Chapter XLVII
History of Winslow Township 

The next to form in line, making the sixteenth township, was Winslow, which was organized in 1847, being taken from Washington, Pine Creek and Gaskill. It was named for Hon. James Winslow, then one of the associate judges of the county. It is situated on the east side of the county, and its boundaries are as follows: On the north by Washington, on the east by Clearfield county, on the south by McCalmont and Henderson, and on the west by McCalmont and Pine Creek. It is almost square -  the distance across it north and south is six and a half miles, and east and west about seven and a half miles.

Much of its surface is uncultivated, owing to the steep slopes of the valley, and in others to the rocky condition of the land from the out- crop of sandstone deposits. Decidedly, the best farming land in the township is on the uplands south from Reynoldsville, around the heads of Trout Run, where the barren measure shoals and slates make a smooth soil, mingled with much lime.

Topography. -  The topography of Winslow township is much diversified, with alternating hill and valley. Sandy Lick is the main artery of the drainage system, to which all the other streams, excepting Stump Creek, are tributary. It follows an irregular course through the township, entering at the northeast corner and flowing first westward, then southeast by a sharp turn upon itself at Sandy Valley, and then west again from Reynoldsville by another turn equally sharp. Both bends are closely connected with the Perrysville anticlinal, whose structure has indeed in a large part created them. The creek bed falls from about 1,350 feet above tide level at Evergreen to about 1,300 feet at Prindable’s, which, as the creek flows, is a fall of less than five feet to the mile. Some high points in the uplands attain an elevation of more than 1,80o feet above tide level, but the average range of the upland region is between 1,60o and 1,700 feet.

Geology. -  The Freeport lower coal is so exceedingly excellent a bed throughout the Reynoldsville region that it has given great value to all the land it overlies. The work of development has been vigorously conducted for several years, but still there is a vast expanse of coal untouched. This coal is found seven feet thick, and is of so good a quality that it is in great demand for gas and steam purposes. A number of collieries have been opened upon it in the Reynoldsville basin, which are now all controlled by Bell, Lewis & Yates, who are vigorously prosecuting their mines. A large number of coke ovens are in operation, but the company not being willing to furnish any statistics of their mines, it has been impossible to give any account of the production, as has been given of the other mines in the county.

Other coal beds are found in the Reynoldsville basin, but they are of so inferior a character to the Freeport lower coal that, until it is exhausted, they will receive no attention.

The Freeport lower limestone is found at Pancoast and at Reynoldsville. Mr. W.G. Platt, in his report, says of this limestone stratum:

"Another exposure of it is in a small ravine on the property of A. Reynolds, adjoining Powers and Brown, where it shows two feet of excellent stone, greyish in color, streaked with calcite, and non- fossiliferous. The same stratum was worked some years ago further west, at Douthitt’s saw- mill, to obtain lime for the masonry work at the time the Bennett’s Branch Railroad was building. Mr. Wilson, engineer of that road, informed me that all the lime required for his purpose in the vicinity of Reynoldsville was obtained at small expense from this quarry. Under such circumstances, and considering the scarcity of lime in this neighborhood, and how much it is required upon every field being cultivated there, it is surprising to me that the farmers have allowed the quarry to fall shut and the draw- kiln to go to decay. I know of no limestone stratum than this Freeport lower in all the measures of Winslow township, and even that stratum is very irregular and uncertain. But in those places where its existence is proved, and in good condition, the farmers should certainly avail themselves of it for a fertilizer."

Early Settlers. -  The first settlers in what is now Winslow township were John Fuller and Rebecca, his wife. Mr. Fuller, who was born in Saratoga county, N.Y., May 5, 1794, and served in the War of 1812, came to Pennsylvania in 1818, and in 1820 married Rebecca Gathers, of Armstrong, now Clarion county. In 1822 they located in Winslow township, making the first trip to their new home on foot, through the wilderness, the only house on their route being at Port Barnett. They built a cabin on the spot now covered by the Fuller garden on the old homestead, and went to work to hew and dig out a home in the wilderness. Mrs. Fuller worked early and late by her husband’s side, and the first season dug over a piece of ground, upon which the stumps stood too thick to admit of its being ploughed, and planted their first potatoes. Their first team was an ox and a cow.

Mr. Fuller was a blacksmith, and was frequently called away from home to do work at his trade. At one time he was absent six weeks helping to build a bridge over the Susquehanna, and Mrs. Fuller remained at home with her little children, the only door to the dwelling being a quilt hung up before the entrance, and at night she would lie and listen to the cry of the wild beasts that infested the woods, the howling of the wolves bringing fear to her heart.

She was expert in the use of the rifle, and with it over her shoulder would take long tramps through the woods in search of her cows, who would stray a long distance from home, often going as far as the present town of Luthersburg.

On one occasion she was out hunting the cows, accompanied by one of her little boys and her dog, when night came on and she could not find the way home. She sat down on a log, near where the coke ovens of Bell, Lewis & Yates are now built, and put one arm around her boy and the other around the dog, both of which nestled up to her and were soon sound asleep; but no sleep visited her eyes -  she could hear the wild beasts in the distance, and did not know how soon they would come prowling about her. Along in the night she heard her husband calling her, but as he was very hard of hearing she knew that he would not hear her, and she feared to answer him for fear of discovering her whereabouts to some of the wild animals that she knew were lurking in the forest. At length, towards morning, she heard the shouts of the McCreight boys, whom Mr. Fuller had called up to help him in his search, and answering them they soon found her and she was conducted home.

Mr. McCreight, who had moved into the neighborhood in 1832, did not know of the presence of the Fullers, nor had they any knowledge that they had any neighbors nearer than Port Barnett, until one day, when Mr. McCreight was out hunting his cows, he heard a crashing in the bushes, and great was his amazement to see emerging therefrom, instead of the deer or bear he expected to see, a woman with a rifle over her shoulder, Explanations followed, and each was glad to find that they had a neighbor.

Mr. Fuller first dug the coal out of the creek bed at Reynoldsville to use in his blacksmith work, as it increased the heat of the fire. He would frequently go to Pittsburgh or Indiana and carry home bars of iron on his shoulders. He done all the first blacksmith work in the county, and as far as can be learned was the pioneer blacksmith.

These were days of toil and deprivation, and with no mills near, and no stores from which to purchase any of the necessaries of life, it was no easy task for Mrs. Fuller to provide for and raise her family of fifteen children. She was obliged to toil early and late, and then when the outdoor tasks were done, to contrive something to clothe her little ones. The home also was to pay for, and there was no revenue coming in. The land that was cleared barely afforded a sustenance, and the main source of revenue was the making of maple sugar, which sold at eight and ten cents per pound. To this was added occasionally a few dimes received from some isolated traveler after the making of the Waterford and Susquehanna turnpike opened up a thoroughfare through their place. As the money was gathered penny by penny and sixpence added to sixpence, it was tied up in an old stocking and deposited in the bureau drawer until enough to make a payment on the farm was gotten together, and then at stated times the landowners, or their agents met purchasers to receive these payments. Miss Beckie Fuller says that she has heard her mother relate how, on one occasion, they had almost enough saved to make a payment (sixty dollars being the desired amount), and while she was absent helping to work in the fields, some tramp stole the precious stocking, with the hard- earned savings. In those days there were no bolt nor bars, the latch string always hung out, and the bureau drawers were also unlocked, and the thief, perhaps some tramp whom they had befriended, as no one was ever turned from their door, had taken the opportunity to pillage the house while Mrs. Fuller was absent; then all had to be gone over again, the payment was delayed, and the slow process of saving went on as before. Mr. Fuller as soon as he got the land cleared planted a large orchard of apple trees, which soon yielded him quite an income, and he sold the first fruit in Brookville.

