History of Lawrence County Pennsylvania, 1770 - 1877, by S.W. and P.A. Durant.
[p. 38] It is not known when the first fire company was organized in New Castle, but it was probably nothing more than a bucket company, each member being furnished with a leather bucket, with his name, or the name of the organization marked thereon, which he kept at his house or place of business.
The first fire company in New Castle, of which we have any record, was organized on the 29th of September, 1836, the meeting being held at Andy Lewis' tavern. The following is a complete list of the officers chosen, as the same was published in the New Castle Intelligencer, a few days after the election took place: President, J. T. Boyd; Vice President, Wm. Cox; Secretary, S. C. Euwer; Treasurer, Thos. Painter; Captain, Wm. Dickson; Lieutenant, W. B. Miller; First Engineer, R. W. Cunningham; Second Engineer, James Watson, Jr.; Third Engineer, P. T. Boyd; Fourth Engineer, J. W. Cunningham; Axemen, Thos. Hunter, John M. Semple and E. R. Semple.
The first fire engine brought to New Castle was a small hand engine, which was operated by means of two cranks, one on either side of the wheel, which forced the water through the hose. It was a very imperfect machine, but was, nevertheless, regarded with considerable pride by the people of New Castle.
How long the company, whose officers are named above, continued in existence, we will not undertake to say, but there seems to be no doubt that it was kept up for many years.
Whether the Eagle Fire Company existed prior to 1851, we do not know, but as the constitution of this company was published for the first time in this year, we may, perhaps, safely infer that the company was first organized some time about this period.
The following is a list of officers chosen by the Eagle Fire Company, in April, 1851: President, B. B. Pickett; Vice-President, S. Dunn; Secretary, P. Dunn; Assistant Secretary, John R. Richardson; Treasurer, Wm. Lutton; Captain, P. Miller; Lieutenants: J. McGown, first; S. Dunn, second; Engineers:J. R. Richardson, first; R. Craven, second; W. R. Madge, third; W. G. Scott, fourth; Assistant Engineers: Wm. Love, Wm. Gaston; Hose Directors: D. Diamond, J. S. King, G. Riddle, J. S. Pomeroy, J. R. Emery, Wm. Douds; Assistant Hose Directors: D. Craig, R. P. Marshall, J. R. Moore, J. Crips, J. A. Addis, J. H. Emery, R. Emery, J. Pile, H. Stanson, H. Hall, G. V. Boyles, Wm. Emery, Wm. Lutton, U. Cubbison; Hose Engineers, J. B. Du Shane, J. H. Orr; Ladder Men, B. B. Pickett, J. B McKee, G. Moore, R. Wright; Hook Men, J. B. Moore, John H. Spencer; Axe Men, D. Stewart, Sr., S. Bussinger.
In the early part of the year 1851, the meetings of the Eagle Company were held in the Northeast Ward school house, a brick structure on North street, now occupied, we believe, as a residence, by Max Cosel. At most of these meetings, B. B. Pickett, presided, and Patrick Dunn acted as Secretary. The first engine purchased by the Council, for the Eagle Fire Compuny, arrived at New Castle on Saturday, the 30th of August, 1851. The Gazette, of that time, described the new engine as "a beautiful piece of mechanism."
On Saturday, the 4th of September, 1852, there was a grand firemen's parade, which was followed by a dinner at the Cochran House. The following graphic description of the parade, is from a copy of the New Castle Gazette, published on the Thursday following the grand demonstration.
"On Saturday last, dressed in elegant and appropriate uniform, according to the latest city style, the Eagle Fire Company made their first public display. It was certainly a grand demonstration, and called forth the universal admiration and applause of our citizens. The procession formed at one o'clock, on the "Diamond," at the engine house, headed by two Marshals, Messrs. Joseph Kissick and P. Dunn, on horse back. Next, the New Castle Brass Band, in their carriage, drawn by four horses. Next, the engine, drawn by four horses, and beautifully decorated with flowers and evergreens, and attended by its appropriate officers. Next, and lastly, came in proper order the hose reel, also decorated and drawn by the whole company, in double file. All being ready, the procession commenced its march to the music of the band. After having proceeded as far as the Cochran House, a delegation of ladies appeared upon the balcony, when it was announced that they were about to present the company with a beautiful wreath of flowers and evergreens, as a token of respect to the company, for their philanthropic enterprise. B. B. Pickett, Esq., being delegated by the committee of arrangements to receive the same, on behalf of the company, made some beautiful and appropriate remarks, which were received by cheers and the waving of handkerchiefs by the assembled multitude. The procession then proceeded up Washington street, though often agreeably interrupted on their way by the presentation of wreaths, and other tokens by the ladies, which were presented and received amidst the manifestation of much enthusiasm, after having marched through the principal streets of our town, amid demonstrations of applause. At 4 o'clock they returned to the Cochran House, where dinner had been prepared, by order of the committee of arrangements. The Town Council and other guests were present, by invitation from the company. After dinner, the company formed in front of the house, when James D. Clark made an appropriate speech on behalf of the citizens of the company--expressing admiration for their neat appearance and display, and satisfaction for the appropriate and thorough manner in which they had acquitted themselves as an efficient fire company, for the protection of the property, the homes, end the lives of the citizens of New Castle and vicinity. This was eloquently responded to by R. B. McComb, Esq., on behalf of the company. Thus ended the proceedings of the day."
The following historical item will serve to illustrate what the engine, belonging to the Eagle Company, in February, 1852, was capable of doing in the way of throwing water: "On Thursday, the 26th of February, 1852, the Eagle engine was stationed at the canal, and hose carried to the north side of the "Diamond," a distance of five hundred feet. We are informed that a strong stream was thrown over the Gazette building."
At that time John R. Moore was president of the company, James Moorhead, secretary, and John R. Richardson, captain.
On Tuesday evening, the 26th of February, 1856, a supper for the benefit of the Eagle Fire Company was given at the Leslie House. More than ne hundred persons, besides firemen, partook of the luxurious repast. The supper was followed by a dauce.
On Monday evening, the 25th of October, 1858, a meeting was held at the Eagle engine house, at which the Eagle Company was re-organized. The following is a list of the officers then chosen: President, Dr. D. Tidball; Vice President, Thomas Marshall; Secretary, James Dickson, Esq.; Assistant Secretary, Jas. M. Craig; Treasurer, James McGown; Captain, John W. Taylor; First Lieutenant, David Douds; Second Lieutenant, Jas. Cunningham; First Engineer, John Hinkson ; Second Engineer, John Davis; Third Engineer, John Vogan; Fourth Engineer, James A. Addis; Assistant Engineers, John Sheler, Thomas Van Fossen; Hose Engineers, James McGown, Thomas Marshall; Hose Directors, Richard Craven, James M. Craig, Andrew J. Baughman, Parker R. Branch, David Emery, Captain Hugh Steen; Assistant Hose Directors, Jas. R. Shaw, Nicholas Hinkson, David Norris; William Powell, George Dull, Enoch Hinkson, Wm. G. Warnock, Gilman Branch, Porter Smith, J. W. Squier, James R. Snowden, Wm. S. Lock, John Cooper, George Martin; Axemen, John R. Moore, Andrew E. Reed; Laddermen, James D. Shoaff, Hiram Hartsuff, G. W. Miller, W. G. Clarke; Hookmen, James S. Tidball, James A. Stephenson.
On Tuesday evening, the 2d of November, 1858, a new fire company was organized under the name and title of "The Relief Fire Company," The following officers were elected to serve during the ensuing year; President, D. S. Morris; Vice President, H. J. Levis; Secretary, Crawford W. Stewart; Assistant Secretary, Noble Holton; Treasurer, O. G. Hazen; Captain, John R. Richardson; Lieutenants: John S. King, first; Chester L. White, second; Engineers: Wilkes Waddington, first; Wm. Emery, second; John R. Pattison, third; James W. Trimble, fourth; Hose Directors: John Young, Jr., first; David Allen, second; Wm. S. Emery, third; James W. Scott, fourth; Harvy L. Mell, fifth; Wm. C. Christy, sixth; Assistant Hose Directors: David Gill, first; John N. Emery, second; Henry Ferguson, third; Maurice Cox, fourth; Milo White, fifth; Samuel C. Nicklin, sixth. Hose Engineers: Wm. Vogan, first; Albert Cox, second; Laddermen, Walter D. Clarke, Samuel Cook, W. Perry Book, R. Randolph; Hookmen, R. B. McComb, James Hoover; Axemen, John S. Wallace, Charles P. McKillip.
Notwithstanding the Girard Insurance Company, of Philadelphia, donated this company the sum of fifty dollars towards procuring a new engine, the latter was never procured, and on this account the company ceased to exist.
Although there has been a fire company in New Castle known as the Eagle Fire Company, nearly ever since the year 1836, the present Eagle Fire Company may be said to date its existence from the 16th of November, 1871, at which time a meeting was held at White Hall that resulted in the organization of a fire company. The following is a complete list of the officers then elected: Captain, John Young; First Lieutenant, Thos. Marshall; Second Lieutenant, Wm. P. Morrison; First Engineer, D. D. Douds; Second Engineer, Henry Hartsuff; First Hose Director, D. M. Cubbison; Second Hose Director, H. W. Squier. This meeting was presided over by Colonel D. H. Wallace. John A. Porter served as Secretary.
At a meeting held on the 3d of February, 1872, a new set of officers was elected.
What is now known as the new constitution of this company seems to have gone into operation about the 1st of October, 1873, about the time that the Eagle steam fire engine arrived.
The following is a list of the first officers under the new constitution, which were elected at a meeting held on the 30th of September, 1873: President, Joseph Kissick; Vice President, D. H. Wallace; Treasurer, Wm. H. Reynolds; Secretary, H. E. Woodworth; Captain, John Young; First Lieutenant, W. P. Morrison; Second Lieutenant, Perry Douds; First Hose Director, H. W. Squier; Second Hose Director, Noble Holton; Third Hose Director, W. W. Cubbison; Fourth Hose Director, W. C. Robinson; First Pipeman, H. P. Stockman; Second Pipeman, Jos. B. McCleary; Third Pipeman, George Caswell; Fourth Pipeman, E. P. Dickson; First Axeman, C. W. Sankey; Second Axeman, J. S. McCaslin; First Engineer, D. D. Douds; Second Engineer, J. W. Bryson. At this time the Eagle Company contained about sixty members, but the present number will probably not exceed forty.
For several months the Eagle steam fire engine, though it weighs fifty-three hundred pounds, was drawn to fires by hand, but in January, 1874, the Councils purchased a team of horses for the use of the fire department. The purchase price of this team was $500. On the same day Frank Miller was made driver, which position he has filled very acceptably from that time to the present.
Some time in the Autumn of 1873, a hook-and-ladder company was organized which was known as the Rescue Hook-and-Ladder Company. Its membership numbered about thirty-five strong, able-bodied young men, but the truck and ladders assigned to them were so cumbersome and unwieldy as to make it anything but a pleasant task to use them. The consequence was that the company gradually diminished in numbers until at length it was disbanded. We have made some effort to obtain the date of its organization, the name of its officers and the exact number of its original members, but all to no purpose. Some time last Spring a new company was organized in what is known as the Fourth Ward. This company contains about sixty members, all strong and vigorous young men who are inured to hard labor and not a few of whom have seen considerable service in battling the fiery fiend. This company has charge of the hook-and-ladder truck formerly belonging to the old Rescue Company, and is also called the Rescue Hook-and-Ladder Company.
The, Neshannock Fire Company which at present contains about sixty members, was organized on the 26th of September, 1873. Its original members numbered forty-four. The following is a list of the officers chosen at the time of its organization:
President, Hugh Flinn; Secretary, C. C. Agnew; Treasurer, D. F. Watson; Foreman, Hugh Flinn; First assistant, W. L. Clark; Second Assistant, D. W. Watson.
The company now known as the Vigilant Fire Company was organized on on the 12th of December, 1873, at which time it contained forty-seven members. At first it was called the Amoskeag Fire Company, from the fact that there was a purpose on the part of its members to procure an Amoskeag fire engine. After a time, however, this purpose was abandoned, and it was resolved to procure a hook-and-ladder company with Babcock Extinguishers. The original members of the Amoskeag Company were only four in number. [p. 40] These were: President, Thos. McBride; Vice President, Thos. Marshall; Secretary, A. M. Coulter; Treasurer, D. M. Cubbison.
At a meeting held on the 11th of February, 1874, the company assumed the name of the Vigilant Fire Company and adopted the motto, "We strive to save." At a subsequent meeting held on the 18th of March, 1874, the following list of officers was elected: President, Thomas Marshall; Vice President, Thomas McBride; Secretary, L. D. Durban; Treasurer, C. W. Watson; Trustees, George B. Berger, H. W. Squier and Milton Love; Foreman, D. M. Cubbison; First Assistant Foreman, H. W. Squier; Second Assistant Foreman, James Hale; Captain of Axe, M. Hannon; Captain of Extinguishers, W. W. Cubbison; Marshal, Wm. H. Wilson. The hook-and-ladder truck, with the extinguishers, arrived in New Castle in April 1874.
