History of Lawrence County Pennsylvania, 1770 - 1877, by S.W. and P.A. Durant.
This is one of the thirteen original townships of Lawrence county. It contains an area of about eleven thousand four hundred acres, and is one of the best townships in the county. Its improvements are everywhere excellent, and evidences of prosperity among its inhabitants are apparent on every hand. For agricultural purposes the soil is well adapted, being fertile and productive, while the mineral resources of the township are extensive, and as yet but comparatively developed.
Numerous streams flow through the the township, affording abundant water-power. The principal ones are the Little Beaver creek, with a considerable branch joining it just above old Enon village and Beaver Dam run, which flows through the northeastern portion of the township, and joins the Little Beaver near the line of Big Beaver township. The power on the Little Beaver is quite extensive, and mills were built upon it very soon after the first settlements.
Little Beaver contains the two villages of Enon valley (old and new) and the old town of Newburg. Old Enon and Newburg were at one time thriving and prosperous villages, but this was during the days of stage-coach travel, before the iron track was laid and the puffing locomotive showered its streams of sparks across the land. Those days were distinct, in their relations to the present, as an era of advancement, but the progress was too slow for the average inhabitants and it was necessary that something which should transport citizens and their valuables across the country faster than a slow stagecoach or slower canalboat should be invented, and the railroad, as if having long waited close at hand for this very opportunity, stepped in, and at once answered the need. The early railways were but little better than the stage lines, as long as the strap-rails and weak-lunged, hump-backed locomotives were used, but, as necessity required them, improvements were constantly made, and the steel rails, beautifully proportioned locomotives, and luxurious cars, with every comfort for the traveler, are the result. How long the advancing power of mechanical intellect shall continue to introduce new improvements, none can say, but each change that is made will undoubtedly be for the better.
The Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago railway was completed to Enon valley, about 1850-51, and is now one of the great arteries of the country, the throbbings of its pulsations echoing with thunderous tones for nearly five hundred miles; with the trailing smoke of its hundreds of locomotives, the swift rush of its trains, filled with precious human freight, and the ponderous trains of ruder cars, filled with the necessities which shall supply the people of a vast territory, it sends life and energy "all along the line," and forms a well-spring of eager activity and bustle conducive to the prosperity of every city, town, village, and humble hamlet through which it passes, and through which the fiery monster rolls with mighty speed along.
The land in this township had become the property of the Penusylvania Population Company, and each settler was entitled to one-half the tract which he settled.
The first actual settlement by whites in the township was made early in the year 1796, by a company of men who had been out the year previous (1795) and made improvements, helping each other build cabins and make clearings which none of them could have done alone. These men all came back in 1796 and settled, and some of them have children yet living on the old homesteads. They chose the finest sites in the township, generally in the valley of the Little Beaver creek. They called themselves the "Settlers of '96." Among the men forming this company were John and Samuel Sprott, John Beer, James McCowin and William Robison, and possibly Philip Aughenbaugh, Andrew Moore and others. The party consisted of twelve or fifteen men.
Samuel Sprott settled on a farm in the northwest part of the township, where some of his heirs are yet living.
The Sprotts were from Allegheny county, Pa. John Sprott settled on the farm where Robert and Thomas Sprott now live, on the 17th day of February, 1796. They had made improvements on the place the year before Mr. Sprott brought his wife with him, and their son Robert, now living, was born on the place on the 18th of July, 1796. He was the first white child born in the township, and some go so far as to say he was the first born in Pennsylvania north of the Ohio river; but that is altogether improbable. He has lived on the old farm all his life, and has never been farther away from home than Pittsburgh. Did not serve in the war of 1812, owing to his youth. His father, John Sprott, was a military officer of Western Pennsylvania during the Indian troubles after the Revolution. His principal duty was to supply the different military stations on the Ohio, from Logstown down, with men. At the first militia muster at which he ever served, he was elected major, and afterward lieutenant-colonel, and served until he was beyond the regulation military age. He died in the Fall of 1839, aged seventy-nine years and ten months.
