It was seven years after Joseph Barnett set up his "household gods" at Port Barnett, before the county of Jefferson was erected; and it was not until a quarter of a century more had passed, that the new county arose to the dignity of having a county-seat of its own, and was taken from the fostering care of Indiana county, and allowed to attend to its own business.
By an act of assembly passed April 8, 1829, "John Mitchell of Centre, Robert Orr of Armstrong, and Alexander McCalmont of Venango county, were appointed commissioners to locate and fix the site for the seat of justice for the county of Jefferson." These gentlemen met on the first Monday of September, 1829, at the house of Joseph Barnett, and located the county seat at the confluence of the Sandy Lick and its North Fork (Little Brier), where they form the Redbank Creek, and to this place they gave the name of Brookville. The name was given from the number of springs and brooks -flowing from its hills. To the word "Brook," the French term yule, a country-seat, or in English, a town, was added, making the name "Brookville." Attention was at once attracted to the new town as the following notices published at the time proves, and the present prosperity of the place will show whether the predictions made over a half century ago have been verified:
* "Brookville: - The spot selected by the commissioners as the seat of justice for Jefferson county, and confirmed by act of assembly, etc., has lately been laid out in town lots and out lots bearing this name. At the sale which took place last week, town lots were sold from $30 to $300 each; the last day’s sale averaged above $50, without including a mill-seat sold for $1,000. Proceeds of sale will no doubt be sufficient to build a court-house. This may be considered high rate for lots, most of which still remain in a state of nature - but the advantages and prospects of this new county town attracted a crowd of strangers. Persons were known to be present from twelve neighboring counties. The location of Brookville is a good one, and it has been judiciously laid out by Mr. Sloan, the artist. It is situated on the Susquehanna and Waterford turnpike, forty-four miles east of Franklin, and immediately at the head of Redbank, which is formed by the confluence of the three branches of the Sandy Lick at this point. Redbank has in general a sufficiency of water for steamboats on the Blanchard plan. The Allegheny steamboats could visit Brookville were it not for the obstructions created by a few mill-dams. Brookville must become the place of deposit for the iron manufactured in the counties of Centre and Clearfield, designed for the Pittsburgh market. The lands of Jefferson county are of much better quality than is generally supposed, by those who have formed an estimate by merely passing through them. Large bodies are exceedingly well adapted to the culture of small grains. Should this village spring up as rapidly as it bids fair to do, it may be considered an acquisition to the interests of the Northern turnpike road."
** "Brookville p.t. and st. of jus. of Jefferson county, situated on the Susquehanna and Waterford turnpike road, 44 mls. S.E. from Franklin, 238 N.W. from W.C., and 165 miles from Harrisburg, and immediately at the head of Redbank Creek, which is formed by the confluence of the three branches of the Sandy Lick at this point. Redbank has commonly sufficient water for steamboats on the Blanchard plan. At the sale of the town lots in June, 1830, the lots brought from 30 to 300 dollars each. The proceeds of the sale were destined to pay the expenses of building the court-house. It is supposed that this new town will become the place of deposit for the iron manufactured in the counties of Centre and Clearfield, designed for the Pittsburgh market. The first building was put up in August, 1830. There are now here about 40 dwellings, a brick court-house and offices, 4 stores and 4 taverns."
*** "Brookville, the county-seat, is situated on the Waterford and Susquehanna turnpike, 44 miles east of Franklin, and immediately at the head of Redbank Cr., which is here formed by the confluence of three branches.(4*) The town was laid out by the county commissioners in 1830: the lots were sold in June of that year at from $30 to $300 per lot, and the erection of houses commenced soon after. The place now contains about 50 or 6o dwellings and stores, a large brick court-house and public offices, and a Presbyterian Church. The town is watered by hydrants, supplied by a copious spring in the hill on the north. The scenery around the town would be fine were it not that all the hills, except on the north side, are still clothed by the original forest of pines, being held by distant proprietors, who will neither sell nor improve. Population in 1840, 276. The great State road, called the Olean road, between Kittanning and Olean, passes through the county, about seven miles west of Brookville; north of the turnpike, however, this road has been suffered to be closed by windfalls, and is not now used."
The First Settlers. - The first person who located in what is now Brookville, as far as can be ascertained, was Moses Knapp, who has already been noticed as one of the first settlers in the county. He built a log house about the year 18oi, at the mouth of the North Fork, and afterwards built a log gristmill at the same place. At this place six of his children, John, Amy, Josiah, Moses, Clarissa and Joseph, were born, the first in 1807 and the latter in 1818. Mr. Knapp had eleven children, of whom the majority are living. In 1821 he purchased a quantity of land from the Holland Land Company in what is now Clover township, upon warrants numbered 3,082 and 3,200, which included the ground upon which the present village of Dowlingville is built.
One of the first to locate in Brookville, after it became the county seat, was John Eason, father of Mr. David Eason. Mr. Eason had removed from Lycoming county to the Cherry Tree, in Indiana county, but not liking that location, when the town of Brookville was laid out, he attended the first sale of lots and purchased the lot at the corner of Main street and Spring Alley, where he erected one of the first, if not the very first, house in the place, in 1830, and opened it as a hotel as soon as it was completed. Mr. Eason died in 1835, when his son David was about three years old, and his widow, née Catharine Darr, afterwards married John Smith, who came from Carlisle in 1831, and kept a small store located on Jefferson street, on the tannery lot. He was elected sheriff in 1842, and also served several terms as justice of the peace. ‘Squire Smith, as he was called, built the house now occupied by his daughter, Mrs. Florence Christ. Mr. Smith died June 3, 1866, aged 63 years, and his wife August 5, 1878, aged 78 years.
The next to locate in Brookville was Benjamin McCreight, who was born in Indiana county, in 1801. He learned the trade of a tailor, and as soon as his apprenticeship was finished he set out on foot to look up a location. He journeyed through the unbroken wilderness and at length came to the site selected as the county seat of Jefferson county, and in the spring of 1830 he built a small log house on the eastern half of lot No. 57, on Main street, the site of the new post-office building. He worked away, clearing his lot and plying his trade, as new settlers came into his neighborhood, until the next spring when he returned to Indiana county, where March 1, 1831, he was married to Eliza Hunter, and the young couple at once came to the home already prepared, in Brookville, and went to housekeeping. Their house was in the midst of dense woods, and the poor bride must have put in some lonely hours, and it was no wonder that when a few months later, Mr. and Mrs. Dougherty arrived and located near them, that they received the newcomers with the deepest joy. Although only about half a square separated them, the intervening lots were heavily wooded, and only the glimmer of the light of a candle could be seen through the trees. Mrs. McCreight told the writer that no one could imagine the good it did her when she first saw a light in Mrs. Dougherty’s window and realized that she had a neighbor. Mrs. Dougherty, too, often reverted to the same fact, and recalled the home-like feeling that the "light in the window" caused. The intimate friendship thus established between those two families was unbroken, until death severed the strong ties that bound them to each other. In old age the friendship of their youth as renewed, and they loved to recall the days of early pioneer struggle and privation that they endured together.
Mr. McCreight held a prominent place in the early history of the county and in 1847 was elected treasurer, and held the office of county commissioner for two terms, besides filling the different borough offices. After living a short time in his first home he built a frame house on the western half of lot No. 56, and about 1842 built the brick house on the western half of lot number 57, where he resided until he died. Twice did this impregnable building pass through a fiery ordeal, coming out from the fires of 1856 and 1871 almost unscathed, the fire fiend devouring the buildings on all sides of it. It was torn down in the summer of 1887 by D.C. Whitehill, who now owns the property, the McCreight heirs having sold it after Mr. McCreight’s death, and where he is erecting a brick business block and residence. Mr. McCreight, besides working at his trade, opened at an early day a general store. He also loved farm work, and had quite a little place in good cultivation, comprising what is now "McCreight’s" addition to Brookville.
Mrs. McCreight died January 26, 1879. She was born in Centre county in 1809, and was a most estimable woman. Mr. McCreight died August 3, 1883. Their daughter Elizabeth, now the wife of W.D.J. Marlin, was the first white child born in Brookville. She resides on the same lot where her parents built their second house. Two other daughters, Rachel, wife of Dr. Robert S. Hunt, and Matilda, wife of E. Heath Clark, and one son, Craig McCreight, all reside in Brookville. A number of children died in infancy.
Mr. McCreight, like his neighbor, Mr. Dougherty, was a man of sterling honesty, and by his early patient toil and energy was able to spend his last days in plentiful ease.
Another who attended the first sale of lots in Brookville, June 30, 1830, was John Dougherty, a native of Donegal, Ireland, where he was born in 18oo. He landed in 1823 in Baltimore, with only twenty-five cents in his pocket. Mr. Dougherty came over from Ireland in the same ship with Robert McIntosh, one of the first settlers in the Beechwoods, and Rev. Boyd McCullough says of them: "He, Mr. McIntosh, always spoke of the prominent Roman Catholic with the greatest kindness, and Mr. Dougherty never mentioned the Presbyterian elder but with the highest respect."
Soon after his arrival in this "land of the free," he went to work on the Erie Canal at Buffalo, N.Y., and here had the misfortune to "fall among thieves;" for the contractor for whom he worked absconded and he got no pay for his labor. From Buffalo he went to Freeport, where he worked for a while attending school at night, - the only schooling he ever received. As soon as he had saved enough money, he bought a pack of goods and set forth to peddle; then he got a horse and wagon, and was known all over this region of country as "Cheap John." In 1829 he started a store near Millville, in Armstrong county, at the "Red House." He was the first Catholic to locate in that locality, and it is related of him that when he first came there he stopped with Mr. John Mohney. It was on a Friday, and on his refusal to partake of the meat and sausage offered him, Mr. Mohney asked him whether he was a Jew. "No," said he, "I am a great deal worse than a Jew; I am a Roman Catholic."
At the sale of lots in Brookville he bought quite a number, and in 1831 he removed to Brookville and built a small log house on the lot corner of Main and Barnett streets, where he lived until he built the frame hotel on the corner of the same lot. This house he kept for five years. It was a popular hostelry, and for a long time his sign of "Peace and Poverty, by John Dougherty," attracted the attention of travelers. In 1840 he was appointed postmaster at Brookville, very much against his wishes.
Mr. Dougherty had married Miss Grace A. Kerr, of Westmoreland county, her home being about three miles from Mount Pleasant, in October, 1830, and the following year brought her to Brookville. In 1832 he moved his store from Millville to Brookville, into a small building which stood upon the site now occupied by the American House. In 1836 he left the hotel and moved into a small frame house opposite the American, built by Joseph Sharp. He owned the ground now occupied by Marlin’s opera house, and in 1840 built a large brick building there, in which he resided until 1871, when he moved to the property adjacent to the home of his daughter, Mrs. Kate D. Marlin, where he had built a home for his old age, and where he died September 18, 1875, in the seventy-fifth year of his age, and his estimable widow followed him November 15, 1879. They are both buried in the Catholic cemetery at Red Bank, Clarion county.
When Mr. Dougherty first came to Brookville he purchased a tract of land east of the borough limits, and sold half of it to Dr. James Dowling. The agreement was, that the doctor was to divide the land and then Mr. Dougherty was to have his choice of the divisions. This was done, and Mr. Dougherty selected the west half, and the doctor the portion adjacent the borough, where he made his home.
Mr. Dougherty was a man of strong opinions, and ardently wedded to his religious and political beliefs. The history of the Catholic Church relates how much he did for its establishment in Brookville. Mr. Dougherty was always a rigid temperance man, and while working at Buffalo, soon after his arrival in this country, he frequently suffered on account of his abstemious habits. The rest of the workmen would "get on a spree" on Saturday, after they quit work, and because of young Dougherty’s refusal to join them he would frequently receive a thrashing at their hands.
The upper rooms of his house were also used for jury rooms, until the court-house was erected. An unswerving Democrat, he was exceedingly outspoken in his views, as was also his friend, John J.Y. Thompson, who, a few years later, resided across the street in the American House, and many and bitter were the arguments in which these two indulged. Thompson was just as strong a Whig as Dougherty was a Democrat, and it was no unusual sight to see the latter pacing up and down the pavement on his side of the street, loudly proclaiming his views of the political situation, bringing his cane down, frequently, by way of emphasis; while on the opposite side, Judge Thompson, with his thumbs in the armholes of his vest, and bare headed, was just as eloquently arguing his side of the question. Each would be determined not to yield until he had the last word, hut it generally ended by the judge indignantly exclaiming: "Dod dang it to dangnation, Dougherty, I’ll not to talk to such a man as you," and then he would stride into his own door. But for all this "war to the hilt," on political subjects, and their frequent abuse of one another, they were warm friends, and when Mr. Dougherty heard of Judge Thompson’s death he shed tears of sorrow and regret. A man of strong dislikes, and just as strong in his friendships, his sterling honesty detested shams of all kinds.
Thomas McElhany Barr came to Brookville in 1830, and was one of the first citizens. He was. born in 1803 in Dauphin county, near Harrisburg. When he was quite young his father, Alexander Barr, who had emigrated from the north of Ireland, removed to Laurel H~11, Indiana county, and from that place to Preble county, O. About the time Thomas M. became of age, he returned to Pennsylvania and worked at his trade of bricklaying, and came to Brookville the year the town was laid out. One of his first contracts was for the brick work on the old court-house; he also done the brick and stone work on the old stone jail, the academy, the First Methodist Church, the first American Hotel, Railroad House, the Truby residence, now owned by Mrs. Sarah Means, the Jesse G. Clark building, now owned by Mrs. Amelia F. Henderson, and in fact all the older brick buildings in the town; and to-day some of them stand as monuments to his honesty as a mechanic and contractor.
In 1833 he married Sarah Corbet, the ceremony being performed by Rev. Cyrus Riggs, then pastor of the old Bethel Church, already referred to in this work. Nine children blessed this union, of whom six survive, two of whom - Mrs. Nancy E. Wensell and John E. Barr - reside in Brookville, the latter on part of the old homestead property on Water street.
Mr. Barr first resided in the old "Lucas house" on Jefferson street, opposite the present United Presbyterian Church, and then built the house on Main street, now occupying the site of B. Verstine’s building, which he sold to Richard Arthurs. In 1847 he built the house on Water street, where he resided until his death, July 4, 1884, in the eighty-first year of his age. Mrs. Barr preceded him to the grave, dying July 5, 1877, in the seventy-first year of her age. She was born in Lewistown, Mifflin county, came to what is now Clarion county when but a year old, and in 1832 her father, William Corbet, moved to a farm near the present village of Corsica. Mr. Barr was a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church, where his seat was seldom found vacant. A man of sterling integrity, he shunned strife, and it is said of him that in all his busy life he was never a party to a lawsuit.
Gabriel Vasbinder was born in Jefferson county, his father being Henry Vasbinder, who came from Tuscarora Valley about the year 1807 and settled on the Nathaniel Butler farm in Pine Creek township. The family consisted of Andrew, Gabriel, Harmon, Doty, and Jackson, Peggy, Caroline, Nancy, and Juliana.
Henry Vasbinder, of whom mention has already been made, died in 1868, at the age of sixty-eight years, and was buried in the grave-yard at the Jones school-house. Gabriel Vasbinder’s grandfather, John Vasbinder, who came to this county in 1802 or 1803, was buried in the grave-yard on the Harris farm. Gabriel came to Brookville about the year 1835 and drove stage for Levi G. Clover and John Pierce, and afterwards for Smull, and Benjamin Bennett. The route was from Brookville to Bellefonte, three times a week. He also in 1835 drove the stage from Berlins (in Venango county) to Franklin.
The first house Mr. Vasbinder lived in Brookville was the Thomas Lucas house, while he was building his present residence, on Jefferson street, which he erected in 1842, and where he has resided forty-five years. After his early stage driving, he teamed until 1868, when he was awarded the contract for carrying the mail between Brookville and Mahoning, and run a stage from that time until the railroad was completed, in 1873, since which time he has been the proprietor of one of the omnibuses carrying passengers between the depot and the town. In 1857, in connection with his son, Isaac, he was in the mercantile business until burned out in the fire of 1871.
Mr. Vasbinder has seen many of the changes in this county, and can well remember the early days of pioneer life. He can recall the Indians, who were once quite numerous. On one occasion, when a small boy, he had been sent on an errand to his uncle, William Vasbinder, who lived on what is now known as the Kerkman farm, and encountered two Indians going in the same direction, each with a saddle of venison on his back. Noticing that the little boy was afraid, the friendly red men went on their way, and never looked back after they passed him. Mr. Vasbinder remembers often being sent to the old Knapp grist-mill, oh the North Fork, there only being one house between his father’s house and what is now Brookville.
William McCullough was the first blacksmith who located in Brookville, building a shop and dwelling on the lot now occupied by the Baptist Church, in 1830. One of the first improvements was the digging of a well on the premises; and it was scarcely finished when his cow fell into the excavation and broke her neck, and being unable to get her out, Mr. McCullough filled the well up. Mr. McCullough, or " Uncle Billy," as he was called, was an original character. He was great on an argument, and would scarcely ever yield a point, generally clinching the argument with "By the Jew’s eye, sir, I know what I am talking about!" He was very fond of the chase, and loved to relate his hunting exploits. He was an excellent shot, and was on that account selected as one of Berdan’s celebrated sharp-shooters. Mr. McCullough was a strong Union man, and though past the military age, could not be deterred from enlisting. His aim was unerring, and it is said that at the battle of Bull Run "he was known to have killed seven rebels, one after the other."
About 1847 Mr. McCullough exchanged a saw-mill on Little Mill Creek for the property on Pickering street, where he resided, and where he followed the trade of gunsmith (having quit blacksmithing) until he died in August, 1884, aged seventy-two years. Mrs. McCullough, née Elizabeth Potter, died in January, 1874, aged seventy-two years. Mr. McCullough was ten years younger than his wife, but lived ten years longer than she did, making their ages the same when death came.
Thomas Hastings was among the first to locate in Jefferson county. He was born in Huntingdon county in 1797, and in 1818 he married Elizabeth Wagner, who was born in the same county in 1799. They removed to Bellefonte, Centre county, in 1818, where he was elected to the Legislature in 1824, and in 1827 was elected sheriff of that county. In May, 1831, he removed to Brookville, and built the Globe Hotel. In 1835 he removed across the street and started a general store, and also engaged in lumbering. In 1837 - 38 he was member of the constitutional convention, and established the Backwoodsman about that time. He served one term each as prothonotary and associate judge of Jefferson county. June 6, 1868, Mr. and Mrs. Hastings celebrated their golden wedding. Judge Hastings died in 1871, and Mrs. Hastings in 1880. Three of their children reside in the county: Mrs. Sarah G. Means and Barton T. Hastings in Brookville, and Captain John Hastings in Punxsutawney. The other daughter, Mrs. Ann E. Roundy, resides in Pepin, Wisconsin.
Levi G. Clover, of the firm of Evans & Clover, was a prominent citizen of Brookville for a number of years. He was elected two terms prothonotary of the county, and also associate judge, which office he resigned to accept the position of collector of tolls at Pittsburgh. He was also one of the contractors for State work on the Mountain Division of the Portage Railroad, and was one of the most prominent politicians and business men of his day. He removed to his native county of Clarion, where he died.
William Clark, sr., arrived at Brookville from Blairsville, Indiana county, in October, 1830, and found only two families residing here, and only two residences within the limits Of the town, one of which was the hotel of Mr. Eason, and the other the house of William Robinson, who had built a log house and barn on the lot corner of Water and Mill streets, on Water street. Mr. Robinson was a brother of Mrs. John Long, but how long he resided in Brookville is not known.
Mr. Clark set about the erection of a hotel at once, and the hotel history of the town given elsewhere will give his record in that respect. He seems to have been a busy, go-ahead man, and aided essentially in the first building up of the new town. After leaving the Franklin House, in 1836, he removed to a farm five miles west of Brookville, which he had purchased of a Mr. Quest, but being then sheriff of the county, to which office he was elected in 1833, he was obliged to return to town to live, as his son, Jesse G. Clark, who was acting as his deputy, not being able, or it being illegal for him to perform some of the duties of the office. He then lived for a short time in the old jail, and in 1835 moved into the Red Lion Hotel, where he ended his official life as sheriff of Jefferson county, which office he held six years. In 1839 he kept the Jefferson House, and in this house he died about 1843. His eldest son, Jesse G. Clark, has already been referred to in the history of the bench and bar.
