Quemahoning Township

Created: Monday, 14 September 2015 Last Updated: Monday, 14 September 2015 Written by Administrator


<center><strong>HISTORY OF THE TOWNSHIP</strong></center>
Quemahoning township derives its name from its principal watercourse. The Rev. Jacob Heckewelder, who for forty years was a missionary among the Delawares and other tribes of Indians, gives the following as the derivation of the name: Cuuni-Mahoni. Cuuni, meaning a pine grove; Mahoni, water from a lick; the full significance of the two words in conjunction being a stream issuing from a lick in a pine grove. From these two words, which are presumably from the language of the Delawares, the word Quemahoning had its origin.

The township was organized in 1775. It was among the early settled portions of the county, and the present population are nearly all descendants of the pioneers. In agricultural importance this township stands among the best in the county. It contains the borough of Stoystown, one of the earliest settlements in the county, and the village of Hooversville, both of which are prosperous communities. Coal mining for local purposes has been carried on for many years, but no extensive operations have yet been undertaken. The people are mainly of German descent, and are thrifty, moral and intelligent.

The Statlers and the Berkhards settled in the northern part of Somerset county in 1775. Let the reader try to imagine the loneliness, the dreariness and the desolation of this region in 1776; and unless he is gifted with an extraordinary imagination, he will not picture the situation worse than it really was. Yet there were several families of white people then living here, with woods and wild beasts all about them, and constant danger from the savages threatening them. Pack-horse trails were the principal routes of travel. There were few stores or mills in any part of the then vast territory of Bedford county, and frequently long journeys over the mountains to the eastern settlements had to be made when the pioneers desired to procure supplies. Salt and sugar were luxuries, and were used sparingly. Tea and coffee appeared on the table only on rare occasions. Simple food; well cooked, and good home-made garments fed and clothed the early settlers.

The first gristmill in the township was built by George Kimmel, one mile east of Stoystown, at a very early date. Early mills were crude affairs; they performed but little work, not always doing even that little well. But they were most useful and serviceable to the pioneers, who, prior to their erection, often ate boiled wheat, or corn cracked in a mortar and baked, rather than endure the fatigue of a journey on horseback to some distant mill.

Philip Shaver, an early settler, came to this county from Hagerstown, Maryland, and followed the trade of a millwright. He settled at the place known as Snyder’s mill, and erected at that point a mill, which is still in operation. The mill was erected about 1830. Mr. Shaver died in 1879, in the ninety-third year of his age. His son Philip, born in Somerset township in 1817, moved to Quemahoning in 1850. He died in 1879. He was the father of ten children. His eldest son, O.P. Shaver, has resided in this township since 1850. He enlisted and served three years in the late war, and was wounded at the battle of the Wilderness.

Michael Zimmerman was a prominent man in early times, and was the owner of about fourteen hundred acres. He was born in Lancaster county, in 1761; came to Somerset county about 1784, and purchased his land from Daniel Stoy, the early pioneer. Mr. Zimmerman ran a distillery during the whisky insurrection, but sustained no loss. At one time a few soldiers encamped at his place. The dwelling-house now occupied by John Griffin was built by Michael Zimmerman in 1800. He died in 1823. His wife was Elizabeth Kimmel. They reared a family of nine children, whose names are given in a biography of the Zimmerman family listed in the "Biography" section.

Henry Custer is a native of this county and resides in this township. His son, Adam, enlisted in August, 1862, and served until July, 1865, in Co. D, 142d regt. Penn. Vols. He was captured at Gettysburg, but paroled immediately after. He now resides in Quemahoning.
The oldest men in Quemahoning township (1884) are Valentine Muller and John G. Stahl, born in 1800.

At the organization of Somerset county, Quemahoning included about one-sixth of the territory of the county.

(Source: History of Bedford, Somerset &amp; Fulton Counties, PA: 1884)

<center><strong>BIOGRAPHIES</strong></center>
<a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,601589"><u>Jacob Berkey</u></a> - <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,601590"><u>Bowman Family</u></a> - <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,601876"><u>Clark Family</u></a> - <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,363928,363928#msg-363928"><u>John H. Hite</u></a> - <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,598687"><u>Jonas Hoover</u></a> - <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,595897"><u>Joseph Hummel</u></a> - <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,576628"><u>Miller Family</u></a><br>
<a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,597774"><u>Joseph Miller, Jr.</u></a> - <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,595858"><u>C. W. Pugh</u></a> - <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,595839"><u>Zimmerman Family</u></a>

<center><strong>CHURCHES</strong></center>
<a href="/articles.php?article_id=290"><u>Memorial</u></a> - <a href="/articles.php?article_id=233"><u>Mount Tabor Lutheran &amp; Reformed</u></a> - <a href="/articles.php?article_id=231"><u>Stoystown Evangelical Lutheran</u></a> - <a href="/articles.php?article_id=234"><u>Stoystown Methodist Episcopal</u></a>
<br><a href="/articles.php?article_id=230"><u>Stoystown Reformed</u></a> - <a href="/articles.php?article_id=232"><u>Weigle\'s Lutheran &amp; Reformed</u></a>

<center><strong>ORGANIZATIONS</strong></center>
<a href="/articles.php?article_id=236"><u>Stoystown I.O.O.F.</u></a><br>
<strong>Grand Army Post</strong> at Stoystown was organized on April 6, 1883 with thirty-six charter members. J. W. Mostoller was elected post commander. The post is in a flourishing condition (1884). Membership, June 16, 1883, fifty-six.

<center><strong>TAX LISTS</strong></center>
<a href="/articles.php?article_id=239"><u>1776</u></a> - <a href="/articles.php?article_id=227"><u>1796</u> (<span class=\'small\'><u>Part 1</u>)</a> - <a href="/articles.php?article_id=228"><u>1796</u> (<span class=\'small\'><u>Part 2</u>)</a> - <a href="/articles.php?article_id=229"><u>1796 </u>(<span class=\'small\'><u>Part 3</u>)</a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=363"><u>1806</u></a> - <a href="/articles.php?article_id=235"><u>1839 Stoystown</u></a>

<center><strong>TOWNS &amp; VILLAGES</strong></center>
<a href="/articles.php?article_id=237"><u>Hooversville</u></a> - <a href="/articles.php?article_id=242"><u>Stoystown</u></a>