In 1798, Mr. Sprott built a grist-mill on his place on Little Beaver creek. This was the first mill in the township, and was a structure of round logs and contained one run of stone. He procured a number of pine boards on Brady's Run, several miles away, and with them made a bolting chest. Mr. Sprott was not able to keep up his dam, and the old mill was run but a comparatively short time. It has long been torn away. While it was running the principal grain ground in it was corn, and people came all the way from Rochester, Beaver county, to this mill. After it was abandoned, no other was ever built upon the site and nothing now remains of the "Sprott Mill."
In John Sprott's family twelve children were born, and seven of them are now living. Samuel Sprott also raised twelve.
John and Samuel Sprott were old hunters, and had hunted all over the country some ten years before they settled in it. They made yearly excursions and extended them into Ohio also, and kept them up until the Indian troubles broke out, and General Anthony Wayne went through with his army. Wild turkeys were so thick they could kill them with clubs, and deer were also extremely plenty. Of the latter, John Sprott killed as many as sixty during one Autumn hunt.
John Beer settled the farm adjoining John Sprott's on the north, and lived and died upon it. He was one of the "settlers of '96."
William Robison, one of the same party, settled in the eastern part of the township.
David Clark, John Savers, James Stevenson and Robert Johnston came to the township about 1797-98; and settled in the neighborhood in which George Aughenbaugh now lives.
John Wilson came in 1796, and settled in the neighborhood on the farm now owned by John Taylor.
These men all came to the same neighborhood and settled within a year or two of each other, from 1796 to 1798.
Philip Aughenbaugh came from Westmoreland county, Pa., and in the Spring of 1796, settled on the farm where his son George now lives. He brought with him his wife and five children--three boys and two girls. He raised eleven children altogether, the only one now living being his son George, who was the youngest of the five he brought out with him from Westmoreland county. The first child born after the family settled, was in the latter part of the year 1797. None of the children born after they settled, lived to maturity, except the youngest child, Mary Ann, who was born in March, 1805. Mr. Aughenbaugh died in 1844, aged eighty-four years. His wife died a number of years before.
The stream called Beaver Dam Run was so named because the beavers had built dams across it. These animals were plenty when the first settlements were made, and the Indians and whites trapped large numbers of them. They soon disappeared before the advance of the pioneers, seemingly unwilling to hear the sound of the woodman's axe felling the trees of the grand forest which then covered the country.
Little Beaver township was originally timbered with a magnificent growth of oak, hickory, maple, poplar, and various kinds of valuable forest trees. Much of it has been destroyed, and seemingly in a wanton and careless manner, as if the supply were supposed to be inexhaustible. The need of it is now felt in many portions, although the township contains a large acreage of timber, at present most valuable to its inhabitants.
Thomas and Joseph Smith were among the early settlers of the township, and located in the northeastern portion. Thomas Smith, while one day going through the forest, was chased by a huge bear. To escape, he climbed a tree, but the bear, thinking the game was one at which two could play, followed, and bit off Smith's big toe. This was a cool proceeding, Smith undoubtedly thought, and probably wondered what it would lead to. It is certain the bear would have finally killed him had it not been for his dog, who would take the bear by the haunches and pull him back every time it started to climb the tree. It is not related how Smith was finally released from his predicament, but the dog was probably the means of his escape, by turning the bear's attention upon himself.
The settlers passed through many such exciting adventures, and had many hair-breadth escapes from the wild beasts of the forest, but no instance is given of any person ever losing his life by them. The greatest pests were the gray wolves, which roamed in packs through the woods, and ever and anon made descents on the sheep folds and pig pens of the settlers, and deprived them of their woolly and porcine inhabitants, without the least scruple. Close watch was kept over the children, lest they might fall a prey to their ravenous appetites and it was also necessary for the men themselves to keep their rifles in order, and always with them, carrying them even to church.
John Marshall was originally from Ireland, and located in Washington county, Pa. From there he came in 1796 or '97, with his wife and one son, to Little Beaver township, and settled north of the old village of Enon Valley, on the farm adjoining the present Thomas G. Dalzell place. He was the first settler upon it. Mr. Marshall was the father of eight children, four of whom are now living--two sons in Little Beaver township, a daughter in Mercer county, and another daughter in Crawford county. The two sons are Joseph and John. Mr. Marshall had been out the year before he settled, and made improvements. He died about 1853 or '54, aged eighty-seven or eighty-eight years.