Another son, William F. Clark, was for many years one of the most prominent business men of Brookville. In alluding to his business career Mr. Clark says: "I owe much to the encouragement, kind and good counsel of my brother, Jesse G. Clark. He took me from school in 1839 and placed me in charge of his hotel, the Forest House, which he had erected in the new town of Clarion, so that he and his family might return to Brookville."
Within a year W.F. Clark returned to Brookville with his father and mother, and began merchandising in an old building which stood on the corner of Main and Pickering streets, now occupied by the Matson block. He and his brother having bought the stock of Elijah and John Heath, to which they added new goods, soon had quite a prominent store, under the firm name of J.G. & W.F. Clark. In 1842 they moved to a new room, built in connection with the Jefferson Hotel. This hotel Jesse G. Clark sold to Simon Frank in 1845, and began the erection of a large brick storehouse on the site now occupied by the Edelblute block. Before its completion Jesse G. Clark died, in February, 1846, and in August, 1847, W.F. Clark commenced business in the new storeroom alone, and he here conducted an extensive business for twenty years, single handed and alone, as he says; "with a root hog or die purpose, and determination to succeed." Mr. Clark employed no clerks, save occasionally the services of his wife. In August, 1867, his health failing, due in part to the death of his youngest son, Jesse Griffith Clark (whom he had named for his brother Jesse, and for his mother, Susan Griffith), a bright boy of seventeen years, who died in 1867. He then sold his stock of goods to Vasbinder & Trimble, of Warsaw township, and about the same time his storehouse and lot to N.G. Edelblute.
No business man in Brookville has done more to improve the town. In 1850 he built a 25x35 brick addition to his store building, and in 1851 - 52 built the brick residence on Jefferson street, which he afterwards sold to James Neal, and which is now the property of Calvin Rodgers. He purchased of C.M. Garrison, and greatly improved the property on the corner of Main and Barnett streets, which he sold to K.L. Blood, and which is now the residence of Mrs. A.L. Gordon; after which, in 1869 - 70, he bought from W.W. Corbet, the lot immediately west of the corner above mentioned, for $4,000 and erected upon it a bank and residence at a cost of $9,000 each (both war prices). This property passed by deed to his son Norman Farquahr Clark, who, dying without will, passed it to his sons Norman F. and Jerome. From this house, as Mr. Clark says, his "best of wives, and her dear son Norman were carried to their last resting place." Mrs. Clark’s maiden name was Maria Schrader. William F. Clark now resides in Maquoketa, Jackson county, Iowa. His mother died at his home in Brookville in 1861. Of the other members of the family, Matilda, who married Daniel Smith, and Jane, the wife of J.P. George, both reside in Brookville. Calvin B., the other son, died in 1875; none of his family, except his widow née Mary Clayton, reside in Brookville.
Daniel Smith came from Penn’s Valley, Centre county, about 1822, being then only eight years of age. He first went to Port Barnett where he remained for some time with Joseph Barnett, and from there to Judge Gillis’s place, at Montmorenci, and then, after Brookville was laid out, he came back and lived in the family of Judge Heath, and attended school. He then went into the store of Evans & Clover, as a clerk, and afterwards bought them out. He first kept store in a building that stood on the site of the old Evans block. In 1846 he built the brick block, now the property of H. Matson, where he kept store for a number of years. Besides merchandising, Mr. Smith was actively engaged in lumbering for many years. He served one term as treasurer of the county, and was the first agent at Brookville of the Allegheny Valley Railroad. In 1839 he was married to Matilda, daughter of William Clark, who, with her two sons, Levi Clover and William Clark reside in Brookville. Mr. Smith died in 1882. Few men were more closely identified with the early business of Brookville, or led a more busy life,
Alexander McKnight, one of Brookville’s earliest citizens, and one of the first justices of the peace, was treasurer of the county at the time of his death, in 1837. He is said to have been quite a prominent and dignified man. He located on the lot now owned by Thomas L. Templeton. He married a sister of John J.Y. Thompson, who afterward became the wife of John Templeton. But two of the family, Dr. William J. McKnight and Thomas L. Templeton, survive; both residents and prominent business men of Brookville.
Robert P. Barr was one of the first on the ground after Brookville was laid out and became a town. He made the brick on the ground, and with Thomas M. Barr, built the old court-house, the academy, H. Matson’s, W.F. Clark’s dwelling and store, dwelling of J.G. Clark (now residence and store of Mrs. A.F. Henderson). He was one of the associate judges in 1851. He owned the mill and timber lands now the property of T.K. Litch & Sons, which he sold to the late T.K. Litch in 1850. Mr. Barr was a conscientious, just man. He moved to Clinton county, Iowa, where he died about 1870.
Joseph Sharp was the first shoemaker and the first constable, and lived in a little house on the site now occupied by the Marlin Opera House. He removed to Ohio in 1833 or 1834.
William Rodgers came with his parents in 1830 from Blairsville, and was the second merchant to open a store in Brookville, keeping quite a creditable stock of goods for the time and population. His store was located in the southeast corner of William Clark’s hotel, on Jefferson street. Subsequently he and Joseph Chambers (uncle of Samuel Chambers, of the present firm of Kennedy & Co.) formed a co-partnership and opened a store in a room on the lot now owned by N.G. Edelblute. Mr. Rodgers was also postmaster. His father and mother died as early as 1832 or 1833, and were buried in the "old grave-yard." Mr. Rodgers married Sarah Clements, and has for many years resided just beyond the borough limits in Rose township.
William Jack was one of the early and prominent business men of the time, who came to Brookville in 1831. He was a man of polished, gentlemanly manners, and of very dignified bearing, having traveled much and visited London and the continent. He had been a contractor and builder in Mississippi, where, with Richard Arnold, of Kittanning, he built a canal. He was the member of Congress from the district composed of Jefferson, Armstrong, and Butler, in 1844, and was a fellow-member with Henry Clay. Subsequently he was associated in the mercantile business with D.B. Jenks, as Jack, Jenks & Co. Mr. Jack married Harriet Eason, a cousin of David Eason. He was boarding at the Red Lion Hotel, and Mr. Eason, his host, who was going to Indiana county to visit his old home, asked Mr. Jack if he did not want him to bring him (Jack) a wife. He replied in the affirmative, and in a short time Mr. Eason returned home, accompanied by his niece, and a few days after his return he happened to think of his joking remark to Mr. Jack, and told him that he had kept his promise, at the same time introducing him to his niece. They were mutually pleased with one another, and in a few weeks after were married in the parlor of the Red Lion.
In 1846 Mr. Jack returned with his family to his native place, Greensburg, where he soon after died. His wife afterwards married Hon. William H. Koontz, at the time member of Congress from that district.
Jacob Wise came to Brookville at the same time, from Greensburg. He was unmarried, and is said to have been rather dissipated, but very sociable and companionable. He spent much of his time in an office attached to the old store-house, on the site of the Matson block, where he sawed away upon an old fiddle. Wise was quite small in stature, but a great military man, and having some connection with the militia, was called "Colonel." Hugh Brady, a prominent lawyer of the day, was also a prominent militia man belonging to the Jefferson Greens.
On one occasion Brady and Wise had some dispute, and decided to settle it by fighting a duel, and both hied away to their respective offices to don their regimentals. Wise conceived the idea of surprising his adversary, and, donning his sword, crept behind a large stump that stood on the corner now occupied by the Central Hotel. This stump, from which a large tree had been broken off in some storm, was as tall as an ordinary man, and Wise secreted himself behind it, intending when Brady came opposite to suddenly present himself, and demand his foe’s surrender. Soon he descried Brady, who, with his gun in hand, with head erect and soldiery tread, came marching down the opposite side of the street. When he gained the corner opposite to where Wise was concealed, he wheeled about in true military style and marched across the street, when suddenly, just as he came opposite the stump, and before Wise had time to execute his brilliant coup de main, he came to present arms, and cocking his gun, presented it down over the stump, and in stentorian tones called upon Wise to surrender. He had seen the ruse of his opponent, but no one who witnessed his march down the street would have dreamed that he was cognizant of it. After a hearty laugh by the bystanders, in which the discomfited colonel joined, peace was declared between the combatants.
Mr. Wise returned, after a few years, to Greensburg, where he died.
The Arthurs family was one of the first to settle in Jefferson county. John Arthurs, who was born in Jack’s Creek, in Mifflin county, March I, 1783, came with Joseph and Andrew Barnett and Samuel Scott, in 1795, and helped erect the first mill. Mrs. Graham says, "a man named Arthurs came with them, when they erected the mill." His son, Richard Arthurs, says his father came to Jefferson county in 1806, so that it is probable that he returned with Joseph Barnett when he went back for his family, as there was no other white man with Andrew Barnett but Samuel Scott, when he died. In 1806 John Arthurs again appears in the county, and we next hear of him going down into what was then Armstrong county, to find a wife, where in that year he married Miss Joanna Roll, who was born in Penn’s Valley, now Centre county, June 15, 1786; and lived with her parents on what is now the farm owned by the heirs of Samuel Frampton, two miles from Strattanville, Clarion county. They were married by Samuel C. Orr, esq. Mr. Arthurs bought what is now known as the Ferguson farm, near Clarion, where he lived until 1811 or 1812, when he moved to Port Barnett, where he lumbered, and assisted Moses Knapp to build his mill on what is now the Five Mile Run. In 1813 Mr. Arthurs moved to Tidioute, in Warren county, where his father’s family had removed from Jack’s Creek, and here, in the winter of 1814, he was pressed into the service, and hurried to Lake Erie, where he spent the winter, but in the spring of 1815 the treaty of Ghent was concluded and he was allowed to return home, the war being over.
The Roll who is mentioned as locating on the farm now owned by John S. Barr, in Pine Creek, and who made such a perilous journey to get to Port Barnett, with Vans Camp and Shultz, was Mrs. Arthurs’s grandfather. He was also the father of the aged Mrs. Mason, who resided upon the farm some years afterwards. Three large apple trees that he planted there are still standing. He died many years ago, and is buried in the Anderson graveyard in Clover township. Mrs. Roll died in 1822, and is buried in the McFadden graveyard in Clarion county. His son, John Roll, exchanged his property in Boallsburg, with General Potter, for two hundred acres of land in what is now Clarion county, the Frampton farm referred to, and here, in 1811, Richard Arthurs was born. He was a bouncing boy of thirteen pounds in weight and has always kept up his weight. In 1830 we find him at the sale of the first lots in Brookville, and in 1832 he located here, and went to work in the cabinet-shop of McDonald, a sixteen by forty structure that stood on the old Evans property, now owned by Guythur and Henderson. In a short time he purchased the tools, etc., and removed the shop to a building on the opposite side of the street in what was known as "Snyder’s Row," where Samuel Craig set up the chair-making business, Mr. Arthurs occupying the south room with his cabinet and carpenter-shop, and Mr. Craig the north room with his chair-shop. Mr. Arthurs says one of the first articles of cabinet ware he made was a cradle, for the late John Jack. In 1834 he sold out to James Craig, a brother of Samuel, and commenced the study of law with Cephus Dunham. He had had the advantage of very little schooling, - three months being all that he ever devoted to grammar, but he made a very successful, and was for many years one of the leading attorneys at the Jefferson county bar. When he commenced work in Brookville he had no means, but he was always ready for any odd job that turned up, and made from one dollar to one dollar and twenty-five cents per day. His boarding cost him twenty-five cents per day, and in. two years he had saved six hundred dollars, and was ready to read law, the goal for which he had been striving.
He has been very successful in business enterprises, and now owns some of the best business houses in the town. In 1882 he purchased the Commercial. Hotel, and in 1876 built the Central Hotel, and in 1886 built the large brick block on Main street. He also owns the large dwelling house on west Main street, formerly owned by Joseph E. Hall, John King and R.J. Nicholson, where he resides.
Mr. Arthurs kindly cared for his parents in their old age, bringing them to his home in Brookville from Clarion county, in 1843. This trip was made on good sleighing, on the i6th day of April. Mr. Arthurs died in 1847, and his wife in 1843. Another son, Samuel C. Arthurs, resides in Brookville, of whom mention has been made in the Rebellion Record.
Another of the pioneers who settled at the county seat was Cyrus Butler, who bought a lot in 1830 or 1831, and built one of the first houses, in which the first Methodist prayer meeting was held in Brookville, and which was, for years, the stopping place of the itinerant preacher, and where they always found a cordial welcome. This house Mr. Butler occupied for many years, until 1859 or 1860, when he removed to Litchtown, and sold the old homestead to Christopher Fogle, who afterwards sold it to David Larry, and from his heirs it was purchased by C.C. Benscoter, who, in 1887, tore it down for the purpose of erecting a more modern dwelling. Mr. Butler was married to Mary, daughter of Elijah Sartwell, a most estimable Christian woman, who died November 1 1868, aged seventy-four years. Mr. Butler died a short time after his wife. They had but two children, of whom one, Mrs. Elizabeth Wilson, is dead, and the other, Mrs. Esther Reynolds, resides in Kittanning.
Mr. Butler was of a very excitable disposition, and always "spoke his mind." He was an ardent lover of his country and took a deep interest in the progress of the war, and many of our citizens can recall his transports of joy and his shouts of "hallelujah" when a great union victory was announced. While acting in the capacity of court crier, which he filled for many years, on one occasion when a certain suit was on trial, the court ordered Mr. Butler to call one of the witnesses whose name was Ami Sibley, and who was not in the court room when his testimony was needed. Mr. Butler proceeded to the door and called, "Ami Sibley, Am - i Sibley." A wag of a fellow, Abial Frost, who was standing near the door, said: "No, you are not Sibley." This disconcerted the old gentleman, who thought he had made a mistake in the name, so he called again, "I am Sibley." "No," said Frost, "you are not Sibley, by a damned sight." This was followed by a roar of laughter by the bystanders, but the victimized crier was in no laughing humor, and the wag had to make himself scarce.
On another occasion Mr. Butler was told to call another witness who rejoiced in the euphonious name of "Oramel Thing." He proceeded to the court-house door and called in stentorian tones, "Horrible Thing! Horrible Thing!"
Another amusing episode in the early history of the courts of Jefferson county, was the trial of Butler B. Amos, who was accused of stealing a hog from Moses Knapp. Judge Burnside, who presided at the trial, after listening patiently to the testimony, which is said to have been extremely ludicrous, ordered the prisoner to be released, saying that Amos was from the same county that he was, and that he could not possibly be guilty of the alleged theft, as no one coming from Centre county would be guilty of such a deed. This man, Butler Amos, who figures in the early history of Washington township, seems to have been a very contumacious fellow, as his name appears quite frequently on the pages of the early dockets as plaintiff or defendant in different actions.
James Corbet, who was appointed, in 1830, by Governor Wolf, the first prothonotary, register and recorder, and clerk of courts for Jefferson county, moved from his mill in Rose township to Brookville, in the spring of 1831, and built the log house on Main street, on the site now occupied by the property of the heirs of Norman K Clark, deceased. Soon after he moved to Brookville he engaged in store-keeping, and the firm of Corbet & Barr sold goods in a little tenement that stood on the lot now embraced in the American House block. Mr. Corbet was prominently connected with the official affairs of Jefferson county and for many years a respected citizen of Brookville. In 1853 he was appointed postmaster, and also held the office of justice of the peace. He was the son of William and Sarah Corbet, and was born in Mufflin county March 19, 1794. His father moved into Armstrong county (now Clarion), in the spring of 1814. Mr. Corbet came to Jefferson county in 1824. He was a resident of Brockville for the first thirty-five years of its existence. His death occurred October 24, 1866. , Three of his children, Colonel Wakefield W. Corbet, Mrs. W.P. Jenks and Mrs. K.L Blood, yet survive and reside in Brookville, or its suburbs.
In the fall of 1830 Jared B. Evans, who was residing at Port Barnett, where he was engaged in keeping store and attending to the post-office for Mr. Barnett, moved his store to Brookville, and was appointed postmaster, the office also being changed to Brookville. His was the first store in the town. Mr. Evans was for many years a prominent citizen of Brookville. In 1850 he was appointed associate judge to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Judge Jenks, and was elected at the election ensuing. He built the large brick block on lot No. 65, Main street. This property was for many years in litigation in the courts of the county. It was first conveyed to John Pickering and Timothy Pickering by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by patent dated May 24, 1830. Warrant No. 394.
This building was destroyed in the disastrous fire of November 20, 1874. Judge Evans also built the house owned by James H. Maize, on Jefferson street. He is said to have been the first to embark in matrimony in the new town, having married Miss Jane McCreight, a niece of Benjamin McCreight. Since 1859 he has resided at Rockdale Mills and although in the eightieth year of his age, is still a hale, hearty man. His son William C. Evans resides in Brookville.
In 1832 Hugh Brady, esq., removed to Brookville. Mrs. Elizabeth Craig, his daughter, and the only remaining member of his family, says that she well remembers their journey from Indiana to Brookville, and being lifted out of the big covered Conestoga wagon in which they traveled, and carried half asleep into the hotel kept by Thomas Hastings. They arrived about the beginning of the May court, and Mrs. Craig was sent out "into the country" to stay at the house of Joseph McCullough, on account of the scarcity of bed-rooms at the hotel.
Samuel Craig came to Brookville in 1832 and started the first chair-making shop in Brookville. About 1840 he engaged in the mercantile business with Samuel H. Lucas, as Craig & Lucas, and in 1841 was elected treasurer, being the first person elected to that office in the county. From 1851 to 1854 he was engaged in the mercantile business with Enoch Hall. In 1854 - 56 he served as deputy sheriff, under Sheriff Mitchell. In 1860 he formed a partnership with Parker P. Blood, in the general mercantile business, from which he retired in 1865. In 1871 he embarked in the grocery business, in which he associated his son, W.F. Craig, which continued as "Craig & Son," until his death, October 10, 1865. He was seventy-seven years of age at the time of his death. Mrs. Craig, née Margaret Park, died August 9, 1881, aged seventy-three years.
Mr. Craig was a man of sterling honesty and worth, and one of the most useful members of the Presbyterian Church, of which he had been for many years a ruling elder. Of his family, two sons, W.F., already referred to, and Captain S.A., and three daughters, Mrs. Agnes Stuart, and Misses Mary and Madge, reside in Brookville, the two latter occupying with their brother, W.F., the old homestead erected on Jefferson street by their father in 1833. John, the eldest son, resides in Memphis, Mo., and Mrs. Jane Allison, the eldest daughter, in Punxsutawney.
Another of the pioneers of the town was John Ramsey, who was born in the north of Ireland in 1803, and came to the United States in his twenty-second year. For the first ten years he lived in Centre county, and then removed to Brookville in 1834, having been married that year. He located on Jefferson street, built a little house and a wagon-making shop, and went to work to help build up the new town. Mr. Ramsey was one of Brookville’s most worthy and respected citizens, and almost a life-long member of the Presbyterian Church. He died January 26, 1870, aged sixty-seven years. The old house gave place a few years ago to a beautiful modern residence, where Mrs. Ramsey, and three of her children, Wilson, R. Louise and Cecelia still reside. Two other daughters, Mrs. Roswell P. Blood and Mrs. H.C. Litch are also residents of Brookville, and another, Mrs. Joseph P. Taylor, resides in Du Bois. The eldest daughter, Mrs. Mary McDowell, died in Clearfield county some years ago.
