It has been asked, �Why write a history of Worthington?�
It is not necessary to be a large city or to have played a major part in a prominent historical event to fill the niche in the hearts of the people.
Although prominently located on the old Kittanning and Butler Turnpike, now U. S. Route 422, the most heavily traveled east and west route north of Pittsburgh, it still remains only a hamlet.
Nevertheless, it is our town, our home. It is more. It fills a gap in our hearts so beautifully expressed by a quotation from that well-known poem, �The Old Oaken Bucket�:
How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood,
When fond recollection presents them to view!
The orchard, the meadow, the deep tangled wildwood,
And ev�ry loved spot which my infancy knew.�
It has fallen upon the writer to be Chairman of the Historical Committee of the Worthington West Franklin Township Centennial. It has been found impractical to confine the remarks entirely to this area, as certain events of the county, state, and nation all have a bearing on this vicinity. It is also equally true that events of our colonial predecessors, whether they were, Indian, French, or English, all have played their part and left an indelible mark. It is also necessary to be brief. Unless they are outstanding, it has been found impractical to include biographies. Nevertheless, we are greatly indebted to those who have gathered information, especially Miss Joanna Barr, Mrs. James Hogg, Mrs. Chapman Marshall, Miss Celeste Weaver, and Mrs. Dale Lewis. We are grateful to those who loaned books and old pictures and who have contributed time and effort.
Also, we want to thank the various churches, civic organizations, and individuals who have furnished the statistics to make this narrative possible.
In compiling this work, the writer has gleaned freely from Smith�s History of Armstrong County, a later two volume edition published in 1914 by J. H. Beers Co., Chicago, and C. Hale Sipe�s Indian Wars of Pennsylvania. With these aids and the writer�s knowledge of this vicinity, which extends well over half a century, it is hoped that the chronicles are correct and that they give pleasure to some and pain to none. If so, they will have served their purpose.
The Historical Committee,
Calton C. Conley, Chairman
LEGENDS AND INDIAN HISTORY
Very little is known of the early inhabitants of this vicinity. When William Penn, at the head of a band of Quakers, in the year 1682, arrived in this country and settled in the eastern part of the state that we now call Pennsylvania, he found the country inhabited by a tribe of Indians to which he gave the name of Delaware, but who called themselves, Lenni-Lenape.
The Lenape like all other Indian Tribes, kept no written history, but according to their sacred legends and traditions, which were handed from father to son, formerly had lived in the vast area west of the Mississippi River. They belonged to the great Algonquins, by far the greatest family in North America, which was measured by the extent of territory occupied. They surrounded, on all sides, the other great Indian Family, whom the French named Iroquois, whose territory extended from Labrador southward to South Carolina, westward to the Rocky Mountains and northward almost to the present Canadian boundary.
For some reason, they left their western home, and, after many years of wandering eastward, they reached the Mississippi River where they met the Iroquois who were likewise migrating eastward in search of a new home.
The spies sent forward by the Lenape for the purpose of reconnoitering had discovered, before the arrival of the main body, that the region east of the Mississippi was occupied by a powerful nation called Alligewi (changed by us to Allegheny) which in time gave name to the mountains and beautiful river that flows through Armstrong County.
The Alligewi had many large towns on the rivers of the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys and had built innumerable mounds, fortifications and entrenchments, many of which remain and are known by us as the work of the Mound Builders. It is related that they were tall and stout with many giants among them.
When the Lenape arrived on the banks of the Mississippi, they sent messengers to the Alligewi requesting that they be permitted to settle among them. This request being refused, the Lenape were granted permission to pass through the territory of the Alligewi and seek a settlement further eastward. The Lenape, accordingly, began to cross the Mississippi River and the Alligewi, seeing their number vastly greater than they originally supposed, made a furious attack on the ones who had crossed and threatened the whole tribe with destruction if they persisted in crossing the river.
Not being prepared for a conflict, the Lenape conferred whether they should make a trial of strength and were convinced that the enemy were too powerful for them. But the Iroquois, who had been spectators from a distance and angered by the treachery of the Alligewi, offered to join the Lenape on the condition that, after conquering the Alligewi, they should be entitled to share the spoils of victory, jointly.
Having united their forces, the Lenape and the Iroquois declared war on the Alligewi and started their onward march across the continent, gradually driving out the Alligewi, who fled down the Mississippi Valley, never to return. This conquest lasted for many years, during which time, the Lenape suffered the heaviest losses as the Iroquois left them to bear the brunt of the battle., At the end, the conquerors divided the possessions of the defeated race. The Iroquois took the territory in the region of the Great Lakes and their tributary streams, and the Lenape took the land to the south.
For a long period, possibly many years, the Lenape and Iroquois lived peacefully in this region and increased greatly in population., Some of their hunters and war parties crossed the Allegheny Mountains and arrived on the streams flowing eastward, following them to the Susquehanna and thence to the Atlantic Ocean, Other pathfirnders did likewise, penetration the wilderness to the Delaware River and, exploring still further eastward, arriving on the Hudson River.
Some of the explorers returned home, reporting the discoveries they had made, describing the country as abounding in game and the streams as having an abundance of fish and waterfowl, with no enemies to be dreaded.
The Lenape considered themselves fortunate by these discoveries and began to migrate thither, settling on the great rivers � the Susquehanna, the Potomac, the Delaware, and the Hudson.
It is to be remembered that, when the territory of the Alligewi was divided, the Iroquois, taking the region around the Great Lakes, also migrated eastward, following the St. Lawrence River to the ocean, thereby becoming the northern neighbors of the Lenape. They now became jealous of the growing power of the Lenape and planned to subject them and assume dominion over them. According to the Moravian Missionary, Re. John Heckewelder, who lived among the Lenape for more than thirty years, they related how this dominion came about.
The great chiefs of the Lenape stated to Heckewelder that the Iroquois tricked them into a war with the powerful Cherokees of the south, by placing the war clubs of the Lenape beside the bodies of some Cherokees, that they, themselves, had previously slain. The Cherokees, naturally, held the Lenape responsible and declared war. When this treachery was discovered, they declared war on the Iroquois, who,, being no match for their powerful adversary, counselled among themselves, resulting in the uniting of their tribes into a confederation that we know as the Five Nations.
This event took place probably about 1570 and was, in part, the work of the great Mohawk Chief, Hiawatha, immortalized by Longfellow in poetry., During the time that the French were landing in Canada and the Dutch on the Hudson, the Iroquois were able to obtain superior weapons from them and conquer their enemies, thereby, in the language of the Indians �make women of them.�
By the treaty of peace that followed, the Lenape was deprived of the right to make war or peace, sell land, or to perform other major duties, these being reserved to the conquerors. This explains, in part, the dispute that sometimes followed the sale of land by the Lenape to the colonists when they were honest enough to buy it.
The Lenape, being subjected by the Iroquois, their land settled upon by the ever land-hungry English, defrauded again and again, more particularly in the great Walking Purchase of 1737, began to migrate westward. Their trails followed from the headwaters of the Susquehanna River to those of the Allegheny River and they established themselves along the way at the places we now know as Lock Haven, Clarion, Punxsutawney, Beaver Town, and Kittanning. Here, at the latter place, they established a stronghold from which many war parties went forth to scalp and plunder the white settlers in their former area. This became such a menace to the colonists during the inter-colonial wars, more particularly during the French and Indian War that they determined to destroy it.
COLONIAL HISTORY OF COUNTY
In the interval from the close of King George�s War in 1748 to the beginning hostilities that we call the French and Indian Wars in 1754, that momentous struggle that was to forever settle the boundary claims of New France and England in America and to a lesser extent those of their Indian allies, war did not mean war, or peace, peace.
Because of the ever-increasing western movement of the English colonists and the southward incursion of the French to the Allegheny and Ohio Valleys, the French, after 1750, began to erect a chain of forts that was intended to eventually extend from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. It is only natural that the Indians viewed both movements with ever-increasing alarm and this area became the scene of conflict.
From 1753 on, the French began to enter this region in great numbers. Floating down the Allegheny River to the forks of the Ohio where Pittsburgh now stands, they erected a fort which they called Du Quesne.
This movement gives more importance to the Indian stronghold of Kittanning. Already located on the east and west Indian trails, it now became a junction of those running north and south along the Allegheny River, of France and her Indian allies.
By the early English and Colonial defeats, namely, the fall of Fort Granville near Lewistown, Fort Necessity in Fayette County, and the disastrous and overwhelming defeat of General Braddock�s army at the Great Meadows a few miles from Fort Du Quesne which he set out to capture, the frontiers of Juniata, Perry, Fulton, Franklin, and Cumberland Counties were left exposed to the bloody incursion of the Delawares and Shawnees of the Ohio and Allegheny Valleys, more particularly, the Delawares or Lenape, from their stronghold of Kittanning.
The Lenape, more cautious than their sister tribes, apparently had waited to see who would be the winner in this gigantic conflict and now threw their lot openly with the French. The war whoop sounded and the Indian, with the ferocity of his nature, aided by tomahawk and scalping knife, fell on the unprotected settlements of the Blue Ridge Valley. Families were murdered at midnight, their cabins burned to ashes, parents and children captured and in many cases brought to Kittanning and other Indian towns to be tortured or burned to death.
In a letter by Colonel Armstrong at Carlisle, to the Govenor, he calls attention to the unprotected state of the frontier and asked permission to lead an expedition against the Indian stronghold at Kittanning and destroy it. Colonel Armstrong raised a small army consisting of about three hundred men mostly of Scotch-Irish descent from the Cumberland Valley. Following the Kittanning Indian Trail from Fort Shirley to Hollidaysburg and leaving this place on September 4, they had advanced to a place within fifty miles of Kittanning by September 6. On the advice of scouts they arrived within six miles of Kittanning by the night of September 8 in 1756 and utterly destroyed the town and many Indians braves, Colonel Jacobs being among the slain.
Their work accomplished, Colonel Armstrong and his small army returned to the Cumberland Valley. This, for a time, eliminated Kittanning as an Indian outpost, but survivors returned and pitched their wigwams among the ashes of the burned town and it again was revived as a meeting place of the Indians.