By way of writing an appendix to what has already been said concerning the first fire company in New Castle we desire to remark that this company was called the Eagle Company, and that the office of engineer which was held by R. W. Cunningham corresponds to the office now known as Foreman. The hat and bugle then used by Mr. Cunningham are now in the possession of D. M. Cubbison.
The present fire department consists of the following organizations and apparatus:
Chief Engineer, George C. Hagan.
First Assistant, W. Howard.
Second Assistant, Joseph Stritmater.
Eagle Fire Company, No. 1. (Steamer).--Foreman, A. S. Love; First Assistant, J. C. Edmonds; Second Assistant, S. B. Marshall; First Engineer, William J. Hill; Second, W. W. Waddington; Third, J. Camp; Driver, Frank Miller, and fifty men.
Neshannock Fire Company No. 1. (Hand Engine).--Foreman, Samuel Taggart; First Assistant, N. Barnett; Second Assistant, C. Wallace, and a complement of fifty men.
Rescue Hook-and-Ladder Company.--Foreman, William C. Howard; First Assistant, Harry Davy; Second Assistant, Jeremiah Robinson, and a force of sixty men.
Vigilant Hook-and-Ladder Company.--Foreman, D. M. Cubbison; First Assistant, Milton Love; Second Assistant, E. Durban, with thirty-five men.
Captain, C. W. Watson; First Lieutenant, P. Gaston; Second Lieutenant, John Linn, with a force of twenty-four men.
Apparatus.--One steamer of the "Button" pattern, costing $3,500; one hand engine of the same pattern; one hose carriage and four hose reels with 3,500 feet of hose; two hook-and-ladder and one police trucks with necessary apparatus.
The Fire Department is in excellent condition and very efficient in the discharge of its duties.
This department consists of one chief of police and three patrolmen: Chief, J. J. Cook; Patrolmen, D. A. Frew, S. R. Kelly, J. B. White.
The Police Department occupies rooms in the basement story of the new city building, corner of Washington and East streets. The office-room is comfortably and neatly fitted up, and adjoining are the cells for prisoners consisting of three separate apartments, built very strong and lined inside with boiler iron, with a heavy open iron grating in front along the corridor. They are clean, and well lighted and ventilated. For basement rooms these are exceedingly dry and comfortable.
Delta, H. R. A., Chapter 170.
Mahoning Lodge, No. 243, A. Y. M.
Lawrence Encampment, No. 86, I. O. O. F.
Shenango Lodge, No. 195, I. O. O. F.
Coal City Lodge, No. 671, I. O. O. F.
Friendship Lodge, No. 9, A. O. U. W.
Marietta Lodge, No. 237, K. of P.
Coal City Council, No. 226, O. U. A. M.
New Castle Lodge, No. 82, A. P. A.
Washington Camp, No..200, P. O. S. of A.
Neshannock Base Ball Club.
This fine building, located on the northwest corner of Washington and East streets, was commenced in June, 1875. The lot, 68 by 180 feet in dimensions, was purchased of Jesse Moore for fifteen thousand dollars, ($15,000).
The original contract price for the construction of the building, was about thirty-one thousand dollars, ($31,000). The contractors were Vogan & Preston. Before being completed, the building was burned June 7th and 8th, 1876. The amount expended to that date was about twenty-four thousand dollars, ($24,000). There was no insurance. The building has been rebuilt at an additional cost of fifteen thousand dollars, ($15,000).
It is constructed of red pressed brick, with galvanized iron trimmings, and is three full stories and basement in height. The whole of the first floor will be occupied by the Mayor's and Treasurer's office, and the Fire Department. The second floor will be occupied by the two councils, committee rooms, and audience chamber.
The third story will be principally occupied by the "Lawrence Guards" as an armory, and the basement by the Police Department and storage rooms. The completed building is a fine substantial addition to the numerous stately blocks which adorn Washington street, and worthy the enterprising young city in which it is located. It is fully insured.
A stock company, under the title of the "New Castle Hall and Market Company," was chartered March 12, 1866, with a capital of $25,000, and authority to increase to $175,000. The original incorporators were E. J. Agnew, George Pearson, Jr., George Conzette, I. N. Phillips, Paul Butz, Adam Treser, George C. Reis, John Davis, Ezekiel Sankey, Joseph Kissick. Christian Jenkinger, James R. Shaw and A. B. Berger.
The contract for the erection of the buildings was let in May, 1867, to James M. Mayne, at $25,000, but additional work brought the total expenditures up to $38,000. The building was completed in the Autumn of 1867. It is situated on Mercer street, and is sixty-four feet front by one hundred and thirty-four feet deep. It contains on the first floor a market house and two store rooms. The market house is filled up with twelve butcher's stalls, and between thirty and forty stalls for hucksters. The opera house occupies the upper portion of the building, and is finely fitted up with a roomy and convenient stage, proscenium boxes, gallery, &c., and has ample accommodations for an audience of one thousand. It is in contemplation to remodel and strengthen the whole structure at an expense of some ten thousand dollars, making it one of the finest houses to be found in any city of equal population in the country. The best traveling troupes always visit New Castle, and the entertainments given are equal in every respect to those of a similar character in the large cities.
The present number of stockholders is sixty. The officers are: Joseph Kissick, president; D. H. Wallace, treasurer; R. M. Allen, Sr., manager; Adam Treser, William H. Reynolds, Charles Duffy, R. M. Allen, Jr., directors.
This excellent band was organized about 1871-2, among the members of St. Mary's Catholic Church. The company owns about thirty instruments, of which twelve are at present in use. The leader is Martin Glenn.
New Castle has been favored with organizations of this kind for many years, and has hardly been without good music since the first Band was formed.
The first citizen to fill the honorable position of Postmaster in New Castle, was Joseph Thornton Boyd, who (according to an obituary notice published in the New Castle Gazette and Democrat, in March, 1868,) was appointed in 1812, under Mr. Madison's administration and continued to fill the office for twenty-six consecutive years, up to 1838. Following him have been:
R. W. Stewart, about eighteen months.
David Tidball, about eight months.
Joseph T. Boyd, again, about eighteen months.
David Tidball, again, about six months.
David Schaffer, about three years, during a portion of Tyler's and Polk's administrations.
William H. Reynolds, a few months.
William H. Shaw, under Taylor's and Fillmore's administrations.
David Tidball, under Pierce's administration.
Alexander Newell, under Buchanan's administration.
A. H. Leslie, a few months, under Buchanan.
David Emery, under Lincoln and Johnson, until 1867, when the office was taken possession of by a special government agent and correspondent of the New York Tribune, appointed by President Johnson in May, 1867 This agent occupied the position until August 5th, 1867, when David Tidball was again appointed, and has been continued to the present time (February, 1877).
The first banking institution in New Castle was a private bank, opened by William Dickson and William McClymonds, about the year 1851. It continued in business until December, 1854, when it became so much involved as to oblige it to wind up its affairs.
The Bank of New Castle was organized in 1855. The Act of incorporation was dated March 30th. The original incorporators were A. L. Crawford, R. W. Cunningham, Joseph Kissick, Thomas Wilson, Ezekiel Sankey, Wm. Dickson, John N. Euwer, Cyrus Clarke, Charles T. Whippo, L. L. McGuffin, Thomas Falls, James A. McClaughey, John Ferguson, James Leslie and William H. Reynolds. Its nominal capital was $150,000. This institution was in operation for about two years, with varying fortune, when it suspended, and was reorganized under the name of "Bank of Lawrence County," and did business until 1865, when it took up the State circulation and organized as the "National Bank of Lawrence County," with a capital of $150,000. Its first officers were:, Robert Crawford, president; Cyrus Clarke, cashier. Its circulation is $135,000, and its surplus $110,000. It is doing a general banking and deposit business. Its present officers are: William Patterson, president; Robert Crawford, vice president, and Cyrus Clarke, cashier.
A private bank was organized by Dickson, Watson and Wm. Patterson in 1855, in the room adjoining where it now is. Watson sold out and withdrew in 1858, and Mr. Patterson conducted the business in his own name until about 1872, when the name was changed to "Patterson's Bank," which is the present style of the firm.
The present officers are Wm. Patterson, president; Webster Justice, vice president; W. D. Dickson, cashier; C. W. Watson, assistant cashier.
The house is doing a deposit and discount business, and, probably, equals any other institution in the city in the amount of its transactions.
This bank was organized in 1864, with a capital of $150,000. Articles of association were signed October 4, 1864, and the following were the original officers: I. N. Phillips, president; E. I. Agnew, cashier. The surplus fund of the bank is $30,000. The circulation is $135,000.
The present officers are Samuel Foltz, president, J. B. Hardaker, vice president; David Osborne, cashier.
This institution was chartered in 1868, with a capital of $100,000, and authority to increase to $500,000. It has, however, never organized under the charter, or, at least, never fully taken advantage of it.
Its first officers were D. H. Wallace, president; R. E. Wallace, cashier; and C. S. Wallace, teller and book-keeper, and this arrangement has not been changed. The house does a regular banking business in connection with the savings department. Their average number of depositors is about fourteen hundred, and their average deposits one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000). Mr. D. H. Wallace, the senior member of the firm, was cashier of the Farmers and Mechanics' Savings Bank, before the war of the rebellion. He entered the service in 1861, as lieutenant-colonel of the 76th Pennsylvania Infantry. Since the war, Colonel Wallace has been at different times a director in each of the National banks of the city.
A bank under the above title was organized as a stock company about 1858, with Wm. Watson, as president, D. H. Wallace, as cashier, and Mannaseh Henlein, as vice president.
When Colonel Wallace entered the army, in 1861, it was merged into a private banking-house by Wm. Watson, who continued business about four years, when it was discontinued.
The banking-house of Foltz & Sons was organized September 23, 1873. The officers, which are the same as at the date of organization, are Samuel Foltz, president; W. S. Foltz, cashier; L. S. Foltz, book-keeper. The senior partner, Samuel Foltz, is also president of the First National Bank. The firm is doing a general banking business.
A company with the above title was chartered by the Legislature on the 1lth day of February, 1856. The original incorporators were Dr. Charles T. Whippo, Stephen J. Noble, Theodore F. Hay, N. White and Ezekiel Sankey. The franchises of the charter included the right to manufacture, and supply the borough of New Castle with gas for illuminating purposes for the period of twenty years. Before the expiration of the time granted, the company became involved, and their rights and property were sold by the sheriff. The purchaser under the sale was Joseph Pennock, of Pittsburgh, who had supplied the company with a large amount of pipe, and was the principal creditor. After his purchase he became a little doubtful as to whether the sale transferred the charter rights and privileges, and soon after sold out to Cyrus Clarke, who disposed of a half interest to David Sankey.
Mr. Sankey soon after went to Harrisburg and procured a new Act of incorporation, or a re-enactment of the former charter, with a new set of incorporators, including Cyrus Clarke, David Sankey, Isaac N. Phillips, and perhaps some others. This company sold to the present one in March, 1875, who are now operating under a capital of fifty thousand dollars, ($50,000).
At present the company have some seven miles of pipe laid, with sixty-four street lamps, and three hundred and thirty-five meters in use.
The average amount of coal consumed annually is over eleven hundred tons. The material used is the well-known Beaver Valley Gas Coal, from the mines at Wampum and Clinton, in Lawrence county.
The works are located, on the northeast corner of South and Shenango streets, near the river. The coke is mostly consumed for heating purposes on the premises, only a small portion being otherwise disposed of.
The price of gas to consumers varies according to amounts used, from two, dollars to two dollars and seventy-five cents per thousand feet.
The present officers of the Company are: President, J. S. Connelly; Treasurer and Secretary, J. B. Finley. The office is at the works.
This fine organization, justly the pride of the citizens of New Castle, is known in military parlance as Company H, 15th regiment of the National Guard of Pennsylvania, and forms a portion of the 7th division of State Militia. The various companies of the 15th regiment are located as follows:
Company A, at Charleston, Mercer county. Company B, " Meadville, Crawford " Company C, " Conneautville " Company D, " Franklin, Venango " Company E, " Meadville, Crawford " Company F, " North Liberty, Mercer " Company G, " Sharon, " " Company H, " New Castle, Lawrence " Company I, " Mercer, Mercer " Company K, " Greenville, " "
The Regimental Staff consists of the following officers: Colonel, P. B. Carpenter, of Conneautville: Lieutenant Colonel, D. M. Cubbison, New Castle; Major, James D. Moore, Mercer; Adjutant, John W. Hurd, Conneautville; Quarter-Master, John I. Gordon, Mercer; Commissary, H. H. Davis, Meadville; Paymaster, J. Bolord, Conneautville; Surgeon, O. Hough, Conneautville; Assistant Surgeons, Salem Heilman, Sharon; G. D. Kughler, Greenville; Chaplain, G. W. Zahniser, Conneautville.
