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Clearfield County

History of Clearfield County

by

Lewis Cass Aldrich

published 1887

 

Chapter 42

 

Copyright

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HIST0RY
OF
CLEARFIELD COUNTY
PENNSYLVANIA

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES
OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS

EDITED BY
LEWIS CASS ALDRICH

SYRACUSE, N. Y.
D. MASON & CO., PUBLISHERS
1887

 

 Chapter 42

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CHAPTER XLII.

HISTORY OF JORDAN TOWNSHIP.

 

     JORDAN township was formed from Beccaria September 4, 1834. Alexander Irvin, David Ferguson and Robert Ross were appointed commissioners to view, lay out and fix the lines for the new township. They viewed the proposed location, and reported favorably November 18, 1834. Their report was confirmed February 5, 1835, and the township named Jordan by the court, in honor of Hugh Jordan, an associate judge of the county, and an ex-soldier of
 

 

 

 

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the Revolutionary War. The greater number of the early settlers of this part of the county were industrious, frugal and pious, and have left to their posterity a lasting monument in the shape of a model character, and some of the richest and most beautiful farms in the county. The citizens are devoted chiefly to agricultural pursuits. The soil is fertile, and under the skillful tillage of the live farmers, produces abundant crops.

 

     James Rea, the first settler of what is now Knox township, moved in 1819 to the land now owned by his sons, and thus became the first settler of the territory now embraced in Jordan township. He was the only son of Samuel Rea, who came from Ireland, and settled in York county, Pa. James was a large, muscular man, well suited to pioneer life. Some time after he settled in Jordan township, he and some of his neighbors concluded to seek their fortunes in the West. Mr. Rea was delegated a committee to go out and take a view of the country. He went as far as Iowa, but returned with a very unfavorable report, saying he had concluded to live among the hemlocks, and drink the pure water of Clearfield county while he lived. This resolution he carried out, and remained on his farm the balance of his life, which terminated in February, 1862. Samuel, his eldest son, married Lydia Ricketts, of Mount Pleasant, and located on a farm in Knox township, of which place he was a citizen until his death, January 5, 1887; Nancy married John Patterson, mentioned elsewhere, and has been dead for several years ; Thomas married Hannah Bloom, whose death we have chronicled in the history of that family. He survives and lives on his farm, which is a part of his father's purchase. James married Jane, daughter of John Dillen, of Mount Pleasant. She died and he is now married to Mrs. Eliza Corrigan, of Columbia, Pa. He also lives at the old homestead. His brother, Robert, whose wife is dead, lives with him. Crawford is dead.

 

     About 1820 John Swan, sr., left his home in New York State, where he had married Miss Phoebe Tubbs, and started to the State of Ohio. He stopped at or near where Tyrone now is, on account of some of his party being sick and not able to proceed. He stayed there for some time, being a forgeman by trade. He finally concluded to come over into what is now Clearfield county, where land was cheap. Accordingly, in company with Truman Vitz, he came into what is now Jordan township, cutting his way through the forest all the way from Tyrone. He and Mr. Vitz purchased four hundred and thirty-three acres of land, the same land now constituting the beautiful farms owned by his son John, and Major D. W. Wise. Some time after this, we cannot learn how long, Mr. Vitz moved to Meadville, Pa., and we can learn no more about him. Mr. Swan commenced the manufacture of lye soon after his arrival. Kettles holding twenty barrels, were procured at Pittsburgh, Pa. Large quantities of wood were cut and burned, the ashes were leached, and the lye boiled down and shipped in barrels down the river on rafts. This made a market for wood ashes, and his neighbors for some distance around hauled their ashes to

 
 

 

 

