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McConnellsburg, Penna.




For courtesies rendered and assistance given, acknowledgement is made to the following persons: Mrs. Virginia Fendrick, Miss Carrie S. Greathead, Miss Mary Kendall, Mr. R. G. Alexander, Mr. W. R. Sloan, Mr. F. M. Taylor, and Mr. J. P. Mattern.




To Mrs. Clara Sterrett Greathead, whose interest in McConnellsburg caused her to collect and preserve much of the material herein, and has also been an incentive to her daughter to continue the work begun many years ago.




Ayr Township, Cumberland County

Ayr Township, Bedford County

Fulton County





Earliest Settlers


DR. W. H. EGLE, in his History of Pennsylvania, says that Ayr Township seems to have been coeval with the erection of Cumberland County in 1750, since no date of the formation of the township can be found in the Cumberland County courts. At first it extended from Maryland northward, embracing what is now Huntingdon County, westward or even beyond Sideling Hill. After the formation of Bedford County in 1771, it embraced all that is now Fulton County, and Warren Township, Franklin County, the latter having been included in Franklin when that county was erected in 1789. The greater part of this section was rich limestone soil, the rest being red shale. This valley, then known as the Great Cove, to distinguish from Little Cove (Franklin County), was of the richer limestone. Into these rich valley lands the Scotch-Irish settlers came as early as 1740, coming from east of the Tuscarora and Kittochtinny Mountains, as the older counties became well-settled; and where they had been known as early as 1719, having been driven from their native land by religious persecution. Ayr, Bethel, Belfast, and Dublin Townships, by their names indicate Scotch-Irish settlers; sturdy, brave, enduring, religious, but of all our settlers the most restless, most land-hungry, always rushing forward with the hope of gaining more territory. These came into Ayr Township and settled upon lands not purchased from the Indians.


Richard Peters, Secretary of the Province, reports that in the year 1741-1742, information was given that settlers from Maryland and from other parts of the Province of Pennsylvania were settling in Little Cove and the Big and Little Tonolloways. Little by little they stole into the Great Cove until it was said that about thirty families were settled there. Egle says that these settlers in the lower part of the Great Cove were largely French, and more cosmopolitan, in character than those coming from the east. The following proclamation against these intruders upon the lands of the Six Nations was issued by the Hon. James Hamilton, Esq., Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province of Pennsylvania. These intruding settlers were the cause of the troubles with the Indians.


A Proclamation


Whereas the deputies of the Senecas at a treaty lately held at Philadelphia complained to me in behalf of the Six Nations that contrary to the tenor of a former treaty now subsisting between them and this government and without their consent, divers persons, inhabitants of this province, have seated themselves upon lands not purchased of them, lying westward of the Blue Hills, very much to their hurt, earnestly pray that they should be forthwith removed to prevent the bad consequences that might otherwise ensue. And forasmuch these persons have neither license from the proprietaries nor color of title to said lands, and to permit them to stay there would not only be a breach of the public faith given to the Six Nations, but may occasion dangerous quarrels with them and be the cause of much bloodshed; therefore for preventing these mischiefs, I have thought fit with the advice of the council to issue this Proclamation, and do hereby in his Majesty's name, strictly charge, command, and enjoin all and every, the persons who have presumed to settle on any part of the Province westward of the Blue Hills to remove themselves, their families and effects off those lands on or before the first day of November next. And in case of their neglect or refusal I do in his Majesty's name strictly charge and command all and every justices of the peace, sheriffs and officers within this Province whose assistance may be necessary that they immediately after the said first day of November cause the delinquents with their families and effects to be removed off the said lands as the law in such cases directs, and, hereof, all persons concerned are to take notice and not to fail in their obedience as they will answer the contrary at their peril.


Given under my hand and great seal of the Province of Pennsylvania this 18th day of July, in the 23rd year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, George II, King of Great Britain and Ireland, and in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-nine.


July 18, 1749.

By his Honour's Command

Richard Peters, Secretary

God Save the King.


This proclamation of the governor failed to have any effect and Sipes, in his Indian Wars of Pennsylvania, says that the Province made no really energetic effort to remove the intruding settlers until the proprietaries, hoping to avoid trouble, directed Richard Peters, Secretary of the Province, with Conrad Weiser as interpreter, to proceed into the County of Cumberland and expel the intruders. They set out May 15, 1750, were joined by George Crogan, James Galbraith, Benjamin Chambers, and others, the delegates of the Six Nations, a chief of the Mohawks, and Andrew Montour, an interpreter. They went first to Path Valley, convicted the trespassers, compelled them to give bonds for the immediate remova1 of their families and effects, and also for their appearance at the next term of court and burned eleven of the settlers' houses. They next visited the Aughwick Settlement, now in Huntingdon County. The next place visited was the Great Cove.


Secretary Peters writes, "The same proceedings at Big Cove against Andrew Donaldson, John McClelland, Charles Stewart, James Downy, John MacKean, Robert Kendall, Samuel Brown, William Shepperd, Roger Murphy, Robert Smith, William Dickey, William Millican, William McConnell, Alexander McConnell, James Campbell, William Carroll, John Martin, John Jamison, Hans Potter, John MacCollin, James Wilson and John Wilson, who were convicted on their own confessions and executed like bonds to the proprietaries. Three cabins in the northern end were burned. (Burnt Cabins-Marker placed near highway).


Mr. Peters further adds that the bulk of these settlements were made during President Palmer's administration, which lasted from May 1747, to November 1748. Sipes, (Indian Wars of Pennsylvania) adds, "But the restless spirit of these settlers impelled them to return to their desolated homes and with these came others willing to risk the wrath of the Indians."


On August 8, 1750, Governor Hamilton reports this to the Assembly as follows:


Report to Assembly Concerning the Ejection of Settlers From Indian Lands




Finding that the proclamation which I issued last summer on the complaint of the deputies of the Six Nations against such as had presumed to settle on their unpurchased lands had had no effect, I thought it dangerous any longer to suffer such an open contempt of the authority of government, and therefore gave orders that the law should be put into execution against them. And from a report of the proceedings of the magistrates appointed for that service which will be laid before you, I thought there would have been no further complaint on this head; but by a letter I received last week from the magistrates of Cumberland County, it looks as if such as were then spared have been since spirited up to stay, and that there will be absolute necessity of taking still further measures against them.


(Gov.) James Hamilton

August 8, 1750




(The purchase of which Fulton County was a part)


A conference was ordered by the British Ministry to be held at Albany, New York, in June and July, 1754, to which the Six Nations were invited. Governor Hamilton of Pennsylvania, unable to be present, commissioned John Penn and Richard Peters, of the Provincial Council, and Isaac Norris and Benjamin Franklin, of the Assembly, to attend the conference in his stead. Conrad Weiser also attended the conference as interpreter in the negotiations with the Six Nations.


At this Albany Conference, the title of the Iroquois to the Ohio Valley was recognized, and the Pennsylvania Commissioners secured from the Iroquois a great addition to the Province to which the Indian title was not extinct. The deed, which was signed by the chief of the Six Nations on July 6, 1754, conveyed to Pennsylvania all the land extending on the west side of the Susquehanna River from the Blue Mountains to a mile above the mouth of Penn's Creek, thence northwest by west to the western boundary of the Province; thence along the western boundary to the southern boundary; thence along the southern boundary to the Blue Mountains; and thence along the Blue Mountains to the place of beginning.




The provocations given to the Indians in 1737 by the crafty and unprincipled Colonial Authorities, in what is known as the Walking Purchase, whereby through treachery in the method of taking the measurements the Indians had been cheated out of thousands of acres of their land; and the intrusion of settlers upon unpurchased lands as early as 1730, in this part of Pennsylvania and much earlier to the eastward, little energetic effort being made by the Provincial Authorities to  check these intrusions before 1750, and these having proved ineffectual, it is not strange that there should be massacres of these settlers nor that this belated purchased of 1754 did not prevent them. The earliest of these massacres occurred in this valley and is known as--




On Saturday, November 1, 1755, a party of about one hundred Indians, Shawnees and Delawares, among then Shingas, the Delaware king, entered the Great Cove and massacred most of the inhabitants. On November 5, 1755, Governor Robert Hunter Morris made this announcement to the Assembly at Philadelphia:



I this minute received intelligence the settlements at a place called the Great Cove in the County of Cumberland are destroyed, the houses burned, and such of the inhabitants as could not make their escape either slaughtered or made prisoners. This and other cruelties committed upon our frontiers have so alarmed the remaining inhabitants that they are quitting their habitations and crowding into the more-settled parts of the Province which in their turn will become the frontier if some stop is not speedily put to the cruel ravages of these bloody invaders. In this melancholy situation, our affairs may be attended with the most fatal consequences. I must therefore again most heartily press upon you this further intelligence to strengthen my hands and make me speedily to draw forth the forces of the Province against his Majesty's enemies, and to afford the timely and necessary assistance to the back inhabitants. Robert Hunter Morris.


The Pennsylvania Gazette of November 13, 1755, gives the names of several of the killed and captured as follows: "Hicks and a boy named Fleming were killed and scalped. Elizabeth Galway, Henry Gibson, Robert Peer, William Berryhill and David McClelland were murdered. The missing are John Martin, wife and five children, William Galway's wife and two children, David McClelland's wife and two children. William Fleming and wife were taken prisoners.


On November 14, Sheriff Potter was in Philadelphia before the Provincial Authorities. He made the following statement as to the extent of the ravages of the Indians. He said that twenty-seven plantations were burnt and a great number of cattle was killed. That of the ninety-three families in the Cove and the Tonolloways, forty-seven were either killed or taken, and the rest had deserted.


Rupp's History gives the following list of settlers in the Little Cove-then included in Ayr Township, now in Franklin County, as stated before, and the Tonolloways in 1750. It is interesting to note that only the men are counted. Joseph Coombe, John Herrod, William James, Thomas Yates, Lewis Williams, Elias Stillwell, Levi Moore, John Graham, Henry Pierson, Andrew Coombe, John Messer, John Newhouse, Rees Shelby, William Layton,  Charles Wood, William Lynn, George Rees, William Morgan, John Lloyd, John Polk, and Thomas Haston.