Captain[sic] H was organized January 22d, 1873, by Captain James Hale, as the "Lawrence Guards," and constituted a portion of the 19th division National Guards of Pennsylvania, there being, at that time, twenty divisions in the State. The divisions were remodeled, and consolidated into ten in April, 1874, and the 19th became the 7th. The "Lawrence Guards" took charge of the muskets of the old "Lawrence Guards," which had been disbanded and drilled independently, until April, 1874, when they were assigned to the l5th regiment National Guards of Pennsylvania, as Company H.
The first officers were: Captain, James Hale; First Lieutenant, J. C. McMillen; Second Lieutenant, T. J. Fisher; and Orderly Sergeant, M. L. Reynolds. The company numbered, at its organization, forty officers and men. All the commissioned officers, and a large share of the non-commissioned officers and men, had seen service in the army during the rebellion. The company has performed regular duty with the 15th regiment, at all drills and parades of the division, which has an annual encampment, drill and inspection. The several companies receive five hundred dollars annually from the State. Company H has, at present, sixty officers and men, and stands A No. 1 for soldierly bearing and efficiency, in the report of the [p. 42] Adjutant General of the division. The present officers are James Hale captain; Joseph C. McMillen, first lieutenant, M. L. Reynolds, second lieuenant, and Joseph McElwain, orderly sergeant. The company has one fifer, and one snare drummer. Their armory is in the third story of the city building.
This company was originally chartered in 1868. The incorporators were D. Craig, R. H. Peebles, Joshua Rhodes, A. B. Berger, George Pearson and James Rhodes.
The road was built in 1866 by James Rhodes. The first cost was about one hundred thousand dollars, ($100,000.) The total cost to the present time has been about one hundred and forty thousand dollars, ($140,000.) The company organized with George Pearson as president, James Rhodes, secretary and treasurer, and the balance of the incorporators acting as directors. A new charter was obtained in 1872, and a new company organized under the name of the New Castle Railroad and Mining Company. The new company purchased the interests of the Neshannock Railroad, Coal and Ore Company. The incorporators under the new charter were Geo. Pearson, James Rhodes, George C. Reis, R. H. Peebles, Joshua Rhodes, T. F. Stryker and B. M. Kissinger. The officers under the new organization were Joshua Rhodes, president; James Rhodes, vice president, T. F. Stryker, secretary; Geo. C. Reis, R. H. Peebles, George Pearson, directors. James Rhodes died October 20, 1873,and George Pearson was elected vice president, and B. M. Kissinger, director. With these changes the present officers and directors are the same as the original ones under the new charter. The road was constructed to connect the
With the coal and iron-producing district in Neshannock Township, north of New Castle. Coal was mined for domestic purposes as early as 1820, but in very small quantities; the whole product being carried in baskets from the "bank" and hauled in wagons to the few smithies that made use of it. The first organized company was the one above-mentioned, in 1866.
The New Castle R. R. & M. Co. now own about 400 acres of mineral lands in the township, and are taking coal altogether from about 700 acres. A large portion of Neshannock township is underlaid with coal; and it is worked by various parties besides this Company, though mostly in a small way. The total length of track laid, including sidings, is about five miles of 3 feet 6 inch gauge. The company are working at present two shafts. The coal lies about fifty feet below the surface, and the vein is about four feet in thickness. The annual amount produced is 35,000 tons, which is mostly used by the various manufactories in New Castle, the amount shipped to other points being quite small.
Underlying all the coal, at a depth of 75 or 80 feet, is a stratum of iron ore from six to eighteen inches in thickness. It is known generally as the "blue ore." Lying between the upper stratum of coal and iron, at a depth of about 60 feet below the first, is a second stratum of coal some three feet in thickness. This has not been worked to any considerable extent. Lying between these two prominent veins is a thin stratum of very superior coal, but being only about eighteen inches in thickness, it cannot be worked to advantage. The workable coal lies nearly in a horizontal position, with the bottom somewhat undulating, and with a slight declination to the southwest.
The Company's track follows a small creek from the vicinity of their mines down to the Neshannock creek, passing through some wild and romantic scenery as it approaches the latter stream. It crosses the Neshannock on a very substantial iron bridge, of the King pattern, about one-quarter of a mile above the paper mills, and uses the track of the New Castle and Franklin railway, from thence into the city, by putting down an extra rail inside the main track. Their bridge over the Neshannock was considerably damaged by ice the fore part of February last, but was immediately repaired. The Company possesses ample facilities in New Castle for the transaction of an extensive business.
The original town plat of New Castle was laid out by John Carlysle Stewart, in April, 1798.
James Gillespie made an addition in 1811.
James D. White, two additions in 1832 and 1837.
Ezekiel Sankey laid out West New Castle, 1836.
Thomas Falls made an addition at an early date.
John Crawford White, an addition in 1846 or 1847.
Dr. C. T. Whippo, an addition in 1850.
John T. Phillips, an addition in 1867.
Henry F. Falls, an addition in 1867.
David White, or his heirs, an addition, date unknown.
Phillips and DuShane, addition to West New Castle, 1868.
And there have probably been several other additions, but it is difficult finding them, and several have never been placed upon record.
The present area within the city limits will not vary materially from five square miles or 3,200 acres, a large proportion of which is very thickly settled.
The city is romantically and picturesquely situated at the confluence of the Neshannock creek and Shenango river. Big Run, a considerable stream, also discharges its waters into the Shenango within the city limits, and there are a number of smaller streams which also traverse various portions of its territory.
Along the Neshannock creek the bluffs rise very abruptly to the height of a hundred feet or more; in places precipitous, and showing bold and rugged rock escarpments. The scenery along the Neshannock is quite wild and picturesque, and the minor streams present some rare and beautiful retreats; particularly is this the case upon a small creek which discharges into the Neshannock, near the crossing of the Coal railroad, and also on a small run below Croton village; and there is a picturesque gorge or ravine just south of Greenwood Cemetery. Along the Shenango, from about opposite the west end of North street, to a point in the southeastern part of Union township, the hill rises abruptly from the stream, and the sandstone crops. out in perpendicular cliffs. The bluffs are very bold and commanding in the northern part of the city, and afford many fine building sites, which have been greatly improved by the hand of art. On the east side of the Neshannock, from a point near the court house, to the southeastern limits of the city, the hills rise more gradually, attaining a height of about three hundred feet, at the distance of a short mile from the creek. The valley of the Shenango, in the northwestern part, is beautiful; skirted on the west, by a fine level bottom, and on the east overhung by wooded heights. South of Big Run the hills rise grandly to the height of over three hundred feet from the Shenango, and the valley of Big Run opens a charming vista towards the southeast.
In the southern part of the city, a little north of Big Run, is a curious freak of nature, in the form of an oblong hill, lying parallel with the valley of the Run, rising some fifty feet above the level bottom, by which it is surrounded. It is the property of Mr. Thomas W. Phillips, whose residence crowns its summit, embowered amid the foliage of a few primeval forest trees, and a most beautiful arrangement of deciduous and evergreen trees planted and arranged in the most artistic manner. This is one of the very finest residence locations in the city. (See cut.)
The mound itself was undoubtedly formed by the action of counter-currents of swift-flowing waters, in the days when the vast continental glacial system was melting away under the rays of the sun.
From whatever direction New Castle is approached, the views are beautiful, always excepting the murky atmosphere that perpetually overhangs the valley, from its smoking factories.
Including its numerous suburbs, the city contains an estimated population of from 10,000 to 12,000 people. Three lines of railway centre or make connections with New Castle: the Erie and Pittsburgh, the New Castle and Franklin, and the Ashtabula, Youngstown and Pittsburgh. A fourth, called the Pittsburgh, New Castle and Erie railway, is in contemplation, with fair prospects of being put in operation at an early day. The place has been a central business point from the date of its first settlement, as the fact that some sixteen wagon roads converge upon it shows. In the days of the "raging canal," it was a prominent point, many of the boat-builders and owners, as well as "captains" and business managers, being residents.
A large amount of capital, amounting in the aggregate to several million dollars, is invested in extensive and varied manufactures, which give the city its prominence, principal among which are the various and complicated iron industries, the products of which, from pig-iron down through all the multiform variations of "T" rail, bar, and sheet-iron, spikes and nails, mill-gearing, water-wheels, flat, round, plate, band-iron and nail-rods, find their market in all the great centres of trade throughout the land.
Large quantities of flour and feed, paper and sacks, refined oils, woolen goods and yarns, glass, furniture, pottery, carriages, &c., &c., are also manufactured and exported to various points. A very large mercantile business is transacted in New Castle in the various departments of dry goods, groceries, clothing, drugs, paints, oils, medicines, jewelry, hardware, crockery and furniture.
The number of business houses, including several in Croton and South and West New Castle, is probably not less than two hundred. Washington street and portions of several others of the principal thoroughfares are substantially paved, and the city can boast the possession of a number of very fine and substantial bridges. The iron bridge on Washington street, over the Shenango, erected by the Canton Iron Bridge Company, of Canton, O., is a splendid and most substantial structure. Its total length is about 210 feet and its width 50 feet, with two carriage-ways and sidewalks on either side. It is very firm, the heaviest traffic making no perceptible vibration. It is built upon the arched truss principle, somewhat modified. Another iron bridge spans the Shenango at Grant street, built by T. B. White & Sons, of Beaver Falls. It is about the same length as the Washington street bridge, and appears to be a solid and satisfactory structure. It is similar to the "Howe truss." A fine wooden bridge spans the Shenango at the "point," just above the mouth of the Neshannock, constructed upon the arched truss principle and covered. It is a very substantial work. On the Neshannock there are three iron bridges of the King pattern, built at Cleveland, Ohio, and one wooden foot bridge, the latter opposite the upper portion of the Shenango Iron Works." In addition to these there are four railway bridges within the city limits; two over the Shenango and two over the Neshannock. They are constructed partly of wood and partly of iron.
The water-power within the city is all situated on the Neshannock creek, there being three substantial dams upon the stream; one, the upper one, employed to drive the paper mill; the next below furnishes power for Messrs. Pearson, Clapp & Co.'s grist-mill, and the lower one is mostly used by Raney & Gordon's grist-mill and Messrs. H. Love & Son's woolen-mill. There was formerly a very fair water-power on Big Run, but a flood swept it away and the dam has not since been rebuilt.
The city contains fifteen church edifices, the most conspicuous being that of the Christian denomination, which like the famed St. Stephen's Cathedral at Vienna, dominates all other objects in the city, and is conspicuous for a long distance.
There are within the city twenty-four schools, not including the large and flourishing Catholic denominational school.*
*See article prepared by Prof. Gantz.
The city also contains a flourishing college, three weekly newspapers, and one extensive job printing office, five hotels, gas works, a military company, the "Lawrence Guards," a fine cornet band, an opera and market house, a large number of substantial business buildings, and many fine, tasteful and costly residences. There are about twenty resident clergymen, thirteen practicing physicians, about thirty attornies, five surgeon dentists, an excellent and well-equipped fire department, and a very efficient police force.
The total assessed valuation for 1877, is about $2,500,000, and the number of taxables for 1875, the latest report we have, was 1,751.
The first newspaper published in New Castle was the New Castle Register, which made its appearance in December, 1826. The proprietor and publisher was David Crawford, who had formerly lived in the town of Mercer. The paper was a five-column folio, published weekly, at two dollars per annum. The publication office was situated near the west end of North street, on the first floor of a log house standing upon or very near the site of R. M. Allen's present residence. It was printed on a Ramage press, the wood-work of which was made by John B. Emery. Like other presses of the kind, it had a wooden platen with a metal face. The bed was of stone, and is still in existence, serving as a hearthstone in a dwelling in the third ward. The impression was made by turning a screw, which required two pulls for every impression. When operated by a good pressman, it was capable of printing five or six quires per hour. This paper was published about two years, when it was discontinued, and Mr. Crawford returned to Mercer, where he remained until 1831, when he again removed to New Castle.
George P. Shaw, a brother of Colonel Wm. H. Shaw, was editor of the Register.
About eight years after the suspension of the Register, another newspaper was started in New Castle, called the New Castle Intelligencer. It was owned by a joint-stock company, of which Major E. Sankey and Hon. Rob't Stewart were two of the principal stockholders. It was published by John W. Cunningham who resided in New Castle until his death, December l7, 1864.
Mr. Cunningham's widow subsequently married Jacob Quest, who now resides in West New Castle.