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this immense lye factory. This was soon improved upon by building a large oven, and concentrating the liquid by intense heat into potash, which answered the same purpose, and brought better prices, with a reduced cost of transportation. He also erected machinery for grinding rock oak bark for tanning purposes. This he boxed and shipped to Philadelphia on an ark, receiving sixty dollars per ton for it. He also turned his attention to agriculture, which supplied the family with products of that kind, although in a commercial way it did not pay, for wheat brought only forty-five cents per bushel. Mr. Swan died here, and was buried at Zion Cemetery. Anson, the eldest son, for whom Ansonville was named, was never married, but lived with his friends at Ansonville, until his death in 1883 ; Sophronia married William Hartshorn, who is now dead, and his widow is living at Curwensville, with her daughter, Mrs. Doctor Crouch ; Harvey moved to Ohio and married there. He died in 1857. Eliza married a Mr. Winslow, of New York State. Both are now dead. John married Catherine Williams, a sister of David Williams, mentioned elsewhere. They are both living on the old homestead about one mile from Ansonville. Henry married Lucinda, daughter of Benjamin Bloom, of Pike township. He is a prominent citizen of Ansonville, and has done much to build up the place. He kept the only store there for many years. He is now justice of the peace, which office he has held for twenty-seven years. Mrs. Swan died at her home in Ansonville, September 4, 1883. Harriet, a twin sister of Henry, married Edmund Williams. They moved to Illinois, where she died in 1867.

 

     James McNeel emigrated from County Tyrone, Ireland, when about twenty-one years old, and settled in Sinking Valley, where he married Elizabeth Crawford, of that place. He stayed there a short time, and then came to Jordan township, and purchased three hundred acres of land, the same being now owned by his sons James, Joseph and Isaac, his daughter Mary, his grandson Taylor McNeel and John Mays. The children of the first wife were Nancy, who married James Ramsey, and moved to Illinois ; Thomas married a Miss Russell. He died in Illinois. Ann married William Atleman, and moved to Centre county, where she died. Ellen married William Speer, and lived in Johnstown until her death ; Marshall, the youngest, died in California in 1883. His second wife was Mary Ricketts, daughter of Isaac Ricketts, of Mount Pleasant, and to them eight children were born. Eliza, the eldest, married John Hunter, and lives on a farm near Ansonville ; John married Mary Jane Glasgow, of Blair county. He is now a widower, and lives with his son, Taylor. James G. married Mary Jane Lynch, of Pike township, and lives on part of the old place ; Joseph married Mary Jane McCreight, and lives on his farm, which was part of his father's purchase ; Mary married Frank McCormick, of Ireland. He is dead, and his widow lives on her place, which was a part of the original purchase. Lydia married Lance Root ; both are dead. Isaac married Mary Jane Davis, of Mount Pleasant, Pa., and lives near his old home.

 

 

 

 

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Caroline died when twelve years old. The parents lived to a good old age, the mother surviving her husband several years, died at the old homestead about four years ago, and was buried by his side in Fruit Hill Cemetery.

 

     David Williams came here from Centre county in April of 1833. He purchased the large tract of land which is now owned by his sons, James G., and William, and Martin, Nolen, and Mrs. Green, of Ferguson townships, from Shoemaker and Irvin. He built a shanty on the Spring Run, below the present residence, in the woods, where the trees were so thick they could not see the sun except when looking straight up through the trees. He built a grist-mill on the run the same year, which was one of the first mills in this part of the county. The millwrights were Joseph, Michael, and Silas Solly. The bolting-cloth for this mill was purchased at Lewistown, Pa., and brought here by private conveyance. Mr. Williams also turned his attention to farming and improved the land mentioned above, but still kept the mill running until it was worn out. Some parts of the old dam is all that is left to mark the spot where it was located. Mr. Williams has been dead many years, but his widow, who was, previous to her marriage, Mary Glenn, is still living at the age of seventy-seven, and attends to all the household duties herself, living with her son William, who owns and cultivates the farm. He was never married, and is the support and companion of his aged mother. James G. lives on a part of the old farm. He married Matilda, a daughter of Alfred D. Knapp, who improved the farm now owned by James McKeehen, and after­ward moved to Iowa, where he now lives. Martha married Alexander Henderson, and lives in Illinois. Lucinda, John, and Austin are dead.

