Lower Turkeyfoot Township

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

<center><strong>HISTORY OF THE TOWNSHIP</strong></center>
Turkeyfoot derived its name from a peculiar natural configuration of the land formed by the junction of three rivers where the town of Confluence now stands. Within the territory of Lower Turkeyfoot the first settlements in Somerset county were made. Here white men dwelt in the hunting-grounds of the savages; here the severest trials of pioneer life were encountered.

At the organization of Somerset county, in 1795, Turkeyfoot township embraced fully one sixth of the entire county. It was the second township within the present territory of the county, having been formed from a portion of Brother’s Valley as a township of Bedford county in the year 1773. Townships organized subsequently reduced the territory of Turkeyfoot, so that in 1848 it embraced only the present townships of Upper and Lower Turkeyfoot, which were organized as separate precincts in that year.

There is authentic testimony that several white men were settled at or near Turkeyfoot in 1768. The names of these pioneers were Henry Abrahams, Ezekiel Dewitt, James Spencer, Benjamin Jennings, John Cooper, Ezekiel Hickman, John Enslow, Henry Enslow and Benj. Pursley.

The colony which founded the Jersey Baptist church came from New Jersey to Turkeyfoot about 1774. This colony consisted of fifteen or twenty families, more or less intimately connected by ties of relationship and intermarriage. The early settlers, aside from the New Jersey colony, came mainly from Maryland and Virginia, following what was then a well- defined route of travel, the old Turkeyfoot road. This road came down White’s creek to the Casselman, which it crossed near Harnedsville, crossed the Hog Back where Ursina now is, thence onward across Laurel Hill creek where the old stockade stood, and up the Lick river to Stewart’s crossing, near Connellsville.

In 1815 John McCarty advertises in the Somerset Whig that he "continues to carry on the business of fulling and dyeing at Jonathan Drake’s mill in Turkeyfoot township, Somerset county, where cloth will be thankfully received neatly handled and carefully returned on the shortest notice, in case of good drying weather." For a list of others, see <a href="/articles.php?article_id=197"><u>early settlers</u></a>

Joseph Lichty, a native of Fayette county, came to Addison township, Somerset county, when young, and in 1855 settled on his present farm in Lower Turkeyfoot, purchasing two hundred and fifty acres of A.J. Colborn. Mr. Lichty has held numerous township offices.

Harrison H. Kemp, whose ancestors were early settlers at West Salisbury, was born at Petersburg, and has resided in Lower Turkeyfoot since 1857. He has a beautiful and pleasant home, and is largely engaged in the nursery business.

Hiram Frantz, a native of Allegheny county, Maryland, came to this township in 1855. In 1881 he purchased his present farm of two hundred acres, near Confluence. Mr. Frantz served in the late war, in Co. B, 18th Penn. Cav.; enlisted at Pittsburgh, in February, 1864, and was mustered out in October, 1865.

Noah Scott, whose ancestors are mentioned in the history of Jefferson township, came to this township in 1869, and for some time followed the business of contractor on the railroad in partnership with Col. E.D. Yutzy, building about ten miles of the Pittsburgh &amp; Connellsville railroad, besides the Berlin, Salisbury and Ursina branches. He is now engaged in farming, and has one of the finest homes in the township.

J.B. Jennings, grandson of Capt. Benjamin Jennings, moved to Ursina in 1873, and has since worked at shoemaking. He at first worked for Davis &amp; Coder, and in 1875 bought out the firm. Mr. Jennings enlisted in the late war, and served from October, 1861, until July, 1863. He was wounded at the battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia. He has held various borough offices, including those of councilman, school director and burgess.