James Marshall came out in 1818, and located on the farm where William Porter now lives. He bought the land of James Stevenson, who had settled it in 1797-98. Mr. Marshall's daughter was afterward married to William Porter, who came from Ireland and located on the place in 1824.
Thomas Silliman came to the township in the neighborhood of 1820, and settled in the eastern part of it, where numbers of the Silliman family are yet living.
William Madden came from Columbia county, Pa., about 1815, and located on the farm where ___ Neal now lives.
George McKean came about 1800, and settled on the farm a mile southwest of old Enon Valley, where his son, Porter McKean now lives.
Daniel McCarter and Patrick Wallace also came early.
In early days, rattlesnakes were so plenty that the settlers were obliged to wear leggings, in order to protect their limbs from their fangs. Instances are related where large numbers of them were killed in one locality in a single day. Among the loose rocks they found their best hiding-places, and in getting out stone for chimneys, or working among the rocks in any way, the hideous reptiles were very often found.
Charles Long came from Rockbridge county, Virginia, about 1804-05, bringing two children with him to a place in Columbiana county, Ohio, just across the line from the present residence of Israel Long, in Little Beaver township. A child was born somewhere in the mountains while Mr. Long was on his way with his family, and his wife was left behind, he subsequently going[sic] back after her. He had been here about 1801-02, and entered the land on which he settled, paying two dollars per acre, and purchasing an entire section. His son Charles lives on a portion of the old farm. The farm now owned by Israel Long, in Little Beaver, was purchased by his father, of the Pennsylvania Population Company's agent, Enoch Marvin, that is, one hundred acres of it. The other hundred Mr. Long purchased of a man named Andrew Johnston, who had probably settled it. The location is [p. 62] exceedingly fine, being on a gradually-sloping hill, and commanding a fine view of the territory around, in every direction, except toward the West, where a belt of timber along the State line shuts it off. Mr. Long has greatly improved the place, and has a fine property.
Ezekiel Creighton came from the valley of Turtle creek, in Allegheny county, Pa., about 1810, and located where Mr. Wurtzel now lives. He served three months as a volunteer during the whisky insurrection of 1794.
Robert Andrews, Charles Rainey and William Miller were early settlers in the township. Miller settled on a branch of the Little Beaver, and built a mill. None of the family are now living in the neighborhood. Andrews had a farm north of the one settled by Samuel Sprott. Rainey's farm was next north of Andrews', and Miller's next north of Rainey's. These were all in the northwestern part of the township. Sprott's farm was an excellent one, and is still occupied by some of his children.
James McCowin came originally from Maryland, and located in Washington county, Pa. In 1795 he was out with the Sprotts and others, making improvements on claims, and in 1796 he came again, this time bringing his family, consisting of his wife and two children. In the first place he stopped below Darlington, Beaver county, where he stayed a year or two, and then came to the farm in Little Beaver township, Lawrence county--the old homestead now being owned by his son, William McCowin. The old house, built on the place in 1795, stood just at the west end of William McCowin's present residence. It was a hewed-log structure, two stories high, originally roofed with clapboards, which afterwards gave place to shingles. This was the first house on the place.
Mr. McCowin had four hundred acres in his farm, located a mile east of the present station of Enon Valley. He was the father of eleven children, seven of whom are now living.
A man named Williams ("Onion" Williams he was called), built a grist mill on the Little Beaver creek, near the old village of Enon Valley, about 1801-2. It was a log mill, had two run of stone, and was the second mill in the township. Nothing remains to mark the spot where it once stood.
Sometime afterward a man named Woodruff built a grist mill on the same stream, some distance east of Enon Valley, and Jacob Shoup built one about a mile east of town, also on the Little Beaver. Nothing is left of any of them.
Samuel Andrews came originally from Ireland, and settled first in Center county, Pa., where he lived some thirty years. About 1820 he came to Beaver county, and located on a farm about two miles from Enon valley, Lawrence county, now owned by Arthur Bradford, and still within the limits of Beaver county. His son John was married to Elizabeth Harnit in 1822. Her father, Samuel Harnit, was the first settler on the ground where Enon Valley station now stands. Some of John Andrews' children are yet living in the neighborhood, part of them in Lawrence county. The house and barn of M. L. Andrews, three-fourths of a mile east of the station, are exactly on the county line between Lawrence and Beaver counties. To M. L. Andrews we are indebted for much information regarding Enon Valley station.
