Chapter XXXVII
History Rose Township 

Rose township was the fifth to fall into line in the county history, being formed from Pine Creek, in 1827. It was named for a gentleman named Rose, then a prominent owner of lands in the county. The present bounds of the township enclose a long, narrow area, about eight and a half miles in length, and not over three and a half miles in width at the widest part. Its boundaries are now Eldred township on the north, Pine Creek and Knox on the east, Oliver on the south, and Beaver, Clover and Union on the west. It is a broken, hilly region, and is traversed by numerous deep rugged valleys. Redbank Creek traverses it from east to west, the North Fork and Five Mile Run skirt its eastern border, Beaver Run rises in the vicinity of Belleview and Coder Run diversifies the topography with great variety of hill and valley, west of Brookville. The highest summits in the township are about four hundred feet above the bed of Redbank Creek, and sixteen hundred feet above the ocean level.

The Geology. - The Kittanning, Clarion and Brookville coal seams are found in Rose township, and furnish the principal coal beds. The Freeport Lower coal comprises but a small area, the principal bed being that upon which the Enoch McGeary bank is opened. Here the coal is of comparative purity, without partings, and with scarcely any pyrites.

Limestone is found in all parts of the township and generally of a good quality, and is from three to five feet thick. Much of the coal in the vicinity of Brookville is from the Brookville seam, especially that brought from the banks in the vicinity of the pottery. The Brookville coal is claimed to be the best for generating steam, of any bituminous coal that has yet been discovered. Fire-clay and iron ore are also found. The former being extensively used in the pottery, near the Catholic grave-yard.

Early Settlers.— Uriah Matson with his family, emigrated to the United States from near Fannet, County Donegal, Ireland, landing at Philadelphia sometime in September, A.D. 1786. He settled first in Chester county, Pa., near Philadelphia, but how long he remained there, is not now known. Some time before A.D. 1800, he removed to Indiana county, where he died. Of his character nothing is known outside the evidence of his certificate of membership of the Presbyterian Church at Fan net, which he brought to this country with him, and which is now in possession of one of his great- grandchildren. It reads as follows:

"That the bearer hereof, Uriah Matson and Belle, his wife, have been members of this congregation from their infancy, and always maintained an honest, sober and industrious character, free from public scandal of any kind, and now intending to settle in some of the United States of North America, are therefore recommended as regular members of any Christian society, where God in his Providence may appoint their lot.


"Dated at Fannet, 11th of June, 1786, County of Donegal, and Kingdom of Ireland."

The Matsons were originally from Denmark, settling in England about the time of or soon after the Danish conquest of that country. About the beginning of the last century, some of them emigrated to Ireland, to engage in the manufacture of linen, locating on Loch Swilly, County Donegal. John Matson, son of Uriah, was born in Ireland, in 1774, came to the United States with his father’s family in 1786; married Mary Thompson, in 1803 or 4, in Indiana, and removed to Jefferson county, locating on land of which the farm now owned by Robert L. Matson, situated on the Clarington road, one mile northeast of Brookville is a part, in 1805. He was the father of eleven children: Isabella, Jane, James C., Uriah, John, Lydia, Rebecca, Robert L., William F., Harry and Mary Ann. Lydia died in infancy, and was buried in the old graveyard about one mile east of Brookville, near the junction of the Ridgway road with the turnpike. The site of this old burying

- place is now almost forgotten, every vestige of its former use being obliterated, and its surface covered with fruit- trees or gardens, yet under these rest the bones of some of Jefferson county’s first settlers. Jane died in Pittsburgh, April, 1874, from the effects of a severe surgical operation. James C. died July 27, 1878, of diseases contracted while a resident of Tennessee. Isabella died in 1879 or 1880. William F. went to California about 1856, and since February, 1864, when he was residing in San Francisco, nothing is known of him. Isabella married William Ferguson, to whom she bore six children. Ferguson died from injuries received in a fall from a house in 1845, and she afterwards married Mr. Barbour. Jane never married; James C. married Harriet Potter, by whom ten children were born; Uriah married Minerva Reynolds, who bore him one child; John married Margaretta Conner, by whom he had two children; Rebecca married Benjamin Bennett, to whom she bore six children; William F. is not known to have married; Harry married Eliza Smith, by whom he had three children, and Mary Ann married H.H. Clover, and bore him five children.