Two years later, in 1758, Fort Du Quesne fell to General Forbes and was renamed Fort Pitt, reestablishing the power of the English at the forks of the Ohio. Kittanning remained, in somewhat of a lesser degree, as an Indian outpost until the close of the war. During Pontiac�s Conspiracy, Fort Pitt was besieged by a vast throng of Indian tribes. It is surmised that Guyasuta, Chief of the Senecas, who had hitherto remained aloof from the conflict, led a band of Seneca warriors and counselled with various other chiefs at Kittanning. They decided to join their Indian brethren and intercept an expedition to relieve Fort Pitt under Colonel Bouquet.
The two armies met in Westmoreland County about forty miles from Fort Pitt at a place called Bushy Run where was fought the hardest battle on the American continent between the red and white men, resulting in a defeat for the Indians and the gradual explusion westward. However, it was not until 1794, by General Anthony Wayne�s victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers and the treaty at Greenville, Darke County, Ohio, that they ceded to the United States 25,000 square miles of territory. This included what was formerly known as �Indian Country� being that portion of Ohio north of the Ohio River and that part of Pennsylvania west of the Allegheny River where a portion of Armstrong County is now located. Settlers rapidly took up their abode in the fertile region, felling the forest, cultivating the virgin soil, and laying the foundation of the material prosperity which there abounds today.
TOWNSHIP DIVISION AND ORGANIZATION
This county, named for Colonel Armstrong who led the frontiersmen in their attack on the Indian village of Kittanning, when organized in 1800 contained within its limits only two organized townships � Allegheny and Buffalo. Toby Township was organized soon afterward, as were many others, one of which was Sugar Creek, much larger than its present area.
In 1830, a portion of Sugar Creek Township was taken to form Franklin Township, being later divided into East and West Franklin Townships in which the present borough of Worthington is located. A patent was granted in 1809 to Gilbert Wright and Archibald McCall for a tract of three hundred sixty-six acres which they called �Mount Lorenzo." It was so thickly covered with blackjacks and underbrush that one could not see through them, and the chain carriers for the surveyors were obliged to crawl on their hands and feet in carrying the chain through them. Rattlesnakes were also abundant.
Judge Barr erected a sawmill on West Glade Run, within the limits of �Mount Lorenzo,� about 1808. It was first assessed to his son William in 1809 and was in the course of a few years removed and a distillery erected on its site by James Barr, Jr. in 1813. The distillery was replaced by a gristmill with one run of stone, which was operated for several years.
In 1813, James Barr, Jr. purchased two hundred two acres from Gilbert Wright for $760.00; and soon after perfecting his title to it, he laid out the town of Worthington in the spring of 1829 on that part of �Mount Lorenzo� adjoining the northern line of �Toddsborough� consisting of thirty-eight lots, each one-fourth of an acre and all of them north of the Kittanning and Butler Turnpike, nineteen of them between Ross Street and Virgin Alley, the latter fourteen feet wide and the other nineteen between the alley and the turnpike. The sale of lots, soon after they were laid out, were cried by William Cowan. The sale of lots were slow until the construction of the Kittanning-Butler Turnpike increased the travel through that section. Among the first purchasers were William Q. Sloan, James Gallagher, Samuel Hutchinson, Levi Bowser, David Claypoole, John Craig and Christian Kenson.
The first separate assessment list of the �taxable inhabitants of Worthington� appears in the assessment for Buffalo Township for 1832. Fourteen lots were then assessed to eleven persons, six of them at $5.00 each, four at $10.00, one at $25.00 and one at $50.00, aggregating $145.00. As none of these lot-owners was assessed with other occupations or personal property, it is probable they were all then non-residents of Worthington. This town, the next year, was in Franklin Township, when its assessment list showed one person having an occupation, Christian Kenson, weaver, whose occupation and the lot he had purchased from Levi Bowser were valued at $60.00 and one of Samuel Hutchinson�s lots, and the �house and stable� on it at $58.00. George Claypoole�s lot was valued at $58.00, and all others at $4.00 and $8.00 each.
The growth of the town was slow. James Sample was assessed in 1837 as a tavern keeper. The old stone house still standing in the center of town was his tavern. William C. Piper was the first merchant in that year; Charles Forman and John McDonald, tailors; Matthias Bernheimer, shoemaker; Robert Staley, blacksmith; Robert Armstrong, wagonmaker; Jacob McDonald, carpenter; William Cratty, tanner. In 1842, John McDonald had opened the second tavern. As late as 1845 the number of taxables did not exceed ten. Its being a point of the stage route between Freeport and Clarion and its proximity to Buffalo Furnace contributed somewhat to the maintenance of its life and business.
Incorporation of Borough
Thirty-four signers were on the petition presented to Quarter Session Court in 1854, requesting that Worthington be incorporated, representing that there was a large number of children in their town who needed schooling, but labored under great inconvenience on account of their schoolhouse being a mile or more distant from their homes, that the taxes collected from the inhabitants of their town ought to be applied to the repairs of its streets and alleys, but were expended on the roads of the township, to the great inconvenience and damage of the inhabitants and the traveling public., The court appointed the necessary officers and on their report the following year issued the charter. The borough officers elected at the spring election, 1856, were Dr. John K. Maxwell, burgess; Michael Duffey and Adam Rhodes, justices of the peace; Jacob Mechling, constable; J. G. Clark, H. S. Ehrenfeld, Joseph C. King, John McNarr, and James Monroe, town councilmen; James Barr and Samuel Monroe for three years, and Dr. John K. Maxwell for two years, school directors; John T. Ehrenfeld, assessor; David Landis, borough auditor; and John Blain and Samuel Lege, overseers of the poor.
This borough contained the next year after its incorporation nearly seventy taxables: 3 blacksmiths, 2 carpenters, 3 clerks, 2 coachmakers, 1 cabinetmaker, 6 farmers, 1 grocer, 1 harnessmaker, 1 huckster, 10 laborers, 2 merchants, 1 manager, 1 preacher, 1 miller, 1 physician, 3 shoemakers, 1 saddler, 1 teacher, 1 tanner, 1 theological student, 1 tailor, and 1 wagonmaker.
From the time of the incorporation of Worthington, the Council has been like �a man without a county,� never having a regular place to meet, until they built the Borough Building on Church Street in 1961.
Most of the work was done by volunteers, with the exception of laying the blocks and finishing the cement floor, which was done by experts. Mr. Carl Lewis, an electrician, got the material for the wiring of the building at cost and did the work free of charge. Mr. Roy Crissman secured the heating system at cost and also installed it free.
The Mayor and all the councilmen and other citizens came out to help and it was completed in a short while. They have two meeting rooms and a garage to keep their equipment in.
The present Mayor is Donald Simmers. Other members of Council are James F. Hogg, Glenn Graham, Ralston Bowser, Roger Anthony, Robert LaSitis, and Edward Bargerstock, Jr. The Council President is James Cook. The secretary is William Beers and the treasurer is Frank Walker.
THE FOUNDER�S FAMILY
The first occupant on the tract of land known as Mount Lorenzo was James Barr who was a prominent citizen of the state of Pennsylvania from his early manhood until his death. He was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1749. Prior to 1773, he moved to that part of Bedford County afterward included within the limits of Derry Township, Westmoreland County.
He evinced his patriotism and devotion to the cause of the colonists in the beginning of the revolutionary struggle by aiding in the organization of what were then called �the associated battalions,� or bodies of �Associators,� which were raised for the defense of the western frontier and the whole state and country.
His fellow citizens returned him as a member of the constitutional convention of the state of Pennsylvania which met July 15, 1776 and framed the first constitution of this state. From 1787 to 1790, he was a member of the General Assembly of the state. After the adoption of the Constitution in 1790, he was appointed one of the associate judges of the courts of Westmoreland County.
Judge Barr moved from Derry to Appleby Manor, Manor Township, in 1801. While living here, he was appointed a trustee of the county. When the county was organized for judicial purposes, he was appointed one of the three associate judges of Armstrong County, a position he held for twelve years, resigning in 1817. He died August, 1820, at the age of seventy-one on the part of Mount Lorenzo then occupied by his son, David Barr.
James Barr, Jr., who built the first house in and laid out the town of Worthington, was the eldest son of Judge Barr. He was born in 1781 and died in August, 1832 as the result of an injury incurred while building an addition to his log house supposedly located on the site where King Bowser now resides. His remains lie buried in the cemetery of the Union Presbyterian Church at Cowansville.
Mr. Barr was one of the organizers and elder of the Union Presbyterian Church in 1801 and 1802. He also led the congregational singing � the tuning fork used is still in the possession of the family.
James Barr was survived by his widow, Nancy Stevenson Barr, and six children: James Barr, who built the homestead now owned by James Hogg; Nancy, who married James B. McKee; David; Margaret, who married Samuel Scott and was the grandmother of Miss Maude Ross and Willard Ross now residents of Worthington; Jane and Joanna.
In 1864, David Barr and his wife, Eleanor Clark of a Crawford County pioneer family, purchased 128 acres of land in West Franklin Township.
David was survived by two sons: Robert Clarke Barr, whose sons Douglas and Roger David Barr now reside in Baytown, Texas. William I. Barr�s surviving children are Mrs. Nellie Bouch, a resident of Worthington; John David; Joanna; James; Ira; Frank and Gladys, who reside on the William Barr farm in West Franklin Township.
The following history of the early industries of this area is taken from the History of Armstrong County.