 

     Robert Patterson came with his parents from Ireland and settled first in Virginia. From there they moved to Maryland, and afterward to Centre county, Pa., where lie married Elizabeth McCormick. He then came to what is now Clearfield county, and lived for some time in Lawrence township. From there he moved to Beccaria, afterwards Jordan township, probably about 1823 or '24, and took advantage of the offer made by Morgan, Rawles, and Peters, of fifty acres gratis, by buying the other fifty acres of a hundred acre tract, at four dollars per acre. The land in that vicinity is yet known as " Morgan's Land." Mr. Patterson possessed a knowledge of books, as well as of clearing land and cultivating it, and put his talents to use by farming during the summer season and teaching school in the winter. Of his children, Agnes married Thomas Witherow, who died some years ago. She is still living with her sons in Knox township, at the age of eighty-two. Jane married Christian Erhard, whose name we have mentioned in the history of Knox township. She died in 1882 at her home in New Millport, leaving several sons and daughters, who are mostly citizens of the latter place and vicinity. Joseph married Margaret Erhard, a sister of David, and lived on his farm in Ferguson township until his death, three years ago. His widow died April 15, 1887, at

 

 

 

 

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the home of her daughter, Mrs. David Johnston, at the age of eighty-four years. Robert married Catherine, daughter of John Thomson, sr., of this township. He lives on his farm in Knox township. Mrs. Patterson died some years ago, and his widowed sister, Mrs. Eliza High, lives with him. John married Nancy, daughter of James Rea, mentioned elsewhere. She died several years ago, and he married Margaret, daughter of John Hunter, of Jordan township. She is also dead, and he is now married to Mrs. Nancy Bright, and lives on is farm in his native township. James married Rebecca McCormick, of Armstrong county, and is at present living on a farm in Beccaria township. Jemima married James Wilson and lives in Jordan township.

 

     Abram Bloom came from Northampton county, N. J., to Northampton, county, Pa., and from there moved to Jordan township in 1831. He located on the land now known as the Lafayette Bloom Farm, near Fruit Hill Church. He lived here a few years and returned to Northampton county. Three of his children now live in the township. William T. lives on his farm near Fruit Hill, and carries on the undertaking business in Ansonville. Isaac lives near Johnston's school-house, and has been justice of the peace for a number of years. Abraham, jr., lives on his farm in the township. When I commenced to write this sketch I reported Mrs. Thomas Rea the only daughter here as living, but ere [sic] I had it completed she was called to her eternal home. Jane married Joseph Caldwell, but is now a widow. Elizabeth married Metzgar Price. They are both living in Pike township.

 

     The Johnstons are numerous in this township. They are all descendants of Robert and James, two brothers, who came to this country from Scotland fifty or more years ago. Robert settled on the tract now owned by his son David. Seven children survive him. Robert M. married Priscilla Wise, a sister of ex-Treasurer D. W. Wise, of this township. He lives on his farm, one of the most valuable in the township. John C. has been in the mercantile business in Ansonville for many years. His first wife was Christina Curry, who died about five years ago. His present wife was Mrs. Martha Witherow, widow of Henry Witherow, deceased, and daughter of Frederick Shoff, of Beccaria township. He is now in partnership with John McQuilkin in a meat market in Ansonville. David married Martha Patterson, and lives on the old homestead. James married Mary Jane, daughter of John Witherow, deceased, of Knox township, and lives on his farm near Ansonville. Mary married Reuben Caldwell, and lives in Knox township. Belle married Isaac Bloom, and Elizabeth married Samuel Witherow, both well-to-do farmers of this township. Mark was killed by a tree while chopping a clearing. William was killed by a runaway horse while returning from Charles Lewis's smith shop. James Johnston located where his son James now lives, near Johnston's school-house. Some thirty years ago, one Saturday afternoon, he attended a meeting of the session at the Fruit Hill Presbyterian Church. By a previous arrangement

 

 

 

 

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he had intended to go home by way of John Thomson's, having some business with Mr. Thomson, but for some reason changed his mind and concluded to go over a day or two later. He was riding horseback, and just after he passed where R. M. Johnston now lives, a dead chestnut tree that stood by the road side fell, mashing the horse and his rider to the ground. Why it so happened that he changed his mind and went home by that road, and why the tree fell on that calm still day just as Mr. Johnston was going by it, are questions which mortals cannot answer. Two sons, James, jr., and Robert survive him, and both live in the township. Mrs. John Glasgow, of Glen Hope, is the only daughter living.