The next pioneer to settle in the neighborhood of the Matsons was Joseph Clements, who came from Meadville soon after. He located on the farm now owned by his daughters, Mrs. Metz and Mrs. Pysher, where he resided until his death. Mr. Clements married Sarah, daughter of John Vasbinder, and their children numbered eight; three boys, John, Robert and Joseph, and five girls: Sarah, married William Rodgers; Isabel, married a man named Kelsey; Mary, married Eli Snyder; Eliza, married Stephen Pysher; and Margaret Andrew Metz. Of these all are living but John, who died about 1860. Mrs. Kelsey resides in Chicago, Robert and Joseph in Eldred township, and the rest in Rose township, in the neighborhood of the farm upon which they were all born and reared.

When Mr. Clements first took up his abode in the wilds of what is now Rose township, there were no mills, no store, and no conveniences of any kind in the county. They depended upon the game, which roamed through the forests, and the products of their little patches of corn and potatoes, for food, and the sheep, which were a necessity with every pioneer family, and the flax, which was sown as soon as a spot could be cleared for it, furnished the clothing. Mr. Clements constructed a hand- mill to grind his corn, and the meal was sifted through a seive made by punching holes with an awl in a dried deer- hide. Mr. Clements died in 1867, aged about seventy- two years.

Andrew Vasbinder, son of John Vasbinder, was also one of the first settlers in the northern part of Rose township, on the farm now occupied by his widow, where he lived to a good old age. He married a sister of Joseph Clements, and Mr. Clements married his sister. A number of Mr. Vasbinder’s children and grandchildren live in Rose township.

John Lucas came from Crooked Creek, in 1816 or 1817, and settled on the farm now occupied by his son, Samuel. He died in 1869, in the seventy- third year of his age. His wife died in 1864, aged sixty-nine years. Only two of the family survive, their Sons William and Samuel.

John Kennedy, who was born in 1777, in County Antrim, Ireland, came to this country in 1813, and settled in Huntingdon county, from whence he removed to Jefferson county, in the spring of 1822, and settled on the farm now owned by his son, William Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy died April 14, 1869, in the ninety- second year of his age, having lived on the farm which he cleared with his own hard labor, fifty- seven years. Mr. Kennedy’s nearest neighbor was James Shields, who settled on the farm now owned by his grandson, Samuel Shields. The other neighbors were Walter Templeton (grandfather of Thomas L. Templeton, of Brookville), John Matson, John Kelso, John Lucas and Thomas Lucas, esq. Squire Lucas saw that justice was administered in the neighborhood, Mr. Templeton did all the mechanical work that was needed, repairing all the guns, and making the plows - those with the old- fashioned wooden mould- board, and John Lucas the blacksmithing.

The only road then in that region, was one from Port Barnett, which crossed the Sandy near where Fuller’s dam is now built, and from thence to Indiana. There were fourteen men employed in cutting it out, under the direction of Judge Shippen, of Meadville. The party had a wagon to haul their provisions, and was composed of Mr. Kennedy, two men named Holloway and Williamson. No respect was had for the future comfort of the traveler, or the poor horses that had to toil over this road; no digging was done, and it was up one hill and down another. The other road was from Port Barnett to Troy, and was made in the same manner as the other. These roads were made so as to pass the homes of as many settlers as possible. The unseated taxes were sufficient to pay all expenses. The nearest grist- mill was run by a man named Parks, and was the Knapp mill. The bolting was done by hand, and William Kennedy says he often took his turn at this work when waiting for his grist.

Mrs. Kennedy née Ann Kelso, who was also a native of Ireland, died February 6, 1857, in the ninetieth year of her age. Their son, William Kennedy, resides on the old farm, and although in his seventy- seventh year, is able to superintend his farm, and ride daily to Brookville, where he is senior partner in the hardware firm of Kennedy & Co.