Samuel Truby was born in Greensburg, Westmoreland county, June 13, 18o8, and when only four years of age his parents removed to Kittanning. He learned the trade of a tinner at Zeilienople, Butler county, and in 1832 came to Brookville and worked at his trade until 1833, when he married Annie Sterling, at New Castle, Lawrence county, and began housekeeping in Indiana. They moved to Brookville the 1st of January, 1834, where Mr. Truby purchased the lot corner of Jefferson and Pickering, and the adjacent lot on Jefferson street, which he cleared off and built a small frame house on Pickering street, and in 1837 he bought on a store. In 1849 he built the brick house on the corner of Jefferson and Pickering, now the property of Mrs. Sarah Means, and moved into it in 1850. He kept his store in the basement of this building until 1864, when he sold the property to S.G. Fryer, and purchased a small farm in Rose township, from Uriah Matson, half a mile from Brookville, where he built a comfortable and commodious residence. In 1868 - 69 he again followed merchandising in the room now occupied by W.F. Craig, in the Matson block, since that time he has devoted himself to his farm.
Mr. Truby was one of those who helped to improve Brookville, and for a long time he kept one of the best stores in the town. When he first settled here he had to "rough it," like the rest of the early settlers, and Mrs. Truby says that it was often very hard to get any butter, or any "spread" for their corn and rye bread, and that she one day took a little tin pail and went through the woods to Findley’s mill to get a quart of molasses. After he began storekeeping Mr. Truby, when he was fortunate enough to secure any butter, eggs, or other produce, would blow a horn to let, the neighbors know the fact, and the housewives of the place would then hurry to his store to get a share of the eatables.
Mr. Truby’s family consisted of six children, of whom the oldest son died in infancy. Of the others, Mrs. C.M. Matson, and Samuel C. reside in Brookville, Sarah, with her parents, Mrs. Caroline Robinson, at Parker City, and Mrs. Mary Clark, at Kittanning. In 1883 Mr. and Mrs. Truby celebrated their golden wedding. They are now serenely enjoying the evening of their life.
Mathew Dickey was one of the first merchants in Brookville, having started a store in partnership with Benjamin McCrieght in 1832 or ‘33, and afterwards conducted it in his own name. He was born in County Derry, Ireland, in 1800, and came to this country in 1817, where for a number of years he followed school teaching in Armstrong county, and where in 1819 he married Elizabeth Templeton. In 1831 he removed to Jefferson county and settled on the farm, in what is now Clover township, which he cleared from the dense forest, and where he resided until his death, in 1881. Mr. Dickey was one of the sterling men of the county, and a prominent member of the United Presbyterian Church, to which his family still adhere. His sons, James and David, reside in Clover township, and William in Brookville.
The Hall family, whose early emigration to the wilds of Jefferson county is related in the history of Rose township, have been largely identified with Brookville. Enoch Hall, who is the only one residing in Brookville, came here in May, 1836, and November 31, 1837, married Martha A., daughter of Elijah Clark. He worked at cabinet making, and was engaged in lumbering and merchandising for a number of years; is now engaged in the planing-mill business.
Joseph E. Hall, another brother, for many years largely identified with the lumbering interests of the county, removed from Brookville to Paxton, Ill., in the spring of 1867, and died there December 7, 1885. Two sisters are yet living - Mrs. Priscilla Moyer, at Butler, Pa., and Mrs. Cordelia Lucas, at Denver, Col.
Joseph Henderson, or "Judge Henderson," as he is familiarly called, is one of the pioneers of Jefferson county. He came to Punxsutawney in 1831, and clerked four years for William Campbell. In the fall of 1836 he was elected sheriff of the county, and served three years. In 1840 he was appointed assistant United States marshal, and completed the census of the county. In 1841 he removed to Dowlingville and kept a small tavern there for a few months, and in 1842 removed to Brookville where he kept the Franklin House for about a year and a half. In 1842 he was elected treasurer. In 1848 he was a partner with John J.Y. Thompson in the mercantile business. In 1851 he purchased Mr. Thompson’s interest and continued in the business until 1855. In 1856 he was elected associate judge. He then served as clerk to the county commissioners from 1857 till the fall of 1860, when he was elected prothonotary. In 1870 he was elected justice of the peace and served five years. Since 1865 he has been engaged in the stove and tinning business. Very few men have taken a more prominent part in the business and politics of the town and county than Judge Henderson. Of his seven children all are living but one, and all but one are residents of Brookville, six of his sons being prominent business men.
Andrew Craig came to Brookville in 1838, and went into the shop of his brother, James, and learned the trade of cabinet-maker. He purchased the business in 1843, and moved the shop down to the lot, where he afterwards erected the dwelling house now owned by G.E. Brown, and in 1859 vacated this shop to take up his quarters in a new building erected at the foot of Jefferson street, where he formed a co-partnership with E.H. Wilson, as Craig & Wilson, which continued for twenty years, Wilson selling his interest to Mr. Craig in 1879. He is now managing the furniture warerooms of his son, H.B. Craig, and with the exception of one term as justice of the peace, has been continuously engaged in the furniture business, covering a period of almost forty-five years. He is the veteran undertaker of the town, and has since January I, 1874, to August 1, 1887, buried one thousand and two persons. Prior to that time he kept no record of interments.
Robert Darrah was one of the first lumbermen to locate in Brookville. He was the descendant of Revolutionary patriots; his father, John Darrah, who was born in Scotland, having emigrated to Massachusetts, and served in the War of the Revolution. His wife, Sivia Mitchell, was the daughter of Charles M. Mitchell, another Scotchman, who also emigrated to Massachusetts, and served in the same war. Robert Darrah in 1824 came to Pennsylvania, residing for some time in Tioga and Luzerne counties, and came to Brookville in December, 1837, and commenced to lumber on Sandy Lick, which business he continued until 1855, when he removed to Mecosta county, Michigan, where he died in 1865.
His sons, Edward H. and W. Robert, were born lumbermen, and have never departed from the ways of their father. They both commenced their career on Sandy Lick, and have probably been more actively and for a longer period engaged in the trade than any of our lumbermen. Neither are now engaged in business in Brookville, though both reside here. Edward H. is extensively engaged in Forest county, as part owner of a ten thousand tract of timber with a saw-mill thereon, also in large lumber interests in Michigan, Wisconsin, California and Mexico, while Robert also engaged in Michigan and Wisconsin, has pushed his way into the timber region of Washington Territory.
Arad Pearsall was one of the first to penetrate into the wilds of northern Jefferson county, settling first in what is now Elk county in 1827, and removing to Brockwayville in 1830, and from there to Brookville in 1837, where he bought and located upon the property now owned by the heirs of Mrs. Furley, on Main street. From there he moved to Warsaw township, then to Port Barnett, then successively back to Warsaw and Brookville, from there to Walnut Bend and Oil Creek in Venango county, and from there back to Brookville, where he died in March, 1866. Mr. Pearsall and his wife were both born at Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; the former in 1807, and the latter in 1804. Mrs. Pearsall died in 1875. Of eleven children but five survive; none of them residents of Jefferson county. Mrs. Harriet Fullerton resides at Parker City, Peter at Meadville, Myron M. at Bradford, and John and Harvey at Buffalo, N.Y. Mr. Pearsall was a blacksmith by trade, and nearly all of his sons followed his calling for a time.
Thomas Mabon came to Brookville in 1846, from Indiana county, and moved into the house now owned by the heirs of A.J. Brady, on the corner of Main and Mill streets. He purchased a quantity of land south of Redbank, and laid it out in lots, which portion of the town was called "Mabontown," now the "Southside." He erected the large house, on South Pickering street, in which he resided for years, and which is now the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Harriet L. Ferguson.
Mr. Mabon built the grist- mill known as the "White mill" in 1849 or 1850, and owned and operated it until 1867, when Henry and John Startzell purchased half of the property. He also built the woolen factory, now owned by Newcome & Fawcett, which was burned down and rebuilt about 1868, and the planing-mill now owned by Anderson & Leech. Mr. Mabon died November 5, 1884, in the ninety-third year of his age. Mrs. Mabon died in February, 1887, aged about ninety years. They were both prominent members of the United Presbyterian Church, and were respected and venerated by all who knew them. Of their four surviving children Emily, now Mrs. Welshouse, lives in Westmoreland, county; Louise, Mrs. Milliken, in Youngstown, Ohio; and Mary A., Mrs. G.A. Jenks, and Harriet, Mrs. Ferguson, reside in Brookville.
The English family came to Brookville in 1846, and have been prominent in the business and political circles since that time. Edmund English, the only one now residing in the town, is a prominent Democrat, having served one term in the Legislature. Since 1850 he has been engaged in the foundry business. Daniel English is well known as a prominent architect and builder. He built the Brookville school building, and the court-house at Clarion. He removed to Allegheny county the spring of 1887, but still owns his residence on Main street.
Samuel C. Espy came to Brookville from Huntingdon county in 1842, and moved into a little house that stood opposite the old grist-mill of R.P. Barr. This house went off in the flood of 1847. He then lived in a house on Main street, which occupied the site of the Pearsall building. He then purchased a lot on Jefferson street, near the old M.E. Church, where he resided until 1857, when he moved to Corsica and remained there until 1871, when he removed to Dakota, and died in Yankton county, January 26, 1887, in the eighty-fourth year of his age. Mr. Espy followed merchandising and tailoring. Three of his children, Thomas E. and John Espy, and Mrs. Levi Lerch, reside in Brookville.
Robert R. Means, one of the most prominent business men and soldiers of Brookville, was born in Mufflin county, April 25, 1819, and came to Brookville in 1846 or 1847. He, for a number of years, principally followed hotel-keeping, but during the latter years of his life was engaged in lumbering. His. record as a soldier has already been given. He was for a number of years one of the justices of the peace of the borough, and in 1870 - 75 one of the associate judges. He was married to Mrs. Sarah G. Clark, widow of Jesse G. Clark, esq., who survives him, and with four sons, George W., Thomas H., John B. and Harry G., and one daughter, Mrs. George T. Rodgers, reside in Brookville. Captain Means died October 4, 1877.
Thomas B. McLain came from Indiana county in the thirties and settled in Washington township. He removed to Brookville about the year 1849, and was engaged in merchandising for about twenty years. From 1858 he was associated with his son-in-law, George Van Vliet, until the latter went into the army in 1862. In 1865 the firm of McLain and Van Vliet was again resumed, until 1871, when Mr. Van Vliet retired, and Mr. McLain associated his son, James B. McLain, with him in the business, until the death of the latter in 1872, then he conducted the business alone, until 1874, when his store was destroyed by fire. Mr. McLain was killed by falling from the roof of an outbuilding that he was tearing down, August 10, 1882. He was in the seventy-second year of his age. His wife, née Eliza Hutchinson, died June 14, 1882, aged seventy years. All of his six children preceded him to the grave, the last one, his daughter Annie, dying a few weeks before her mother. Mr. McLain was one of Brookville’s most respected and energetic citizens, and owned considerable real estate in the town.
Among the most respected and useful citizens of Brookville was William Erdice, who was born in Ireland and came to this country in 1820, when only ten years old. He located in Kinsman, Ohio, and in the fall of 1846 removed to Brookville. He was a carpenter and builder, and built twenty-three houses in Brookville and vicinity. He died September 3, 1877, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. He was a prominent member of the United Presbyterian Church, and a man of sterling honesty of character. His wife and five children survive him, three of whom reside in Brookville, his son, Laselle R. Erdice, being the present postmaster.
Samuel G. Fryer and family came from Philadelphia to Brookville in 1849 and commenced merchandising in the Brady building, corner of Main and Mill streets. He afterwards purchased the Franklin House, which he sold in 1866, and then bought the Truby property on the corner of Jefferson and Pickering streets, selling it in a short time to James C. Matson, and in 1867 bought the Harry Matson property, in which he resided and kept store until the fire of 1874, when his building was destroyed by fire, and he sold the lot to N.G. Edelblute. Soon after he removed to Reynoldsville, where he kept store until his death in 1886. Mr. Fryer was an Englishman, and a real gentleman of the olden style. He was a cultivated man, a connoisseur in art, and had many rare and valiable paintings. He died July 25, 1886, aged eighty years. Mrs. Fryer, who was an energetic business woman, having for years the general management of their business, died December 19, 1886. Only one of their children, Mrs. Mary G. Brown, who succeeded to their business in Reynoldsville, resides in the county.
Christopher Fogle came to Jefferson county and started a tannery at Heathville about the year 1825. In 1843 he moved it to Troy, where it was situated on the farm of Hulett Smith, to whom he afterwards sold it. After selling out to "Yankee Smith," as he was called, he came to Brookville and purchased the tannery of A. Colwell, and Judge Heath - the old Henry tannery on Jefferson street. He sold this property just in time to escape the fire of 1856, and moved to the farm, now owned by K.L. Blood in Rose township, where he farmed for several years, then came back to Brookville and engaged in the harness and saddlery business with his son Daniel. In 1863 he purchased the old Lucas property on Jefferson street, and started a general store. In 1870 he sold this property to John J. Thompson and built a residence in South Brookville, where he died June 4, 1874. Mr. Fogle’s first wife died in 1858, and his daughter Rachel, after an illness of several years’ duration, in 1881. His son Daniel, formerly associated with him in business, lives in Kansas, and his other remaining child, Mrs. Sarah Steel, in Rose township. He married the second time Mrs. Jane Mime, née Brown, who alone of the family resides in Brookville. Among those who learned their trade of harness and saddlery with Mr. Fogle were Christopher Smathers and Charles and Wylie McLain.
John J.Y. Thompson, whose biographical sketch appears elsewhere, was one of the early and for many years one of the most prominent citizens of the county, and who was foremost in aiding every public enterprise of his day.
Philip Taylor, one of the early and prominent lumbermen of his day, located in Brookville in 1841, and at once began lumbering on Sandy Lick, building the mills afterwards known as the "Tunnel Mills" of I.C. Fuller, which he operated until his death. He built the red grist-mill, now the property of I.C. Fuller. He was the first president of the First National Bank of Brookville, and in 1866 was elected associate judge. Judge Taylor was a native of York county, but at an early age removed to Westmoreland county, where he run a boat on the Pennsylvania Canal, taught school and engaged in farming, and where he married Miss Mary Anne Ogden. The result of this union was eight children. Of these one son, Winfield Scott, fell in the battle of Gaines’s Mills; the others died in childhood, with the exception of Evaline, who married Captain W.W. Wise, Reid D., and Philip. Mrs. Taylor died in 1867, and in 1869 he again married Mrs. D.E. Dean, née Estep, who survives him. Judge Taylor died in 1872. The only survivors of his family are his son, Reid D., of Michigan, and his grandson, Malcolm W. Wise, of Du Bois. All of the family have left Jefferson. county, with which they were so long identified, except Mrs. D.E. Taylor, who resides in Brookville. On the death of his son Philip, the homestead became the property of his son, R.D. Taylor, and James E. Long, the latter now owning the property, and who has enlarged the house into a large hotel, which, standing on beautiful and spacious grounds, is becoming famous as a summer resort - Hotel Longview. None of Judge Taylor’s property now belongs to his heirs.
James R. Fullerton came to Brookville in 1833. He died in 1842, and Mrs. Fullerton in 1860. The family has been for over fifty years residents of the town, Henry R. Fullerton being for many years identified with the business interests of the county as a lumberman, in which occupation he lost a limb while working on his mill in Eldred township. In 1869 he removed to Parker City, Armstrong county, where he soon took a prominent place in the community, and was identified with the leading business projects and public enterprises. He died there in 1885. Alexander Fullerton and Mrs. Jane Smathers are the only ones of the family who reside in Brookville, Mary, the other daughter, making her home in Warren, Pa.
John Gallagher was for a number of years a prominent citizen and land owner of Brookville, being for some time landlord of the hotel "Peace and Poverty," and for fifteen years justice of the peace. He returned to Butler county, where he died.
William Furley came to Brookville in 1843 and located on the lot yet occupied by his daughter, Mrs. C.E. Clements, and engaged in blacksmithing. He died in July, 1850. He was born in Newry, County Down, Ireland, in 1803. Mrs. Furley, née Barbara Anna Gingery, found herself left with a small family of children, and with an energy rarely equalled, set about the task of gaining a livelihood for them. She built the home that was hers for so many years, and where she kept boarders. She was born in Lebanon county in 1810; died in 1879, respected by all who knew her. Three of her daughters - Mrs. Mary A. Carroll, Mrs. Clarissa Clements, and Mrs. Harriet Burns - reside in Brookville.
John Showalter came to Brookville in 1833, and located on the property on Mill street where his widow née Anderson resides. He was a leading gunsmith for many years.
Another prominent lumberman of Brookville was Robert J. Nicholson, who came from Westmoreland county in 1844, and after teaching one term of school at Heathville, removed to Brookville, where he taught from 1845 to 1850. He then engaged in the lumber business, which he followed extensively until his death. From 1850 to 1855 he was engaged in the mercantile business with S.J. Marlin, and in 1856, in company with William Dillworth, of Pittsburg, purchased the saw-mill on the Five Mile Run. This mill was destroyed by fire in 1857, but was immediately rebuilt and operated until 1868. In 1869 he built the large building on the site now occupied by the buildings of B. Verstine and G.A. Pearsall, in the second story of which he made a large and elegantly fitted public hall. He was engaged with M.M. Meredith in the mercantile business in this building until it was destroyed by fire. He was also interested in the Carrier and Baum mills, on Mill Creek, and was one of the firm of Means & Nicholson, in the Iowa Mills. He built the Excelsior mills, now the Wainwright and Bryant mills, on Redbank, which he disposed of to Straub & Burkett, in 1883.
He was a very prominent Democrat, and was three times elected to the Legislature from Jefferson county - in 1856, 1878, and 1882 - and there were few men who have done more for the upbuilding and advancement of the town. Mr. Nicholson died very suddenly on Friday, February 22, 1884, in Buffalo township, Caldwell county, North Carolina, where he had gone, in company with Mr. E.H. Darrah, to examine pine timber lands, which they had in view to purchase. He died on the roadside before his companion and friend realized that he was really ill. Mr. Nicholson’s wife, née Anna Anderson, preceded him to the grave, and now not one of his family remain in Brookville, while the extensive properties he once owned are all gone, not any of it belonging to his descendants.
The Blood family were early identified with Jefferson county, as will be seen in the sketch of Jenks township, where their early history is given.
Kennedy L., the eldest son, has been for many years actively identified with the business and politics of the town and county, being one of the acknowledged leaders of the Democratic party. In 1846 he was appointed deputy-sheriff, serving under Sheriffs Wilkins and St. Clair. In 1848 he was defeated for sheriff, and in 1858 elected to the State Senate. In 1850 he formed a co-partnership in the drug business with Dr. C.P. Cummins, and the latter retiring, he, in 1854, associated his brother, Parker P. Blood, in the business with him. In 1853 he was appointed postmaster. For the last two or three years he has not been actively engaged in business.
Parker P. Blood, who was a partner in the drug store with his brother, K.L. Blood, in 1856 was appointed postmaster by President Buchanan, and in 1860 embarked in the dry goods business with Samuel Craig. In about six years Mr. Craig retired, and Mr. Blood conducted the business alone until 1870, when he sold his store to Nicholson & Meredith. In 1863 he was selected treasurer of the county.
Mr. Blood has always made lumbering his principal occupation, but since 1882 has added two large livery stables and two extensive carriage and wagon warerooms to his business. He has contributed largely to the building up of the town, building in 1875 - 6 the large three-story brick building on the west half of the Evans lot on Main street.
Among others of the old citizens who came into the town at an early date, were Robert Stewart in 1838, R.R. Brady in 1851, George Laflin in 1852, Bernard Verstine in 1851, William Melchoir in 1855, F. Boylan in 1852, P. McTaffe in 1854, John Wann 1856, John Butler 1858, Peter Helmheckle 1852, John Mills 1831, R.P. Blood 1854, C. Smathers 1846, Darius Ingraham 1852, Alexander B. Paine 1855, William Goss 1849, A.B. McLain 1852, George Vanvliet 1856, Rev. T.S. Leason 1858, David Banks 1850, Joseph Wallace 1850, Martin Sadler 1853, E. Snyder 1857, Edward Kirkman 1852, James Tate 1840, Edward and Daniel English 1846, Henry Pride 1841, James Mitchell, S.W. Smith, Daniel Burns, Charles Sitz, James P. Black, J.P. Lucas, Edward Bleakney, Reuben Hubbard, Peter Miller, Thomas Goodar, Casper Endress, Peter Van Milders, William Woods.
