. BEDFORD COUNTY
The Organization-The Court House-Pillory and Whipping Post-Mutterings of the Revolution-The Convention-The Constitution-The Declaration of Independence-Bedford County Soldiers in the War-Indian Massacres-The Earliest Churches-The Early Roads-The Forts-The Tories-The First Steel Works-The Whiskey Insurrection-President Washington in Bedford-The Old Log School House-Bedford Mineral Springs.
Bedfordcounty was originally a part of county and was taken from it by an Act of Assembly, passed March 9, 1771. It included all the territory lying west of the remainder of said county and west of the Berks county line as fixed in 1752. (See Appendix, notes 1 and 5.) Cumberland
Bedford and Fulton counties are enfolded and traversed by the mountains and hills of the great Appalachian system, with the Allegheny on the west and the Tuscarora on the east, and they embosom many beautiful valleys and little canoe-shaped coves which are peculiar to the zig-zagmountains of central
From the crests of these elevations the scenery is grand beyond description and the views are wide and extensive. The lover of nature can overlook the contiguous counties and gaze far down into
Maryland, Virginiaand . Travelers over the West Virginia United Statesand Europesay that these counties have the finest scenery in the world.
Geologically these counties have the same formations which extend from the Lower or
limestone up to and including the coal measures. The counties are separated by Ray's Hill. Trenton
The early settlement of the territory has already been fully described. It is sufficient, therefore, to say that the Scotch-Irish were the first settlers and that they organized the county. Arthur St. Clair, Bernard Daugherty, James Coulter, William Proctor and George Woods were appointed trustees to purchase a piece of land, in some convenient place in the said town of Bedford, in
trust, and for the use of the inhabitants of said county, and thereon erect a Court House and prison.
The following persons were commissioned by the Governor on the 11th of March, 1771, as Justices of the Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace, etc., to wit: John Fraser, Bernard Daugherty, Arthur St. Clair, William Crawford, James Milligan, Thomas Gist, Dorsey Pentecost, Alexander McKee, William Proctor, Jr., Robert Hanna, William Lochery, John Wilson, Robert Cluggage, William McConnell and George Woods. Arthur St. Clair was commissioned as Prothonotary, etc., and William Proctor, Jr., was commissioned as Sheriff.
The first Court of Quarter Sessions of the county was held at
in the tavern of Henry Wertz on April 16, before William Proctor, Robert Cluggage, Robert Hanna, George Wilson, William Lochery and William McConnell, Esqs., Bedford
Justices of our Lord the King, to hear and determine divers felonies, etc.
The following persons composed the Grand Jury: James Anderson, foreman; Mc-Charles Cessna, Frederick Nawgle, James McCaslin, Thomas Hay, Thomas Kenton, Allen Rose, George Milligan, John Moore, Robert Culbertson, George
Funk, John Huff, Rinard Wolf, Valentine Shadacre, Samuel Drenning, Edward Rose, Samuel Skinner, William Parker, Christopher Miller, Thomas Croyal (Croyle?), Adam Sam, Jacob Fisher, and David Rinard.
The following attorneys were then admitted and sworn: Andrew Ross, Robert
Galbreath, Philip Pendleton, David Sample, James Wilson, David Grier, David
Espy, George Brent, James Borwick and Robert Magaw.
THE FORMATION OF TOWNSHIPS
The Court proceeded to establish townships. The Court of Quarter Sessions of Cumberland county had established townships of Ayr,
Dublin, Bedford, Cumberlandand Colerain out of a portion of the territory subsequently included within county, prior to the formation thereof. The Court affirmed the following new ones: Armstrong, Barree, Brothers' Valley, Hempfield, Bedford Fairfield, Hempfleld, , Pitt, Ross Straver, Spring Hill, Tyrone and Tullyleague. (Note 6, Appendix.) Mt. Pleasant
The first Commissioners were Robert Hanna, Dorsey Pentecost and John Stephenson. The Assessors were James Pollock,
Samuel Miller, Solomon Sheppard, Joseph Beale, James Cavet, and
Richard Wells, Jr.
Under the Act of 1710, the Court is required to recommend to
the Governor suitable persons for license, to keep inns or public
houses. In pursuance of this Act the Court recommended the following
persons, to wit: Margaret Fraser, Jean Woods,
Nawgle, George Funk, John Campbell, James Anderson, Andrew
Bonjonr, Thomas Campbell, John Miller, and Samuel Paxton. At
this time all public officials were required to take the oats of allegiance
to George III, King of England, and to renounce all allegiance
to James the Pretender, son of James II.
THE COURT HOUSE AND GAOL
According to the best and most reliable information obtainable,
this building was erected in the years 1773-1774, on the
northwest corner of the public square, close to the lines of Penn
and Juliana streets and immediately in front of lots Nos. 25 and
26, on which the Lutheran church and parsonage now stand.
The court house and prison were included in one building,
which was erected with a frontage of 65 feet on
39 feet on
Penn street. It was two stories in height, with a high
peaked roof, capped with a tall steeple. The first floor was
mainly used for prison purposes (the largest room being used for
the confinement of unfortunate debtors, as imprisonment for debt
was not abolished until 1842), but a part of it was used by the
jailor for family purposes. The second floor, embracing its entire
extent, was used as a court room. The ceiling was very high,
and was supported by several large circular wooden columns. The
third floor, under the high peaked roof, was divided into several rooms for the use of the grand and petit juries.
A wide, uncovered stairway led from the pavement to an imposing portico, from which a large door opened into the court room. A second wide stairway led from the court room to the jury rooms above. The building was a high, massive, substantial, and imposing limestone structure.
On the north side of the building there was also erected a one-story stone building (16x21 feet), which was used both as an entrance to the jail and for family purposes. About the year 1795 a one-story brick building (39 by 21 feet), with an arched or fireproof ceiling, was erected immediately north of the above mentioned old court house and prison, on the line of
and divided into three offices for the accommodation of the county officials. This entire row of buildings then covered the whole frontage of 120 feet on
A high and thick stone wall enclosed the entire space between the building and the western line of the public square (81x65 feet)-and this enclosure was used as a jail yard for the prisoners.
THE NEW COURT HOUSE
In the fall of 1825 the public authorities deemed it advisable
to erect a new courthouse. The Havlin plan was adopted, and
on the 13th of February, 1826, the Commissioners, Richard Silvers,
Abraham Folch and John Bowser, awarded the contract to
Solomon Filler, to "build the said court house with brick on the
southwest corner of the public square, for the sum of $7,500,"
with Joseph S. Morrison and John Keefe, as sureties.
After the completion of the court house in 1829, in accordance
with the above mentioned contract, and its occupancy by the
several courts and county officials, the Commissioners leased the
two upper floors of the old building for school purposes.
THE NEW JAIL
On the 15th of February, 1836, the
, County Commissioners
Robert Gibson, John Sipes and George James, adopted a plan for
a new jail. On the 11th of March, of the same year, they awarded
the contract to Abraham Kerns for the sum of $7,940, to erect the
same of brick, on lots Nos. 23 and 24, fronting the public square.
On the 10th of February, 1838, the Commissioners sold the
stone in the old jailyard wall to Abraham Kerns for $40.
In the year 1838 the new jail was completed and accepted
by the Commissioners for public use. Proceedings were then commenced
in the court to have the old buildings condemned as a
public nuisance. Judge Black held, in effect, that they were not.
Thereupon the record was removed to the Supreme Court and
that court declared, on June 16, 1846, that they were a nuisance,.
and they were then removed. (See article on file in
Gazette March 1, 1901.)
On February 26, 1773, Westmoreland county was taken from
county and the territory so taken includes the present Bedford
counties of Westmoreland, Fayette,
, and Greene, Washington
parts of Allegheny, Armstrong and Indiana.
PILLORY AND WHIPPING-POST
These were placed in the public square near the court house.
The old English laws, for the punishment of crimes, etc., were a
relic of a barbarous age, were extremely cruel, and were in force
in all the English colonies. These laws imposed public whipping,
or standing in the pillory exposed to public gaze; mutilating of
the body of some offenders by cutting off the ears, burning the
cheeks, and slitting the nose. However, by the third section of the
Act of Assembly of Pennsylvania, 1767, the punishment for horse-
stealing was so far changed and ameliorated that the offender was
to stand in the pillory for one hour and be publicly whipped with
29 lashes. And yet, in 1782, our court records show that two
horse thieves received the following sentences, that "they be
taken, tomorrow morning, to the public whipping post between
the hours of 8 and 10 o'clock, shall receive 29 lashes, to be well
laid on, on their bare backs, and immediately afterwards be
placed in the pillory for one hour and have their ears cut off and
nailed to the pillory, etc."
What induced the court to depart from the penalty provided
by the Act of 1767, which only imposed whipping and standing
in the pillory, and inflicting, in addition thereto, this unusual,
obsolete, cruel, and unwarranted punishment by cutting off the
ears of the defendants, is unknown. But the fact is surprising
that the court should revive a relic of barbarism which had been
abandoned by our laws; the only extenuation is that the Judges
were only laymen. However, it is gratifying to state that by the
Act of 1790 all cruel and unusual punishments for crimes were
changed to terms of imprisonment. William Bradford, Attorney
General in 1794, says: "The severity of our criminal laws is an
exotic plant and not the native growth of
. It has Pennsylvania
been endured but I believe has never been a favorite." As soon
as the Revolution was effected it was made an Article of the Constitution
that the penal laws, as heretofore used, should be reformed;
and this was done by the Acts of 1786 and 1790.
At this time the
was, as were ail Provinceof Pennsylvania
the colonies, in subjection to the British Government, and every
person on taking any official position was required to take the
oath of allegiance to George III. (It may be proper to explain
that James II was driven from his throne and fled to
1688. He had a son James, commonly known as "The Pretender,"
who took the title of James III of
, etc. After the death England
of William and Mary, Anne, daughter of James II, succeeded to
the throne. At her death in 1714 the succession of the Stuart
line ceased and George I, of the
line, succeeded as King Brunswick
. "The Pretender" still claimed the succession, hence England
the clause in the oath of allegiance in reference to him.) Said
oath was accordingly taken by Bernard Daugherty and all other
officials, as follows: "I, Bernard Daugherty, promise and swear
that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to his Majesty,
George III, so help me God, etc."
THE MUTTERINGS OF THE REVOLUTION
The careful reader of the history of the American colonies
will observe that, from the landing of the first colonists at
in 1606' up to the final appeal to arms in 1775, there was in
every colony or province an unceasing struggle between the representatives
of the people and the representatives of prerogative
interests. The general character of the conflict was the same in
all the colonies. The British Government had expended vast
sums of money in her long and mighty wars with France and other
nations and when peace was restored the Government was involved
in a heavy indebtedness.
In order to recoup their vast expenditures and to liquidate
this indebtedness it was necessary to raise the revenue by additional
taxation. The ministry were afraid to increase the taxes
at home and they, therefore, very unwisely and unjustly determined
to raise the required revenue from the American colonies.
This attempt to tax and oppress the colonies without representation
led to patriotic and determined resistance, to the enforcement
of the stamp and tea tax laws. The battle at
on June 17, 1775, electrified the people.
THE ACTION OF
At a conference of the committees for the several counties,
which met in
in July 1776, it was determined to hold Philadelphia
a convention to adopt a constitution. The convention met in
and on September 28, 1776, adopted a constitution Philadelphia
for the state.
The constitution was adopted by the people and went into
immediate effect. Among other things the convention appointed
Justices of the Peace, who were required, before assuming their
functions, each to take an oath of renunciation of the authority
of George III, and of allegiance to the State of
, and Pennsylvania
thereafter the Province should be known as the "State of
The oppression of the colonies by
culminated Great Britain
in the Declaration of Independence by the thirteen colonies on the
4th day of July, 1776. This was followed by the American Revolution,
in which the colonies won their independence and
was compelled to acknowledge it. The Articles of Confederation of the Great Britain were signed on the 1st of July, 1778. United States of America
In May 1776 the Continental Congress declared that it was
"irreconcilable to reason and good conscience that the American
people should take oaths for the support of government under the
and that it was necessary that every kind Great Britain
of authority under the Crown should be suppressed."
The Legislature established a test oath of renunciation of allegiance
to George III and allegiance to the Commonwealth of
The last oath of allegiance to George III was taken by the
Justices at January Sessions, 1776. The rebellion of the colonies
necessarily caused considerable confusion in the business of the
courts and the county. No court was held after January 1776
until 14th October 1777, except a petty session at the public
house of Henry Wertz in
on September 27, 1777. Before Bedford
this, or at this date, the Justices, Attorneys and other officials of
the county had subscribed to the oath required by the constitution.
The transition from the oath of allegiance to King George
III to the oath of allegiance to the
was quick and stupendous in its results. The patriotism
which led the early patriots to renounce their allegiance to King
George III and to pledge it to the
, Commonwealthof Pennsylvania
all within a few days, must have been pure, courageous
and invincible in its character.
In response to a call by Congress for troops from
three gallant companies of riflemen in
Bedfordcounty offered their services, outside the state, to wit: Capt. Robert Cluggage's company in Col. William Thompson's rifle battalion; Capt. Richard Brown's company in Col.
rifle regiment; Capt. Andrew Mann's company Pa.
in Col. Eneas Mackey's 8th regiment. In addition thereto, several
companies of Rangers for the defense of the frontiers and several
companies of Home Guards for local defense were organized in the
county. If space permitted the names of the soldiers would be
given. (Note 7, Appendix).
