History of Lawrence County Pennsylvania, 1770 - 1877, by S.W. and P.A. Durant.
[p. 73] The township bearing the above name was erected from the eastern part of Neshannock township some time during the Winter of 1859-60, the exact date not being given on the records. It comprises an area of about nine thousand eight hundred acres, and is rich in both agricultural and mineral resources, the latter being a prominent feature. It is watered by the Big Neshannock creek and its tributaries, on all of which there is extensive water-power, which may be easily utilized. The principal branch of the Neshannock in the township, is East Brook, or what was formerly known as Huttebaugh or Hettenbaugh Run. On this stream there are, in the distance of about three and a-half miles, no less than seven dams, in some instances located not more than twenty or thirty rods apart.
The coal found in the township is of excellent quality, but the vein is quite thin, and in some places hardly paying to work on that account, and having the additional disadvantage of a bad roof. Enough, however, is mined for local use, and a considerable quantity is taken to New Castle. The glass-works at Croton get the coal which they use from a bank just outside the city limits, on the Harlansburg road, and consider it the best for their purpose. In other localities a very fine quality of coal for blacksmith's use is found. It will readily be seen, therefore, that the deposit of coal beneath the surface of the township, though comparatively small beside that of other localities, is one of the most important factors in the growth and prosperity of the neighborhood in which it is found.
Iron ore is also found in paying quantities along the Neshannock creek, but the same disadvantages attend its development which are met in opening the coal veins, or at least some of them. It lies generally close to the surface, and in taking it out the land is broken to a greater or less extent, rendering it unfit for agricultural purposes. On account of these drawbacks comparatively little is done toward bringing out in full the resources the township possesses in this line. The ore is of a good quality, and known as the "blue ore."
The surface of the township is more or less hilly and broken, owing to the many streams which flow through it, and the summits of the highest hills or ridges are probably three hundred feet above the Neshannock creek. The creek forms the boundary between the townships of Hickory and Neshannock. The New Castle and Franklin railway passes along the left bank of the creek, until it reaches East Brook station, where it crosses on a wooden truss bridge. Along the creek is found some most romantic scenery. In places the channel is narrowed down to a rocky gorge, with precipitous overhanging piles of sandstone frowning upon the valley, their sides and summits covered with a dense growth of hemlock, and an occasional gloomy-looking ravine, affording greater solemnity and loneliness, which is hardly surpassed in its effect anywhere. The rock is sandstone, and generally piled up in thin and broken strata, caused by some mighty upheaval, although in a few localities the strata are thicker and afford very good building-stone. They rest usually on a lower stratum of shale, or slaty fragments, approaching the coal measures.
Springs are numerous and constant; timber is abundant; desirable building sites are found in almost every locality; the lover of the beautiful in nature can have his most exquisite taste gratified; the manufacturer finds every facility for promoting his business in its various branches; the health of the community is excellent; schools and churches of the best character serve to immense advantage in furthering the social, moral and intellectual standing of an already prosperous and refined people; numerous and costly improvements evince the taste and refinement of the inhabitants; the student of geology and history finds his research amply rewarded; and, taking into consideration these manifold advantages, with others we have not space, to mention, the township may be classed as one of the first in the county.
The township contains the village of Eastbrook, and the station of the same name on the New Castle and Franklin railway. The railway was completed in 1874, and affords ample facilities for shipping the products of the neighborhood, both agricultural and mineral.
The territory within the township was formerly a part of Mercer county, and, in gathering our information from pioneers and their decendants, it has been a noticeable fact that memory clings to the days when they belonged to the county named for the gallant Hugh Mercer. With equal pride should they be able to look upon their county as it exists under its present name, for the brave commander, who in his last moments said to his men, "Don't give up the ship," deserves as great a tribute as the Revolutionary here.
In a few localities limestone is quarried, but is not of sufficiently good quality to be used as a building-stone. A lime-kiln is operated a short distance from the city limits of New Castle, on the Harlansburg road, and was first put in operation a number of years ago. The stone has a blueish cast, and is by no means equal to that found in greater quantities in other portions of the United States. It is used for fluxing purposes in blast furnaces.