 

     John Thomson, sr., came here from Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1832. He purchased land and made an improvement in sight of where Ansonville is now located, being now in possession of Hon. W. A. Wallace, of Clearfield. Soon after settling here he wrote to his only son, John, who had preceded him to this country about two years, and was living at Pottsville, Pa., that the Carsons wanted to sell their improvement. Young John at once packed his effects, came to Jordan and purchased the Carson place. He married Rebecca, daughter of Thomas Lord, and settled down to improve the farm, where he spent the remainder of his life. As a result of his labor we find one of the most beautiful and valuable homes in the county, owned now by his son Joseph, a prominent citizen of the township. Of the thirteen children, six are now living. Joseph and Benjamin live in Jordan township ; Thomas married Lucinda, and Jerry, Harriet, daughters of John Swan. They, with their brother David, live in Colorado. John, the eldest son, married Nancy Lynch, and lives in New Mexico. John Thomson, sr., died in 1872 at the ripe old age of ninety-six years ; his son, surviving him but ten years, died in 1882, aged seventy-six.

 

     Zion Baptist Church.—Rev. Samuel Miles preached occasionally in this part of the county as early as 1835. The meetings were held in private houses at first, but afterward the old school-house that stood near where the old Zion Church now stands, was used for church purposes. In 1841 Rev. Miles organized the society with the following members : David Williams, Thomas Davis, Hannah Davis, George W. Peters, Mary Peters, and Harriet Swan. This little society of six members soon increased in numbers, and steps were taken toward building a house of worship, which was completed some time between 1843 and 1846. The location is about three miles from Ansonville. The church is yet used on funeral occasions, as the Baptist cemetery adjoins the church-yard, and a majority, or perhaps all of the persons that were instrumental in the organization of the society here repose in this rural city of the dead. In 1872, by vote of the congregation, the place of worship was moved to Ansonville. The present commodious and substantial brick structure was reared that year under the pastorate of Rev. Thomas Van Scoyic. The building complete cost eleven thousand dollars, of which George G. Williams, a

 

 

 

 

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member then in moderate circumstances, contributed more than two thousand dollars. Rev. Miles remained with this congregation twenty-four years without intermission. During the seven years he lived at New Washington, Pa., he preached here occasionally, and in 1880 became the regular pastor, and is at this writing.

 

     In 1862 Rev. Runyan preached here some six months, and the next year Rev. Lovell, who afterward united with the Swedenborgian denomination, preached about the same length of time. Rev. Thomas Van Scoyic, the wealthy minister of Mount Pleasant, served the charge most acceptably from 1865 to 1875. He was followed in 1876 by Rev. E. C. Beard, who remained four years. In 1884 a house of worship was erected at Marron, in Ferguson township, for the convenience of the members in that district, but it is only a branch of the parent society, and not a separate church. The deacons are George G. Williams, John Swan, sr., and Robert L. Miles. Arthur B. Straw is the clerk.

 