In time they built a larger house, which has now given place to the commodious, and pleasant home where Mr. George W. Fuller, the youngest son, with his family resides. It is also the home of the youngest daughter, Miss Rebecca Fuller. Mr. Fuller died in 1868. Mrs. Fuller survived him several years. They both sleep with their nine children, who preceded them, in the "Fuller grave- yard," just "across the garden wall."

The McCreight family were the next to penetrate into this wilderness. Mr. McCreight came first in 1832 and prepared a home for his family in what has since been called the Paradise Settlement. After clearing a small potato patch and building a small log house, Andrew McCreight, in the winter of 1832 -  3, brought his family from his former home in Indiana county, to this paradise in the wilderness. The family consisted of Mr. McCreight, his wife, Ann Sharp McCreight, and ten children, aged from three to twenty- one respectively. On the way one of the little ones was lost from the load, and had not some of the boys been walking behind and picked her up, she would perhaps have been devoured by wild beasts, or perished with cold before her loss was discovered from the bedding amid which she had been placed for safe keeping. She was carried for some miles in the arms of her brothers after being found in the road. The ax in the hands of the sturdy boys soon felled the trees, and cleared the land, and it was not long before a home of plenty and comfort was made where they found a dense forest.

The parents, more than twenty years ago, went to their reward; full of years they passed out from the scenes of their early toil, but of the thirteen children, the three younger of whom were born in Jefferson county, all are living, though the family is now widely scattered. Thomas and Smith now own the old homestead farm, and in October, 1884, twelve out of the thirteen gathered about the old fireside, only one brother, Jamieson, living in Kansas, being unable to be present.

About the year 1834 Tilton Reynolds came to what is now Winslow township, from Chateaugay, N.Y. The family, which consisted of Mr. Reynolds, his wife and three children, his brother, William Reynolds, and a young French boy, Francis Delorm, by name, who afterwards married a sister of Thomas Reynolds’s wife, and yet resides in Winslow, traveled in a wagon drawn by two yoke of oxen, and were four weeks on the road in making this journey of eight hundred miles. Dr. William H. Reynolds was the eldest of these children, and the youngest was a babe in its mother’s arms. On account of this babe the mother put up at hotels when they could be found, the rest generally slept in the wagon, and cooked their meals by the roadside.

After they reached their destination they staid one week at the house of Mr. John Fuller, until their cabin was built, which stood on the present site of Rathmel. Tilton Reynolds went to Punxsutawney to buy land from C.C. Gaskill, who wanted to article for it at once, but Mr. Reynolds thought this would not be exactly right, as Rossell Luther had made some improvement on the land, though he had paid nothing for it, so he went to Luthersburg and struck a bargain with Mr. Luther by giving him one of the yoke of cattle for his improvements, and then made his bargain with Mr. Gaskill.

The Reynolds brothers had been to Chester county some time previous and on their way home passed through this part of Jefferson county, and were so much pleased with the immense forests of pine timber, that they went home and at once made preparations to move here. Soon after they got settled Tilton’s wife’s brother, Samuel B. Sprague, and two sisters, Rebecca Smith and Anna Welsh, and her father, came and settled near them, and soon also their brother Thomas followed them to their new home. He found them comfortably settled in a log cabin, where Rathmel now is. The first fall they captured fourteen swarms of bees; they also made a large amount of maple sugar. Tilton and William Reynolds kept the first store in the township at Prospect Hill in 1839. William died in 1854 and Tilton some years later.

Thomas Reynolds, whose biographical sketch will be found in another part of this work, surveyed and named Winslow township, he being a warm friend and admirer of Judge Winslow, for whom it was called.

Valentine A.P. Smith, father of Mrs. Thomas Reynolds, also settled in Winslow in 1835. He came from Dutchess county, N.Y., and located on the farm now owned by T.B. London. Samuel, David and Joshua Rea, Patrick Fehley, Thomas Doling preceded the Reynoldses to this region. The Yeomans, Yohes, Alexanders, Claytons, Brodheads, Welshes, Ferrises, were among the early settlers in Winslow township.

Old Mr. Yeomans, the father of the wives of Samuel and Joshua Rea, was frozen to death in Cold Spring Hollow while on his way home from Reynoldsville. His granddaughter, Miriam Rea, who was living at Thomas Reynolds’s, was on her way home, when she found his dead body lying, in the road.

David Rea, one of the three brothers noted above, was killed by a limb that had lodged in a tree. He went to the spring to get water with which to prepare breakfast, when the limb fell and killed him instantly. His wife, Sally Wilkins, wondering what kept him so long, went to see, and found him dead. She afterwards married Truman B. London.

The oldest residents of Winslow township now are Mrs. Benjamin Clayton, aged about eighty years, Mrs. Fannie Wilkins Rea, about the same age, and Mr. Truman B. London, who is in his eightieth year.

Farms. -  Farming is the general business of the citizens of Winslow, and among the many well cultivated farms with excellent buildings, are the following:

In East Winslow, Sharp and John McCreight, G.W. Fuller, Truman B. London, Thomas Reynolds, Sr., estate, George D. Sprague, Francis Delorm, James A. and W.T. Cathers, William H. Reynolds. West Winslow, Amos, Jacob, Noah and Martin Strouse, Noah, Joseph and Daniel Syphert, Henry Stevens, Levi Shuckers, David Reynolds, Zackariah Deemer, Alexander Dickey, William and John Dougherty, Henry Kroh.

Cemeteries. -  The first burying- ground in Winslow township was just back of the old school- house in Cold Spring Hollow, where Mrs. Joshua Rea, with her two children, and several others were buried. ‘The Fuller burying- ground, which is a private one, was started at an early day, when a child of John Fuller’s died, and they had no place to lay it. The dysentery, which was very fatal in that region, took several more of their children, who were also laid there, and now the father and mother, with nine of their children, are buried there, only five out of fifteen surviving. Joshua, the eldest son, died and was buried at Brookville, Mrs. Rachel Cathers, Mrs. Fuller’s mother, and her brother, Robert Cathers, and his wife are buried in the Fuller grave- yard.

The McCreights have a family burying- ground on the old homestead farm.

Prospect grave- yard was commenced soon after Tilton Reynolds settled there, and his little twin daughter, Margaret, was the first to rest therein. Many of the old settlers are sleeping their last sleep in that much neglected spot.

