Chapter XLVI
History of Warsaw Township 

Warsaw, the fifteenth township, was formed from Pine Creek, and was organized in 1842. It was named for a city of Poland. Warsaw is one of the largest townships in the county, and is bounded on the north by Polk and Heath; on the east by Snyder and Washington; on the south by Washington and Pine Creek, and on the west by Eldred..

The natural characteristics of the township have been thus described by Mr. W.G. Platt, in his geological report of the county:
"It consists mainly of elevated upland, thinly covered with coal measure rocks. Much of the surface is too rugged to repay cultivation, and a good part of the township is, therefore, uncleared land. The drainage goes south through the valleys of the North Fork into Redbank. Mill Creek forms the eastern boundary of the township, south of the Snyder line. Its valley is more than three hundred feet deep, usually with rather steep slopes, along which runs the outcrop of the Homewood sandstone, nearly to the Snyder township line. Mill Creek has few tributaries, and none of any size except Little Mill Creek, which starts at Maysville. The North Fork, on the other hand, has several affluents, all of which flow through wide ravines. The main stream enters the township at the northeast, and flows westward, keeping close to the Polk township line, until it comes up against the Bagdad (Brookville) anticlinal, which deflects it by a sharp bend, whence its course is southwestward, almost directly following the axial line. The valley is from three hundred to four hundred feet deep, and is a total wilderness from end to end. A great variety of forest scenery is thus presented, from a broad expanse of unbroken wilderness, extending as far as the eye can reach, in every direction, over hill and valley, to some extremely picturesque views along the water line, where the stream of crystal clearness flows at times under a nearly perfect arch formed by the overhanging boughs. Moreover the slopes are often thickly clothed with laurel, which furnishes them in early summer with a wealth of flowers."

Good coal is found in Warsaw, the principal seams being the Kittanning coals, which are found from three to five feet in thickness, of good, clean coal. The ferriferous limestone is also abundant. It is over five feet thick, is easily quarried, and makes good lime. It is extensively used by the farmers for fertilizing purposes. Fire- clay and iron ore are also found.

Early Settlers. -  The first settlers in what is now Warsaw township were John and Jacob Vasbinder, who came from Mifflin county about the year 1800. Jacob Vasbinder first cleared the farm adjoining the farm of James Harris, on the east in Pine Creek township, which is now owned by George Vasbinder and Benjamin McClelland He lived on this place until 1841, when he moved to the farm now owned by his son, Jacob, where he died in 1848, being at that time seventy- two years of age. His wife died at the age of eighty- six. Jacob Vasbinder had eight children, four of whom are living. His sons, George and T. Miles, reside in East Warsaw.

John Dixon settled in what is now Warsaw about the year 1803, on the farm now owned by C.H. Shobert. The venerable John Dixon, of Polk township, a son of the above pioneer, relates some of the incidents of those early days. He remembers when coffee was seventy- five cents, and tea four dollars per pound, and salt ten dollars a barrel. His father on one occasion walked to Indiana, where he bought a bushel of salt, for which he paid four dollars. He carried it home on his back, and then found that he had been cheated in the measurement, as it lacked considerable of a bushel. The family subsisted chiefly on wild game, deer, bears, and wild turkeys being abundant. Their corn was ground on hand mills, or else taken to Blacklick, in Indiana county, until Joseph Barnett erected his little mill at Port Barnett.

Mr. Dixon was the first school- teacher in Jefferson county, and was an exemplary citizen. He died in 1834, aged about seventy- six years. Mrs. Dixon, née Sarah Ann Armstrong, died in 1860, aged about ninety- two years.

Isaac Temple came to Jefferson county in the fall of 1832, with Thomas McCormick and his son, John McCormick, to look for a site for a home, and having selected a location in what is now Warsaw township, he moved his family the following April, an old- fashioned six- horse wagon, for which Pennsylvania was celebrated at that time, being used to transport the household goods, and a small wagon, drawn by one horse, for the accommodation of the family, or part of it, as there were ten, all told. Mr. Charles E. Temple relates the following incidents of the journey:

"On the night of April 2, we encamped on the Galbraith farm, two miles south of Brookville. The country was an unbroken wilderness, and in the evening of that day we called at a log cabin by the roadside to get some fire, which we carried, alternately, a distance of eight or ten miles, as no matches were then in use, and no houses, our camping seemed inevitable. Late in the evening a site was selected for a night’s sojourn near a brook where the road now crosses on the aforementioned farm. A fire was made on the ground, the horses tied to trees, and after our evening repast we laid down to rest, some on the ground and some in the wagons. The night passed away, and much refreshed the next morning we resumed our journey. On reaching Brookville we were somewhat delayed. Red Bank Creek was at a rafting stage, and there were then no bridges, so the horses were detached and mounted to find a fording place. After numerous crossings and consultation with citizens, the point below the present Baptist Church was selected as the only one at all practicable, and all the family were carried over on horseback, requiring considerable time and involving some risk. When all were landed, and goods and wagons safely over, our fears were allayed, and we were ready to move forward to our future home. Having no house ready to move into on reaching our destination, we took lodging with our friend, Milton Gibbs, a bachelor, who had recently come from Armstrong county, who had settled adjoining my father’s purchase. His small cabin was filled to overflowing until an opening could be made and a temporary shelter provided.