Sandstone is the principal rock found in the county, and is utilized for building purposes, and also ground up and used in the manufacture of window glass. The sandstone deposit in Hickory township is extensive, and forms the principal foundation.
The coal used by the Croton glass-works is taken from a bank on the Harlansburg road, and was opened by Michael Ryan in 1870, on land belonging to Anthony Henderson. It is now worked by Ryan & Kennedy. The vein averages about two feet in thickness, and the coal is said to be the only kind in the neighborhood which can be successfully used in the manufacture of glass.
The first coal-bank opened in the vicinity was worked about 1830. A considerable number of persons have been engaged in the business, and a few banks have been worked out. Messrs. Taylor, Young & McCreary have taken out large quantities in the neighborhood of the present Ryan & Kennedy bank, and other parties have at different times been interested in the same locality. The coal veins increase in thickness as they trend northward, and [p. 74] reach the maximum thickness somewhere in the neighborhood of Stoneboro, Mercer county. They also dip to the south on about the same grade as beds of the different streams.
In the year 1798, Robert Gormley, originally from the land of the shamrock, settled on the farm now owned by John H. Gormley. He left Ireland a year or two previous, and worked for a time "east of the mountains." While in the eastern part of the State, he witnessed a transaction between a Revolutionary soldier and a person to whom the soldier sold a tract of land, donated him by the State for his services during the war. The price paid for the land was a quart of whiskey, the hero of Revolutionary fields considering that worth more than the land, which he said was "somewhere out West, but didn't know exactly where." The tract thus cheaply disposed of embraced five hundred acres.
Mr. Gormly also purchased five-hundred acres, which was divided among his brothers, John and Thomas, who had followed him from Ireland--William Patton and himself--making one-hundred and twenty acres each. The price paid was fifty cents per acre. Mr. Gormley built a hewed log-house, twenty by twenty-two feet, in 1804, and it was considered a very remarkably fine house for the time. It stood until the Fall of 1869.
The tract of five-hundred acres which Mr. Gormley took up is now owned by the following parties, viz. John H. Robert and Samuel Gormley, Robert Speer, John Green, Alexander Stewart, John Carr and Hugh B. Patton, all but the latter living on the tract, and Mr. Patton lives on a tract adjoining. School-house "number five" also occupies a portion of the tract. The land is equal to any in the township.
Robert Gormly was married in 1807-08, to Sarah Hammond, of Washington county, and John Gormley married her sister Elizabeth. The first birth in the Gormley family was probably that of Martha, daughter of John Gormley, about 1809. The first deaths were also in that family, two sons and a daughter dying during the year 1822.
The first road through the neighborhood was what is known as the Harlansburgh road. Previous to its being laid out, the only highways were zig-zag paths through the woods, following the best routes they could around hills and across streams--the latter always being forded.
Grain was carried to mill on pack-saddles, and Mr. Gormley often "packed" corn from Beaver town, where he paid a dollar a bushel for it.
Wheat could not be raised to any extent for some time, on account of the great numbers of squirrels, deer, "ground hogs," and other animals which came into the fields and destroyed the crops. Deer were so tame that they would come into a wheat field in broad daylight, and had to be repeatedly driven off. John H. Gormley speaks of driving off nine at a time on one occasion, when a boy. Wild turkeys were also exceedingly plenty, and in the fall of the year created sad havoc among the fields of buckwheat.
The first metal plow in the neighborhood was owned by Francis Irvin, (or Irwen), and Robert Gormley had the second one. The plows in use before these had wooden mould-boards, and a paddle was carried to clean the plow at the end of every furrow. The harrows also had wooden teeth, and both plows and harrows were rude and clumsy affairs compared with the vastly improved implements of the present, although they answered their purpose, and their owners were content, knowing of no better ones.