The waterpower furnished by Big Buffalo Creek was a strong inducement to the first settlers to construct mills and factories. The first establishment was the old Buffalo Furnace, which was organized in 1839-40 by Nicholas Biddle, formerly President of the Bank of the United States; Henry D. Rodgers, the eminent geologist who had charge of the first geological survey of the state and was subsequently Professor of Geology in the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, whose death was deeply lamented by the scientific world; John D. McKinney, one of the corps of geologists in that survey; Russell L. Colt, and perhaps one or two others, and of which McKinney was the manager. It was a steam cold blast charcoal furnace, its stack thirty-five feet high and eight feet across the bosh. The weekly product of this furnace, for the first few years after it went into blast, was thirty-three tons, the number of employees being one hundred. That furnace company became embarrassed in 1841 and the furnace and land, aggregating five hundred sixty-three acres, were sold by the sheriff in 1844 to Reuben Baughman, Peter Graff, and Jacob Painter for $7200. Its business was conducted from the fall of 1843 under the firm name of P. Graff & Co., who built a new charcoal furnace; with a better blast, and in which ore of a better quality was used. The two furnaces, from 1846 on, produced a weekly average when in full blast of eighty tons, the number of employees being one hundred fifty. The latter company, who were successful, closed their furnaces permanently in 1864, A three-story gristmill with four runs of stone was erected near the furnace in 1846. It was run by the old dam on the creek, opposite the Peter Graff Homestead, but the power was produced by a modern turbine wheel. It operated successfully for many years and was finally dismantled in recent years.
The first tannery was started in this township by John Shields in 1816. Robert Long built a sawmill in 1828 in the northern part of the township and in 1854, James Minteer operated one in the northwestern end. They had been preceded, however, in 1808, by Judge Barr, who built a sawmill on his land on Glade Run, afterward adding a gristmill. A sawmill was also operated on Long Run in 1846 by James McDowell, and a gristmill in the same locality by John Mounts in 1806. James Sheridan in 1824 was assessed with a distillery on his tract near the line of Butler County. It is now destroyed.
Buffalo Woolen Mills
These famous mills were erected in 1865 by Peter Graff and Isaac Firth on Big Buffalo Creek between the south bank of the run and the creek. The mill was originally run by the dam on the creek above and consisted of one building. Its original dimensions, three stories, seventy by thirty-five feet, were increased in 1867 by the addition of sixty by thirty-five feet, of the same height. The other original buildings consisted of a ware and a wool house, two-story, fifty by twenty-five feet and a stone dryhouse, sixty by twenty-five feet. In 1876 a new woolhouse and a new storehouse, each two-story, forty by thirty-five feet, were erected. The machinery consisted of eight carding machines, two selfacting mules, with three hundred eighty-four spindles to each, and a spinning jack, with one hundred eighty spindles, used for doubling and twisting yarn for cassimeres. There were thirteen looms, wide and narrow, for weaving jeans, blankets, flannels, cassimeres, and fine cassimeres. The mules and a considerable part of the other machinery, the latest and best, at that date were made in England, There was also all the other machinery required for fulling and finishing. The number of employees at that date was twenty-five and the amount of wool used annually was eighty thousand pounds.
In 1886, the firm was composed of Peter Graff, E. D. Graff, J. Frank Graff, and James E. Claypoole. In 1890, Peter Graff died and in 1912 his son, E. D. Graff also passed away. The surviving partners continued the business under the same name as in the past.
In 1913, the mills were devoted exclusively to the production of all-wool blankets, which were sold all over the United States and were held as the standard of perfection in that field. Six buildings were in use and housed over sixty employees, who operated twelve thousand spindles, producing fifty thousand pairs of blankets, annually. It required two hundred sixty-five thousand pounds of domestic scoured wool to manufacture that number of bed coverings. Two gas engines of sixty and one hundred horsepower ran the machinery and the plant was valued at $100,000.
The Peter Graff Milling Company was also run in connection with the mills and was owned by J. Frank Graff and Peter Graff.
In 1898 the original building was destroyed by fire and rebuilt, the interior of which was destroyed by fire in 1932. About this time, the factory was converted into the manufacture of cloth and sometime later (about 1939) the building was sold.
The Aluminum Ladder Company purchased the building and started the manufacture of aluminum ladders, later moving to South Carolina. The structure is presently occupied by the Craftsmen-Zeigler Printing Company of Butler.
Craig Woolen Mills
Just north of the forks of Big and Little Buffalo Creeks lies a tract of land which was settled in 1793 by William Stephenson and Aaron Wor (could this have been the derivation of our town�s name?). who held the land under John Craig. In 1805 Samuel, son of John Craig, erected a fulling mill on the banks of the creek and in 1814 added a carding roll, carrying on the business until 1835, when in partnership with his brother John, and Robert Cooper, he began the manufacture of flannels, blankets and woolen goods. In 1843, the building was burned, but soon thereafter, rebuilt. In 1856, the firm consisted of the Craigs and William F. Rumberger, under the firm name of Craig and Rumberger. The firm supplied the troops at Camp Orr with a large number of blankets in the fall of 1861, but up to 1914 no payment was made for those most necessary supplies. In 1867, Rumberger purchased Craigs� interest for $10,000, took as a partner John P. Scott, and the firm became Rumberger and Company. On an unlucky Friday night in December, 1871, just twenty-eight years from the date of the first fire, an employee attempted to fill a large lighted lamp, with the usual result. The fire was not long cooled ere the rebuilding of the plant began and under the name of Rumberger, Gregg and Co., the business for a time prospered. At that time one thousand yards of flannel and two hundred sixteen pairs of socks were manufactured, daily. After 1880, the firm was at various times called W. F. Rumberger & Son; W. F. Rumberger & Co.; Ross, Burford and Co.; J. Alex Ross & Co.; and finally The Craigsville Woolen Manufacturing Company and consisted of the following partners: Hiram Dawson, superintendent; W. F. Minteer, Daniel Younkins, G. M. Haverstroh.
The plant consisted of the building erected in 1872 and the old flouring mill across the creek. Forty-five employees were required to run the one thousand three hundred thirty-eight spindles and the yearly output of wool blankets and flannel cloth for the army valued at $120,000. A forty-horsepower gas engine and a steam engine of seventy-five horsepower were required to turn the spindles. The plant was valued at $50,000.
This town, a short distance from Worthington, began to be called Craigtown about 1843, and afterward Craigsville, which name it still retains. The first child born within its limits was born March 30, 1809.
The flouring mill, which was later a part of the woolen mill plant, about thirteen rods below the woolen factory, on the right bank of the creek, was erected by John Craig, Jr., Joseph T. McCurdy and Samuel S. Wallace, early in 1849, and was a three-story frame structure. In 1871, John Craig died suddenly soon after breakfast one morning from neuralgia of the heart. His heirs conveyed the undivided two-thirds of the mill property to McCurdy and Joseph Minteer, May 14, 1872, for $2,000. The flouring mill was closed in 1905 and the building taken over by the woolen mill to allow for necessary expansion.
The first separate assessment of Craigsville was made in 1876 and gave twenty-five taxables: 1 physician, 3 clerks, 1 boss carder, 2 boss weavers, 1 laborer, 1 helper, 1 dyer, 1 wool sorter, 1 picker, 2 teamsters, 1 spinner, 1 blacksmith, 1 wagonmaker, 1 miller, and 1 weaver.
A store was opened near the mills in 1860 by Samuel S. Wallace, John C. Wallace, and John Craig, afterward being sold in 1872 to Christopher Leard & Sons. Later it was owned by J. W. Minteer, who also was postmaster. The postoffice was established there in 1869 with W. F. Rumberger as the first official in charge.
The village in 1913 had a population of two hundred eighty, most of whom were dependent on the woolen mills for employment, and consisted of thirty-five houses, a church, and two stores.
Graff-Kittanning Clay Products
Graff-Kittanning Clay Products Company was incorporated in 1924 and construction was begun at the Craigsville site in that year. In 1925 production was started and has continued without interruption until the present date.
In 1945 the Worthington Ceramics Division was acquired as a totally-owned subsidiary and was put into production shortly thereafter.
In 1958, the Logan Clay Products Company of Logan, Ohio, purchased the Graff Kittanning Clay Products Company, and from that date on it was known as the Graff-Kittanning Division of the Logan Clay Products Company.
Mr. R. M. Graff was president of Graff-Kittanning from the time of its incorporation until it was purchased by the Logan Clay Products Company. He was also General Manager of the operations from 1924 until his death in 1963.
The following products are manufactured at the Craigsville plant: Vitrified Clay Sewer Pipe, Clay Flue Liners, Wall Coping, and factory made joints. At the Worthington Ceramics Plant, Clay Building Tile, Drain Tile, and Flue lining is manufactured.
A total of approximately two hundred people are employed at both operations, approximately one hundred fifty at the Graff-Kittanning Plant and fifty at Worthington Ceramics Plant.
The products manufactured in both of these plants are distributed in the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Buffalo Creek Mine
In 1913 the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railroad (later the Baltimore and Ohio) extended their tracks two miles, almost parallel with Big Buffalo Creek, where the Pittsburgh Limestone Corporation, a subsidiary of the U. S. Steel Corporation, opened a large limestone mine. The capacity of this mine was approximately fifteen hundred tons, later increased to approximately thirty-five hundred tons daily. The major portion of their product went to the blast furnaces in the Pittsburgh district and the remainder generally was used for the manufacture of cement and stone for highway construction. Mr. George Milliron of West Winfield was the first general superintendent and Clifford Weaver was the first plant superintendent, later succeeded by A. L. Aikens, J. W. Baird, and W. P. Druschell.
Soon after the opening of the mine a town of several hundred people sprang up resulting in the erection of a chapel for the purpose of interdenominational services and a large company-owned store, handling general merchandise.
The mine was abandoned in 1954, but the town still remaining was given by the corporation to the Reformed Church.
THE GRAFF FAMILY
Without this biography, a history of Worthington would be incomplete because of this family�s prominence in the industrial and social development of this community.
The Graff family is of German origin where they became resident in the sixteenth century at Grafenouer, near Mannheim. Grafenauer was a word of which the first part, Graf, signified a title of nobility, where the latter denoted castle, hence Grafenauer meant Graff�s Castle.
John Graff, the founder of this branch of the family in America, was born in Neuwied, Germany, April 15, 1763 and emigrated to the United States in the year 1783 and lived for a while in Lancaster but settled in Westmoreland County. He married Barbara Baum, who recalled that at the age of eight she was captured by the Indians, but she was soon restored to her people through the friendliness of an old Indian, who had been kindly treated by her family when threatened with starvation.
Eight sons and four daughters were born to John and Barbara Graff, one of which was Peter who contributed to the early settlement of our community.