     Rev. Samuel Miles, mentioned above, came from good old Baptist stock from away back, the name being closely identified with the history of that denomination. The subject of this sketch is the oldest active minister in the county, and perhaps in the State. He can trace his genealogy back to 1701, when Richard Miles left his home in Wales, emigrated to America, and settled at Radnor, Delaware county, Pa. Samuel belongs to the fifth generation since their settlement in this country. He claims to be a citizen of the United States in a peculiar sense. He is the son of John and Mary Miles, and was born in the United States arsenal, on the Schuylkill, at Gray's Ferry, about three miles from Philadelphia, but now in the city, November 12, 1806. He was one of a family of nine children—five sons and four daughters. All of the sons were Baptist ministers except John, mentioned in the history of Fer­guson township. Samuel came with his father to Milesburg, Centre county, Pa., where his grandfather had preceded him, purchased the land, and laid out the town. He entered the ministry, and was ordained at Milesburgh in 1834. His first work was at Beech Woods, where he located the same year, but also preached at Luthersburgh, Curwensville, Clearfield, and in Jordan township. He went to Venango county, Pa., in 1838, where he remained two years. From there he came to Jordan township in 1841, where he has remained ever since, with the following exceptions. He spent two years in Brooklyn, Ia., where he lost his companion, whose name, previous to her marriage to Mr. Miles, was Mary Ann Lipton, of Milesburgh. In 1866 he returned to Pennsylvania and located at Reynoldsville, where he served as pastor nine years, and during his stay here married Miss Elizabeth Robinson, his present wife. From there he moved to New Washington, Pa., where he remained seven years, and then returned to his former charge at Ansonville. Since that time he has built a comfortable home in that village, and will probably remain there the

 

 

 

 

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balance of his natural life. He has been moderator of the Clearfield Baptist Association many years, and it is said has possibly preached more funeral sermons than any minister in the country. His fame in that particular ministration is widespread. John, his eldest son, one of the first merchants in the village of Ansonville, married Ellen Wright, of Pike township. He moved to the West and died there. The other sons living are : Robert, hardware mer­chant, of Ansonville ; George I., of Chest township, and Joseph, who lives in Kansas. The daughters living are : Kate, Anna, and Hannah, of Jefferson county, Pa., Mary, of Zanesville, 0., and Eliza, of Argentine, Kan.

 

     The Roman Catholic Church, in Jordan township, was built, as near as we can learn, about 1845. It is located on the Gilligan farm, about two miles from Ansonville. It is still in fair condition, although somewhat neglected. Rev. Father McEntee, of Coalport, holds service once a month. The membership is not large.

 

     Ansonville is pleasantly located on the elevation or dividing ridge between the headwaters of the South Fork of Little Clearfield Creek and Potts Run. The land now occupied by the village was once owned by the Swans, and the place was named in honor of Anson Swan, a deaf and dumb brother of John and Henry Swan. The population of the place, including Strawtown or Bretzinville, approximates three hundred. The first building in the place was built by a Mr. Singer, who is not now here. It is situate between R. L. Miles's store and the Presbyterian parsonage, and was at first occupied as a store by John Miles and James Foutz, being the first in that vicinity. The house is still standing in a fair state of preservation, and is now occupied as a dwelling. The present owner is Mrs. W. T. Bloom.

 

     In 1853 Henry Swan built a large store-room on the corner opposite the Ansonville Hotel, and occupied it as a general store until 1874. Soon after this it burned down, and the lot remained vacant until 1884 or 1885, when Dr. A. E. Creswell purchased it and built the large store-rooms and dwelling since purchased by C. D. McMurry, and at present occupied by him as a general store, and by H. Gilliland as a clothing store.

 

     The hardware store in the building erected by W. T. Bloom in 1885 is doing a good business. Robert L. Miles is the proprietor and knows how to handle that class of goods successfully.

 

     In the summer of 1883 Nate Arnold, of New Washington, Pa., built the large store-room nearly opposite the Baptist Church. It is now occupied by Barney Rubinowitz as a general store. A large skating-rink was built the year following, but it was only remunerative while the craze for that sport lasted; it is now seldom used. Bloom Brothers are the proprietors.

 

     The Ansonville Hotel, the only one in the village, was occupied for several years by J. A. Dillen. It was purchased about two years ago by W. W. Nor­ris, who, on account of the large influx of people in 1885, repaired it and built

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a large addition to it. He then sold to Sanford McNeal, who now entertains the traveling public.

 

     Cal. Davidson, the contractor and builder, and George W. Bollinger, the stone-mason of the town, are located here, and have lately built for themselves neat and attractive homes. Dr. S. J. Miller, a graduate of the University of New York City, located here in March, 1886. He is the only physician in the place, and enjoys a large practice. About three years ago Ansonville had three physicians--A. E. Creswell, J. K. Wrigley, and J. A. Murray. Dr. Creswell is now located in Florida, Wrigley in Maryland, and Murray at Mahaffey, Pa.