The history of each pioneer family in this region is identical with that of all the others in its general details. The same trials and hardships were undergone by every one, and the only variety in the history of these families is the fact that they were usually from different places, and settled in different localities, and some became afterward more prominent than others in building up the interests of the new country in which they had cast their lot. But each had his allotted portion of work to accomplish, and all alike bore bravely the exigencies of the times--the scanty means of living, the slow process of accumulating worldly goods in the vast wilderness, the narrowed limits of the social circle, and everything which made a part of the history of their lives. Yet we venture to say they were more closely identified, each with the best interests of the others, and worked nearer as a unit to keep the feebly-pulsating heart of the settlement alive, and make its future prosperous, than the majority of communities do at the present day.
Robert Gormley died March 26th, 1858, at the ripe old age of eighty-six years, and sleeps by the side of Sarah, his wife, in the old Neshannock graveyard, his wife having died on the 18th of June, 1853, at the age of sixty-five years. Though sixteen years her husband's junior, she made him a loving and exemplary wife for forty-four years. It can be said of both of them that their work was well done while sojourning on this lower sphere, and when the days of their probation were ended they responded cheerfully and willingly to the summons of that destroyer of humanity, he who is "no respecter of persons," and who makes all people finally aware that their bodies are but mortal.
John Gormley died December 27th, 1848, aged seventy-nine years, and his wife, Elizabeth, followed him March 27th, 1858, aged seventy-four. Between the ages of these two there was a difference of fifteen years.
William Patton was originally from Ireland, and settled first in Center county, Pennsylvania. From there he came to Lawrence (then Mercer) county, and settled on a portion of the Robert Gormley tract. When he came from Center county he had a horse and an ox harnessed together to haul his goods. Mr. Patton and the Gormley's afterward donated ten acres each to Thomas Speer, in order to get him to settle near them. Mr. Speer was from South Carolina, and came to Hickory township about 1805-6. He lived to a very old age, and died within a few years past.
Sometime during the year 1802 Samuel McCreary came from the Buffalo Valley, in Union county, in the eastern part of the State, and located on the place now owned by Mrs. Banks, on the east side of Neshannock creek, about two miles northwest of the present village of Eastbrook. He was the first settler on the place, and made the first improvements. He built a round-log house, and lived in it with his wife and one child, Enoch McCreary, who was but two years of age when his father came to the county. Mr. McCreary's brother, Thomas, accompanied him, and they each took up a tract of one hundred acres. Shortly after their settlement Thomas McCreary died, and his was consequently one of the first deaths in the neighborhood.
Samuel McCleary[sic] was out several times to Erie during the war of 1812-15. He eventually became the owner of some six hundred acres of land in the vicinity of the place where he settled, chiefly lying along the Neshannock creek. He died shortly before the breaking out of the Southern rebellion. The McCrearys were originally from Ireland, emigrating from that country at some period subsequent to the war for independence between the American Colonies and Great Britain. He was the father of ten children, four of whom are yet living. The first birth in his family after he came to Lawrence county was that of his daughter Betsey, about 1804. In 1806 another daughter, Sarah, was born, and in 1808 a son, Thomas, yet living on a farm in Neshannock township, opposite the one in Hickory township where Mr. McCreary first settled. A younger son, William McCreary, is also living in Neshannock township.
Robert Simonton, who lived for a number of years in Hickory township, settled originally on the Shenango river, in Neshannock township. He was out during the war of 1812, and went to Erie. He died about 1853-54, at an advanced age.
John C. Wallace, also a soldier of 1812, having served as captain of militia at that time, was an early settler in the southeast part of Hickory township, and is still living on his place.
Thomas Patterson, who has lived near Eastbrook since 1842, is a son of James Patterson, who came from County Armagh, Ireland, and settled in 1822 in what is now Big Beaver township when that territory was a part of Beaver county.
Jacob Baker settled near Mr. Wallace, in the southeast part of Hickory township, and was a soldier of 1814. He lived in the county in the neighborhood of fifty years, a part of which time he resided in New Castle.
Abel McDowell came from Westmoreland county early, and lived for several years with his uncle, Thomas Fisher. He afterwards located in the northwest part of Hickory, on a tract now owned by M. K. McDowell. He was the first actual settler on the place.