Joseph and Andrew Coombe are mentioned in the official records as among the very earliest settlers here. They built a blockhouse which tradition says was between Warfordsburg, Fulton County, and Hancock, Maryland. On January, 1756, a war-party of savages fell upon the settlement about daybreak. History gives only a meager account of the occurrence, reporting the wife of Richard Stillwell as killed and scalped, also the oldest girl. Two younger girls, one eight, the other three, were carried off. Richard himself was away from home at the time. James Leaton was also killed and scalped. The others escaped to Coombe's Fort.  House and barns were burned, livestock killed, provisions and supplies carried off.


McCord's Fort, in the Pennsylvania Archives, is located as having been a few miles northwest of Loudon. The men from this fort, under command of Captain Alexander Culbertson, divided into three parties, pursued the Indians, The Archives give no date. Rupp, about April 4, 1756. One party came up with the Indians at Sideling Hill with whom they had a sharp engagement, which lasted for two hours. The whites were overpowered, the Indians having been succeeded by a force under Shingas.


The following were reported killed: Captain Alexander Culbertson, John Reynolds, William Kerr, James Blair, John Layton, William Denny, Francis Scott, William Boyd, Jacob Paynter, Jacob Jones, Robert Kerr, William Chambers, Daniel McCoy, James Robinson, James Peace, John Blair, Henry Jones, John McCarty, and John Kelley. Wounded: Abraham Jones, Francis Campbell, William Reynolds, John Barnett, Benjamin Blythe, John McDonald, Isaac Miller, Ensign Jamison, James Robinson, William Hunter, Mathias Gaushorn, William Swails, James Cowder.


The Chain of Forts Built by the Province Across Pennsylvania for Protection from the Indians


Colonel Armstrong, who was the Washington of early Pennsylvania, in a letter to Governor Morris, after referring to the massacre of the inhabitants in the Great Cove by the Indians under Shingas, the Delaware King, says, "I am of the opinion that no other means than a chain of forts along the south side of the Kittochtinny Mountains from Susquehanna to the temporary line, can secure the lives and properties of even the old inhabitants; the new settlements being all fled except those of Sherman's Valley."


These forts, beginning at Carlisle, included Shippensburg, Chambersburg, Fort Loudon, Fort Lyttleton, Fort Shirley in Huntingdon County at a place about twenty miles north of Fort Lyttleton, named in honor of General Shirley. This stands near the path used by the Indians and Indian traders to and from the Ohio, and is therefore the easiest way of access for the Indians. Swinging toward the southwest from Fort Lyttleton to Bedford--then known as Raystown, another fort was built at Ligonier, and, last Fort Duquesne, built by the French where Pittsburgh now stands. It was fired by the French, who fled at the approach of the forces led by Washington in November, 1758. Washington was serving under General Forbes. These forts were supplemented by blockhouses built by the settlers. Officers were sent out to locate and build them in 1755.


Under the date of February 9, 1756, Governor Morris says in a letter to General Shirley: "For the defense of our western frontier I have caused four forts to be built beyond the Kittochtinny Hills. One stands on the new road toward the Ohio opened by this Province, and about twenty miles from the settlement. I have called it Fort Lyttleton in honor of my friend, Sir George Lyttleton. The road will not only protect the inhabitants of that region, but being upon a road which in a few miles joins

General Braddock's route, coming from Cumberland, Maryland, met the road referred to at the Mountain House, (Lincoln Highway), it will prevent the march of any regulars that may enter the Province, and at the same time, serve as an advance post or magazine to the westward. I have placed a garrison of seventy-five men at each of these forts, and ordered them to range the woods each way. Fort Shirley in Huntingdon County, Fort Lyttleton in Fulton County, and Fort Loudon in Franklin County were almost in a straight line north and south. The original plan of Fort Lyttleton preserved at Harrisburg, shows it to have been an elaborate and well-arranged defensive work Nothing now remains of the Fort, but the name perpetuated by the small village near its site. The choice of name interests us. George Lyttleton, statesman and man of letters, was born in England in 1709 and was educated at Eaton and Oxford. From 1744 to 1754 he held the office of Lord Commissioner of the Treasury. In 1755 he became Chancellor of the Exchequer, retiring from that office in 1756, which year he was raised to the peerage of Lord Lyttleton, Baron of Frankley, in the County of Worchester. Lord Lyttleton took a lively interest in the affairs of Pennsylvania and corresponded not only with General Forbes, but with General Shirley, Governor Morris and several members of the Penn family. In the letter from Governor Morris to General Shirley he states he had named the new fort for his friend, George Lyttleton, in honor of his having been elevated to the peerage.


Sipes (Indian Wars of Pennsylvania) relates that after the destruction of the Indian village of Kittanning by Armstrong, September 8, 1756, in which Captain Hugh Mercer was wounded, the latter tried to make his way .back to the settlements. The journey took an entire month and Mercer nearly starved. Seven miles east of Frankstown he lay down, abandoning all hope of reaching the settlements. A band of Cherokees in the British service, coming from Lyttleton on a scouting expedition, found the exhausted captain and carried him to the fort on a bier of their own making. Colonel Armstrong stopped several days at Fort Lyttleton in September, 1756, on his return from the Kittanning expedition.


In June, 1757, several murders were committed near the fort. In a letter to Colonel Armstrong from George Croghan he says, "On Friday there was a man killed near Henry Paulius' and two of his children taken. The same evening a young lad was fired on by seven Indians, from whom he made his escape, wounded in three places. The same day a daughter of Gerrard Pendegrass was killed and scalped in sight of Fort Lyttleton." Croghan adds that the troops were to march from the fort the same evening, in February, 1758.


Again the authority is Sipes. In July, 1763, George Croghan, without authorization and at his own expense, raised a garrison of twenty-five men for Fort Lyttleton. When Bouquet, marching from Carlisle the third week of July to the relief of Fort Ligonier, came to Forts Loudon and Lyttleton, he found they had been abandoned by their garrisons. Bouquet reached Fort Bedford--then Raystown--July twenty-fifth.


It was in these Indian wars that the settlers learned to think and act independently of the mother country and thus learned to know their strength. They had become fond of liberty. They knew their rights and dared to maintain them. Men from different colonies had learned to fight shoulder to shoulder, and many sectional jealousies were allayed. The treatment by the British also helped to unite the colonists. The best American officers were often thrust aside to make place for young British subalterns. Yet Washington, Gates, Montgomery, Stark, Arnold, Morgan, Putman, all received their training, and learned how, when the time came, to fight even the British regulars.




David Scott is believed to have held the oldest proprietary title to land in the Great Cove, dated November 6, 1749. (Five years before the purchase of the land from the Indians. Colonial Authorities had no legal claim to the land). David Scott gave his bond to pay and maintain a body of twenty-seven scouts for three months, during which time the Indians were repulsed, and the settlers were enabled to harvest their crops. This seems to have been during the summer of 1763, when the Indians, by a preconcerted movement, fell upon the frontiers during harvest time and killed many settlers in sections surrounding the Great Cove. (This David Scott was an ancestor of Charles Scott, of McConnellsburg). The Scott farm over the ridge is site of land in this warrant.




WHEN BEDFORD County was erected in 1771, what had been known as Ayr Township, Cumberland County, as previously described, was included therein. After the purchase of 1754, the Provincial Authorities granted proprietary titles to the land in gradually increasing numbers; and, generally speaking, in the following order: The Scotch-Irish came earliest, and settled on the choicest limestone valley land. A close second to these were their Irish kin. The settlers on Licking Creek and Tonolloways, French and English, settled on the less desirable red shale lands, entering from the south, form the third group. Scattered among these one finds an occasional German name, but the greater number of these are to titles to land lying higher between those of the Scotch-Irish and the base of the Tuscarora Mountain to the eastward or beyond Scrub Ridge to the westward at Dutch Corner, implying that the German settlers were latest to arrive. Down through nearly two centuries, only descendants of this early American stock are found, only thirty-six foreign-born being listed in the 1920 population of Fulton County.


While a few warrants for land had been granted to settlers while Ayr Township was part of Cumberland County, the greater number of grants were made while it was part of Bedford County. The taking up of land by settlers and the construction of the Chambersburg-Bedford turnpike, are the only developments of that period. A settler made application to the Provincial Authorities for a certain amount of land and a warrant indicating the claim was issued to him. Upon payment of the amount asked by the Authorities, a patent was issued, the land not belonging to the individual, or those who followed him upon the land, until payment in full had been made. The number of years elapsing between the issuing of warrant and patent indicate that many of the settlers were long in paying for the land. Also there were squatters on the land who ignored the formality of application, warrant, and patent. In many cases the matter of payment had been ignored entirely. A recent bulletin (1936) issued in Harrisburg showed that Fulton County has 223 tracts of land, containing 23,500 acres with defective titles.


Some of the early warrants and patents in the Great Cove were as follows: (Where but one date is given, cannot say whether warrant or patent is indicated).


Jacob Alexander

Wt. July 5, 1762

Pat. Feb. 12, 1786

To Jacob Alexander


John Rannells

Wt. June 9, 1763

Pat. Jan. 22, 1774

To John Rannells


John &. Bryan Coyle


(The John Kendall Farm

William Kendall)


Robert Hammell

Surveyed by order

dated Feb. 4, 1767

Pat. Dec. 21, 1774

To Robert Hammell


Charles Taggart

Wt. Mar. 26, 1767

Pat. Apr. 26, 1813

To Charles Taggart

and heirs


William Beatty

Surveyed by order

dated Apr. 16, 1767

Pat. Aug. 11, 1806

To Daniel Jacobs


David Scott

Wt. June 17, 1767

Pat. Nov., 1774

To David Scott


David Scott

Wt. June 20, 1767

Pat. Nov. 24, 1774

To David Scott


Martha Hunter alias

Swan alias Scott

Wt. Nov. 22, 176'8

Pat. Nov. 24, 1771

To Martha Scott


James Wilson

Wt. June 15, 1767

Pat. Aug. 24, 1774

To Jacob Cafsner


Robert Hammell

Wt. Dec. 22, 1774

Pat. Dec. 10, 1791.