Captain Cluggage, with his company, marched from
the place of rendezvous for the regiment, to
, where he Boston
joined General Washington's forces on August 8, 1775. They
were engaged in the numerous skirmishes before
and the Boston
Long Islandin July 1776, in which many members were
killed or captured.
Captain Mann, with his company, marched from western
, in midwinter, over the mountains and joined General Pennsylvania
Washington's forces in , where they marched and New Jersey
countermarched with the army through northern
, New Jersey
New Yorkand eastern . It was in the disastrous Pennsylvania
battle of Brandywine and in the action at
. In Germantown
March, 1778, the regiment, including this company, were ordered
to march to
. Here they served under Colonel Broadhead Pittsburg
in the defense of the western frontier, during which they had
many skirmishes with the Indians. On their return to
their term of service having expired, they were honorably discharged.
Captain Brown's company, with the regiment, marched to
Philadelphiaand thence to . This company and Captain New York
Cluggage's company were engaged in the battle of
in August 1776. Lieut. Col. James Piper and Captain Brown were
taken prisoners and carried to
, where Colonel Piper died Canada
and Captain Brown was exchanged after a long captivity. The
three regiments to which these companies belonged did valiant
service during the term of their service and many of the men reenlisted
after their discharge; a few of them served until the last
battle was fought in the south and the war was closed.
MILITARY OFFICERS IN THE1 WAR BEDFORD COUNTY
Captains: Samuel Davidson, Thomas Paxton, Jacob Hendershot,
Thomas Buck, Gideon Black, James Wells, Richard Dunlap,
James Martin, Thomas Blair, John Hamilton, James Gilson,
Abraham Covalt, James Warford, John Shaver, Henry Black, William
Johnson, John Little, Daniel Carpenter, James Anderson,
William Engard, Oliver Drake, Samuel Paxton, Henry Rhoads,
Thomas Smith, William Tissue, John Galloway, Samuel Thompson,
township. The active companies Bedford
were Samuel Davidson's, Thomas Paxton's, Jacob Hendershot's,
Capt. Boyd's Rangers and Samuel Paxton's Rangers.
In 1782 the
company of rangers and the county Bedford
militia occupied stations at Frankstown, head of Dunning's creek,
Fort Piper, Bedford, and along the Juniatain small parties. Several
companies were sent from
Cumberland, Lancasterand York
counties for the defense of
county, as it then formed the Bedford
frontier of these counties.
Many of the citizens took a very active and prominent part
in securing our independence. They were, Colonels George
Woods, David Espy, John Piper, James Piper, Hugh Barclay,
Robert Galbraith, William Parker, George Ashman, and Thomas
Smith; Majors John Cessna, Edward Combs, and Charles Cessna;
Captains Robert Cluggage, Richard Brown, Andrew Mann, James
Francis Moore, Samuel and Thomas Paxton, and Captain Boyd;
Bernard Daugherty, James Martin, William Proctor, James Wells,
John Mellott, Robert Scott and Arthur St. Clair.
INDIAN MASSACRES DURING THE REVOLUTION
During the French-Indian War the Indians were instigated
by the French to carry on a war of savage butchery against the
English settlers, and the infamy of the policy hangs like a dark
cloud of shame over the reputation of France, which only the
"Great White Throne" can recompense. In like manner, during
the Revolution the English instigated the Indians to carry on the
same savage butchery against the colonists, their own kin and
kith, and therefore it involved greater infamy. The only extenuation
that can be offered is that the people of
no part in the matter but it was done by their rulers. The colonies
in the Revolution were not only fighting for their own rights and liberties but also for the people of
I will group the Indian massacres in
county during Bedford
this period. In the year 1777 or '78 a family named Tull resided
on a hill about three miles east of Schellsburg (which is now
called by that name) on the old pack-horse road, near the present
turnpike. The family consisted of the parents, nine daughters
and one son. The Indians at this time were becoming very
troublesome and oftentimes the settlers were compelled to seek
refuge in the fort at Bedford, but this family, regardless of fear,
remained on their improvement. Many of the settlers were notified
that the Indians were committing depredations in the Dunning's Creek settlement.
James Williams, who lived near the present town of
the progenitor of the families of that name now living in
that section, on getting this intelligence fled to
and Fort Bedford
on passing the Tull house notified Mr. Tull of the danger and
advised him to leave with his family at once, but he did not
believe the report and remained. A few days thereafter Mr. Williams,
on his way back to his place saw the roof of Tull's house
on fire, and on looking for the family he found Tull lying in the
garden, scalped, and apparently dying, and near by lay an Indian
paint bag. Being satisfied that the Indians had set the house on
fire and killed Tull, he returned to
On reporting the massacre, an armed force was organized
and, accompanied by Mr. Williams, the next morning they went
to the Tull place where they found the whole family, murdered
and scalped, except one of the small children, who it was thought
had been burned in the house. The mother and an infant were
found near the house. The children were scattered about at
some distance. It is very likely that in trying to escape they
were killed and scalped when overtaken. Their dead and mutilated
bodies were buried near the spot of the massacre.
The place where the cabin stood is about 100 feet southwest
of the junction of the turnpike and township road, in the corner
of a field.
In May 1778 the council informed Congress that "30 persons
have been lately killed in
county." In the same Bedford
month Thomas McKean writes that "the savages have killed and
scalped 11 persons near
." This evidently refers to the Bedford
Tull family and shows that the massacre took place in the spring
of 1778. In 1779 a large number of Dunkards were killed in
Morrison's Cove--30 in one day. They refused to make any
resistance, only saying "God's will be done." In 1780 the Indians
were spread over the entire county.
CAPTAIN PHILIPS' SCOUTS
In that year the savages made an hostile incursion into
on July 16 and surrounded Captain Philips and Woodcock Valley
his company of ten scouts in the house of Fred Heater, cruelly
murdered and scalped all except Philips and his son. He lived
and crossed over Tussey's mountain with ten Williamsburg
men who had joined his company. This company consisted of the
Captain and his son Elijah, aged 14 years, Philip Shelly, Hugh
Shelly, P. Sanders, T. Sanders, Richard Shirley, M. Davis,
Thomas Gatnell, Daniel Kelly and two others, names unknown.
This brave but unfortunate little company of rangers, on
reaching the valley, found that the settlers had nearly all deserted
their homes. The same evening they came to the house of
Heater, and found it was deserted. He had prepared his
house as a fort, with loop holes, but not being able to secure a
sufficient number of men to garrison it, he fled before the Indians.
Here they spent Saturday night. The next morning, Sunday,
July 16, the Indians who had tracked Captain Philips' men
through the muddy roads to the house, surrounded it on all sides.
There was considerable firing between the rangers in the house
and the Indians, who were some seventy yards distant. Several of
the Indians were killed, among them their chief; this made them
wild and demoniac with fury. They then fastened twigs and
leaves to their arrows, and after setting them on fire shot them
with their bows to the roof of the house. In this way the roof
was soon in a blaze.
Captain Philips soon discovered the critical situation in
which they were placed. To remain in the house was to be
burned up; to go out wag to meet instant death. He therefore
proposed to surrender on condition that their lives should be
spared. This was agreed to by the treacherous Indians. After
the surrender they were compelled to give up their arms and permit
themselves to be tied. They were then marched about one-
half mile from the house, where the ten rangers were tied to trees
and basely riddled with bullets and arrows, and afterward scalped.
The lives of Captain Philips and his son were spared because
officers, when prisoners, command a high bounty. They were
and afterward exchanged. Montreal
Jacob Rhoades, Esq., in a letter informs me that the exact
location of the massacre is near the foot of Tussey's mountain, in
Woodcock valley, about three or four miles northwest of Saxton.
Mr. Rhoades, in 1896, fixed a locust post in the place.
In 1781 the Indians murdered four persons and took one
captive near Col. John Piper's house. The same year Captain
Boyd, with eight members of his company of rangers, and twenty
five volunteers under Captain Moore of the militia, had an engagement
with a party of Indians near Frankstown (now in Blair county); eight men-were killed and scalped and two, made their escape to
. Among the killed were Richard Delapt and Benjamin Fraser, of Bedford . Bedford
Christian King, wife and child were taken by the Indians
near the "Three Springs," in Union township. They made their
escape after two or three years. Michael Bowers was killed on
his way to Frankstown.
George Peck settled in Ray's Cove about 1770. He opened
a considerable farm and erected a house, barn, etc. As the settlers
increased in the neighborhood he built a tub mill on a little
run nearby and from that fact it is called Tub-Mill run. He had a
wife and three children and a man named Stem or Sten.
On August 8, 1782, a band of Indians came from the direction
of Fort Lyttleton and crouching and creeping through the
thick underbrush suddenly rent the air with a savage war-whoop.
They then killed and scalped the whole family and burned all
In November 1777 Thomas Smith and George Woods wrote
to President Wharton: "The present situation in the county is
so deplorable that we should be inexcusable if we delayed a
moment in acquainting you with it. An Indian war is now raging
around us in its utmost fury." After enumerating a number of
massacres they proceed, "A day hardly passes without hearing
of some new murder, and if the people continue only a week
longer to fly as they have done for a week past Cumberland
county will be a frontier.
"From Morrison's Cove, Cryle's and Friend's Cove, Dunning's
creek and one-half the Glades (now in Somerset county)
they are fled or fleeing, and for all the defense that can be made
here the Indians may do almost what they please. We keep out
ranging parties in which we go out in turns."
THE EARLY CHURCHES
It is a lamentable fact that nearly all the early immigrants
to the United States were driven from their native lands by the
iron hand of tyranny and persecution. In seeking this free country
in order to secure civil and religious liberty they brought their
religion with them, hence our Courts have held that Christianity
is part and parcel of our common law and that Pennsylvania is a
Christian state. Hence nearly all the early settlers of Bedford
county were either already members of some church in their native
homes or were religiously inclined.
The first settlers were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, German
Reformed, Lutherans and Friends. Afterwards the Mennonites,
Dunkards and other sects came in. For many years before permanent
congregations were organized traveling missionaries visited
the inhabitants and administered the bread of life to them,
according to their several faiths. I can only mention the very
As the Presbyterian people came in 1758 with General
Forbes' army they naturally had the first services. Rev. John
Steel of the Donegal Presbytery visited the Bedford Presbyterians
in 1763 and other ministers afterward, until a regular congregation
was organized a few years thereafter. In 1782 a call was
extended to Rev. Samuel Waugh. During the years from 1774 to
1808 the services were held in the Provincial Court House and
sometimes in private houses. In 1808 a brick church edifice was
(The same facts may be said of the Presbyterian congregation in the Great Cove, now McConnellsburg). The congregation was regularly organized in 1791, the elders being William Gaff, William Alexander, James White and Alexander Alexander. The chief edifice was built a few years thereafter. The members of the German Reformed and Lutheran congregations appear to have united their early churches, not only in
county but throughout the state. As early as 1764 Rev. John Conrad Bucher visited the Reformed church members. Bedford
It is very probable that the congregation was duly organized before 1769. Rev. Henry Giesy served the congregation from 1793 to 1797. What has been said alone in regard to the Reformed church may be said of the Lutheran. In 1785 Rev. Henry Steck became pastor of the Lutheran congregation. About 1770 these two congregations built a log church edifice in
, which was the first in the county, and it was standing in 1814. These same denominations built a church edifice in Friend's Cove in 1798, which stood until 1830. They also erected a log church near Bedford
Schellsburg in 1806, which is now standing and is in good condition.
It is the oldest building in the county.
The Friends came into the county as early as 1794 and the
following year built a church on Dunning's creek.
In 1755 the Provincial road was made from
top of the Allegheny mountain for the transportation of supplies
for General Braddock's army. In 1773 a road was opened from
the town of
to the Youghiogheny river, the 31-mile tree?? Bedford
, through Schellsburg. Fort Pitt
In 1792 a state road was built from Miller's spring in Cumberland
, through Bedford and Schellsburg. Fort Pitt
This road was used until the turnpike was built in 1815. These
roads to the west drew a great many people from Maryland and
Virginia, many of whom settled in this county, but the larger portion
of them traveled these roads to
Ohioand . Kentucky
In 1771 Fort Bedford was in a state of dilapidation and decay.
But still we are told that after 1771, even up to 1782, the
whites were in the habit of running to the fort when alarmed by
the Indians. The explanation is that George Woods, Esq., the
grandfather of the late E. S. Anderson, had a fort made around
his own house--picket fort--and this was generally called Fort
Bedford, and it was into this fort the whites generally ran after
It is quite probable that Fort Lyttleton was in the same state
or worse, therefore it became necessary for the inhabitants of the
county, during the Revolution when the Indians were making
predatory incursions, to build local forts for their own protection.
Several of these forts were built in different parts of the
county. The most notable of these was Fort Piper.
At a very early day, probably during the French-Indian war,
a log fort had been built on Piper's Run. In 1771 Col. John
Piper built a two-story stone house with massive walls near the
same site. During the Revolution it was frequently occupied by
the troops who were stationed there for the protection of then
frontier, and in times of danger the neighbors fled to it for
safety. Some miscreant burned the building in 1896.