"It being Saturday night when we reached our journey’s end, the Sabbath was spent in much needed rest, as was our wont. The entire week had been spent in the journey of one hundred and ten miles. Early Monday morning work was commenced, and on Friday the Dixons, Vasbinders and others, from six to ten miles distant, came to help us raise our log cabin home, into which we moved our effects on Saturday, and forthwith began preparations for crops, clearing and planting by the 1st of June six acres of corn and potatoes. The family consisted of three girls and five boys, my youngest brother, Joseph M. Temple, being born on the 7th day of June, just two months and four days after our arrival. Two of the girls are still alive, and all the five boys. The eldest, Rev. John Temple, has been pastor of many Baptist, congregations in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and is now located, near Cleveland. Charles E. is now living in retirement in Brockwayville. After following farming for many years in Warsaw, he exchanged his farm with Warren O. Sibley, for his town property, and the latter now resides on the farm in Warsaw. Samuel W. lives on the old homestead. Isaac is in Mitchell county, Kan., and Joseph a resident of Hamilton county, Texas."

Isaac Temple, Sr., was a man of more than ordinary intelligence and extensive reading, as were all his family, the sons being noted for their fondness for political and religious controversy. Being all professors of religion, and no two belonging to the same church, they were frequently pitted against each other. Charles E. Temple is well known throughout Jefferson county for his earnest advocacy of reform principles, temperance, prohibition, the Bible in the schools, and the recognition of the Supreme Being in the Constitution.

Isaac Temple, Sr., died at his home in Warsaw township, March 14, 1851, and Hannah Temple, his wife, survived him until September, 1881, having resided in Warsaw township almost fifty years. She was a woman of unusual qualities of heart and mind, and of great physical strength, having, when a girl in her Westmoreland home often shouldered a three bushel bag of wheat while standing on or in a half bushel. She was a woman of great tenderness of heart, and demonstrated the fact that robust health and physical development are not inconsistent with the most womanly gentleness. Mrs. Temple was universally respected and beloved, ardently attached to what she believed to be truth. She was kind and benevolent to all, and very few of the early pioneers made more sacrifices for the comfort of the early settlers, as there are those yet living can testify. Her house was ever open to travelers, and many a weary, footsore wayfarer found rest and refreshment under her roof.

Daniel Goup came to what is now Warsaw township, in 1837, and purchased one hundred and twenty- nine acres of Holland land from Hon. Thomas White, three miles north of Brookville, where he has resided ever since. He built the Russell mill on the North Fork. Mr. Goup is now about ninety years of age, but is able to walk to Brookville, and his intellect is undimmed.

Russell, father of Eben Russell, settled in the Warsaw region in 1834 or 1835, and built a saw- mill on the North Fork. The property is now owned by the Litches.

John Pearsall settled, at an. early day, the farm now owned by his heirs. His brother, Arad Pearsall, moved on a farm in the same neighborhood, in 1835, and then moved to Brookville. This farm is now owned by James Brisbin.

Milton Johnson, who was a soldier in the War of 1812, settled in Warsaw in 1834. He died March, 1860, aged eighty- six years.

Henry Keys moved from the Beechwoods to Warsaw in 1848, and lived on the farm now owned by Gabriel Stahlman, until his death, in 1880. He was a respected citizen of Jefferson county for fifty- seven years.

Elihu Clark settled in Warsaw in 1835. David McCormick, Moses B. St. John, John Wilson, Nathan Perrine, about 1838. William Weeks, John Bell, Peter Rickard, Nelson Riggs, Andrew McCormick, Jacob Raught, and John Dawson were also among the early settlers.

