Brothers Valley Township

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


<center><strong>HISTORY OF THE TOWNSHIP</strong></center>
BROTHER’S VALLEY was organized as a township of Bedford county, in 1771, and was the first township formed west of the Allegheny mountains in the Province of Pennsylvania. It then included all of the present county of Somerset which is situated west of the Allegheny mountain, and extended northward into the present county of Cambria. Various explanations of the origin of the name of the township, "Brueders Thal" (Brothers Valley), have been given but the most probable theory is that the German Baptists, or Brethren, many of whom were among the first settlers, bestowed the name upon the settlement. Land was not open to settlers until 1768. There doubtless were hunters, trappers and squatters within the territory prior to that date. Some of the early settlers were Philip Wagerline, Jacob Fisher, John Glessner, Frederick Ambrose, Valentine Lout, George Countryman, Frederick Allfather, Jacob Wingard, Peter Wingard and Henry Glessner.

John Brubaker came from Lancaster county and settled near Berlin prior to 1791. His sons, John, Benjamin, Peter, Jacob, Daniel and Joseph, all lived in this county. John was an officer in the war of 1812. He also served as county commissioner. Dr. Henry Brubaker, of Somerset, is his eldest son.

Adam Palm settled in this township at the close of the revolutionary war, on the farm where William Fritz, Jr., now resides. He had three daughters— Elizabeth, who married William Fritz, Sr.; Susan, who married Valentine Fritz, and Eva, who married Michael Hoover.

Caspar Hoover was one of the earliest settlers of this township, and resided on the farm lately owned by Benjamin Hauger.

George Hay was an early settler on the farm now occupied by Rufus Hay. John G. purchased the farm of George Hay, his father. Allen Hay, son of John G., is a farmer in this township.

Edward Kimmel, son of Dr. John Kimmel, was born in 1803; has followed cabinetmaking, farming and stock-dealing. He has held various local offices, and was county commissioner two terms. A.G. Kimmel, son of Edward, purchased a farm of his father in 1881, for four thousand six hundred dollars. He has held various township offices.

Samuel F. Rieman, a native of Stony Creek township, came to Brother’s Valley in 1865, and purchased a farm of Samuel Stutzman.

The Hays Mill Forest Fire Tower was erected by the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters in the extreme southeastern part of the township in 1922. The area of the township is about 56 square miles and in 1930 it had a population of 2,430 persons.

<center><strong>AREA LORE</strong></center>
<a href="/articles.php?article_id=310"><u>Headquarters of Ghosts &amp; Spooks</u></a>

<center><strong>BIOGRAPHIES</strong></center>
<a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,608721"><u>Joseph P. Brubaker</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,608845"><u>Christian William Fritz</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,608720"><u>Calvin Hay</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,608850"><u>Simon Hay</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,608843"><u>John Landis</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,363661,363661#msg-363661"><u>Alexander H. Philson</u></a><br>
<a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,608755"><u>Hon. Robert Philson</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,363870"><u>Samuel Philson</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,608718"><u>S. F. Rieman</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,608719"><u>Rev. William G. Schrock</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,608927"><u>George Walker Jr.</u></a>

<center><strong>CHURCHES</strong></center>
<a href="/articles.php?article_id=299"><u>Berlin Lutheran</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=296"><u>Berlin Reformed</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=303"><u>Brethren (Progressive)</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=304"><u>Brother\'s Valley &amp; Trent Brethren Churches</u></a><br>
<a href="/articles.php?article_id=302"><u>Methodist Episcopal of Berlin</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=297"><u>Mount Zion Reformed</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=300"><u>St. Michael\'s Evangelical Lutheran</u></a><br>
<a href="/articles.php?article_id=301"><u>St. Paul\'s Evangelical Lutheran</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=298"><u>St. Paul\'s Reformed</u></a><br>
<strong>Disciples</strong>
Public worship has been conducted by this denomination in Berlin for many years, but there has never been an actual church organization. The Disciples now number about fifteen, and hold services once a month in the church building purchased from the Methodists in 1851. The first preacher was Rev. Charles Louis Loose, now president of the Kentucky University. The present minister is Rev. S. McCollum.

<center><strong>ORGANIZATIONS &amp; CLUBS</strong></center>
<a href="/articles.php?article_id=295"><u>Berlin G.A.R.</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=294"><u>Berlin I.O.O.F.</u></a><br>
<strong>Red Men</strong>
Quemahoning Tribe, No. 224, Independent Order of Red Men, was formed July 12, 1875, with twenty-two charter members. Present membership, twenty.

<center><strong>TAX LISTS</strong></center>
<a href="/articles.php?article_id=371"><u>1773</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=241"><u>1775</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=308"><u>1776</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=305"><u>1796</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=307"><u>1837 Berlin</u></a>

<center><strong>TOWNS &amp; VILLAGES</strong></center>
<a href="/articles.php?article_id=309"><u>Berlin</u></a><br>
<strong>Althouse</strong> is a small mining village in the southwestern part of the township. It was laid out in 1901.

<strong>Hays Mill</strong> , in the southwestern part of the township, was founded by Simon Hay before 1800 and where he erected a grist and carding mills.

<strong>Pine Hill</strong> was founded by Lewis A. Turner in the southern part of the township. A postoffice was established here, known as Turner\'s Store, in 1857 with Lewis A. Turner as the first postmaster. In 1874, the name was changed to Pine Hill.

<strong>Macdonaldton</strong>, in the northeaster part, is the largest mining town in this township. It was laid out by the William K. Niver Coal Company in 1902.