Early Enterprise. - The first produce was sold in Brookville by the late Samuel Sloan, of Clarion county. Mr. Sloan was engaged in hauling from Bellefonte, "over the pike," which passed through what is now Brookville. One day when he was about starting on one of these trips, his mother asked him to take some butter with him and sell it to some one on his way, as she had more than she knew what to do with. He also put a few hams and some bags of flour in his wagon, and when he came to the present town of Brookville, which was being surveyed before the lots were sold, he was hailed by Mr. John Eason, who had put up a little house in the woods and was boarding the surveyors, who had noticed the flour bags, etc., in Mr. Sloan’s wagon, and wanted to know whether he had anything eatable to sell. On Mr. Sloan replying in the affirmative, a bargain was soon struck and Mr. Eason bought all the flour, hams, and butter, remarking: "Mr. Sloan, you can say that you sold the first produce in Brookville."
Mr. Sloan narrated this incident to two of his nieces, Mrs. G.H. Kennedy and Miss Amelia Clark, of Brookville, a short time before his death, which occurred in April, 1887.
The first tannery was built on Jefferson street, about 1831, by David Henry. It occupied the present site of the American House stables. Mr. Henry sold to Heath & Colwell. Mr. Henry removed to Perrysville, where for many years he was engaged in carrying the United States mail. He was one of the early Methodists of Jefferson county. He has been dead for a number of years.
The first gunsmith in Brookville was Isaac Mills, who came in 1831 or 1832. His shop was located near the site of the Baptist church. He removed to Corsica and died many years ago. The first contractors and builders were David Elgin and Robert P. Barr. The former, who owned and built the Franklin Hotel, lived in Brookville for a short time.
All the other early industries have been noted in the sketch given of the early settlers. Of the first buildings erected in Brookville, a portion of the Red Lion Hotel, the old Globe, or Jefferson Hotel, the building erected by William Clark, for a hotel, corner of Main and Mill streets, the house built by Thomas Lucas and now owned by John J. Thompson, on Jefferson street, the house built by D.B. Jenks, and now occupied by Thomas Wesley, on Pickering street, and the Craig homestead on Jefferson street, are all the old landmarks remaining.
Of the early citizens who came in the early thirties, only Richard Arthurs, Samuel Truby and wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Craig, Mrs. Ramsey, Mrs. Sarah English, Mrs. Matilda Smith, Barton T. Hastings, Mrs. Sarah Means, William Rodgers, and perhaps one or two others, remain in Brookville and its vicinity.
The first piano that made its appearance in Brookville was one purchased by Colonel Jack for his daughter, Mrs. D.B. Jenks, soon after which Mr. Dougherty bought one for his daughter Kate. These instruments were considered great curiosities, and Mrs. S.J. Marlin, who yet has the piano her father purchased for her in her childhood days, says she remembers that people would come for long distances to see and hear the wonderful instrument, and that one old gentleman called it a "harpsichord." This piano has had quite a remarkable career, for besides giving out the sweet tones that first marked the musical era on Main street, while it stood in the "best room " in the old "Peace and Poverty" hotel, it served, when properly draped, as the first altar upon which the rites of the Catholic Church in Brookville were dispensed.
Since that time great changes have taken place, and the pianos are now counted by the hundred, in Brookville; while there is scarcely a house in which a musical instrument of some kind is not found, and Brookville has become noted for the many fine players and vocalists she has produced. Among the former it is fitting to notice one who had gained unusual prominence, - Miss Mary R. Jenks, the eldest daughter of Hon. William P. Jenks, at a very early age gave promise of becoming a musician of more than common order, and no pains or expense were spared by her parents to develop this talent. After studying under the best teachers this country afforded, she spent two years at the Conservatory of Music at Leipsic, Germany, and one year in Berlin, where she studied under the best teachers in the world, and received first honors for proficiency in instrumental music. On her return from Europe she engaged in teaching her beloved art, and soon became famous all over the country on account of her brilliancy and proficiency as a performer; but just in the zenith of her fame she was suddenly stricken by a fatal disease, a sarcoma cancer appearing upon her right arm; and though all that skill and love could do was done to arrest the dread destroyer, - amputation being resorted to - her life could not be saved, and death put an end to her sufferings at the residence of her parents, December 18, 1884. She was equally gifted in other respects besides music; thoroughly educated, and of a bright, social disposition, she was an ornament to any circle. A sincere Christian, she met death bravely and uncomplainingly, her only solicitude being for the dear ones she was leaving behind.
In 1857 the first medical society was organized in Jefferson county, and a meeting was held at the September court. Drs. McKnight, Heichhold and Simons were the committee on speakers for the occasion; Dr. A.J. Johnston being one of the speakers invited to address the society. Drs. James and Hugh Dowling, W.J. McKnight, J.G. Simons were instrumental in organizing this society, but owing to the small number of physicians then residing in the county, and the difficulty in coming together, it soon ceased to exist. Another attempt was made to organize a society of the physicians of Jefferson and Clarion counties at a meeting held at Strattanville, January, 1865, but this failed as far as Jefferson county was concerned; Clarion county, however, organized a county society.
Thirty-five years ago a sewing-machine was unknown in Brookville, and the women of that day had to wearily stitch, stitch, by hard work, the needed garments for their families. An advertisement in, the Jeffersonian of April 30, 1857, reads: "One of the curiosities of the day may be found at the store of J.S. King & Co., in the shape of one of Wheeler & Wilson’s sewing-machines. It would pay any person to call and see it."
The first agent for the sale of these machines was, we think, a man named Merrick, who, with his wife, first learned the ladies of Brookville to manipulate this much-prized article of domestic use. Since that time nearly every household has secured one, and the great improvements that have been made has thrown the old "Wheeler & Wilson" entirely into the shade.
In all other respects the change has been as great. In those early days a housewife felt very proud and above her neighbors if she was able to have a nice rag carpet for her "best room." "Winsor chairs" were the best the house afforded. At the eight by ten paned windows hung the bright green paper blind, and the bright patch-work quilt covered smoothly the high feather bed. Now all is changed; the finest velvet, Wilton, Axminster and body Brussels cover the floors. The "best room" has become a parlor, furnished with the latest style furniture, covered with silk velvets and plushes, elegant oil paintings, and fine engravings have taken the place of the cherished print that was pinned to the wall in former days, and fine textured lace curtains drape the windows. All the rude evidences of the pioneer days have vanished. Luxury and beauty have effaced the old rough landmarks, which with the olden time settlers have sunk into the oblivion of the past. Whether the present age is a better one in every respect, is a disputed question. True, it is, that there is more show and silly pretense than in those days when no one was afraid of honest toil, nor ashamed to be one of the body of honest toilers. Very few are left to tell of Brookville’s early days, and some of the young people of the present day cannot realize the straits to which their parents and grandparents were put to gain a livelihood, and to build up the homes they now enjoy.
A noble woman of Jefferson county who was raised amid the toils and privations of those early days, was relating some of the struggles and privations endured, and the manner of living when the town was in embryo, when her daughter exclaimed, "Oh, Ma, I would not tell those dreadful things. Why to hear you tell about going in your bare feet, and living in a house with no carpet, and having no silver spoons or any thing, one would think you had been awfully poor. Don’t tell it any more." And the disgusted belle went to drumming on the piano, while the mother who bore on her countenance the marks of those days of early toil, gave a sigh at the frivolity of her daughter, as she remarked, "Well, the girls do hate to hear of those things that they can’t understand, but if we were poorer in those days, we were, I think, just as happy. We had our good times, and I think we had more fun, and enjoyed it more heartily than the young people do now."
The history of Brookville has now been followed up from its first location, and those who founded the town, and who have contributed to its prosperity in building up and furthering its business enterprises, have been briefly noticed, and in the further record of the improvements that have been made in the fifty-seven years that have elapsed since the first little house was erected, will show what progress has been made. It will be seen that in the first ten years the town improved but slowly. In 1843 when the academy was built, Jefferson street was yet a wilderness. Tall pines and dense underbrush covered the ground where the academy was erected. The deer, bears, and even the wolf had not yet yielded possession to the white intruder. Indeed, as late as July 20, 1847, a large crane was shot in Brookville, by John Showalter, measuring five feet six inches, from tip to tip of its wings. In September, 1857, a large rattlesnake with nine rattles, was killed at Wann’s foundry; and in November of that year a deer was caught alive, while crossing Taylor’s mill dam in the borough of Brookville.
In 1853 the only daily mail was from the east to Clarion, passing through Brookville, while the mail from Brookville to Indiana and to Ridgway, was expected to leave on Monday, and arrive on Wednesday, and the mail to Kittanning to leave on Thursday and return on Saturday. About the same time John J.Y. Thompson commenced to run a daily hack between Brookville and Kittanning, and the Jefferson Star of March 8, 1856, says: "The stage from Brookville to Kittanning takes passengers to Kittanning in time to take the evening train to Pittsburgh, so that persons leaving here in the morning can be in Pittsburgh in the evening."
Who of the old or middle-aged citizens does not remember what that trip was, especially when the roads were in bad condition? Starting from Brookville at 12 M., or one or two o’clock in the morning, and then the long ride of forty miles over the worst of roads, with an upset or two for variety, and the male passengers walking up the hills to rest the horses. Then the Allegheny Valley Railroad was finished to the mouth of the Mahoning, which shortened the stage journey ten miles, and the passengers did not have to leave at quite such an early hour, while the journey, which was helped considerably by a good dinner on the down trip, and supper on the return at Cribb’s or Butler’s at Millville, was not deemed quite so bad, for was there not always the hope, to which all clung, that "we will soon have a railroad to Brookville;" but this was not realized until 1873, and in all these years, through the mud of spring and fall, and summer’s heat, and winter’s cold, the good people of Brookville patronized the stage lines run by such jolly souls as Lightcap and Piper, Cook and Stoke, Gabriel Vasbinder, and A.A. and Raymond Stewart. The raftsmen generally "gigged it back," as they expressed the manner of their return trip after running out their rafts, as there never was enough stage accommodation for them at rafting times, and then they saved money by walking. It was no wonder that the first whistle of the iron horse was hailed with delight, and that on that bright Sabbath afternoon in June, 1873, there was a large crowd gathered down where the old passenger depot stood, to see the first cars come in. Many of the children, and a considerable number of the adults, too, had never seen a locomotive, or train of cars, and their wonderment gave vent in different forms of expression, as the fiery-headed monster came shrieking into their midst.
The close of the first quarter of a century in Brookville, saw much improvement, and the Jefferson Star of August 25, 1855, gives the following record of the business of the town at that time; "There are 17 stores, 4 groceries, 2 drug-stores, 5 blacksmith shops, 3 cabinet-shops, 5 churches, 4 tailor-shops, 1 chair-shop, 1 steam foundry, 1 carding and fulling mill, 2 grist-mills, 1 steam saw-mill, 1 huge steam clapboard and shingle-mill, 4 shoe-shops, 6 taverns, (two of which have license, having obtained them before the passage of the new liquor law), 2 printing presses, 1 academy, and 3 common schools, 7 physicians, 13 lawyers, 1 saddle and harness shop, 1 water-power saw-mill, 1 brewery, 1 bookbindery, 5 carpenter-shops, 1 planing-machine, 4 painters, 1 barbershop, 2 butcher-shops, 2 tin-shops, 2 wagon-shops, 1 wind-mill establishment, 1 civil engineer."
The town of Brookville as first laid out, did not cover a very large area. The northern boundary was Butler alley, north of the old graveyard, and thence to the North Fork on the east, taking in the mills and pond of T.K. Litch. On the west the line was Gordon’s alley leaving out the Presbyterian Church, thence down Gordon’s alley to Water street, taking in "Hunt’s Point," thence along Valley to Pickering, and across the Redbank and out Pickering street to lot No. 25, taking in the property of Thomas Mabon, thence to the Sandy Lick. Several additions, viz.: Dowling’s, McCreight’s, Dougherty’s, Mabon’s, Taylor’s, Litch’s and Hastings’s have been added from time to time, until the present dimensions of the borough are quite extended, covering an area of two square miles. The town as it has grown larger has improved in like manner, and now with its beautiful residences, and elegant large business blocks, is second to no town of its size in the State. The scenery about the town is grandly beautiful, and the location an eminently healthy one, epidemics being almost unknown in the history of the town.
Among the business firms that flourished in Brookville in the first thirty years were: Samuel Truby, Evans & McCall, Gillespie, Wilson & Co., William F. Clark, D.S. Deering, Cummins & Blood, Hastings & Thompson, Gillespie & Wright, John Clements, S.C. Espy & Co., S.G. Fryer, Matson & Pride, Thompson Barr, David Frank, M. Hoffheimer & Co., L.A. Dodd & Co., Pearl. Roundy, Winsor & Reynolds, P.B. Morrison & Co., P. McTaffe, Benjamin Hepler, Matson & Moore, I.N. Fuller & Co., T.B. McLain, A.B. McLain, Coryell & Co., M.A. Calvin & Co., merchants. Misses Ann Guffey, Ellen Butler, S.A. McKillep, millinery.
M.C. Thompson, C.C. Miller, S.L. Ellis, N.P. Simpson, B.F. Lerch were among the early manipulators of the historic "goose."
A.R. & W.D.J. Marlin, Hall & Lydick, cabinet and chair makers.
James T. Carroll, David Larry, John E. Carroll, and Thomas Wesley were the veteran shoemakers.
The pioneer clock and watchmakers appear to have been itinerant as. William Sirwell came to Brookville at stated intervals to repair clocks and watches. Then James Thompson and C. Paulman located here, followed by S.M. Tinthoff, who for years resided in Brookville, and Robert Hubbard, who also kept a jewelry store in Brookville for over twenty years.
Dr. A.M. Hills and T.M. Van Valsah visited the town in a dental capacity at an early day. The Chandlers, Thomas and his son William, were the first resident dentists.
Fires. - Brookville has from time to time been heavily visited by the fire fiend. The first "big fire" occurring on the 24th of May, 1856, when some $50,000 worth of property, in the heart of the town, was laid in ashes. This fire commenced in the stables of the Royal Exchange Hotel, which occupied the site of the present Commercial Hotel, and was owned and occupied by John Clements. This hotel and the American House, with the Arcade building, and the stables and outbuildings, Lydick’s furniture shop on Main street, Benjamin McCreight’s barn and the Methodist Church (occupying the site of the present United Presbyterian Church), the residence of J.J.Y. Thompson (known as the Fogle property), and those of D. Dunkleburg and G.W. Andrews on Jefferson street were destroyed; in the Arcade, or business portion of the American House block, the stores of King & Co., and W.W. Corbet, I.G. Gordon’s law office (library saved), office of the Jefferson Star, McElhose & Scott, press, type and all the furniture destroyed; in the Exchange Hotel building, James McCahan’s law office, John Clements’s store, Kennedy & Dickey’s store. Mr. Clements lost two horses. The entire loss was estimated at $50,000. Of this the heaviest loss fell upon Judge Thompson, which is set down at $16,000, John Clements $8,000, and the Methodist congregation $2,500. Of these only Mr. Clements’s property and the church were partially insured. The fire was supposed to be the work of an incendiary.
On Sunday evening, November 5, 1871, another disastrous fire broke out in the stables of the Clements House, on the identical spot where a little over fifteen years before the first fire that ravaged the town started. It soon communicated to the hotel, which occupied the site of the old Exchange Hotel, and it was destroyed. The fire swept over the entire square from Gordon alley to Barnet street, burning down every building except the residence of Benjamin McCreight, which again withstood the flames, and was left standing alone, begrimed and blackened, but evidently fire-proof.
The losses were as follows: Clements House, Robert Clements owner, loss $20,000, Barr & Matson lessees of hotel, $5,000; McKnight & Bro., drugstore, $8,000; S. Craig & Son, grocers, $2,000; B. McCreight, stable and grain, $1,500; John Dougherty & Co., old Peace and Poverty, or Black Horse Hotel property, $7,000; John S. Barr, $2,500; W.R. Depp, $400. The two latter were tenants of Mr. Dougherty. Moore & Co., meat market, $200; G.F. Dodd, meat market, $400; John M. Steck, residence and furniture, $2,500; Gabriel Vasbinder, store, $1,500; Glenn & Smith, shoe store, $200; C.M. & J.N. Garrison, dry goods, $1,000; M. Rodgers, dry goods, $1,000; damage to American House, $5,000; Best Salt Company, $1,000; Gordon &
Bro., law office, $1,000; T.L. Brown, dwelling and meat market, $700; J.T. Reed, dry goods, $1,000.
On the above, Craig & Son, M. Rodgers, C.M. & J.N. Garrison, Gordon & Bro., and the American Hotel were covered by insurance. Captain Steck had $1,200 and J.S. Barr, $500. On all the other losses there was no insurance. The entire loss by the fire was estimated at $75,000.
On the 20th of November, 1874, another large fire occurred in Brookville. It broke out about 5 o’clock A.M. in the rear of the Oak Hall Hotel, on East Main street, and burned everything on that side of the street from Pickering to Mill street. The, old Franklin House on the corner of Pickering street, which was occupied as a hotel and bank by John S. King, was destroyed with nearly all its furniture. The large and elegant building of R.J. Nicholson, in which was Nicholson Hall, the Masonic Hall, and the general store of Nicholson, Meredith & Co., and the hardware store of Long & Pearsall, the Arthurs property, on which was the residence of R. Arthurs, and the store of C.S. Irwin, the Oak Hall Hotel owned and occupied by M.R. Bell, the store and blacksmith shop of Abram and Edwin Snyder, the residence of Mrs. C.E. Clements, shoe shop of J.T. Carroll, the old Templeton House and "Snyder Row" the property of Ira C. Fuller.
It then crossed Main street from Nicholson Hall and destroyed the old Evans block in which were the stores of K.L. Blood and John Mills, the Republican office, Dr. Sweeny’s office, the Armory, the undertaking rooms of O.H. Brown, and the Odd Fellows Hall, and the large brick block owned and occupied by S.G. Fryer as a store and residence.
This was the most disastrous fire that has ever visited Brookville, as far as loss of property was concerned, and area burned over. The loss was estimated at $150,000.
The last in the list of "big fires," which have visited Brookville, occurred on the night of April 25, 1876. This fire broke out about 9 o’clock in the cellar of T.B. McLain’s store, opposite the Clements House, and was clearly the work of an incendiary as there was no fire anywhere near where the flames broke out. All the buildings on this side of the street, from Diamond Alley to Barnett street, except the storeroom of Judge Henderson, were destroyed. The buildings were owned by Joseph Henderson, the Bishop heirs, Edmund English, C.M. & J.N. Garrison, and M. Rodgers, and were occupied by Joseph Henderson as a residence; Edmund English, residence; Mrs. McFarland, residence; J.S. King, T.B. McLain, store; Mrs. A.F. Henderson, millinery store; Mrs. G.J. Snyder, millinery; Miss L. Gordon, dressmaking; E.C. Hall, photograph gallery; W.A. Thompson, tailor shop; B.F. Keck, harness shop; Dr. R.S. Hunt, Dr. M.B. Lowry, Dr. C.W. Stebbins, offices; A. Spangenburg, meat market. The loss was estimated at $30,000, on which there was only $5,000 insurance.
The Brookville Schools. - The Brookville schools are nine in number, and are divided into primary, four; medium, or intermediate, three, and grammar, two. For the term ending February 21, 1887, the average attendance was 413, - male scholars 197, females 216; per cent. of attendance 91. The largest number enrolled during the term was 478. The schools are graded from No. 1, up, beginning with the primary department; and the teachers employed for the school year commencing September, 1887, are: T.B. Galbraith, principal, $85 per month; W.S. Trainer, No. 9, $65; W.A. Henry, No. 8, $55; Miss Belle Keyes, No. 7, $40; Mrs. M.P. DeHaven, No.6, $36; Miss Celia Ramsey, No. 5, $36; Miss Lizzie Hastings, No. 4, $36; Miss Margery Thompson, No. 3, $36; Miss Essie Calvin, No. 2, $36; Miss Martha McCreight, No. 1, $36. The school term was fixed at eight months.