Traditions say that local and temporary forts were built at
Martins, Cryles, Dunning's Creek, Morrison's Cove and Cumberland
, 1776 FULTON COUNTY
In 1775-6 a stockade fort was built of heavy logs near the large
spring in the Great Cove, now McConnellsburg. It was torn down
ENSLEY'S FORT, 1778
This was a stockade fort built of heavy logs in 1778, near the bridge at the entrance into
. A considerable cave was opened into the hill. The neighbors gathered here for safety when the Indians were around. The remains of the fort were visible in 1847. Probably there were other forts in the Brush Creek Valley
THE TORIES, 1778
It is said that every household has a skeleton. This sad saying was true of the Confederated Colonies, for when they were struggling in great agony for their liberty and independence a considerable portion of their own household was plotting in 1778 for the success of the British army.
These Tories were generally residents of that part of
county which now lies within the counties of Huntingdon and Blair. I have never read any statement that any Tories resided within the limits of the present Bedford . But countyof Bedford
our records show that some Tories were tried in our courts in 1778.
COUNTY DIVIDED, 1779
county was shorn of the greater part of its Bedford
original territory and on September 20, 1787, Huntingdon county
was taken from
THE FIRST STEEL WORKS, 1791
William McDermitt was the pioneer in the manufacture of
. He was a Scotchman and came to Bedford Pennsylvania
in 1783, having learned the art of steel-making in his native
land. He selected a tract about two miles from Bedford and
named it Caledonia. Here he built a log house, made a large dam,
erected a building for the manufactory. He then began to make
steel very successfully. It was hauled in wagons to the adjoining
counties and they brought back articles of merchandise. This
continued for some nine years and then through endorsements for
friends he became insolvent financially. Then he moved to Bedford
and for a few years kept tavern in "The King's House."
President Washington was his guest in 1794 while in Bedford
with the troops who were on their way to western Pennsylvania
to suppress the Whiskey Insurrection.
Later he moved to Huntingdon county where he engaged in
making charcoal iron, and after a few years he died there. David R. Porter, afterwards Governor of Pennsylvania, who was engaged
in the same business, married his daughter.
THE WHISKEY INSURRECTION IN 1794
Soon after the reduction of Fort Du Quesne in 1758, the
Scotch-Irish settled in the counties of Allegheny, Fayette, Washington
and Westmoreland in Pennsylvania and Wood county, Va.
They had fought bravely all through the Revolutionary War; they
opened farms and raised bountiful crops of grain, but they had no
market for it and, consequently, they had no money. Under
these circumstances they distilled their surplus grain into whiskey
and took it down the Mississippi river to New Orleans, then in
the possession of Spain. The freight to Philadelphia was so high
that no goods could be sent there or received from there. Then
Congress imposed an excess tax on stills and whiskey, which these
people believed was unfair, unjust and unequal.
Many of the inhabitants of these counties, and perhaps a
few others, met at different points and urged a forcible resistance
to the enforcement of the law, and in a few instances there were
riots and blood-shedding. On account of these turbulent proceedings,
President Washington issued a proclamation commanding
"all persons being insurgents to disperse, etc." At the same
time directing the raising of troops "to be held in readiness to
march at a moment's warning." The total troops, 12,900, were
called from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia.
The quota of Pennsylvania was 5,200. The Pennsylvania and New
Jersey troops assembled at Bedford; the President and his cabinet
officers reached here on October 19, 1794, and remained three
days. While here President Washington made his headquarters
in the Old Stone House on Pitt street, opposite the Bedford House.
Gen. Henry Lee of Virginia, Commander-in-Chief, Henry Knox,
Secretary of War, Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury,
and Richard Peters, Judge of the U. S. District Court were also
here. Both President Washington and General Lee issued a number
of orders, etc., at Bedford. The left wing (Maryland and
Virginia troops), marched from Fort Cumberland and the right
wing (Pennsylvania and New Jersey troops), from Bedford towards
Pittsburg. However, before the troops reached there the
people in insurrection dispersed, and the President issued a proclamation
of pardon to all parties except those charged with offences.
In August 1795 general pardons were granted. Thus
happily terminated this first insurrection, which threatened the
very stability of the Federal Government.
The quota of Pennsylvania troops in Division III, Maj. Gen.
Jerome, 1st brigade, Brig. Gen. Chambers, was: Franklin county
421, Cumberland county 456, Bedford county 331, total 1,208.
The Pennsylvania and New Jersey troops returned via Ligonier,
Bedford, Fort Lyttleton, Strasburg, Shippensburg and Carlisle.
In 1795 Somerset county was formed out of the western part
In 1795 the old log school-house, supposed to be the first in
the county, was built in Bedford.
BEDFORD MINERAL SPRINGS
The land on which these springs flow was taken up by Josiah
Shoenfelt on Shover's run in 1767. He conveyed the same to
Frederick Naugle in 1772. I am of the opinion from the records
that the stone mill was built by Frederick Naugle about 1797, for
in 1798 the tract of land was sold by Sheriff Bonnett to Robert
Spencer, presumably for the debt in erecting the mill. A few
months thereafter Spencer sold the same to Dr. John Anderson.
In 1796 Nicholas Shauffler discovered the mineral springs.
Dr. Anderson then made some improvements. He erected a bathhouse
and one or more boarding houses. In 1816 he sold the two
mineral springs on the east bank of Shover's run and the sulphur
spring in the mill dam, together with the bath-house, the walks
and certain adjacent land to the managers of the Bedford Mineral
Spring Company, reserving the boarding house and all lands not
granted. The managers were Dr. John Anderson, Jonathan
Walker, William Watson, Josiah M. Espy and Samuel Riddle.
This company made considerable improvements, and the several
subsequent companies made still -greater and more costly ones.
Mr. Samuel Bancroft has so greatly and extensively Improved
the buildings and grounds that today there is no more superb,
comfortable and delightful watering place in the United States.
They have been patronized by Presidents of the United States,
Governors of many states, United States Senators and Congressmen
innumerable, cabinet officers, generals of the army, admirals
and commodores of the navy. In fact the public men of many
states, in all callings, with the most beautiful and accomplished
ladies of the country have met here time and time again; and
today as never before do they pay their annual visits.
1850 TO 1858
Iron and Coal-Bedford Gazette-Bedford Academy-War With
Great Britain-Allegheny Bank-Turnpikes-Taverns
Road Wagons-Stage Coaches-Way Bill-Cattle Drovers-
Bedford Union Sunday School--Old Militia System-Classical
and' Military Academy-Education-The Old School System-
The New School System-Imprisonment for Debt-Property
Relations of Husband and Wife-Execution of Rice-Support
and Employment of the Poor-Presidential Visits:
George Washington, William Henry Harrison, James K.
Polk, James Buchanan-The Mexican War-Fulton County-
IRON AND COAL
The first furnace and forge in Bedford county was built by
William Lane of Lancaster in 1800. In the early days charcoal
was used exclusively in the manufacture of iron, but after 1840 it
was gradually supplanted by coke or anthracite coal, so that today
there is not a single charcoal furnace in the state.
In 1850 $212,000 were invested in the industry in this
county, 427 hands were employed and the iron produced amounted
IRON ESTABLISHMENTS IN
1850 COUNTY IN
Bloomfield furnace, Middle Woodbury, John W. Duncan..
Lemnos furnace, Hopewell, John King & Company.
Lemnos forge, Hopewell, John King & Company.
Bedford forge, Hopewell, John King & Company.
Bedford foundry, Bedford, Michael Bannon.
Keggy's foundry, Woodbury, Snowden & Blake.
West Providencefoundry, Bloody Run, George Baughman.
The first coal mined in the country was by Samuel Riddle
soon after 1800. The early settlers on the Broad Top mountain
knew coal was hidden in its bowels but they scarcely disturbed it.
He laid out the town of Riddlesburg about the same time and
advertised in the Bedford Gazette in 1807 that the coal was for
sale. (Note 8, Appendix).
It is not known certainly when arks were first used on the
Juniata for floating the products of the county to market, but it
is very probable that they were first used by Samuel Riddle and
William Lane to send their coal and iron down the river. In
course of time the farmers began to use the same method of
transportation. After the completion of the Pennsylvania canal
in 1831 a great deal of iron, coal, grain; etc., was shipped from
this county to it. The arks were small boats, covered securely,
and in high stages of the water they were floated down the Juniata
by competent boatmen.
THE BEDFORD GAZETTE
The Bedford Gazette was founded on September 21, 1805, by
Charles McDowell, who was born in Belfast, Ireland, September
26, 1780 and came to the
in 1793. He settled at United States
Lancaster, where he remained until 1803 and published a literary
paper entitled "The Hive." He then determined to go westward
and, with a small, portable printing press, a modest supply of
type and a number of copies of "The Hive" on a wagon, he reached
Bedford at the time that a bitter gubernatorial contest was raging
between Governor Thomas McKean and Simon Snyder. The
McKean party engaged him to print political documents for the
campaign. He yielded to their solicitation and stopped on his
journey. After his temporary employment was ended he concluded
to establish a newspaper in Bedford, as at that time there
was none in the county.
Now The Gazette is more than a century old, yet its senility
is as virile as it was in its youthful days, for this fact was clearly
shown by the large and magnificent centennial edition of The
Gazette in September last.
THE BEDFORD ACADEMY
It was in operation July 4, 1809, and in 1810 the Legislature
granted a charter and made an appropriation of $2,000 for the
building and purchasing apparatus. The building was erected on
lot 49 on
West Penn street. The teachers, so far ascertainable,
were Rev. Dr. James R. Wilson, from 1808 to 1815; Judge Alexander Thompson, 1815-16; Rev. J. Chamberlain, 1812-22, and
Rev. Alexander Kinmont. Prof. Samuel Brown had charge of the
English department from 1821 to 1827; in the latter year he
purchased the building and continued the school for many years.
The academy, considering the early period, was an excellent
one and nearly all the young men of the county received their
rudimentary education within its classic walls. Among these were:
J. E. Barclay, Francis B. Barclay, Samuel M. Barclay, Alex. L.
Russell, Alexander King, E. L. Anderson, George W. Anderson,
William H. Watson, William Yeager, James Henry, William Van
Lear, Robert S. Walker, D. W. Scott, William Moore, John Morrison,
and John S. Schell. Many of these young men arose to
eminence in the profession of the law, in medicine or in business.
Robert S. Walker became a United States Senator from Mississippi
and Secretary of the Treasury.
After repeated violations of our rights and property by the
British Government, on July 12, 1812, Congress declared war
against it and voted to raise 25,000 enlisted men, 5,000 volunteers
and 100,000 militia. The quota of Pennsylvania was 14,000
Bedford county furnished three companies, commanded, respectively,
by Captains Nicholas Beckwith, Solomon Sparks and
Hugh Gibson. These three companies belonged to the 12th Division
of the Pennsylvania Militia. The Division officers were
Alexander Ogle of Somerset, Maj. Gen.; Jacob Saylor and John
Bedfordcounty, Brig. Gens.; George Graham of Somersetcounty and Andrew Mann of county, Brigade, inspectors. Bedford
Captain Beckwith's company served under Col. William
Piper of Bedford, Second Brigade, commanded by Brig. Gen.
Tannehill. All three companies marched to Black Rock, etc.
They served until they were honorably discharged.
"THE TRUE AMERICAN"
The True American was founded by Thomas R. Gettys in
1813, and in 1817 it was merged into "The Democratic Inquirer,"
and is now "The Bedford Inquirer."
THE ALLEGHENY BANK OF
This bank was incorporated by an Act of Assembly passed
April 21, 1814, with a capital stock of 2,000 shares of the par
value of $50 each, or $100,000, with authority to issue bank notes
above $5. It appears that the counties of the state were divided
into 27 bank districts, and that Bedford, Somerset and Cambria
counties constituted one district, with one bank "The Allegheny
Bank of Pennsylvania," which was to be located at Bedford.
The Legislature was remarkably chary both in regard to the
length of the charter and the amount of its capital. The charter
was only for 11 years and that necessitated a renewal in 1822,
and the debt of the bank was limited to double the capital stock.
This caution and conservatism compares favorably with the perpetual
franchise and huge capitalization now granted to gigantic
Owing to some unforeseen cause, the bank was forced to close
its doors, September 21, 1832, and make an assignment of all its
assets to William Hartley of
, a gentleman of large Mt. Dallas
means and of fine business capacity. He came forward promptly
and creditably, purchased the assets of the bank, and assumed and
paid all its liabilities, so that not a depositor or the holders of
the bank notes lost one dollar.
The provincial and township roads were amply sufficient for
the wants of the early settlers but, as the county became more
thickly settled and developed, the necessity for better roads was
made apparent. In consequence of this necessity the Legislature
began to take an active interest in the construction of turnpikes.
On April 9, 1792, the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike
Road Company was incorporated. On March 6, 1804, the Lancaster,
Elizabeth and Middletown Turnpike Road Company was
incorporated, and in 1807 there were three turnpikes in operation
between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. On February 24, 1806,
the Harrisburg and Pittsburg Turnpike Road Company was incorporated,
but nothing was done under this act. However, under
the act of March 8, 1815, which divided the road into five different
sections, to wit: The Harrisburg, Carlisle and Chambersburg;
the Chambersburg and Bedford; the Bedford and Stoyestown; the
Stoyestown and Greensburg, and the Greensburg and Pittsburg
Turnpike companies; these several roads were soon built. The
inhabitants who dwelt along the lines of these several roads were
greatly interested in their construction and they contributed very
largely to the work. The state also subscribed liberally to the
stock of the companies. On the completion of 'these roads an immense
and lucrative commerce immediately sprung into existence
between Philadelphia and Baltimore in the east, and Pittsburg and
Wheeling in the west. A considerable local trade also arose
among the people living along the roads.