Having been born May 27, 1808, Peter Graff grew to manhood near Pleasant Unity in Westmoreland County and with limited educational advantages, began to work in the store of his brother at the age of sixteen. They formed a partnership and later became connected with the firm of E. G. Dutilh and Co., commission merchants of Philadelphia, for the purpose of transporting merchandise from that city west, via the Pennsylvania Canal and State Railroad, over what was called the Union Transportation Line. He later moved to Pittsburgh and became a partner of a wholesale grocery and also the firm was extensively interested in the manufacture of iron in Armstrong, Venango, and Clarion Counties, incidentally obtaining control of the Buffalo Furnace near Worthington.
Thus it came about that in 1844 Mr. Graff became a resident of Buffalo Mills, Armstrong County, to assume the management of the extensive iron interest, and although he continued a member of the firm until 1864 he had in the meantime become sole owner of the Buffalo Furnace, which he operated until 1865. In addition to its operations in the counties mentioned, the firm carried on the manufacture of axes in Pittsburgh.
In 1865, Mr. Graff, forming a partnership with Isaac Firth, erected the Buffalo Woolen Mills for the manufacture of woolen fabrics, and this association continued for twenty years until Mr. Firth�s retirement in 1885. Then the firm of PeterGraff & Co. was organized, and after Mr. Graff�s death his sons E. D. Graff and J. Frank Graff, together with James E. Claypoole composed the firm.
J. Frank Graff, son of Peter and Susan (Lobengier), and one of eleven children, received a thorough education and upon entering business life became manager of the company store connected with the Buffalo Woolen Mills, near Worthington. After ten years� service as superintendent, he became a partner in the concern. Many interests in this locality and elsewhere made him a well-known member of the Republican party, holding local and state offices. Mr. Graff was elected to serve in the House of Representatives from 1900 to 1904 and in 1912 he was elected as a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate, for four years. He was an elector when Roosevelt was chosen president.
In 1881 he married Carrie Louise Brown, daughter of Rev. J. A. Brown, D.D., L.L.D. They had a family of six children: James B., Peter III, J. Frank, Jr., Mary H., Edmund D., and Richard M. Mrs. Graff died in 1902 and later Mr. Graff married Martha Stewart, by whom he had two sons, Grier S. and S. Stewart.
Senator J. Frank Graff continued to reside in Worthington, looking after his various business interests until his death in 1918.
The eldest son, James B. Graff, a doctor by profession, died in 1941.
After the death of his father, Peter Graff III assumed the various business obligations of the family. He also served a term in the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1932 to 1936, dying unexpectedly in 1942.
J. Frank Graff, Jr. after acquiring a Degree in Law, enlisted in Company K of the Pennsylvania National Guard, serving as a Lieutenant on the Mexican Border in 1917. Later serving with the A. E. F. in France, having risen to the rank of Major, he was a charter member of the American Legion when it was organized in Paris in 1918.
Upon returning home, he was elected to the position of Judge of the Various Courts of Armstrong County in 1923 which he has continued to serve to the present time. For several months in 1930, he served on the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. He is now the oldest Judge in continuous service in Pennsylvania.
Edmund D., after acquiring a formal education, was for a time Superintendent of the Buffalo Woolen Mills and still resides in Worthington.
Richard M. was the principal founder of the Graff-Kittanning Clay Products Co. in 1924, serving as President and General Manager of this company and also, after 1945, of Worthington Ceramics Co., until the plants were sold to Logan Clay Products in 1958, when he continued to serve as General Manager until his death January 16, 1963.
Grier S. is a prominent insurance broker in Kittanning.
S. Stewart is a lawyer and head of a chemical association in New York City.
Mary Graff Frantz, who lives in Clearfield, Pa., is the mother of John Graff Frantz, present General Manager of the Graff-Kittanning Clay Products Co., and Worthington Ceramics Co.
FRANKLIN UNION BAPTIST CHURCH
The history of the Franklin Union Baptist Church goes back to April 18, 1846, when the Union Baptist Church of North Buffalo Township, Armstrong County, granted twenty members letters of dismission to organize this new church near Worthington.
The original church stood some two hundred feet west of the present building about one mile south of the village of Worthington, which was at that time an infant of days. On October 18, 1846, Re. James Johnston became pastor and John Claypoole, church clerk. This early church had its own cemetery next to the church and it is still a part of the church property.
The church prospered with many new members and on July 2, 1859, forty-one members were dismissed to form the Montgomeryville Baptish Church. Again in September 1860, seven other members received their letters of dismission to form a new church in Butler County.
In 1880 Rev. I. W. Schumaker became the pastor for nine years. He came to church on foot, walking great distances, arriving on Saturday and being entertained in various homes. During his stay the original church seemed to outwear its usefulness, having been repaired many times.
In February, 1885, the church voted to proceed to build a new one. The land was purchased from Mr. T. V. McKee on top of the hill, �Beautiful for Situation.� In August, 1885, Harvey Claypoole reported the cost of the new church $1,149.14.
In 1892, twenty-five members were granted letters to organize a new Baptist Church at Walk Chalk, now known as the Salem Baptist Church.
In 1926, the church was raised and a basement was put under it. A furnace was installed and some other improvements were made.
In 1945, under the leadership of Pastor John W. Waugaman a parsonage was purchased in the heart of Worthington.
In 1961, a Christian Education wing was added to the Church, with some of the members doing most of the work. Rev. Luther Parker is the present minister.
There have been thirty-six pastors since this church began and at the present there are one hundred forty resident members.
The history of the Worthington Evangelical Lutheran Church dates back to the summer of 1847.
In 1844 there was no church nearer than Slate Lick or Middlesex (Cowansville). Mr. Peter Graff opened a Sunday School in the wagon-maker�s shop. He gathered people, young and old, into his shop which had to be made ready Saturday evening for religious instruction. It was not long until the need of a pastor was felt and Rev. Ehrenfeld, who then preached in Kittanning,. came and preached here for a while. These services were held in a small house near the Iron Furnace which Mr. Graff fitted up for services and was called the Furnace Chapel.
This chapel was used for two years. Then in the summer of 1847 a congregation was organized by Rev. George F. Ehrenfeld and Mr. Peter Graff, with nineteen charter members who were: Peter Graff, Susan Graff, James Barr, Sr., Susan Barr, John Barr, George Hutley, John Shantz, William Blaine, Jacob Mechling, Elizabeth Porterfield, John Porterfield, Barbara Mechling, Mary C. Mechling, John Prunkard, Barbara Prunkard, Frances Reges, and Sidney Reges.
This Furnace Chapel stood near Buffalo Creek and served as a place of worship for two years. Then the membership, having grown to such a size that the chapel was too small for it, a lot was secured in Worthington Borough and the first brick church owned by the congregation was built in 1849. It was surmounted by a steeple in the belfry of which was mounted the first church bell used in this section of the country.
A frame chapel to be used for Sunday School was later built near the church. In 1860 the first County Teachers� Institute was held here. The lower story was used many years as a school room, the first school building in Worthington Borough.
The first brick church served the purpose of the congregation well until overcrowded conditions forced the congregation in 1888 to tear it down and build the present church, which seats about three hundred people. It was erected during the pastorate of Rev. J. W. Schwartz. Rev. Eli Miller preached the dedicatory sermon, February 17, 1889.
In 1894 the frame chapel was removed and fitted for a dwelling house. The Graff Memorial Chapel was then built on its present site. It was built by Mrs. Susan Graff and children in memory of her late husband. The chapel was thoroughly furnished and free of debt when presented to the church as a family gift. It has always been used for Sunday School purposes. In 1918 Hon. J. F. Graff willed the church $3,000 to be set up as an endowment for upkeep of the chapel.
In August 13, 1918 Hon. J. F. Graff and Melvina Graff, widow of Edmund Graff, gave the ground now used as a parking lot.
The church was incorporated in 1883. On September 12, 1907 the church celebrated its sixtieth anniversary and at the same time Dr. Schwartz, his fortieth year as pastor. The congregation presented him with a horse and buggy.
Rev. Schwartz assumed charge of the Parish in 1867 and serving the congregation for forty-nine years, died May 13, 1919. As a tribute to Dr. Schwartz, Mr. Edmund Graff donated more than half of the cost for a tour of the Holy Land and the congregation supplied the remainder for the pastor.
The church basement and Chapel were remodeled in 1962. There is now a stone wall and road in front of the church. The adult members of the Sunday School meet in the basement and have separate classrooms. Separate rooms have also been made in the chapel where Primary and Intermediate Classes meet.
The present confirmed membership is four hundred forty-five and the present pastor is Rev. James Slingluff, who has served the congregation since February, 1957.
UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
We have learned from traditions that this was a preaching place as early as 1840, services being conducted in the log cabins of the early settlers.
The Associate, now the United Presbyterian Church here, was organized in 1848 and depended for the first year upon supplies. Little knowledge can be gained of those who lived and worshipped here as few records have been kept but it is believed from information passed down through the years from several generations of church families that there were twenty-five charter members who worshipped here as an Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church over one hundred years ago.
The charter shows the names of five trustees: Thomas McCullough, Peter Kerr, William Millen, William Hindman, and William Ramsey. From other records we gather names of others who were prominent in the early church: John Minteer, Joseph Williams, Arch A. McCullough, Alex Garroway, Nevin Kerr, Samuel Sample, James Minteer, James Henry, Azil Somerville, George Monroe, John Ross, James Somerville, Stephen H. Ross, John Milligan, Samuel Milligan, John Stevinson, John Shields, and John Hepler.
The Worthington United Presbyterian congregation was organized as an Associate Reformed Presbyterian congregation in 1848 and became United Presbyterian through the union of the Associate Presbyterian and the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Churches on May 26, 1858.
Two buildings have been erected, the first from a frame structure on the ground donated by William Hindman, who became one of the first trustees of the congregation, 40 feet by 40 feet with 12 foot ceilings at a cost of $350.00 plus donated labor. This building served the congregation until 1883 when it was town down and the second was erected. Much of the material was salvaged and used in the latter building, which was sold and torn down in 1962.