WAR OF 1812.--The following is a list of those who served during this war, as complete as we have been able to procure it from those now in the township, who were living at the time:
John, Philip and George Aughenbaugh were out at Erie. John and George were in Captain David Drennan's company, and served one month. Philip was in Captain David Clark's company, and served two months.
David Clark, Jr., raised a company in the neighborhood, partly from what is now Beaver county, and went with it to Erie, as captain. His brother, John Clark, was out at Black Rock.
Charles Savers, a son of John Savers, and Francis, a son of Robert Johnston, were out in Captain Clark's company at Erie.
James Marshall, a son of John Marshall, was also drafted and went to Erie.
Militia companies were organized after the war under a State law, and kept up for many years. They held annual reviews, drills and musters, and a "militia muster" in those days brought out the entire population of the country.
WAR WITH MEXICO.--Captain John W. Hague, now living just north of old Enon Valley, enlisted from Pittsburgh, where he was then living, and served in the Mexican war as Junior Second Lieutenant of Company K, of the First Pennsylvania Regiment of Volunteer Infantry. Captain Hague enlisted at Pittsburgh, December lst, 1846. Was on furlough May 26th, 1848, and afterward on recruiting service. Colonel Edward O'Brien, now of New Castle, was a volunteer in the Second Regiment, and he and Captain Hague are the only men now living in Lawrence county who served in that war, so far as known.
WAR OF THE REBELLION.--Little Beaver responded nobly to the call for volunteers at the opening of the rebellion, and furnished her full quota of troops. Lieutenant John W. Hague, of Mexican war experience raised a company partly in Little Beaver township and partly in Beaver county, and went out as captain of it. It was attached to the 134th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, as Company I, and served nine months, taking part in the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and numerous skirmishes. It was also marched to the battle-field at Antietam, but took no part in the fight. The following items we gather from the daily account kept by the Orderly of the company, the book now in possession of Captain Hague:
"Sixty-seven were mustered in at Harrisburgh on the 19th of August, 1862. The next day they were taken to Washington, D. C., where they were joined by twenty-two additional men, who were mustered in August 22d. Captain Hague and Lieutenant J. H. Mountain were mustered into the service at Washington, August 26th, 1872, by Colonel Rucker of the regular army. On the 27th, the company was marched with the regiment to Camp Chase, on Arlington Heights, where they encamped, and on the 30th they were again moved to Fairfax Seminary, where they encamped near Fort Ward. September 2d, 1862, there were three commissioned officers, twelve non-commissioned officers and sixty-nine men on picket duty. On the 17th of September they were on the field at Antietam, but were not engaged. October 3d, President Lincoln visited the troops and reviewed the Fifth Corps.
"The first death in the company was that of William P. Smith, who died October 22d, 1862. Early in December a severe engagement began to be looked upon as a settled fact before many days, and it was known that it would be around fredericksburg. December llth, the boys were ordered to march toward Fredericksburg. On the 12th they moved a little closer to the fight, and camped opposite the town. On the 13th they stripped for the strife, crossed the Rappahannock, and engaged in their first battle at 3 p.m. of that day. They were kept supporting the batteries until nearly dark, when the line charged, and the company lost Lieutenant Barnes and four men (Miller, Jenkins, Davidson and Feasel) killed, and Captain Hague and nineteen enlisted men wounded, the captain seriously."