The oldest teacher in the force is Miss Martha McCreight who has been teaching almost continuously in the primary department for the past thirty-five years. In 1853 the selection of teachers for the Brookville schools are reported as A.L. Gordon and Misses Freeman and McCreight. Nearly all the youth of the town have learned their A, B, C at her hands, and many of those who are now middle-aged have been her pupils. She is especially fitted for the position she has so long filled. The other teachers have taught from one to fifteen years in Brookville. T.B. Galbraith has been principal since 1884, having succeeded Professor J.H. Hughes on the election of the latter to the county superintendency. The principal, in addition to the general supervision of the school, teaches the higher branches: physiology, book-keeping, physical geography, rhetoric, geometry and Latin.
The Brookville schools have only graduated two classes. In the class of 1886 Margery Thompson graduated in the advanced course, and Carrie McDowell and Ella Hastings in the intermediate. In the class of 1887 Estella Galbraith graduated in the advanced, and Mary Paddock, John Ewing and Grant Lucas in the intermediate course.
In 1878 the present school building was erected, the amount of contract being $16,222. The builder was Daniel English, and the contractors D. English and Reid D. Taylor. The architect was D.K. Dean, of Erie, who received two per cent. on the contract price of the building. The heating apparatus cost $1,855.72, and the school furniture $1,039.90; water pipe, cisterns, etc., $681.74, making the entire cost of the building, furniture, etc., $20,574.10. The material of the old academy, which was torn down, was given to D. English, for extra work.
This fine building, which contains ten large, well-lighted and well-fitted school-rooms, is situated on the corner of Barnett and Church streets, and is surrounded by grounds covering four acres.
In 1881, Paul Darling, by his will, made the following bequest: "For beautifying and improving the grounds of the public schools of the borough of Brookville, $3,000 a year for twelve years."
For some cause no use was made of this munificent bequest for six years after it was made, but flow, in 1887, steps are being taken to put it to the use intended by the generous donor. The grounds are being graded, walks of Berea stone are being laid, trees, shrubs and flowers will be planted under direction of a competent landscape gardener; fountains will be placed in the grounds, and if the money is expended judiciously, and with artistic taste, "Darling Park," as it should be called, will be one of the most beautiful features in Brookville; while her school children, as they enjoy the beauties his bounty has wrought, will have cause to bless and revere the name of Paul Darling, for ages to come.
Brookville Cemeteries. - The first grave-yard in the town was what is still known as the "old grave-yard," and was land donated by Thomas White, agent of the Pickering lands. The first person buried there, as far as we can ascertain, was Samuel Craig, who died May, 1832. Among others who were early laid to rest in this hallowed enclosure were John Hughes, Sr., in 1833, John Christy and John Anderson in 1835, Israel D. Hughes in 1836, and his brother John in 1837, Solomon Gordon in 1839. Those who later were laid there were the Barrs, the Findleys, the Hutchisons, the McMurrays, Steels, Fullertons, the Wyleys, McCulloughs, McCandless, Bouchers, Stecks, Bishops, Lattimores, Arthurs, Huffmans. In some cases whole families lie side by side, in long rows of neglected graves. In most instances the graves of the older citizens are unrecognizable; where there have been headstones they have fallen down, and in many instances the inscriptions are illegible.
Near the entrance to this old grave-yard stands the monument (which has been defaced by some sacrilegious hand breaking the dove that surmounted it away), erected to the memory of "Hon. Robert Porter, of Philadelphia, who died suddenly in Brookville in 1842, in his seventy-fifth year. He was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War, and president judge of the third district of Pennsylvania, twenty years."
Judge Porter stopped at the Red Lion Hotel one evening, on his way from the east, and requested, on retiring for the night, to be called in time for the stage in the morning. Not answering the repeated calls in the morning, the proprietor of the hotel went to his room, and on trying to enter found that while his door was unlocked, it would not open. Forcing it back the venerable stranger was found lying dead against it. He had risen, dressed and was, perhaps, about to descend to proceed on his journey, when he was stricken down by disease of the heart. He was interred in the old grave-yard, and his friends subsequently placed the monument noticed above, to his memory.
This ground does not appear to have been enclosed until 1843, and since that time has been more or less neglected. Nature made it a beautiful spot, giving it lavish shade, but man allowed it to be overgrown with weeds and brambles. Spasmodic attempts were made from time to time to put it in order, only to allow it again to fall into decay. The substantial fence, erected a few years ago, was done through the persistent efforts of Mrs. Mary H. Stewart, to whom more than any one else are the people of Brookville indebted for keeping this, their first "God’s acre," from utter desolation. This ground being almost filled up with graves, the new cemetery was started in 1863. Since that time very few interments are made in the old grave-yard, while a great many persons have removed their dead to the new cemetery.
The Catholic cemetery was laid out about 1857, on land donated by John Gallagher. It is located on the road leading to Punxsutawney, and comprises about two acres. Previous to this the Catholics of Brookville buried their dead in the cemetery at Red Bank, in Clarion county, where the family burial lots of the Doughertys, Woods and many other prominent Catholic families are located.
Brookville Cemetery Company - The Brookville Cemetery Company was incorporated by an act of the Legislature approved April 1, 1863. (See statutes of 1863, page 590). The corporators were: Isaac G. Gordon, John S. King, Orlando Brown, John P. Wann, William Dickey, C. Fogle, D. Fogle, E. Hall, H. Matson, U. Matson, J.E. Hall, J.J.Y. Thompson, Thomas K. Litch, H.R. Fullerton, E.H. Darrah, K.L. Blood, Samuel Craig, W.C. Evans, W.D. J. Marlin, G.W. Andrews, and A.M. Clarke.
The first meeting of the association for the purpose of organizing was held July 8, 1862, at which meeting C. Fogle was elected president; U. Matson, vice-president; H. Matson, secretary, and Q. Brown, treasurer.
The present officers are: U. Matson, president; E.A. Litch, treasurer, and W.D.J. Marlin, secretary.
The company purchased of U. Matson fourteen acres of land north of and adjoining the borough of Brookville, in woods, and since have cleared off and beautified the grounds by laying out and making roads and walks through the same, and have built a very comfortable cottage house for the sexton. They have also erected at considerable cost at the main entrance four massive stone pillars, on which are hung very neat and handsome iron gates.
In the cemetery are very many beautiful and costly monuments, and in the summer time its attractions lead many citizens and strangers to take a walk or drive through the grounds.
To the foresight, energy, and good taste of John S. King are we indebted for the originating and organizing of the company, and the improvements made therein up to the year 1875, since which time the grounds have been under the more immediate charge of W.D.J. Marlin, who has faithfully performed his duties.
Mr. Richard Bell, an Englishman by birth, has been the sexton ever since the cemetery was opened, and can tell where every lot, and in fact where every grave is located.
On the 23d of September, 1863, the first interment was made, and was the body of James Corbet, esq., a native of Mufflin county, aged sixty-five years, two months, and ten days, being an old citizen of the county, who had held many offices of trust and profit in the county.
There has been interred in all since the opening of the cemetery, three hundred and eighty-two (up to August 15, 1887), an average of about sixteen a year; but thirty-eight of these" were removed from old grave-yards, or died from accidents.
Although a large amount of money has been expended in the purchase of land, in the making of roads, fences, building of a house, etc., the company are entirely out of debt, and have a surplus in the treasury to make further improvements, all the money received from the sale of lots being for the exclusive use and benefit of the association, the corporators receiving no benefit of the same.
The Soldiers’ Monument. - The monument to the memory of the dead soldiers of Jefferson county, was erected in the Brookville Cemetery, in pursuance of a provision in the will of Paul Darling, by which he bequeathed two thousand, dollars for that purpose. It is a handsome granite shaft, and stands thirty-two feet high, surmounted by a life-size figure of a private soldier at "parade rest." This monument stands in the most commanding position in the cemetery, upon ground donated by the cemetery company. It cost $2,100, and was placed in position by J.S. Moore, of Brookville. The monument was dedicated May 26, 1885, by the Grand Army of Jefferson County, with appropriate services, Major E.A. Montooth, of Pittsburgh, delivering the oration on the occasion.
The Litch Monument. - The finest monument in the Brookville cemetery is that erected in 1883 to the memory of Thomas K. Litch, by his wife, sons, and daughter. It was put in place by Young & Van Gundon, of Allegheny, and cost about $7,000. The monument stands fifteen feet high from its foundation, the first base being eight feet, three inches square, and one foot, ten inches high, of best Concord granite, fine hammer dressed; the second base six feet, three inches square, and one foot, eight inches high. On this is a die of dark Quincy granite, highly polished, three feet, eight inches square, and four feet high, continued with a cap five feet, two inches square, and one foot, eight inches high, of Concord granite, and plinth three feet, nine inches square, and one foot high. Surmounting this is a statue of the deceased, five feet, two inches in height. The figure, which has received the most flattering criticisms, as a work of art, was designed by Mr. Richard Magamoth, and is given a graceful poise, the artist representing the subject seated at a desk or table. The right arm rests upon the desk, while in the hand is held a pen; on the desk are compass, rule, and other articles. The left hand rests upon the knee and holds a roll of manuscript. Under the desk and beneath the chair are mechanics’ devices and books. Over the chair a piece of drapery is thrown, which materially adds to the good effect from whichever point the statue is seen. The figure is cut from a solid piece of granite. The associations thrown around the statue are happily chosen as to represent the daily companions of Mr. Litch while pursuing his favorite experiments and researches, and in the higher mechanics. The familiar countenance and form are preserved to a greater extent than is generally believed possible, and are readily recognized by any who knew the deceased in life. The monument, as a whole, is symmetrical and elegant, and is one of the greatest attractions in the cemetery.
The monument of Paul Darling, of dark Quincy granite, elegant in its massive simplicity, stands close to that of his life-long friend.
Stock Raising. - Quite an interest has been manifested during the last few years in Brookville, in thoroughbred stock, and very few towns of its size equal it in fine horses. Among those residents of the place engaged in the raising of improved grades of stock are the following gentlemen, residents of Brookville: Nathan Edelblute, who was one of the first to start in this business, about 1869, is the owner of the Red Bank Stock Barns, located on the fair grounds. These barns will hold about forty horses. Mr. Edelblute has done much to improve the horses of Jefferson county. His famous Red Bank was one of the finest horses the county has produced. Among the horses now composing his stud are: Maplewood, 1335; black horse, twelve years old, record, 2:40; Young Red Bank, bay, three years old, record, 2:38¾; Morewood, 4827; bay colt, Du Bois, 5771; brown, three years old. His brood mares are Nellie Bank, record, 2:44½; Stella Bank, brown, record, 2:44; Carrie Maid, chestnut, nineteen years old; Addie Bank, black, ten years old, record, 3:06; Kate Wood, bay, eight years old, record, 3:04; Emm Taylor, brown, eight years old; Annie Bank, bay, six years old; Rosie Wood, bay, six years old, record, 2:42; Bessie Bank, brown, four years old, record, 2:56; Stella Star, black, seven years old, record, 3:01; Brooklet, bay, four years old; Broncho Bank, four years old; Woodlet, bay filly, two years old, winner of yearling stakes of Pennsylvania State Breeders’ Association; Bonny Bank, chestnut filly, two years old; Addie Wood, black filly, one year old.
Three years ago H.C. Litch started the Brookville Stock Farm, which now bids fair to become a grand success. He has about twenty head of mares and fillies, six Jersey cattle, and several finely-bred stallions, of which Bourbon Boy, a seven-year-old, stands at the head in points of excellence. He is a Kentucky-bred horse, sired by Strathmore; dam, Bourbon Girl, by McDonald’s Mambrino. He has a record of 2:34, and won the stallion stakes at the meeting of the Pennsylvania Association of Trotting Horse Breeders, held in Pittsburgh in October, 1886. Mr. Litch also has a young three-year-old stallion, Brookville Boy, sired by Garthwait; dam, Lady Wellington, by Wellington. He has several promising colts by Bourbon Boy, besides two two-year olds, each of which has a record of 3:01. And one of these carried off the two-year-old’s stakes in 1886 at Pittsburgh.
In the spring of 1884 S.S. Henderson, proprietor of the Chestnut Grove Stock Farm in Rose township, purchased of Mr. Luther Liggett, of Watkins, Union county, O., two fashionable bred and registered Short Horn Durham heifers; also bought of Nathan Howard, Milford Centre, Union county, O., two registered Short Horn Durham heifers that are equally fashionably bred. He brought the Short Horn Durham cattle into our county to improve the native stock, and introduced the best beef-producing cattle in the world, our county being very much behind some of its neighboring counties in respect to its beef cattle. At the same time he purchased two of the largest and finest bred Percheron Norman mares that could be found in Ohio. On April 16, 1884, he bought of Dickinson Brothers, of Ridgway, the registered Percheron Norman stallion, "Charles Martel," No. 639; and on March 27, 1885, bought, with N. Carrier, jr., "Napoleon, jr.," a highly-bred Percheron Norman stallion, sired by Napoleon No. 723; dam, a Percheron mare. He has bought a number of cattle since his first purchase, a fine bull, "Duke of Red Bank," 69,142, being head of his herd. Mr. Henderson is still breeding and raising pure-bred Short Horn cattle and Percheron Norman horses; also breeding standard-bred trotting horses, and Wyandotte chickens.
In 1885 W.H. Gray, of Brookville, started on his farm the only herd of Guernseys in Jefferson county. He bought, in Chester county, two fine heifers and one bull from the Fox herd, at a cost of $325. The following spring his heifers dropped each a heifer calf, one of them sired by Sir Champion, the best Guernsey bull in America. To give an idea of the merits and growing popularity of the Guernseys, I cite you to the British Dairy Farmers’ Association. They have issued the second part of the second volume of their journal, containing, among other papers, a full report of the milking competition at the London Dairy Show in October, 1885. The following table gives a summary of average extending over seven years, 1879 to 1885 inclusive:
55 Short Horns
9 Cross breeds
It will be seen by this that the Guernseys are slightly, in front in quality and quantity. The same year he bought a pair of choice Chester white pigs, and has recently purchased Serpolet, the best Norman Percheron stallion that was ever in the county. He is registered both in France and America; was imported when one year old. He took first prize at New York State Fair, and second at Bay State fair (Massachusetts) in 1886, as the best two-year-old.
Past and Present Business of Brookville. - William Rodgers started the second store in Brookville, just three days after Jared B. Evans moved his store from Port Barnett, and opened his stock of goods in the Clark Hotel on Jefferson street. This street seems to have been the business emporium in those days; the first stores, the first tannery, and one of the first hotels, being located there. Mr. Rodgers’s ledger, kept in the years 1831 - ’36, record many of the names of the old settlers of the country, and all the early citizens of the town. A credit system prevailed and the following is a sample of the accounts recorded in these books, and shows the prices prevailing fifty-six years ago:
John Christy, Dr.
To 1 Testament
To 1 Testament
To 1 Cotton Shawl
To 1 yd. Muslin, per son John
To 1 pair combs per son John
To 1 oz. indigo per daughter
To 5 lbs. Coffee
To 1 tin bucket
To 4 yds. Cassinett
Jan. 4, 1832,
To 5 lb. Coffee
" 1 Comb per son John.
This account is balanced as follows:
By cash in full
By 24 bus. oats
April 11, 1832,
" town order for A. Kelly
Mr. Rodgers also kept his post-office account in the same book, as the post-office was in the same room in which he sold goods, from which it appears that the receipts of the office from April 1, 1835, to December 31, 1838, inclusive was $587.711. These old ledgers which are in a good state of preservation, were kept with the greatest care; scarce a blot appears on the pages, and they are legibly and well written.
Jack, Jenks & Co., kept quite an extensive store in 1845, on Jefferson street. In their day book of that year, is found an account of each day’s sales for the month of February, which aggregates $158. The merchants of the present day can contrast these sales and the prices quoted above, with those of the present day. One of the articles kept by every merchant, has disappeared from the counter. Charges for whisky in those days appearing quite frequently on the pages of the day books of the early merchants.
H. Matson, dealer in dry goods, dress goods, notions, etc., commenced business in Brookville in 1849, and has been engaged in the mercantile business for almost forty years. He opened his present store in 1870. His store is located in his own building on Main street. Mr. Matson came to Brookville in 1844.
R.A. Rodgers & Co., dry goods, clothing, notions, etc. This business was established in 1862 by Dr. Mark Rodgers, and at his death August 10, 1883, the business passed into the hands of his widow and son, R.A. Rodgers, under the firm name of R.A. Rodgers & Co. This store is located in the large brick block erected in 1871 by Dr. Rodgers, on the property purchased by him from Enoch Hall.
N.G. Edelblute, dry goods, clothing, notions, etc., commenced business in 1859. After the fire of 1874, he bought the lot owned by S.G. Fryer, and erected the two-story brick building in which is his store and residence.
Thomas H. Means, general store. This business was first established by Mills and Means, in September, 1879, but since February, 1883, has been owned by Mr. Means.
M.W. Dickey, dealer in dry goods, notions, carpets, etc. This store was first started in 1865 by William Dickey, George H. Kennedy and M.M. Meredith, as Dickey, Kennedy & Meredith, and was located in the old Evans block. In 1866 Meredith retired, and his place was filled by Dr. J.H. Wick, under the firm name of Dickey, Kennedy & Wick. In January, 1870, Dr. Wick also retired, and until the fire of 1877, Dickey and Kennedy continued the business in the same place, when they were driven out by the fire, and moved to the McCracken building; they then bought out the store of C.M. and J.N. Garrison, and moved into the American House block. March, 1878 the firm sold out to a son of the senior partner, M.W. Dickey, who has since associated for a short time his brother W.W. Dickey and Steele G. Hartman. He is now sole proprietor, and is located in the Marlin Opera House building.
Guyther & Henderson, dealers in dry goods, foreign and domestic dress goods, notions, etc. This business was started in October, 1876, by W.H. Gray and John W. Guyther. In July, 1880, D.A. Henderson, became one of the firm of Gray, Guyther & Co., and in March, 1885, Mr. Gray retired, and the firm is now Guyther & Henderson. They are located in their own building on Main street, which they purchased from K.L. Blood in 1880.
George H. Kennedy & Son, general merchandise. This store was started in September, 1880, and February, 1882, Mr. Kennedy formed a copartner-ship with William Campbell, as Kennedy & Campbell, which continued until April, 1885, when Mr. Campbell retired, and was succeeded by Harry H. Kennedy; the firm now being George H. Kennedy & Son, located in American House block.
Charles S. Irvin, dealer in dry goods, dress goods, clothing, etc., established in 1873, first located in Commercial House block, now in new building on Main street erected in 1886.
S. Kaufman, general merchandise, groceries, etc., established in 1860, located in U. Matson’s building on Main street.
G. Loebman, general merchandise, commenced business in April, 1873. In January, 1881, he associated with him his brother Albert, under the name of G. Loebman and Brother, and December, 1885, the latter retired. This store is also located in the Uriah Matson block.
Mills & Connor, dealers in dry goods, dress goods, notions, etc., established August, 1885; located in Marlin Opera building.
Albert Loebman, dealer in dry goods, clothing, etc., commenced in March, 1886; located in Arthurs’s block.
W.M. Nickle, "five cent" store, started April, 1883; located in H. Matson’s block.
Zettler & Hoelsche, dealers in dry goods and notions, established in November, 1885; located on Main street, in Edelblute building.
Mrs. Amelia F. Henderson, dealer in millinery and fancy goods, commenced business in 1869. She purchased the property - that erected by William F. Clark in 1846 - of R. Arthurs, on east Main street, in 1882, which she has much improved and where she has her store and residence.
Mrs. S.H. Whitehill, millinery bazar, commenced business February, 1884; located in Braden bui1ding, Main street.
Miss Hattie Wilson, milliner and fancy goods, commenced business May, 1884; located in Edelblute building, Main street.
