Union Township


Union township was organized January 19, 1864, from, a part of Bethel. It is located in and constitutes part of a valley originally known as Whipper Cove, or Sarah's Manor, now Buck Valley. It was surveyed in 1794 by Matthew Taylor, and deeded by the commonwealth of Pennsylvania to James Wilson, March 2, 1795. Then by deed of sheriff of Bedford county, April 4, 1822, to John R. Coats, who by deed dated June 10, 1822, conveyed the same to John Conard, who by deed dated July 6, 1824, conveyed the same to Wm. Lee, who, in 1847, deeded to, his children, S.I. McKibbin, Margaret Tenbrook and Alexander Lee's heirs eight thousand, acres each, there being originally twenty-five thousand acres in the tract. They disposed of it to the present settlers.

The valley is surrounded by mountains, excepting on the south, with three gaps- Mandy McKee's, northwest; Barnes, southwest in Ray's Hill, and Deneen's, east in Sideling lull. It is about four miles wide and twenty miles long and abounds in countless springs of pure, wholesome water.

Deneen's Gap settlement was made by Joseph Deneen, who came from Jersey about the year 1800. His wife died soon after, leaving one child, the first white child born in Buck Valley. After his wife died he carried his child back to Jersey, then returned and married Miss Amey Bishop. He built a tannery and followed tanning for years, also farming and hunting. His offspring still live in the Gap.

Zachariah Smith settled in Zach's Ridge about 1776. Built a cabin and cleared a spot of ground. He was a hunter, and were it possible to obtain the data, doubtless many interesting facts could be recorded of him. The ridge has always borne his name.

Indian Grave Run was named from an Indian buried there. He was killed by Abner Hunt and Emanual Smith, who followed them, the Indian in company with others, from Potomac river. Hunt and Emanual Smith were captured while following the Indian at Bald Hill, on the Alleghenies.

Foster Place settlement was made in the year 1770, by Caleb Barnes, of England, who married Miss Honor Stephens, of Baltimore; he followed hunting principally. His family consisted of six children: Dosson, Oscar, Caleb, Philomen, Mary and Elizabeth. They all moved away, excepting Dosson, whose grandchildren still live near the settlement. Caleb, Jr., married Mary Cavender; had one daughter, Honor. Sold the above-named property to James Watson, who in turn sold to George Foster.

James McKee was born in Ireland, and settled in McKee's gap in 1800; married Miss Nancy Robinson, originally of Path valley ; he took up a tract of land, on which he built a cabin; he left his wife in charge, and went back to Ireland; returned again; he belonged to the Masonic fraternity, also a member of the Christian church; he was a farmer, and brought the double-flowering marigold that is in our gardens from Ireland. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word.

James Robinson and Millie, his wife, came from Ireland and settled the place now known as the old Bishop place. He died in 1816. Mrs. Robinson sold the improvements and four hundred acres to David Bishop in 1817, for twenty

On the road first known as Packhorse path, leading from Hancock to Cumberland, first settled by two brothers named Molden, who kept tavern about 1800; then came Souders; then Clark, who built the first sawmill in the valley about 1810; then in 1845, the first flouring-mill was built at same place by David Mann.

Anderson place was settled by the Andersons about 1812. Their son died soon after, and they moved west. The place has been improved and was Mr. Tenbrook's summer residence for years.

William P. Lashley was born in Southampton township, Bedford county, Pennsylvania. In the spring of 1872 he engaged in mercantile business at Royalsville, Main township, Bedford county, until 1873, then moved to Barnes' Gap, then back to his old stand, then moved to Buck Valley in 1881. His store and dwelling with all his goods were burned, but be rebuilt, and is at present engaged in general merchandising. It is the only store in Union township.


David Bishop --- Jonathan Boor --- Ralph Eddowes --- John Hoopengardner --- Alexander Lee --- William Lee

William McKibbin --- John T. Richards --- John Taylor


Buck Valley Presbyterian


Justices of the Peace




Barnes Gap settlement, was named in honor of James Barnes, who came from England and settled near Baltimore, Maryland, from whence he came with a company in the year 1777 and located at an old Indian camp, in what is now known as Barnes' Gap, Ray's Hill.
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