Here the Orderly writes, "went in with fifty-nine men and three officers, were engaged ten minutes, and repulsed in good order!" On the night of the 16th of December a general evacuation was ordered, and the army withdrew under cover of the darkness, and moved back to their old camping ground, which they had left on the morning of the llth. Captain Hague was sent to Washington, and from there home, where he staid two months. Colonel Quay, of the 134th, had resigned, and his resignation had been accepted several days before the fight, but he knew there was going to be an engagement, and staid by. He went into the fight in citizen's clothes, and acted as an aid to General Tyler. Colonel O'Brien was in command of the regiment, and had his clothing pierced with bullets, but was not injured in the least. His escape was almost equal to that of Washington, in Braddock's memorable encounter with the French and Indians, on the fatal 9th of July, 1755. The 134th was sharply engaged on Sunday, the 3d of May, 1863, at Chancellorsville. It was on the ground during the whole engagement, but every day, except Sunday, the division of which it composed a part was used as a "flying division," and was marched back and forth over the field, doing duty wherever necessary, and only hotly engaged during one day. Captain Hague had returned to his command the 25th of February. The regiment's time was up in May, and they were mustered out in that month, after the engagements around Chancellorsville.
Little Beaver township furnished men for numerous other regiments, and the crown of laurels for her living heroes is not unearned, while the garlands that each year grace the "graves of the fallen," could not be better bestowed. The great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has always had a noble and just regard for her military heroes, and has been behind no other State in the Union since the Revolution, in providing for the families of the fallen, and soothing the declining days of the crippled and maimed, by appropriations for their support. All honor to the State and her defenders, as parts of a glorious Union!
A school house was built of round logs, in the neighborhood of the year 1800, on a piece of land then vacant and now owned by John Scott. John Boyles was probably the first teacher.
Other log-cabin school houses were erected in the neighborhood, and [p. 63] used until 1834, when the free-school law was passed and new buildings erected.
A school-house of round logs was built in the southwest part of the township as early as 1807-8, Joshua Hartshorn being probably the first teacher. The alphabet was taught by means of sticks--one cut in the shape of a small "d" being made, by turning around, to represent the four letters, d, b, q, and p. Hartshorn was a bachelor, and much liked by his pupils. Sampson Dilworth and Joshua Newell were also teachers in this school- house. Master and pupils all played ball, the old-fashioned game, in which, in order to put a person out who was running bases, he must be "patched" or struck, with the ball while between bases. In those days buckskin pants were worn, and they retained the marks made by the ball for some time. Some of them were fairly mottled by the numerous "patches" they had received, and a person whose buckskins showed the least number of spots was considered the best player. It took an active person to dodge the balls for they were all practical in the art of throwing, and seldom missed their mark. They were not particular either about "sending the ball in" slowly.
The number of schools in little Beaver township, in 1875, was nine, with an enrolment of three hundred and twenty-one pupils, and an average attendance of two hundred and eighteen. Of the entire number enrolled, one hundred and seventy-nine were males, and one hundred and forty-two females. The total expenditures for the year, for school purposes, were $2,472.94, of which $1,975.38 were paid to nine teachers, for an average term of six months taught.
About 1798-99, Bruce McGeehan came to the township, and settled on the site of this place, on the farm now owned by John Sampson. In 1799, Mr. McGeehan planted a few apple trees, which Major Edward Wright gave him. Major Wright settled in North Beaver township. Mr. McGeehan was a prominent man among the early settlers. He took an active part in organizing the Bethel United Presbyterian Church, of North Beaver township, and was one of its first elders. An Irish woman, living with her husband near Mr. McGeehan's, came to him one day, and exclaimed: "Misther McGeehan! sur Willie hae twa somethings up a tree, and he dinna ken what they are, at all! They keep squattin' round an' lookin' at him! Would ye be afther comin' to see?" Mr. McGeehan said: "Why, woman, they are panthers! They'll kill him sure as the world!" He took his gun and went to the spot, and there stood the Irishman, perfectly unconcerned, watching two huge panthers which were crouched ready to spring upon him, he little knowing of the terrible danger he was in. Luckily for him, Mr. McGeehan arrived at an opportune moment, and quickly raising his rifle, shot one of them dead, seeing which, the other, with a blood-curdling scream, bounded of into the forest, and was seen no more. The surprise of the Irishman can possibly he imagined when he was told what extreme danger he had been in.