There is another burying-ground in Paradise, near an old Dutch church, where some of the oldest settlers in that settlement were buried, among whom Jacob Smith and wife, Adam Yohe and many others of those who endured the first hardships of pioneer life.

"Beulah Land" was started in 1876, being laid out by Thomas Reynolds, and Arthur Parke Reynolds, his son, was the first interred there. Since then his father, brother John, and his brother- in- law, Gould J. Scott, have laid down beside him.

July 5, 1876, R. Prott, of the firm of McGregor & Prott, who built the Summit Tunnel, and some of the railroad bridges of the Low Grade Railroad, was buried in Beulah, where, the February before, two children of his brother, Alexander Prott, had been laid, and about a year after a fine stone monument was erected to their memory by the father and brother, Mr. A. Prott, of Brookville.

In 1882 Mrs. Amelia Reynolds removed the bodies of her husband, Woodward Reynolds, and her children, John and Joana and Richard, with two who died in infancy, from Prospect to Beulah. It is beginning to be improved by those whose dead lie there, and will in time become a beautiful city of the dead. There are now two hundred and twenty- five graves in Beulah. The Baptist cemetery, near Beulah, was laid out by Rev. C.H. Prescott, on his land, about 1883.

Saw- mills. -  The saw- mills in Winslow, operating in 1887, are those of Andrews, Keatley & Co., Bond, McGhee & Carrier, at Sandy Valley; Collins & Shaffer, at Falls Creek; Waite, Hutchins, & Co., Sandy Valley; David Wheeler, Reynoldsville; J.C. Swartz, near Reynoldsville; Levi Schuckers, near Emerickville; Silas Brooks, near Sykesville, and Hopkins, Irwin & Co., on Sandy Lick, below Reynoldsville. The latter mill was built by Nathan Carrier, and for a time was the property of N. Carrier and Gould J. Scott, when it was one of the most extensive lumbering establishments in the county. There are also two portable saw- mills in Winslow, owned by Edward Rupert and M.B. Wynkoop & Brother.

There are four post- offices in Winslow township, -  Sandy Valley, Pancoast, Sykesville and Rathmel.

Elections. -  The first election was held in Winslow township in 1847, when the following persons were elected:* Constable, Joseph McCreight, Oliver Welch, Tilton Reynolds; supervisors, Clark Lyon, Joseph Syphert, M. Best; school directors, Andrew McCreight, Thomas Reynolds, John Philhipi; overseers of the poor, Woodward Reynolds, Thomas Reynolds; assessors, Oliver Welch, Robert Douthett, John Foltz; judge of election, Andrew McCreight; inspectors, John Barr, Jonathan Strouse.

The best varieties of apples, pears, plums, and all the small fruits, are raised in profusion.

Winslow township was divided into two election districts by a decree of court September 17, 1887. The citizens of East Winslow vote at Prescottville, and the election for West Winslow is held at the Moore House, in Ohiotown. The election held February 15, 1887, resulted as follows: Winslow, East, jus‘tice of the peace, David Bollinger; constable, Benjamin Haugh; collector, A.W. Mulholland; assessor, Martin Strouse; supervisors, William Grimes, Fulton Henry; school directors, W.J. Hillis, William Grimes; auditor, J.M. Norris; poor overseer, J.L. Beebe; judge of election, John Smith; inspectors, Benjamin Haugh, John Marshall. Winslow, West, judge of election, Allen Cathers; inspectors, R.B. Kline, John Dougherty. The justice of the peace for West Winslow is Luther A. Hays. The other school directors composing the board are Benjamin Kline, James A. Cathers, Henry Stevenson and W.T. Cathers.

Taxables and Population. -  The number of taxables in Winslow township in 1849 were 100 in 1856, 171; in 1863, 240; in 1870, 364; 1880, 506; 1886, 849. The population by the census of 1850, 507; 1860, 1096; 1870, 1320 1880, 1904.

Assessments and Valuation. -  The number of acres of seated land in Winslow in 1886, was 18,587; valuation, $91,361; average value per acre $492. Number of houses and lots 439; valuation, $47,739. Number of grist and saw- mills 14; valuation, $8,150. Number acres unseated 8,613; valuation, $48,899; average value per acre $5.68. Number of acres surface 2,085; valuation, $8,538. Acres mineral 1,367; valuation, $7,093; average value per acre $5.19. Number of horses 298; valuation, $7,795; average value $26.16. Number of cows 406; valuation, $4,912; average value $12.10. Twelve oxen; valuation, $240. Number of occupations 292; valuation, $5,995; average, $20.53. Total valuation, subject to county tax, $230,722. Money at interest $2,503.

School Statistics. -  The number of schools in Winslow township, for the year ending June 7, 1886, was 16. Average term, five months. Number of male teachers 12; females 4. Average salary of male teachers $30.66; females $25.00. Number Of male scholars 398; number of females 334. Average attendance 474; per cent of attendance 64. Cost per scholar 68 cents. Mills levied for school purposes 10; for building, 5. Total amount of tax levied for school purposes $3,975.10.


In 1837 David Reynolds, of Kittanning, sent his son, Woodward, to settle upon some lands in what is now Reynoldsville and Winslow township, for which he had a title. Woodward Reynolds had that year married Miss Amelia Ross, also of Kittanning, and in the spring of 1838 the young couple came to the new home in the woods. Some years before Charles C. Gaskill, who then owned the land, had erected a log house of two rooms, to be used as a tavern, as they were called in those days. Woodward Reynolds found a man named Potter keeping this house, having squatted there, and it was with some difficulty that he was induced to give up his claim. Two men, by the names of Caldwell and Banks, had preceded Potter as keepers of this hostelry. Mr. Reynolds built additions to the "log hotel," and entertained the public there for a number of years. In this house, which occupied the site of the present residence of Albert Reynolds, David Reynolds, the first white child born in what is now the town of Reynoldsville, first saw the light. Mr. Reynolds, in 1850, built the brick hotel still known as the Reynolds House, which he kept until his death, in January, 186i. He at first owned three hundred acres of land in Reynoldsville and vicinity, to which he added, by purchase, eight hundred acres more. This was all valuable timber land, and, after he was gone, and the timber too, the land being good coal territory, was sold by his sons David and Albert, who laid out the home farm in Reynoldsville into town lots, streets and alleys, which is now the main business portion of the town. Mrs. Reynolds lives in a comfortable- residence, one door east of the Reynolds House, with her daughter, Ida, the only one of her family who has not made a home for herself.

Though the Indians had left this region before Reynoldsville became the abode of the white man, one lady yet living has cause to remember the visit of one of the last of his race, and it yet makes her shudder when she recalls her narrow escape from the scalping- knife of the bloodthirsty red man.