To Robert Hammell


John Harper

Oct. 25, 1784


Wendell Ott

Feb. 17, 1785


Abraham Lowrey

Wt. Feb. 25, 1785

Pat. Oct. 29, 1789

To Abraham Lowrey


Alexander Scott Lowrey

Wt. Feb. 25, 1785

Pat. Oct. 30, 1785

To Alex. Scott Lowrey


Abednego Stevens

Wt. Mar., 1785

Pat. Mar. 17, 1815

To Abednego Stevens


Richard Pittman

Wt. May 11, 1785

Pat. Mar. 17, 1815

To Richard Pittman


William Gibson

Wt. June 18, 1785

Pat. Nov. 4, 1790

To Mary Gibson


Frederick Humburgh

& LawrenceBulgar

Wt. June 18, 1785

Pat. Apr. 13, 1813

To Warrantee


John McClellan

Wt. May 11, 1785

Pat. June 22, 1785

To John McClellan


William Alexander

Wt. Feb. 6, 1786

Pat. Feb. 6, 1786

To William Alexander


Charles Taggart

Wt. Feb. 6, 1786

Pat. Oct. 1, 1844

To Charles Taggart


James Gibson

Feb. 28, 1786

(James Kendall Farm)


John McKinley

Wt. Mar. 7, 1786

Pat. Dec. 13, 1813

To John McKinley


Henry Downes

Wt. Mar. 6, 1786

Pat. Dec. 13, 1813

To Hugh Armstrong


Robert Taggart

Wt. Oct. 28, 1786

Pat. Apr. 10, 1801

To Robert Taggart


BEDFORD COUNTY land Warrants and Patents for Mountain Land of the Great Cove


John Godfrey

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John Godfrey


William Lane

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John Godfrey


Martha Godfrey

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


Joseph Kelso

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


John Kelso

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


John Kelso

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


Jesse Brooks

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


Jesse Evans

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


Edward Price

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey


Joseph Roberts

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey


Joseph Taylor

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey


Robert Thomas

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


John Maybin

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


Adam Mindenhall

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


Paul Custer

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


Sarah Custer

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


Mary Lane

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


Rebecca Lane

Wt. Mar. 21, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


Sarah Lane

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


Peter Smith

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


Rebecca Custer

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs


Susanna Custer

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs





WELLS- -Alexander Alexander was the earliest settler in Wells Valley, coming in 1772. Being people of great personal courage, resolution, and ingenuity, they gradually strengthened their hold, though, because of a band of foraging Indians they deemed it wiser to spend the winter of 1777-1778 in the settlements of the Great Cove. Much of their furniture and improvements were fashioned by their own hands, the clothing being made by the women. The Alexanders took their wheat and corn to Fort Lyttleton to have it ground. They went to Fort Loudon and Carlisle to shop. They were Presbyterians.


BRUSH CREEK- -Shortly after the French and Indian War a settler named Whipkey came into Brush Creek. He is known to have been the very first settler in the valley, though records are not available as to the time he lived there. He seems to have moved on when other settlers came, but his name still lingers in Whips Cove. Adam Smith obtained a warrant for a tract of land in Brush Creek in1774. Hannah Martin in 1784 obtained a grant of 483 acres east of Crystal Spring Camp Ground. In 1785 George Ensley secured a tract of 498 acres east and south of Rhoms Gap. In 1794 George Barton came from New Jersey and to Brush Creek. The Bartons seem to have been a race of physicians and teachers. This is especially true of those of New Jersey and near Philadelphia, from which the Fulton County branch came; these carrying forward the tradition of teaching. In 1803 five families from Landon County, Virginia, came into Brush Creek. They were William Hanks, cousin of Nancy Hanks, mother of Lincoln, James James, Jacob Lodge, Ephriam and Robert Akers, and Samuel Jackson. Most of these names are familiar today in Brush Creek Township.


CLEAR RIDGE-In 1794, Charles Lowell and James Justice settled in the vicinity of Clear Ridge. John Hollan, William Henry, Thomas Stinson and Nathan Baker were among the early settlers.




The first Methodist organization of which there is any record is 1791. This congregation was at a place called Laverings, at the base of Sideling Hill, midway between the turnpike and Warfordsburg.  There were several families of Methodists in Wells-Valley as early as 1790. In 1800 a regular class was organized, which held services in private homes until 1818, when a log cabin was erected near where the Valley Methodist now stands. This was torn down in 1828 when under the leadership of Joseph Woodcock a more serviceable building was erected. At Hustontown the first Methodist church was built, near the southeast corner of the present cemetery. It was named Hartman Chapel, the same as present structure, the first minister being Daniel Hartman. Mr. Hartman was one of the early circuit riders, so-called from the fact that they rode horseback on their rounds, their circuit being about the same as the McConnellsburg and Hustontown circuit. At the close of his life, Mr. Hartman was brought back and buried at the scene of his early labors. Bishop Asbury, the first American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who had received his appointment from John Wesley, preached one sermon at Fort Lyttleton in 1810. At present (1936) there are about a dozen small Methodist Churches located in various parts of the County, usually three or four supplied  by one minister.


April 8, 1834, a call for ministerial services of Rev. Nathan G. White, who had just been received as a licentiate from the Presbytery of Newcastle, was laid before the Carlisle Presbytery, from the Church of Great Cove, Pa., including the inhabitants of Wells Valley and Licking Creek. The call was accepted by Mr. White. On the 12th of September, 1835, the Green Hill Presbyterian Church was organized--the Licking Creek Church.  Mr. White and later ministers gave alternate Sundays to the church at McConnellsburg, and one Sunday each month to each of the other two churches.


There are Christian, Brethren, Baptist and United Brethren Churches also in the county, but no available records. For so small a territory, the County seems over-churched. The maintenance of so many churches in the day of annihilated distances is a problem needing attention.




In Ayr Township, about four miles south of McConnellsburg, there was a school at Big Springs on Benjamin Stevens' land as early as 1777, the only school at that time in the Big Cove. A man named Boyd was the teacher. Another school was opened in 1780 about a half mile south of McConnellsburg.


Wells Township had one school prior to 1790. In 1803 (begin p. 19) another school was started. By 1809 there were three schools in Wells.


The first schools in what is now Licking Creek Township were German schools, taught by John and Jacob Eller, between 1790 and 1800. Henry Strait afterward taught an English school several miles from the Eller school. Within five years from the enactment of the free school law its provisions went into effect in every township now comprising Fulton County.


The only very progressive County Superintendent Fulton County has known was Mr. Horace M. Griffith. During his regime four of the townships of the County erected consolidated schools. Be1fast at Needmore, Bethel at Warfordsburg, Dublin at Fort Littleton, Licking Creek at Saluvia. These did away with the ineffective one-room schools and provided training for the children through the twelve grades under thoroughly-prepared teachers. Taylor built a high school at Hustontown but did not consolidate the grades. The other six townships are still satisfied with the one-room schools, though the teachers in recent years have been much better qualified than formerly.


Militia serving in the Revolution from that part of Bedford County which is now Fulton:

Ambrozier, Matthias

Applegate, James

Alexander, Alexander

Alexander, Hugh

Alexander, Robert

Alexander, William

Arthurs, John

Barnett, Thomas

Barrott, Thomas

Bell, Joseph

Bishop, George

Boorman, Jacob

Brown, John

Coleman, Philip

Collens, James

Colwel, Mathhias

Conner, Edward

Conner, William

Coul, Jacob

Covalt, Bethnel

Covalt, Timothy

Cunningham, William

Darby, John

Davice, Joshua

Davie, Philip

Dishan, Matthias

Dison, William

Dogart, Jacob

Dole, James

Down, Henry

Feren, Thomas

Fisher, John

Gatrel, John

George, Robert

George, Paul

Gibson, Robert

Golloway, George

Graham, James

Graham, John

Grahom, Andrew

Grahom, Edward

Harbison, Hugh


(p. 20)


Head, Edward

Heart, Jacob

Hill, John

Hill, Robert

Hohman, John

Homble, Nathaniel

Hull, Solomon

Humburd, Frederick

Hunter, David

Hunter, John

Hunter, William

Kar, Samuel

Keay, Francis

Kenard, John

Kimble, Peter

Kindel, Robert

Lance, John

Lidy, David

Limon, Thomas

Linn, Adam

Linn, John

Longstreach, James

Longstreach, John

Longstreach, Martin

Longstreet, Philip

Lowery, Alex. Scott

McClain, Jacob

McClain John

McClemon, James

McCray, Thomas

McDonel, James

McFaden, John

McGaughey, Joseph

McKindley, Joseph

Mallott, Jacob

Mau, Barnet

Melot, Dory

Melot, John

Melot, Obediah

Milburn, John

Miller, George

Morton, Richard

Morton, Thomas

Morton, William

Murry, James

Murry, John

Murph, Patrick

Myers, Casper

Nelson, James

Nicholas, John

Novels, Joseph

Ott, Wendell

Paton, James

Paxton, John

Patterson, William

Pesk, Benjamin

Pittman, Richard

Pittman, William

Renkins, James

Renkins, John

Rohorty, Bartholomew

Rondels, Francis

Rush, Henry (Capt.)

Rush, Peter

Sead, William

Scott, James

Shingledaker, George

Shingledaker, Jacob

Shingledaker, Michael

Shock, Jacob

Sipes, Henry

Slaughter, John

Smith, Henry

Smith, John

Sloan, William

Sousley, Henry

Staul, Michael

Stephens, Amos

Stephens, Benjamin

Swartwoler, Peter

Taggart, Charles (Capt.)

Troax, John

Troax, Samuel

Wallace, Ephriam

Walker, George

Wason, William

Watson, William

Welsh, Francis


(p. 21)


Westcarver, George

Wienter, Stephen

Wilkins, Robert

Wilkins, William

Williams, John

Wilson, Charles

Wilson, George

Wilson, John

Wilson, Robert

Wilson, Thomas

Wilson, William

Work, Jacob


(start p. 22)


The Old Trading Path Becomes Part A Part of The Lincoln Highway


Only the braver, the more daring settlers pushed beyond what is known geographically as the Appalachian Barrier, in the second quarter of the eighteenth century. One of the most practicable routes for these sturdy pioneers to follow was the Old Trading Path by which Indian traders used to carry their goods and skins to and from Ohio. Its eastern terminus was Philadelphia, but it is with the history of that part of it from Carlisle to Raystown, as Bedford was then called, which was of greatest concern to the early dwellers of Fulton County.