Mr. McGeehan's son, James, laid out a few lots and called the place McGeehansburg, but it was afterwards changed to Newburg, which name it still retains. This town was at one time a lively place, and had considerable business. It was on the old stage route, and, while that was in operation, saw its palmy days. At present it consists of a small store, a shoe shop, and a few dwellings, all old. Although the place is not surrounded with ruins on a scale equal to those of ancient Palmyra or Babylon, yet, from the evidences seen, the inference is readily formed that it was once a place of considerable consequence. But alas for its prosperity! The long band of iron which connects the East with the West, and passes through the southern portion of the township, proved a deadly enemy to stage-coach travel, and with the decline of the stage line, Newburg saw her sun set, and her bright future flicker and go out in darkness, and transfer itself to the rising station of Enon Valley. Where erst the crack of the driver's lash resounded, and the merry notes of the horn were heard, are seen no more the well-filled coaches, spanking teams, and the bustle attendant upon the "arrivals" and "departures" and "changes" which were so common forty years ago.
The town had at one time a number of blacksmith shops, stores, shoe shops, &c.
Samual Stewart was one of the first blacksmiths in the place.
James Mountain, who now has the only shoe shop, came with his uncle, David Ritchie, to the neighborhood about 1820. His father went out from Allegheny county during the war of 1812, and died while in the service.
William Murphy, John Powell and others have carried on blacksmith shops at different periods.
In the Fall of 1855, a post-office, called "Marvin," was established here, the first postmaster being Joseph S. Williams. After him came James Sampson, William Reed, Enoch Shaffer and John Dungan. At present there is no post-office in the place.
The village is located in the northern portion of the township, in the midst of a fine farming country, and all around it are excellent improvements. The land is high and rolling, and the country around affords a beautiful panoramic spectacle, with its hills and valleys, neat residences and comfortable outbuildings, fine groves, silver streams and well-kept fields, and in the Summer season must be truly a pleasing picture to look upon. Western Pennsylvania is remarkable for beautiful scenery, and Little Beaver township, though possessing little of the rugged outline found in other parts of the county, still has its beautiful peculiarities in every section.
This village was laid out and lots sold in 1838 by Enoch Marvin, who was the agent of the Pennsylvania Population Company. Mr. Marvin had considerable property in the neighborhood, including the site of the village and the farm now owned by Thomas G. Dalzell. The brick house on Mr. D.'s place was built by Marvin, who died there in 1840.
Just north of the village the two branches of Little Beaver creek unite, and from this circumstance the town is said to derive its name. Josiah M. C. Caskey named the place, the name interpreted meaning the "Valley of Many Waters." There are other versions as to the origin of the name, but this is the most plausible.
The first lot was purchased by John Martin, who built a frame house upon it, which is still standing.
Mr. Marvin laid out these lots and sold them in order to induce mechanics to settle at the place. He furnished the necessary logs to be used in building, and Robert Sprott sawed them into lumber at his mill, and thus the village was gradually built up.
The first store was opened by the Taylor brothers, before there was any village, and John S. McCoy built the next one, which is still standing. William P. Alcorn had a store in the same building after McCoy had left it.
John Crowl was the first blacksmith. His house is yet standing, but his shop has been removed.
Samuel King, David Smith and others had wagon shops, but at present there are none in the place.
Robert Moore owned the first shoe shop. Before he came to the village he had worked at the trade in the house of Mrs. Mary Martin, who lived southwest of town.
John Roof kept the first tailor shop, and Frank McLean and others have worked at the business also.
John Martin had a cabinet shop at an early day.
Harness and saddle shops have also been carried on, but at present there are none in the village.
A post-office was established here in 1830, before the town was laid out, and J. M. C. Caskey was the first postmaster. After him came John S. McCoy, Robert Moore, John Elliott and John Spear. Samuel Harnit served as deputy under Caskey (or McCaskey), and Edward Howard was deputy under Moore. This post-office was established on the old stage line between Beaver, Pa., and Cleveland, Ohio, running through Petersburgh and Youngstown. Old Enon was a changing station on the line, and was well known to travelers over it. Previous to the war of 1812 this was made a postal route, and the mail was carried over it on horseback until the stage line went into operation. At that time the nearest post-office was at Darlington, Beaver county, five miles away. In order to accommodate the settlers about Enon, John Beer made a box and set it upon a post near his house, and made arrangements with the postmaster at Darlington to have the carrier drop the mail into it for the families living in the neighborhood, and that was done, thus saving a five-mile trip to the post-office.