One day in the year 1843, an Indian came to the house of Woodward Reynolds, and demanded food. Mrs. Reynolds, who happened to be alone at the time, placed bread and meat before him, but he refused to eat until he was provided with tea. Mrs. Reynolds assured him that she had no tea in the house; but he would not believe her, and throwing the bread and meat on the floor to the dog, he glared savagely at her, and stalked away. In the evening he returned, but Mr. Reynolds and his two hired men were present, and after asking this time for whisky, he again left. In a short time news came that he had murdered the Wigton family in Butler county, and Mrs. Reynolds had no doubt then, that his last visit would have resulted in her death, had he not been deterred by the presence of the men. She can yet recall the murderous looks he cast upon her. Mrs. Reynolds calls the Indian Blackhawk, but the following narrative published in the Pittsburgh Commercial of July ii, 1887, of his bloody deed in Butler county, gives his name as Sam Mohawk: "The news of the death of James Wigton, who died at Sauna, Venango county, a few days ago, aged seventy- six, recalls one of the most dreadful chapters in the criminal history of Pennsylvania, Wigton’s entire family, consisting of his wife and five children, having been murdered in Slippery Rock township, Butler county, in 1843.

"At that time an Indian named Sam Mohawk, who lived on the Seneca Reservation, in Cattaraugus county, N.Y., made periodical trips down the Allegheny Valley, and he was the terror of the region. He came to Butler in the latter part of June, 1843. His first demand was for whisky. He was refused at every place, which enraged him so that the inhabitants fearing the result of his temper, made up a purse to pay his stage fare to Meadville. This was paid to the driver, and Mohawk got aboard. At Stone House, twelve miles from Butler, he left the stage and disappeared, and the conveyance went on without him. At midnight of that day he appeared at the stage- house, which was kept by a man named John Sills, and demanded the money that had been raised for his fare in Butler and also whisky. Sills was compelled to drive the Indian from his house with a club. At daybreak, on the morning of July 1st, James Wigton, who lived on a farm a few miles from Stone House, left his home to go to his father’s farm, two miles and a half distant, on an errand. He did not return until eight o’clock. He saw a crowd of people about his house. He was stopped at his gate, and the terrible news was broken to him that during his absence Sam Mohawk had entered his house, and brutally murdered his wife and five children. The news so stunned Wigton that he was unconscious for three days. The murder had been discovered by James Wigton’s brother John, who lived a mile or so from the former. He had seen the Indian pass the house just after daylight. John Wigton went to his brother’s house an hour later to borrow a wagon. On entering the house he discovered the dead bodies of his sister- in- law and her five children lying on the kitchen floor, the children being piled in a heap on the body of the mother. Their brains had been beaten out with a large stone, which lay covered with blood on the floor near by. Mrs. Wigton was thirty years old. Her children were aged respectively eight, five, four, three and one years. Mrs. Wigton was partially dressed, but it was evident that the children had been taken from their beds by their murderer and killed.

"The Indian was arrested and placed in the Butler jail, which was guarded by armed men day and night to prevent a rescue by wandering bands of Indians, which were common in the Allegheny Valley forty years ago. Mohawk was tried in the following November, and was hanged on the 22d of March, 1844. One of the witnesses of the hanging was James Wigton, husband and father of the Indian’s victims."

Thomas Reynolds in 1841 built a little log house on a site now situated on Jackson and Tenth streets, and the following year he was married to Julia Anna Smith. The wedding trip was a two- mile journey on a path through the forest to the little shanty. While on their way seven full grown deer were seen walking leisurely along, and exhibited no fear, as they stopped and gazed a few moments at the couple, and then proceeded leisurely on their way. The footprints of bear, deer, and other animals were often discovered near the house, and Mr. Reynolds once shot a deer while standing in his yard: The Indians had a hut near the spot upon which he built, by a fine spring where the old logs were yet to be seen.

Miss Rebecca Fuller relates the fact that the wolves seemed to have some way of surrounding the deer and killing them in great numbers, near the cold spring above Prescottville, as she said her parents would find the bones and blood there frequently in those early days, showing how the rapacious, bloodthirsty brutes had surrounded and killed numbers of the timid creatures.

In 1842 Thomas Reynolds built a large log house on East Main street, near where the present Reynolds mansion now stands. He also put in operation a tannery and saw- mill at the same locality. These were the only business enterprises between the years 1840 and 1860.

In 1845 Tilton Reynolds, who was postmaster at Prospect Hill, brought down the post- office in a cigar- box, and handing it to his brother said, "Here, Tom, is the post- office. I am going away, and you will have to attend to it." For some time no attention was taken of, the change by the post- office department, until Mr. Thomas Reynolds requested that the name of the office be changed from Prospect Hill to Reynoldsville, which was done, and he was appointed postmaster. When Thomas Reynolds gave the name to the town by having the post- office called Reynoldsville, there were no houses west of the school- house hill, between Thomas Reynolds and Woodward Reynolds’s homes, except a small house built by Woodward Reynolds, on the site of the present Belnap house, and a log house that stood somewhere near the present Presbyterian Church, until Archibald Campbell put tip a row of small buildings east of what is now Sixth street. Archie Campbell, as he was called, was one of the pioneers of the town, and up to his demise in 1876, was well known throughout the county. He was a zealous patriot, a true friend to those whom he liked, and a member of the Presbyterian Church.

The editor of the Punxsutawney Tribune, who is a native of Reynoldsville, tells the following story of Archie Campbell’s peculiarities: "Whoever has lived long in Jefferson county must have known Archibald Campbell. ‘Archie’ was an Irishman by birth, and a financier by profession. He lived with his good wife, Mary Ann, in a little striped house on Main street, Reynoldsville, for many years, and was at one time sole proprietor of the Sandy Lick Hotel. The ‘Sandy Lick’ was the theater of many a lively scene during the palmy rafting days of twenty years ago. Archie made a good deal of money in those days by selling ‘swate molasses’ to the raftsmen at a dollar a pint. ‘Egad! No,’ Archie would say, ‘I kape no whusky,’ but I’ve got plenty of swate molasses.’ But with all his faults Archie was a pretty good kind of an Irishman when he was asleep. The peculiarity, however, which rendered Archie unique and original, was the eagerness with which he sought money, and the tenacity with which he clung to it. To illustrate: Once, when the writer was a little boy, Archie engaged him and his elder brother, Sid, to clean out his Augian cow stable. Archie kept a cow and a horse in a very small stable, which was never cleaned out as long as the animals were able to stand upright inside. ‘Now clam it out good boys,’ Archie said as we went to work with shovel and mattock, ‘and I’ll pay yees woll fer it.’ We worked hard all that day and the next day, finishing the job in the evening. Archie pronounced it first rate, and told us to go with him to the house and get our money. As times were pretty flush then, we didn’t expect to receive less than two dollars, but Archie soon put all our sordid calculations at rest by producing a three- cent ‘shinplaster,’ and presenting it to Sidney with the remark: ‘Guy Wully a cint av that! Egad, he earned it!’

"For many years afterwards, when, in playing ball, we happened to catch a fly or make a run, there was always some bad boy to yell, ‘Guy Wully a cint of that! Egad he earned it!’

"Archie was a warm friend of Dave Reynolds, and once he opened his heart so far as to give Dave’s little boy a little pig. A few months afterwards Archie got it into his head Dave was indebted to him, and he accordingly demanded a settlement. The settlement was made at once, and, very much to his chagrin and surprise, Archie came out two dollars in debt. He scratched his head a moment, then said!