The first pastor, Rev. J. W. Dick, was installed pastor of the Worthington and Kittanning congregations in 1849 � serving until 1854, and was a leader in the forming of the Butler Presbytery.
The membership grew and prospered from the original twenty-five to one hundred forty-three at the date of the one hundredth anniversary in 1948. The congregation has been served by nineteen pastors until its merger with the Presbyterian Church of Worthington. At various times the local church was affiliated with the congregations of Slate Lick and Kittanning and Mt. Zion United Presbyterian Churches, in a parish.
When the United Presbyterian Church of the U. S. A. was organized in 1958, the United Presbyterian and Presbyterian Churches of Worthington merged into a single body. The Rev. R. Paul Beatty accepted the call and was installed as the first pastor. The present roll of the merged congregations consists of three hundred seventeen members.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in Worthington in 1849, and its first pastor was Rev. Mr. Cooper. One of his successors, Rev. Mr. Tiballs, was in the War of the Rebellion. Membership in 1876 was eighty, with a union Sabbath School. Its edifice, frame,. one-story forty by thirty-five feet, was situated on a lot which Samuel Porterfield, December 26, 1849, conveyed for $50 to John Blain, Peter Mobley, Elijah Newton, James B. Porterfield, James, Samuel and Thomas Scott, trustees.
In 1884 the building was dismantled and moved to Craigsville and reconstructed on the present site. Rev. Clyde Lewis is the present minister with approximately seventy-five members. They also have a flourishing Sunday School.
The Presbyterian Church was established in this area at Kittanning in 1806, at Slate Lick in 1807-08, at Cowansville in 1825, and West Glade Run in 1845.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church having decided, during its sessions at Cincinnati in 1845, that the system of slavery as it exists in the United States was no law to Christian Communion, many friends of Liberty and sound Presbyterianism in her communion were deeply aggrieved. They accordingly used their earnest endeavors to bring about a repeal of that action and a consistent carrying out of the testimony of 1818. Those efforts proving altogether unavailing and the assembly giving the most lamentable evidence in its Sessions of 1846 and 1847 of its hopeless adherence to the practice and justification of slavery, a secession of Ministers, Elders and Churches took place which resulted in the organization of the �Free Presbyterian Church of the United States.�
The Free Presbyterian Church of Buffalo (as the Worthington Church was then called) came into reality in March, 1850, when the following people came from Union Presbyterian (Cowansville), Slate Lick and West Glade Run to be members of the new church: John Craig, Mary Craig, Joseph McCurdy, Nancy McCurdy, David Shields, Mary Shields, John Shields, James Stephenson, William McCully, Martha McCully, Mary Craig, Mary Craig, Jr., Margaret Craig, John Stephenson, Jared Irwin, Mary Ann Irwin, John Craig, Jr., and Eliza Craig.
Mr. John Craig, Sr. was elected, ordained and installed as a Ruling Elder and on the 5th of July Mr. John Shields was elected, ordained, and installed as a Ruling Elder.
Thus, with twenty members being, so called, Charter Members in March and seven members added in July, the �Free Presbyterian Church of Buffalo� was organized in 1850.
The Church of Buffalo met prior to the fall meeting of Presbytery in 1851 and by unanimous vote approved the Declaration and Testimony of the Synod of the Free Church in the United States in regard to the Fugitive Slave Law adopted at the Synodical Meeting held April, 1851 at Ripley, Ohio. Also, they made out a call to Rev. George McElheny, the first minister.
So opposed was he to the principles of slavery or more particularly to the Fugitive Slave Law that he stated, �that the members of this church who had voted for A. Lincoln for President of the United States had broken the rules of the Free Presbyterian Church and he could not dispense communion to them.� A few of the first members left the church because other members voted Republican and still others refused to go to the Communion Table with anyone who made the life of a colored person hard. The position of the Free Presbyterian Church of Buffalo reflects the mind of the leaders of the Free Presbyterian movement.
The Free Presbytery of Mahoning, being dissolved after the Civil War, caused the local church to request the Presbytery of Allegheny to �take us under their care� and they received them and they officially became the �Free Presbyterian Church of Worthington,� on October 16, 1866.
The church, from its beginning, has been at its present location, which the original rectangular shaped building being replaced in 1897 with the present structure.
The church once again joined with West Glade Run during the pastorate of Rev. Thompson in 1867 and continued as a parish until 1932 when Union Presbyterian Church (Cowansville) was added to the charge during the pastorate of Rev. Francis B. Marks.
This parish continued successfully until the retirement of Rev. Cost and the forthcoming merger of the Presbyterian and United Presbyterian denominations in 1958, when it was dissolved. Congregations of the two local denominations merged officially in January, 1959 and are known as the Worthington United Presbyterian Church of the United Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A. and are guided by the Rev. R. Paul Beatty who accepted their call and was installed on November 1, 1959, as the first pastor of the newly formed congregation.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
The First Baptist Church of Worthington had its beginning in the summer of 1930 in gospel tent meetings conducted by Rev. J. J. Van Gorder, Rev. Fred Rader, and Rev. Norman Hirschey. At the close of this evangelistic campaign thirty-seven believers were baptized.
There were thirty-two charter members of the church and they began services in the Town Hall on October 12, 1930. Their first pastor was Rev. James King. On November 7, 1930, the Council of Recognition of the Clarion Orthodox Association (now Association of Regular Baptist Churches of Western Pennsylvania) met in the Town Hall. After careful examination of the faith and practice of the new church, the Council voted unanimously to recognize the newly formed church as a Regular Independent Baptist Church. The church voted to request fellowship with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches on April 6, 1960.
The present building was dedicated on June 4, 1933. Since that time there have been seven pastors � the present one being Rev. Donald Lumeree.
The church has grown from the thirty-two charter members to the present membership of three hundred thirty-five.
James Barr, Jr. was assessed as a �schoolmaster� on the list for Buffalo Township in 1806-07, but just where his school was is not known. The first school in the borough was held in the Lutheran Church, where the Teachers� Institute of the County was held in April, 1860. A young lady who taught there one winter had occasion to flog one of her juvenile male pupils. His irate father, the next day, rushed into the schoolroom and gave her, as indiscreet parents sometimes do under like circumstances, a severe scolding and intimated that if she were not a woman he would flog her. She promptly replied, �Oh, you needn�t make that excuse. Try it and I�ll flog you.� He didn�t try it.
The first schoolhouse in West Franklin Township was a rude log structure, sixteen by sixteen feet, situated near Lennington Run in the forks of the road, not far from the present borough of Worthington. There were a total of eight schools in the township until the consolidation of the borough and township into one school district in 1930. They were known as follows: Union, Hohn, Hindman, Long, McKee, Tory, Noble, and Craigsville.
Worthington became, of course, when incorporated as a borough, a separate school district, and a frame schoolhouse was erected in the angle formed by the junction of Ross Street and the public road. Its statistics for 1860 were: average number of months taught, 4; teacher, male, 1; monthly salary, $20.00; male scholars, 24; female scholars, 37; average number attending school, 48; cost of teaching each scholar per month, 41 cents.
In 1876 the statistics for West Franklin Township were as follows: number of schools, 8; average number of months taught, 5; male teachers, 2; female teachers, 6; average monthly salaries of both male and female teachers, $30.00; male scholars, 263; female scholars, 160; average number attending school, 249; cost of teaching each pupil per month, 73 cents.
By 1913 the number of months taught had increased to seven and the number of male teachers was one and the number of female teachers was seven with an increase in salary to $50.00 and an increase in cost of educating each pupil to $2.67.
The Worthington Borough Elementary School was at one time located on the Buffalo Hill which has been converted into the Rhoades residence. In 1898 a three-room school building was erected at the site of the present borough building and was virtually rebuilt in 1926, when two rooms were added to the original structure.
This building was destroyed by fire on February 15, 1943, at a loss estimated at more than $25,000. Classes continued in the high school building by converting the gymnasium into four classrooms and the stage into two rooms.
About 1930, the borough and township voted to consolidate their schools and the present high school building was constructed, which housed grades six through twelve. In 1948, an additional six-room building was erected adjoining the high school building. The first graduating class from Worthington-West Franklin Township High School consisted of twenty-six members for the school term of 1932-33. Mr. Frank E. Leard was the first principal and he continued to serve in this capacity until 1954, when he was succeeded by Mr. John McCoy, the present principal. During the current term there were enrolled five hundred sixty-six pupils and twenty-two teachers. The average teacher�s salary today is $433.00 a month; the average cost of educating each elementary pupil is $29.24 a month and each high school pupil�s average is $43.78.
Worthington Academy, first called �Buffalo Institute�, was organized by the Lutheran Church in 1852. The first principal was Mr. C. J. Ebrehart, who taught one session. He was a graduate of Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg. The Academy continued to operate at irregular intervals and ceased to operate permanently in 1889. The prominent aim of the institution was to qualify young ladies and gentlemen for teaching, and its success was marked in this direction. It fitted a number of young men for the higher classes in college and for professional life, and it numbers among its former students some who reflected great credit on the academy in which they were trained. The structure still stands, being converted into the residence of Orman Edwards.
WORTHINGTON�S BAND OF THE GAY NINETIES
First row: Charles Meals, Johnny Opel, bandmaster; Charles Putton, Henry Troutner, Jake Benton, Howard Hall, Sam Huston, Harry Bowser, Charles Walker, Billy Seligman, Sam Fink. Second Row: William Armstrong, Wilson Helm, John James, Edward Hall, Alverill I. Wilson, Lank Bowser, Clark Minteer, Otis Southworth, Charles Morrison.
Pictured above is Worthington�s pride of the �Gay Nineties�.
Johnny Opel, the bandmaster, a man of many musical talents, resided in Kittanning but often walked the entire distance of seven miles to Worthington to conduct his practice sessions, all for the monstrous fee of $1.00 � �The Good Old Days.�
For a period of years this twenty-piece organization enjoyed great success. They were in demand for fairs, wedding receptions, political rallies, civic, and church affairs, almost always traveling by horse-drawn hack.
The band gained a great distinction, when in the year of 1900 they played for a reception in Pittsburgh in honor of President William McKinley. They received his personal congratulations and a reward of $25.00 in gold as best band.