In the year 1826 Samuel D. Kennedy came from Mifflin county with his wife and son and settled on the pike across the road from Major Trimble’s farm, where he built a log cabin, in which he lived for some time without windows or doors. The only house near them was a small log house, where Corsica now stands. It stood in the old McAnulty orchard, and a man named Powers kept hotel in it. Indians were frequently seen, and the family were often chased indoors by panthers. Mr. Kennedy afterward removed to the vicinity of Coder’s dam, and from there to Corsica, where he lived until the death of his wife, after which he made his home with his son, George H. Kennedy, at Brookville, where he died October 13, 1881, in the eighty- first year of his age. Mrs. Jane Kennedy, née Slack, died January 27, 1878, aged seventy- seven years. Five children survive: Mrs. Elizabeth Garvin of Corsica, Mrs. Amelia P. Barnes, and Miss Mary A. Kennedy of New Bethlehem, and Mrs. Susan Hughes and George H. Kennedy, of Brookville.

Isaac Mills was born in Bedford county in 1801, and from there removed to Westmoreland county, from which he came to Brookville in the year 1831, remaining there three years, when he removed to a farm four miles west of Roseville, where he lived until his death, in 1836. Mr. Mills was the father of John Mills, of Brookville.

Luther Geer, Sr., started with his family from Indiana county on the 15th day of March, 1833, and on the 18th reached his destination in Jefferson county, where he located on the farm now owned by K.L. Blood, in Rose township. Mr. Geer was born in Connecticut in 1796, and was married to Nancy A. Spiers, in 1818. He was a millwright and carpenter by trade, and put the roof on the grist- mill built by Robert P. Barr. After residing in Rose township he moved to the Clarion river where he built the Grant mill. He then moved to Brookville, where he staid awhile, and then located permanently in Pine Creek, where he died August 15, 1875, and his wife died November 29, 1880, in the eighty- fourth year of her age. They both resided with their son, Lawson S., during the last years of their lives. They had thirteen children - eight sons and five daughters - and of these nine are living, and all but one reside in Pine Creek township.

Peter Thrush came from Cumberland county and settled in the southern part of Rose township in 1837, on the farm now owned by his son, William Thrush. His land was all in an uncultivated state, and he cleared and made a good farm. Mr. Thrush died in 1869 or 1870, in the seventy- sixth year of his age. His family consisted of three sons - Samuel, Joseph and William B., - Anne, married to Dewalt Piolee, who remained in Cumberland county; Sydney, married to John Kirker, now residing in Ohio; Eliza, married to John F. Himes. They all reside in Rose township except Mrs. Piolee and Mrs. Kirker.

Peter Himes came to Jefferson county about the year 1838, and settled on the farm on Beaver Run, about half a mile from the old Hamilton road, now owned by John, Baughman and C. Brocious. Mr. Himes cleared three different farms in Rose and adjoining townships. He died at the residence of his son, John F., in 1884, in the eighty- second year of his age.

John F. Himes purchased the farm on which he now resides, about sixteen years ago. It was partially cleared by David Van Dyke many years ago.

The Hall family was one of the pioneer families of Rose township, and Enoch and Joseph E. were early identified with the lumbering and other business interests of Brookville. The former, who has for many years resided in Brookville, and who is now in the seventy- eighth year of his age, relates the following story of the trials endured by his father’s family in a journey westward sixty years ago. Then Ohio, to which they intended to emigrate, was in the "far west:"

"The starting point was a place on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, almost fifteen miles above what is now Lock Haven, but at that time only a small farm with a log house built upon it. In that house I was born and lived the first few years of my life. My father was a stone- mason, and did not own a farm of his own, and during the first ten years of my life we moved two or three times, but did not go away from the river. This was then in Lycoming county. During the winter of 1826 - 7, father having previously heard that land could be bought very cheap along the river valley in Ohio, and that the land was very fertile, decided upon taking his family early in the spring to secure a farm in that desirable locality. He ascertained that in making the journey he could secure transportation by water the entire distance, with the exception of one trip overland of twenty- four miles.