‘Sure that pig is chape enough at two dollars!’

"‘But, said Mr. Reynolds, ‘I thought you gave that pig to the boy!’

"‘Egad! an I did,’ said Archie, ‘but sure I’m not the mon to allow a but of a pig sthand in the way of a settlement betwixt meself and Dave Reynolds!"

"Jimmy Kile was also an odd character, who figured in the early history of Reynoldsville. Although he and Archie Campbell prided themselves on their open-handed generosity, as most Irishmen do, they were chiefly celebrated for their penuriousness. Many and ingenious were the schemes that Archie would invent to avoid parting with a penny that would not bring him two in return. Once on a time the citizens of Winslow township took a notion to fix up the Prospect Cemetery, and in order to reach the Kiles and Campbells, who were wealthy, a subscription paper was put in the hands of Jimmy Kile. He called on Archie Campbell one morning with his paper, when the following colloquy took place:

"‘Gud morning, Muster Cummel.’

"‘Gud morning, Muster Kile.’

"‘Are ye’s all wull, this morning, Muster Cummel?’

"‘Yes, Muster Kile, there’s only meself and Mary Ann, and we’re all wull.’

"‘Muster Cummel, I’ve got a superscruption paper here to fix the graveyard beyand, an’ wud yer be afther puttin’ somethin’ down?’

"‘Egad! no, Muster Kile, not a cint for that oul cow- pasture. As long as I luv I won’t be buried there. Egad, I won’t!

‘Wull, Muster Cummel, we duffer in opunion on that, for if I luv and kape my health, I wull!’


The first school- house in this locality, a little log one, was built in 1836, on the hill above the present flouring- mill at Prescottville, It was known as the Fuller school- house, and in it Thomas Reynolds taught the first school under the common school system. A few years later another building was erected in Cold Spring Hollow, which was in constant use until 1874, when, it with a building of later date, was sold, and the large school building on Central Main street was erected in 1875. In the first few years of Reynoldsville’s existence religious services were only occasionally held. An old house on East Main street, afterwards remodeled and occupied by Milton Coleman, was often used for the purpose of holding religious meetings, and on one occasion, about the year 1852, the floor gave way, precipitating the congregation to the basement, and it is said that five persons perished in the accident, which was augmented by the fire from the overturned stove. The school- house in Cold Spring Hollow was used for Sunday-school purposes and as a place of worship for many years; then about 1861 C.H. Prescott built a Baptist Church in Prescottville, and in 1870 the Presbyterians built a church east of the residence of Thomas Reynolds, which was succeeded in 1881 by a large brick church on Main street. The Methodist and Lutheran Churches are also commodious and fine structures. In the latter the Episcopal services of the church, organized in Reynoldsville by that denomination in the spring of 1887, are held. The Baptist congregation have the foundation built for a large and elegant church, which they will occupy before the close of 1887. The Catholics, in 1873, built a commodious frame church, which took the place of a little building, which they had heretofore occupied in the eastern suburbs of the town. Miss Harriet Fuller, who taught school at the Fuller school- house about the year 1834, started the first Sunday- school. She was a very zealous worker, and when any of her scholars whispered or misbehaved at Sunday- school she would punish them the next day. She was afterwards Mrs. Guthrie, of Troy. In this school- house James McCreight and Mr. Ross also taught. In those days a debating society was held in the school- house, and Thomas Reynolds, who had been a strong temperance man in his New York home, where he was a prominent lecturer, organized the first temperance society in the township. Mr. Reynolds, in after years, acquired a taste for spirituous liquors from having brandy administered to him (much against his will) by his physician during a severe illness.

It is a strange coincidence that Wood ward Reynolds and Thomas Reynolds, coming from different localities, one from Kittanning and the other from the State of New York, and with no kinship or previous knowledge of each other, should have chosen this place for their home, and locating about a mile apart, one at the eastern and the other at the western part of what is now the thriving town of Reynoldsville. The town has been aptly named, called as it was for the pioneers who first settled there, and whose descendants make up so large and important portion of the citizens both of the town and township.

Of the older members of these families, nearly all have passed away, Mrs. Thomas Reynolds and Mrs. Woodward Reynolds alone remaining. There are three distinct families of Reynoldses now residing in Reynoldsville. Tilton, William, and Thomas were brothers, and their descendants now living number seventy- three. Of these Tilton Reynolds’s descendants are three children, thirty- three grand- children, and ten great- grand- children living.

William Reynolds’s descendants are five children and ten grand children living.

Thomas Reynolds, Sr., five children and seven grand- children living.

Woodward Reynolds, eight children living and eighteen grand- children.

Dr. Samuel Reynolds, who settled in Reynoldsville in the last decade, and represents the third family, has five children.

There are thirty- six in the town of Reynoldsville who answer to the name of Reynolds, and one hundred and four in the township.

Dr. William Reynolds, son of Tilton Reynolds, has in his possession the marriage certificate of his grandfather Reynolds, of which a copy is given below:

The President of the

Deleware State

To any Minister or Preacher of the Gospel.

Whereas Application hath been made unto me, by Thomas Reynolds and Ann Reynolds to be joined in Holy Matrimony, and finding upon due examination, that there is not any lawful Let or Impediment, by Reafon of Precontract Confanguinity, Affinity, or any other just Caufe whatfoever, to hinder the faid Marriage: Thefe are therefore to licence and authorize you to join the faid Thomas Reynolds & Ann Reynolds in the Holy Bands of Matrimony, and them to pronounce Man and Wife.

Given under my hand, and attefted by the Secretary of the faid State, under the public Seal of his Office, this Sixth day of October in the year of our Lord one Thoufand Seven hundred and ninety one.

The prevalence of the names of Reynolds and Smith was pretty aptly illustrated by the following, which appeared in the Reynoldsville "Paper" a few years ago:

"Reynolds vs. Smith -  Quite a mirthful explanation was given by Smith, the evangelist, of his non- arrival at Reynoldsville, as expected, some time since. Mr. W.H. Smith, the engineer, received the telegram which should have been sent to Mr. W.J. Smith, the evangelist, thus delaying the latter and puzzling the former.

"The evangelist remarked: ‘Smith is a very honest name, but often very inconvenient, but, indeed, not more so than other names in some localities. For instance, as I came up the Low Grade the last word I heard on board the train was ‘Reynoldsville,’ and stepping off confronted Mr. Reynolds. Of course I thought he was the founder of the town. As I perambulated the streets I saw ‘Reynolds House,’ ‘Reynolds Opera House,’ and ‘Reynolds Restaurant.’ I picked up a newspaper of the town, and lo! ‘Reynolds Herald,’ published by a ‘Reynolds’ company, and edited by W.S. Reynolds, met my eyes. Then there are ‘Reynolds Colliery’ and ‘Reynolds Grove.’ ‘Miss Reynolds’ is too numerous to mention, and ‘Mr. Reynolds’ is exceedingly plentiful. There are Dr. Reynolds and Albert Reynolds, both about six feet and three inches high; in fact every Reynolds I saw bordered on the Brogdingnag in stature, and when we consider their avoirdupois and number, we wonder where the rest of the people get room to live. So now if I get any of your names mixed, just blame it on Reynolds.