Pennsylvania desired to share in this Indian trade which Virginia hoped to monopolize. This played a large part in the rivalry between the two colonies up to the time of the French and Indian War, when this trade was at a standstill. When the struggle between the French and English for the control of the territory now embraced in the United States and Canada was beginning, Governor Morris of Pennsylvania was requested by St. Clair, Braddock's Deputy Quartermaster General, to open a road across Pennsylvania to the Youghiogheny in order that the stores to be furnished by the northern colonies for the capture of the French forts upon the Great Lakes, the upper Allegheny, and at Fort Duquesne, where Pittsburgh now stands, might be taken thither by a shorter route than by the roads then being opened through Maryland and Virginia. Morris answered that there was no wagon road west of Carlisle through the mountains, only the horsepath by which the Indians had traveled--The Old Trading Path referred to above. The trail over the ridge, west of McConnellsburg, is part of this old path, locally known as Packers' Path, goods being carried upon pack-mules. It is on record that it had been surveyed prior to 1755. Morris was empowered the middle of March to open the road. Advertisements for laborers for the cutting of the road were dispersed through the Counties of Lancaster, York, and Cumberland. In the following May, one hundred and fifty men were at work. June 2, 1755, the road up Sideling Hill, sixty-seven miles west of Carlisle, and thirty miles east of Raystown, had been artificially cut. The point named places it four miles


(p. 23)


west of McConnellsburg. The report goes on to state that there were many discouragements. This stretch of road is still regarded as putting very great strain upon trucks. During the World War, the Packard Company sent its army trucks here to be tested, because this thirty-five miles was regarded as the equivalent of five hundred miles upon the level.


Thus did the Old Trading Path become a white man's road. Braddock's defeat a little later in the year put an end to any improvement for several years. Until this defeat, Pennsylvania had done nothing toward the preservation of the colony except the ordering of the road to be cut. They furnished not a man, and voted not a pound toward the expense of securing the wagons and horses which had made Braddock's march possible. But failing the ounce of prevention they came quickly with the pound of cure. Now the chain of forts previously referred to was built under Colonel Armstrong. Pitt now put General Forbes in command of the English forces and the road westward now became known as the Forbes Road. This name, however, can only be applied to that leading west from Bedford (Raystown). The Forbes Road was built from Cumberland to Bedford. With the fortification of the gaps of the mountain, the road Pennsylvania is building turns northward at Fort Loudon toward Path Valley, crosses to Fort Lyttleton, thence to Juniata Crossing and westward to Raystown. So, for a generation, from 1757 to 1787, McConnellsburg was not on the most-traveled road westward. This fortified road became the great military route from the Atlantic seaboard to the Trans-Allegheny empire--the most important military road of equal length on the continent throughout the eighteenth century. It was over this road that the western forts received their ammunition and supplies throughout the Revolutionary War.


Such was the importance of this road that soon after the Revolution, Pennsylvania took steps to improve it. At first it was called the Western Road to Pittsburgh. About 1817 the part of the road from Chambersburg to Bedford was further improved and becomes known as the Chambersburg-Bedford Turnpike, with tollgates at intervals at which toll was collected for its upkeep. When it was no longer necessary that it be a fortified route, the detour northward from Loudon was abandoned, and McConnellsburg again became an important stop for change of horses. The taverns, as hotels were generally call-


(p. 24)


ed then, were not large buildings, but the tavern yards, with gates opening one at the east, another at the west, were filled nightly --with the great Conestoga wagons. Where Mr. Frank Ott's house stands was the first of these, at the eastern end of town, kept by a man named Fosnought. Where the R. & G. Garage and the Lincoln Restaurant are, was the Joseph Flickner Tavern; the third included Mr. Will Nesbit's house and store, the wagon yard extending eastward to Miss Jennie Cooper's home, and was known as the Ford House. The western exit from the yard was back of the house on the cross street. The Tourists Hotel was The Eagle, its eastern gate on the cross street. The Union, the old part of The Fulton House was next. The tavern where the First National Bank stands was known as The Crosskeys. Further down at the next corner on the northern side of the street was The Buckhorn. Most of the wagon yards were a half-acre. Those two blocks were the very oldest part of the town. As the stagecoaches with four, six, or eight horses came winding down the mountains, the drivers blew their horns long and loud as a signal for the tavern-keepers to have food for the passengers, and horses to be in readiness to put into the coaches. The wagon-trains of the settlers went westward to take up new lands-to push the frontiers back. Eastward over it passed droves of cattle and of wild horses for eastern markets.


One of the mountain ranges, Sideling Hill, was given the name because the road was so sideling that when it was being built, as many men as could be spared from the work in hand were required to pull at the sidestays or long ropes attached to the upper side of the wagons to prevent them from upsetting. The wagons of the emigrants which later passed over this road were unprovided with brakes. They were checked by a large log or tree tied to the back of the wagons and dragged along the ground, a condition which happily no longer exists, but has been immortalized in the name. To meet this condition, George Diven, a farmer and wagoner, living in McConnellsburg from 1782-1858, became a benefactor of the human race by an invention never patented by Diven, of the friction brake, in which not a single essential change has been made since Diven constructed the first one. About eighty years after his death representatives of the Westinghouse Air Brake Company, The American Brake, Shoe, and Foundry Company, and The Mack Truck Company, paused in McConnellsburg to


(p. 25)


lay a wreath upon the grave of this earliest inventor of the handbrake wagon.


With the invention of the automobile and the annihilation of distance, which that made possible, the turnpike,its toll-gates banished earlier, becomes a unit in the famous Lincoln Highway, constantly thronged by present day travel. Crowning Tuscarora's summit is one of the beckoning lights that guide the planes along the much used air-route. To the southeast of McConnellsburg, a short distance, is an emergency airfield, visited on June 4, 1931, by Amelia Earhart in her autogiro.


The road from Baltimore and Washington leads into McConnellsburg from the southeast. McConnellsburg was its terminus in early days, as we are told by Francis Bailey, F.R S., President of The Royal Astronomical Society, who left a record of experiences on this pioneer highway. In October, 1796, he left Washington, passing through Hagerstown and Chambersburg, and he states that he met the Pennsylvania road at McConnellstown, as the little village was then called, and traveled thence to Pittsburgh. The celebrated Morris Birkbeck, founder of the English settlement in Illinois, traveled this route in 1817, and left the following record: "The road from Washington terminates at McConnellstown, where it strikes the great turnpike from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. He speaks of the cost of a carriage per cwt., of the money paid for conveyance annually for the goods on this road, then sums up: "Add to this the numerous stages loaded to their utmost, and the innumerable travelers on horseback, on foot, and in light wagons, and you have a scene of bustle, and of business extending a space of three hundred miles, which is truly wonderful."


But that was long ago, and now it is Route 16 from Washington, joining 522 to become The Pioneer Trail to Tyrone.








Formation of Fulton County


BY AN ACT of the Legislature, approved April 19, 1850, it was provided that a new county be formed, extending from the top of the Tuscarora Mountain on the east, to the top of Rays Hill on the west, and from the Maryland border on the south, to the Huntingdon County border on the north, with an area of 403 square miles. The petition asked that the county be named Liberty. The passage of the bill depended upon the action of Senator Packer of Lycoming County, who agreed to present the bill, provided that he be permitted to name the county. This was agreed to by the friends of the measure; and he named the county Fulton, instead of Liberty.


The measure provided, among other things, for the opening and holding of court in McConnellsburg unti1 a court house shall be erected for said county; named Peter Donahue, David Mann, Jr., and Andrew J. Fore, County Commissioners to run and mark the boundary lines of the county; for an election to be held the second Tuesday of October, 1850, to choose officers for Fulton County; for the erection of county buildings by the commissioners first elected in the county; authorized said commissioners to receive subscriptions of money and materials toward defraying the expenses of purchasing lots and erecting the public buildings of the county and also to locate the seat of justice of said county, "Provided however, that they shall be located at the place which will pay or secure to be paid the most money toward the public buildings; that the citizens of said county of Fulton shall before the first day of September, 1850, raise by voluntary subscriptions at least eight thousand dollars toward the purchase of the lots; the erection of the buildings and the payment of the tax required by the state upon this act; and shall give security for the faithful payment thereof to the said county in a judgment bond to be signed “by three or more of their number and approved by the commissioners."


The citizens of the county at once began to raise sub-




scriptions for the erection of the public buildings. A portion of the people of the county favored the location of the county seat at Fort Lyttleton; but the citizens of McConnellsburg raised the sum of thirteen thousand dollars, thus securing the location of the county seat. This amount includes money and materials. This subscription list has been removed from the files at the Court House at some time and is now in the hands of a private resident of the town; and should be returned to the public files. A judgment bond of twice the amount was given by James Agnew, Thomas Greathead, W. S. Fletcher, Henry Hoke, John W. Bohn, S. Elliott Duffield, Jacob Stoner, Mark Dickson, Elias Davidson, James Ray, Daniel Fore, William Keyser, John Cook, James Kendall, Thomas Logan, F. W. McNaughton, William Cooper, Daniel Logan, and John Kittle.


The newly-elected commissioners gave notice plans for a court house and jail would be received on January 15, 1851; also arranged that the several courts of the county would be held in the Methodist Church, paying the sum of twenty-five dollars for each and every term of court.



Henry Sipe

James Hughes

Frederick Dubbs


On January 15, 1851, the plan of Jacob Stoner was adopted for the court house, and the specifications were filed in accordance with these plans. No plan for the jail was agreed upon until February 4, 1851, when that of Solomon Fuller, of Bedford, was adopted. John Sipe, being the lowest bidder for the jail, $2,874, was awarded the contract.