<a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,591994"><u>Robert Colborn</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,581828"><u>Dr. William Collins</u></a> - <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,584109"><u>Moses Collins</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,587356"><u>John Davis</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,587146"><u>Hanna Family</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,582504"><u>W. S. Harrah</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,587698"><u>John Hyatt</u></a><br>
<a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,587159"><u>Benjamin Jennings</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,587355"><u>John Morrow</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,584108"><u>John Ream</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,584110"><u>William Rush</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,582147"><u>Noah Scott</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,587700"><u>William Tannehill</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,587153"><u>Tissue Family</u></a><br>
<a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,591993"><u>Levi W. Weakland</u></a> -- <a href="/http://www.pa-roots.org/data/read.php?720,591996"><u>Col. E. D. Yutzy</u></a>

<a href="/articles.php?article_id=203"><u>Confluence Churches</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=202"><u>Draketown Churches</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=194"><u>Turkeyfoot Baptist</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=364"><u>Turkeyfoot Baptist (2)</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=201"><u>Ursina Churches</u></a>
<br>HARNEDSVILLE METHODIST EPISCOPAL church was organized about 1855, by Rev. Jackson Endsley, the first preacher in the place, and under whose administration a house of worship was erected at a cost of about five hundred dollars. The present membership is about thirty.

<a href="/articles.php?article_id=206"><u>How a Mountain was Named</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=205"><u>A Man of Remarkable Strength</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=204"><u>Murder of Mrs. Tissue</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=215"><u>Pot-O-Gold</u></a>

<center><strong>ORGANIZATIONS &amp; LISTS</strong></center>
<a href="/articles.php?article_id=212"><u>Confluence I.O.O.F.</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=213"><u>Ursina I.O.O.F.</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=214"><u>Ursina G.A.R. - Ross Rush Post</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=216"><u>Revolutionary Soldiers</u></a>

<center><strong>TAX LISTS</strong></center>
<a href="/articles.php?article_id=223"><u>1774</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=224"><u>1775</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=240"><u>1776</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=191"><u>1796 (Part 1)</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=192"><u>1796 (Part 2)</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=190"><u>1798</u></a>

<center><strong>TOWNS &amp; VILLAGES</strong></center>
<a href="/articles.php?article_id=200"><u>Confluence</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=195"><u>Draketown</u></a> -- <a href="/articles.php?article_id=193"><u>Ursina</u></a>
<br>HARNEDSVILLE is a small and unimportant village, containing one church, one store, one tannery, one blacksmith-shop, one cabinetshop and one shoemaker shop. The place takes its name from the Harneds, who formerly owned the land on which the village is.

Early Settlers of Turkeyfoot Township
William Brook, an early pioneer, came from the east and settled on Laurel Hill Creek. He was a blacksmith, but devoted most of his time to fishing and hunting.

Joseph Lanning was one of the early settlers and came from New Jersey. He lived near the Jersey church. He died from the bite of a rattlesnake.

Capt. Andrew Friend, a native of the Potomac valley, in Virginia, a skilled Indian hunter and backwoodsman, moved to the Turkeyfoot region while Indians were still numerous here. He died in Somerset county, aged one hundred and one years. One of Friend’s daughters married a Hyatt, a member of one of the early Turkeyfoot families.

John McNair, a revolutionary soldier, was a native of Scotland. After the war he settled near Harnedsville, where he died. Edward Harned married Ann, daughter of John McNair, for his second wife.

Adam Snyder was a German and settled in this township in an early day. His eldest son, Adam, was born in Turkey- Foot in 1784; he removed to Brother’s Valley, where he died.

Edward Harned was the first of the name in this county. His son Samuel, who laid out the village of Harnedsville, was a man of business activity, and at one time owned considerable property.

Andrew Ream (the name was originally spelled Rihm) is believed to have come to the Turkeyfoot region in 1763. He was born in 1737, and died in 1818. His farm was the land on which the town of Ursina now is. Samuel, the last survivor of the family, died several years ago. The grandfather of Andrew Ream came to Philadelphia with William Penn in 1863, and built fourteen houses in the town.

Christopher King, an early settler, died in 1811. He lived on the farm known as the Stone House property. He married Elizabeth Hanna and reared a large family. John C. and Thomas were his sons. Thomas King was a state senator and held other public offices. From this county he removed to Ohio, where he was afterward elected judge.

Other early settlers were William Rush, the Tissue family, the Hannas, Collins, Jennings, Tannehills, Hyatts and Colborns.

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