"The start was made in March, 1827, the first part of the trip being made in two canoes, each made by hollowing out a large pine log, smoothing it on the outside, and pointing the ends, that it might be pushed through the water more easily. Two of these canoes, nearly forty feet long each, held our family of four boys and five girls, with mother and a young man, a relative, who went with us, together with the household goods we intended to take along. Each canoe was in charge of a man with a stout pole, and the boys that were large enough secured poles also, and assisted in pushing along, for the first part of the journey was made up stream, and required hard pushing against the current. Our route lay up West Branch to Sinnemahoning, up that stream to the mouth of Driftwood Creek, where we also found Bennett’s Branch, up this stream to Benezette. This journey we made in about four days, and each night during that time had found either some vacant hut or hospitable cabin along the shore in which mother and the girls, at least, found a place to sleep. Upon reaching Benezette we found an unoccupied log house, into which we were glad to move on account of an interruption occasioned by the illness of my younger brother, Hiram, then about six years of age. The last day or two of the canoe voyage he seemed quite sick, and grew worse until we became alarmed, and upon finding refuge at Benezette, I was dispatched in search of a doctor. There was an old mill there and a couple of houses, but I am not certain that any one was living in either of them. There were a few persons living in the vicinity, however, and upon inquiry I found a doctor almost eight miles away. At his first visit he was unable to tell exactly the nature of the case, but by the time he came back the next day or two, an eruption on the boy’s face told him it was measles, and we all felt worried, for none of us had had measles, and of all times to get them thought this the most unsuitable.

"Father was not with us in the canoes, but had left home a week in advance to secure wagons to take us across from Benezette to the Clarion River, at the mouth of Elk Run, where Ridgway is now located, and having done this, went on to the Clarion to make a raft to float down that river on our way west.

"After getting the doctor’s opinion about Hiram, I was started across the country to find father, and inform him of what had happened to delay us, and walked the twenty- four miles in one day, finding him without special difficulty. He was quite surprised at the nature of the delay, but left me in charge of the raft he had nearly completed while he went back to see what could be done to get the family along. All I could see of Ridgway at that time was a field or two cleared, but thickly dotted with stumps, a house, occupied by a Mr. Gallagher and family, and a short distance up Elk Run a small saw- mill with one or two other buildings. Father’s raft was made of small dry pine logs, about forty feet long, squared and enough put together to make it about sixteen feet wide. On this he had built a shanty of boards from the mill, and in this shanty we were to live during the remainder of our journey. While in charge of the raft I boarded for a week with Mr. Gallagher and family, and was quite amused at seeing a strange companion that seemed to afford amusement for the Gallaghers as well. A young cub bear had been captured and tamed until it hung around the house like a dog. Occasionally the boys would have a romp with it, and it was so taught that when one of them would say, ‘Now, let us wrestle,’ it would get up on its hind feet, and there would be a mutual grasp and tussle in which the boys would generally come out best. They would also chase each other around the field, just like any dog, though the bear was not a very swift runner.

"I spent the week quite pleasantly, and about its close was pleased to see father with two wagons containing our family, including the sick boy, and all our effects. A day or two more here and we moved into the shanty and were soon on our way down the Clarion River. The water was not very high, and not being familiar with the channel our craft would occasionally stick, but was generally lifted off easily and started on its way again. The banks of the river were covered by an unbroken forest most all the way, and as we floated leisurely along down the stream there was very little to break the monotony except the sight of a deer occasionally, the song of a bird or the scream of an animal. There were, however, two dams across the river, the first at Wyncoop’s, where we stopped to give mother a chance to bake some bread. A day was spent here, and the men in the vicinity tried to secure us a deer by making a half- circle back from the river and driving him into the water, but they were unsuccessful though deer were plenty. In going over the dam the ladies of our party got off the raft and walked around, getting on again below. I remember that in going over the second dam I remained on the raft and stood on a chair to keep from getting wet when the raft dove under the water as it did, but the chair proved treacherous, fell forward, throwing me flat on the raft, and giving me a complete wetting, which the rest of the party seemed to enjoy much better than I did.