Aaron Staines, of Huntingdon County, whose bid for the court house was $5,695, was given the contract for the building of the same. The contract, with the commissioners, was signed by Aaron Staines, Robert Madden, and John Robertson, in which they agreed to have it completed for the January term of court, 1852. The specifications provided that it should be a two-story brick building, 52 feet x 74 feet, with a portico. The clock in the dome of the court house, estimated at $600, was donated by James Agnew over eighty years ago.


Thus, though provision was made at once for courts of justice and a penal institution, there were generally only civil cases to be tried in the courts, criminals being almost unknown in the county. When it has been necessary to imprison anyone for a minor offense, the offender doesn't suffer much. A story is told of the county jail by a state inspector of prisons which




shows the absolute lack of criminal ideas in the region. He visited the town with the intention of inspecting the jail and the prisoners. Having located the old-fashioned walled house which is known as the jail, he asked a man seated at the door where he could find the jailor or sheriff. He was informed that both of the positions were filled by one man and that just then he was on a hunting trip and would not return until evening. Not relishing a wait of that length, the inspector inquired who was guarding the jail and the prisoners. He was astonished to hear that there was only one prisoner and that no one was in charge of the premises. Curious to know the status of the man who was answering the questions, he inquired his position in the town, and was nearly dumfounded to learn that he was the prisoner. His offense was a minor one and he was serving a ten-day sentence. As he had the privilege of strolling around the town, and dining with the sheriff's family, he was perfectly content to serve his sentence without causing his jailor any worriment and without spending any time mounting guard. (Published in “Philadelphia Ledger,” Sunday, April 2, 1911)  In more recent years, court was opened and adjourned without a case on the docket. In the eighty-six years since the county was formed, three cases have been tried for the killing of another; two in which the killing was unpremeditated, the third a case of the unwritten law, the man in the case coming of his own volition to the sheriff to give himself up. In all three cases the men were cleared.


In the early days, Bedford County, together with Fulton, formed the judicial district. The distance between the county seats was thirty-four miles, as roads curved and wound, and the three mountains, Rays Hill, Sideling Hill, and Scrub Ridge, lay between in the days of horse and buggy. Later, abridging the distance, and reducing the mountain climbs to one, Fulton was joined to Franklin. About the opening of the twentieth century the judicial district was again changed and Fulton and Adams were joined, .increasing the distance, but bringing two small counties together, and soon the automobile annihilated the distance.




The townships were erected in the following order: Ayr Township erected July 21. 1761, and Dublin, October, 1767, were formerly parts of Cumberland County. Bethel, January 12, 1773; Belfast,1785; Licking Creek, Septem-


(p. 32)


ber 21, 1837; Thompson, February 12, 1849; Aughwick, September 1, 1849, but changed the name to Wells when Fulton County was formed in 1850; Taylor, November 6, 1849, had all been parts of  Bedford County. Todd Township, formerly part of Ayr, had been formed before the county was organized, the date of this division not found. Brush Creek Township, in which the State Board of Game Commissioners acquired in 1931 over three thousand acres of land to be set aside as a game refuge and to be known as State Game Lands No. 65, was organized when the county was formed April 19, 1850. Union Township was organized January 19, 1864 from part of Bethel.




The ranges of the Appalachian Mountains in southern Pennsylvania, though not so widely advertised as the Adirondacks and the Catskill Mountains of New York, nor the Great Smokies of the south, can hardly be said to be less beautiful. Seen during October, with the gorgeous coloring autumn gives contrasted with the evergreens, the scene is one long to be remembered. Of these ranges the Tuscarora forms the eastern boundary of Fulton County, meeting the horizon here in an almost unbroken line, at an elevation of 2240 feet a short distance north of the Lincoln Highway. The valley in which McConnellsburg lies, scarcely three miles wide, has an elevation of 900 feet. Scrub Ridge, with its serrated top, is of much later formation, being the same geological formation as the Rocky Mountains. Sideling Hill gives us the greatest elevation in Fulton County, 2195 feet, here meeting the horizon in an unbroken line, then dropping to climb again to Rays Hill, which at, a lower level than Sideling Hill, forms the western boundary of the county. Other mountains of lesser magnitude are Dickey's Mountain, of which Lowry's Knob is the northern terminus, being separated therefrom by a gorge; Negro Mountain; Black Log; Shade; and Broad Top.  About three miles north of  McConnellsburg is the scarcely perceptible elevation which turns some of the streams of Fulton County northward to join the Juniata, or southward to the Potomac, in both cases feeding streams immortalized by the poets. The Blue Juniata, along the banks of which Alfarata roamed, as given in the old song; and the Potomac "Not an officer lost, only one of the men, And he a lone picket on duty," of "All Quiet Along the Potomac."


(p. 33)


During the summer of 1930, a group of geology students from State College discovered a coral reef described as nearly fifteen feet thick, which was traced a distance of ten miles through the Bedford Mountains. The Lincoln Highway crosses the former sea barrier four miles west of Bedford Springs. The reef probably is several hundred million years old, a record left in the rocks of the time when Pennsylvania was under the sea. But not delving quite so deep under Fulton County, rich varieties of iron ores are found which were worked at Dickey's Mountain from 1827 to 1847. There was a foundry at Burnt Cabins, and iron was also worked at Littleton. The quality is very high, but not found in commercially paying quantities, working of iron has long been abandoned. Bituminous coal is found in the Broad Top section.




The leading industry of the county has always been agriculture--the buckwheat produced is of so fine a quality that its fame reached beyond the borders of the county, Fulton County Buckwheat being a favored brand. An allied industry was milling, and scattered through the county were grist mills with the huge water wheels furnishing the power, known in poetry and song. An excellent specimen may yet be seen in the Duffy Mill at Webster Mills, built in 1812. Stock raising, and as the names of several of our post offices, Big Cove Tannery; Wells Tannery, with a tannery at Saluvia, another at Emmaville, and three in McConnellsburg, remind us that in the days when broad leather bands formed the springs upon which the body of the carriage was swung; when four, six, or eight horses were harnessed to the Conestoga wagons; when much of the travelling was done upon horseback, the manufacture of leather was a most important industry. Of equally great importance was the supplying of leather for the boots of the soldiers of the Civil War. Later, the corporation tanneries crowded out the country tanneries, leaving in some instances the name, in others not that. That lumbering was another industry, our mountains show.


The hotels, restaurants, garages, and gasoline stations cater to present day traffic on Lincoln Highway. The Hershey Creamery Company which makes milk powder, is one of the most effective industries, as it brings in farmers from a large territory.


(p. 34)




(p. 35)




McCONNELLSBURG, with its encircling mountains, has been likened to a pearl set with emeralds. It is situated in one of the most beautiful and fertile valleys in Pennsylvania, and the town is fairly level. The old part of the town, laid out by Daniel McConnell on the 20th of April, 1786, was surrounded by a broad street, in summer covered with grass, which was given to the town by Mr. McConnell to be used as free pasturage for the town cows, for nearly every famliy kept at least one cow, raised hogs, chickens, some geese and ducks along the creek. This was known as the "Commons," and passed north and south past Mr. B. Frank Henry's home, turned eastward past the public school, northward at the highway office, eastward at the alley, and back of the lots up as far as Mr. John Comerer's, crossed the highway east of Mr. Henry Comerer's, turning north of his lot, passing westward not quite to the second alley, northward to Mr. Peter Morton's home, westward past Mr. M. W. Nace's home to starting point. In the original plot of the town, Main Street was designed to run east and west through the Court House Square, but the business of the town centered upon the old road, the Packers' Path of the early traders, now a part of the Lincoln Highway. Here were the tavern and wagonyards of stagecoach days. Here are our four excellent hotels, Tourist, Fulton, Harris, Mellott, and many restaurants of the present day Lincoln Highway.


It is unfortunate that today we know so little of those early McConnells. Four McConnells, William, Alexander, James, and Adam, are mentioned as residents of the Big Cove in May, 1750, by Secretary Peters in his report. The land upon which the town stands was granted to Daniel and William McConnell by a warrant dated 1762. These were the sons of Adam McConnell, mentioned above. William McConnell was a justice of the peace, who, when Bedford County was formed in 1771, sold his McConnellsburg


(p. 38)


interest to his brother, Daniel, and moved west. Daniel McConnell had kept a tavern and had a large custom of wagoners and packers long before the town was laid out in 1786. He died in McConnellsburg in 1802 and was buried in the old burial ground on the farm of Jacob Hikes, now owned by Mr. James Kendall. His wife was a Miss Griffiths, a Welsh lady; his second wife was the Widow Beckwith --to whom he left one hundred acres of his estate. Daniel McConnell, Jr., was born and reared on the homestead out of which the town plot was made. He built the brick house in the western end of town, now owned by Mr. Mark Lodge.


Mr. Adam McConnell, who left McConnellsburg in 1813, in a letter written to Mr. James Potts in 1876, reconstructs the town as he remembered it "The McConnell house was at the lower end of the town on the north side of the road next the dwelling and store of John Hunter (property of Mrs. Mary S. Krug, Fulton County News); John Darragh's house and store next extending to the cross street (Miss Mary Trout's property); then Andrew Work's store; the stage tavern (Fulton House), kept by John Davis, with David Agnew's store in the basement; Thomas Douglas' tannery (David Little property); James Agnew's store and home (J. A. Irwin property). On the next corner the Jacob Ford tavern (William Nesbit) ; shop of Anthony Shoemaker, hatter; tavern of Joseph Flickner (R. & G. Garage); George Darragh's tannery on the back of the lots next, east of R. &. G. Garage. This was successively the Darragh-Hoke-Wagner tannery. This gives the north side of the street. On the south side beginning at west end, Thomas Allender's wagon shop; John Carr's blacksmith shop; Huselton's, and on the corner where the First National Bank is now, the Cross Keys Tavern, kept by Mark Dickson. On the next corner James Nesbit, then the old blockhouse on the alley, twenty or thirty feet from the street, the spring, later known as the Dr.'s Spring, in front of the fort. (This spring is under the southwest corner of the Seylar Drug Store, and thus definitely fixes the location of the blockhouse as having been in the rear of it and the Democrat office building). Mr. McConnell describes it as built of heavy oak logs, squared and dovetailed together closely, no cracks, only portholes. A relic of the times when the lives of the settlers were in constant danger from Indians. Across the alley from the blockhouse were the store and home of Judge Dickey; Michael Down's carpenter


(p. 39)


shop; Nicholas Metzler's groceries and medicines, no physician having located in the county until Dr. George Denig, from Chambersburg, came here in 1815, though Dr. McClelland, of Franklin County, made stated visits earlier; the tavern--the Eagle, earlier known as Scott's, on the corner; east of this Daniel Bloom's blacksmith shop; Philip Butler's wagon shop; Rudebaugh's tin shop; Mulvitz's store; and Captain Leonard's blacksmith shop. While not so stated, it is implicit that homes and places of business were on the same sites, as homes are not mentioned elsewhere. By 1845 the town had been built up as far as Mr. John Comerer's, now the home of Mr. Harry Ott, on the south side of the street; and to Mr. Henry Comerer's on the north side. The homes east of Fosnought's Tavern (Mr. Frank Ott's) were referred to as Germantown, Eitemiller, Comerer, Unger, Boerner, and other German names indicating the later-coming Germans of the community. The population in 1840 was 486.