About 1812-15, George Hinkson came from Chester county and located in Washington county, where he staid till about 1817, when he removed to Belmont county, Ohio. There he lived for eleven years, or until 1828, when he again packed up his worldly goods and came back to the Keystone State, this time locating in Hickory township, on a five-hundred-acre tract, now owned by his son, Aaron Hinkson, and others. The land had been formerly owned by Jonas Preston, of Philadelphia, who was an uncle of Mrs. Hinkson, and willed the property to her. It had passed through several hands from the original patentee.
All the lands in the township are "donations lands," and the fact that the territory was not settled until a comparatively late day, is attributable to that circumstance.
But few of the original patentees ever located in the country, and the land at that time was deemed too far away to be reached. Other parties buying up the donation tracts, and using their endeavors to hasten the settlement of the region, including them, deserve the honor of promoting the advancement of this part of the country, for it was mainly through-their efforts that it was settled at all. It was not, however, until the completion [p. 75] of the Erie Extension Canal that the growth of any part of the western portion of the State became marked; but since that time the development has steadily and generally gone forward.
Samuel Casteel, a veteran of the second war with Great Britain, came from Allegheny county in 1816, and located near the Neshannock creek, southeast of the present Eastbrook station. He has by his industry and frugality amassed considerable property, and, though over eighty years of age, the sound of martial music, or the strains produced by a more pretentious band of brass instruments, awakens the old military fire within him, and recalls to his mind the scenes and incidents during the strife of more than sixty years ago. Again he sees himself participating in the dreary March, the sharp skirmish, and the fiercer battle, and the days of his youth seem spread in all their variety before him. His cherished partner was called from him a few years since, and he awaits calmly the sound of the trumpet which calls him, not to scenes of bloodshed, but haply to the presence of the loved and lost who have preceded him to that unknown "beyond."
John McKnight, Thomas Glass and John Stunkard came from near Pittsburgh, in the year 1825, and purchased a five-hundred-acre tract. The McKnights and Stunkards still reside on the old homestead. These persons were the first actual settlers on the tract, although two or three squatters had been there before them. One of these squatters was a roving character named Chair, who did little else than hunt.
The Covenanters or Reformed Presbyterians organized about 1818, and held their first meeting in William Patton's barn. Rev. William Gibson presided at the organization, and also took charge of the congregation as its first pastor. After the first meeting in the barn, they held "tent meetings" in a rude structure made of corner posts and roof, and fit only for warm-weather worship. The "tent" was put up principally for the use of the minister, while the congregation occupied log seats in front of it. The original congregation was small, and was made up of people coming, in most cases, from quite a distance, as the only members of the denomination in the immediate vicinity were the Pattons, Wilsons and Speers. Their first church was a rude log building, about twenty-two by twenty-four feet in dimensions, and covered with a shingle roof, being about the first roof of the kind in the neighborhood.
About 1833 a frame church was commenced near the site of the old one, and finished some two years later. This building was burned down at ten o'clock on the morning of the 14th of April, 1867, the fire being caused by a spark from the chimney falling on the dry roof and lodging under the curled end of a shingle.
A building committee was at once appointed, consisting of James Carr, James Reynolds, S. S. Gormley, James Ellis and Robert McKnight, and work was immediately begun on a new structure--the fine brick church now standing. Just one year from the day the old church was burned, or April 14, 1868, the first sermon in the new building was preached by Rev. Mr. Martin.
In the Fall of 1868 or 1869, owing to considerable trouble having been previously experienced in securing preachers, and being only occasionally supplied, the church changed to a United Presbyterian congregation, since which time it has prospered finely.
Rev. W. E. Shaw, present pastor, installed January 18, 1876.
The lot on which the old church stood, and most of which is now used for burial purposes, was donated for church purposes by William Patton, and he was probably the first, or some of his family were, to be buried in the enclosure. The old tent and the log church stood in the lot, but the present brick church stands just outside, in the edge of a fine grove. Both church and graveyard are located on a slight eminence, the location being an exceedingly fine one.
There is no stone to mark the last resting-place of William Patton, Sr., but William, Jr., and his wife sleep side by side, with headstones bearing the dates--February 27, 1863, for the death of one, and January 12, 1857, for that of the other. William Patton, Jr. was sixty-seven years of age when he died, and consequently was but two years old when his father brought him to the township.