The editor of the Intelligencer was a young man named Henry E. Wallace, who came to New Castle in the Summer of 1836, and opened the first law office in the place. Michael Weyand, at present editor and proprietor of the [p. 44] Beaver Times, officiated in the capacity of printer's devil "in the Intelligencer office. The first number of this paper was issued on the 18th of August, 1836. It was a five-column folio, printed on imperial paper. The publication office was situated on the northeast corner of Washington and Beaver streets, over T. McCleary & Co.'s store. It was published for about two years, when it was discontinued. It is quite probable that the press and type were afterwards used in printing the Western Sentinel and the Mercer and Beaver Democrat. After the suspension of the paper, Mr. Wallace removed to Philadelphia, where he became a prominent attorney, and was for many years editor of the Legal Intelligencer.
The Western Sentinel was first issued in August, 1837, and was published until December, 1838, a period of about sixteen months, when it was discontinued. It was a small four-page sheet, with six columns to the page, and was edited by Mr. O. C. Lockhart, an elderly gentleman, now residing on his farm near the town of Pulaski, in this county. The Sentinel was Whig in politics.
From December, 1838, to August, 1839, there was no paper published in New Castle, but since the latter date the town has never been without a local paper.
The first number of the Mercer and Beaver Democrat was issued on Wednesday, August 14, 1839. It was a five-column folio sheet, and, notwithstanding its name, adhered to the political doctrines of the Whig party. The subscription price was two dollars per annum.
The original proprietor of the paper was a man named John Speer, who subsequently disposed of his interest in the paper to John B. Early, and removed to Arkansas. Mr. O. C. Lockhart, before mentioned, worked as compositor on the Democrat. One of the principal writers connected with the paper, was "Zip" Allison, who had formerly lived in Beaver. He was said to have been a young man of ability and an excellent writer, but, unfortunately, under the influence of that demon which ruins so many promising intellects--strong drink. On religious subjects he was called a "free-thinker."
Soon after the, political campaign of 1840 was over, the Democrat was discontinued, about sixty numbers in all having been issued. It is stated in Mr. Penn's history of the newspapers of New Castle, that Wm. D. C. Greene, one of the editors of the Democrat, executed a will wherein he bequeathed his library to Geo. D. Prentice, of the Louisville (Ky.) Journal, and then committed suicide by taking a dose of laudanum.
The Mercer and Beaver Democrat was succeeded by the New Castle Gazette, the first number of which appeared on the 15th of October, 1841. It was published by H. A. McCullough and Wm. H. Shaw. The office was on the northeast corner of Washington and Mill streets. It was a four-page paper, with five wide columns to the page, and was published at two dollars per year.
About two months after the paper was started, McCullough sold his interest to John S. Winter. Shaw and Winter published the paper about one year, when Winter disposed of his interest to Shaw, and returned to his father (Dr. John Winter), of Sharon.
As a sample of a printer's experience, it is said that Winter received as his share of the proceeds only two dollars, and that was his father's subscription to the paper. Mr. Shaw published the paper until 1845, when he sold an interest in it to Alexander Cameron. About this time the paper was changed to a six-column sheet, and also received a new head. The firm name was W. H. Shaw & A. Cameron. In the Spring of 1846, the firm name was changed to Cameron & Shaw. In the Summer or Autumn of 1846, Mr. Cameron sold his interest to Geo. P. Shaw, a brother of Wm. H. Shaw, and the firm became W. H. & G. P. Shaw, and continued until 1858, when Geo. P. Shaw sold his interest to his brother, and retired. On the 23d of August, 1849, the paper appeared in an entire new dress, and enlarged in size to seven wide columns. About this time the publication office was removed to Crawford & Co.'s new building, on the southwest corner of Jefferson street and the "Diamond." David Craig, who had been associated with the Shaw brothers in the publication of the Gazette, severed his connection with the paper, in October, 1851.
On the lst of July, 1852, the Gazette appeared in mourning for the death of Henry Clay. On the 24th of August, 1854, it appeared, for the second time, in an entire new dress, and the paper kept on the "even tenor of its way" until the 7th of August, 1862, when it suddenly suspended publication, in consequence of its editor, Colonel William H. Shaw, having entered the army.
The paper was revived on the 18th of May, 1864, and again appeared in a new dress. lt was published as a Republican paper until about the middle of September, of that year, when it was sold to a Democratic joint-stock [p. 44] company, for $1,500. Among the principal stockholders were David Morris, S. W. Dana, D. M. Courtney and Lewis Taylor. Under the new management, the Gazette was edited by D. S. Morris, until William S. Black, from Philadelphia, took charge of it, in March, 1865.
Thomas J. McCleary was the first foreman in the mechanical department, and his brother, Joseph, succeeded him, and continued in the capacity until the publication of the paper was discontinued.
Mr. T. Burton was associated with Mr. Black in the publication of the paper from the 1st of January, 1867, until November of that year. During the years 1868 and 1869, R. Gregor McGregor was employed at intervals in connection with the editorial department. He was succeeded by John F. Brown, who worked on the paper until July 15th, 1872, when George W. Penn became connected with the editorial department, in which capacity he remained until the paper was discontinued, which occurred on the 10th of September, 1875.
The Gazette was published, altogether, about thirty-four years. It began as a Whig organ, and when the Republican party was formed, in 1856, it followed its fortunes until September, 1864, when it hoisted Democratic colors. It first appeared as a five-column paper, and was subsequently enlarged, at different periods, until, at the time of its demise, it was an eight-column paper.
A paper, called the Jersonian Herald, was started in New Castle sometime during the administration of President Tyler, and continued for about one year. It was published by Ephraim Galbraith. The office was in a two-story frame building, on the north side of the "Diamond," the same now occupied by George T. Wilson's tin store. One account, by Mr. McConnell, himself a printer, is that the Herald only existed for about six weeks, and was published in 1841.
The first number of the New Castle Democrat was issued on Saturday, July 13th, 1844. This paper continued about one year. The publishers were George T. Humes and John N. Hallowell. It was a folio paper, with four columns to the page. The subscription price was two dollars per annum. It is related of Mr. Humes, that his patronage was so indifferent that he was often forced to borrow money to pay for letters at the post-office, letters in those days being paid or unpaid at the option of the writer. It is also said, as illustrating both the stringency of the times and the determination of the publisher, that more than once he carried a bundle of blank paper from New Brighton to New Castle, a distance of twenty miles.
After his experiment had become a failure, he was seen leaving New Castle with his elbows and knees looking out through a ragged coat and a pair of torn pantaloons, and it was cold weather, in the latter part of the Fall, at that. Afterwards, through the influence of D. M. Courtney, he secured a clerkship in the House of Representatives of the Pennsylvania Legislature. He had been a publisher at Franklin, Pa., previous to his coming to New Castle, and Mr. E. S. Durban was one of his employees. It is said in all his after life he could not look back upon his New Castle experience without a shudder.
The first number of the Lawrence Journal was issued on the 23d of May, 1849. It was published by James M. Kuester, who is said at this time to be keeping a tobacco store in Denver, Colorado. The Journal was a four-page paper, with six columns to the page. It seems to have been a double-barreled organ, throwing both Democratic and "Free Soil" projectiles at the same time. The Democratic department was edited by Mr. Kuester, and the Free Soil by Drs. Joseph Pollock and Charles T. Whippo. During the first twenty years of its existence, the office was in the second story of the brick building on the southeast corner of Washington street and the "Diamond," now occupied by Patterson's Bank.
About the first of April, 1858, Mr. G. D. Kuester became associated with his father in the publication of the Journal. About September 1st, 1861, the publication was suspended, but was resumed early in January, 1862, under the editorial control of G. D. Kuester. Blank paper then cost printers twenty-four dollars, per bundle.
Hon. David Sankey purchased the Journal in the Spring of 1867. Under Mr. Sankey's management, Mr. R. G. Dill was at one time editor, and subsequently O. P. Wharton was both publisher and editor, but during Wharton's connection with the paper, most of the leading political articles were written by Mr. Sankey.
For a short time during 1873, the Journal was edited by G. D. Kuester, as an independent Republican paper.
Mr. J. M. Keuster,[sic] the founder of the Journal, began his editorial life at the head of a German paper published in Lewisburg, Pa. Subsequently he published the Times at New Berlin, Union county, Pa. In 1837, he was editor and publisher of the Western Press, at Mercer, Pa. In 1843, he commenced the publication of the Erie Observer. In 1844, he was editor of the Pittsburgh Chronicle.
About the year 1853, Wm. Blanchard, from Washington, D. C., came to New Castle and started a Free Soil paper, called the Promulgator. It was a seven-column folio, and was printed on a Northrop press, which was the first power-press ever seen in New Castle. In about three months from the first issue, Mr. Blanchard disposed of his interest to Wm. F. Clark, of Mercer, Pa., who changed its name to the Promulgator and Freeman. Still later he again changed its name to the American Freeman. As its name would indicate, it was an anti-slavery paper. Mr. Clark was a fluent, forcible writer, and very industrious. In the Spring of 1857, he sold his interest to Mr. E. S. Durban, a native of England, who came to this country in 1830, when only eight years of age. Mr. Durban commenced his career as a printer in 1836, in the office of the Union, at Zanesville, Ohio. In 1843 he removed to Franklin, Pa., where he afterwards married, and in 1845, started a paper called the Advocate and Journal, which he published until 1852. (The paper is now the Venango Citizen.) Upon taking charge of the American Freeman, on the lst of May, 1857, he changed its name to the New Castle Courant. It was at first a seven-column folio, but after the close of the war it was enlarged to an eight-column paper. Recently it has been changed into an eight-column quarto. The first job power-presses were introduced into New Castle by Mr. Durban.
A new paper, called by the euphonious name of the Dew Drop, was commenced on the 3d of February, 1855. It was published by O. O. Sutherland and J. H. Gilliland, in the Gazette office. It was a weekly, four page paper, and the subscription price was twenty-five cents for three months. It was intended for a humorous publication, but got into trouble on account of the too free use of some citizen's name, and was soon after discontinued.
Some time during the year 1856, another paper, called the Coal-City Item, was started, and continued for about two or three years. J. S. Jennings was editor, and M. B. Glenn, associate editor.
The publication office was on the southeast corner of Washington and Mill streets, over Henderson's store. Some authority claims that John Fairman was at first connected with this paper.
The Coal-City Chronicle, a small, six-column folio, was established in 1860, by J. W. Vincent, George Leasure, and Oscar Sutherland.
J. W. Vincent was editor, and the contributing editors were D. Leasure, M.D., D. Craig, Esq., and Professor G. C. Vincent; the former two of New Castle, and the latter of New Wilmington.
About the 1st of March, 1861, J. W. Vincent severed his connection with the paper, and soon after entered the army, and was commissioned a lieutenant. He was married in the latter part of 1861, and died in the service in February, 1862. His remains were brought home, and interred at New Wilmington. George Leasure and Oscar Sutherland volunteered at the same time, and the paper was discontinued.
The first agricultural paper in New Castle is said to have been published by a man named Hawthorne, but there appears to be no data now in existence, from which a history of it can be written.
In the month of December, 1860, G. D. Kuester issued the prospectus of a monthly agricultural paper, to be called the Lawrence Farmer. This programme was never carried out, but some time in 1867 a paper made its appearance, under the name of the Pennsylvania Farm Journal. It was a thirty-two page paper, with two columns to the page. In the Winter of 1867-8, it was consolidated with the National Agriculturist, of Pittsburgh, and its publication at New Castle discontinued.
In May, 1862, a small four-page monthly paper called The Thorn, was started in New Castle. It was mostly devoted to military matters, and was not continued for any considerable time.
On the 5th of December, 1867, the first number of the Champion, a small six-column folio, and Democratic in politics, made its appearance. It was edited by Mr. T. Burton, the present local editor of the Courant. It was a campaign sheet, and was discontinued soon after the Presidential election.
The Soldiers' Bulletin, a small campaign paper, was published in New Castle during the Autumn of 1869, the first number being issued on the 7th of August. It was published for about ten weeks, by an executive committee, of whom the most active members were Captain R. G. Dill and George E. Treadwell.
The first issue of the Lawrence Guardian made its appearance on the 9th of August, 1870, under the proprietorship of Captain R. G. Dill, William Platt and George E. Treadwell. It was a seven-column folio, printed on new type, and presented a neat typographical appearance. The subscription price was two dollars per annum.
About the 1st of January, 1872, Captain Dill severed his connection with the paper, and some three months later, William Platt, who had become sole proprietor, sold to G. W. McCracken & Co. Mr. McCracken assumed the editorial control, and George R. Graham was assigned the foremanship of the mechanical department. Under the new management, the Guardian began to prosper, and its circulation rose rapidly from eight hundred to fifteen hundred subscribers, and subsequently to over two thousand. In August, 1871, it was enlarged to an eight-column paper, and in August, 1873, to nine columns. It is now printed on a power press.
The first regular local editor was Mr. T. Burton, in the Summer of 1875. George W. Penn occupied the position from the 13th of September, 1875, until the 1st of June, 1876, at which time he became editor and manager of the Paragraph. He was succeeded on the Guardian by George W. Shaw, a son of Colonel William H. Shaw, who edited the New Castle Gazette for more than twenty years.