There are two living members of this famous organization residing in the Worthington area. They are Mr. Finley Lewis, who played a second tenor horn and Mr. Clark Minteer, now in his ninety-fourth year, who played a cornet.
WORTHINGTON-WEST FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL BAND
This Centennial year 1963 marks the tenth anniversary of the famous Worthington-West Franklin High School Band. The organization was officially formed as a musical unit in the summer of 1953.
Over fifty years had elapsed between the eras of our two fine musical organizations. However, it is little wonder that with the musical legacy bequeathed it by its musical forbear it should turn out to be one of the finest bands in the state. In ten short years and organized from one of the smaller high schools in the state (enrollment is under five hundred students) this group of musicians has established a record second to none.
The history of the Band and how it was organized is a classic example of great combined community effort. It is a well established fact that few communities support the efforts of the Band and its director to the extent that the people of the Worthington area do.
Shortly after the second World War, efforts were made by interested individuals and groups to organize a band. Through the interest of Mr. James V. Colonna, director of the Kittanning High School Band, and his deep concern to see the formation of a musical unit in Worthington, free concerts were conducted by the Kittanning High School Band on the Worthington West-Franklin High School lawn under Mr. Colonna�s direction. These concerts did a great deal to stimulate the desire to see a band organized.
However, ii was not until 1951 that the Worthington Lions Club adopted in the form of a resolution, �To explore the possibilities of the formation of a band and to adopt as a club project the securing of a musical director.�
In 1953 the School Board and school administration secured Mr. John B. Cutler as the school�s first band director.
With but a handful of students with any musical knowledge Mr. Cutler before many months had put together a fine group of children that he had taught to play each and every instrument.
The Band made its first public appearance in the Lions Club�s Annual Halloween Parade, dressed as mummers, and much to the pride and joy of the boys and girls, Mr. Cutler, and the entire community. This great event took place Friday, October 29, 1953.
With the band a reality its sponsoring groups were quick to lend their support. A Band Mothers Organization was formed. The P. T. A., Worthington West-Franklin Fire Department, Lions Club, and other groups and individuals all became vitally interested in working for and doing for the band. Through the efforts of the school board and these organizations sixty-five uniforms were purchased. Almost all of the instruments were secured by the students. Some instruments were purchased as time went on by various organizations. It has often been said that the Worthington West-Franklin High School Band is one of the finest examples of 100% community effort.
Under Mr. Cutler the band embarked on its road to glory and fame competing as a street-marching band in the Junior Division. In four years of competition the unit compiled an enviable record. They took many first places and were roundly applauded wherever they went.
In February 1958 Mr. Cutler accepted a position with the Kittanning School system. Mr. Alex Costanza succeeded him.
Under Mr. Costanza the band continued to make great strides in the Junior Band Division, competing in parades throughout the area.
By 1961 the Band had grown to seventy-five members including majorettes. The organization had established its own reputation as one of the finest and a tremendous crowd pleaser. The band remained in continual practice throughout the summer months.
It has been said that our band has probably done more to acquaint people with the name �Worthington� than any other single thing. They are known throughout the entire Tri-State area.
Under Mr. Cutler and Mr. Costanza their nine-year record reads:
117 Competitions entered
98 Firsts (Most Points)
This is truly an amazing record and a great tribute to the boys and girls and their directors.
Possibly the band�s greatest win was the out-pointing of the famed Saegertown High School Marching Band at Sligo, Pa. last summer.
The director of the Saegertown Band was quoted as saying, �The Worthington Band is one of the finest in the state and is feared by all who compete with it.�
At a banquet last fall at the Worthington Firehall the band was awarded the All-State Judges Association Trophy for having scored the most points in parades their organization judged.
Mr. Costanza was awarded a trophy as the outstanding Junior Band Director.
Mr. Costanza resigned his position last June and is at present musical director at Shannock Valley High School. He has been succeeded by his brother Victor.
WORTHINGTON-WEST FRANKLIN P. T. A.
A public meeting was held on September 27, 1946, at Bowser�s Hall to organize a P. T. A., and on October 20 of that year the first meeting was held at the school. The first officers were Mrs. L. E. Hoyt, president; Mrs. Clark Bowser, vice-president; Mrs. Paul Reed, second vice-president; Mrs. Clayton McGarvey, secretary; Mrs. Roy Bowser, treasurer.
In 1947 many projects were carried out that the P.T.A. might be able to donate some money toward the building of the new elementary school which was begun in March of 1948.
The term of 1949 was begun with the planning of a Hot Lunch Program. A goal was set at $1,250.00 to furnish a room in the school for a cafeteria. The construction was begun on Thursday, March 16, and by March 18 the P. T. A. had reached their goal set at the beginning of the school year to assist in the financing. They also had enough to purchase new playground equipment.
Over the years this organization has had various projects. Among them were sponsorship of the scouts, helping to raise funds for a school band, Polio Vaccine Clinic, where one hundred youngsters received their shots, playground equipment for the Craigsville School, installation of drinking fountains, record players and records, and books.
Every year they donate money toward the Junior-Senior Prom and in 1963 helped support the After-Prom Party.
The Worthington Post Office was established in 1840, with John McDonald as postmaster. John M. Williams succeeded in 1889, followed by W. W. Helm. He was succeeded in 1913 by Mrs. Jenny Sutton and the post office was located in a building on Bear Street adjoining her home, in what is presently known as the Delp residence. In 1932, Randall H. Weaver became postmaster and held the office until 1960 when he retired. During this time the post office was located on Main Street. In 1960 Carl Conley was appointed as acting postmaster and held this position until the latter part of 1961, when Mrs. Carmen Bowser was appointed as acting postmaster.
In 1962 the United States Government had erected a new brick structure at the corner of Main and Gairin Streets. Originally there were three rural routes delivered from this office, but at present they are consolidated into one route which is fifty-six miles in length and is carried by W. H McKee and together with the post office serves about thirty-five hundred patrons. Presently the office employs four people.
The Kittanning Telephone Company was chartered to provide telephone service in 1896. Service lines were extended to Worthington during the early nineteen hundreds. The 1905 directory lists area customers as follows:
Clark, Dr. O. C. �������..Physician �������..465
Graff & Co., Peter ������..Woolen Mills Office���.431
Kerr, Stair ���������.. Residence�������..362
King, Dr. J. H��������. Physician�������.. 324
Long, C. C. ��������� Residence �������. 421
Meals, Charles ��������Pay Station ������.. 184
Wilson, H. M. �������� Druggist �������.. 92
B. R. & P. Railway ������. Depot ��������.. 321
Flick, Robert ��������� Livery ��������. 378
Ross, Alex ���������� Residence �������142
Weaver & Dunkle ������� General Store �����.. 48
In succeeding years, lines were increased and expanded for additional customers until it became necessary to establish a separate exchange building to service the district.
On August 7, 1947, the first XY Automatic Dial Equipment Exchange in the United States was cut into operation at Worthington for about 250 customers. It was manufactured and installed by the Stromberg-Carlson Company of Rochester, New York. The first official call was placed through the equipment by K. Ben Schotte, Jr., General Manager of The Kittanning Telephone Company to Senator Edward R. Martin at Washington, D. C. Senator Martin was a former Pennsylvania governor.
Many advancements have been made in the telephone industry since that time regarding improved talking circuits, and new instruments and grades of service. The size of the Worthington Exchange Building was increased and Direct Distance Dialing (DDD) equipment was provided for use of the area residents on June 1, 1960. The 700 customers served by the exchange can today, on a modern dial basis, connect with over 13,000 telephones in the Ford City-Kittanning-Worthington area for local calls; and they can connect to more than 46,000,000 telephones on the Nationwide-toll-network in the United States and Canada by dialing on a tool call basis.
The automatic dial equipment in the exchange was completely replaced with a more modern type �terminal per station,� on December 13, 1961. Current plans call for the entire area to be recabled and wired during 1963 in order that the number of rural customers on a line can be reduced to a maximum of six.
Thus the future holds promise of many important changes yet to come for the district through The Kittanning Telephone Company, which is locally owned by stockholders of Worthington as well as other local service areas.
WORTHINGTON-WEST FRANKLIN VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARMENT
One evening in early April, 1946, the citizens of Worthington were alarmed by the ringing of church bells, blowing of whistles, and other means of summoning the bucket brigade to fight a fire in the home of Dr. William Reed. By a strenuous effort they were able to hold the fire under control until the arrival of the West Kittanning Fire Company with their modern equipment, who quickly extinguished the blaze.
It was the �last call to arms for the old bucket brigade.� Since the citizens saw their inefficiency in fighting fire the President of the Town Council called a general meeting to be held in Bowser�s Hall for the purpose of discussing the possibility of organizing a fire department.
Interest was at a peak with over a hundred in attendance at the initial meeting. After a decision was reached in favor of such an organization, the following officers were elected: Carl Conley, president; Frank Walker, vice-president; Carl Bowser, treasurer; Willis McBride, secretary; Harry Bowser, fire chief, a position which he has held to the present time. The meeting was adjourned with the provision that they should meet weekly until the company was established on a more permanent basis.
The company progressed rapidly. By October, 1946 they purchased from the John Bean Co. of Lansing, Michigan, their latest model fire truck.
This equipment is very suitable in the rural areas where no fire hydrants exist, as it is equipped with a tank carrying approximately five hundred gallons of water and two fog nozzles, which increase the efficiency of a gallon of water ten-fold.
So proud were the towns-folk of this equipment that it was completely paid for in a month with almost all money received through solicitation.
Step by step, the company progressed. A new fire siren was purchased in 1947 and also equipment for the protection of the men while fighting fire was acquired that year.
By 1949, a building was erected on a lot almost in the center of town that had been purchased the preceding year.
However, it was soon realized that this building was not large enough to amply house all of this equipment and provide adequate room for the ever-increasing social activities conducted by the Ladies Auxiliary. In 1952 a large auditorium and kitchen was added, together with additional land, almost doubling their original holdings.
Today the Department can look back on a long list of achievements, having recently added a much larger and faster fire truck at a cost of $18,924.45 together with a Civil Defense radio and a complete line of rescue equipment. It now consists of one of the most modern units to be found in a town of its size anywhere.