One stone marks the grave of Ezekiel Wilson, Sr., who died October 5, 1824, aged sixty years, and on another is the following inscription, it being the oldest marked grave in the cemetery: "In the year of our Lord, 1810, J. Irwen was killed by the fall of a tree, April 19, in his 28 yr. of age." The lot enclosed contains in the neighborhood of an acre of ground.
The Associate Presbyterians built a church east of Eastbrook, about 1840-41. The building, a roomy frame structure, is still standing. The denomination is now United Presbyterian. The first pastor was Rev. Thomas Mehard, and the second Rev. R. Audley Browne. The present pastor is Rev. Thomas Mehard, who has had charge for twenty years. The church has had but the three pastors. The building occupies a pleasant situation in a grove, on the hill which rises on the south side of Hettenbaugh run, or East brook. The church was built where it is in order to have more room around it than it would have in the village, and its site was aptly chosen, both for beauty and convenience.
A Methodist Episcopal society was organized in 1847, and meetings held in schoolhouse "number two," a mile northwest of Eastbrook. It is not definitely known how many members there were in the original congregation. On the 17th of March, 1851, an acre and fourteen perches of ground were purchased of Robert Rea and wife, and the frame church erected which is still standing. The trustees, at that time (1851), were Samuel Black, Cornelius Miller, Robert Rea, Enoch McCreary, and William Rea. The school-house in which they held their meetings for four years is the one still standing opposite the church. The present pastor is Rev. J. B. Wright, and the stewards are John Waddington, Samuel McCreary and Peter Reynolds. A graveyard occupies a portion of the ground purchased.
About 1815-16 a school-house was built near the south line of what is now Hickory township, on the road running south from Neshannock United Presbyterian Church. It was built of round logs, and was the first in the neighborhood. The first teacher in it was a male, but we have not been able to ascertain his name.
A hewed-log school-house was put up in the corner of the graveyard, near the old Neshannock Church, about 1828-29. This was the only hewed-log school-house in this part of the country, and the first teacher was a mail named John Tidball.
Since the township was erected and made a separate school district, two school-houses have been erected in it--"number five," a brick building, thirty by thirty-two feet, in 1872, at a cost of $1,300; and "number one," a frame building, twenty-two by thirty-two, finished September 1, 1876, at a total cost of about $700.
There are at present five schools in the township (district). Numbers "one" and "two" are frame; numbers "three" (at Eastbrook) and "five" brick, and "number four" stone. The total value of school property for 1876, is about $5,000. The number of pupils enrolled for 1875, was two hundred and thirty-nine, of which one hundred and thirty were males, and one hundred and nine females. The average attendance during the same year was one hundred and forty-two. The total expenditures for school purposes in 1875, were $1,267.99, of which amount $1,036 were paid to six teachers--three males and three females, at an average of $172.66-2/3 apiece.
For many years subsequent to the settlement of the township there were no grist-mills erected, and the nearest one in the early times was to the south, in the present Shenango township.
Henry Reynolds built a grist-mill on Hettenbaugh run, a mile east of the village of Eastbrook, and operated it till 1837, when he sold out to William Adams and went West. The mill was built about 1823-25, (?) and is yet standing, having been repaired considerably. It is just in the edge of Hickory township; the same mill-stones that were first put in are still in use, but the dam has been built down the stream from the original one, which was torn away when the old saw-mill, which stood near it, was removed. The saw-mill was put up before the grist-mill. The boundary between Hickory and Scott townships is very nearly on the present dam. The grist-mill is now owned by Robert McCurdy and brother, and is doing an extensive custom business. This mill was the first one erected within the present limits of the township, and, not being very large, is often inconveniently crowded with work, it being well-known that the work done is excellent. It is one of the most popular mills in the country. The supply of water in the run is usually large enough, so that no inconvenience is experienced with a low stage. It is fed almost entirely by springs.
The "Eastbrook Mills" were built originally by John Fisher, in 1836, and rebuilt in 1859. The present mill is a fine, large building, containing three run of stone, and a good business is done. The property belongs to John Fisher and sister.