The first number of the New Castle Signal appeared on the 15th of January, 1875, and the last number on the 4th of February, 1876, soon after the death of William H. Gault, who was founder and editor of the paper. It was in the quarto form, with five columns to the page. During the first few months of its existence, O. P. Wharton and George W. Shaw were associated with Mr. Gault as assistant editors, and it was one of the most lively and interesting papers ever published in New Castle.
The United Workman, a paper published in the interest of the Order of United Workmen, made its appearance in December, 1875. It was a sixteen-page paper, with three wide columns to the page, and was edited by Wm. S. Black and Joseph Moorhead. It was only published for a few months, the support given not being sufficient to warrant its continuance.
The New Era, a prohibition paper, the first ever published in New Castle, made its appearance on the 21st of September, 1875. It was an eight-column folio. Its original proprietor was James K. Frew, of New Lisbon, Ohio, and its editor was James A. Gardner. Mr. Frew subsequently disposed of his interest to Mr. Gardner, who continued its, publication until the latter part of February, 1875, when he sold the material to T. Burton, who began the publication of the Paragraph, March 3d, 1876.
The first number of the Public Spirit was issued on the 4th of July, 1876. It was a weekly paper, being the first of the kind in New Castle, and was published by Wm. S. Black and Joseph Moorhead. It was a five-column folio and began as an independent paper, politically, but afterwards espoused the principles of the greenback element. It was well edited, but, after a publication of about four months, was forced to succumb, for lack of support. The foregoing list comprises all the papers that have at any time, so far as known, been published in New Castle.
At the present writing (March, 1877), there are three weekly papers published in New Castle, to wit: The Lawrence Guardian, edited by Geo. W. McCracken, the New Castle Courant, edited by E. S. Durban; and the Lawrence Paragraph, published by Penn and Stone, Geo. W. Penn, editor--the former two, Republican; the last-named, Democratic, politically.
New Castle monopolizes the newspaper business of the county, there being no publication, of any description, we believe, outside its limits. There is, perhaps, no pursuit which so well illustrates the ups and downs of life as the calling of a printer. Though named the "Art Preservation of Arts," yet its votaries sometime find themselves unable to preserve even the appearance of gentility; and the journeyman printer has been, from the days of Franklin to the present time, the most remarkable specimen of the genus homo known to traveling professionals. The printer's experience is a ladder, with its foot in the substratum of society, it may be, but whose topmost round, like the one in the Patriarch's vision, reaches to heaven. An intelligent, independent press is one of the main-stays of a Democratic form of government, and so long as it is conducted upon those principles which look solely to the good of the whole people, the country is safe, and a "free government shall not perish from the earth." Beside the regular newspaper offices, there is quite an extensive job printing establishment on Washington street, of which Messrs. Thomas & Miller are proprietors.
Probably the first grist-mill in or near New Castle, was the one erected by John Elliott on the Neshannock creek, about east from where the Episcopal Church now stands, at the foot of Shaw's hill. It was constructed of logs, and was no doubt a primitive affair. It is said to have been erected about the year 1800. It was soon after partially destroyed, and was rebuilt and refitted in 1803 by Nicholas Vaneman. It contained one set of "Laurel Hill stones," and just sufficient machinery to put them in motion. At that early day there was very little grain to grind, the first being corn, which of course was not bolted. When the settlers began to raise wheat it became necessary to have a bolt, which Vaneman procured and put in operation. It seems to have been worked by turning a crank by hand, probably because there was not sufficient power in the rude machinery and wheels to run the whole establishment by water.
In 1803 or 1804 John Carlysle Stewart, the original proprietor of the town, in company with James Reynolds, and by one authority, also with Joseph Townsend, built a grist and saw-mill at the head of the narrows on the east side of the Neshannock. These mills were run by the above named firm, or by Stewart & Reynolds, until about 1810-11 when Reynolds sold out either to Stewart or one Wilkins (who became a partner with Stewart), and went up the creek about three miles farther to Eastbrook, where he built another mill. After Reynolds sold out, Stewart, and as some accounts say, the Wilkins above named, took out the machinery and transformed the grist-mill into a forge for the manufacture of hammered iron. The firm carried on the work for two or three years, when finding it unprofitable, they rented the works, about 1814, to a man named Douglass who had a partner--name not known. These men claimed to be practical iron workers, and they operated the forge for a year and a-half or two years when they in turn abandoned it as unprofitable. Not long afterward, about 1816, the Neshannock arose in its dignity and carried away a portion of the works, and successive floods finally swept away the last vestige of the first iron manufactory in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Previous to the erection of the grist-mills before spoken of, all the grain in this region was either floated down the Beaver river to Beaver Falls in canoes and brought back in the same way, or taken on horseback to one Allen's mill on the Slippery Rock creek, near the south eastern border of the county. In those primitive times such things as elevators for handling grain had not been thought of, much less put in operation. The farmer drove his team to the door, and the miller took the grist on his back and carried it into the mill, and in the same laborious manner loaded it up for the customer when the grinding was done. A grist-mill was built as early as 1811, by David White, a brother of Crawford White, in the south central part of the town, lying east of the Neshannock creek. It was erected near the foot of the hill on the little run coming down from the east, which even in that early day had only a moiety of water in its channel. It was built principally for the purpose of grinding grain for his distillery.
The distillery was erected at the same time, and the two were run together until about 1814 or 1815.
Crawford White also had a small distillery, erected about 1810-11, very near where J. T. Phillips' dwelling now stands. He used the water from the spring on Mr. White's premises. This distillery was run until about 1813. Another distillery was owned by William Moorhead, and built about the same time as the others, on his farm a mile below New Castle, and now in Taylor township.
In those days whisky was almost the only commodity which would bring at all times ready money, and there were a large number of distilleries, on a small scale, in operation in various parts of the country. The whisky made in the vicinity of New Castle was mostly consumed in the neighborhood. It was considered a legitimate and honorable business, and was perhaps more lucrative than any other pursuit. At one time, according to Joseph Justice's recollection, there were no less than sixteen distilleries in North Beaver township.
According to some authorities, Joseph Townsend, Jr. started the first tannery establishment in New Castle as early as 1805. In 1808 it became the property of William Dickson, who had emigrated from near Chambersburg Pa., and settled in New Castle that year. The tannery stood on land now owned by Isaac Dickson, a few rods south of his present residence. Mr. Dickson operated it until about the time of his death, in 1831. His son Isaac continued the business until 1866, when it had become unprofitable, and was abandoned. These works contained twenty-one vats, and manufactured annually about one thousand pieces of leather of various kinds.
In 1857 Mr. Dickson opened a leather store in connection with his tannery, and continued it until the tannery was abandoned, when he engaged in the hardware business.
The second tannery in the place was put in operation by John Tidball, father of the present postmaster, about 1820. It stood in what was for a long time known as "Reynoldstown," on the Pittsburgh road, near the court house. About 1840, he sold the property to Robert Reynolds, who continued the business until about 1868-69.
The third one was put in operation by Thomas Falls somewhere between the years 1820 and 1825, on a lot lying east of Mr. Dickson, near Mercer street. Mr. Falls continued the busines until the time of his death, 1862-63. After his death his son, Wilson Falls, continued it until about 1870, when it was abandoned.
William Moore established a small tannery in what is called West New Castle, about 1850. He carried on the business for a few years, when he removed to the West, but after an absence of some ten years returned to New Castle, where he still resides.
Robert Patterson established another small tanning establishment in South New Castle, about 1852-53, and operated it until 1873-74, when it was discontinued.
In the early days of Western Pennsylvania, the tanning business was carried on by numerous small establishments, located in nearly every town and hamlet in the country. Sometimes there were four or five in operation at the same time in a small town, and often the business was to be found away from the towns, at cross-roads, or upon some farmer's premises.
When the business was first started in this region, oak bark was used exclusively, but at a later period hemlock bark largely took its place, though oak was still used to some extent. The oak bark was obtained in the neighborhood of each tannery, but the hemlock was brought from Crawford and Erie counties. Hemlock was not much used until after the completion of the canal, when it was brought down in boats.
The market was principally domestic, though eventually considerable stock was shipped to Pittsburgh.
Isaac Jones was probably the first to commence the manufacture of Hats in New Castle. He opened a shop about the year 1805, and continued the business until 1816, when he removed to Somerset county, Pa., but returned to New Castle again in 1819, and carried on the business until his death. John and Isaac Townsend opened the second hatters' shop about 1807-8. They were sons of Joseph Townsend, Sr., and learned their trade of their brother-in-law, Thomas Evans, at Sharon, Beaver county, Pa.
Joseph Justice, White McMillen, and perhaps others, learned the trade of Mr. Jones, and afterwards carried on business for themselves.
Mr. Justice opened a shop in 1819, and continued the business until 1851, when he retired.
James Dunlap was another hatter who commenced business about 18l0-ll and continued it until near his death, in 1830. William Cox, who learned the trade of Joseph Justice, opened a shop about 1825, and worked at the business some twelve or fourteen years. He died in the Fall of 1876, in New Castle.
White McMillen commenced business for himself about 1830, on Jefferson street, south of the "Diamond," and continued it for about twenty years. About three years after quitting the business of manufacturing, he opened a hat, cap and fur store, which he has continued to the present time.
In the palmy days of the hatting business, when every town supplied its own neighborhood, all the various branches incident to the trade were carried on, including buying and selling furs, and manufacturing every variety of hats then worn, silk, fur, wool, &c., except those for Summer wear. In good times, Mr. McMillen employed three hands besides himself. The market was principally at home, but during the winter months they sometimes manufactured a stock of wool hats for export to Pittsburgh and other large towns.
The first oil-mill in New Castle was put in operation about 1841-42, by E. C. and G. O. Griswold, on ground east of Washington street, near the bank of the Neshannock creek, on lots now owned by White, Reiber, Peebles and Dunn. About 1850-51, the Griswolds, sold to Robert Wallace, who continued the business for some time. The first-named gentlemen took a large share of the machinery to Warren, Ohio, where they established works, which are still carried on by G. O. Griswold. At the time the original mill was built in New Castle, there were no buildings on the block now so solidly built up, and but few on the east side of Washington street. In 1838 the block between Mill and Mercer streets, on the east side of Washington, was fenced with boards and planted to potatoes. There was a small frame building on the northwest corner, occupied by R. W. Stewart as a tailor shop.
Another oil-mill was erected by James Hamilton, about 1842-43, on the east side of the Neshannock, near R. W. Cunningham's foundry. James Hamilton and Alexander Newell operated this mill until about 1846, when J. N. and S. C. Euwer (the latter since dead) purchased a half interest in the concern, and at the same time Mr. Newell retired. Business was continued under the firm name of Euwer, Hamilton & Co., Until about 1856, when the firm purchased an interest in a mill in Allegheny City, and removed most of the machinery. Since that date, the business of manufacturing linseed oil has been abandoned in New Castle.
On the ground now occupied by the keg factory attached to the Etna Iron Works, James D. White erected, about 1837, a two-story frame building, which was variously occupied. In the upper story were two carding machines, which were operated by one Benjamin White, a relative. In the, lower story Ezra Perry had an establishment for the manufacture of bass and snare drums. It is said he made the best goods in the market, and they were sold in various places throughout the United States. He carried on the business until about 1841. The carding machines were also running until about the same date.
An addition was made to this building about 1838-39, in which a manufactory of shovels was carried on for J. D. White, or his estate, superintended by one Henry Williams, from Pittsburgh, a practical mechanic. Some time after White's death, the property, was sold to the Crawford brothers, who converted the building into a blast house, for blowing a refinery for smelting iron.
About the year 1842, after the sale of the White property to the Crawfords, Benjamin White, Henry Williams and William Clark erected a building at the lower end of Mill street, near the Neshannock pool, on the west side of the street. In this building were included a grist-mill, with one run of stone; a carding-mill, with two sets of machinery, transferred from the mill sold to the Crawfords, and two or three turning lathes, for turning out various descriptions of wood work. This establishment was destroyed by fire in the latter part of 1844, and never rebuilt. Williams went into the employ of Crawfords & Co., as engineer in the nail factory, and continued until about 1854, when he removed to Kansas and settled at Lawrence, one of the early settlers.
Among the earlier mills in New Castle were a grist and saw-mill, erected by Crawford White, about 1818. They were both frame buildings, and stood on or near the ground now occupied by Raney's mill. Mr. White died about 1834, and his oldest son, James D., soon after rebuilt the mills. The gristmill was of brick, three stories in height. James D. White, died in 1840, and in 1841 the mills, along with other property, were sold to Crawford brothers and Ritter. In 1844 Joseph Kissick, who had settled here from Westmoreland county in 1831, purchased the property, and soon after raised the upper story from a hip-roof to a full story, and improved the mill to the amount of $5,500. It was destroyed by fire in 1851, and with it 10,000 bushels of wheat. Mr. Kissick's loss was very heavy, but he re-built the mill the same year, and continued the business until 1865, when he sold the property to Mr. Leander Raney, who operated it until 1873, when Mr. William Gordon purchased an interest, and the firm has since been Raney, & Gordon. Considerable additions and improvements were made by Mr. Raney, and the mill is in excellent order, and doing a large business. It contains five run of stone, and has a capacity for grinding about 350 busbels of grain per day. It is doing both merchant and custom work.