The Bedford and Somerset Turnpike Road Company was incorporated
on March 16, 1816. It made a connection with the
Bedford and Stoyestown road four miles west of Bedford which
has since been called the "Forks." The road was generally called
the "Glade Road" by reason of passing through the glade lands of
Somerset county. These roads soon became the great arteries of
commerce between the above named cities and the country
through which they passed. The passenger and freight business
increased so rapidly that several stage coach lines for the conveyance
of travellers and hundreds of wagons for the transportation
of freight became necessary. And these were forthcoming in
the Troy and Concord coaches and in the Conestoga wagons.
The National Road act was enacted by Congress, March 29,
1806. On August 1, 1818, the first stage coach line left Cumberland
carrying the United States mail to Wheeling, over the
incorporated road. In December 1820 the road was completed
from Cumberland to Wheeling, and in 1844, when
the Baltimore and Ohio railroad was completed as far west
as Cumberland, the business of the turnpike was greatly increased
but at the time of the completion of the railroad to Wheeling in
December 1852 the business of the turnpike suddenly and rapidly
The great increase in both the passenger and freight business
created a demand for a great many taverns, and consequently they
sprung up in great numbers on the roads, scarcely a mile apart
and two or three in each village. But it can be said of these
tavern keepers that they kept their houses in first-class order.
The beds were clean and good and their tables were excellent, in
fact many of the taverns became famous for their excellency in
every way. The landlords drove a large business and generally
became well off. They were the bankers of the period for the
country people and afforded them a good and, in fact, the only
market they had for the sale of their farm products. When the
turnpikes were made the tavern keepers, or landlords, were the
principal subscribers to the stock of the companies and, consequently
to a great extent, they controlled the location of the
roads-and hence the steep grades and the crookedness of the
roads. Many of the tavern keepers had erected their buildings
on the line of the old state road and when the turnpikes were
located their influence caused them to pass near their respective
THE ROAD WAGONS
The wagons which were used in hauling freight were built
large, strong and heavy, with very broad-tired wheels with a
capacity to carry 100,000 pounds of freight. They were covered
with white canvass in order to protect the merchandise. These
wagons as early as 1760 were called "Conestoga wagons" for the
reason that they were built on Conestoga creek in Lancaster
county, and the large and powerful horses which hauled them
were first obtained there. They were extensively used outside of
the state in the south and West, and making regular trips they
soon superseded pack horses. In after years they were also displaced
by canal boats and railroad cars. The first load of merchandise
taken over the Allegheny mountain was hauled in 1789
from Hagerstown, Md., to Brownsville, Pa., a distance of 140
miles, by John Hayden at three dollars per 100 pounds. The round
trip took one month.
On the western plains these wagons were known as "prairie
schooners." A trough long enough to feed six horses was hung
on the rear end of the wagon. When feeding time arrived the
trough was fastened to the tongue of the wagon, the horses were
unhitched and tied to the trough and fed. The harness used on
the horses were very large and heavy. The back bands were
fifteen inches and hip straps ten inches in width. Heavy housings
covered the horses shoulders down to the end of the harness. The
traces were iron chains with short, thick links. The drivers carried
narrow mattresses with blankets and a pillow which, when
not in use, were rolled up and securely strapped and placed in
the trough at the rear end of the wagon. At night in the winter
time these beds were opened and spread on the floor before a
large wood fire in the offices and bar-rooms where the wagoners
It is said that Casper Statler's old tavern on the state road on
the top of the Allegheny mountain had a very large chimney with
a fire place twelve feet in width and immense logs of that length
were hauled into the room by a horse (coming in a large door on
one side of the house and going out at the door on the other side)
and rolled on the fire. As many as thirty or forty persons would
frequently sleep on the floor before this huge fire place.
I have frequently seen as many as ten of these teams in line
driving up into the wagon yard in front of the tavern and ranging
them in order. The great number of these teams with the general
increase of travel gave a great impetus to the tavern business.
The teams very rarely made more than twelve miles a day. The
drivers had a very hard time driving during the old-fashioned
winter weather when the snow fell over a foot in depth and drifted
from four to six feet high along the road. I have seen as many
as ten of these wagoners each with a shovel shoveling a passageway
through the snow drifts between the Willows and the Narrows
and they were oftentimes not able to go more than two
miles in a day.
As a general rule the wagoners owned the wagons and teams
which they drove, many of them having considerable means. Only
occasionally they hired teamsters. As a class they were honest,
industrious and frugal. Many of them were farmers and after the
railroads destroyed their business, with true American spirit they
engaged in other pursuits. Many of these wagoners took great
pride in their teams and when one of them had a specially fine
large and strong team of horses he had a string of bells mounted
on the collar and harness of each horse in order to draw attention
to it. But it was a custom when a bell team was unable to
pull the load up a mountain and another team came along without
bells that was able to do it the bells were forthwith handed
over to the successful team. In this way George Smouse with a
Bedford county team of four horses pulled the load of a bell team
of six horses which had stalled on the mountainside and the bells
were given to his team. Some of these old wagoners were very
jovial and imaginative and often told very big stories. An old
Bedford county wagoner often told, so often that he believed it,
that when he was loading his wagon with merchandise in Baltimore
he carried a three-bushel bag of shot from the store to his
wagon and that while doing so he sank knee deep into the pavement.
These teamsters hauled freight from
to Pittsburg and Wheeling and oftentimes into Ohio, Virginia
and Kentucky. Going east they loaded up with flour, bacon,
cheese, lumber and iron or with whatever freight that was offered.
Going west they loaded up with all kinds of-merchandise and other
freight that was offered. Sometimes they went to Georgetown to
load with salt fish. In 1825 the freight was from three to five
cents for 100 pounds. But later it got down to one to two cents
per 100 pounds.
Many of the owners of teams when no freight was offered
purchased a load consisting of groceries, fish, oysters in the shell,
etc., which they retailed on the road. In fact many of them built
up quite a local trade all along the route with the residents.
Philip Weisel of Bedford had a team engaged in hauling Bedford
mineral water to Baltimore up to 1849, and when he could not
get a load back he purchased a load. David Gardner and William
Cossler drove his team. Samuel Barnhart with-a load of 100,000
pounds of freight on his wagon broke through the bridge at the
Narrows many years ago. A Baltimorean thus refers to the old-
time Pennsylvania wagoners: "Many of our older citizens vividly
recall the days when Pennsylvania avenue was almost blocked
with its long line of Conestoga wagons with their sturdy Pennsylvania
horses and their blue-frocked teamsters moving slowly
down to the Hand House, the Golden Horse, the White Swan or
some other of the many inns along Paca, Howard and Eutaw
Every person who has ever driven a horse knows what a
hitching strap or rum strap is but he may not know the origin
of the rum strap. As the old taverns were very close and thirsty
travellers frequently stopped to imbibe a drink of whiskey or
rum he invariably hitched his horse with a leather strap to a convenient
post, standing before the door for that purpose. Passersby
knew that the traveller was in the tavern taking a drink of
rum so the name of rum strap was very appropriately given to the
THE STAGE COACH
The stage coaches were made large and strong with three inside
seats so as to carry comfortably nine passengers inside and
two outside with the driver. They were hauled by four large and L
strong horses. The first coaches put on the road were made at
Troy, N. Y., and at Concord, N. H., but after a few years Daniel
Shuck erected a large coach factory on Thomas street in Bedford
and thereafter he made nearly all the coaches for the stage companies.
The coach body was suspended on two arched leathers
springs, supported by iron frames both before and behind. Each
coach had two boots made of iron frames and covered with leather
one in front for carrying the United States mails and one in the
rear for baggage. Oftentimes baggage was carried in the front
boot and also on top of the coach, and frequently passengers
were also carried on top.
I remember that in the year 1841 I rode all night from
Schellsburg to Pittsburg, a distance of 91 miles, on top of the
coach as there was no room inside. The fare was $5 and the
time occupied was 20 hours. In 1838 I rode in a coach from Bedford
to Chambersburg, 55 miles, and there I took the Cumberland
Valley railroad train for Philadelphia. In the same year I rode in
a coach from Baltimore to Bedford. We left Baltimore after
breakfast and took supper at McClellan's hotel at Gettysburg
where we met a committee of the Legislature who were investigating
the building of the Gettysburg railroad over South mountain,
then known as "Thad. Stevens' tape worm." The committee,
I think, reported that the road commenced nowhere and ended
in the woods. We reached Bedford the next afternoon. The time
occupied was about 28 hours.
In 1789 a mail route was established between Philadelphia
and Pittsburg, providing a delivery once in two weeks. On August
1, 1804, the first through line of coaches from Philadelphia to
Pittsburg was established, and the time occupied in making the
journey was about seven days-the course was through Lancaster,
Harrisburg, Carlisle, Shippensburg, Bedford, Somerset and
When the turnpikes between Philadelphia and Pittsburg were
completed a coach drawn by four horses covered the distance, 303
miles, in 60 hours. In 1828 a daily stage line was established
between these two cities by James Reeside and Samuel R.
Slaymaker. The fare for some time before and after 1830 was
from $18 to $22.
The pioneer stage proprietor on these roads between Philadelphia
and Pittsburg for carrying the United States mails and
passengers was James Reeside He was the second son of
Edward Reeside and Janet Alexander, his wife, and was
born near Parsley, in Scotland. When an infant he was taken
to Baltimore county, Md., in 1789. Previous to the war of 1812
he was engaged in hauling merchandise from Baltimore and Philadelphia
and on through to Columbus, O. Pittsburg
STAGE COACH LINE IN 1826
An old record shows that a stage coach line was in operation
between Philadelphia, Baltimore and Pittsburg, and the stage
office was in the Exchange Hotel, on northwest corner of Pitt and
Richard streets, kept by Henry Leader,as early as 1826. On December
31, 1830, James Reeside and Samuel R. Slaymaker established
the Good Intent fast mail line, daily between Philadelphia and
Pittsburg to run through in three days, fare $12. John Piper
was agent for the company at Bedford, In 1831 these parties also
established a line of coaches between Philadelphia and Pittsburg
through Bedford and Somerset on the same time and at the same
fare. Presumably the Somerset line connected with the above
first mentioned line at Bedford. These parties sold these two
lines of coaches about 1833-34 to Jacob Peters, ZebaDurkee of
Philadelphia, and Thomas Lindsay, William Lewis, William Win-
dell, George Vance and Samuel R. Slaymaker.
Some six months before the completion of the Cumberland
Valley railroad to Chambersburg, Col. D. O. Gehr and Company
established the "People's Stage Line" between Philadelphia and
Pittsburg-fare $12. In a few years this line was withdrawn and
D. O. Gehr entered into the Good Intent line until the mail was
given to the Cumberland Valley Railroad Company to Pittsburg,
called the "Opposition Swift Sure line"--fare $12.
In 1835 or 36 William Colder of
, D. O. Gehr of Harrisburg
Chambersburg and Captain Linhart of Philadelphia established
a line of coaches from Baltimore to Pittsburg-fare $8, time 48
hours. The fare has only been reduced one dollar in fifty years.
The competition was so great at one time between these
stage lines that it was said the Good Intent line carried passengers
free and that the Opposition line paid passengers for riding-
this of course was a mere story but it illustrated the effect of the
competition in a great reduction in the fare. The distance over
the road was divided as nearly as possible with ten-mile drives.
Each team was required to pass over this distance and back each
day, making the daily trip about twenty miles. The teams averaged
from four to five miles an hour. The drivers were provided
with bugles or tin horns and it was customary to blow these on-
their entrance into Bedford. Oftentimes I have seen the opposition
teams coming into town abreast on a full run, meantime the
sound of the bugles or horns intensifying the excitement and
attracting and ever-ubiquitous urchins.
The method of collecting the stage fare and parcel charges
was in this way: The stage companies used large way bills with
printed headings and every landlord or agent was required on the
receipt of passengers, fares or parcel charges to enter the same on
the way-bill with the name of the person, the amount received,
the place of starting, and the place of destination with the date,
and to sign his name thereto. The way-bill was then placed in
a large leather wallet and given to the driver whose duty it was
to hand it to the landlord at the next stopping place. Like entries
were made whenever and wherever any passengers engaged seats
in the coach and then the way-bill was handed to the next driver
and so on to the end of the route. These entries on the way-bills
fixed the liabilities of the landlord or agents for the respective
sums received by them, and the drivers were held responsible for
the safe delivery of the way-bills. The stage proprietors held
regular settlements at fixed periods when all moneys were paid
over and all bills were paid off.