Near the site of the grist-mill, Thomas and John Fisher built a saw-Mill,. about 1816-17. Two have since been erected at the same place, and the last one is still standing, though unused and much dilapidated.
[p. 76]A woolen mill was built east of Eastbrook about 1830-32, by Lot Moffatt, who sold out in the Spring of 1837 to Joseph Burnley & Co. These parties operated it till about 1840, when they in turn sold to James Glover. Glover died and the mill became the property of his daughter, Mrs. J. B. Hardaker, and it has since been run by Mr. Hardaker, though only doing a small business. The mill is on the south bank of the run, and the main building is built of stone, and clapboarded.
About 1872 John Hinkson built a shop on the south branch of East brook, (Hettenbaugh run), for the manufacture of pruning shears, using an engine which had been used since 1861 in a saw-mill on the same site. The pruning shears are handy and convenient articles for use in trimming trees, being very simple, and at the same time exceedingly powerful. In connection with their manufacture, Mr. Hinkson has facilities for making anything in the machinist's line, from pruning shears to a steam-engine, and his machinery is all of the most improved type. He has most of the repairing of the entire neighborhood to do, being an accomplished blacksmith as well as machinist. He is using several native grind-stones of an excellent quality. Coal equal to any known for blacksmith's use is found in the bank close by though the vein is but about eighteen inches in thickness. Enough is taken out for local use. The engine used by Mr. Hinkson is one of his own manufacture.
Some members of the Reynolds family, about 1816-17, had a man named Buckmaster as a tenant on the tract of land near where Eastbrook now stands, in order to hold their claim. Thomas Fisher; having an eye on the same tract, kept close watch, and when Buckmaster left it for a time, he put a man on the place and kept him there till he became entitled to the land by settler's right. Buckmaster afterwards made a settlement for himself somewhere else, and the Reynoldses also. Henry Reynolds built the mill before spoken of, now known as "McCurdy's mill."
A man named Terry was a very early settler in the neighborhood, and located on the farm now owned by John McCreary, northwest of Eastbrook. A part of the tract is owned by James Patton.
John Fisher was a soldier of the war of 1812, and came from the Ligonier valley in Westmoreland county. He settled the tract, including the site of Eastbrook, about 1819; this was the third tract he had located upon, the first being in 1809. His brother, Thomas Fisher, came afterwards.
Thomas Fisher (the first) came to the county in 1802, and located in the present limits of Neshannock township, on the Shenango river, where he put up a carding machine, said to have been the first one in the State west of the Alleghenies.
About 1817 Thomas and John Fisher built a woolen-mill in Eastbrook, above the site of their saw-mill. It has been several times remodeled, and still in operation. The present proprietor is Samuel Hutchinson. The manufactures are principally yarn and blankets.
John McCartney also built a woolen-mill about 1850, and operated it for some time. It was afterwards bought by David Stewart, and is now the property of James Craig. The mill is in operation the greater portion of the time, and its capacity is generally taxed to its utmost to supply the demand for the products. The manufactures are stocking yarn, woolen blankets and barred flannel.
It is well known that the wool produced in Western Pennsylvania is of the best quality, and that great quantities of it are manufactured; so it is not so much a matter of surprise as pride to note the number of factories erected for the manufacture of goods from the great staple.
The saw-mills built along the brook since the country was settled have been almost without number, and we have merely mentioned the first ones, and not taken the trouble to hunt up all of them. Many old frames are yet standing, and occasionally a new mill is seen, but as timber is becoming scarce within immediate reach, the business is fast becoming unprofitable, and but few enter into it.
The first store at Eastbrook was kept by John Fisher, about 1835-6. It was was a general store, and still stands at the west end of the bridge. Another store of the same class was opened in 1838 by T. H. Harrah, who afterward built another, which he and J. B. Hardaker operated together. James McFarlane & Co. also kept a store for a year and a half or two years subsequent to 1844, the firm afterward being changed to Dickey & McFarlane. McFarlane finally removed to Morris, Grundy county, Illinois, and Hardaker & Harrah continued the business. Hardaker & Simonton were in it from 1852 to 1856. In the Spring of 1860, John Waddington went into the firm, which was known for a time thereafter as J. B. Hardaker & Co.; then it was again changed to John Waddington, and Mr. Waddington is at present the sole proprietor, having carried on the business since 1864.