Joseph T. Boyd and John Willson built a brush dam and erected a sawmill on the present site of the dam and mill of Pearson, Clapp & Co., at an early day. They afterwards sold to Peebles & McCormick, about 1845 probably, who made preparations to erect iron-works. They collected considerable material on the ground, in the shape of timber, lumber, &c., but finally went into the business with the Orizaba Iron Works Company. They sold the property to Henry Pearson, who built a new dam and grist-mill in 1854, which he operated until 1868, when the mill and waterpower became the property of his sons Henry and Warner Pearson, and his son-in-law, Captain J. M. Clapp, who are the present owners under the firm name of Pearson, Clapp & Co. The mill contains four run of stone, and is doing an extensive business in both merchant and custom-work. The power is a very fine one, with a fall of some eight or ten feet, and the dam and flanking walls are built in a most substantial manner.*
*See Early History of New Castle for additional items.
Henry Pearson purchased the property and water-power where the present paper-mills are now located, about 1830. He built a dam in 1833, and erected a saw-mill in 1834. This property he operated until 1868, when he sold to J. Harvey & Co., who erected paper-mills which are now operated by, Job Harvey and Alfred McKarns.
The most extensive manufacturing establishment in the county.
In 1845, Joseph H. Brown, Joseph Higgs and Edward Thomas formed a co-partnership, for the purpose of building a mill for the manufacture of iron. The ground was purchased of Isaiah and James White, and buildings erected. During the first year, the company had no boiling furnaces, and purchased their "muck bar of Messrs. Crawford & Co., of the "Cosalo" Iron Works, now the Ętna Iron Works. In 1846, Robert H. Peebles and Pollard McCormick were added to the company, and the firm changed to McCormick, Peebles, Brown & Co., and the works were christened the "Orizaba" Iron Works. The new firm, individually, added to the works a a mill for the manufacture of merchant bar-iron, nails and muck bar. The works were successfully carried on until July, 1847, when they were entirely destroyed by fire. They were rebuilt the same year, and a nail factory, with twenty-four machines, and a keg factory were added.
In 1848, four additional boiling furnaces were put in operation, and a "Burden squeezer" took the place of the trip-hammer In 1850, the firm changed to Peebles & Co., and in 1852, Mr. P. McCormick became the sole proprietor. In 1853, Mr. McCormick erected the "Sophia" furnace, and operated the entire establishment until 1855, when the works became the property of Knapp, Wilkins & Co., who continued the business until 1859. During this period, four additional boiling furnaces and seven nail machines were added to the works. The establishment was idle from 1859 to 1863, and the various buildings and machinery became more or less injured and decayed.
The suspension of such extensive works caused great depression in business and values in and around New Castle, and many people removed to other localities. During these four years of idleness, many efforts were made to dispose of the works, but without effect. The principal reasons operating against a sale were the want of facilities for procuring coal, which had to be hauled a distance of four miles in wagons, and the fact that the only means of shipment was by canal, which was closed for a considerable portion of the year. Finally, in 1863, a sale was affected to Messrs. Reis, Richards,& Berger, gentlemen of means and large practical experience, who at once rebuilt and enlarged the works, and changed the name to Shenango Iron Works. The repairs having been completed, the rolling-mill was put in operation on the 16th of June, 1863; the nail factory, on the 6th of July; and the furnace, on the 24th of October.
During the next year, the New Castle and Beaver Valley railway was put in operation, and soon after it the Erie and Pittsburgh railway.
In July, 1864, Mr. Richards retired from the firm, and Mr. W. H. Brown, of Pittsburgh, took his place, the firm then becoming Reis, Brown & Berger.
In the year 1864, the company purchased the Hanging Rock Iron Works, in Ohio, the machinery of which was brought to New Castle, and a sheet-mill, 113 by 139 feet, erected, in which the sheet-rolls and nail-plate-rolls removed from the rolling-mills were set up. These arrangements greatly increased the facilities of the works. Three extensive fire-brick kilns were also built, having the capacity of 50,000 bricks each. In the Spring of 1865, the firm commenced the manufacture of red brick, not only furnishing for their own use, but for the general market. The Disciples' and Catholic churches were erected of these bricks. In 1868, a large and commodious brick warehouse, for the storage of nails and sheet-iron, was erected.
During the season of 1866, Mr. James Rhodes built a railway from his extensive coal mines, four miles north of New Castle, to the mills. Trestle-work was put up, and tracks laid in such manner as to accommodate each of the furnaces.
In the Spring of 1870, a branch railway was built, connecting the works with both the New Castle and Beaver Valley and the Erie and Pittsburgh rail-ways. The same year many improvements and additions were made; such as new boiling-furnaces, nail-machines, hot-blasts, engines, boilers, engine-houses, &c.
On the 6th of November, 1871, the stave factory connected with the keg works, was destroyed by fire, but was immediately rebuilt. In the Fall of the same year the "Moffatt furnace" was purchased, enlarged and added to the works. The name was changed to "Little Pet."
In 1872, the extensive fire-brick works were erected, having a capacity of 20,000 bricks per week.
In this same year, also, the company purchased all that part of the canal lying between the south line of the city and the Neshannock creek.
The erection of the "Rosena Furnace," 22 by 77 feet, was also commenced about the same date, and rapidly pushed to completion. It was "blown in on the 3d of June, 1873, and has continued in blast till the present time (December, 1876), having in the interval produced about 75,000 tons of metal.
In 1874, the old (stone stack) "Sophia furnace" was entirely remodeled and enlarged, after having been in blast six years upon the same lining.
At present (December, 1876), the "Shenango Iron Works" occupy about twenty acres of ground, located in the Fourth ward of the city of New Castle, and consist of three blast-furnaces, with a capacity for producing 50,000 tons of pig-metal per annum; two rolling-mills, with twenty-seven boiling and eleven heating-furnaces; five trains of rolls; a nail-factory, with fifty-five machines, and a capacity of 10,000 kegs of nails per month; a spike-factory, with three machines; nine steam and three blowing-engines; eleven hot-blasts; eight steam-pumps; twenty steam-boilers; five power, and one steam-shears; a stave and keg manufactory, with a capacity for making 300,000 nail-kegs per annum; two fire-brick yards, with a capacity of 1,000,000 bricks annually; and a red-brick yard, which manufactures yearly several million bricks.
Altogether the firm own and operate about four miles of railway tracks for the delivering of stock and the removal of products. Of the product of pig-iron, about 350 tons per week are worked up in the rolling-mill, and the balance, say 650 tons, is shipped to various points. The nails are sold principally in the west and northwest, and the bar and sheet-iron in all portions of the United States and British provinces.
About 700 men are directly employed, when the works are in full operation. Indirectly about 300 more are employed in mining coal, iron, limestone, &c., making an aggregate of about 1,000 men, representing a population of at least 3,000 people deriving their livelihood from the "Shenango Iron Works."
The establishment is under the, superintendence of Mr. Andrew B. Berger, who, with the assistance of competent and experienced "bosses" and work- men, carries on the immense works without a jar. Mr. Alexander T. McCurdy has charge of the brick manufacturing department, and his thorough experience in that line insures success.
The financial branch of this extensive establishment is conducted by Mr. George C. Reis. This department requires thorough experience and ability, as the simple statement that the pay-roll alone frequently reaches $45,000 per month, amply testifies, without taking into consideration the large sums paid out for stock and material of various kinds-coal, iron, limestone, oil, lumber, &c. Add to these taxes, insurance, &c., &c., and it can be easily seen that great skill and experience and remarkable financial ability are required to successfully conduct the enormous amount of business transacted by a first-class manufactory, like the Shenango Iron Works.
The original of these works consisted of a rolling-mill and nail-factory, built by James D. White, in the Fall of 1838. The contractors who erected these works were James H. Brown, now of the firm of Brown, Bonnell & Co., of Youngstown, Ohio, and Mr. S. Wilder, a gentleman since extensively connected with the manufacturing business of this vicinlty. Brown built the rolling-mill and Wilder the nail-factory. The establishment, when completed, included one train of rolls run by water-power, two heating furnaces and eight nail machines. The nail plates were rolled from blooms manufactured in Juniata county, Pa. there were at that date no blast furnaces in this region. The fuel used was coal from the mines north of New Castle, in Neshannock township. Mr. White operated these works until the Fall of 1839, when his failing health led him to visit St. Thomas, in the West Indies, but without any beneficial results; he died at St. Croix after a short sojourn, and was buried there. After his death the works remained idle until the Autumn of 1840, when Mr. White's administrators leased them to Messrs. Brown, Higgs & Wilder, who operated them for a little more than a year, when they were sold to Crawford Brothers & Ritter. The purchase also included the flour-mill belonging to the estate. The new firm were men of extensive means, but had little experience in practical manufacturing. Messrs. Brown & Wilder, being experienced in the business, a co-partnership was soon after formed between them and the late purchasers, and the firm became Crawfords & Co. This partnership was confined to the iron works, the flouring mill and other manufacturing being run by Crawfords & Ritter. This arrangement was made in the Spring of 1840, and continued until 1848, when Mr. Wilder purchased Brown's interest, the latter gentleman taking an interest in the Shenango Iron Works, then known as the "Orizaba Iron Works." About 1842, the firm had abandoned water-power, mostly, and substituted steam, putting in a fine large engine, which is still in use. In 1846 a new nail-factory of stone and brick was erected, and the number of ma-[p. 48] chines increased from eight to thirty; and the firm also added a bar and guide-mill.
About the year 1845, a charcoal blast-furnace was erected near New Wilmington by Crawford, Powers & Co. The Crawfords subsequently bought out Powers and put it in as stock, and it was operated in connection with the works in New Castle. The firm also purchased the "Mahoning Furnace," at Lowellville, Ohio, built by Wilkinson, Wilkes & Co., of Buffalo, N. Y., about 1847. It is claimed that this furnace was the first to use raw coal for smelting purposes in this region.
In 1850 a chartered stock company was formed under the unique name of the "Cosalo Iron Company," of which A. L. Crawford was president and Wm. P. Reynolds, secretary, (afterwards succeeded by James Crawford).
This firm continued to do business until the latter part of 1857, when the stock company was dissolved. In 1856, the company made a contract with the Cleveland and Columbus railway to furnish ten thousand tons of compound rail, and the Lowellville furnace was purchased with a view to manufacturing the pig-iron for the job. While filling this contract, the nail business was suspended and the machinery was sold to the Sharon Iron Company.
After the completion of this large contract, the company built thirty new nail machines and again commenced the manufacture of nails, spikes, and bar iron, and continued the business until the latter part of 1857 or the beginning of 1858, when, as stated before, the stock company was dissolved, and the works were purchased by the Crawford brothers, including the Lowellville furnace. Mr. Wilder took the New Wilmington furnace, but like all the old charcoal furnaces, it was unprofitable and was abandoned about 1860. Mr. Wilder soon after removed to Cleveland, Ohio, where he assisted in the construction of the Otis rolling-mill and forge, known as the "Lake Erie Iron Works, in which he also was a partner. He remained at Cleveland for two years, when he disposed of his interest in the works and returned to New Castle. The Crawford brothers continued until 1864, when they disposed of the works to Dithridge & Co., of Pittsburgh, who re-christened the establishment the "Lawrence Iron Works." In 1872 Dithridge & Co. sold the works to a firm from Syracuse, N. Y., who called them the "Onondaga Iron and Nail Works." During their proprietorship several new nail machines, a number of trains of rolls and a new engine were added, and the factory was also enlarged.
In March, 1874, the works were leased by Kimberly and Carnes, of Sharon, and soon after the two companies were consolidated, and the firm are the present owners.
In this connection it is proper to give some account of the ĘTNA FURNACES. These furnaces, two in number, were erected by the "Lawrence Iron Company" about 1867. Their capacity was about forty tons each per day. They were run by the company until 1872, when Mr. Samuel Kimberly purchased and operated them until the consolidation with the Syracuse Company, since which they have been run in connection with the "Ętna Iron Works."
These works at present consist of two blast furnaces, twenty-one boiling furnaces, five heating furnaces, a muck-bar mill, a nail-plate mill, a merchant-bar mill, a guide mill and fifty-three nail machines, with sufficient rolls for all sizes of iron and nails.
The firm employ in the aggregate, when in full running order, about three hundred hands. The works have a capacity for turning out between ten and eleven thousand kegs of nails and spikes monthly, or about 125,000 kegs annually. They also mauufacture guide and merchant iron in large quantities. The shipping facilities are good, the works being connected with all the railways passing through New Castle, by numerous tracks which have been laid at large expense by the company.
