and this, with the two mills, the store, boating interest, etc., was carried on by James T. and George S. Putney quite successfully until the death of the former, December 24, 1858. During this year the gristmill was burned, and at the time of James T. Putney's death a new one was in process of construction. Upon his brother's death, George S. Putney bought from his heirs his entire interest in the firm property, with the exception of two tracts of land. He now had the business of the two mills, the store, tannery and metal-carrying to attend to, and employed his brother, Samuel B. Putney, and A. Smullin to assist him, the former devoting his attention principally to the boat business, and the latter going into the store. Both continued with him during the war. Through this period Mr. Putney carried on business under many disadvantages, chief among which was an almost universal credit system. He had, about the time the war broke out, suffered a severe loss by a great flood, which carried away his milldam, boats, and some other property. But notwithstanding his misfortune, he was able during the war to assist others who needed favors. No soldier's widow or other deserving person was obliged to go without the comforts of life because lacking the cash with which to buy them. His liberality also found expression in large money subscriptions to protect from the draft some of his fellowmen who could illy afford to go into the army and abandon family and the business or labor which supported them. He paid many times the amount which, had he been subject to the draft and chosen, would have hired a substitute, and did it disinterestedly Mr. Putney worked on alone, ambitiously, although with little encouragement, until 1868, when he was joined by his sons, W.F. Taylor and L. Miles, the latter assuming the active management and attending to the bookkeeping and buying. From the fact that Mr. Putney had not been able to give his personal attention to the store its business had declined, but under the new management it was rapidly built up, and the other lines of business were correspondingly developed. In 1869 the sawmill was rebuilt, and the boat scaffold soon after. By 1870 the business of the store had so increased that its proprietors were compelled to build an addition. The gristmill was remodeled at a cost of from $7,000 to $8,000, and steam introduced in the tannery. Various improvements attested from time to time the enterprise and energy of father and sons. Upon Sunday, October 7, 1877, fire destroyed the store, and Mr. Putney and his sons suffered a loss over and above their insurance of about $10,000. L. Miles Putney was in New York buying goods at the time, and was apprised of the calamity by telegraph. After a few messages had been passed between himself and the people at home, it was decided to continue the business and he went on with his purchases. Business was resumed, eight days afterward, in a small building and under many disadvantages, but the firm had a prosperous trade. Preparations were made for building a new store as soon as the adjusting agent of the insurance company had estimated and reported the losses by the fire, and the new structure was erected and goods sold in it in April, 1878. It was fully completed by July of that year This store building, of which the sole architect was Mr. L. Miles Putney, is 80 feet deep by 40 in width, and two stories in hight. The store proper, than which there is none finer in Pennsylvania outside of the great cities, is 24×80 feet, and is adjoined by a wareroom and private office. It is a marvel of convenience and elegance, and contains many ingenious devices which are suggestive of the New England descent of its designer. The second story is finished off in fine style as a hall, which is occupied by Putneyville Lodge, No. 735, I.O.O.F.
The firm of George S. Putney & Sons is now engaged in this store, in which they do a large business, in the grist and saw mills, a boatyard, farming, stock raising and a general lumber business.
Mr. George S. Putney's father, David, lived to see the country in which he settled finely developed and to enjoy the sight of a well-ordered village developed through his own and his family's enterprise upon the land which he took up at an early day in its virgin state. He was honored by an election to the legislature in 1854, and was a useful, esteemed citizen all of his life. He died August 31, 1879, and his wife, Lavina, April 20, 1878.
George S. Putney, who has carried on and amplified the enterprises begun by his father, and resulting in the building up of Putneyville, has been, like him, a most highly respected resident of Armstrong county, and one who has materially aided in its improvement. He was elected to the legislature, upon the democratic ticket, in 1870, defeating M.M. Steele. He has held nearly all the offices of trust and honor in the gift of his fellow-townsmen, and both in official and private life done much to advance the interests of the community. The new house of worship of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he is a member, was built largely through his influence and pecuniary aid.
Mr. Putney was married, October 10, 1844, to Margaret, daughter of Jacob and Susannah Andrews, born in Allegheny county, July 25 1826. To his wife, a very superior woman, great credit is due for wise assistance which very materially enhanced her husband's success and prosperity. The offspring of this union were six sons, of whom four are living. Their names and respective dates of birth are as follows: Nelson Boyd, born October 20, 1845 (died April 27, 1861); William Taylor, June 30, 1847; Lemuel Miles, June 17, 1849; Homer Clark, December 25, 1855 (died April 6, 1881); George Wesley, October 8, 1860, and Calvin Kingsley, April 23, 1867.
William Taylor Putney was married to Clara B. Hamilton, December 25, 1872, and George Wesley Putney to Nancy Nolf, December 8, 1881.
* See sketch of Wayne township.
** See sketch of Red Bank township.
*** This lot, 12,480 square feet, was conveyed by James A. Truitt to this church, August 1, 1877, for $1.
(4*) The Oakland Classical and Normal Institute, under the principalship of Lebbens J. Shoemaker, A.B., a graduate of Princeton College, was opened in the first story of the Baptist church, April 11, 1877, in which instruction is given in the common and higher English branches and the Greek and Latin languages. The average number of pupils, male and female, is sixty-eight, and of those pursuing the higher English branches and Greek and Latin is sixteen. A literacy society for improvement in composition and speaking, conducted by the students, is connected with this institution.
(5*) He was first assessed with fifty acres of it and two oxen in 1832, at $100.
(6*) Since the centennial year- in South Bethlehem- lots Nos. 14, 17, 19 to C.C. Cochran, December 20, 1877, $900; to A.S. Brown, lot No. 54, October 30, for $200; lots Nos. 27, 28, 29, 31, 69, 71, 73, 75, 80 and 82 to Geo. S. Putney and sons, January 15, 1878, for $1,830.
(7*) J.A. Colwell & Co. conveyed 118 acres and 153 perches of this parcel to Hirem Beham, November 11, 1878, for $2,900.
Source: Page(s) 346-363, History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania by Robert Walker Smith, Esq. Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co., 1883.
Contributed by Carol Eddleman for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)
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