"As we neared the mouth of the river, some of the family began to feel quite sick, and mother suspected we were coming down with measles, which suspicion proved to be well founded shortly afterwards. We floated along the Allegheny River without special incident, moving by day and tying up for the night, as we had been doing, except that the younger persons were in no condition to enjoy the trip. I do not remember how long it took us to float to Freeport, but remember that by the time we got there we could display more measles to the square inch than any family we knew of, and father thought we had better call a halt for repairs. We were landed below Freeport, and while there heard of a vacant house a few miles below, near the mouth of Pine Run. Floating down near this house, we were taken out of the shanty and into the building, which was fairly comfortable, and we remained here until all recovered.

"Father, in the mean time, while waiting for us to get well enough to goon, went out in Butler county, near Zelienople, to visit some relatives, and while there his friends represented to him that the valley of the Ohio was sickly, and persuaded him to rent a good farm near where they lived, and for a few years we resided in that county. The desire to secure a farm of his own, however, caused him to continue to make further inquiries as to inducements held out to beginners by different localities, and learning that land was cheap in the new county of Jefferson, he bought a tract of woodland in what is now Rose township, a part of which is at present occupied by W.H. Hall, where, in 1833, he commenced to clear out a farm. Here my father ended his days, and I have been a resident of the county ever since. Thus you see that so small a thing as a crop of measles kept us residents of the old Keystone State, and I think now, taking all things into consideration, that we fared as well as if we had gone farther west."

Very few men have been more prominent in the affairs of Jefferson county, than was Joel Spyker. He was born in Jonestown, Swatara township, Dauphin (now Lebanon) county, in 1803, and came to this county in 1835, and settled upon the farm in Rose township, where he resided until his death. His early education was very limited, but by untiring efforts, he learned the common English branches in his youth, so as to be able to teach school. In after life he was a close student, and a careful reader, and was one of the best informed men in the county. In 1848 he published a little book entitled "A Collection of Geographical, Moral, Religious and Political Chapters," which was a compilation of useful and varied information, and showed great research. Mr. Spyker was a prominent leader in the Democratic party of Jefferson county for over thirty years. In 1824 he cast his first vote for General Jackson, and he never departed from the political faith of his youth. In 1853 he was elected county surveyor, and in 1857 he was elected a member of the Legislature. He also served as county commissioner, and in 186o was appointed assistant United States marshal to take the census of Jefferson county. He was elected seven terms, consecutively, justice of the peace of Rose township. He was a man of sterling honesty and integrity of character, and was administrator and executor of more estates, guardian of more minor children, and arbitrator of more disputes and difficulties than any other man in the county, and in all these positions he acquitted himself creditably and honestly. Mr. Spyker died in 1877.

His son Abner has succeeded to the old homestead and to his father’s office of justice of the peace; but he has left his political faith, being a straight-out Republican. Two of his daughters, Mrs. Catharine Alsehouse and Mrs. Mary Edmonds, reside in Rose township, and the wife and children of his son Peter, who was drowned in Little Sandy, in 1864, just after his discharge from the army, reside in Brookville.

George Himes was one of the first who settled and made improvements on Beaver Run. He still resides there and is past eighty years of age.

John Darr came to Jefferson county in April, 1846, and settled in the northern part of the township on the farm how owned by J.M. Pierce, where he died in May, 1859. He was sixty- five years of age. His wife née Sarah Johns, died at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. J.M. Pierce, in Rose township, October 16, 1885, in the eighty- sixth year of her age. Their family consisted of ten children, six sons and four daughters, of whom four survive; Jacob, living in Indiana county; George, in Venango county, and Joseph T., and Mrs. J.M. Pierce in Brookville. They were worthy people and earnest members of the Lutheran church.