The nucleus of these works was originally put in operation in 1873, under the name of the "New Castle Iron Works," by a stock company, of which R. W. Cunningham was president, and William Patterson, secretary and treasurer.
The project and plan subsequently adopted, were originated by Mr. S. Wilder, who was a heavy stockholder. He also superintended the erection of the buildings, but did not continue very long as a partner, disposing of his stock in the Fall of the same year in which the works were erected. In July, 1875, Messrs. Bradley, Reis & Co., purchased the works, and have since operated them.
In 1876 the firm erected a mill for the manufacture of cold-rolled iron. The works at present consist of one blast furnace, and a plate and sheet-iron mill, with three trains of rolls. The average product of the works is about twenty tons of muck-bar iron per day, which is all manufactured into merchant iron on the premises. The average number of hands employed is about one hundred and fifty.
The works are in fine condition, and thoroughly fitted up for doing extensive and satisfactory work. They are connected by ample tracks, with both lines of railway, and have uncommon facilities for the transaction of a large business.
A short distance above New Castle, on the Neshannock creek, are extensive coking ovens, numbering, in the aggregate, about eighty, which are owned by a Pittsburgh firm, but, on account of stagnation in business, or for some other cause, they are, at present, not in operation.
The original of the present extensive establishment was put in operation about the year 1866, by the same firm that are now running it, as a bolt and nut factory, with Andrew B. Berger as president.
After a short experience, finding the business did not come up to their anticipations, the works were metamorphosed into a foundry and machine shop.
A large foundry building was erected in 1868, the machine shop was enlarged, and most of the nut and bolt machinery taken out, and about 1871 the change had become complete. The works have since been greatly enlarged from time to time, until, at the present time, they are among the most extensive in the country.
The business is mostly confined to the manufacture of machinery for rolling-mills and blast-furnaces. The works have a capacity, when in full running order, for the employment of about seventy men.
The machinery is complete in every respect, and ample for the transaction of a very extensive business.
The market for the manufactures is found principally in the Shenango valley. Good facilities for shipping purposes are afforded by the three railways centering here, with which the works are connected by side tracks and switches.
The present officers of the company are, Andrew B. Berger, president, Geo. L. Reis, secretary and treasurer, and W. H. Harrison, superintendent.
This establishment was put in operation in 1872 by a company consisting of Geo. L. Reis, W. E. Reis, P. L. Kimberly and G. A. Kimberly, for the manufacture of pig-iron exclusively. The capacity of the works, when in full running order, is eighteen thousand tons per annum. Lake Superior ores are exclusively used. The company manufacture a peculiar quality of iron which is shipped to Harrisburg, where it is manufactured into steel rolls. The number of hands employed averages about forty. W. E. Reis, manager.
These works were put in operation in August, 1873, by the same firm who are now operating them. The buildings were erected in June, 1872.
The manufacture is confined to common pig-iron and Bessemer steel metal. The capacity is about the same as that of the Neshannock Iron Company, or eighteen thousand tons per annum. The furnace is sixteen feet "bosh." The Lake Superior ores are used exclusively. About forty hands are employed. The products are marketed at Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Johnstown, Greenville and other points. The standard fuel used is Connellsville coke. L. Raney, manager.
R. W. Cunningham erected a frame building, and put an iron foundry in operation in 1839, on the ground occupied by the present foundry building of Cunningham & Co. It was quite an extensive establishment from the start, employing from twenty to twenty-five hands. A general foundry business was transacted, and the works turned out large numbers of plows, stoves and a great amount of mill-gearing.
A machine shop was added in 1847. Previous to entering upon the foundry business, Mr. CunuiDgbam had been engaged in the mercantile business in New Castle. He opened a general country store in 1835 on the lot now occupied by Cubbison's drug store. His store building stood a little back from Washington street. Business was carried on, at and near that place, until 1852, when it was consolidated with the foundry on the east side, changing gradually to stoves and hardware.
In addition to his other extensive business operations, Mr. Cunningham also had a warehouse situated on the slackwater of the Neshannock, opposite [p. 49] his foundry, where he did a large Forwarding, COMMiSSiOD, freighting, and general produce business. The grain business in those days was quite extensive, and in the best years (about 1841-42,) as many as one thousand bushel were received daily, and shipped principally to Cleveland, Ohio, by canal.
The firm was R. W. Cunningham up to about 1844, and from that date to 1853, George IV. Jackson, of Pit burgb, had an interest, under the firRI name of R. W. Cunningham & Co. From 1853 to 1865, Mr. Cunningham conducted the entire business in his own name. In the last-named year several of the employees became partners, since which the firm has been Cunningham & Co.
The foundry was rebuilt of brick in 1852, and a brick ware-room was also added at the same time. In connection with the forwarding business, the firm handled large amounts of ground plaster, which was much more extensively used at that time than now by the farmers of Western Pennsylvania. A mill for grinding the raw material was erected by the firm in 1844-45, and from that date the plaster was purchased in the lump by the cargo at Erie, brought to New Castle by canal and manufactured here. The raw material was obtained mostly from Grand river in Canada. This business has been continued to the present time, though the demand has been steadily diminishing for some years.
In 1868 a new machine shop of brick, three stories in height, and 90 by 40 feet in dimensions, was erected and fitted up to accommodate the increasing business of the establishment. The works at present are very complete, and comprise a foundry, a machine shop, plaster mill, warehouse, pattern shop, blacksmith shop, stove-fitting shop, and all the various buildings and appurtenances, required in a first-class establishment.
The aggregate amount of capital invested in real estate, machinery, tools, &c., &c., is about $60,000. The works do a general foundry and finishing business. Among the heavier castings are stoves, mill-gearing for grist and saw-mills; rolls, rolling-mill and hot-blast castings, steam engines, car-wheels, &c., &c. In connection with mill-gearings, the firm make something of a specialty of the celebrated "Bryson Turret Case Turbine Water-wheel," which they claim is the best wheel in use. The works have a capacity for employing sixty hands. The present firm consists of R. W. Cunningham, John H. Hartsuff and J. P. H. Cunningham.
A small foundry was originally started on the ground now occupied by the present extensive works, by Messrs. Pearson, McConnell & Co., in 1848, who carried on a general business for about two years, when the firm was changed to Ouest, McConnell & Co., who operated the establishment until 1855. During their occupancy, the large brick machine-shop, now in use, was built.
In 1855 the firm again changed to Quest, Westerman & Co. This firm carried on business until 1857, when another change took place, and it became Quest, Shaw & Co. This firm continued the business for about ten years, when the name was changed to Quest & Shaw, who continued until 1872, when the name changed to the present firm, Shaw, Waddington & Co.
These works are doing a general business in the foundry and finishing line. The work turned out consists largely of cooking and heating stoves, grate fronts, &c., &c. The amount of capital invested aggregates twenty-five thousand dollars, and in good times and in full running order, from twenty to thirty hands are employed in the varius departments of the establishment. The works are complete in every particular, and thoroughly fitted up and prepared to do the best quality of work in every branch of the business. The annual sales of manufactured work reach twenty-five thousand dollars.
The works are conveniently located, between the old canal and the Neshannock creek.
Steam power is used exclusively.
An establishment, under the above name, was put in operation by a stock company, consisting of Luther Woods, the Phillips brothers, John Elder, and A. B. Smith & Son, in 1869-70. The original capital was $40,000. The construction of the works was under the superintendence of Mr. Luther Woods. They were located in Union township, opposite the northwest portion of New Castle.
The entire establishment was fitted up with the latest and most approved machinery, and was very complete, and calculated for an extensive business. The manufacturing business was commenced in the Spring of 1870, and carried on for about two years, with every prospect of ultimate success, when, in the month of February, 1872, the entire works and machinery were destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of about $60,000, on which there was an insurance in various companies of $20,000. The firm manufactured mowing and reaping-machines, and sulky horse-rakes.
The original capital of the coiupany was all absorbed in the buildings and machinery, and the loss fell so heavily upon tlteui, that the works were Dot rebuilt.
During the time of operation, the works consisted of a wood working and fitting shop, a foundry for manufacturing their castings, a large black-smith shop, a warehouse, &c.
Their principal and most reliable market was in this immediate vicinity, but large exportations were made to the Western States. Among the best machines manufactured by the firm was the "Lawrence Mower," invented and patented by, A. B. Smith, of Rochester, Beaver county, Pennsvivania. From thirty to fifty hands were employed.
The buildings occupied by this establishment on Shenango street, near the river, were erected by Pearson & Co., in 1868. The original design of the firm was to go into the business of manufacturing agricultural implements. The works were operated in accordance with that design some three or four years, when finding the business hardly fulfilling their expectations, the proprietors changed the business to carriage and wagon manufacturing, which was continued until June, 1873, when Mr. T. W. Smith, of Mercer, purchased the tools and stock, and carried on the business for about two years, when he was taken sick and died, and his brother sold the stock and tools to A. R. Hardesty, who is at present conducting the business. The real estate still belongs to Pearson & Co., who lease to Mr. Hardesty. Every description, of work in the line is made, and the works are doing quite an extensive business giving employment, when in full running order, to fifteen hands.
The "hard times" affect this like all the other branches of industry, but with trade in its normal condition, the carriage business ought to be large and profitable in such a city as New Castle.
The business of manufacturing furniture was started by James Mitchell and Calvin Miller, about 1869, in the building formerly occupied by Euwer's oil works, and continued until the Fall of 1871, when Miller sold out to Mitchell. Mr. Miller died July 7th, 1872. After he sold his interest, Wilson Mitchell, a brother of James, took an interest in the business, under the firm name of Mitchell & Co., which co-partnership continued until the Fall of 1873, or beginning of 1874, when the brothers dissolved and sold out to Samuel Dunn, who took his son into partnership, and has since continued the business under the name of S. Dunn & Son.
The firm manufacture all descriptions of furniture, making a specialty, however, of extension and breakfast-tables. The lumber is purchased principally in Lawrence, Crawford and Mercer counties, and consists of black walnut and cherry mostly. The establishment, when in full running order, employs about seven hands. The power used is steam, exclusively, and a fine engine of 25 horse-power drives all the necessary machinery. The market for their manufactures is principally domestic.
This branch of industry is gradually concentrating in the large cities, like Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Chicago, &c., where all the facilities in the way of large capital, cheap and abundant material, and a steady market, are found par excellence.
Among the manufacturers which formerly flourished in every town throughout the country, were those of furniture, tanning, boot and shoe-making, and hat manufacturing.
This mill was erected by McKarns & Love, about 1866. When first put in operation it contained only one set of machinery, but a second set was soon after added. The firm carried on the business until 1873, when McKarns sold his interest to Love, who took his sons into partnership, and the firm has since been H. Love and Sons. The mill is now what is called a "two-set mill," and is completely fitted up and arranged for doing an extensive business. The firm have a store in connection with the factory, where a fine assortment of their finished goods is kept for the supply of their numerous customers.
The manufactures consist of cassimeres, flannels, blankets and yarns. The stock of wool is altogeth or purchased, in the vicinity, which is well known as a fine sheep-country. An agent is employed a portion of the time, in the country, purchasing wool, for which cash is in part paid and part goods. Con- [p. 50] siderable quantities are also purchased at the mill. The market for manfactured goods is found principally in the adjacent towns and among the farmers.
The firm have about $40,000 invested, including real estate, machinery, stock and goods on hand, and usually employ about twenty-five hands.
The mill is situated on the canal, but steam-power is used in seasons of low water. The full capacity of the works equals the manufacture of from thirty-six to forty thousand pounds of wool per annum.
This is the only woolen mill in New Castle.
In the year 1868 a stone building was erected on Neshannock creek, just within the present limits of the city of New Castle, by Job and Wm. H. Harvey, for the manufacture of sack paper. Job Harvey operated it one year, when he associated, as a partner in the business, Mr. Alfred McKarns. A brick factory, thirty-five by thirty feet, has been erected the past season (1876), and the accommodations and facilities for turning out large quantities of an excellent quality of paper are very complete. Flour-sack paper is the exclusive manufacture, and twelve men are employed in the mill. The daily production, when the works are running, is eighteen hundred pounds, valued at two hundred and fifty dollars. The old rope, used as the material from which to manufacture the paper, is purchased in the oil regions, at a cost of about two and a half cents per pound. Three thousand five hundred pounds of it are consumed daily. The mills do not run constantly through the year. The power used is both water and steam, for the former there being three turbine water-wheels, forty-eight inches in diameter, each driving a rag-engine carrying five hundred pounds of paper. One thirty-two-inch wheel is used for driving the paper-machine. When water is low, two steam engines are used, one for driving the paper-machine, the other for the rag-engines.
The sacks are at this date, December, 1876, manufactured at another establishment in the city, but the presses, type and machinery are soon to be removed to the new brick building, near the paper-mill. The sack factory employs two men and six girls. Two printing-presses are at present in use, one of them a fine Cottrell & Babcock cylinder press.