In the line of social events, since 1947, they have continued to hold a homecoming week which the community awaits anxiously from year to year. It is the one event when everyone, old and young, in this vicinity heartily welcomes acquaintances of bygone years.
The present company consists of thirty active members, with seven of the original listed as retired; and they deeply appreciate the faithful support of the community in their annual affairs, who by their efforts have made all their success possible.
We hope the Worthington-West Franklin Centennial will be their greatest achievement.
The following members have contributed to the financing of the 100th Anniversary Celebration, June 16 to June 29,1963.
Harold D. Bowser (President)
John W. Steffy (Secretary)
Harry C. Bowser (Chief)
Warren E. Grafton (1st Assistant)
John Dean Thompson (2nd Assistant)
C. Ralph Yockey (3rd Assistant)
Robert J. LaSitis (4th Assistant)
Robert Zeigler (Trustee)
Russell C. Hancock (Trustee)
William R. Boltz (Trustee)
James J. Julius
Frank L. Kersul
Robert A. Fennell
Jack R. Campbell
Ralston W. Bowser
Irvin R. Yockey
V. Paul Jones
J. Robert Shearer
Paul R. Bowser (Engineer)
Donald J. Simmers
Floyd K. Dilley
Daniel L. Hawk
John Smith, Jr. (Assistant Engineer)
Roy S. Crissman
Walter C. Pence
King O. Bowser
Honorary Members -- Fifty-five years of age -- fifteen years active service
William M. Beers (Treasurer)
Victor R. Fullerton (Vice-president)
R. H. Pence
Frank H. Walker
Floyd E. Clark
Paul Flick -- November 9, 1948
Willis McBride -- March 23, 1951
Fred Fowler -- April 16, 1951
Carl Leard -- May 20, 1955
J. Pressley Shearer -- June 23, 1962
Frank Drake (Honorary) -- November 23, 1959
Richard Graff (Honorary) - January 16, 1963
We wish to thank preceding members for their past service to Worthington-West Franklin Volunteer Fire Department.
On January 21, 1947 the Ladies Auxiliary of the Fire Department was organized by a group of women interested in assisting the firemen to purchase a building and to carry out their various projects.
Their first meeting was held at Johnson�s Dairy Store (now Bish�s Grocery) when Helen Cramer was elected President, with the following charter members also in attendance: Yvonne Reed, Esther Johnson, Helen Carbis, Catherine Stroud, and Velma Simmers.
By 1948 the group had grown to eighteen members and through their efforts contributed $200.00 and a portable pump to the fire company. During this year the ladies entered their first parade dressed in white blouses and black skirts.
A donation of $700.00 was given to the fire department and the group had grown to a membership of twenty-three, in 1949.
During their sixteen years of existence the Ladies Auxiliary has continued to grow and prosper by serving cafeteria meals, dinners, bake sales, and wedding receptions. Through these various activities they were able to contribute to the fire department a total of $7,200.00 and have bought equipment for the kitchen and fire hall at a total cost of $5,500.00.
Certainly with a commendable record such as this, the Ladies Auxiliary will continue to grow and aid the fire department in their many worthy projects of the future.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is the oldest fraternal organization existing in Armstrong County. Its Craigsville Lodge #836 was instituted on February 8, 1905 with J. N. Monroe elected as the first Noble Grand. There were twenty-nine charter members, all of whom are deceased.
The Lodge, soon after its institution, erected a building where they have continued to hold their meetings.
By the early 1920s they had two hundred sixty members.
Elmer Templeton is the present Noble Grand and the organization consists of twenty-nine members.
Lady Craig Rebekah Lodge
Lady Craig Rebekah Lodge #8 was instituted June 30, 1919 in the I. O. O. F. Hall, Craigsville, with Annie Kline of the Rebekah Assembly of Pennsylvania, presiding. Seventy-eight candidates received the Rebekah Degree.
Mrs. Warren Minteer was elected Noble Grand and presided at the first regular meeting.
The Lodge has continued to hold regular meetings semi-monthly. Of the original seventy-eight charter members, two still remain in good standing. They are Mrs. Emma (Wright) McMillen of Worthington R. D. #2 and William Jones of Craigsville.
THE WORTHINGTON LIONS CLUB
The Worthington Lions Club was organized in 1948, with the Elderton Club as sponsor and Willis McBride as the first president. Fourteen King Lions have succeeded McBride as president, in order: Robert Shriver, Frank Walker, Paul Lead, Leonard Smith, Russell Gairin, L., E. Hoyt, A. B. Young, John McCoy, John Cutler, Robert Flcik, Earl Blose, James Flick, Michael Conrad, and Richard Egli whose term expires this year.
During its fifteen years of life in this community, the Lions Club has initiated and supported many projects for the welfare and advancement of those in the Worthington-West Franklin area. The community, recognizing the value of the work, has in turn given the club its support.
Residents of the area have bought light bulbs, ironing board covers, flags, brooms (made by the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind), birthday calendars, and other items. They have supported festivals, suppers, shows, and other events. Funds raised from these projects and others have all been returned to the people in various forms, along with ideas for community betterment.
As an international policy, Lions Clubs everywhere have concerned themselves with aid to the blind and the care of the sight. The Worthington club has a continuous program in this field of activity in this area.
Our present School Band is the direct result of an idea originating with the Lions Club in 1951 and pursued to a successful debut in the 1953 Annual Lions Halloween Parade. With wide support from other local groups and from the school board, this band has become a Pennsylvania State Champion in the Junior Division � the pride of the school and the community.
Other school support has been given in helping to establish the school cafeteria, buying science equipment, construction of the tennis court, and the annual college scholarship award. The club members donated their manual labor in the dismantling and rebuilding of the Music Building located between the elementary and high school buildings.
The Annual Halloween Parade has become an institution with the kiddies and grown-ups as well, along with food baskets at Christmas and the Community Christmas Tree. Hospital beds and wheelchairs provided at no charge by the Lions are in constant service in the area. Recent projects have been the installation of waste containers along Main Street and the bicycle rack at the Post Office. Scheduled for this spring and summer is the development of a community picnic area.
The club meets semi-monthly for dinner and a program. Each member pays his own way in dues, dinners, and entertainment, thus assuring that every dollar raised for community benefit is returned for community benefit. Although the Lions are an international organization and the largest service club in the world, it is a peculiarly American Institution providing valuable services which would otherwise add to the scope and cost of government.
In February of 1963, Scouting celebrated its fifty-third birthday, but in Worthington, Cub Scouting is only fifteen years old. It was begun here in February of 1948 when it was brought to the attention of the PTA and they decided to sponsor a Cub Pack. In May of that year the Pack received its number 661 and a charter at a program at the High School. There were sixteen Cubs in that first pack, their first Cubmaster being Paul Adams.
The Pack was sponsored from 1948 until 1958 by the PTA when the Juftak Class of the former United Presbyterian Church became the sponsor until the church�s merger with the Presbyterian Church. The newly organized United Presbyterian Church accepted the sponsorship and has continued to the present time.
Through the past fifteen years Pack 661 has been active and continually growing until there are fifty cubs registered in fine dens. Melvin McCleary is the present Cubmaster and William McLachlan is the Program Chairman. The five den mothers are Mrs. Dan Hawk, Mrs. W. Donald Minteer, Mrs. Ralston Bowser, Mrs. Niles Hawk, and Mrs. Karl Minteer.
With this large increase in membership in Cubbing in Worthington including boys from ages eight through eleven it shows a great interest in Scouting Activities and continues to serve the boys of the area.
Worthington is also fortunate to have Boy Scout Troops for the older boys and Brownies and Girl Scouts for girls of various ages.
A MASTER FARMER
The Claypoole family is of English origin. It is narrated that three brothers bearing the name of Claypoole came to America prior to the Revolutionary War and all of that name in this vicinity are their descendants.
However, according to the Armstrong County History, a certain James Claypoole was probably the first settler in the limits of what is now Kittanning having built a cabin at the mouth of Truby Run in 1791 near the present site of Arch and Water Streets.
He lived there about a year, when his horses came running past his cabin in terror one day. Upon asking a friendly Indian what this meant he was advised to leave at once. He made a raft, put his wife and younger children thereon and floated down the river to Pittsburgh in safety. His two older sons drove the horses and cattle by land.
Among the early settlers of West Franklin Township is a certain John Claypoole who was also a clerk in the Armstrong County Court House. He lived in this township the remainder of his life and was the father of Harvey C. Claypoole who was born about 1844.
His son, Mr. Alexander Claypoole, was also a life-long resident of West Franklin Township, having purchased this particular farm from a Mr. Hesselgesser in 1902. He gradually added to the original tract until today he and his sons own approximately twelve hundred acres.
For many years Mr. Claypoole operated a turkey farm, one of the largest in Western Pennsylvania, specializing in Broad-Breasted Bronze Turkeys. This farm was complete in every detail having its own hatchery, brooder, and dressing pens and marketing more that twenty-two hundred turkeys annually.
About 1946 they received recognition from the Pittsburgh Press who devoted their entire Roto Section to this turkey-raising industry.
A few years ago, due to market conditions, Mr. Claypoole changed from turkey farming to dairy farming and now has a fine head of approximately one hundred thirty Holsteins producing almost three hundred gallons of milk daily.
When he was seventy-five years of age, he received an award from the Pennsylvania Farm Magazine and was taken to Harrisburg as a master farmer. He is now in his eighty-ninth year, having been born September 6, 1874 but is still in good health and mentally alert. He is a faithful member of the Franklin Union Baptist Church and a life-long Republican.
WORTHINGTON AREA CENTENARIAN
A retired Worthington area farmer observed Halloween, 1962 by celebrating his one hundredth birthday a the family homestead at Worthington, R. D. # 1.
Elliot (Al) Swagger was born in Mercer County, October 31, 1862 and came to Worthington about sixty-five years ago. Shortly after, he was married to Susanna (Hart) Swagger who was born and reared on the homestead where they have continued to reside ever since.
During his long life span there have been eighteen presidents occupy the White House, and Mr. Swagger can remember back to the days of Andrew Johnson.