"The evangelist was seen in the post- office next morning enquiring for mail. ‘Smith?’ queried the postmistress. ‘Oh, that’s a horrible name! It used to be mine, but I changed it to Reynolds.’ Smith wore a sardonic smile as he marched away to the time of a sad tune. REYNOLDS."

Early Stores and Industries. -  Thomas Reynolds kept the first store in 1844 in his residence.

Frederick Farmer and Daniel Dunham are also mentioned as pioneer merchants of Reynoldsville. They kept in an old black house, six doors east of where King & Co.’s store was established in later years. They were followed by Washington Rhodes, who in turn gave way to Henry Gordon, and he, again, retired to make way for his son, Charles H. Gordon. Previous to 1860 Charles H. Prescott also kept store in Reynoldsville.

In 1860 John Reynolds, second son of Woodward Reynolds, returned from Kittanning, where he had been engaged in merchandising, and was elected justice of the peace for Windsor township, and in 1869 he introduced the first industry of the new town by erecting a planing- mill and sash and door manufactory on the corner of Main and First streets. This establishment was afterwards owned by James McGhee and C.R. Hall.

In 1871 George Thompson came to Reynoldsville, and a year later engaged in the planing- mill, sash, door and furniture manufactory, in conjunction with J.S. Winslow. This manufactory, which was located on the corner of South and Tenth streets, was afterward operated by Mathew R. Reynolds.

One of the most potent reasons adduced by Thomas Reynolds for wanting a town was to induce a physician to, locate there, as there was none nearer than Brookville. Those who have practiced the esculapian art will all be found noticed at length in Dr. C.M. Matson’s sketch of the medical profession of Jefferson county.

In 1871 Dr. R.M. Boyles and J. Van Reed came from Clarion county, erected a large store building on the corner of Main and Fifth streets, and kept a well- stocked drug store, until the fall of the following year they were burned out. Dr. William H. Reynolds was also engaged in the drug business in 1871.

Until 1870 -  71 Reynoldsville was one straggling street of widely separated houses, extending from the residence of Thomas Reynolds to the Reynolds House, and the population did not exceed two hundred; but the surveying of the Bennett’s Branch railroad, as it was then called, infused new life into the people, and the well known excellence and extent of the coal fields in and .about the town directed the attention of capitalists to the place. As has already been stated, the home farm of Woodward Reynolds was at once laid out into lots and sold by his sons, David and Albert, and at the same time E.C. Shultze, of St. Mary’s, Elk county, obtained the agency of the Thomas Reynolds lands, and at once proceeded to lay out over twenty streets of town lots, and to the push and energy of Judge Shultze is Reynoldsville greatly indebted for the opening up of the town. He died in 1875, and the lands which he had widely advertised, reverted, with the exception of the lots already sold, to their original owner.

Municipal Powers. -  In 1873 Reynoldsville was incorporated into a borough, and M.M. Miner was appointed chief burgess to fill the office until the next election. The next burgesses elected, were: J.W. Faust, M. D., F.M. Cole, R.C. Faust, David Hartman, and Albert Reynolds.

The rapid growth of the town until 1875, was astonishing, and it put on the airs of a little city; but the big fire of 1875, followed by another the following year, almost crushed the life out of the place and business languished, and it was not until the building of the Soldier’s Run railroad, and the opening of the mines, that the town "got on its feet again." The mines furnish the principal industry of the town, and William Sharpe, the pioneer of this coal region, deserves the praise for the first development of the now famous bituminous coal region of Reynoldsville.

The Fire Record of the Town. -  There has been several scathing fires in Reynoldsville, the greatest conflagration occurring on the 25th of August, 1875, by which twenty- one buildings in the heart of the town were destroyed, involving a loss estimated at almost $100,000, on which there was only $42,000 insurance. The principal losers were D.C. Oyster & Co., bankers, $3,000, insurance, $1,500; Burgess & Alexander, $4,000, insurance, $2,550; Reilley’s Arcade Block, $7,500, insurance, $4,500; C.H. Butler, $1,000, insurance, $600; E.L. Brown, $1,000, insurance, $500; F.M. Cole, $13,000, insurance, $7,500; A.M. Cotton, $3,000, insurance, $1,500; C.H. Gordon, $3,500, insurance, $1,580; Thompson & Degnan, $5,000, insurance, $2,000; L.P. Seeley, $10,000, insurance, $4,000; M. Winslow, $2,000, insurance, $1,100; Brandon & Reynolds, Herald, $4,000, insurance, $2,500; A. Bogner & Co., $11,000, insurance, $5,700; D. Reynolds, $4,000, insurance, $1,000; H.M. Iseman, $4,000, insurance, $2,500; Thompson & Reynolds, $5,000; John A. Doyle, $3,000, insurance, $2,000; S.B. Ake, $6,ooo, insurance, $2,400; A. Bogner, $1,000, insurance, $200; and a number of other losses ranging from $50 to $800.

Another disastrous fire occurred in 1876, by which all the dwellings on the north side of Main street, between Centennial Hall and the residence of Mrs. Amelia Reynolds, were destroyed. In the fall of the same year the planing- mill and sash and door factory of E. Campbell, and the machine- shop of Barclay & Crowell, with several dwelling- houses between First and Second streets, were destroyed. The following year the St. Charles hotel was burned down, and the saw- mill of H.S. Belknap, the large tenant house of Dr. R.M. Boyles, on Third street; the residence of W.H. Kneeland, on South, and above Grant, the shoe store and, residence of Isaac Winters, on Main street; the Warmick House in Ohio town, the large flouring mill of T. & S. McCreight, of Prescottville, have fallen victims to the devouring element. In the decade ending in 1870, some fifty of the best buildings on Main street were destroyed.

War Record. -  The war record of Reynoldsville is one of which they can well feel proud. The majority of their boys in blue marched to the front under Captain Tracy, of the One Hundred and Fifth Pensylvania, and subsequently served under Captains Conser and Reynolds. Of those who laid down their lives for the old flag, were Major John C. Conser, George W. Crossley, Benjamin L. Johnson, Joseph F. Green, Irvin R. Long, Philip N. Tapper, Daniel G. Carl, George Howlett, John Kirker, Joseph Rutter, John W. Rea, Hiram P. Sprague, Peter Sharp and John Winkleby. A few enlisted in other organizations, but they will all be found in that part of this work devoted to the war record of Jefferson county.

During the war the village was almost deserted. The men and the boys were doing the fighting, while the wives and children and the aged parents they had left behind were waiting in dreary suspense for "news from the war."

General Business. -  There is one banking house in Reynoldsville, established about 1874, by F.K. Arnold & Co. It is now owned by Seeley, Alexander & Arnold. W.B. Alexander is the cashier.

Charles H. Gordon, general store (double) clothing, dry goods, etc., was started in 1867, by C.H. Gordon & Brother, then C.H. Gordon, until 1875, when a co- partnership was formed by Mr. Gordon, with L.P. Seeley, as Gordon & Seeley. Mr. Seeley soon retired, and the business has since been conducted by C.H. Gordon.