 

     As near as we can learn, the Ansonville post-office was established some thirty years ago. Eliza Chase, now Mrs. W. T. Bloom, was postmistress. Henry Swan had the office from 1864 to 1868, and was succeeded by Joseph Thomson, and he by Arthur B. Straw. J. C. Johnston succeeded Mr. Straw, and had charge of the office several years until 1886, when C. D. McMurry, the present incumbent, was appointed.

 

     The place supports two brick-kilns—one owned by John W. Leonard, and the other by Frank Wise. John Klinger is the only blacksmith in the place, and has been a citizen of the town for several years. In April, 1886, the Patriotic Order Sons of America, organized a lodge ; it convenes in the neat little hall owned by John Leonard, and is in good working order.

 

     The Ansonville Gazette, a weekly paper, was started by Wilson Dillen, who was editor and proprietor, in the early part of 1886. Unlike the omnibus, it seemed there was not room for one more, and the venture was not successful, consequently was abandoned six months after its introduction. Mr. Dillen is now filling a lucrative position in Colorado.

 

     A portion of Gazzam is located in the township, and is the seat of the coal operations. The prospects are that the mining interest will soon usurp, to some extent, the agricultural. The mineral under some of the best farms has been sold, and operations will, no doubt, be extended as the demand increases for this product, which is said to be of a superior quality. Miles Bloom owns the principal private bank, which is the largest and best vein yet opened, and from it the local demand is supplied. Besides the mills already noted, we find two others now in operation ; one is owned by the Clearfield Bituminous Coal Company, and is located on the Little Clearfield Creek, above Gazzam ; the other is owned and operated by Straw, Ferguson & Straw, and is located near James McKeehen's.

 

     In the not far distant future, Jordan township will be divested of its former immense wealth in oak, pine, and hemlock timber.

 

     Schools.—The first school-house built in the township was erected in 1820, near where Mrs. Lafayette Bloom's house now stands, and not far from where the Fruit Hill Presbyterian Church was afterwards built. The house was built

 

 

 

 

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of logs. A square pen-shaped arrangement was built inside to do service as a flue. The windows were made by cutting one or two logs off in the side of the building and pasting greased paper over the hole to keep the wind and cold out. The writing desks were made by driving pins in the walls of the building and fastening thereto a slab with the flat side up. The seats were also made of slabs, with the round side up. The first teacher of this school was David Cathcart, who afterward located in Knox township, where he purchased a large tract of land, part of the timber of this land being recently sold by his sons for a considerable amount of money. He had a large family of children, most of them now living in Knox township.

 

     Robert Patterson, sr., whom we have mentioned elsewhere, also taught here, and some say, was the first teacher, but others, that Cathcart was the first. We find also that John Watson taught here, but are not able to learn what became of him. Some years after a little log school-house was built near where Major Wise now lives. Asil Swan, an uncle of John and Henry, was one of the first teachers. The house has long since gone the way of all old houses, and history fails to record any of the exploits of its graduates. The old log school-house that stood near where the old Zion Church now stands is also one of the things of the past. Rev. S. Miles taught school and preached in this house as early as 1843, and the house was built previous to that time. The school facilities have been improved as well as the land, and at this time six schools are required to accommodate and educate young America. They are divided into districts as follows : Ansonville, Fruit Hill, Johnston's, Whitmer, Patterson, and Green's Run. The directors are John Swan, jr., Reuben Straw, James Raney, Joseph McNeal, James McKeehen, and David Johnston. Mr. A. M. Buzard taught the first select school in Ansonville during the summer of 1884, with forty students in attendance. He also taught the two succeeding years with an increased membership, and was assisted by Harvey Roland. Mr. Buzard is at present in the drug business here, and the school is taught by J. F. McNaul, of Curwensville.