The first settlement near Richardsville was made by James Moorhead, who built a house on the farm now owned by the heirs of Jackson Moorhead, in 1835, but he did not move his family there until the spring of 1836. John Wakefield built a house and moved on the farm now owned by Joseph McCracken, in 1836, but returned to Indiana to spend the following winter. William Humphrey built a house on the farm now owned by his son, Samuel M. Humphrey, in the fall of 1836, and moved his family there in April, 1837. Michael Long built a cabin on the farm now owned by Mathew Humphrey, in 1836, and occupied it for a short time. Isaac Walker built a house the same year on the farm now owned by Thomas Brownlee, to which he moved his family the next spring Mathew Humphrey commenced operations on the farm on which he still resides, in 1837. He is the only one of the original settlers of West Warsaw, remaining. He says when he came to the township there were no roads, only a trail leading through the woods to " Boot- Jack" (Hazen).

The Indians had left the country before this part of Warsaw was settled, but two of them returned in 1836 and remained a short time at James Moorhead’s.

Early Improvements. -  The first school- house was built in what is now East Warsaw, at Isaac Temple’s, and the first church at Maysville, in 1845.

The first road was opened from Richardsville to Brookville, in 1838. The first coal was dug out of the head of the hollow below the present schoolhouse at Richardsville, in 1845.

The first saw- mill was erected at Pekin, by William R. Richards, who sawed the first lumber, about 1839. The first grist- mill was erected on Mill Creek by E. Holden. The first hotel was kept by Isaac Richards, and the first stores by S. Wyant, near the present residence of John A. Fox, and David Moorhead.

The first grave- yard was started on the hill east of Isaac Temple’s, in 1835, and Mrs. Chloe Johnson, wife of Milton Johnson, was the first person buried there.

Warsaw has four post-offices, Richardsville, Warsaw, Allen’s Mills and Hazen. The Warsaw office was established in 1836 at Temple’s, but in 1887 was removed to John A. Fox’s.

There are eleven school- houses, five churches and three cemeteries, -  one in East Warsaw and two at Richardsville, one of which is controlled by shareholders.

There are, in addition to those mentioned, the stores of Rickard & Pettibone, at Warsaw post- office, and M. Culver & Co. at Allen’s Mills. John A. Fox keeps a hotel at Warsaw.

Farms. -  Farming claims the attention of the citizens of the township, and some excellent farms are found, prominent among which are those of Joseph Steel, Benjamin Snyder; Jacob Raught, in East Warsaw; Joseph McCracken, Perry Smith, Mathew Humphrey, S.M. Humphrey, J. Moorhead, Zina Vanorman, Thomas Brownlee, Frank Carrier, Alvy Stewart, William Aljoe and Lewis Evans, in West Warsaw.

All the fruit grown in the county is cultivated in the best varieties, Mathew Humphrey having about the best orchard in the township.

Very little attention has been paid to raising thoroughbred stock, James Suffolk being the only one who has given the matter much attention, having on his farm a fine herd of Short- horn Durham cattle.


The first improvement in what is now the village of Richardsville, was made by William R. Richards, who came there about 1839. He built a house, and then commenced in 1840 or 1841 to build a dam. Mr. Mathew Humphrey says he helped to place the first log in the dam. After the dam was ready he built a saw- mill, grist- mill and woolen factory; the former was in running order in the fall of 1840, and the woolen- mill was in operation in 1844. In the spring of 1843 he moved his family from Indiana county to their new home. The first marriage in the new town was that of John Moorhead and Nancy A., daughter of William R. Richards, who were married February 13, 1844, by Rev. David Polk. George W. Richards, the only surviving member of the family of William R. Richards, says that his father’s house was small, but they had quite a gathering for those days. There were fourteen of the Moorhead family, and these, with the family of Mr. Richards, and the neighbors invited, filled the house to overflowing. Mr. Richards was a very good violinist, and they had quite a jolly dance; no doubt the first of the kind ever held in the neighborhood. Mr. Richards died in 1867.

The first death was that of Henry E., son of William Humphrey, who died October 8, 1842. The first grave-yard was laid out near the Presbyterian church, and the first interment was in January, 1851.

The first store in Richardsville was opened in 1847 by D.W. Moorhead, who also kept the first hotel. The first school was taught about 1840, by a Mr. Wilson, in an old log school, that stood where Miles Flack now lives. He was followed in 1841 by Miss Rachel Drain.

Present Business. -  There are two stores in Richardsville, those of Mathew Humphrey and William Evans, both doing a fair business.

The Moorhead Lumber Company have a steam saw- mill, planing- mill and grist- mill. G.W. Richards owns and operates a steam tannery.

There are three churches at Richardsville, -  the Presbyterian and Baptist, built in 1858, and the Methodist, in 1871.

Jackson Moorhead, a son of Joseph Moorhead, was one of Richardsville’s most enterprising and best citizens. He was postmaster for about twenty- three years; kept the only store, for a long time. In 1867 he built the saw- mill now operated by his heirs as the Moorhead Lumber Company, and in 1873 erected the large grist- mill. In 1881 removed to Brookville, but still superintended his business at Richardsville until his death, which occurred very suddenly August 19, 1885.