The wants of the ladies of Brookville are fashionably catered to by experienced dressmakers, prominent among whom are Mrs. C.E. Clements, who commenced business in 1867, and is located in the old Furley homestead on Fast Main street. Mrs. Mary McLain and Daughter, who commenced in 1876, are located in the Rink building. Mrs. Lina Jackson and Mrs. Louie Scott are also on East Main street. Misses Laura Smith, Lavina Spare, and Mary Miller, in South Brookville; Mrs. L.G. Kahie and Miss Eliza Thompson, on Jefferson street, and Mrs. Mary Buell on White street.
Dr. W.J. McKnight and Thomas L. Templeton, of Brookville, who constitute the drug firm of McKnight & Bro., commenced business in October, 1863, in the east room of the Clements House, then occupying the site of the house now known as the Commercial Hotel, on Main street. In the fall of 1871, November 3, they were burned out in the fire which at that time consumed the hotel property and all buildings on the square, extending from Diamond alley to Barnett street on the west. In the spring of the year preceding this time, on account of the pressing need of greater facilities for conducting their increasing business, they set about the construction of a new brick building which they erected on the lot opposite the court-house, formerly owned by the heirs of Barclay Jenks, esq., deceased, which they had bought in December, 1869. This building, which is a large three story and basement, occupied on third floor by "Hobah" Masonic Lodge, and on second floor by offices, had so far approached completion that every part was ready for occupancy, excepting the drug room, so that for the time being they were obliged to occupy, - with the remnants of the drug stock saved from the fire - a room in the basement of the new building. This, however, was but for a short time, as by February term of court ensuing, the new store, which they now occupy, was completed, giving them a room in style and finish not excelled by any other in the western part of the State.
Roswell P. Blood, druggist. This business was established in 1867 by Eason & Matson. David Eason, in 1868, disposed of his interest to Dr. Hugh Dowling, when it became Dowling & Matson. Then, in 1871, Dr. R.S. Hunt and R.P. Blood purchased the store, and in November, 1874, R.P. Blood purchased the interest of his partner, Dr. R.S. Hunt, and became sole proprietor; now located in west room of Rodgers & Clark building, Main street.
E.B. Henderson, drug store; started January, 1878, by E.B. and S.S. Henderson. December 1, 1886, the latter disposed of his interest to his brother, E.B. Henderson; located in Endress building, Main street.
Verstine & Sandt, drug store, started in 1881 ; located in Verstine Hall building, Main street.
E.A. Paine, drug store, managed by Dr. D.L. Paine; started in August, 1884; located in Litchtown.
C.B. Guth, jewelry store; started in July, 1878; located in Marlin Opera House building.
Espy & Carroll, boot and shoe store. The partners in this business, Thomas Espy and Thomas M. Carroll, bought the shoe shop of J.E. Carroll in August, 1858, which was started in 1846, and have been in business ever since; now located in Marlin Opera House building.
S. Craig & Son, dealers in groceries. This store was established in 1865 by Samuel Craig, as a general store, until 1871, when Mr. Craig associated with him his son, W.F. Craig, until his death, 1885, since which time W.F. Craig has continued the business under the same firm name. This store is located in the Matson block.
Thomas K. Hastings, dealer in groceries, flour, etc.; successor to A.B. McLain. This store was started in the McCracken building about 1872 by S.H. Smith, then moved to the Clements House block, and about 1876 A.B. McLain bought out Smith and removed to Central Hotel building. Mr. McLain sold his stock to T.K. Hastings, in February, 1885.
Joseph Caldwell, dealer in groceries, flour, etc.; successor to Mrs. Robert Clements, who sold to Mr. Caldwell in January, 1884; located in McCracken Hall building, on Main street.
James M. Canning, dealer in groceries, flour, etc.; established in May, 1876; located in Marlin Opera House building.
William F. Wanner, dealer in groceries, flour, etc. This store was started in the spring of 1866 by S.J. Marlin, who sold to Mr. Wanner in 1876. It is now located in White Hall building, Main street.
Taylor D. Rhines, dealer in groceries, flour, feed, etc.; established in June, 1885; located in P.P. Blood’s building, Main street.
Joshua Jones & Son, dealer in groceries, flour, fruits, etc. This store was started about 1877 by Mrs. C.E. Clements, who afterwards sold to D. Burns, and Burns disposed of the business in January, 1886, to the present firm located in East Main street.
James Braden & Company, dealers in groceries, flour, etc. This firm was first James Braden & Brother, who purchased the store from Alpheus Walker, in February, 1879. James F.Braden was associated with his father and uncle in the business, February, 1884, and the firm changed to James Braden & Co. This store is located in their own building, on Main street.
J.H. Rhodes & Son, dealers in groceries, flour, feed, etc. This business was established in 1873 by J.H. Rhodes and S.W. Smith, as Rhodes & Smith, and after Mr. Smith retired, Mr. Rhodes having associated his son, Harvey, with him in 1878, as Rhodes & Son; located on corner of Barnett and Main streets.
Cummings & Morrison, dealers in groceries, flour, feed, etc. This store was started first by Miller & Stevens, who sold to W.P. Sted, who in turn disposed of the goods to Campbell & McGiffin, in August, 1885, and in August, 1886, William Campbell bought the interest of his partner in the business. The present firm purchased from Mr. Campbell in 1887; located on Main street.
W.P. Steel, grocery, bakery and ice cream parlor; started in 1883; located on Main street.
Levi Lerch, dealer in groceries, queensware, flour, feed, etc.; purchased the stock of Abram Snyder in 1877, which was then located on East Main street; then removed to the Dougherty building, on site of present opera house, and from there, in i 883, to the Red Mill south of the iron bridge.
Daniel F. Hibbard, dealer in groceries, flour, feed, etc.; established in 1877; located south of covered bridge, in Mabon’s addition, South Side.
George H. Simpson, dealer in groceries, flour, etc.; started in business in November, 1877; located in "Litchtown," East Side.
James P. Black & Son, dealers in groceries, flour, etc.; established in April, i 882; located in Litch town.
Charles Sitz, feed store; started in fall of 1881; located in Litchtown.
George Zetler, dealer in groceries, flour, feed, etc. This business was established by James I. Brady & Co., May, 1885, and sold to Mr. Zetler, June, 1887; located at Longview.
William H. Zetler, grocery store; started in 1886 by D.W. Leitzell and sold to Mr. Zetler in June, 1887; located at Longview.
Joseph Henderson & Son, dealers in tinware and stoves; commenced business in fall of 1866; located in his own building, corner of Main and Barnett streets; since 1876 the business has been conducted by Mr. Henderson, individually.
G.A. Pearsall & Son, dealers in hardware, successors to Long & Pearsall. This store was started June, 1867. Mr. J.E. Long retired from the firm January, 1876, and in August, 1881, Mr. Pearsall associated his son, Elmer E., in the business with him; located in their own building on Main street.
Kennedy & Co., dealers in hardware. This store was first established by William Kennedy and M.H. Hall, under the firm name of Kennedy & Hall, in March, 1867. In August, 1873, Mr. Hall retired from the firm, and the business was conducted by William Kennedy until July, 1880, when Samuel Chambers became associated with Mr. Kennedy, and the firm is since known as Kennedy & Co. It was first located in the old Evans block, until the fall of 1873; then removed to Clements House, then to the present location in Marlin’s Opera House building, November, 1883.
George Vanvleit, dealer in stoves, tinware, and hardware; successor to S.T. Dougherty. This store was first started by T.P. McCrea & Bro., in 1868, who disposed of it to Mr. Dougherty, in 1879, and the latter sold it to the present proprietor, December, 1880.
Rankin & Dunn, dealers in tinware, stoves, and hardware; successors to John Lutz, from whom they purchased the store in August, 1886; located in Brady building, East Main street.
Thompson & Chesnut, merchant tailors. The business was first started January, 1870, by M.C. and W.A. Thompson, the former retiring May, 1873. Then W.A. Thompson carried on the business until December, 1879, when he formed a copartnership with J.M. Chesnut, as Thompson & Chesnut; located in Bishop building, Main street.
C.P. O’Loughlin, merchant tailor. This business was first started by John J. Nyland, in 1876, who closed out in 1879, and worked for some time for George Vanvliet; then the shop was opened by C.P. O’Loughlin, an apprentice of Mr. Nyland, January, 1880; located in Matson building.
T.W. Chesnut, merchant tailor; established April, 1885; located in Bonnet building, Pickering street.
J.L. Reicheter, merchant tailor; established in spring of 1887; located in Verstine building, East Main street.
J.T. Carroll, boot and shoe shop; first started in 1862; located in his own building, East Main street.
Enoch Loux, boot and shoe shop. This shop was started by H.S. Lithgo in the fall of 1867, and January, 1884, purchased by Mr. Loux; located on East Main street.
Thomas Wesley, boot and shoemaker; started in November, 1854; located on Pickering street.
John E. Carroll, boot and shoe shop; started October, 1883; located on Pickering street.
William Smith, boot and shoe shop; successor to Glenn & Smith; started in September, 1866. Mr. Glenn retired in April, 1886. Located on Main street.
Anthony Bonnet, gunsmith; first commenced business in Brookville, in April, 1865 ; then removed to Clarion, April, 1868, returning to Brookville, March, 1882. -
Ferdinand Warner, tannery; built in 1875. The work done is generally what is called "share work," for farmers; located in South Brookville.
Dentists. - Dr. C.W. Stebbins located in Brookville about 186o and practiced his profession as surgeon dentist until his death in 1882. His wife, now Mrs. C. Yeaney, who had mastered dentistry under the instruction of her husband, has carried on the business since his death. Her office is located in the McKnight building, Main street.
Dr. M.B. Lowry, surgeon dentist, came to Brookville about 186o, and has practiced here ever since. His two sons have adopted their father’s profession, one being a graduate of the Philadelphia Dental College, and the other a student of that institution; located in the Guyther and Henderson building on Main street.
Dr. William G. Bishop, surgeon dentist, first located in Reynoldsville in 1874, and in 1883 established his office in Brookville, retaining his practice in the former place until 1885. He is located in the Bishop building, Main street.
F.W. Ingraham & Co., general agents for pianos, organs, etc. This agency was established November, 1873, by A.R. Steadman, who continued the business until December 31, where he left Brookville, in order to accept a position with Whitney & Raymond, manufacturers of the United States organ, and general music dealers of Cleveland, O., and is now a member of that firm. Mr. Steadman was succeeded by F.W. Ingraham and Peter B. Cowan, under the firm name of Ingraham & Cowan. October 1, 1886, Mr. Cowan retired from the firm, and the business is now conducted under the firm name of Ingraham & Co., Mr. Ingraham being the manager. Since the agency was established, they have sold a large number of pianos and organs; now located in White Hall building, Main street.
D.C. Whitehill, dealer in pianos and organs, sewing machines, etc.; business established July, 1886; located in Clark bank building.
John F. & G.E. Brown, general insurance agents, successors to C.O. Hammond. This agency was first established by McMurray & Weidner, who were succeeded by J.A. Scott. Then J.H. Maize assumed charge and formed a co-partnership with C.O. Hammond, as Maize & Hammond, and on Mr. Maize retiring from the firm the business was conducted by Mr. Hammond until his death, August, 1882, when John F. and G.E. Brown purchased the business from the estate of the latter; located in jail building.
N.G. Pinney, general insurance agent, came to Brookville in 1878 to solicit insurance for the agency of Samuel G.W. Brown, of Kittanning, and in 1880 started in the business for himself. He now represents ten large companies; located in Marlin Opera House block.
Hamilton & Reed, general insurance agents, established September, 1882 office in the old "Red Lion" Hotel building.
Cabinet Manufactory, started in 1859 by Craig & Wilson. In May, 1879, Andrew Craig purchased the interest of his partner, Enoch Wilson. He was succeeded in 1881 by Haines Brothers. It is now owned by B.F. Haines, H.B. Craig, and Bartlett & Sons; located at foot of Jefferson street.
I. Aaron, dealer in furniture, etc. This business was established by O. Brown, and purchased from his estate by Mr. Aaron in 1883; located in Corbet building, West Main street.
L.R. Rousseau, upholsterer and carriage trimmer; commenced in 1885 located in Rodgers block.
Carroll & Hamilton, harness manufactory. It was first started in 1867 by S.G. Newcom and James K. Hamilton, and in March, 1869, James K. Hamilton got entire control. Then in 1875 James T. Carroll was associated in the business. Mr. Hamilton has been in the harness and saddlery business since 1863, with the exception of three years - 1871 - 1874 - that he was associated with Joshua Williams in the livery business. This shop is located in the old Red Line Hotel building, Main street.
Smathers & De Haven, saddlery and harness. C. Smathers first started in the harness business with the late Colonel Charles McLain, as McLain & Smathers, and in 1858 sold to McLain, who managed the shop until he went into the army. Mr. Smathers has been running the present shop for about eighteen years, and in 1881 associated with him John H. De Haven; location on Main street.
Samuel Frank, saddlery and harness making, started March, 1874; located in Brady building, East Main street.
The first foundry was built on the northwest corner of Main and Valley streets, on site of McCracken Hall building, by a man named Coleman, in 1841, who in a short time sold to Evan Evans, who in turn sold to Wilkins & Corbet, who moved it to the location now occupied by the foundry of Edwin English. They operated it for a while and then sold to John Gallagher and. George McLaughlin who, in 1850, sold to the present proprietors, Edwin and Daniel English. Since 1855 the former has owned and operated the property. This foundry was first run by water-power, supplied by a dam built for the-purpose, but the water supply not proving adequate, horse-power was substituted.
After the foundry was removed to Water street, Snyder & Adams, in 1857, started a blacksmith shop on the same site on Main street, which they continued about a year, when Mr. Adams retired, and the shop was continued for some time by Mr. Snyder. Mr. Wilson Adams, who came to Brookville in 1851, carried on the blacksmithing for about twelve years. He still resides in Brookville.
In 1853 the Washington foundry and machine-shop was built by J.P. Wann and Patrick McTaffe. They commenced the manufacture of plows, stoves, etc, and done mill repairing. In 1857 McTaffe sold his interest to Orlando Brown, who, at that time, resided in Angelica, Allegany county, N.Y. The same year Mr. Brown came to Brookville with part of his family, consisting of wife and two children, Orlando H. and Carrie - now MrS.J.E. Long. He brought with him new machinery and men skilled in mechanical arts and put new life into the foundry and machine business. The other son, James L., came to Brookville in 1858 from the West, arid went to work for Wann & Brown as an apprentice. The principal business was building circular saw-mills and repairing. Having no railroad connection nearer than Kittaning, most all the goods came by boat from Pittsburgh to Mahoning. At the breaking out of the Rebellion in 1861, stagnation followed in all branches of business. The foundry and machine-shop was closed for six months or over, with nothing to do and no men to work, as most every able-bodied man that could stand the hardships had enlisted, either in the three months’ call for volunteers or for a longer period. The finding of the Seneca oil, or petroleum, on Oil Creek, opened up a new industry. The excitement attending the discovery created a demand for machinery, engine and boiler and boring tools. The business, at that time in its infancy, had to be created. Mr. Brown designed and built an eight-horse-power engine and boiler for the oil trade; five and six-horse-power was considered ample to handle the heaviest tools at that time and to bore a well to the required depth.
In 1863 James L. Brown leased Mr. Wann’s interest for one year. At the expiration of time of lease he bought Mr. Wann’s interest in the foundry and machine business. In 1864 the partnership of Brown & Son was changed to Brown, Son & Co., having taken in Mr. John P. Roth as equal partner. By that time the business had increased to justify enlarging their works and by putting in new machinery, making a specialty on engines and boilers, gang and circular saw-mills. In 1875 the entire property was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt immediately and put into successful operations, when Mr. Brown disposed of his interest to W.H. Jenks, son of Judge W.P. Jenks. In 1877 the new works were again destroyed by fire, this time consuming the entire plant, except the foundry. Messrs. Brown & Roth then sold the relics to W.H. Jenks, who rebuilt in 1878, and at the present time is manufacturing engines and boilers. The celebrated Hercules Turbine water-wheel, which is known all over the world as one of the most powerful wheels of its size ever produced, giving the best percentage at part and whole gate, was manufactured by Brown, Son & Co., where all the minute details were conceived and brought out by the patentees - James L. Brown and John B. McCormick. The sole manufacturers of the Hercules wheel are the Holyoke Machine Company, of Holyoke, Mass., and at Worcester, Mass. The Hercules wheel is used in Italy, France and Germany. Mr. Jenks, who is a graduate of Yale College, has made mechanics his study. In 1886 he enlarged his shops, which are all built of brick in the most approved style.
Machinery Hall. - C.A. and C.F. Carrier, dealers in all kinds of agricultural implements, hardware, stoves and tinware, commenced June, 1886; located in the old Rink building, Main street.
Shoe Manufactory, George W. Stewart, proprietor, established autumn of 1886; located in Arthur’s building, Main Street. The capacity of the manufactory is four hundred pairs of shoes per day, employing twenty-seven men.
Singer Manufacturing Company, J.P. Lucas, agent. This agency was first established by A.L. Schnell, who sold the Singer sewing machines from 1866 until 1879. He was succeeded by W.H. Dunlap, who was in charge until the winter of 1885. Since April, 1886, J.P. Lucas has had this agency. Since 1879 they have sold over twenty-five hundred machines.
Marble Manufactory, John S. Moore, proprietor; started February, 1872; located in his own building, East Main street.
Carriage manufactory, M.G. Murphy; started in 1874; located in rear of Opera House building. Mr. Murphy has worked at his trade in Brookville since 1870.
Andrew Stefl, wagon-maker, commenced business March, 1864; located on East Main street.
E. Snyder & Son, blacksmiths. Mr. E. Snyder first began the blacksmithing business in Brookville in 1857, and has been constantly engaged in the same, with the exception of from 1872 to 1876, when he was in the livery business. He associated his son, George W. Snyder, with him in 1876. Their shop is located in their own building, East Main street.
Robert R. Brady, blacksmith, commenced in Brookville in 1851, having worked about two years at Port Barnett, where he first located in 1849. W.E. Snyder has been associated with him since February, 1885; located in Mr. Brady’s own building, east end of Main Street.
Abram Snyder, blacksmith, came to Brookville in the fall of 1852 and formed a partnership with William Stewart, which only continued about nine months. He was in the grocery business from 1865 to 1877, starting the first regular grocery store in the town. Since 1877 he has been in the blacksmithing business; located on Valley street, north end of iron bridge.
J.C. Snyder, general blacksmith. This shop was started in 1873 by D.G. Gourley and Charles Harris, J.C. Snyder taking the place of Mr. Harris, who removed from Brookville in 1880. In 1881 Mr. Gourley also retired, and then Mr. Snyder alone conducted it until 1884, when he associated his brother with him, and ran the business as J.C. Snyder & Brother until 1886, since which time he has had control himself. In 1873 M.G. Murphy and J.S. Van Buskirk had a carriage manufactory in connection with this shop. Since 1878 George H. Grove has had charge of the wood work department, while J.S. Van Buskirk attends to the painting; located on Barnett street.
T.K. Snyder’s blacksmith-shop, started in 1858 or 1859, by D.C. Riggs; then by Arad Pearsall. In 1862 Samuel W. Snyder purchased it, and upon his death, in July, 1886, he was succeeded by his son, T.K. Snyder; located in Litchtown.
Warren P. Bowdish, blacksmith and wagon-shop, started in 1884; located in Litchtown. Mr. Bowdish has worked at his trade in Brookville since 1856.
John Engle, blacksmith and machinist, located in Brookville in 1858, formed a partnership in 1867 with James L. Whitman, under the firm name of Engle & Whitman. Whitman retired in 1869, and from 1870 until 1876 he was associated in the manufacturing of carriages, buggies, etc., in connection with blacksmithing, with Daniel Barns, and since 1886, has been engaged in a machine-shop with James Brick, as Engle & Brick.
A.E. Smith, plumber and gas-fitter, commenced September, 1884.
D.G. Gourley, blacksmith and wagon-maker, present shop started May, 1884; location Water street. Mr. Gourley with J.J. Patterson is engaged in the sale of the Kramer wagon and buggies.