The occupations of the people, then as now were largely conditioned by the modes of travel, the three tanneries indicating the need for leather, the blacksmith shops, the wagon shops, and the several harness and saddlery shops, which, though not named by Mr. McConnell, belonged to this time. The best-known was that of Mr. Samuel Shimer, the great grandfather of the present generation of Shimer men. His sons, several of them, set up harness shops of their own, carrying the industry and name forward for another generation. Then all phases of the leather industry, the wagon shops, the blacksmith shops, disappeared, outmoded by changing methods of transportation. The tinsmith and the hatter have also disappeared from our midst.


The excellence of the construction of some of these early buildings is evident in the home of Colonel James Agnew, built in 1790, now the home and place of business of Mr. John A. Irwin. The earlier part of the Fulton House, erected in 1793, offers another example, and is one of the most interesting buildings. In its earliest history the street was on a level with the creek--the rooms we now regard as basement rooms were on the street level, making it a three-story building. From its earliest history it was a most popular stopping place. Four presidents of the United States have been entertained here. John Adams and his wife, Abigail, stayed overnight in the front room to the right of the stairs on the second floor. Zachary Taylor


(p. 40)


and William Henry Harrison were here. James Buchanan stopped on his drives to Bedford Springs, where he spent his summers.




As the cove was settled by Scotch-Irish, the Covenanters and the Presbyterians predominated. The first places of worship for these people were south of McConnellsburg, the Covenanters at Big Spring and the Presbyterians at the site of the old graveyard on the Hyke's farm, where Mr. McConnell was buried. It is probable these congregations continued to worship there for some years after the town was laid out. At all events the first church erected within the limits of the town was the St. Paul Lutheran Church, built in 1801. It was a two-story frame structure which occupied the same site as the present Lutheran Church. This building, as remembered by one of the men who helped to tear it down, had been painted red. Within were a gallery, a high narrow pulpit wide enough to accommodate the minister only, approached by steps; and with plain unpainted seats. As late as 1870 the services in the Lutheran and German Reformed Churches were conducted in German once a month, the German element in town and community having increased in numbers great enough to have made this necessary. This building was replaced by a brick building, the present Lutheran Church. Its bell has an interesting history. When Napoleon marched against Moscow in 1812, the bells from the churches were sunk to prevent the French from getting them, and Moscow itself was burned. Two of the bells, raised later, were shipped to Philadelphia. A brother of Colonel Agnew, a resident of Philadelphia, bought one of these bells for the Lutheran Church. It was brought to McConnellsburg by Thomas Greathead. The bell, still in use, has a Spanish inscription upon it, seeming to indicate Spanish manufacture. The inscription reads Maria Ana De San Joseph ano de 1736, which translated is “Mary Anne of Saint Joseph year of 1736.”


The earliest Methodist Church, built about 1843, stood where the old graveyard is--a block east of the site of the present church, which is the second structure upon that site. The Presbyterian Church at the southern end of Second Street is their second building on that lot, though the earlier one, built in 1811, stood farther back from the street. The bell was given by Colonel James Agnew. The Reformed congregation worshipped with the Lutheran for many years.


(p. 41)


In 1834 a church was erected where the residence of Mr. L. W. Seylar stands, as a union house of worship by the Presbyterian, Reformed, and other denominations. This was used by the Reformed congregation as late as 1884, or until the present structure was erected. The Presbyterians were few in number and found it difficult to support a minister. They asked the Reformed minister to preach for them, which he did for a time. Out of this grew the Federated Church of McConnellsburg, which has been a working organization since May 31, 1914, each church maintaining its individuality as a Reformed or Presbyterian organization as before. Both church buildings are used, the services alternating morning and evening in both churches. The United Presbyterians are using the first church erected by them in the town. Earlier they used the Stone Church which stood a mile north of Webster Mills. The present membership is made up by the union in 1921 of the United Presbyterians and the Associate Reformed congregation, who earlier worshipped in the church at the Union Cemetery.


SCHOOLS IN McConnellsburg


In Mr. Adam McConnell's letter, quoted from earlier, he has this to say as to the site of the first school building: "The alley east of the Fulton House extended northward through open unoccupied space known as Commons. At the northern end of this alley, on the ground now occupied by Mr. Mike Black's lumber mill, stood the earliest school building, opened in 1808. This was a one-story frame building, the seats therein made of slabwood boards without backs, their only decoration being the names of pupils cut into the surface.”  The second school building was at the western end of the lot now the Presbyterian graveyard. This seems to have been a more pretentious building than the earlier one, being built of stone, surmounted by a cupola and bell. A third building of brick was erected west of the court house on the ground now used as a public park. A fourth building--a white frame one--was built directly north of the jail, followed by a brick building on the same site which was burned in 1922. The present building at the southern end of town houses both grades and high school. Of all these buildings used since the town was founded, only one was in use at any given time.


The school that seems most strongly to have impressed itself upon the life and thought of the pupils, which seems


(p. 42)


most to have influenced the lives of the people was not housed in any of these public buildings, but was in a private home--that of Mrs. Sterrett, widow of Colonel William Dinwiddie Sterrett--the stone building standing upon a half-acre of the ground on the south side of Lincoln Highway, now the property of Mr. Frank Ott. In this building two rooms on the west side had been thrown into one and here from 1847 to 1881 Mrs. Sterrett taught the children of the community. In its earliest years it was known as a "Select School"-a subscription school. When the public school system came in, Mrs. Sterrett was asked to take the primary grades, which she did during the short winter term, which at the time of her death was only five months, and a subscription school in simmer. Mrs. Sterrett was a native of Franklin County and was educated at Rosedale Seminary in Chambersburg. Widowed at thirty, she took up the work of teaching and became a very progressive teacher--remarkably so for that time. She was one of three teachers to organize the first Fulton County Teachers' Institute. She was a subscriber to the “Pennsylvania School Journal” from its earliest publication. Her influence cannot be measured. McConnellsburg, like all villages, sends its young people out into the world, being unable to provide occupation for many. Prior to her death, Mrs. Sterrett had pupils grown to manhood and womanhood in every state in the union. If it be true that "Our echoes roll from soul to soul and grow forever and forever," then not only here but afar her voice shapes into manhood boys she never knew and kindles hearts that never heard her name.


A later generation, whose good fortune it was to be in the grammar grades in the "eighties" will while life lasts hold dear the name of Mr. B. W. Peck, affectionately referred to as "B. W." During his time in the schools here no high school had been organized, but this mattered little to this teacher. He gave freely of his time and of himself. To few teachers, have been given the power to present subject matter so clearly, to rouse in the pupils so great a hunger for more, the urge to go on. Completing the work then done in the grammar grades, the pupils under him read first and second year Latin, studied plane and solid geometry, civics, and physical geography, then given as a separate study, some of these recitations coming after hours. His period of service here was probably about two-thirds as long as that of Mrs. Sterrett, but during the summers


(p. 43)


what were known as County Normal Schools were established. Preparation in the subjects to be taken in the examination for prospective teachers, under the county superintendent, was thus given; and through Mr. Peck's effective work reached a wider scope. One of his students tells of this conversation as occurring between her Greek professor and herself during her college years. She was having her Greek privately. The professor unrolled a map of Asia Minor, the text being Xenophon's Anabasis.


Student: "You needn't get that map for me. I know it by heart."


Professor: "How do you happen to know that map by heart?"


Student: "Well, at the opening exercises at home we studied Paul's missionary journeys, and followed them on the map."


Professor: "What was your teacher's name?"


Student: "B. W. Peck."


Professor: "Well, when you go home, tell him he wasn't a peck, he was a whole bushel."


Mr. Peck served two terms as county superintendent. He established “The Fulton County News” in 1899.


But these are shining exceptions to the type of teachers supplying, until very recent years, the one-room schools in other parts of the county.




McConnellsburg was site of first battle on Pennsylvania soil during the Civil War, with loss of life, and marks approximately the farthest point north for fighting. The following description of the raid was published in the “Fulton Democrat” the day following:


"On June 30, 1863, a company of the First New York Cavalry and a company of newly-organized militia rode into town about 9:00 o'clock. The New York men came from Everett and the militia from Mount Union. While they were in town, a body of rebel cavalry was seen coming down the pike from the direction of Mercersburg. The militia had not yet dismounted and the New York boys were speedily in the saddle. The rebels rode boldly into the upper end of town, while the New York company retired slowly down the street. The rebels and New Yorkers both stopped and stood facing each other at a distance of about two squares. The rebel captain ordered his men to charge, but they evidently thought discretion the better part of valor, and hesitated to obey the command. Just at this instant an officer of the militia company rode


(p. 44)


from the Court House Square, where his men were, down to the main street. The rebels at once concluded that they were surrounded and wheeled about. While in the act of doing so the captain of the New York boys ordered his boys to charge. They did so most gallantly and fiercely, gaining on the rebels at every stride of the horses. The result was the capture of thirty-two men and horses (nearly as many men as there were New Yorkers) and the killing of two rebels, who were buried where they fell by our citizens. The prisoners were taken to Everett and surrendered."