Among other early settlers in Rose township were Thomas and Robert and James Witherow. In 1832 Thomas cleared and improved the farm now owned by John Crate, and Robert the farm now occupied by his son, James R. Witherow, in 1834. James died in 1868, Thomas in 1876, and Robert F. in 1881. They all resided upon the farms upon which they located, in Rose township, until death ended their labors, Robert being eighty- seven years of age when he died. His aged wife, née Mary C. Campbell, yet survives, and resides upon the old homestead with her son. William Carr, in 1833, settled on the farm now owned by Michael Hinderliter. Mr. Carr opened a coal bank on his farm and for many years delivered coal to customers in Brookville. He removed to West Virginia. Peter Groves settled on the farm now owned by Jacob Diener, in 1834; Moses Campbell, on the farm now owned by Joseph McFarland, in 1835; William McGeary, on the farm he now owns, in 1837; Jacob and Henry Bodenhorm settled, in 1838, on the farm now owned by Edward and Benjamin Reitz; Andrew Ohl on the place now owned by his son George, in 1838; Clement McGeary and John Kirker settled in Rose in 1833; William Morrison and Charles Boner, in 1834; Robert Morrison and Joseph Millen, in 1831. These families came from Westmoreland, Cumberland, Dauphin and Lebanon counties.

William Thompson came to Rose township in 1834, and cleared the farm now owned by the heirs of his son, John Thompson. He died at the age of about eighty years. He was married to Susan Brady, who is also dead. John Thompson was born February 3, 1823, and married January 11, 1849, to Jane, daughter of Clement McGeary. Mr. Thompson lived on the farm adjoining the borough of Brookville, for about fifty years. He was one of the most upright and useful citizens of the county. In 1858 he was elected one of the county commissioners, and in 1880 one of the associate judges, but died December 4, 1884, before his term of office expired. He was a prominent member of the United Presbyterian Church. His children numbered twelve, all of whom except the eldest son, John Irvin, survive. William H., Mary A. (married to C.R. Vasbinder), John C., David F., Perry E., are married and have homes of their own, while the other sons, Winfield S., Charles C., Thomas I., Everett A., James M. and Edison R., remain on the homestead farm with their mother.

Another of the prominent citizens of Rose, was Nathan Carrier, Jr. He was a son of Darius Carrier, and was born at Troy on the 9th of February, 1830. At a very early age he engaged in lumbering. While a resident of Troy he kept store for about three years, and for five years was engaged in the hotel business there. He removed to Rose township in 1863, and was elected sheriff in 1867. He lumbered very extensively, being a member of the firm of Carrier & Scott, whose mills were located near Reynoldsville, and built the Carrier mill, below the Wainwright & Bryant mills, which was burned down in 18—. Up to 1869 he handled square timber exclusively, and is said to have manufactured 300,000 feet of his own and bought and sold at least one million feet. In 1871 - 73 he was a partner in the large mercantile house of Nicholson, Meredith & Co., and having purchased his partner’s interest he sold out in 1874 to Charles S. Irvin. He was also for a short time with P.H. Shannon and R.J. Nicholson, one of the proprietors of the American Hotel. He was a great admirer of fine stock, and was one of the pioneers in introducing thoroughbreds into the county. Mr. Carrier, his wife, née Mary E. Richards, and his youngest son, Bertie, all died within two weeks, of a fatal fever, in the fall of 1886.

Early Improvements. - The first person to make any improvements in Rose township was John Matson, on his farm, where he built first a log cabin He also built the first grist- mill in the township above where the present company mill stands. James Corbet built the first saw- mill, on Red Bank.

The first church built in Rose was the old "Bethel" log church, erected about 1824 on the farm of Joseph Hughes, and the first school- house was the one erected in the present town of Brookville, in 1830. Prior to that time the nearest school was the one on the present McConnell farm, in Pine Creek township, of which Mr. Matson is mentioned as one of the principal patrons. There seems to have been several hotels in Rose, in the first and second decades of its history. Among those to whom the court granted licenses were William Vasbinder, William Christy, John Shoemaker, David Orcutt, Anthony Rowe, Joseph Henderson, James Green, Isaac Mills (Roseville), and Joshua McKinley. The first birth of which we have any record in Rose township is that of Jane, daughter of John and Mary Matson, born in 1806; and the first death Lydia, daughter of the same, who died in infancy.