Was organized about 1834-35, and a brick church built, which has since been torn away. Previous to the organization the members had held meetings in connection with the congregation, at Darlington, which was organized at a very early day. The present frame church at Little Beaver was built in the Summer of 1873. The ground on which the old church stood was donated by Enoch Marvin, and that occupied by the cemetery was given by John Beer, Esq., whose wife was the first person buried in it, her death occurring in the Fall of 1797. The grave-yard has been used for burial purposes ever since, and has become nearly filled up.
The first regular pastor who had charge of this congregation was Rev. Robert Dilworth, who continued to minister until nearly the time of his [p. 64] death, which occurred,about 1869-70. The next pastor was Rev. Mr. Miller, who staid three or four years. The third, the present pastor, is Robert S. Morton.
The original congregation was quite large. The present numbers something over one hundred members. A portion of the congregation went to Enon Valley station in July, 1873, and organized a church there.
Since the Little Beaver church was organized, a Sabbath-school has been kept up most of the time during the Summers.
The first settler on the site of this town was Samuel Harnit, who came from near McKeesport, in Allegheny county, Pa., first to what is now Beaver county, and in 1800 to the site of Enon, where he settled one hundred acres of Population land. Mr. Harnit brought his wife and three children, two sons and one daughter, with him. He built a log-house, which stood where the present town hall stands. Two children were born in the family after they came to the township, a daughter, Elizabeth, January 21st, 1802 and a son, Samuel, February 9th, 1804. These two are the only ones of the children now living. A grandson of Mrs. Harnit, also named Samuel, went to Illinois, and was for a number of years warden of the State penitentiary at Joliet. His brother Joseph went also to that State, and is at present living somewhere within its bounds engaged in the practice of medicine. Elizabeth Harnit was married to John Andrews, and is now living at Enon. Mr. Harnit was killed by the caving-in of a coal bank in 1804. He was a blacksmith, and built a shop near his house, which stood until the town plat was surveyed. The coal which he used he procured at a bank some two miles away, and carried it home on horseback, in a sack. This was the same bank which was finally the means of his death. The first blacksmith in the new town was Patrick Morgan, who worked in a shop which stood on Henry Wolf's property.
David Smith built a house, and in one end of it had the first wagon-shop in the place.
Before the town was laid out, the only houses standing on the land were Samuel Harnit's old log-house, then occupied by his widow, Mrs. Barbara Harnit, a frame house close by, occupied by her son, Nathaniel Harnit, and a frame house occupied by Samuel Harnit, the latter building on the south side of the railroad track. The first house after the town was laid out was built by John Spear, in one part of which he opened afterward the second store in the place.
The Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway was finished to Enon about the Fall of 1850, and during that Fall and the ensuing Spring, the station building, the St. Lawrence Hotel, and Ramage & McQuistan's store were built. The hotel was built by Thomas Wolf. Ramage & McQuistan's store was the first one in the town.
Samuel Harnit and William McGeorge owned the land on which the town plat was laid out, and Mr. Harnit sold a quantity of it to H. P. Mueller, who laid out the first lots, probably the next Summer after the road was built. Mueller's plat included lots on both sides of the track, east and west of the station, McGeorge's land was on the east, and came nearly to the station, and he also sold a considerable number of lots. A small portion of Mueller's plat is in Beaver county.
The first shoe-shop was built by R. C. Moore. It was a small affair, and was afterward removed from the spot, and is now used by Mrs. Parks as a dwelling house.
William McKean was probably the first tailor.
H. P. Mueller built a saw-mill about 1853, and operated it until 1855, when it was burned down. It stood on the south side of the track.
A broom factory was started soon after the town was laid out, by two men from Poland, Ohio, one of whom was named Covert. It was run only a short time.
A distillery was built about 1858-59, and run by Joseph Worley. The building is yet standing, but the machinery has all been sold and removed.
The manufactories at present are a planing-mill, originally started by David Preston & Bro., about 1870; a saw-mill, built by the same parties, about 1869; a steam grist-mill, built by Miller & Whitmire; and the round house and repair-shops for the eastern division and branches of the P. F. W. & C. Railway, which employ about twenty hands. There is also the usual complement of wagon and blacksmith-shops, &c.
A brick-yard was worked at one time near the Preston saw-mill, by Wilson, Herr & Co.