The invading Confederates were a part of Imboden's force, sent into Pennsylvania by General Lee. The main part of Imboden's men came up into Little Cove to Cove Gap in Franklin County. Camping here for several days, scouting parties covered this section, gathering horses and provisions.


After the burning of Chambersburg by McCausland, his command moved west on the Chambersburg pike. They entered McConnellsburg August 30, 1864, numbering about 300, where they remained overnight. Upon their arrival they demanded 2,600 rations, which the citizens supplied as far as they were able, as threats of burning the town, in case of noncompliance, were freely offered. Then the plundering of stores and private houses commenced. Citizens were stripped and robbed in the streets. In almost every instance money was demanded and secured through threats of burning. And yet, the Confederates had started a fire in the Greathead Tannery when one of their officers came upon them. Kicking the fire apart, he ordered them to stop, asking if they had not had burning enough. This was seen and heard by one of the firm. General Bradley Johnston and his aides camped at the Patterson farm, a mile south of town, taking supper and breakfast at their own invitation. This was the last

Confederate bivouac north of the Mason and Dixon Line. So the Confederates made their first fight and final exit at McConnellsburg. Both sites have been marked by the Pennsylvania Historical Commission and the Fulton County Historical Society.


(p. 45)


McConnellsburg Celebrates Its Centennial


September 30, 1886, the day of the Centennial Celebration of McConnellsburg, dawned clear and bright with just a tang of autumn in the air, which added greatly to the pleasure and comfort of all. It was such a celebration that those who witnessed it will never forget, and will hand it down to generations yet unborn in published accounts or by verbal repetition, so that it will be perpetuated and talked of long after its participants have been laid in the grave. Early in the morning the immense crowd came pouring into town from all directions. It is estimated it numbered ten thousand, Franklin County claiming a thousand of these. Fulton County having no railroad, those without its limits as well as those within had to travel over the dusty dirt roads and the rough stony turnpike by some other means. They came on foot, on horseback, on bicycles, in buggies, spring wagons, farm wagons, some drawn by horses, some by mules, some by oxen, a Mr. Charley Fallon from Mercersburg brought a load by traction-train. The town was profusely decorated, was truly attired in holiday garb. Arches of evergreen were erected at every approach to the town and at every cross street. At the northern entrance, Todd and Taylor had each erected an arch. The court house, the printing offices, and nearly every building in the town were decorated with flags and bunting, making the place look so captivating that those who were strangers there at once voted McConnellsburg one of the finest places they had ever seen. The procession began to move about ten-thirty. The most imposing feature was the industrial display, creditable to the town and county. The residents of McConnellsburg made excellent displays of their business, the following being listed in the account given in the “Chambersburg Register” the next day as being exceptionally good: Albert Stoner, Samuel Hoover, D. B. Nace, A. U. Nace, David Goldsmith, Greathead and Son, Thomas Patterson, J. Kendall

Johnston, and Nesbit and Sterrett. The old-time methods of working were illustrated in all the township representations. Floats represented flax breaking and scutching, spinning, weaving, flailing buckwheat, the fanning out chaff with a bed sheet, followed immediately by one on which they were cleaning it by a then modern windmill. One float represented a pioneer hunter.


(p. 46)


The forest was represented by several trees, to one of which a gray squirrel was clinging.A man wearing a buckskin coat and leggings and a coonskin cap had a flintlock rifle, with which he was trying to shoot the squirrel. The gun, however, failed to explode. Oxteams were not uncommon, but a man named Dave Kline, from Licking Creek Township, broke all records by driving a team of six yoke of oxen hitched to one wagon. He rode on the wagon and had a basket of small stones from which he tossed one occasionally when Buck and Berry needed urging. But the float that attracted the most attention, judged by the many references to it, was the one which represented Fulton's most famous product—buckwheat--served in the delectable cakes. A young 1ady from Hustontown, Louise Keepers, who later became Mrs. William Chesnut and mother of Eugene Chesnut of McConnellsburg, described by the “Register” reporter as a comely lass, was busily engaged in baking buckwheat cakes and passing them out to the crowd. Franklin County, much given to twitting its neighbor--little Fulton--on its only exports, buckwheat and hoop-poles, which were not exhibited, was given a return thrust by the legend on the float which read "Franklin County takes our cakes." The procession was two hours passing a given point. It is reported that the streets were not long enough for the procession to move satisfactorily, so that several times the front of the parade came in contact with the rear portion; and at one time it was necessary for them to move side by side for the distance of a square, each going in opposite directions.


After the parade was over everyone was feeling hungry and began hunting for his dinner. The three hotels, Woollet's, The Fulton House, and The Eagle, were crowded to their utmost capacity, and the hospitable people of the town willingly furnished viands to the hungry multitude. The committee on arrangements, knowing the crowd could not be accommodated at the hotels, arranged for a grand ox-roast, to feed free of cost, all who could not be cared for otherwise. The roasting process went forward in front of the court house; and a large and ever-changing crowd constantly surrounded the scene, watching the "cook" and his movements. About noon, the ox was ready to be served. Each person was given two slices of bread and a layer of roast meat, a la sandwich. The barbecue was managed in an excellent manner.


In the afternoon a tournament was held on the com


(p. 47)


mons northeast of town. The riders tried to spear rings suspended overhead. One of the reporters comments upon this feature as not proving as satisfactory as could have been desired, adding, "However, prizes were awarded to the successful horsemen." Another says, "One man occasionally made a try at taking the rings, mounted upon a mule. The animal could not be persuaded to keep an even speed or run straight, thus causing much merriment."


In the late afternoon, there was a masque parade, the costumes worn by the participants having been furnished by a Philadelphia costumer. Although it is reported that about a hundred took part, only the Goddess of Liberty, riding in a conveyance, and Mr. CristFendrick of Mercersburg, impersonating a Turk, riding horseback, are mentioned by the reporters. During the afternoon, there was also a display of antiques in the court house. A constant crowd surged through the room from the time the doors were open until twilight. Throughout the day the St. Thomas band, and a drum corps filled the air with their melodies.


There was a balloon ascension and fireworks, bringing to a close a crowded and interesting day. Mr. Thomas Sloan ended his report to the “Repository” with these words: "Our little town never put on such an air of pride as she did today." The “Register” reporter from whose pen most of what is given above has been taken, brings his comments to a close thus: "And so, McConnellsburg's Centennial was a success and a brilliant success. It was a success because the people of that town and of that county were determined to make it such, and put their whole might to the movement."




The organization of the county brought into McConnellsburg some young lawyers intending to practice law in the courts. There proved to be little legal business and their stay lasted but a few years. But one of the benefits they brought was the establishment of a Lyceum, the meetings held in the court house and open to the public. The names of two of the young lawyers, Charley Barton and Buck Boggs, and certain eloquent phrases used by them were familiar to the next generation being repeated by their elders long after the Lyceum no longer existed. That these organizations and debating societies had an educational value, and were much enjoyed is attested by the esteem in which they were held. That they offered an excellent op-


(p. 48)


portunity for self-expression and self-development cannot be questioned.


There have been or are the usual Soldier Organizations; the G. A. R. of the Civil War which has since died out; the American Legion and the Veteran's of Foreign Wars following the World War. There is no Masonic Lodge, but some of the men are members of the lodge in Chambersburg. The I. O. O. F., the W. C. T. U., the Fulton County Red Cross, which always stands ready to do its part, and the Athletic Association, instrumental in the purchase and upkeep of the school grounds for athletics for the young people. Recently a Parent-Teacher Association was formed.


The Thalian Club, an organization of the "gay nineties" was formed as a means of pleasure and improvement, meeting in the homes of its members alternate Friday evenings. Its programs were literary, musical, and amateur dramatics. A program devoted to Burns with a sketch of the poet, the reading of "The Cotter's Saturday Night," and the singing of Scotch songs, another to Mark Twain with a sketch of the humorist and readings from "The Innocents Abroad" and "Huckleberry Finn." Once a year a public performance of such plays as "Esmeralda" was given in the court house, then our only public auditorium. At all its meetings delicious refreshments were served. The club kept alive eight years, ending its existence in 1903, leaving with its members memories of many good times and happy associations.


The Honor Roll and Memorial Committee was organized to erect a lasting memorial to the war heroes of Fulton County. Their first move was a Welcome Home Celebration, which came second only to the Centennial Celebration of 1,886 in the history of the community. Its program follows:


AUGUST 7, 1919


10:00 A. M.-Parade.

11:00 A. M.-Drill.

Address of Welcome, Hon. John P. Sipes.

Response, Captain Frank Guillard.

12:00 M.-Dinner.

1:30 P. M.-Band Concert -Bedford Band.

2:00 P. M.-Program-Hon. George A. Comerer, presiding.


Address, Captain James Parker Skinner.


Address, Hon. Charles A. Snyder, Auditor General.



5:00 P. M.-Supper.

6:00 P. M.-Band Concert, Mercersburg Band.

(p. 49)


6:30 P. M.-Victory Pageant.

7:30 P. M.-Colored Chorus.

8:00 P .M. Community Singing.

Band Concert.


Out of the day grew the definite plans for the Memorial, which have since been carried out. Bronze honor rolls with the name of every nurse, soldier, and sailor inscribed have been attached to the front wall of the court house. The park adjoining and the square in front of the court house have been improved. A small boulder was placed at the entrance to the park bearing this inscription: "This park forum is dedicated to the soldiers and sailors of Fulton County who fought in the Civil, Spanish-American, and World Wars." The forum referred to is part of the park improvement. The park contains a half acre. The tablets were erected at a cost of $3,500. The money to pay for them and for the park improvement was assigned pro rata to each township. It has made for county unity, community spirit, and civic pride.


But the reorganization of the Civic Club in 1922, the regular work of which had lapsed during the war years, the members giving their time and interest to specific war work, has accomplished most in creating a community spirit. Upon reorganization, the Civic Club agreed to finance the beautification of the Court House Square. A curbed circle in the center with rounded curbings on each side, these last done by the property holders, was the first step. In the center of the circle is the Community Christmas Tree, planted in 1924. The tree was donated by George Comerer, transplanted by John Kelso, Contractor Stenger furnished stakes and guys for its erection. The wiring and sockets were bought from the shop of A. G. Crunkleton, Greencastle, Hull and Bender, and A. G. Crunkleton furnished the colored electric lights. Oscar Gress and Lloyd Mellott strung the wires and made the electric attachment and the McConnellsburg Light Company furnishes the power gratuitously.