The first land was cleared in South Rose by Robert Morrison and Joseph Millen, the latter making the first improvements. The first person born in this part of Rose was H.J. Millen, and the first marriage was William McGeary and Mary A. Hall, in 1837. The first death was Robert Morrison, who was accidentally killed. The first grave- yard was located on the farm of Andrew Ohl, and the first buried there was Mrs. Josiah Lehman, in 1837, and in 1839 four children of Joel Spyker. The next was on the farm of Joseph Millen, in 1842, Moses Campbell being the first buried there in 1844.

The first school- houses were built on the farm of William Carr, in 1837, and in Belleview in 1842; and the first churches on the land of Andrew Ohl, in 1836, and at Joseph Millen’s, in 1842.

The first saw- mill was built by John J. Miller, in 1843, on the place now belonging to the Shaffer heirs, and the first lumber was run in 1835. The first coal was discovered on the Dougherty farm in 1840.

Lumber and Saw mills. - The timber has nearly all been cut off Rose, and there is now but one saw- mill within its boundaries - the large mills of Wainwright & Bryant.

This mill was erected in 1872 by Robert J. Nicholson, who sold the property to Straub & Burkett, from whom it was purchased in 1884 by C.P. Wainwright, and W.L. Bryant, of Philadelphia. Since the new firm commenced operations they have put in new machinery, consisting of one circular saw, one gang saw, edger, lath and pick mill. They also, in 1887, placed in their mills a new patent "band saw" with the necessary machinery for its successful operation, at an expenditure of about $5,000. The new saw is simply a band, and while it will do as much and better work than the circular saw generally in use, cuts a kerf fully one- eighth less, and saves lumber to that extent, making eight inch boards where the old process would make but seven. The gentlemen have given the new saw a trial, and they are satisfied that it will do all that is claimed for it.

Their saw- mill cuts about 13,000,000 of pine and hemlock per year, and employs seventy men. They also have a planing and shingle- mill. The former was destroyed by fire in 1886, but at once rebuilt. They manufacture all kinds of dressed lumber, flooring, siding, etc. The shingle mill cuts about 25,000 eighteen inch, and about 15,000 twenty- four inch shingles per day, and employs twenty men. These mills are situated on Redbank, at Nicholson Station, on the Low Grade Railroad, about two miles below Brookville. Mr. Willis L. Bryant, the junior member of the firm, resides in Brookville, and gives a general supervision to the business. The superintendent at the mills is Frank Jobson, and J.R. Brannan attends to the shipping of the lumber after it comes from the mill. R.E. Clover, of Brookville, is book- keeper. The firm controls some 5,000 acres of timber land in the northern townships.

Farms. - Farming is the principal business of the citizens of Rose since the decline of the lumber trade, and there are some excellent farms in the township, with good buildings. Among the best in the northern part of the township are those of Uriah Matson, Robert Matson, W.H. Gray, D.G. Gourly, William Green, Eli Snyder, H.C. Litch, K.L. Blood, and in the southern portion are those of Andrew Ohl, George and Jacob Diener, Henry Bodenhorm, James Breakey, John Hill, John Johns, William and Enoch McGeary, William Hall, Samuel Thrush and Abner Spyker.

There is only one post- office in Rose, Stanton, at Belleview, the majority of its citizens receiving their mail matter through the Brookville office.


Belleview is the metropolis of Southern Rose, and is quite a brisk little town. It was laid out and named by Hugh Campbell in 1844.

The first stores were kept by John Philiber in 1849, and James Hill in 1850. The latter came to Jefferson county in 1838 and purchased one hundred and seventy- five acres of land in the vicinity of Belleview, now occupied by his son, John Hill. In 1850 he removed to Belleview, where he kept store until his death, in 1863. His wife, née Mary Kinnear, died just six weeks before her husband. Both were natives of Ireland. Hill was succeeded by A.J. Smathers, and the Reitz brothers - Manuel W., Edward and Aaron, who bought the Hill property in 1866. The store is now the property of E. Reitz & Son. Joseph Spare has also a store in Belleview.