Richardsville is quite a pleasant little town, but grows quite slowly. In 1853 it contained one store and about eighteen dwellings. The census of 1880 gives its population at eighty- three.


Another little town situate in East Warsaw, was, for a long time, called "Boot-Jack," from the roads that center there, forming a place, in which the town is built, in the shape of a boot- jack. The name given to the place was, however, Maysville; but in 1882 a post- office was established and named Hazen, for the first assistant postmaster- general, since which time the place has taken that name. It is quite a brisk little town, and in 1886 its citizens erected a large school building in which an excellent select school is maintained and well patronized.

Maysville has one store kept by Trimble & Company, and the hotel of W.R. Anderson. In 1880 the town had a population of eighty- two. Joshua Vandevort first settled in Maysville in 1825. He died in 1861, aged eighty- six years.


This little hamlet, situate between Brookville and Richardsville, was settled in 1845 by Emory Bartlett, who built a chair manufactory there which he successfully operated until a short time before his death, in 1883. He was then eighty years of age. Mr. Bartlett’s chairs were substantially and well made and found a ready sale, and there are few houses in Jefferson county that do not own one of his comfortable, old- fashioned rockers. This manufactory is now carried on by his son, A.J. Bartlett.

The name of Pekin was given to the place by Mr. Bartlett, for one of the chief cities in the celestial empire, though he did not carry his admiration so far as to encircle his little town with an impregnable wall.

Elections. -  At the first election held in Warsaw township, in 1843, the following persons were elected: Inspectors of election, Thomas McCormick, Peter Chamberlain; judge of election, John Moorhead; supervisors, William Weeks, James K. Hoffman; school directors, Ira Bronson, O.P. Mather, G.D. Frederick, Arad Pearsall, James A. Wilkins, Peter Chamberlain; constable, David C. Riggs; assessors, Andrew McCormick, Jacob Moore, Eli B. Irwin; auditors, John Pearsall, Finley McCormick, Thomas McCormick; overseers of the poor, Jacob Vasbinder, William R. Richards; town clerk, Ira Bronson.

May 9, 1887, by a decree of court, Warsaw township was divided into two election districts, East and West Warsaw; the former holding its election at Maysville, and the latter at Richardsville. The following is the result of the election held February 15, 1887, for both precincts: Warsaw, East -  Justice of the peace, J.R. Trimble; constable, N.P. Clark; supervisors, Isaac Lyle, Andrew Shaffer; school directors, Lewis Evans, Simon Stahlman; tax collector, T. Satterlee; poor overseer, G.W. Corbin; assessor, Joseph McCracken; auditor, J.G. Allen; town clerk, S.M. Humphrey; judge of election, Reuben McIntosh; inspectors, Moses Slawson, A.C. Williams. Warsaw, West -  Judge of election, Perry Smith; inspectors, Amos Riggs, James Yount. The justice of the peace for West Warsaw is William Wasson. The school directors previously elected are, Thomas Love, Perry Smith, G.H. Hilliard, S.W. Temple.

Taxables, Population, Assessments and Valuation. -  The number of taxables in Warsaw township, in 1842, were 77; in 1849, 149; in 1856, 156; in 1863, 220; in 1870, 336; in 1880, 402; in 1886, 437. The population, according to the census of 1850, was 870; 1860, 930; 1870, 1,122; 1880, 1,414. The number of acres seated in Warsaw township in 1886, was 18,675; valuation, $86,226; average value per acre, $4.62. Eighty- seven houses and lots, valuation $8,215. Grist and saw- mills 9; valuation, $3,700. Acres unseated 11,443 ; valuation, $56,143; average value per acre $4.92. Number of horses 299; valuation, $11,540; average value $35.53. Number of cows 386; valuation, $4,603; average value $11.92. Number of oxen 10; valuation, $285. Occupations 139; valuation, $3,954; average $22.69. Total valuation, subject to county tax, $173,866. Money at interest $13,940.

Schools. -  The number of schools in Warsaw township, according to the report for year ending June, 1886, was 11; average term five months. Number of male teachers 6; females, 5. Average salary of male teachers $38.28; females, $30.28. Number of male scholars 267; females, 209. Average attendance 311. Per cent of attendance 85. Cost per month 77 cents. Number of mills levied for school purposes 13. Total amount of tax levied for school purposes $2,048.71.

Source:  Page(s) 598-605, History of Jefferson County by Kate M. Scott. Syracuse, N.Y., D. Mason & Co., 1888.

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