The opening of the main line of state improvements in 1834
diverted the travel from the stage lines during the summer seasons
but they were not wholly suspended between Philadelphia
and Pittsburg until the opening of the Pennsylvania railroad in
Prior to the construction of railroads, all horses, cattle, sheep
and hogs, taken to the eastern markets, were driven on foot from
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Virginia (now West Virginia)
over the National road, and the turnpikes leading from Wheeling
and Pittsburg to Philadelphia and Baltimore. Many of those
coming through Somerset county crossed over from the Somerset
and Washington turnpike to the Bedford and Stoyestown turnpike,
through Shanksville, Schellsburg and Bedford. The horse drover
would generally have about thirty horses; sometimes these were
tied to a long cable, one on each side, but mostly six horses were
abreast, tied to each other, with a rider on one of them. The cattle,
sheep and hogs were driven in droves, the cattle numbering
about 100, the sheep between 300 and 400, and the hogs about
200. 1 have often seen two droves of horses, six of cattle, three
of sheep and two of hogs passing through
in a single day. Bedford
The horses were driven from 20 to 25 miles a day and the other
animals about ten miles a day. At night the horses were put
securely in stables, the cattle and sheep in pasture fields and the
hogs in enclosed lots. When pasture was scarce hay was hauled
out into the fields and the hogs were given corn. The cattle were
generally very large, many of them weighing 2,000 pounds, and
having very large and wide horns with brass knobs on the ends
to prevent injury when the cattle push each other. In hot and
dry weather the dust arising from the passage of these droves was
stifling and blinding. Oftentimes travellers, on meeting a drove,
if possible would leave the road or go to one side of it.
The passage of these droves brought a considerable quantity
of money to the farmers and tavern keepers. They also brought
with them many noxious weeds, as the white ox-eyed daisy which
now infests many farms. When possible the cattle were taken
along the streams, especially along the Juniata. At the juncture
of Ray's and Sideling Hills they were driven over the "Three
Mountain road" through Strasburg to Shippensburg. Now the
railroads transport all live-stock, under the regulations of the
National Government as to rest, feed and water.
When the occupations of the stage and wagon drivers were
taken away by the railroads they all engaged in some other active
business and their descendants today rank among our most
active, intelligent and upright citizens.
UNION SUNDAY SCHOOL, 1817 BEDFORD
This was the first Sunday school in Bedford county. It was
founded on or about November 27, 1817, by Rev. Jeremiah Chamberlain,
who was commissioned by the General Assembly and
Board of Domestic Missions of the Presbyterian church, to travel
as a missionary in the west and south. He entered upon his mission
in the autumn of 1817. Stopping at Bedford, he organized
this Sunday school. (I am of the opinion that while on this
journey he also helped to establish union Sunday schools in Mc-
Connellsburg and Somerset the same year). The officers of the
school were: Samuel Riddle, president; Rev. Henry Gerhart,
vice president; Dr. John Anderson, Jacob Bonnett and Charles
McDowell, directors; Dr. John H. Hopkins, treasurer; Alexander
Thomas, secretary; Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Garter and Mrs. Riddle,
directresses of the female department. The school was composed
of all denominations then in
, which were the Presbyterian, Bedford
Reformed, Lutheran and Catholic. All the prominent people
in the town, men and women, took part in it. Judge Tod,
afterward a Judge of the Supreme Court, and Judge Thomson,
both Judges of the Court of Common Pleas and members of Congress,
were officers. The school continued in operation as a union
school until 1832, when the German Reformed, Lutheran and
Methodist congregations organized separate schools.
THE OLD MILITIA SYSTEM
Under the old militia law of 1822 all able-bodied men in
the commonwealth between the ages of 18 and 45 were enrolled,
and required to do military duty two days in every year. After
their enrollment they were divided into companies, battalions,
regiments, brigades and divisions. The officers were elected at
fixed periods. Under the above mentioned act Bedford, Somerset
and Cambria counties constituted the twelfth division and Bedford
county the first brigade.
The law fixed two days for the militia to assemble and parade.
The first muster day was in May when all the enrolled militia
were required to attend at designated places, under a fine of one
dollar. The next, and great parade day was in June when the
several brigades met at their appointed places.
The Bedford county brigade assembled on the commons, then
bounded by John, Bedford and East streets and the alley south of
Pitt street which, with lots and streets, contained about eight
acres. This was review day, when the companies, battalions and
regiments were commanded by regimental officers who were
decked in gaudy uniforms with chapeaus and feathers, and
mounted on splendidly caparisoned horses. On this day all the
enrolled militia were inspected by a brigade inspector. I remember
seeing Acting Brigade Inspectors Samuel Davidson and Daniel
Washabaugh making their inspections many times. On both parade
days the enrolled militia came generally armed with canes, broom
sticks, corn stalks, bean poles, etc., with a few old flint-lock
muskets, oftentimes having a rooster or a coon tied to the tops of
On the first day the militia were formed into company lines as well as the officers knew how, the roll was called and the gallant militia were dismissed for that day. The last mentioned day was kept as a general holiday by the public. Men, women and
children assembled in great crowds in the parade ground. The
shop keepers in Bedford erected a number of tents or booths on
the ground along Bedford street and the lot on which the Presbyterian
manse now stands, where they sold cakes, pies, sandwiches,
fruit, nuts with other eatables with small beer and cider.
When the brigade was duly formed in line, they marched with
drum and fife over the parade ground. The arms of the militia
were then carefully inspected by the brigade inspector in gay
uniform riding on horse back. Then there was a recess. In the
afternoon the drum was beaten, the companies were formed, the
rolls were called, after which the entire brigade marched through
the streets of Bedford and were then dismissed. On both parade
days, on dismissal the militia made a rush for the eatables.
In some places burlesque parades were made in which the
militia and their officers were represented in grossly ridiculous
characters. Finally the whole system became so farcical that the
people demanded its repeal. Consequently it was repealed by the
act of April 8, 1842.
But under the original act provision was made for the formation
and regulation of volunteer companies, properly uniformed
and equipped with guns, etc. So far as these uniformed volunteer
companies and their officers, majors, colonels, generals and
brigade inspectors were concerned they were all right and it must
have been a matter of mortification to them to parade at the same
places and on the same days with the motley crowd of ununiformed
The following military companies were in existence in 1832,
to wit: The Bedford Blues, captain, T. B. McElwee; the Bedford
Fencibles, captain, William Fletcher; the Schellsburg Guards, Captain
Rock, and the Lafayette Guards, of McConnellsburg. These
four companies together with the Washington Guards, Captain
Walker, of Fannettsburg, county, were in attendance at Franklin
the encampment in Bedford on the 17th and 19th of October,
1832. The camp was under the command of General Dunn, of
Franklin county, and Col. James Burns and Maj. Samuel M. Barclay,
of Bedford county. When the President issued his proclamation
against the nullification proceedings of South Carolina the
Bedford Blues, Captain McElwee, offered their services in January
1833 to the President. The Friend's Cove Guards, captain, George
Speaker, paraded in Rainsburg on February 22, 1833.
On September 27, 1833, a meeting was held in Bedford to
organize the Washington Artillery in place of the Bedford Fendibles
whose term was about to expire. On April 17, 1849, an act
was passed to revise the militia system and provide for the training
of such only as shall be uniformed and properly armed with
guns. This act repealed all former laws and supplements on the
subject of the militia. Subsequent legislation provided for the
establishing of the present National Guards. During the existence
of the old militia system military titles were as abundant as
BEDFORDCLASSICAL AND MILITARY ACADEMY
In 1833 Rev. Baynard R. Hall of Indiana established the
above named academy in Bedford. Within one year it was in a
flourishing condition, having upwards of one hundred boys and
girls, a number of whom were from different parts of Pennsylvania,
New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Ohio and a few from
New Orleansand . Canada
The boys were required to wear a uniform and parade at 6
a. m., and carried wooden muskets of the regulation size and
color, with bored barrels, ramrod, imitation iron locks, bands
etc. They were made to resemble the army muskets in every
particular. Among the students was Rev. Dr. John T. Duffield,
Professor of Mathematics in
. Princeton College
THE OLD SCHOOL SYSTEM
It is the pride of Pennsylvania that the people have always
manifested great interest in the education of the children, and
especially poor children, free of charge. The state constitution
adopted in 1790, only seven years after the acknowledgment of
our independence as a nation, contained this clause: "The Legislature
shall, as conveniently may be, provide by law for the establishment
of schools throughout the state, in such manner that the
poor may be taught gratis." Owing to the sparseness of the
population, and their inability to bear heavy taxation, and the
necessity of the state government to aid in the building of state
roads, the construction of turnpikes and granting aid to county
academies, charitable and benevolent institutions, it was found
impossible to carry out the above mandatory clause of the constitution
for many years.
But during the inability of the state to aid in this great work,
the people, according to their means, built school houses and
employed teachers to instruct their children. These school houses
were generally built of logs, very small, without regard to ventilation
or comfort of the children, and with no pretense of architectural
style. But they were the best that the means of the people
permitted. As the houses of the settlers were very widely
scattered, the school houses, from necessity, were often remote
from the houses and the children were compelled to walk great
distances in the winter season, through snow, slush and mud.
Outside of the towns the school masters, as they were called,
were mostly itinerants. They traveled through the country districts
until they succeeded in securing a school. The tuition was
fixed at a certain sum for each scholar per month, and was paid
by the parents. Some of these teachers were very fine scholars,
and for that reason they were given the preference in the towns.
While others were indifferent scholars and some of them intemperate-
those of course had great difficulty in obtaining schools.
Only the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic were
taught-but occasionally a duly qualified teacher taught some of
the higher branches.
But in the last analysis of the case the people did the best in
all things that they were able to do and no more could reasonably
be expected of them. In writing this article the following
incident arose in my mind: Many years ago I drove thirty-five
miles, in March through Walker county, Alabama, and in that
entire distance I saw only three houses that had glass windows.
All the other houses were small log houses, without glass and
instead thereof, pieces of burlap for windows. Presently I came
to a log church with log seats, with places for doors and windows
sawed out but having neither door nor window sash. I remarked
to the gentleman who was with me, "your people do not take
proper care of the house of God." He sorrowfully replied, "Our
people are very poor and they take the same care of the church
that they are able to take of their houses and no more ought to
be expected of them." My prayer was that God would help them
not only to repair the church, but also their homes. Now, this
was about the condition of our early settlers in regard to their
To return to the subject. My recollection of a country school
in the years gone by is this: The school master sat upon a high
stool on an elevated platform, in appearance the very embodiment
of all knowledge and all wisdom, overlooking the whole
school. He usually held a long rod in one hand as an intimidation
to unruly boys and very frequently he used it on their backs
with considerable animation.
He was absolutely without any discriminating faculty, or
perhaps he thought all boys deserved to be whipped, for when
several in a class were noisy he usually punished the whole class.
And when he punished the wrong boy, who protested his innocence,
the teacher with a suave smile would reply, "it is all right
for after while you will deserve a whipping." From my observation
and experience I am of the opinion that those old-fashioned
teachers did not like boys and took great pleasure in practicing
athletics on their innocent backs. But boys will learn things, if
not their lessons, so when a castigation was expected their slates
were very adroitly slipped up their backs to make them armor
proof-and I never knew a slate to be broken in one of these
In recitation a class would march up before the master of
the birch and often times show how much they didn't know. Bad
boys were sometimes kept in school after it was dismissed and
at other times were made to stand on one leg for a given time, or
perhaps wear a fool's cap; but after all, when the smarting of the
birch ceased, the boys loved their old teacher.
The girls-well, I quite forgot them-I guess the teacher's
tender heart would not permit him to punish them. I will now
bid good-by to the old fossilized school system.
THE NEW SCHOOL SYSTEM
In 1834 the Legislature enacted a law providing for an entire
new school system, leaving it optional with the respective school
districts in the commonwealth to adopt it if they saw proper.
Nearly all the townships in Bedford county adopted the system
within a few years. However, there were a few townships
that refused to do so. But by the act of April 11, 1848, the common
school system was taken and declared to be adopted in
every township in the commonwealth.
Only one township in the county remained refractory after
the adoption above mentioned and it only yielded to the court in
At this date the whole system Is in fine working order throughout the county under the wise, capable and efficient management of County Superintendent J. Anson Wright.
The constitution of 1873 required the Legislature to appropriate
at least $1,000,000 each year for the support of the schools.
IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT
Up to July 12, 1842, a debtor was liable to be arrested and
imprisoned for any debt which he owed, and the only way he
could get out of jail was to pay the debt if he had the means, if
not, he could only be discharged under the insolvent laws of the
state, after three months of imprisonment, by surrendering all
the property he owned to his creditors. But while he was in
prison his creditors were liable to pay the charges of his confinement.
However, by the act above mentioned, imprisonment for
debt was wholly abolished except in a few specific cases not
founded on contract. Thus the advancement of civilization and
Christianity with the stroke of a pen, wiped out forever this relic
THE PROPERTY RELATIONS OF HUSBAND AND WIFE
Under the old marital laws the very moment a woman married
all her property, real and personal, became vested in her
husband-she could own nothing in her own right. But at the
same time in case the wife was indebted at the time of her marriage
her husband became liable for all her debts. Now, however,
under the benign influences of the same causes which operated
in favor of debtors, as mentioned above, married women have
been granted relief. They can now own and dispose of their own
property at will, and it is no longer the property of her husband;
and on the other hand the husband is no longer liable for his
wife's debts contracted before marriage.
EXECUTION OF JAMES RICE
On August 25, 1841, James Rice murdered James McBurney
on Ray's Hill, now in Fulton county, and September 2, 1842, he
was executed in the jail yard in Bedford.
Bedford county was organized in 1771 and, up to the year
1907, this Is the only execution, in accordance with the laws of
the commonwealth, in the county. But perhaps it should not have
been the only one., Between an improper sympathy and the leniency
of the court, sometimes murderers escape the punishment
due their crimes.