Daniel Long, blacksmith and machinist and gunsmith, came to Brookville in 1848, and learned his trade with his uncle, William McCullough, and in 1856, started. a shop of his own, which he ran until May, 1863, when he went to work in the foundry of Brown & Wann, doing the forging and machine work. He remained in this establishment during all the changes that took place in the management, until 1880, when he started a shop for himself on his own property, corner of Jefferson and Barnett streets.
Thomas K. Litch & Sons. This is one of the largest lumber firms in Jefferson county. The first mill on the site of these mills was erected in 1830, by Robert P. Barr. The grist-mill was erected in 1833, the carpenter work being done by Richard Arthurs, and the roofing by Luther Geer, Sr. This was the last work of the kind done by Mr. Arthurs, before he commenced to read law.
In 1850 Thomas K. Litch purchased the property of Mr. Barr, and soon erected a new saw-mill. In 1856 both saw-mills were burned down, but were almost immediately replaced by a large steam mill, with a capacity of three million feet of boards per annum. The grist-mill was rebuilt in 1869 - 70, and soon after a tub and bucket factory was erected; The latter is not now in operation. Mr. Litch was the indefatigable manager of his own vast business interests as long as his health would admit, and at his death, which occurred August 14, 1882, he was succeeded by his wife and sons in the management of the business. The firm which still retains the old name of the T.K. Litch & Sons, is comprised of Mrs. T.K. Litch and her three sons, Thomas W., Harry C. and Edward. A. Litch. The firm cut about five million feet of lumber each year, and at this rate of cutting it will be fully twenty years before they will cause the last tree on their land to fall. They work oak, pine and hemlock timber, and manufacture lumber, lath and shingles. Bridge and building timber, however, is their specialty. Their mills and yards are situated near the mouth of the North Fork, where they occupy about ten acres of ground. In 1884, at a cost of $25,000, they erected a saw-mill fitted with the finest of modern improvements, and having capacity for cutting fifty thousand feet per day, it being one of two mills in this country having what is called the steam feed, the motive power consisting of an 18x24 inch Corliss engine, and a battery of three large boilers. The firm ship principally to Pittsburgh, where they have an office under the management of Joseph B. Eaton, a nephew of Mrs. Litch; but they send a large share of their output to Philadelphia. When Mr. Thomas K. Litch first came to Brookville, he brought with him from Pittsburgh, Mr. Silas Miller, who has ever since been the firm’s faithful engineer. Among those who were for many years in Mr. Litch’s employ were John D. Smith, Charles Sitz, and William Goss. The large flouring mill is now under the management of Mr. B.F. Haines. The biographical sketch of Mr. Litch will be found elsewhere in this volume.
The Blame Mill. - This mill was built in 1882 by James E. Long and A.J. Brady, and has since been operated by Long & Brady. It is situated at the mouth of the Five Mile Run, on Sandy Lick, near Longview, and cuts from three million to five million feet of boards, and one million lath per year, besides manufacturing fence pickets, etc. The firm controls seven thousand one hundred and thirty acres of timber land, upon which there is enough timber to supply the mill for twenty-five years. Of these lands five thousand seven hundred acres is owned by J.E. Long & Son, Charles Corbet and L.A. Brady, and the balance by Brady & Long. The mill-site was purchased from R.D. Taylor and others.
The firm of Marlin Brothers, composed of Silas J. and W.D.J. Marlin, was formed in November, 1872, at which time they purchased of Newton Taylor two tracts of land situated in Union and Eldred townships, containing about three hundred and fifty acres on which was erected a good steam saw-mill, two or three dwelling houses, barns and other buildings; besides this they also got the timber on some other tracts, for which they paid $35,000. They went to work that fall and, up to 1886, cut, manufactured and marketed, about one million feet of pine and hemlock lumber a year. The price of lumber being low, the mill was allowed to stand during the summer of 1886, but was stocked and started up in the spring of 1887. They expect to finish up on this tract in about two years more. The firm own a valuable tract of timber and coal land in Winslow township, the lumber from which they will probably manufacture after they are through on Mill Creek, if they don’t dispose of it before that time.
The Marlin Opera House building was erected by S.J. Marlin, in 1883. Besides the large and elegantly fitted up opera house, with a seating capacity of over nine hundred, the building contains, six large store-rooms and eleven offices.
E. Hall & Son, manufacturers and shippers of rough and dressed lumber, etc. Enoch Hall and Charles B. McCain built the planing-mill in the fall of 1869, and commenced working lumber April, 1870. E. Hall bought the interest of his partner in the establishment in December, 1870, and then formed a copartnership with his son, Clarence R. Hall, as E. Hall & Son. This firm manufactures lath, shingles, sash, doors, mouldings, etc., and besides their home trade ship extensively both rough and dressed lumber. Their mill is situated on the old depot road, west of the iron bridge.
Vanleer Brothers & Co.’s planing-mill. About 1883 the planing-mill operated by J.R. Vanleer, W.N. Vanleer and T.A. Hendricks, under the title of Vanleer Brothers & Co., was built. It is situated near the passenger depot, is large and well constructed, and is fitted with machinery of the best and most improved kind for manufacturing doors, blinds, sash, flooring, siding, scroll and turned work, etc. The firm handle rough and dressed lumber very extensively. Order work is their specialty. Their trade is not confined to Jefferson county, as they ship into all the adjoining counties as well as Allegheny county.
Anderson & Leech, planing-mill. This mill was built by Thomas Mabon, and was first operated by Johns & Hubbard, then by Ingraham & Butler, in 1879. Harry Butler retired in one year, and his place was filled by E.V. Richards, and the firm became Ingraham & Richards, until July, 1884, when they sold to Solomon Anderson and W.A. Leech. They manufacture sash, siding, doors, blinds, flooring, dressed lumber, scroll and turned work. The mill is located on the "South Side," near the covered bridge.
The Brookville axe factory was started May, 1884, by W.J. Sager, the proprietor. It is situated on the site of the old Taylor mill, now owned by I.C. Fuller. The building is two stories, 72 by 30, with a capacity for 250 axes per day; but is now only making two dozen double-bitted axes per day. Mr. Sager also manufactures "bark spuds" for peeling bark, and all kinds of edge tools, and does general repair work. His trade is local, though he has shipped goods as far west as Michigan.
The "white" grist-mill, which was built by Thomas Mabon in 1849 or 1850, who disposed of an interest in the property to Henry and John Startzell. They sold, in 1868, an interest to George C. Harvey, and in 1877 John Startzell re-purchased the interest of Mr. Harvey. G.A. Jenks owns a third interest in the property. In June, 1887, John Startzell disposed of his share in the property to his brother, William, and George L. Reed, who are managing the concern under the firm name of Startzell & Reed.
The "Red Mill," I.C. Fuller, proprietor, was built by Philip Taylor and John L. Barr in 1857. Barr retired from the firm in 1862 or 1863. It was then owned and operated by Judge Taylor until his death, November, 1878. Malcolm W. Wise, who inherited the property by the will of his grandfather, Philip Taylor, then took charge of it and sold it to I.C. Fuller, May, 188i. Since Mr. Fuller purchased it he has put in the roller process. W.H. McAninch has been the miller since 1878. He succeeded J.H. Rhodes.
N.E. Snyder, shaving saloon. This business was started by Frank X. Kreitler, May, 1863, who has conducted it from that time until the spring of 1887, when he sold out to N.E. Snyder; located in the American House.
D.W. Galther, shaving saloon; started in December, 1876; now located in Commercial Hotel.
L.C. Scott, shaving saloon; started March, 1884; located in Matson Block, Pickering street.
The St. Charles Saloon building, opposite the jail, was erected by Charles Sitz in 1859. It was then owned by Jacob Kroh, who sold the property to Casper Endress about 1863. Mr. Endress conducted the saloon for a number of years, being succeeded by his son, A.L. Endress. Since 1886 the business has been discontinued. In 1876 Mr. Endress built the large two-story brick structure adjoining the saloon building.
Jackson Heber, restaurant and ice cream parlor; purchased from Thomas Cartin, July, 1874; located in his own building, Main street. He also purchased the bottling business of Joseph Summers in 1872.
George Heber, bakery and green grocery; started in the spring of 1887.
J.J. Patterson, livery stable. This business was established by J.S. McConnell, and purchased by Mr. Patterson in August, 1875; located in rear of Commercial Hotel stables.
Parker P. Blood, livery stables; established in 1882; located on Valley street.
George F. Dodd, meat market; started about 1866; located on Main street.
Robert Breffit, meat market; started in spring of 1869; now located in Matson Block, Pickering street.
W.C. Kuhn, meat market; started September, 1886; located in basement of Rodgers building, Diamond Alley.
Swartzlander & McCullough, meat market; started November, 1885; located on East Main street.
Leander Edwards, meat market. Mr. Augustus Spangenburg, who is associated with his son-in-law, Mr. Edwards, is the veteran butcher of Brookville, having commenced business in 1859.
North Fork brewery, S.C. Christ, proprietor. The first brewery was built by Mr. Christ in 1861, and was torn down to make room for the present one in 1863.
The Spring brewery, M. Algier, proprietor; started in fall of 1871; located at Sand Spring, opposite red mill; capacity, twenty thousand barrels per year.
The Hotels. - The hotel business in Brookville dates back to the time when John Eason came to Brookville, early in 1830, and built a portion of what was afterwards the kitchen and dining-room of the first hotel, the "Red Lion." In this he and his wife boarded the surveyors who laid out the county seat, and also those who, in June of that year, attended the sale of lots in the new town. At the rear of the new "hotel" stood two large pine trees, and after the house was built the inmates, fearing that these giants of the forest might, perchance, fall upon the little structure and demolish it, cast about for some way to fell the trees (which naturally inclined toward the house), in an opposite direction. This was done by affixing cables to them and then having men pull them, after they were partly cut down, in the direction it was desired they should fall.
Mr. Eason kept the house, building an addition to it, until his death, in 1835, when Mrs. Eason occupied it for a short time, and then William Clark kept it in 1837. In 1838, John Smith, who had married Mrs. Eason, took charge of the house and kept it until 1844. In 1851 - 53 it was kept by Robert Ralston and C.B. Clark, and in 1848 - 50 Mr. Smith again had control of the house. The building, which is still standing, is now the property of David Eason and A.B. McLain.
The next hotel was built on Jefferson street, in 1830, by William Clark, and kept by him until 1833, when he sold the property to Jared B. Evans, who in turn sold it to Dr. Gara Bishop, and the site is now occupied by the residence of Hon. A.C. White.
The Globe Hotel was built on the corner of Main street and Spring alley in 1830, by Thomas Hastings, who occupied it as a hotel in May of that year, and occupied by him until 1839, when he was succeeded in turn by Job McCreight, J.M. McCoy, William Clark, Edward Hutchinson. Then Thomas Hastings again took charge of the house, and was succeeded by William Clark and Jacob Barkett from 1845 to 1849. Isaac Walker owned and occupied by house from 1849 to 1853, then he sold it to John Yeaney, Charles Sitz and Reuben Weiser; Charles Sitz occupying it in 1853 - 54. In 1855 it was purchased by Simon Frank who sold it again to John Yeaney. In 1857 C.N. Kretz took charge of the house, changed the name to Jefferson House, and conducted it until the fall of 1864. Then it was successively kept by Joseph Oxenrider, Stoke & Scribner, and Jacob Emery, until the winter of 1883 when the property was purchased by M. Allgier and L.L. Reitz, and the latter took possession April 1, 1883.
In 1832 Peter Sutton kept a hotel on Taylor street, about the site of the James L. Moore property in Litchtown. He was also contractor for building the bridge across the North Fork. He returned in the thirties to Indiana, from whence he came.
"Peace and Poverty, by John Dougherty." The hotel in front of which hung this quaint sign, was built in 1831 by John Dougherty, on the corner of Main and Barnett streets, who kept it until 1836, when John Gallagher took possession and ran it until 1841; then S.M. Bell occupied it for a year, to be succeeded by George McLaughlin, for the years 1843 - 47. It was then changed to the "Black Horse Hotel," and kept by Samuel Lyle in 1850 - 51; then by Daniel Thayer. It was then discontinued as a hotel and rented by Mr. Dougherty to private families, until it succumbed to the fire of 1871.
Then William Clark built another hotel on the corner of Main and Mill streets in 1833, which he only occupied for a short time, selling it in 1834 to John Brownlee, who had come from Centre county in that year. This house is still standing and is now the property of the A.J. Brady heirs. R. Arthurs did carpenter work on this house.
Another old house was that owned by Mrs. Wagley, a sister of William McCullough, which stood on the lot next to the Franklin house on the east. It was built in 1831 or 1832, and was kept in 1832 by Samuel Craig, and after his death by his widow, and by Mrs. Wagley.
The Franklin House, the first brick hotel erected in Jefferson county, was built in 1832 by Daniel Elgin. The first landlords appear to have been James M. Steadman in 1833, and William Clark in 1834. John Pierce had charge of it from 1836 to 1839, when James Cochran kept it about a year, being succeeded by Joseph Henderson in 1841 - 43. Then, in 1844, J.R. and R. Arthurs took charge of it, followed by S.H. Lucas and John M. Turney. Jacob Steck took charge of the hotel in 1848, and conducted it for ten years. The property was then purchased by Samuel G. Fryer, who occupied it as a private residence and store until 1866, when he sold to Henry R. Fullerton, who greatly improved the property, adding an additional story, etc. He occupied it for a while, and then C.N. Kretz purchased the furniture, etc., and was landlord from 1869, followed by Carroll & Scribner, then A.S. Scribner, until 1871 when it was purchased by J.S. King who occupied it until the fire of November 20, 1874, when it was burned down. Mr. King, besides having charge of the hotel, was cashier of the Brookville bank, located in same building.
After the fire Richard Arthurs purchased the property, and in 1876 erected the large brick hotel known as the Central. He opened it as a hotel and ran it for a short time, then relinquished the management to his son, Richard Arthurs, jr., who occupied the house until January, 1884. Then for about a month Richard Arthurs, sr., occupied it, and then it was closed until April 1, 1884, when Jacob Emery took possession and remained until April 1, 1886. It was again unoccupied until December, 1886, when the present landlord, J.R. Emery, took possession.
The first building on the site of the Commercial Hotel was a little frame building, built and occupied by John Clements, in 1833, who, in 1844 or 1845 built the Royal Exchange Hotel, which he occupied until it was destroyed by fire in 1856. Mr. Clements rebuilt, and the new building, which he called the Clements House, was ready for occupancy in 1858. In 1860 Mr. Clements died and the house was managed until September, 1863, by his widow, Mrs. E.O. Clements, when it was purchased by R.W. Moorhead, who changed the name to the Moorhead House. He kept it until April, 1864, when it became the property of Robert Clements, who occupied it for a short time, changing the name back to the Clements House, and then C.N. Kretz took possession in the summer of 1864 and remained until April, 1869. Then Robert Clements again occupied it until W.S. Barr and C.G. Matson took charge, but were burned out in the fire of 1871. Robert Clement rebuilt the house and it was opened by Alexander S. Scribner, who was succeeded by Joseph Freeman. Then M.R. Reynolds kept it as a temperance house for a short time. It was then closed for about five years, pending litigation between the Reynolds heirs and Robert Clements, when it was purchased by R. Arthurs and William Dickey, and was opened in January, 1883, by Matson & Arthurs, as the Commercial Hotel. After six months Matson retired, and the hotel has been in charge of R. Arthurs, jr., since that time, he having, by deed of gift from his father, R. Arthurs, sr., become owner of the property in January, 1887.
The American Hotel was built in 1845 by Elijah Heath, who, in 1846, added a business block to it, two stories in height, called the Arcade. D.S. Johnson, who did the carpenter work, is said to have been the first to occupy this house as a temperance hotel; and Benjamin Bennett, who kept it in 1848 - 51, seems to have been the first who opened it as a licensed house. In 1852 John J.Y. Thompson purchased the property and occupied it until it was destroyed by fire May 23, 1856. He commenced at once to rebuild, and the present house was ready for occupancy in 1857, being opened to the public in October by his son, W.K. Thompson, who conducted the hotel until June, 1869, when he removed to Portsmouth, O., and his brother, John J., succeeded him in the management of the house. In October, 1864, Captain R.R. Means purchased the property and kept the house until March, 1869, when he sold it to John J. Thompson and Joseph Darr, and it was run by Thompson & Darr, with Mr. Thompson as landlord, until the summer of 1871, when they sold to a stock company composed of R.J. Nicholson, M.M. Meredith, Nathan Carrier, jr., W.A. Burkett and P.H. Shannon, and the latter took charge of the house until January 16, 1872, when C.N. Kretz purchased the property and kept the hotel until May, 1879, when he sold the furniture to A. Baur, who kept the house until May, 188o, when he sold the furniture to Thompson & Darr, who had again become owners of the property, and who rented it to John S. Barr, who conducted the hotel until October, 1881, when A.B. Barr rented it from Ira C. Fuller, who purchased it from Thompson & Darr in 1880. Mr. Barr associated with him J.B. Cromer, in the management of the house, until early in 1885 Mr. Fuller sold the house and furniture to B.K. Fisher and F.P. Graf, who are now keeping the hotel.
The Union Hotel, John McCracken, proprietor. This house was built by John R. McCall in 1851, and called the "Railroad House." It was first kept by Benjamin Bennett, for about two years, and then by W.H. Schram and D.B. Rouse, successively, until 1856, when it was purchased by R.R. Means, who conducted the house until May, 1864, when he sold the property to John McCracken, who has since kept it as the Union Hotel, and has also built a frame addition to it.
Mr. McCracken erected a large three-story brick block on the opposite corner of Main street from the hotel, in 1868. The lower story contains two stores, and the upper a large town hall, while the other rooms are occupied by private families.
The Oak Hall Hotel was built for a restaurant and kept as such until purchased in 1864 from George Leopold, by John S. Barr, who converted it into a hotel, and kept it as the Oak Hall Hotel until 1871, when he sold it to R.M. Bell, who conducted it until it was destroyed in the fire of 1874.
Heber House. - Henry Heber, proprietor of this house came to Brookville about the year 1853, and located in a little house near his present home. The house he now occupies was built by T.K. Litch, for a boarding-house for his mill hands, and purchased by Mr. Heber in 1863, who has since kept it as a temperance hotel. It is the only hotel in the "East End."
Brookville House, E. Bevier, owner and proprietor. This house was built by Andrew Stefl, about 1869, who sold it to Mr. Bevier April, 1876. It was kept previous to Mr. Bevier purchasing, by Andrew Stefl and John J. Henderson.
Hotel Longview. - Work on this hotel was begun in March, 1885. In July of that year A. Baur and wife began furnishing the hotel. It was opened on September 22, 1885. When the hotel was first opened no trains stopped at Taylor’s (as the station opposite the hotel was then called). In one week after opening the hotel first-class trains stopped there. In two months after the opening, two trains each day stopped for meals, and in eighteen months after the opening, all trains were stopped there. All railroad buildings were moved from the old station site, and the old station entirely abandoned.
One of the veteran hotel men of Brookville was Jacob S. Steck, who removed to Brookville from Greenburg, March, 1848, and took charge of the Franklin House, which he occupied for ten years. In 1852 he was elected county commissioner, on the Democratic ticket. He was appointed one of his aids by Governor Bigler, with rank of colonel. Colonel Steck died in 1859, and his wife, née Christiana S. Waltz, died in 1863. Two of their daughters, Mrs. Mary Eason and Mrs. Rose Rowe, reside in Brookville.
Another of the veteran hotel keepers in Brookville was Jacob Burkett, who came to Brookville in 1845 from Indiana county, where he removed from Blair county in 1828, settling in Smicksburg. He was "mine host" of the Globe Hotel for a number of years, and it was then one of the most popular houses in the county. He afterwards removed to Punxsutawney, and then for a time resided in Georgeville, Indiana county, and then returned to Brookville in 1872, and died July 26, 1880, being buried on the ninety-first anniversary of his birth. His wife, Mrs. Catherine Burkett survived him - dying April, 1884, in the seventy-third year of her age. Of a large family of children, nearly all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood in Brookville, but one, Mrs. Joseph Darr, resides here now. Mr. Burkett was a genial, kindly man, and enjoyed the respect of all who knew him.
