At the beginning...

One of the first settlers was James Donahoe sometime before 1800. He ran a tannery, store, and hotel. Other merchants were Abraham and John Fulk, John Gump, A. C. James, and Samuel Cessna.

Elias Gump came in 1818 from Frederick County, Maryland, to operate a carpentry business and became justice of the peace. John Gump, a relative, also came and began a tannery. He bought Donahue's tannery as well. By 1825 there were approximately a dozen houses in the town itself. In 1856 it had grown enough to become a borough. Samuel Williams, born in Napier Township in 1806, came to Colerain Township and Rainsburg in 1844. He was the founder and main supporter of the Allegheny Male and Female Seminary. The school was chartered in 1853 with trustees Samuel Williams, Jacob Barndollar, George Slicer, J. W. Crawford, A. C. James, W. S. Cunningham, George Bortz, Elias Gump, and C. Graham. The school was very successful for a short time, until the outbreak of the Civil War. At that time students from Maryland and Virginia withdrew, and others enlisted in the military. The school was then closed and the building sold.


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