McKibbon & Brown, drug store established November, 1874.

E.D. Seeley, dealer in groceries, established May, 1886.

Dr. S. Reynolds, drug store, established about 1879.

King & Coleman, drug store, established about 1871.

H.A. Stoke, drug store, successor to Stoke & McConnell, established in 1882, owned by Mr. Stoke since April 1, 1887.

J.B. Arnold, dry goods and clothing store, established by Arnold & Alexander, owned by J.B. Arnold, since 1884.

C.C. Gibson, dry goods and clothing store, established spring of 1882.

B.E. Wellendorf, dealer in all kinds of hardware, and house furnishing goods, carpets, etc., established October, 1875.

N. Hanan, general store, established in 1875, by Hanan & Strause. Since 1878, owned by N. Hanan.

Joseph Strause, general store, established June, 1879.

Guth & McConnell, jewelry store, established in April, 1883.

Hamilton & Dennison, dealers in dry goods, groceries, etc., successors to J.C. King & Co.; owned by present firm since March, 1886.

D. McCracken, dealer in groceries, established June, 1867.

J.A. Harding, grocery store, started in October, 1878, by Gordon & Harding. Since 1880, owned by J.A. Harding.

I.H. London, grocery, flour and feed store, started May, 1881.

S.J. Iseman, grocery store, established in 1885.

A.G. Milliron, grocery store, started by Jameson & Spears, in 1882, then sold to Jacob Schwem, who in turn disposed of it to A.G. Milliron, in 1885.

E.S. Lawrence, grocery store, successor to Degman & McDonald. The business has been run by the present proprietor since 1883.

W.S. Sankey, general store and grocery, established December, 1871.

Joseph S. Morrow, general merchandise, established April, 1885.

E.T. McGraw, boot and shoe store, established September, 1882.

S.T. Dougherty, grocery store. This store was removed from Brookville, about 1883, by I.C. Fuller, who run it a short time, when it was purchased by Mr. Dougherty.

Frank J. Black, book store, and news depot, established December, 1877. Joseph Zollner, Jr., jewelry store, and dealer in pianos, organs, etc., established in 1887.

Priester & Brother, dealers in furniture, established in 1887.

M. Cartin, grocery store, established by H.I. Cartin, in 1873.

Bell, Lewis & Yates, "company store," established in 1885, E.J. Lofts, manager.

Mrs. Mary G. Brown, millinery store, established in 1881.

Miss R. McCallin, millinery store, established in 1879.

Miss Hattie Cotton, millinery store, established April, 1887.

Mary E. Moore, millinery store, established in 1879.

Miss Florence Best, millinery and dressmaking, established April, 1887.

D. Bolger, merchant tailor, established December, 1879.

M. Geisler, merchant tailor, established August, 1884.

A.J. Broadhead, undertaking, painting and paper hanging, established in 1885.

J.C. Williams, photographer, established in spring of 1880.

William Foster, dealer in confectionery, established November, 1886.

William Barclay, bakery and confectionery, established in, 1883.

John Barto, bakery, established April, 1885.

Charles Fries, bakery, established May, 1887.

J. & H.C. Dible, wagon manufactory, established in 1875.

David Hartman, blacksmith and repair shop, established in 1874.

Samuel Sutter, blacksmith and general repair shop, established in 1878.

Aaron Rodgers, marble works, established in 1875, by Fulton & Rodgers. Rodgers sold his interest to his partner, William Fulton, in 1876, and re- purchased it in 1877.

T.H. Scott, shoemaker, established February, 1874.

William Barclay, saddlery and harness, established in 1884.

Felix Weber, saddlery and harness, established in 1886.

C.N. Lewis, general insurance agent.

H.H. Lewis, planing- mill, established in 1882.

William E. Philippi, and Burton E. Hoover, dentists.

Michael O’Halloran, tailor.

Joseph Shaffer, agent Adam’s Express Company.

H.M. Iseman, agent American Express Company.

Elwood DeHaven, cabinet maker.

Burns House, built by O. Grey, in 1855 or 1856, and sold to Thomas Reynolds in 1858. It is now owned by Charles Burns. Valentine Smith was the first landlord; the next was William Ferris, then Thomas Montgomery, William Vandevort, John Rodebaugh, then Charles Burns, who has had charge of it since, with the exception of one year, when it was run by John Dillman, until 1886, when H.L. Kastrop, took charge of the house.

The Reynolds House was built in 1850, by Woodward Reynolds, who kept the house until his death in 1861. Then it was managed for a time by his sons. It is now the property of his widow, Mrs. Amelia Reynolds, and has had numerous landlords in the last twenty- five years, among whom were H.S. Belknap and G.W. Stoke. ‘Thomas Evans is now occupying the property.

The Belknap House was built in 1873 -  74, by H.S. Belknap, who kept the hotel until 1883, when J.H. Clover became the landlord.

Schwem House, built in 1879, by Jacob Schwem, who, occupied it until 1887, when the property was purchased by Frank A. McConnell, who has refitted and remodeled the house, and is now ye landlord of the same.

A.M. Cotton, billiard parlor, established about 1875.

J.C. Dillman, billiard parlor.

William Priester, barber, successor to James Gale, established since 1879.

William Loding, barber, started in 1886.

R. Thomas, barber shop, established in 1887.

Thomas Tapper, livery, sale and exchange stable, established in 1873. In April, 1887, Mr. Tapper purchased the livery stable of Homer B. Leech, who had been in the business in Reynoldsville, since 1875, and consolidated it with his own.

Thomas Mahoney, meat market, established about 1873.

Blissell Brothers, meat market, established September, 1885.

William Wilie, meat market.


In 1853 Charles H. Prescott settled about a mile east of Reynoldsville, where the large flouring mill of R.S. Cathers, was located. Mr. Prescott entered largely in the lumber business, established a store, and gathered quite a number of workmen about him, and from 1860 to 1870, Prescottville was the centre of business in Winslow township. R.S. Cathers was also one of the prominent lumbermen of this place, and J.H. Corbet succeeded Mr. Prescott in the mercantile business. Mr. Prescott was an active member of the Baptist Church, and in 1870, was licensed to preach by the Reynoldsville Church. In 1876, he, in connection with John H. Corbet, built the Centennial Hall in Reynoldsville, in order to have a suitable place for religious services. The rooms underneath the hall are rented for secular business purposes, and the revenue thus derived, is, after the expenses are deducted, devoted to general missionary work. Mr. Prescott removed to Michigan about 1880, and his business interests in Jefferson county are now managed by his partner, Mr. Corbet. Prescottville is no longer a busy mart, the only industry of any kind being the large gristmill now owned by T. & S. McCreight. Dr. W.H. Reynolds’s drug store is the only store now in the place. In 1880 the census gives the population of Prescottville as one hundred and thirty.