The population of the place is about five hundred, including a large proportion of Germans.
For some years after the place was laid out, a brick school-house, which stood between the two towns, was attended by pupils from both. In 1857-58 the building (frame) now used by William Reed & Co., for a storeroom was built for a school-house, and used for a number of years. The present brick, two-story school-house, was built about 1870, and, owing to the increasing number of pupils, is now inadequate for the purpose for which it was designed, and will probably soon be replaced by a larger one. The number of school children in the town at present is something over one hundred.
About a year after the town was laid out, the post-office was removed to it from the old town, and John Spear appointed the first postmaster. Those who have held the office since, are Benjamin Ramage, Isaac Murdock, Frank McEleavy, Rainey Miller and Henry Herr, which latter is the present incumbent.
The first physician in the place was Dr. A. P. Dutcher, who lived between the two towns. Dr. McPherson afterward had an office in the new town, and lived where Dr. Dutcher had resided. Drs. Hewitt and Gailey also practiced here.
Enon Lodge No. 916, I. O. O. F., was organized November 9, 1875, with a membership of twenty-seven. The first officers were: John O. Caskey, N. G.; John Sloan, V. G.; R. P. McCurley, secretary; E. Herwig, treasurer. The present officers are: Samuel McClain, N. G.; G. W. Corey V. G.; R. P. McCurley, secretary; E. Herwig, treasurer. The membership at present (February 8, 1877), is forty-six. The lodge-room is in the large building in the north part of the town, owned by Leonard Walters, of Pittsburgh. In the same building are also located the town hall and two store rooms.
The town has two hotels, the "St. Lawrence" and "American." The former is the first one built in the place, and the latter was built a few vears ago by Charles Fischer, the present proprietor. Both are substantial frame buildings.
The Christian Church of Enon was completed March 11, 1873, and dedicated the 22d of the same month. An organization of this society was completed as early as 1831, with William McCready, Ephraim Phillips, Euphemia Nicely, Nathaniel Harnit, John McCready, John Taylor and Josiah M. C. Caskey as members. Rev. Mr. Van Horn preached to them about that time, also Rev. Mr. Applegate and others. A few years later they disbanded, and had no organization subsequently until 1859, when a reorganization was effected by Rev. Mr. Winfield. He was followed by Rev. Wm. Hillock, and next came the Rev. John Phillips, who staid two or three years. Since then, Revs. Ephraim Phillips, S. B. Teegarden, and others, have had charge. Rev. J. M. Davis was the first pastor after the church was built. The congregation at present is without a pastor, and numbers about forty-five members.
Enon Presbyterian Church was organized about the lst of July, 1873, with eighty-one members. It was formed from a portion of the Little Beaver congregation at old Enon Valley. Rev. D. H. Laverty was installed as its first pastor, in August, 1874, and is still in charge. A Sabbath-school was organized in March, 1874; its first superintendent was Captain E. L. Gillespie. The present membership of the church is about one hundred and ten. Their church, a neat, commodious frame building, was erected in 1873. In December of that year a seven-hundred-and-fifty-pound Meneeley bell was placed in the belfry.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at Enon was organized in 1857-58, with about forty members. Before this, meetings had been held in the school-house, which stood between the two towns. The church was built before an organization was completed, and Rev. Samuel Krause (or Crouse) preached occasionally to them. The first pastor after the church was built was Rev. Wm. H. Tibbals. Since then the pastors have been Rev. J. C. Lemmon and H. L. Chapman, James Borbridge and Edward Williams, Robert Cunningham and N. P. Kerr, J. C. Castle and N. P. Kerr, George Crooks and U. L. Sneed., Andrew Huston and George Sheets, J. Z. Moore and M. J. Ingram, Robert Hamilton, J. J. Jackson, J. G. Gogley, J. G. Kessler and S.G. Miller, the present pastor. The membership is about forty-five. A Sabbath-school has been kept up since the organization of the church. Its first superintendent was probably George Adams.
From the 1770 - 1877 History of Lawrence County by S. W. and P. A. DURANT.
Explanation and Caution | Abbreviations | Lawrence Co. Maps | 1877 Portraits
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Updated: 28 Dec 2000, 17:40