The first tree died and was replaced by Mrs. John W. Mosser. Sod has been planted in the circle in the form of a Greek cross, and the corners with low evergreens. The Civic Club cares for this, and has also planted trees and shrubbery on the school grounds. In 1935 they presented a piano to the school auditorium. It makes an annual contribution to the library.




James Truslow Adams, in "The Crisis and the Consti-


(p. 50)


tution," states that as a man of fifty he has lived in two worlds, whereas the generations born around 1900 or after has lived in only one, tracing the changes in modes, customs, standards of living, to the century of inventions, which made the changes possible. With Adams' article as inspiration, an effort will be made to point out some of the changes as they affected McConnellsburg life. No better way for those wishing to understand the earlier days in the village could be suggested than to read or reread Mrs. Gaskell's "Cranford." True, "Cranford" is the story of English village life of the time of the serial appearance of "Pickwick Papers," 1836, but early village life in America corresponds closely with what the Scotch-Irish, Scotch, and English had known in Europe. The pompous phraseology of Miss Jenkyns, copied from the writings of Dr. Johnson, who made his little fishes talk like whales, was so typical of some of the villagers that of one it was said irreverently that when he prayed on earth God called for a dictionary in Heaven. Speaking of the same person, a good little woman, after hearing him address the Lord in polysyllabic terms, wondered just what would happen if the Lord should answer his prayers. This trait was not in any sense a masculine one. Memory calls up some half-dozen women who never used a simple word if they knew a suitable one of many syllables, and would dispose of an opponent in discussion of a subject if not by the strength of the argument, by the length of the terms in which it was clothed. They took themselves seriously and incorporated in their conversations with others, sermons, lectures, pamphlets, books, magazines, and newspapers. That they were taken seriously by their friends perhaps can best be illustrated by the epitaph of Colonel James Agnew, one of the public-spirited leaders of McConnellsburg life, as has been made evident in the preceding pages.




"In memory of James Agnew, born July 25, 1769, died September 9, 1855." One of the earliest settlers in McConnellsburg, he spent a long and very active life in the place he died and is buried. A man of strong mind and indomitable will he had his infirmities, which forced from him the language of Romans 7:14-25. He had his virtues also. He was eminently punctual in entering his closet-Matt. 6:6, in calling on the name of the Lord, in his family-Jer. 10:25, in keeping the Sabbath and entering the


(p. 51)


Sanctuary--Lev. 19:30, in diligently teaching and in commanding his children and his household the word and the ways of the Lord--Deut. 6: 6-7. His claims for justification by faith-Phil. 3:9, through his righteousness--Romans 10:4, and on his blood for forgiveness and cleansing from all sin and unrighteousness--I John 1:7-9."


Social life, until the opening years of the twentieth century, centered in the homes, including generally two, often three, generations, limited to a group of the same social level. Dependent upon themselves for their diversions, g a m e s were played, charades acted, guessing contests, the younger aided and abetted by their elders. During the winter, there were constant parties; dinner parties, the hostesses striving in friendly rivalry to surpass each other in putting before their guests a goodly array of choice viands, sleighing parties, spelling bees, and singing schools.


Reference was made earlier to the changes the century of inventions had made in modes of living. In no connection has this been more noticeable than the changes the automobile has made in the social life of communities. Whereas earlier this centered in the homes, since 1900 it has been chiefly outside the homes. Young people, marrying, made an effort, to own their own homes; now their first objective is to have, not necessarily own a car, the deferred payment plan seeming to have been discovered chiefly that this might be attained. Earlier a disability or unwillingness to meet one's obligations was discreditable, but long before the crash of 1929 it had become a commonplace thing. A wider area, a greater variety of amusement came with the car, and to fill all leisure with amusement has become the general aim. No longer are they dependent upon themselves for entertainment and diversions, since these may be passively entered into, as in the case of the cinema, and without physical exertion, as in the case of the observer on the sidelines at active sports and contests. A separation into age groups has lessened the influence, the understanding, the sympathy, that contacts give; an increasing degree of selfishness and lack of consideration each for the other is evident. But saddest of all is that the pleasure-giving auto, with the mania for ever-increasing speed, has brought with it a steadily rising death rate upon the highways.


Adams, speaking of the radio and the cinema, both pleasure-giving, points out that because millions of people receive the same impression


(p. 52)


from screen and radio, the intelligent public opinion based upon reasoning has become a myth. He quotes a leading European statesman as saying that he considers these two inventions as the two greatest dangers to constitutional self-government in the future, and to international peace. The mass mind, now all-important politically, can be played upon intellectually and emotionally as never before. This from one of the keenest minds of today.




Public Schools--McConnellsburg has a modern, well-equipped public school building.  The stage, with its grand piano and beautiful draperies, makes the auditorium particularly attractive. The seats are removable, making it possible to use it for a gymnasium. There are six teachers in the high school. The grades are under four teachers. The grounds upon which the building is located contain over five acres, these grounds being well equipped for a recreation center. Originally, the funds for the purchase and equipment of these grounds was by private subscription. Later, equipment, especially the tennis court, was added as a relief project.


The Library--McConnellsburg has a free library, established in 1923, to meet the requirements of a first class high school. This library was organized by the Alumni Association. It is in one of the rooms of the public school building, has no paid librarian, but is under the management of one of the teachers. At its organization it had the hearty support of the community, books from private libraries and funds being donated. In 1923, the Fulton County Fair was also a source of funds, in what proportion not now known. At the close of 1923, the library contained six hundred volumes. Dr. Mosser turned his salary as treasurer of the school board into the library fund; books are contributed by private individuals; and the Civic Club donates its book. At present the library contains approximately two thousand volumes.


The Press—“The Fulton Democrat,” originally known as “The Jackson Democrat,” had its birth in Bedford. After the formation of the county, it was moved to McConnellsburg. The first issue was published September 20, 1850. J. B. Sansom was the owner and editor. Norris Hoover is present editor.


“The Fulton Republican” was first published January 17, 1851. The editor was John McCurdy. It was owned by a


(p. 53)


stock company. It was discontinued in 1922.


“The Fulton County News” was founded by B. W. Peck, September 21, 1899. At its founding and for some years thereafter, it was non-partisan, non-political. Since the discontinuation of “The Republican,” it has represented the views of that party. The present editor is Mrs. Mary S. Krug.


The Theater --McConnellsburg is most fortunate in its very attractive movie theater, in which the management presents only such pictures as he would wish his own young people to see. It has added greatly to the pleasure and enjoyment of the people. It was opened June 21, 1921.


Banks--McConnellsburg has two banks, serving Fulton County. The Fulton County National Bank was organized in 1887. The banking resources on April 1, 1906, when the First National Bank was established, were $160,000. Now, (May, 1936) with two banks, the resources are approximately $2,000,000. McConnellsburg is proud and happy over the fact that when in March, 1933, bank failure after bank failure swept the country, the banks of McConnellsburg were closed only the three days of the banking holiday declared by the president.


Post Office--McConnellsburg Post Office is third class. It is the center for four Star Routes: McConnellsburg to Shade Gap; McConnellsburg to Everett, Pennsylvania; Hancock, Maryland, to McConnellsburg; Chambersburg to McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania. There are two mails east, one south, one west, and one north daily. It is the starting point for one rural route, covering parts of, Ayr, Licking Creek and Todd Townships.


Water Works--McConnellsburg has a gravity water system owned by a private nonresident corporation. It has one reservoir of about 500,000 gallons capacity, located a mile from town. The reservoir is supplied by streams from thirteen mountain springs. Water is furnished the town by about three miles of four and six inch mains. It has thirteen double fire hydrants. The general average of pressure is eighty-five pounds. The system was built in 1900. The borough pays $325 for fire protection annually. Consumers pay an eight dollar per annum service rate. It would be interesting to know what the water would cost if the borough owned the system.


Fire Engine and Hose--McConnellsburg has a volunteer fire company. The borough


(p. 54)


owns an engine and 1600 feet of hose; 1300 feet of two and a half inch, and 300 feet of one and a half inch. There is a fire alarm.


Electric Lights --In 1923 electric lights were installed under superintendence of Mr. W. K. McClenahan, of Belleville, Pennsylvania. The current was first turned on November 16, 1923. The plant was owned by a company of citizens of the borough but was later sold to the Republic Service Corporation. At the time of installation it was estimated there would be about a hundred consumers. At this time (1936) there are four hundred consumers in the borough, and one hundred and seventy-five outside the borough limits, a total of five hundred and seventy-five. The borough pays $780 annually for lights in quarterly payments.




August 2, 3, 4, 5, 1936.


McConnellsburg will celebrate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary and homecoming week the first week in August. The committees to carry forward the plans already made and to add various features thereto have been appointed, a committee to represent each township. The executive committee, working with these committees, are planning to make the celebration the greatest event McConnellsburg has yet known. Bishop McConnell, of New York, a descendant of the founders of McConnellsburg, has consented to come and preach on Sunday. The Mammoth Historical Pageant, under the direction of The John B. Rogers Producing Company, of Fostoria, Ohio, will be given the three week nights of the celebration. It will require about 500 people in about fourteen groups, and will portray and enact episodes of the history of Fulton County.


There will be four parades during the week:

Monday A. M.-A Baby Parade.

P. M.-A Mummer's Parade.


Tuesday-A Military and Firemen's Parade. American Legion Posts. Auxiliaries. Veterans of Foreign Wars Regular Army and National Guard Companies.


Wednesday-Historical Old Timers and March of Progress Parade.


(p. 55)




Adams, James Truslow, "The Crisis and the Constitution."

Egle, W. H.,"History of Pennsylvania."

Hulbert, Archie Butler,"Historic Highways," Vol. V. "The Old Glade Road."

Rupp,-"History of Pennsylvania."

Sipes, C. Hale,-"Indian Wars of Pennsylvania."

"History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties."'

"Pennsylvania Archives."



(p. 56--map of townships of Fulton County)

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