This is that part of Reynoldsville situated on the west side of Sandy Lick, where the depot and offices of the Low Grade division of the Allegheny Railroad are situated. It has sprung into life since the building of the railroad, and since the building of the West Penn tannery is quite a busy place. In 1880 the census gave the population of Ohiotown as two hundred and forty- two; but it has been largely increased since then. There are two graded schools in this suburb, and the Ross and Moore hotels are also located there.

General Business. -  William Burge, grocery and general merchandise, established about 1878.

M. Sloppy, grocery store.

William Gibson, grocery, established in 1886.

The Ross House, built in 1878 by W.S. Ross, owner and proprietor. In 1883 an additional story was added, making it a three-story building, and in 1885 it was again enlarged, refitted and refurnished.

The Moore House, James Moore, owner and proprietor. This house was built by Dr. R.M. Boyles, in 1878, who sold it to Frank Best, who opened it as the Best House. It was then purchased by A.U. Moore, who changed it to the Moore House.

Reynoldsville machine shop, Herpel Brothers proprietors, started July, 1884. The proprietors of this shop are graduates of the Pittsburgh Locomotive Works, and make to order and repair mill, tannery and mine work.

Jones & Wilson, planing mill.

Saw and shingle- mill, built as a shingle- mill by H.S. Belknap, about 1883. It was then destroyed by fire, and rebuilt as a steam saw and shingle- mill. It is now owned and operated by David Wheeler.

M.T. McLain, manufacturer of Anchor pick, and general line of miner’s tools, established in 1879.

The West Penn Tannery ranks next to the coal mines in importance. It was built in 1881 by P.K. Grim & Son, from the eastern part of the State. They sold the concern to Messrs. Hall & Vaughn, of New York, in October, 1882. When they assumed control of it they were working one hundred and seventy- five sides per day, while they are now turning out every day as many as six hundred. Their plant is situated along the Low Grade division of the Allegheny Valley Railroad, on twenty- five acres of land, on which they have bark- mills and sheds with switch tracks running into them. They have room under roof for twelve thousand tons of bark, and they consume annually about twenty thousand tons of this material, five thousand tons of which is brought to them in wagons, while the remainder is conveyed to them by the Allegheny Valley and the Rochester and Pittsburgh Railroads. The output of the works is sole- leather exclusively, known as the "Union Backs," and having "West Penn" stamped on them. In the process of tanning, both the oak and hemlock bark is used, and the claim made by many of the consumers that it is more serviceable than other similar leather, seems irrefutable. The firm allow nothing to go to waste at the tannery. The grease they get from the fleshings taken from the hides, is made into three thousand pounds of tallow each week, while they separate the white hair from the dark, wash it and sell it to manufacturers of cheap clothing and carpets. The lime, after they are through with it, and the ashes of the burnt bark, which they use for fuel after they take the strength out of it, are sold for fertilizing. Not only is the West Penn Tannery one of the largest in Pennsylvania, but it is as well a model industry in every respect. It is equipped with every device and improvement necessary for the constant promotion of the business, and all of the buildings devoted to it are roofed with slate and iron. These buildings are protected against fire by large force pumps, buckets and ample hose to reach any part of the premises, which are illuminated throughout by the incandescent system of electric light produced by a plant the firm owns for the purpose. Messrs. Hall & Vaughn have never experienced any strike among their workmen, for they pay them good wages in cash every week and provide many of them with homes at very reasonable rent. The hides, the management work, are all of the Chicago slaughter, and when tanned the bodies are shipped to New York, while the scraps are sent to Boston to manufacturers of cheap stock. The grease is shipped to New York, and the hair, averaging 400,000 pounds per year is, shipped to Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia. A.P. Utter, is inside manager, and James Woodring is outside manager. They employ one hundred and twenty men.

Elections. -  The first election in Reynoldsville after it became a borough, was held October 21, 1873, and resulted in the election of the following persons to fill the different town offices: Burgess, M.M. Miner; justices of the peace, George E. Wisner, William H. Jackson; town council, J.B. McCracken, Joseph Pence, H.S. Belknap, W.S. Sankey, William K. Reynolds, J. Van Reed; auditors, D. Burgoon, J.L. Test, Albert Reynolds; constable, Samuel Saxton; high constable, William Heckman; assessor, R.F. Barns; assistant assessors, E. DeHaven, William Seeley; judge of election, William Ferris; inspectors, H.M. Clark, R.M. Boyles.

At the election held February 15, 1887, the following persons were elected: Justice of the peace, C.J. Kerr; burgess, A.G. Milliron; constable, Jerry Heckman; high constable, James Tigue; collector, Albert Reynolds; town council, James Spear, D.P. Wormer; school directors, J.W. Foust, H.C. Deible; assessor, O.F. Smith; auditors, C.C. Gibson, three years, H.H. Stoke, one year, A.T. Bings, unexpired term; poor overseer, James Butler, two years, William Ferris, one year, E.T. McGaw, unexpired term; judge of election, J.C. Swartz; inspectors, J.C. Ferris, Harry Cartin. The other justice of the peace for Reynoldsville, is Thomas H. Scott. The other members of the school board are P.F. Bolger, David Wheeler, C. Mitchell and W.B. Alexander.

Taxables and Population. -  The number of taxables in Reynoldsville in 1880, were 631; in 1886, 729. The population according to census of 1880, was 1,410.

Assessments and Valuation. -  The triennial assessment for 1886, gives the number of acres of seated land in Reynoldsville as 200, valuation $3,710; average per acre, $18.55; number of houses and lots, 661; valuation $95,523; unseated lots, 170; valuation, $6,755; average, $35.74; number of horses, 125; valuation, $8,041; average value, $24.33; cows, 113; valuation, $973; average value, $8.61; occupations, 51.10; valuation, $12,777; average value, $25.05. Total valuation subject to county tax, $122,779. Money at interest, $17,501.

School Statistics. -  The number of schools in Reynoldsville, for the year ending June 7th, were 8; length of term, 6 months; number of male teachers, 4; female teachers, 4; average salary of male teachers, $40; female, $30; number of male scholars, 246; female scholars, 233; average attendance, 424; per cent of attendance, 90; cost per month, 54 cents. Thirteen mills were levied for school, and five for building purposes. Total amount of tax levied, $2,407.14.


Pancoast is another little village in Winslow township, situated on the Low Grade Railroad, which owed its existence to the opening of the mines of the Reynoldsville and Washington coal companies, and was for several years quite .a brisk little mining town, but the collieries are now worked out. In 1880 the census gave the population of Pancoast as 131.



This is also a little hamlet situated on the same railroad: It has one store and the post- office of Sandy Valley. William Boner manages both. In 1880 the population of Sandy, Valley was 77.


Rathmel is at the terminus of the Soldier’s Run Railroad, and where the upper mines of Bell, Lewis and Yates are situated. It is a small place, started about the time of the finishing of the Low Grade Railroad, by John A. Wilson, of Philadelphia, chief engineer of the road, who built a large steam saw- mill there.

* This is taken from the election docket and does not specify which candidates were elected.

Source:  Page(s) 606-630, History of Jefferson County by Kate M. Scott. Syracuse, N.Y., D. Mason & Co., 1888.

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