One of the best known and most successful hotel men that Brookville has Sever known, was Charles N. Kretz, who came to the place from Reading in 1857, and was almost continuously engaged in hotel keeping in Brookville for over twenty years. The different houses which he managed in that time is given above, and to all of them he gave a first-class tone during his occupancy. Mrs. Kretz, his excellent helpmeet, died in the American Hotel in 1872, and Mr, Kretz also died in the same house in 1879. Only one of his family resides in Brookville, Mrs. A. Baur, the accomplished hostess of Hotel Longview.
Another prominent hotel keeper was Jacob Emery, who came to Brookville from Philadelphia, in 1863, and was almost continuously, as the hotel record shows, in the business for over twenty years. He kept a first-class house wherever he was. Mr. Emery died March 10, 1887, aged seventy-four years.
There is probably no one in Jefferson county who has so long and continuously engaged in the hotel business as John S. Barr, who commenced in the Exchange Hotel in Corsica, in 1854 - 57; then he engaged in store-keeping in 1858 and 1859 in Troy, and from 1860 to 1864 kept the Carrier Hotel in that place. He then removed to Brookville, and purchased the restaurant of George Leopold, in 1864, which he changed into a hotel, which he ran until 1871, as the Oak Hall Hotel, when he sold to R.M. Bell. The Oak Hall was destroyed in the fire of 1874. In 1872 he was elected sheriff of the county, and after his term of office expired, he bought the American House in Pittsburgh, which he ran for two years, when he returned to Jefferson county and resided for a time on his farm, in Pine Creek township. Then in 1879 he built the St. Cloud Hotel in Du Bois. In 1880 was proprietor of the American House, in Brookville, but soon sold out to A.B. Barr, and bought the Red Lion Hotel in Pittsburgh, which he ran until March, 1886, when he sold out and again returned to his farm, where he remained for a short time, then bought the City Hotel in Punxsutawney.
The Union Exftress. - The express business was first started in the old staging days in the American House. John J.Y. Thompson was the first agent, being succeeded by R.R. Means, then by Thompson & Darr, who in turn handed it over to John Scott, who removed the business to the post-office, and has in turn been succeeded by John H. Buell, Parker B. Hunt, Joseph M. Galbraith, C.M. Garrison, jr., and the present agent, J.O. Edelblute.
Western Union Telegraph. - The Western Union Telegraph office was opened in Brookville early in July, 1865, Mrs. Berryhill being placed temporarily in charge, and remained a short time, when S.H. Lane, of Yarmouth, Me., succeeded her. He retained the management but a short time, when the office was placed in charge of A. Baur, who retained the management until late in 1879, when J.S. Carroll, a student in the office for a number of years, was placed in charge. Mr. Carroll was succeeded in 1881 by Joseph Breen, and the latter by M.E. Sullivan, the present manager, in 1882.
Brookville Water Works. - On the 28th of July, 1883, W.D.J. Marlin, esq., in the belief that a place of the size and importance of Brookville should have water works, determined to see what the citizens of the town would do toward organizing a stock company, drew up a subscription paper and started out to raise five hundred shares at $50.00 per share, or $25,000, for the purpose of putting in the works, by evening he had the satisfaction of making a temporary organization with $23,000 of the stock taken, and on the 30th a permanent organization was made with all the stock taken, and every dollar of it by citizens of the borough. A charter was applied for, and on the 25th of September ground was broken for the erection of the works. By the 1st of December the company had built a substantial brick pump-house, had placed therein a thirty-horse power boiler, and two sets of Worthington pumps, with a capacity of pumping one million gallons of water daily, built two wooden tanks, each to hold twelve hundred and fifty barrels, erected a substantial frame building around them, laid one thousand eight hundred feet of six inch wrought iron flange pipe from pumps to tanks, which are situated on the east side of Barnett street, opposite the public school building, and laid cast iron supply pipes on Barnett street to Main; on Main, from White to Mill; Pickering, from Main to Jefferson; Jefferson, from Barnett to Mill; Church, from Diamond alley to Matson street, and down to W.H. Gray’s residence.
In the summer of 1884 the lines were extended by laying along Matson street from Church to Butler; along a cross street from Matson to Dougherty; from Mill down Jefferson, and over North Fork Creek out Pike to old borough line; from Pike out Rebecca street to Maple alley; down Pickering street across Redbank Creek, and out to B. Verstine’s; down White street from Main to Water; along Water from White to E.C. Hall’s lot; along west line of E.C. Hall’s lot to Troy road; across it to Susquehanna turnpike; from thence west along turnpike to the borough lines; along Water street from near the bridge to fair ground, to Barnett street; on Church street from Diamond alley to James Brick’s residence; on White street from Main to north line of C.M. Garrison’s property, and on Mill from Jefferson to Levi Lerch’s property.
In the summer of 1886 the company increased their capital stock from $25,000 to $28,000, and laid a line from Maple alley along Rebecca street to Second street, in Litch’s addition; from thence along Second street to Brady’s avenue; out Brady’s avenue to Central avenue, in Taylor’s addition; thence down Central avenue to Seventh street; down Seventh street to Western avenue, and along Western avenue to the railroad; and on Water street from Barnett to the western line of lot of Charles B. Guth.
The company have twenty-six fire hydrants, twelve of which are leased to the borough at $25 per year, twelve at $16 per year, and two to individuals. There has been one hundred and four taps made into the lines, and the company are now supplying one hundred and forty customers.
The company have laid and are using about 1,900 feet 6 inch wrought iron flange pipe; 5,000 feet 8 inch cast iron pipe; 15,500 feet 4 inch cast iron pipe; 1,900 feet 3 inch kalamain wrought iron pipe; 300 feet 2 inch galvanized wrought iron pipe, or over four and one-half miles of pipe, all of the supply pipe being laid from four to four feet six inches in depth. The ground being very hard, and in some places rocky, requiring blasting, the labor was very expensive.
The first officers of the company were: Directors, Silas J. Marlin, E.A. Litch, Joseph Darr, C.M. Carrier and B. Verstine, Silas J. Marlin being elected president.
In July, 1884, B. Verstine and C.M. Carrier sold their stock, and F.X. Kreitler and Jackson Heber were elected to fill the vacancies.
This board has been retained since said time with S.J. Marlin as president up to August 23, 1886, at which time E.A. Litch was elected president.
W.D.J. Marlin has been elected and served the company as secretary and treasurer ever since its organization, and together with the superintendent, Wilson R. Ramsey, has had general charge of the business of the company.
The water furnished by the company is pumped from the North Fork Creek, a stream unsurpassed for purity, being fed by innumerable springs along its banks, being but seldom unfit to use on being pumped from the stream.
Natural Gas in Brookville. (5*) - In 1875 the first well for oil was drilled south of Brookville, one mile from the court-house, on lands belonging to R.D. Taylor. Mr. R.J. Nicholson at that time was the enterprising spirit in its development, having secured the leases and given contract to have the well put down. At the depth of 783 feet sufficient gas was struck to supply the boiler. The well was drilled to the depth of 1,620 feet and abandoned, and on account of the abandonment it was currently reported that Mr. Nicholson had been paid large sums of money by the Standard people for the abandonment.
In those days, if the people had any cause of suspicion that their neighbors were getting along in worldly affairs any better than they were, it was the Standard Company that was helping them. Everything was laid to the Standard Oil Company - a monopoly that was consuming the earth. If in digging a well you should be fortunate enough to strike a good vein of water, it would be expected that the Standard agent would be around before night to make advances on the well. I speak of this as being the first well drilled for oil. Several attempts have been made, but with light tools and crude machinery, such as were used in the early days of the oil excitement. In 1861 John Smith drilled a well on the point near Christ’s brewery, but owing to such light tools could not penetrate our hard rocks very far. William Reed drilled a well at the depth of 280 feet at his planing-mill in 1862. The well is situated near the creek, below Taylor’s dam. It used to flow to the height of three or four feet above the wood conductor; but of late years, owing to the curiosity of boys, in putting in. stones and other rubbish, it has ceased to flow as a fountain. It escapes over, the conductor, coloring the rocks in its descent to the creek. It has been known as our sulphur spring, the water having a peculiar taste, of a sulphurous nature, coming undoubtedly from off a coal bed.
In 1875 the excitement ran high as to the finding of oil. Every one who owned a patch of ground could count his wealth, or at least could locate how many wells it would do to have on his lands. The thousands of derricks that imagination could picture out, sticking in and around our hills, caused some to sell their beautiful homes, because they could not bear the thoughts of living in an oil town - such as their imaginations had pictured out - but finally the excitement died away and remained so until the gas craze took the country in 1882. Charter after charter of towns throughout Western Pennsylvania were being piled up in Harrisburg, giving to corporations certain rights and a monopoly. Every town of importance was seized upon. The struggle for the supremacy in Pittsburgh brought out the decision of the Supreme Court, giving equal rights to those who were legally incorporated.
In 1883 the Brookville Natural Gas and Heating Company was incorporated, a charter being granted to William B. Meredith, V. Neibert, Joseph McCullough and George Fox, of Kittanning borough, and James L. Brown, of Brookville; but owing to a feeling of jealousy existing among some of the citizens of the borough of Brookville, in having our charter controlled by non-residents, the Kittanning party sold their interest to James L. Brown and J.B. Henderson, from which a new company was organized, comprising James L. Brown, J.B. Henderson, S.A. Craig, J.E. Long and Henry Gray. The organization being complete, James L. Brown was chosen president, and S.A. Craig, secretary and treasurer. A contract was entered into with Shaner & McLain to drill a well to the depth of two thousand feet. Drilling was commenced April 1, 1884, on a town lot located in the central portion of the town, belonging to Mrs. Sebastian Christ. A large vein of salt water was struck at 230 feet, while at 1,920 feet, gas sufficient to supply the boiler; but, not being satisfied, the company concluded to send the drill down deeper; but, owing to poor machinery and too light for the business, 2,430 feet was as far as the contractors could go.
Well No. 2 was located seven hundred feet south of No. 1, on lot belonging to the president, James L. Brown. It was drilled to the depth of 1,950 feet, and abandoned, after putting in a forty-quart torpedo. The torpedo did not increase the flow of gas, the supply being somewhat limited. J.L. Brown utilized what little there was for his own private use. The company being somewhat discouraged, J.L. Brown and S.A. Craig bought the remaining stock and piped the gas from No. 1 well to Main street, making attachments to forty fires. A new company was then organized, Brown & Craig selling part of the stock to Keatley Brothers, of North Clarendon, T.L. Templeton, of Warren county, E.H. Clark and J.N. Garrison, of Brookville.
A contract was given to Keatley Brothers for a well to be located in what was called Ghost Hollow, two and one-half miles from town, west, on the Clarion pike. The well was abandoned at the depth of 2,210 feet. A second contract was made with Keatley Brothers to drill a well one mile south of Corsica, on David Simpson’s land, to be located on what was supposed to be the Anthony’s Bend anticlinal. This well was abandoned as a duster at the depth of 2,260 feet. The company having been unfortunate in their investments concluded to increase the number of shares of stock, many of our citizens taking stock.
Well No. 5 was located on lands belonging to Thompson & fourths of a mile northwest of town. Drilling was commenced November i6, 1886, and finished January 25, 1887, at the depth of 2,186 feet. Gas was struck at 1,203 feet, but not enough to supply the boiler. A sixty-quart torpedo was inserted, and increased the flow of gas one-half more; but after standing several months it dropped back to its former condition. The well was sold to E.H. Clark and W.D.J. Marlin, at one-third its cost. They then piped it into town and now are utilizing the gas for their own use.
The Brookville Natural Gas and Heating Company have expended over $14,000 in trying to obtain gas, in the five wells they have down. If everybody’s advice had been followed, they probably would have had plenty of gas to supply the town. From actual count kept of the different localities where they ought to bore for gas, 386 wells would have determined the gas question in and around Brookville.
Photography. - The first dawn of photographic light diffused its rays upon the rural village of Brookville, in 1851, when Simon Snyder, the "itinerant pioneer" of the art, "took your picture for cash in advance" in room No. 2, Arcade building. He was followed in 1853, by a Mr. Bridge who, by a sidelight window of a room in the old court-house, "took the pictures" of Brookville’s pioneers.
The same year, J.S. Chase in the month of July in the same building, catered to the public desire of having an impression of their face and figure in shape for future generations to gaze upon.
W.D.J. Marlin, daguerreotype artist displayed his skill in the profession in same building during 1854.
About 1857 Charles Windsor opened a studio in the second-story west room of the Evans block. The new brick "Blood block," now occupies the ground. He used the process then known as the melainotype.
L.C. Dillon and Abram Hall imported a "picture car" during 1858, which was located on the south side of the street, in front of the present " Marlin block;" made daguerreotypes, experimented with photographs by development, not meeting with much success.
Ira C. Fuller in 1859, was the first to use a side and sky-light studio in Erookville. It was in the second story of a frame building, on the site of the Caspar Endress brick block; he made melainotypes and ambrotypes, in connection with a book-store on first floor-of same building.
During the summer and winter of 1861 - 62 Henry Darr occupied the second story northeast room. Of the Uriah Matson block, as a studio for the production of ferrotypes and ambrotypes on dark purple glass.
In March, 1862, E. Clark Hall started a studio in the second story over Enoch Hall’s store for the production of ferrotypes and ambrotypes. In the latter part of July he went to Meadville and learned the new art of producing photographs on paper. J.D. Dunn of that place was his preceptor. Returning in September, he rented the Dillon car, located it on Main street, in front of Edmund English’s residence; and in the spring of 1863 remodeled the second story of Enoch Hall’s store building, by putting in a large sky and sidelight, reception and chemical room, using the entire second story. This was the pioneer effort of successful working of paper pictures in Jefferson and surrounding counties. The nearest studio was that of Mrs. DeWolf, in Franklin, Venango county. Meadville and Pittsburgh had photographic studios, which were the only ones in Western Pennsylvania. In 1863 he re-visited J.D. Dunn, at Meadville; from there he went to Newburg, N.Y., on the Hudson, taking lessons for one month of Mr. Reynolds, in the improved art of photography and porcelain miniatures. At that time Mr. Reynolds was one of the foremost operators in the profession; from there he went to New York city, gathering information relating to the art in the studios of Sarony, Gurney, Fredericks and Kurtz, considered the master hands and minds of the United States in the art, and visited the best studios in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, in June, 1866. On account of failing health, sold his studio to W.H. Gray, who had taken instructions of him, and went to reside in Philadelphia. In 1869 Arnold Hoffman refitted the Fuller studio, and shared the public’s patronage with Mr. Gray. September 3, 1870, E. Clark Hall returned, bought Mr. Hoffman’s studio outfit with half interest of Mr. Gray’s studio, consolidated the two under the firm name of Hall & Gray in 1875. Wilt Brothers, of Franklin, started a new studio in a one-story frame building; the new Methodist Church now occupies the site; they sold out to Ferdinand Hoffman, who retired in 1876.
In 1875 E.C., Hall purchased Mr. Gray’s interest in the studio, which was destroyed in April, 1876, by fire, with all its contents; he immediately leased ground on the burnt district from C.M. Garrison, built a one-story temporary studio, went to New York, bought an entire new outfit, and commenced work again, June 1. On the 4th of July a cyclone, which demolished chimneys, etc., nearly closed him out again; water was two inches deep on the floor, and the former warmth of his ardor for success was very much dampened. November,. 1878, he moved into the large, commodious and elegant studio in the new Rodgers block, fitted with large sky and side-light, operating room 20x 58½ feet, two chemical rooms 16x20 ,feet, each adjoining. A rack holding six back-grounds, sliding into the wall out of the way, all fitted with newest styles of interior, palace, forest, park and lakeside scenes, with accompanying, accessories, chairs, rocks, stumps, bridges, balcony, cottage, rustic fence, iron fence, gate-stile, etc., making it as complete in its appointments as any of the city studios. Cameras, large and small, enamellers of latest improved style, enable him to complete work in style and finish up to the times in every particular. Mr. Hall has followed the gradual progress of the art for over a quarter of a century, keeping posted and wide awake for improvements in every department which tend to produce superior work. Persons who have not visited his studio, have no idea of the complete manner in which it is furnished. All sizes of work from the smallest locket miniature to the largest portrait, taken direct from the sitter, and finished by himself.
Taxables, Population, etc. - The taxables in Brookville in 1849 were 177; in 1856, 273; in 1863, 297; in 1870, 526; in 1880, 689; in 1886, 837.
The population by census of 1840, was 276; 1850, 1,063; 1860, 1,360; 1870, 1,942; 1880, 2,136; in 1887, it is over 3,000. In 1860 there were 346 dwellings, 383 families and 400 voters.
The triennial assessment gives the number of acres seated as 378; valuation, $12,765; value per acre, $34.56; number of houses and lots, 837; valuation, $189,758; three grist and four saw-mills, valuation, $13,350; acres unseated, 20; valuation $250; number of horses, 170; valuation, $4,243; average value, $24.90; number of cows, 138; valuation, $1,138; average value, $24; occupations, 461; valuation, $11,235; average, $24.37. Total valuation subject to county tax, $232,739; money at interest, $36,636; carriages, 62; valuation, $2,115.
Elections. - The first election of which there is any record for the borough of Brookville, was in 1835, when Joseph Sharp was elected constable, and reelected in 1836. The next entry in the record of elections is the following: 1837, Brookville borough, constable, John McLoughlin; burgess, Thomas Lucas; council, James Corbet, John Dougherty, John Pierce, Samuel Craig, William A. Sloan; school directors, L.G. Clover, Samuel Craig, David Henry, C.A. Alexander, William A. Sloan, James Corbet.
The following comprise the officials of the ‘borough of Brookville for 1887: Justices of the peace, Robert R. Brady, John W. Walker; constable, J. McR. Mohney; tax collector, I.F. Steiner; assessor, Charles J. Hodgkinson; town council, John J. Thompson, Thomas M. Carroll, Thomas L. Templeton, Robert Stewart, John N. Garrison, F.W. Ingraham; burgess, Samuel Chambers; high constable, George H. Grove; auditors, D.A. Henderson, E.A. Litch; school directors, John J. Patterson, Thomas R. Hastings, A.F. Balmer, George H. Kennedy, Frank X. Kreitler, Cyrus H. Blood; judge of election, Joseph Darr; inspectors, F.W. Ingraham, B.T. Hastings.
* Hazzard’s Register, 1830.
** Gordon’s Gazetteer of the State of Pennsylvania, 1832.
*** Day’s Historical Collections, 1843.
[4*] All these writers speak of the three branches of Sandy lick. This is erroneous as Mill Creek does not extend to Brookville, but empties into Sandy Lick at Port Barnett, and the Five Mile Run which must be the third branch referred to, empties into Sandy Lick in Rose township. So that it was only Sandy Lick and the North Fork, or Little Brier, that formed Redbank. In all the old histories and maps of Jefferson county, Redbank is not found in Jefferson county, until it flows into Armstrong, it is called Sandy Lick. Mr. Jordan says: "I have again looked over Heckwelder’s Indian notes, and I fail to find that he has recorded any ‘Redbank,’ in any part of the States of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland or Virginia, as well as that of our own, and such being the case, I must incline to the opinion that he only knew of the ‘Sandy Lick,’ or crossed it in his travels. In the Delaware tongue, Sandy was or is Leganwi - a lick, mahóni - also Sandy. Leganwi - creek hanne - these for Sandy Lick and Sandy Creek."
[5*] Prepared by James L. Brown, of Brookville.
Source: Page(s) 413-475, History of Jefferson County by Kate M. Scott. Syracuse, N.Y., D. Mason & Co., 1888.
Contributed by Nathan Zipfel for use by the Jefferson County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/jefferson/)
Jefferson County Genealogy Project Notice:
These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format, for any presentation, without prior written permission.
Return to the History of Jefferson County Index
Return to the Jefferson County Genealogy Project
(c) Jefferson County Genealogy Project