THE HOUSE FOR THE SUPPORT AND EMPLOYMENT OF THE
Pope has well said, "Man's inhumanity to man makes countless
millions mourn." But thank God, while this may be true to
a limited extent, it is no longer general for through the tender
and benign influence of the Christian religion the condition of
the whole civilized world has been greatly ameliorated. Hospitals,
sanitariums, almshouses and homes have been provided for the
poor, the sick, the blind, and the helpless.
Neither education nor civilization, alone or conjoined, could
have touched the sorrow and suffering world with such love and
tenderness as Christian hands. Therefore, I take great pride, as
well as unspeakable pleasure, in the fact that the good Christian
people of my native county, at a very early date, provided a home
for our poor and unfortunate people, where they were tenderly
This house was provided in 1842. Previous to that time, under
the act of June 13, 1836, the overseers of the several boroughs
and townships were authorized to contract for house or lodging,
and employing the poor, with such persons as they might-deem
proper, etc. Under this law the poor were generally placed in
charge of the lowest bidder, without proper regard for the comfort
and welfare of the poor and, in many instances, the lives of these
poor, unfortunate people were miserable and wretched. Thanks
to a merciful God that the system has been abolished forever.
And so long as slimy and corrupt politicians are prevented from
touching the new home with their fingers, the poor will be well
The directors and steward should never be chosen or selected
for political servility but solely because they are good, honest,
capable, and Christian men. The qualification for a competent
steward should be experience, as well as the cardinal virtues. The
term "Poor House" is not sanctioned by law and it is repulsive
to every tender heart, and it is especially harsh-sounding to the
poor inmates. Let the Legislature change the name to "The
Bedford County Home." The tickets for voters should be made
to conform to the law.
PRESIDENTIAL VISITS TO BEDFORD
Five Presidents of the United States have been in Bedford at
different times and I have met all except George Washington and
it was not my fault that I failed to see him for he came too soon
for me. Washington came to Bedford during the French-Indian
war in 1758 as senior colonel of the Virginia regiments, Colonel
Byrd commanding the other. He remained here probably two
weeks when he marched with General Forbes' army to Du Quesne.
His second visit was on October 19, 1794. He came via Cumberland,
Md., where he had reviewed the Virginia and Maryland
troops there assembled. He was accompanied by four dragoons
and Henry Knox, Secretary of War, Alexander Hamilton, Secretary
of the Treasury, and Richard Peters, Judge of the United States
District Court. Governor Mifflin also came with him. On his arrival
he was saluted with fifteen guns. Here he reviewed the
Pennsylvania and New Jersey troops. All these troops numbering
13,000 were under the command of Gen. Henry Lee, of Virginia,
father of Robert E. Lee, on their way to suppress the
Whiskey Insurrection in western Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Washington remained here two days, having his headquarters In
the Espy building opposite the Bedford House. He returned to
Philadelphia, stopping over night with William Hartley at Mt.
Dallas. He proceeded from thence through Bloody Run by the
old Sprout tavern, the Three Mountain state road, through Fort
Lyttleton, Burnt Cabins, Fannettsburg, Shippensburg and Carlisle.
There were three memorable presidential campaigns-1840,
1844 and 1848-which I remember very distinctly. In the first
and last of these campaigns I had the pleasure and honor of
shaking hands with Gen. William H. Harrison and Gen. Zachary
Taylor, who were the Whig presidential candidates for the years
1840 and 1848 respectively.
GENERAL HARRISON, 1840
In the campaign of 1840 Gen. William H. Harrison, of Virginia,
the Whig candidate for the presidency, passed through Bedford
on his way to Pittsburg. He was cordially received by the
citizens of Bedford generally. This campaign was the most wonderful
and exciting that I ever witnessed. It was attended with
all kinds of spectacular exhibitions which were successfully designed
to captivate the popular eye. The Whig party in Bedford
provided the following attractions:
1. A log cabin was erected on the lots-on Pitt street, now
occupied by Dr. Gump's office and the several shops and stores
up to the alley. It was large enough to hold several hundred
people, and here nearly every evening mass meetings of the Whig
party were held and bitter partisan harangues delivered. (2).
They had a frame of a large ball constructed some fifteen feet in
diameter and covered with canvas, containing all manner of political
mottoes. Whenever a meeting was held this large ball was
rolled along the roads to the place of meeting. However, it failed
to make many trips. (3). A small log cabin was placed in a
wagon and hauled from place to place whenever there was a
meeting to be held. On the top of the cabin sat a man with a live
raccoon on a pole. (4). Wherever there was a meeting to be
held it was arranged to have one or more wagons on hand, with
barrels of hard cider which was dealt out to all callers free of
charge, at the rear end of the wagons.
All the large bills announcing these meetings contained a
life-size of a coon. I remember seeing Jasper E. Brady, a member
of Congress, of the Franklin district, in Chambersburg in 1840
sitting on top of a log cabin mounted on a wagon with a live coon,
in the great Whig procession. The battle cry was "Tippacanoe
and Tyler too." These spectacular devices had their effect upon
the masses and General Harrison was elected by a large majority
over Martin Van Buren. After his inauguration only a few weeks
had transpired when he was taken ill very suddenly and passed
away on April 4, 1841, sorrowfully mourned by the whole nation.
THE POLK AND
CAMPAIGN, 1844 DALLAS
James K. Polk was elected to the presidency over Henry Clay
under the war cry of "Polk, Dallas and the tariff of 1842." The
excitement in this campaign lacked all of the spectacular exhibitions
which characterized the Harrison campaign of 1840. But
both parties held large mass meetings in Bedford and large delegations
came to both meetings in wagons, carriages and on horseback
from all parts of the county. The young Democrats generally
carried poke stalks for canes.
During his term of service as President, Job Mann, our Congressman,
prevailed on him to visit Bedford Springs. He came
here with Mr. Mann and spent nearly a week. He was given a
cordial reception by the citizens of Bedford without respect to
party. Mr. Mann, General Bowman and other prominent Democrats
desired to take him to Schellsburg as old mother Napier
gave him upwards of 300 majority. So a large party of Demo-
crats including the above named persons and William T. Daugherty,
Samuel H. Tate, James Reamer, Joseph F. Loy, Francis C.
Reamer, myself and many others whose names I do not remember,
accompanied the President to Schellsburg. We stopped at
the hostelry of that old Berks county Democrat, Isaac Mengle, who
gave us an elegant dinner. The people of Schellsburg and the surrounding
country came in troops to welcome him. The President
expressed himself highly delighted with the trip, the warm hospitality
and cordial reception of the people and the well-cooked
and plentiful dinner. We returned to Bedford late in the afternoon,
and the carriage in which I rode broke down and our party
did not reach Bedford until late that night.
I cast my first presidential vote for James K. Polk In 1844.
At the time of the election we had no daily papers nor telegraph
wires. We depended altogether on the news brought by the daily
stage coaches. I remember for hours and for days the news was
very uncertain as to the result of the election. Finally after several
days of suspense a great many of us remained up until three
o'clock a. m. waiting for the arrival of the mail coach when Dr.
Jonas McClintock, of Pittsburg, jumped from the coach and before
we could ask him he announced that New York had gone for Polk
and that secured his election. It is unnecessary to relate how
some of the waiting party were rejoiced and how some others were
dejected. A few days thereafter the Democrats had a barbecue
and roasted a whole beef in Major Sellers' meadow near Boydstown.
THE ELECTION OF GENERAL TAYLOR, 1848
Soon after the termination of the Mexican war in which
General Zachary Taylor had so gloriously distinguished himself
he was nominated for the presidency by the Whig party. He
stopped at Bedford on his way to Pittsburg and the citizens of
Bedford and vicinity, irrespective of party, gave him a warm and
cordial reception. They also tendered him a grand ball at the
Bedford Springs Hotel and although I was a Democrat I was appointed
on the committee of arrangements and accepted the honor
with pleasure. His famous command in the hotly contested battle
of Buena Vista, "Give them a little more grape, Captain Bragg,"
won him a victory as triumphant over Lewis Cass as it did over
the Mexican army.
He was inaugurated March 4, 1849, and in 1850, a little over
one year, the nation was startled with the sorrowing intelligence
that the President in the inscrutable providence of God was
stricken down to the grave.
A short time before the arrival of General Taylor, Vice President
George M. Dallas also stopped at Bedford on his way to
Pittsburg. He was cordially received by the citizens of Bedford.
He was a candidate for the nomination to the presidency.
JAMES BUCHANAN, 1856
This distinguished statesman had been a regular attendant
at the Bedford Springs since 1840, and in consequence of his frequent
visits and his affable and agreeable manners he was well
known and had many warm personal friends in Bedford. When
he visited Bedford many distinguished statesmen and politicians
of all parties and from many sections of the union came here.
In 1856 he was nominated for the presidency by the Democratic
party. In that year the present Republican party was organized
in Philadelphia by a fusion of the northern Whigs, the Free Soil
Democrats and the Abolition party. They nominated Fremont for
President and the dissatisfied northern and southern Whigs nominated
Filmore. Mr. Buchanan was elected. When at Bedford
Springs he usually fixed a day to meet his friends at the Bedford
House in Bedford. But in the campaign of 1856 he received his
friends at my house on Pitt street. Mr. Buchanan continued his
visits to Bedford Springs during his occupancy of the presidential
chair and afterwards until his death. While here during his
presidential term every day he received a special mail pouch with
his mail. He signed many official papers at Bedford Springs.
THE MEXICAN WAR
After the defeat of the Mexican army by the Texans at the
battle of San Jacinto, Texas declared her independence, which was
acknowledged by the United States in 1837 and by England,
France and Belgium in 1840, but Mexico refused to do so. In
1845 Texas was formally annexed to the United States. Mexico
protested against it as an act of warlike aggression, and to guard
against a threatened invasion of the United States Gen. Zachary
Taylor, with his troops, was ordered to the southern frontier.
The Mexicans crossed the Rio Grande and commenced hostilities
on April 26 of that year. General Taylor moved forward in March
and crowned several splendid victories with the glorious triumph
Buena Vista. Then President Polk called for a large number
of volunteers; two regiments were assigned to Pennsylvania but
many thousands of her patriotic sons promptly offered their services.
After the two regiments were filled, two additional companies
were accepted and assigned to the Second Pennsylvania
regiment, under Col. John W. Geary. Dr. Samuel D. Scott of
Bedford was made assistant surgeon.
"The Independent Grays" of
, commanded by Samuel Bedford
M. Taylor, and Captain Caldwell's company from Mifflin county
were the successful companies. In February 1847 Captain Taylor's
company was accepted. It contained eighty men, besides
officers, "of the noblest and bravest sons of the county." The
gallant company left
on May 22, escorted by many citizens Bedford
of the county in wagons and carriages as far as Stoyestown,
among them being the venerable Robert Fyan. Josiah E. Barclay
and I accompanied them to Pittsburg, where they arrived on May
28 and were immediately mustered into service. After reaching
Mexico, under General Scott this company performed valiant
service-was engaged in many hard-fought battles and entered
in the City of Mexico when it was captured.
A few members of the company were killed, many were
wounded, and a considerable number died of wounds and disease.
After the termination of the war, by the conquest of a large portion
of Mexico, the Second Pennsylvania regiment, including the
Independent Grays, were honorably discharged at Pittsburg on
July 10, 1848. A number of citizens of the county met the Bedford
company at Stoyestown and brought the remnant of the
weary and worn soldiers to their homes.
The officers were: Samuel M. Taylor, Capt., died December
6, 1847; David H. Hofius, 2d Lieut., Resig. November 18, 1847;
John Keefe, 2d Lieut., Resig. February 11, 1847; Lewis W. Smith,
Capt.; Biven R. Davis, 1st Lieut.; A. E. Schell, 2d Lieut.; James
A. Sipes, 1st Sergt.; Jacob Picking, 2d Sergt.; George Leader, 3d
Sergt.; William Bishop, 4th Srgt.; John Feather, 1st Corp.; Allen
Sleek, Robert Taylor, Jas. Stewart, Corporals; Wm. Nulton, drummer;
Nathan McMullin, fifer. Their gallant Captain Taylor died,
after a brief illness, in the City of Mexico on December 6, 1847,
and his mortal remains now repose beneath the shadow of an ap-
propriate and deserving monument, erected by loving relatives
and friends, in the Presbyterian cemetery in Bedford.
In addition to Captain Taylor's company, Capt. Martin
Moore's company of infantry and Capt. Charles Campbell's
company of artillery (both of Franklin county) were largely recruited
in this county, and many young Bedford boys enlisted
FIRST TELEGRAPH OFFICE
In 1848 the first telegraph office was opened in Bedford, but
not until the citizens rented a suitable office for the company. A
few of us then contributed the necessary money and rented an
office in the old Watson building, where Mr. Covalt's store now
stands. Elwood Harmer was the first operator. He married a
daughter of Thomas B. Miller of Bedford.
The hundred years ending in 1850 were rounded out and
crowned with the erection of the grand little county of Fulton
by an Act of Assembly dated 19th of April, 1850, whereby all the
territory lying east of Ray's Hill and east Broad Top mountain
was taken from Bedford county
Before the separation Bedford county embraced an area of
1,485 square miles, or 950,400 acres of land, and a population of
30,619. After the separation-in 1850-Bedford county had
remaining, 1,003 square miles, or 641,920 acres, and a population
of 23,052. In 1850 Fulton county had 442 square miles, or 282,880
acres, and a population of 7,567. In 1900
county had a Bedford
population of 39,468 and Fulton county had 9,924. Bedford was
laid out in 1766, McConnellsburg in 1786.