The first post-office was established in 1837, the petition being circulated by John Waddington. The candidates for the position of postmaster were T. H. Harrah and John Fisher; the latter was the successful man, after Harrah had done most of the work to get the office established. However, Harrah afterwards had his ambition satisfied, and obtained the office after its affairs had been administered by Fisher and Alexander Carpenter. After Mr. Harrah came Thomas Fisher (the third), John Waddington, Matthias Fisher, John Waddington, John M. McNickle, and John Waddington, the latter gentleman being the present postmaster; he has also been deputy under all the rest except Thomas and John Fisher, and has held the office himself for upwards of twenty years.
The first shoe-shop was opened by Oliver Bascom, about 1840; after him Carson Campbell had a shop; Samuel Douglas opened one about 1841-3; A. S. Chambers also kept one for about eighteen years, and Thomas Chambers is now running the same shop; A. J. Buchanan kept one also for three or four years.
The first blacksmith-shop was opened by Philip Crowl, in 1832. Following him have been Alexander Carpenter, John P. Crowl, and A. T. Young. James F. Falls bought out Carpenter, and also carried on the business for three or four years. Benjamin and Wilkes Waddington had a machine-shop and blacksmith-shop together in the old Crowl shop, and Philip Crowl was running a small foundry at the same time.
John McNickle had the first wagon-shop, in 1840, and it afterwards became the property of his son, John M. McNickle, who is the present proprietor.
The store now occupied by Mr. Waddington was built by Brackey and Edie, who occupied it for some time, and were followed by Messrs. Fisher & Hinkson. Mr. Waddington moved his stock into it in the Spring of 1860, and has occupied it ever since.
The village and post-office take their name from the stream which flows through the place. The stream was named by Thomas Fisher (the first), the spot on its banks upon which he located being just five miles directly east of the place where he first settled on the Shenango.
The first school-house in the village was built in the neighborhood of 1825.
We find nothing on the records, either in Lawrence county or Mercer, to show the date of the laying out of the village, nor who it was done by, but the probabilities are that the Fishers, on whose land it stands, laid it out.
About 1843, a volunteer rifle company, known as the "Eastbrook Rangers," was organized, and drill was kept up for seven years. The officers were: Captain, Andrew Buchanan; First Lieutenant, Alexander Carpenter; Second Lieutenant, John Staten; Orderly Sergeant, William McConahy. The company numbered about one hundred members, and was uniformed with white pants, blue coats and red sash, and a hat trimmed with cord and green feather. They were armed with common rifles, in the use of which they were very expert. The officers held commissions from the Governor of the State.
Another company was partially organized in 1860, just before the rebellion broke out, but when the war came on they consolidated with a small company from Princeton, in Slippery Rock township, and the two were mustered in as Company F, of the 100th (Roundhead) regiment, which afterward saw much hard service in the Carolinns[sic], Virginia, and elsewhere. They speak of having the easiest time during the service, at Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Was established at the completion of the New Castle and Franklin railway. Thomas Walton opened a grocery store soon after, and continues in the business. Several dwellings have been erected, a short side-track laid, and a fine iron and wooden truss wagon-bridge built across Neshannock creek, which stream here makes an extensive and beautiful bend, receiving just east of the station the waters of East brook or Hettenbaugh Run.
Part of an extensive colony of German Mennonites, or Amech[sic], occupies a considerable portion of the north and west part of the township, the remainder of them being in Wilmington, Neshannock and Pulaski townships. They came principally from Mifflin county, Pennsylvania, and have schools and a church of their own, the church building being in Wilmington township. They are a quiet, industrious class of people, keep their farms in good order, and but two or three of the original families have left the township since they came into it.
From the 1770 - 1877 History of Lawrence County by S. W. and P. A. DURANT.
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Updated: 28 Dec 2000, 17:40