 

     Fruit Hill Presbyterian Church.—In 1835 Revs. David McKinney and Samuel Wilson were sent as missionaries to Clearfield county, and preached in private houses—Jordan township being part of their field of labor. The organization at Fruit Hill was effected August 23, 1839, by Rev. Samuel Hill, minister, and Thomas Owens, elder. The members enrolled at the organization were John Thomson, jr., William W. Feltwell, Esther Feltwell, Isaac Mc­Kee, James Johnston, Isabella Johnston, Thomas Witherow, Agnes Witherow, Thomas McNeel, Nancy McNeel, James Rea, Mary McNeel, Robert McCracken, jr., James Dickson, Jane Dickson, Rebecca High, John Orr, Catherine Patterson, Hannah McKee, Margaret McCullough, Robert Johnston, Mary Johnston, Donald McDonald, Elizabeth Patterson, and Rachel McCracken, with Robert Patterson, sr., James McNeel, sr., John Thomson, sr., and Robert McCracken as the first elders.

 

 

 

 

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     About two or three years after the church was organized preparations were made to build a house of worship. I am told that only fifteen dollars was subscribed, and that by Rev. Betts, of Clearfield. The balance was paid in work done by the members, who also furnished the material. The church was finally completed in 1845. It was a plain, wooden structure, and was used by the congregation until 1877. During that year the present large brick structure was completed at a cost of between nine and ten thousand dollars, and dedicated in the autumn of the same year by Rev. Dr. Wilson, of Birmingham, assisted by the pastor, Rev. D. H. Campbell, and others. Rev. William Murphy came to the charge in 1846, but only served a short time, Rev. Alexander Boyd being installed pastor in 1848 or '49. James Hamilton also preached to this congregation for some time, but whether as a supply, or regular pastor, I could not learn. The charge must have been served by supplies for several years, as the next regular pastor of whom we have any account is Rev. William M. Burchfield, who was installed pastor in 1863, having served as a supply for some time previous. He is now living at Du Bois, Pa. Rev. Newall supplied the charge some three years. The next regular pastor was Rev. David H. Campbell, now of Mount Union, Pa., who stayed with this people about ten years. December, 1886, Rev. E. P. Foresman received and accepted a call, and is the present pastor. The membership now numbers two hundred and thirty, perhaps the largest country church in the county. The present elders are William A. Bloom, John G. Wilson, Reuben Caldwell, and Robert M. Johnston. The trustees are Joseph Patterson, Conrad Bloom, David Johnston, John T. Patterson, James Hunter, and Joseph R. Thomson. The Sabbath-school is under the direction of the pastor, who is superintendent. On account of a number of the members living at too great a distance to attend, the school has but one hundred and twenty-five members.

 

     Berwinsdale is located at the head of North Whitmer Run, on the Clearfield and Jefferson Railroad, which was built during the year 1886. It is the second town both as to age and size in Jordan township. The first improvement at this place was a saw-mill, built by David McKeehen about 1847. The property was afterward successively owned by Joseph Patterson, sr., William Irvin, Henry Swan, Hezekiah Patterson, and Swan & Co., the present owners, who came in possession in 1883, at which time the town began to grow, and now has a population of about one hundred souls. Besides the large saw-mill for manufacturing rough lumber, the company also manufactures building materials such as shingles, lath, siding, and flooring. They also have a chop-mill in operation. A general store is kept by Barney Rubinowitz, being a branch of his Ansonville store. The post-office here was established in 1883, and named after the village. Anson Swan was appointed as the first postmaster. He was succeeded in 1886 by Michael Smith, the present incum­bent, who is also engaged in the mercantile business. The shipping of bitu‑

 

 

 

 

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minous coal, which was commenced in April of this year (1887), is likely to become the principal industry. During the winter of 1886-7 Rev. J. A. Miller, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, held a protracted meeting, and organized a class, of which Mr. Rush is the leader, and Revs. Henry N. Minnigh and Bruce Hughes, of Lumber City circuit are the first regular pastors. This is the first and only church organization in the place. They worship in a small house fitted up for the purpose, but subscriptions are out and a church will probably be erected in the near future.

 

 

 

 

   

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