Bedford County-Its Original Territorial Extent
Certain writers and compilers of Pennsylvania history have
assumed and stated that the County of Bedford, under the Organic
Act of 1771, was restricted to the territory lying and being in the
southwestern part of the Province, that is to say, it only Included
within its limits that part of the Albany Purchase of 1754 embraced
in the present counties of Bedford, Fulton, Blair, Huntingdon,
and parts of Centre, Mifflin and Snyder; and that part of the
Fort Stanwix Purchase of 1768 within the limits of the present
counties of Washington, Greene, Fayette, Westmoreland, Cambria,
Somerset, and parts of Allegheny, Armstrong, Indiana, Clearfield,
Clinton and Cambria, as shown by Map 2:
These statements are not sustained either by the law or the
facts of the case. They have arisen from an unwarranted construction
of the Act of 1771 and a confusion of the Purchase or
Treaty lines, made by the Proprietaries with the Indians, in the
exercise of their personal rights, with county lines established by
the General Assembly, with. the concurrence of the Governor.
The purpose of this article is to elucidate the subject and to
show, definitely, that not only the above-mentioned territory was
included within the bounds of Bedford county by the said Act of
1771, but that all territory embraced within the purchase from
the Indians by the Commonwealth, at Fort Stanwix in 1784, included
in the present counties of Beaver, Lawrence, Mercer, Crawford,
Butler, Venango, Warren, Forest, Clarion, Jefferson, Elk,
Cameron and parts of Allegheny, Beaver, Armstrong, Erie, Indiana,
Clearfield, Centre, Clinton and part of McKean, were also
included within the limits of Bedford county, as shown by Map 1.
Before entering into the heart of the subject it will be necessary,
for a proper understanding thereof, to consider, briefly, several
preliminary and pertinent questions arising under the charter
for the Province, the concession and frame of government established
by William Penn.
The Charter, Concession, and Frame of Government
On the 4th of March, 1681, Charles II granted a charter for
the Province of Pennsylvania to William Penn, constituting him
Proprietary and Governor thereof. As Proprietary, he was made
the absolute owner of the lands within the Province, with full
power and authority to purchase and sell the same, according to
his own pleasure and for his own use. As Governor, he was invested
with full civil power and authority, and was enjoined to
perform certain public duties and obligations. Among his enumerated
public duties was the obligation to establish a system of government
for the Province, with the approval of the freemen
thereof, subject to fealty to the Crown. By virtue of the powers
and obligations contained in the charter, William Penn, before
leaving England, prepared a system of government and a concession,
dated April 20, 1682, which he submitted to the freemen of
the Province for their approval, and they approved the same.
The frame of government provided for a General Assembly,
to be chosen yearly by the freemen, with power to make and
enact the necessary laws; and that these laws "shall be in this
style, viz: By the Governor, with the consent and approval of
the freemen in General Assembly met." It also contained provisions
for Courts of Judicature, the appointment of Judges, the
erection of towns, boroughs, cities and counties by law.
Penn's Personal Rights
When Penn arrived in the Province in 1682, he found the
entire grant of land in the possession of the Iroquois, or Six
Nations of Indians, and their subject tribes, with the exception of
a few settlements of Swedes, Dutch and Finns on the banks of
Delaware river. He then announced the following rules in
regard to his treatment of the Indians:
1. That the title of the natives to the soil should be acquired
from them, by purchase and treaty. 2. That no land
should be sold until the title of the natives had been extinguished
by purchase. 3. That no settlement should be made or allowed
on lands outside of the treaty or purchase limit. 4. That the
Indians should not sell any of their lands to any other person
than the Proprietary. In a moral aspect, the possession of the
soil by the Indians was good beyond controversy yet, in a legal
aspect, according to the barbarous usages of the nations of
Europe, who then recognized no other right than their own
strong arm and invincible power, the Indians were considered as
having no right whatever to the lands, because they were not
The grant to Penn contained no reservation of the right of
the Indians to the soil, and while he considered that he had an
absolute grant of the land yet, at the same time, in his love of
justice, in his wisdom and magnanimity, he recognized their
claim to the soil subject to the encumbrance that they could not
sell the same to any other person than himself or his successors.
The Indians, by various treaties, agreed to this arrangement.
But, notwithstanding the above-mentioned rules, the whites persisted
in settling on the unpurchased lands of the Indians. In
consequence of this persistence, and in order to preserve peace
with the Indians, the General Assembly was invoked to enact the
necessary laws to enforce this policy. Many very stringent, even
drastic laws, were enacted between the years of 1700 and 1769
to protect the Indian lands from depredations and settlements by
In pursuance of Penn's recognition of the right of the Indians
to the soil, and the several laws to protect this right, the
Supreme Court held that the soil belonged to the Indians and that
settlers could obtain no title to lands, prior to their purchase
from the Indians, by the Proprietary, either under the laws or the
proclamation of 1768. Moreover, the provincial authorities
forcibly compelled the removal of the white settlers from the unpurchased
Indian lands lying west of the Tuscarora mountains in
1750, and west of the Allegheny mountains in 1768, and burned
Penn's Purchase of the Indian Titles
In pursuance of his wise and humane policy, the titles of the
Indians to certain large tracts of land, were purchased by the
Proprietaries in 1682, 1718, 1736, 1754, 1758 and 1768. The
tenure of William Penn to the lands within the Province was by
free and common socage or by feudal tenure.
The Land Office
Penn, as Proprietary and absolute owner of the lands, established
a land office for the sale of lands and commissioned certain
officers to attend to the duties thereof. He received the proceeds
of the sale as his own property, and paid the expenses of
the land office out of his own estate. In like manner, when
treaties were made with the Indians and their titles in the lands
were thereby extinguished, he paid the purchase money out of
his own estate. In neither case did the Province defray any of
these charges. Judge Huston says, "The Proprietary most carefully
and zealously distinguished between his private and political
rights. His right to the soil and to dispose of it according to his
own pleasure, he never lost sight of. He no more allowed the
Legislature to interfere with this than our laws would suffer our
Legislature to interfere with the rights of our great or small
land owners, in the sales of what they hold in fee simple. * * *
But he resisted, and with the aid of the King and council resisted
effectually, all the attempts to interfere with him or his legal representatives,
as to the terms and conditions on which his lands
were disposed of, whether leased, sold or given away." (Huston
on L. T. P., page 5).
No land office was established by law until after 1776, when
the Revolution had changed the nature of affairs. Since that
time all lands have been sold under Acts of Assembly. It will
thus be seen that the Provincial Government had nothing to do
with the land office, or the sale of the lands, or the treaty of the
Indians for the purchase of their titles. These matters appertained
entirely and exclusively to William Penn as Proprietary.
Before the Revolution there were no Acts of Assembly that related
to the modes or terms of sale by the Proprietaries. Purchases
from the natives, grants, and reservations were conducted
at their will and pleasure. Judge Yates says, "The Proprietaries
kept their land office in their own way and transacted their own
business as they thought proper. They were jealous of every
interference with their land office and considered it subject to
their sole control."
The Erection of Counties
The policy of erecting new counties was purely and exclusively
a political or governmental one; it was in no way connected
with or dependent upon the individual authority of Penn, as Proprietary,
to make treaties and purchases of lands from the Indians.
While it is true that Penn and his Council exercised the
authority to erect the three counties of Bucks, Chester and Philadelphia
in 1681, before the election of the General Assembly, yet
after the meeting of the first General Assembly at Chester, on the
7th of May, 1682, all new counties were established by the concurrent
acts of the Assembly and the Governor. And thereafter
William Penn, alone, had no authority, either as Proprietary or
Governor, to create a new county. Upon a careful examination
of the several Acts of Assembly erecting new counties, up to the
time the Indian titles were entirely extinguished by the treaty
at Fort McIntosh in 1784, it will be found that, in every case, the
said counties were erected in response to the petitions of the
inhabitants, representing to the Governor and the General Assembly
"the great hardships they lie under by getting at so great distance
from the town where the Courts of Justice are held and
public offices kept, etc." Only six counties were formed prior to
1750 and up to 1784 when all the Indian titles in the Commonwealth
were entirely extinguished, only fifteen counties were
The following counties, which may properly be styled mother
counties, were organized so as to include all the territory in the
Province not already included in some other county, to wit:
Chesterin 1682; Lancaster, from part of Chester, in 1729; Cumberland, from part of Lancaster, in 1750; Bedford, from part of , in 1771. Cumberland Cumberlandcounty was bounded northward and westward by lines of the Province and southward by the Marylandline and county. York
The Provincial Government had several excellent reasons
for including all the land in the Province within the limits of
some county. 1. Any excluded territory would have had no
court of Judicature to enforce rights and punish crimes. 2. When
county was erected in 1750, the French claimed to Cumberland
the crest of the Allegheny mountains, and
, all territory Virginia
west of Laurel Hill and south of the Allegheny and
rivers, and Ohio
in order to resist these claims the disputed territory was
probably included within Cumberland county and afterwards In
It has been shown that, under the charter, the concession
and frame of government adopted by the freemen of the Province,
William Penn, as Proprietary, was the sole and absolute owner
of the land, with full authority to buy and sell the same, at his
own pleasure and for his own use; and, as Governor, together
with the General Assembly, constituted the Legislative branch of
the government. Therefore the enactment of a law erecting a
new county was as obligatory upon the Governor as upon the freemen
of the Province. There can be no controversy in regard to
the fact of the law, while there may be a difference of opinion In
regard to its interpretation. This point must be borne in mind
in the further consideration of the subject.
The Boundaries of Bedford County as Designated in 1771
In response to a petition of a large number of the inhabitants
of the western part of Cumberland county for a new county, the
General Assembly, with the concurrence of the Governor, on
March 9, 1771, erected the County of Bedford, with the following
boundaries, to wit: Beginning where the Province line crosses
Tuscarora mountain, and running along the summit of that
mountain to the gap, near the head of Path Valley; thence with
a north line to the Juniata; thence with the Juniata to the mouth
of Shaver's creek; thence northeast to the line of Berks county;
thence along the Berks county line northwestward to the western
bounds of the Province; thence southward according to the several
courses of the western boundary of the Province to the southwest
corner of the Province; and from thence eastward with the
southern line of the Province to the place of beginning. (By the
explanatory act of March 21, 1772, the territory lying between
Jack's and Standing Stone mountains was annexed to Bedford
county). It will be observed that the above Act of 1771 positively
declares that when the northeast boundary line reaches the
Berks county line, "it shall extend along the Berks county line
northwestward to the western boundary of the Province."
The Western Berks County Line
It will, therefore, be necessary to examine the Act of March
it, 1752, erecting Berks county, so far as it relates to
county, before the northern and western boundary lines of Bedford
county can be clearly ascertained. The northwestern boundary
line of Berks county is fixed as follows: "By a line at the
distance of ten superficial miles, southwest from the western bank
of the River Schuylkill, opposite to the mouth of a creek called
Monocacy, to be run northwest to the extremity of the Province."
This is plain language and clearly means just what It says, that
the line should be extended In a northwestward direction until
it reached the northern boundary line of the Province. As confirmatory
evidence of this position an old map, now in the Land
Office, made by William Scull, an experienced surveyor, In 1770,
shows, in addition to the three original counties of Bucks, Chester
and Philadelphia, the counties of Berks, Cumberland, York, Lancaster
and Northampton. On this map the line of Berks county,
designated in the act as the line to be run northwest to the extremity
of the Province, is drawn through to the northern line of
the Province, intersecting that line somewhere near the line that
divides the present counties of Warren and McKean. Therefore,
there can be no doubt that, by the extremity of the Province, the
General Assembly meant the charter limits thereof.
The extension of this Berks county line to the northwest extremity
of the Province will pass through the present counties
of Snyder, Union, Clinton, Cameron and McKean and thus will
throw all the counties west of that line and west of the Tuscarora
mountains, into Bedford county, to wit: Allegheny, Armstrong,
Beaver, Butler, Blair, Crawford, Cameron and Clinton in part,
Clarion, Clearfield, Centre, Cambria, Elk, Forest, Fulton, Fayette,
Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Erie,
McKean in part, and Warren, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland
and Venango. Having shown, conclusively, that the Berks
county line in question extended to the northern boundary of the
Province, in McKean county, it now remains to show that the
northeastern boundary line of Bedford county followed this line to
the same point in McKean county. It was clearly the legislative intent
that the eastern boundary line of Bedford county should follow
the said Berks county line until it reached the boundary line
of the Province in a northwest direction, and from that point of
intersection to run along the said northern boundary line of the
Province until it reached the western extremity of the Province,
and thence along the western and southern boundary lines to the
place of beginning.