The first cabinet shop was started in Belleview in 1849. The present shops are the wagon and blacksmith shops of Joseph Spare and William Mooney.

There is a temperance hotel in Belleview, kept by Mrs. Carrie Simpson.

Belleview is noted for its morality, temperance and education. It contains three churches, the United Presbyterian, organized in 1842; the Reformed Presbyterian, organized in 1846, and the Methodist Episcopal in 1871. It also contains large and excellent select schools. The population of Belleview in 1880 was ninety- six.

Elections. - As there was no returns made of the elections held in Jefferson county in 1828,* the first record of votes cast by the township is that of 1829, copied from the records of Indiana county, as follows:

"Rose township. - At an election held at the house of Jno. Lucas, in said township, on Friday, the 20th of March, 1829, the following named persons were duly elected, to wit: Supervisors, Moses Knapp had 39 votes, James Shields, 30; poor overseers, John Lucas, 10, John Avery, 10; auditors, John Hughs, 50, Alonzo Baldwin, 42, Robert K. Scott, 36, William Morrison, 32; constable, William Love, Jr., 51; fence viewers, Jno. Kelso, 16; Elijah M. Graham, 14; town clerk, Jno. Christy, 3; James Corbett, 3. Signed Alonzo Baldwin, Jno. Lucas, judges."

At the election held February 15, 1887, the following persons were elected: Constable, George Boner; supervisors, Gilmore Vasbinder, J.N. Hall; school directors, J. Snyder, Nathan Diener, Edward McLaughlin; auditor, Alexander Kennedy and James Chambers (tie vote 114 votes each); assessor, Joseph Thrush; tax collector, J.R. O’Conner; township clerk, Abner Spyker; overseer of the poor, William H. Hall; judge of election, Newton Lantz; inspectors, W.C. Kelly and J.J. Hinderliter. The justices of the peace in Rose are Abner Spyker and M.W. Reily. The members of the school board previously elected are E.V. Richards, R.D. Richards, David G. Gourley, Uriah Bender.

Area, Taxables and Population. - In 1831 the "statistical table" of Jefferson county gives length of Rose township as 39 miles; breath, 12 miles; area in acres 289,520.

In 1828 the number of taxables was 123, with one deaf and dumb person. The votes cast at the spring election were 65, and at the general ejection 66.

In 1829 the number of taxables was 123 in 1835, 252 (this included the taxables in the borough of Brookville); in 1842, 232; in 1849, 104; 1856, 132; 1863, 173; 1870, 271; in 1880, 480; in 1886, 561.

The population by the census in 1840 (including Brookville) was 1,421 1250, 559; 1860, 828; 1870, 1,058; 1880, 1,601.

Assessments and Valuations. - The triennial statement for 1886 gives the number of acres seated in Rose township as 10,321; valuation, $65,646; average value per acre, $5.36; houses and lots, 407; valuation, $31,453; grist and saw- mills, 3; valuation, $8,850; unseated, 843 acres; valuation, $2,789; average value, $3.31; number of horses, 226; valuation, $7,523; average value, $33.29; cows, 294; valuation, $2,829; average value, $9.62; occupations, 131; valuation, $3,125 ; average valuation, $23.85; total valuation subject to county tax, $122,265; money at interest, $39,965.

School Statistics. - The number of schools in Rose is 8; length of term, 5, months; 2 male and 6 female teachers; average salary of teachers, $30; number of male scholars, 216; females, 201; average attendance, 313; per cent of attendance, 80; cost of scholar per month, 62 cents; number of mills levied for school purposes, 13; for building, 5; whole amount of tax levied for school and building purposes, $1,495.67.

* Hazard’s Register gives the number of votes cast at township election for 1828 as 65, and at general election 66.

Source:  Page(s) 531-544, 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 (

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