He has been a life-long Democrat, voting regularly until about four years ago.
The Centenarian until recently enjoyed reading but due to failing eyesight has resorted to listening to the radio while sitting in his rocking chair. Mrs. Swagger is a faithful member of St. John�s Roman Catholic Church of Coylesville and enjoys good health and mental alertness.
Mrs. Amelia Frick Reed is our oldest citizen. She, with her husband Clarence and three sons, came to Worthington in 1918. She will be ninety-eight on September 14. She likes to take a walk when the weather is fair. Her two sons, Paul and Elton, reside in our town. Mr. Reed and a son,. Clyde, are deceased. Mrs. Reed lives alone at the corner of Main and Bear Streets.
Miss Eliza Sample, our oldest living native, was born in the old stone house on Main Street on April 18, 1876 as was her father James Sample in 1836. Eliza�s grandfather had a tavern there, and it was the third house built in Mr. Lorenzo, as it was known then. An amusing tale is told about Eliza�s grandparents (much to Eliza�s consternation, she being a teetotaler). The story was published in a Pittsburgh paper in December 1962, by George Swetnam. According to the story, Eliza�s grandmother was an estimable woman and a good hostess, though at times a little given to tipping the bottle-or jug-somewhat too freely. One day Mrs. Sample had to be away from home. Knowing his wife�s weakness was always more likely to crop out when she was lonely, he decided to take measures against it. He had a dandy idea. Knowing that his wife was afraid of height, he took the keg of whiskey and climbed up into the rafters of the house, where he tied it securely in the comb of the roof. It was a good idea, but it did not work. When he returned home late that night, he found his wife out cold, lying on the floor beside a pan of whiskey. She had placed the pan directly under the keg, then taken his Pennsylvania long rifle and shot a hole that allowed the contents to trickle down where she didn�t even need to stand up to reach it. Eliza lives on Main Street, a block from the old stone house.
Miss Maude Ross�s great-great grandfather, Judge Barr, was the first post master in what was then known as Mr. Lorenzo and lived in a two-story log house where the King Bowser residence now stands. Maude�s mother was Margaret Barr, the daughter of James Barr, Jr., who laid out the town of Worthington in 1829. Maude has a lot of knowledge of the history of our town. She was born on the farm now owned by Mike Helsel in West Franklin Township, but lived in Worthington for years. Her grandfather built the home on Ross Street where Maude now resides with her brother Willard. Maude tells the story about her Uncle David Barr�s family helping the slaves escape at the time of the Civil War. Worthington was a rest station for them on their way north, and they would hide them under the old Presbyterian church. There were large stones in the foundation that would pivot around at the touch and make an opening for them. The David Barr family would bring them food and water after dark.
Edmund G. Linton was born at Clifton Springs, New York, and came to Worthington when he was eleven years old. He is a grandson of Peter Graff I and is the present owner of the old stone house on Main Street. He tells the story about his grandfather, who owned the iron furnace on Buffalo Creek, going down south to buy one hundred mules to haul the iron to market, and having to purchase a white horse to lead the mules on the trip home.
Eddie, as he is familiarly known , is amused at the story about the secret passage under the old stone house, as the only one he knows about is the drain.
He was the first man to wear walking shorts in Worthington.
He was one of the organizers of the Graff-Kittanning Clay Products Company and a director from the time of its origin until its sale to Logan Clay Products Company.
His hobby is flowers and he grows orchids at this home, Hillhaven Gardens, on the Slate Lick Road.
Mr. And Mrs. James Millen are old-timers in our town. They remember the skating rink, the race track owned by the Graff family where they held cart and riding horse races on holidays for the enjoyment of the community, the fair grounds above the Ralston Bowser home on Bear Street, the Toboggan Slide which was made above the location where the Thomas Rest Home now stands and then went down across the dam, and the deer farm where Warren Claypoole�s residence stands. It had a high fence around it and a number of deer. They remember the robberies committed here � one at the Woolen Mill which was operated by Peter Graff I, and James Claypoole. Mr. Claypoole lived near-by. As his daughter was sitting on the front porch she saw six men break in and she awakened her father, who frightened them away, before they had time to take anything. One robbery was at the Buffalo Store. Mr. Charles Walker and Mr. James Millen had watched for twenty-four days to catch the persons who had robbed it before. There were two men who tried to get in. They caught one, and he was sentenced to a term in prison by the Judge in Kittanning.
Space does not permit all the interesting things we have learned about �Our Town� from these keen-minded �young citizens�.
WORTHINGTON and VICINITY
Taken from The Kittanning Times,
Published May 1, 1885
William Hall is still in town.
Town is full of strangers this week.
M. A. Hepler is in Rowlin County, Kansas.
Our sidewalks have not yet been repaired.
Rusticate in Worthington the coming summer.
Yingst and Hall have the best five-cent cigars.
W. H. Claypool has moved on a farm near town.
Memorial Day will be observed here grandly, this year.
Miss Bowser has opened a milliner shop at Buffalo Mills.
Our Milliners have received an elegant stock of spring goods.
Remember James L. Long is a candidate for Jury Commissioner.
We understand a social hop will be given in the rink next week.
All parts of Worthington are being beautified by the liberal use of paints and white wash.
Buffalo Creek abounds with wild ducks, and it takes our sporting men to gather them in.
The roads between this place and Middlesex (Cowansville) are in excellent condition for driving pleasure.
Squire Evans has been given the contract for building the new Baptist Church.
The Lutherans, Presbyterians, and United Presbyterians all have choir meeting in their churches on Saturday evenings.
Some large fish are being caught in Buffalo Creek this spring, and crowds throng its banks every morning, afternoon and evening.
The singing in the Lutheran church under the jurisdiction and leadership of Rev. J. W. Schwartz re-opened on last Thursday evening and will be continued until fall.
Communion services were held at the Methodist church, at Craigsville, on last Sabbath. Many people from Worthington were in attendance at the morning and evening sessions.
The entire Mystery works are once more in full blast, and a superior article of goods in their line is now being manufactured here.
The works run day and night, employing two sets of hands.
Robert Ross has taken, and has for sale, some fine stereoscopic views of the Buffalo Falls, the Craigsville and Buffalo Woolen Mills, the different town churches, and a number of fine picturesque scenes along Buffalo Creek.
It seems we were wrongly informed when we stated that Mr. George Pfaff would give up the mail route on the first of May. It should have been July. Mr. Pfaff called our attention to the mistake, and we are willing to rectify it. He will continue to run a good hack until the route changes hands.
Miss Sadie and Jennie Claypool, of near Worthington, gave a very pleasant social to a few of their friends, on last Monday evening, which was highly enjoyed buy all present. Misses Annie Summerville and Ella Beck and Messrs. A. C. Summerville, Joseph Shields, and others furnished the music.
The test oil well on the Griffin farm, at McKee�s School House two and one-half miles from this place, upon which work was commenced two weeks ago is going down rapidly, and if the drillers meet with no misfortune in two weeks more the well will be down the desired depth.
Oil men claim that a great oil belt comes down through that section of the country and farmers in the vicinity of the �Wild Cat� are excited and anxious to see what the result of the �tester� will be.
Baseball will boom here in the near future.
Many strangers from all parts of the country, are in attendance at Presbytery this week.
A number of persons from Slate Lick will attend the Worthington Academy.
The efforts made to raise an academy here have been crowned with success, and the spring term will open on next Monday morning. It will be held in the Lutheran lecture room, one of the most suitable and pleasant rooms in this place for school purposes. This school will be quite an addition to Worthington and has the beneficial advantages to both pupils and the community.
The present week has been a pleasant, interesting, and busy one to the Presbyterians in this vicinity caused by meeting of the Presbytery in this place. When it convened in their church on Tuesday afternoon and the roll of ministers was called, it was found that all the leading ones of this county and some from adjoining counties were present. The morning, afternoon, and evening sessions were all largely attended, and much interest was manifested in them by their own and other denominations.
This paper was found in the United Presbyterian Manse by the present Minister of the United Presbyterian church, Rev. Paul Beatty.
I am living at Worthington,
On Shady Avenue,
It is a lovely place to live,
So full of nature true.
The giant trees and great gray rocks
Have stood for centuries,
The deep ravines and rippling streams
All speak of ancient years.
We look right down on Buffalo,
And the grand old Woolen Mills,
And houses nestled closely,
On the sides of the hills.
Oh! Buffalo! That grand old creek,
Winding among the hills,
Where the red man used to shelter
From the cold and winter ills.
With towering hills on either side,
We are sheltered from the storm,
Oh! I love to live in such a place,
Where the works of God are shown.
Written by Mrs. Louisa Lewis and published in Kittanning News Paper when she was a resident of Worthington, PA.
Mrs. Lewis was the grandmother of Mrs. Jack Campbell and Mrs. Rufus Bowser.
May we take this opportunity to offer our sincere thanks to all those who, either financially of otherwise, contributed in making this, our Centennial Celebration, a reality and success. To our advertisers, whose whole-hearted support has helped to create this book, and to the various committees and individuals who helped in any way we offer, again, our sincere thanks.
The Centennial Committee
Carl O. Bowser, Sr.
Carl O. Bowser Sr. �����..Chairman
Mrs. James Hogg ������Co-Chairman
Mrs. Paul Adams �����... Secretary
Mrs. Samuel Craig �����. Treasurer
Mrs. Karl Minteer Mrs. Joseph Trulick Warren Pflugh Carl Lewis Floyd Hall Harry Stroud Shelby Shannon Miss Celesta Weaver Carlton Conley Miss Joanna Barr Mrs. Chapman Marshall Mrs. Charlotte Rummel Mrs. Dale Lewis Roy Crissman Robert Flick Paul Adams Mrs. Charles Cawley Mrs. Richard Collar Mrs. Mark Critchfield John Rearick Mrs. Curtis Kelso Chapman Marshall Harry Bowser Mrs. Wm. McLachlan Frank Walker James Hogg John Steffy Mrs. Blanche Garris John Thompson Mrs. Birdie Johns Mrs. Charles Flick Glenn Graham Walter Tence
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