The Extent of
Considered Bedford County
It is difficult to understand the process of reasoning by which
the limit of Bedford county is confined to the southwestern part
of the Province. The parties who take this position assume that
under the Organic Act, when the eastern boundary line reached
the Berks county line, it should not follow along that line of the
Province, as required-but that it should diverge southwest to
the western boundary line of the Province, by following the purchase
To show the absurdity of this position it is only necessary to
mention the fact that this Berks county line was crossed by two
purchase lines prior to 1771, when Bedford county was formed,
to wit: the Purchase Lines of 1754 and 1768. Now if the Assembly
had intended that the Bedford county line should only follow
the Berks county line to a Purchase Line, and then diverge southwestward,
it would most certainly have prescribed which purchase
line was meant and the direction thereof. But as the act is
silent on this point there can be no fair inference drawn to sustain
their position. Moreover, if the purchase line of 1754 should be
followed, it could only go as far as the Allegheny mountain where,
under the release of the Proprietaries in 1758 to the Indians, this
Purchase Line terminated. And if the purchase line of 1768
should be followed, instead of going northwestward, as required, the
Bedford county line would run southwestward to the Ohio river,
in Beaver county, considerably over two degrees south of the required
northern boundary of the Province. It must, therefore, be
apparent to every discerning mind, that the words "thence along
the Berks county line northwestward to the western extremity of
the Province" in the Act of 1771, and the words "thence by the
Berks county line to the western bounds of the Province" in the
explanatory act of 1772, are mandatory, so that when the eastern
line of Bedford county intersects the Berks county line it shall
follow it northwestward to the northern boundary of the Province,
and thence to the place of beginning.
It is both irrational and contradictory to say that going
southwestward is going northwestward. But that is precisely the
dilemma in which these parties have placed themselves. It may
be proper to say here that the words "Province," "the line of the
Province," "the extremity of the Province," and "the bounds of
the Province" are invariably used in all state papers as referring
to the charter limits of the Province; and in no case are they
used as referring to a Purchase Line, or Treaty Line, made with
The same construction given to these words In the acts erecting
Cumberland, Northumberland and Westmoreland counties
should be given to the same or similar words in the acts erecting
Berks and Bedford counties. There is no instance given in any of
the Acts of the Assembly erecting new counties, in which a Purchase
Line is designated as a boundary line, up to February 23,
1773, erecting Westmoreland county, in which it Is declared that
when the eastern boundary line reaches the purchase line it shall
then go due west to the limits of the Province. In every case the
boundary line of the Province, or some natural monument, as a
mountain, hill or river, is mentioned. Only two reasons are given
in support of the claim that the purchase line should be followed.
These will be shown to be mere inference, without any foundation
Indian Treaty or Purchase Lines
The assertion that the Provincial Government in no case
erected a new county until the territory proposed to be included
therein had been previously purchased from the Indians, is untrue.
The fact is that not a single county was so erected until
county was organized in 1781. Even in 1773, when Westmoreland
county was formed from Bedford county, it included a
considerable territory, to which the Indian titles were not extinguished
until the McIntosh Purchase of 1784, to wit: portions
of the present counties of Armstrong, Butler, Beaver, and Allegheny.
In the fall of 1749, just before the erection of Cumberland
county, there was a general discontent among the Indians
on account of the white settlers over-running their lands west of
the purchase line. And only a few months after the erection of
said county the Sheriff, with a number of Magistrates and officers,
was sent to remove the settlers and burn their cabins, which was
accordingly done. How then can it be claimed that the Province
never erected a county until after the Indian title had been purchased?
There is no relation whatever between a county line and
a purchase or treaty line. As already stated, a treaty or purchase
line was the individual act of the Proprietary. The erection of a
county was the solemn act of the General Assembly, with the concurrence
of the Governor.
The Formation of Townships by the Court
The other reason is based on the fact that the Court of Quarter
Sessions of Bedford county, at its first session in 1771 in
establishing new townships, included within them only the territory
embraced in the purchase of 1768, to which the Indian titles
had been extinguished. The reason for this course, by the court,
is manifest. The territory included within the new townships was
pretty thickly settled and the only wagon road in the Province,
from Carlisle to Fort Pitt, ran through this entire region, while
the excluded territory, afterwards purchased by the Commonwealth
in 1784 at Fort McIntosh, was a howling wilderness containing
thousands of Indians and no white settlers, and was without
roads. But the court made no decision that the excluded territory
was not included in Bedford county; in fact the question
was not raised. Moreover the judges of the court were all lay
judges. Judges learned in the law were not required until 1791.
There is, therefore, no force in either of the above reasons.
The entire western portion of the Province was included in
Cumberland county in 1750. This fact proves conclusively that in
establishing new counties the government did not consider the
question whether the territory had been purchased from the
Indians or not. That question only appertained to the settlement
or sale of land by the Proprietary outside of the purchase limit.
Therefore it cannot be soundly argued that the Fort McIntosh
purchase in northwestern Pennsylvania was not included in Cumberland
county in 1750, or in Bedford in 1771, because at those
dates the Indian title had not been extinguished. It was, in fact,
included in both of said counties by virtue of the acts erecting
In conclusion, it is claimed in this article that on March 9,
1771, all the territory within the Province of Pennsylvania, lying
and being west of the counties of Berks and Cumberland, was
embraced within the County of Bedford, (as shown by Map No.
1), excepting the Erie triangle. This territory was outside of
the Province and was claimed by New York, Massachusetts and
Connecticut, who ceded their respective claims thereto to the
United States,-New York in 1780, Massachusetts in 1785 and
Connecticut in 1786. Pennsylvania purchased the title thereto
from the United States on September 4, 1788; and the title of the
Indians, January 9, 1789. (See article in full in Centennial Gazette,
It is a thankless task to correct gross historical mis-statements
but it is a duty not to be shirked. "Jones' History of the
Juniata Valley," while otherwise a very interesting book, locates
the massacre in Morrison's Cove, which he calls "The Great Cove."
This is a glaring error--Morrison's Cove was never before so
called--this name properly belongs to McConnell's Cove, now in
Fulton county, and in all the old provincial records it is called
"The Great Cove" or "The Big Cove." The massacre took place
among the Scotch-Irish settlers in McConnell's, or "Big Cove,"
in 1755. On the other hand, Morrison's Cove was not settled
until after 1762 and then by the Germans. The massacre of the
Dunkards in Morrison's Cove was in 1777.
Mr. Jones also says that the name of the cove was changed
from "Great Cove" to "Morrison's Cove" as early as 1770, in
honor of a Mr. Morris. Now, the fact is more likely that the cove
was called after one of the several early settlers of the name of
Morrison, who settled on the head waters of the Juniata river.
The records show that in describing the eastern boundary line of
Greenfield township in 1798, "Morris Cove" is named, but I think
this was intended for "Morrison's Cove."
The history of Bedford county of 1884 contains this unwarrantable
statement: "Although the earliest services of the Christian
religion, in what is now Bedford, were those of the Episcopal
church, being held by the chaplains of the British troops occupying
the fort (Raystown) in and prior to 1755, there was no organized
parish here until 1861."
The facts were these: the fort was not erected until early
in August 1758 by the advance column of Colonel Boquet's forces.
Among these was the Pennsylvania regiment consisting of 2,700
men, divided into three battalions, commanded by Lieutenant
Governor Denny--the first battalion under Lt. Col. Joseph Shafer,
Chaplain, Rev. Thomas Barton, Episcopalian; the second, Col
John Armstrong, Chaplain, Rev. Charles Beatty, Presbyterian; the
third, Col. James Burd, Chaplain, Rev. John Steel, Presbyterian.
Early in June all the above troops, except 100, left Carlisle
for Raystown and reached there early in July. Chaplain Beatty
arrived July 8, Chaplain Steel on July 12, but Chaplain Burton
did not arrive until July 23. The delay in the case of Chaplain
Burton was that nearly all the Pennsylvania provincial troops
were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, except a few Germans and
Huguenots, and they were dissatisfied with his appointment, and
asked for the appointment of Rev. Andrew Bay. Under these
facts it is absolutely certain that the first religious services at
Fort Raystown were held by Chaplains Beatty and Steel, as Chaplain
Burton did not get there until July 23, and he afterwards accepted
a chaplaincy in the British army. Here are the records: Pa. Archives, vol. 3, p. 447, 552; vol. 4, p. 483, 551, 556; vol. 5, p. 634, 750; vol. 6, p. 30; vol. 7, p. 226.
Rev. John Steel was commissioned as captain of a company
in 1755 and marched with his company in the attack on the Indian
village of Kittanning in 1756. After the war was over he
and Adam Hoopes, Indian interpreter, located warrants for lands
Chabin (Cabin?) creek, near Schellsburg. Shawnee
Rebecca Walter, aged 10 years, and Casper Statler lived in
the same neighborhood in the Conococheague settlement in 1755.
One Sunday morning, while the mother was at church, the father
was killed, the buildings destroyed and three children taken captive.
Later, the baby was killed and Rebecca, though scalped, was saved
by a squaw. In 1762 the Indians surrendered a number of their
captives, among them Rebecca and her brother. Notice had been
given the parents of stolen children to be present. During the
seven years of captivity Rebecca had forgotten her mother tongue
and only upon hearing a hymn sung in her childhood did the little
girl recognize her mother.
In 1758-1759 Casper Statler was an ensign in Captain Woods'
Fort Bedford, going to and returning from Fort Du
Quesne under General Forbes. Casper Statler, the ensign, and
Rebecca Walter, the scalped captive, were married after her re
lease and settled in
county. My father, Peter Schell, Somerset
married their daughter Eleanor in 1808. Rebecca's brother preferred
to live among the Indians and ran back to them before
reaching Pittsburg. No word was ever heard in regard to him.
The Dismemberment of
In 1772, the act erecting Northumberland county detached a
small area of Bedford county along the Little Juniata. In 1873
the act erecting Westmoreland county detached all the territory
west of Laurel Hill and the ridge dividing the waters of the Susquehanna
and Allegheny rivers to the purchase line.
September 20, 1787, old mother Bedford was further dismembered
by detaching Huntingdon county; April 17, 1795, by
the erection of Somerset county; 1798 the Little Cove (Warren
township) was annexed to Franklin; March 1, 1800, the territory
between Allegheny mountain and Little Allegheny was annexed
to Somerset; March 12, 1804, a portion was attached to Cambria;
February 1846 Greenfield and North Woodbury townships were
included in Blair county; April 19, 1850, the last partition was
made by including in the County of Fulton, all the territory lying
east of Ray's Hill and Broad Top mountain.
Ayr was erected about 1790. Dublin was formed from the
northern part of Ayr at October session 1767. At the same time
the townships of Bedford, Cumberland and Colerain were erected.
All five of the above named townships were included in Bedford
county by the Act of 1771.
Newspapers Published in
1805-The Bedford Gazette was founded by Charles
M'Dowell, September 21 (Democratic). 1812-The True American,
founded by Thomas R. Gettys. 1827--The Democratic Inquirer,
founded by Thomas R. Gettys, now The Bedford Inquirer.
1850--The Jackson Democrat, founded by Sansom and Carpenter;
removed to McConnellsburg, after the erection of Fulton county.
The name was then changed to The Fulton Democrat. 1868--The
Bedford County Press, founded by J. C. Long & Company, at
Bloody Run (Everett), now Everett Press. 1881--The
Republican, founded by Lutz and Smith, who purchased The Inquirer
and the two papers were merged in the name of The Bedford
Inquirer. 1884--The Saxton Herald, founded by Thompson
and Wilson. 1890--The Hyndman Bulletin, founded by the--
Hyndman Bulletin Company. 1893--The
founded by John C. Chamberlain. 1894--The
Hawkeye, founded by Rev. L. M. Colfelt. 1905--The Osterburg
Press. 1905--The Mountain Echo, Jesse H. Claar, youngest editor
in the state, aged 15 years.
William Lanebuilt Lemnos Forge and Slitting mill
on Yellow Creek, two miles from Hopewell. 1812--Swope and
King built Bedford Forge on Yellow Creek. 1814--John Rea carried
on a cut-nail factory in Bedford. 1827--Elizabeth Furnace,
afterwards Bloomfield, was built at Woodbury by Swope, King &
Co. In 1845 the furnace was removed to Bloomfield; later to
Blair county and named Rodman Furnace. 1822--Hanover Forge
built by John Doyle, nine miles south of McConnellsburg. 1827--
Furnace built in the same place by John Irvine.
There are now five modern-built furnaces in
two at Riddlesburg, two at Saxton and one at Everett. There
are none, at this time, in Fulton county. 1868--The Kemble Coal
and Iron Company built the first furnace at Riddlesburg and in
1869 built a second one. 1879--Robert Hare Powell of
began to build the Powellton Furnace opposite Saxton and
completed it in October 1882. It is now owned by Hon. Joseph
1874--The Everett Iron Company, Everett, was incorporated.
James P. Kimball, Jacob B. and Samuel D. Williams were the
prime movers in the organization. The company erected a large
coke furnace and purchased large acreage of coal and iron ore
lands In Bedford county. June 1, 1889, the said property was
conveyed to Hon. Joseph E. Thropp. Since that date Mr. Thropp
has carried on the business of making coke iron very successfully.
Lake ore is generally used.
When a few weeks ago I was asked to prepare this little historical
pamphlet in time for Old Home Week, I had no idea of
the irksome labor involved in the task of compressing several
hundred pages of manuscript into this small space, and, besides,
from the necessity of the case, I was confined to a naked statement
of facts, without comment, and forced to discard all collateral
matters, however closely related to the subject matter. I (unclear)
this crude and unmethodical sketch.
I desire to extend to all "Home Comers" a warm and cordial
welcome to Old Mother Bedford.
Contributed for use by the Bedford County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/~bedford/)
Bedford County Genealogy Project Notice:
These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format, for any presentation, without prior written permission.
Return to Bedford County Genealogy Project
(c) Bedford County Pennsylvania Genealogy Project