The bulk of the sack paper manufactured by this mill is shipped to Bloomington, Illinois, where it is subsequently manufactured into sacks. A few rods below this establishment, the Neshannock is spanned by a King iron bridge, erected about 1870.
Previous to that date, there was no bridge, and the stream had to be forded. It was mainly through the efforts of Mr. Harvey, that the new iron structure was built.
This mill is the only one of the kind in the county. Its reputation is excellent, and the quality of its products well known throughout the country.
The earliest lumber business in New Castle was started by Dr. Pollock and his son-in-law, Joseph S. White, about 1840. The doctor's son Hiram, afterwards purchased his father's interest, and in connection with Mr. White carried on the business for several years. About 1848 White sold to Pollock who continued it until about 1852-53, when he sold out the entire establishment to Messrs. Hamilton, Craig & Co., who continued the business until 1854, when J. M. Craig became sole proprietor and continued until 1868, when the firm became Woodworth, Craig & Co. A large planing-mill was erected in the summer of 1868, and run in connection with a saw-mill owned by Woodworth until 1873, when the new mill was built and the old saw-mill torn down and its machinery removed. On the lst of January, 1874, the firm again changed to H. A. Woodworth and Son. On the lst of April, 1875, J. M. Craig and Joseph S. White purchased the business and operated it under the firm name of J. M. Craig & Co., up to September 15, 1875, when it was again changed to Stevenson, Craig & Co., the present firm. The capital invested is $20,000. The works in busy times employ from twenty-five to thirty hands. At present about fourteen are employed.
The firm keeps constantly on hand an average of 200,000 feet of lumber, and their annual sales reach about $45,000. The market is mostly local.
G. W. Crawford & Son are also doing an extensive business in lumber, doors, sash, blinds and all kinds of building material. The beginning of this establishment was a barrel factory put in operation by Joseph Kissick about 1864. Mr. Kissick sold to Richardson & Gorley in October, 1865. This firm changed the business to a planing-mill, and about three months subsequently Richardson sold out to G. W. Crawford his interest in the business, which was conducted under the firm name of Gorley & Crawford until 1871, when Gorley sold to Crawford, who took his son into partnership and the firm has since been G. W. Crawford & Son.
The original building was a frame, which was destroyed by fire in June, 1873, and replaced by the present brick structure. The establishment is very complete in all its appointments, and prepared to transact every variety of business in its line. The capital employed is about $40,000,and the firm handle annually from two to four million feet of lumber. They employ from twenty to twenty-five hands.
An extensive oil refinery has lately been put in operation near New Castle. The proprietors, Messrs. B. Tripp, Jr., & Co., of Pittsburgh, purchased three acres of land of Messrs. Harvey & McKarns, near the paper-mills, and erected thereon extensive works for the refining of lubricating and carbon oils, making a specialty of the former. The works will have a capacity for producing about eight hundred barrels of refined oils per week, and will give employment to twelve or fifteen hands. The raw material is procured directly from the oil regions, from whence it is brought over the New Castle and Franklin railway, their works being situated convenient to its track. A portion of the raw oil will probably be brought from the Slippery Rock region in Lawrence county, which produces the best grade of lubricating oil in the State. A cooperage is attached to the establishment, and the company will manufacture their own casks. Their principal office is at 369 Liberty street, Pittsburgh, Pa.
The most extensive quarries of limestone in the vicinity of New Castle are situated about one mile southeast of the court house, on what is known as the Irish Farm, at an elevation of nearly three hundred feet above low water mark in the Shenango river. They were first opened for extensive operations by Messrs. Green & Marquis, in 1866, who worked them for about two years, when the firm changed to Green, Marquis & Co., in 1868. This company worked them until 1873, when the firm name was changed to Green, Marquis & Johnson, who are the present proprietors.
This stone is of two varieties: the upper fourteen feet is all that is considered valuable. This is known as the gray limestone. Below this stratum is one of blue stone, from three to five feet in thickness, which sometimes furnishes a fair quality of building-stone. The workable stone is extensively quarried, the total amount reaching eighty thousand tons per annum. It is used mainly for fluxing purposes in blast-furnaces, and is exported to Sharon, Sharpsville, Middlesex, Erie, Wheatland and other points in Pennsylvania, and also to Mingo Junction and Steubenville, Ohio. This stone averages 90 per cent. carbonate of lime.
Lying immediately under the limestone is a thin stratum of coal, about, one foot in thickness. Sixty feet below this vein of coal, is another, averaging about eighteen inches in thickness, and below this is a bed of fire-clay, twelve feet thick. Sixteen feet below the clay is another vein of coal, about four feet thick. These coal veins are not, however, valuable enough to repay the labor of working them in this immediate vicinity.
The firm of Green, Marquis & Johnson are also extensively engaged in the coal business at Wampum, under the title of Davidson, Green & Co. A narrow-gauge railway runs from the quarries to New Castle.
The nucleus of the present extensive establishment was a small manufactory put in operation in September, 1848, by Messrs. Henderson & Morris. The works were commenced in the Fall of 1847. The original works were operated in the primitive way, only one furnace being used for melting and blowing purposes, where two are now used. The works have been confined, since they were first put in operation, exclusively to the manufacture of American window-glass. Messrs. Henderson & Morris carried on the business until July or August, 1851. During this period they made some improvements, and did a good business. The sand-rock was obtained on the premises, and the clay for manufacturing the melting-pots was imported from Germany.
In 1851 a company was organized under the name of the "Croton Glass Company." The original proprietors were stockholders and members of the new company. This company continued the business until about 1860, when it was dissolved, and the works were operated in the interest of the New Castle Savings Bank (which had purchased them), by Crowther, Watson & Co., until 1863, when Mr. A.. Arbogast purchased the property.
Under the supervision of the stock company formed in 1851, the use of the Missouri clay was introduced for certain purposes, though the German clay was considered the only material fit for making the melting-pots.
Mr. Arbogast operated the works until 1867, when they became the property property of C. Ihmsen & Sons, of Pittsburgh, and the business was carried on by this firm until July, 1868, when Mr. O. C. Ihmsen became sole proprietor, and continued the business until his death, in September, 1869. The business was carried on in his name until January, 1870, when his brother, C. Ihmsen, Jr., leased the works, and operated them until October 28, 1870, when they were totally destroyed by fire. They were rebuilt in the Spring of 1871, by the administrators of the Ihmsen estate, and operated until August, 1875, by C. Ihmsen, Jr., after which they were idle until April 1, 1876, when they were leased by Mr. Forbes Holton, who is now operating them.
The works are quite extensive, and at the present time (December, 1876), about eighty hands are directly and indirectly employed. About 900 boxes of finished window glass, of all sizes, from 6x8 up to 4Ox6O inches, are produced weekly. The market is principally in the Western States, Chicago taking the largest amount of any single point. The works are run continuously for about ten months in the year, or from September to July.
Four ingredients enter into the composition of window-glass, to wit: sand, or ground sand-rock, soda ash, salt and soda. The sand-rock is found on the premises in inexhaustible quantities; the other ingredients are purchased in the market. The beautiful fire-clay, for the manufacture of the melting- pots, flattening and smoothing-stones, &c., is brought from Missouri. Formerly the imported German clay was considered the only available material, but gradually the native product has taken its place, and is now used exclusively. This clay costs about thirty dollars per ton at the works. It requires an immense amount of working and kneading before it is ready for use; and this is done by treading it in a large trough, with the naked feet, adding water as required, until it is of the proper consistency for working into the beautiful pots in which the materials for glass are melted. When the pots become useless, they are broken up, cleaned of the outside glazing which forms upon them in the furnace, ground over and used in manufacturing new pots, so there is but little waste. The whole process of glass manufacture is exceedingly interesting.
These works, situated on the west side of the Shenango river, in Union township, were erected by a stock company, under articles of association, formed in March, 1866.
Business was commenced in August following.
The sand-rock was procured from quarries situated on the Shenango river, about two miles above the works. Both the German and Missouri clays were used for the various purposes requiring them. The business was carried on until the last of December, 1868, when a large portion, including the buildings for flattening, finishing and packing, the office, &c, were destroyed by fire. Several of the stockholders were operatives, and difficulties sprang up among the interested parties, which eventually caused the abandonment of the business, and the burnt portions have not been rebuilt. The establishment manufactured American window-glass exclusively, during the time it was in operation. The number of hands employed averaged about sixty.
The real estate is now owned by John W. Walter and James Gilmore.
An establishment for the manufacture of stoneware, was originally started about the year 1862, by Messrs. Hill & Harmon, and operated for about seven years, when William Hill became sole proprietor, and has continued the business to the present time. The principal articles manufactured by Mr. Hill, consist of stone crockery, terra-cotta, stone pumps, piping, chimney-tops, flower-pots, &c. The clay is obtained at Croton, near the glass-works. About ten hands are usually employed, and the annual product is equal to about $8,000.
There is a good home market, and considerable quantities are exported to Williamsport, Lock Haven, and other points.
These gardens are situated in what is called "Croton," a suburb, and portion of the Third ward of New Castle, about one mile from the post-office, in the city.
They were established in October, 1851, by Mr. Paul Butz, who purchased six acres of land, then in poor condition for cultivation, being very rough and full of stumps and underbrush, and garnished with a good supply of bowlder-stone. There was a one-and-a-half story frame dwelling, and an old stable on the premises, at the time of the purchase.
It required several years of hard, unremitting labor, to get the land in passable condition for the purposes Mr. Butz had in view. The first building erected was a small green-house, in 1853, for the cultivation of plants and flowers. Very little taste had been developed, at that day, in the cultivation of flowers among the good people of New Castle and the adjacent region, and the proprietor was obliged at first to keep up his establishment, apparently as much for his own gratification as for the accommodation of the public. Mr. Butz was thoroughly acquainted with the cultivation of plants and flowers, and also an accomplished landscape gardener, before he became a citizen of Lawrence county, having been employed for upwards of fifteen years, in some of the largest horticultural establishments, and botanical gardens of Europe. He soon became known, and his services began to be in demand in the laying out and adorning of private grounds in and around New Castle. He also furnished the first young evergreens, shade-trees, &c.
The season of 1854 was a very dry one, no rain falling between May and October, and this cause proved a serious drawback to his business. The Winter following was very severe, and the fruit in this region suffered greatly.
During the years 1855-56, the market for plants and flowers greatly improved, and in the Spring of 1856 Mr. Butz purchased and added to his place, four more acres of land, like the first, uncultivated and rough. After cleaning it off, and getting it in good order, it was planted entirely to straw-berries and peach trees. The same year he planted a young nursery of evergreens, shade-trees, shrubs, &c., &c. In 1858 he built an addition to, his greenhouse, in order to extend the cultivation of plants, and also added about twenty thousand young stock plants to his nursery, such as evergreens, small fruits, grapes, &c.
The Spring of 1859 opened with flattering prospects for a favorable season, but on the 5th of June this region was visited by a severe frost, which destroyed nearly everything not protected by the greenhouses.
In 1860, another greenhouse was added for the cultivation of bedding plants, and also about 4,000 square feet of glass for hot-beds, and cold pits for forcing early vegetables. On the 5th of June, of this year, the anniversary of the frost, a heavy storm passed over this section, accompanied by a terrible fall of hail-stones, some of them as large as hen's eggs. All the glass in the green-houses and hot-beds was broken, and great damage was done to all kinds of crops, so that the season proved very unprofitable.
The seasons of 1861-62 were exceeding favorable, and the business was very profitable. Crops of all kinds were abundant, and the cultivation of flowers soon began to be a success. In 1863 another large greenhouse was erected where the first one stood, for an increased cultivation of plants, &c. In 1864, Mr. Butz increased his facilities by the purchase of seventeen additional acres of land, which be planted in nursery stock, &c.
In 1866, about 5,000 square feet of glass were added in the way of hot- beds, and cold-frames for forcing early vegetables.
The Spring of 1867 opened with flattering prospects. His sales increased and the market began to extend to the neighboring towns of Sharon, Mercer, Greenville, Beaver Falls, Youngstown, &c., and in all these places the demand has since kept steadily increasing.
In the year 1868, the old dwelling, or a part of it, was removed to the corner of the lot and the present fine residence erected. The arrangement of the lawn was greatly improved by additions and changes.
In 1870, another large green-house was added to those already in use, for the cultivation of bedding plants. Additions were also made during this year to his nursery stock, in the shape of about 40,000 evergreens, shade-trees, shrubs, &c.
In 1872 the business largely increased, and shipments of plants, shrubs, trees, &c., were made to various portions of Pennsylvania and adjoining States. The taste for a fine class of house-plants had by this time created quite an extensive demand, to supply which, in 1873, a large hot-house was erected, and 35,000 stock plants were also added to the nursery.
In 1874 his increasing business compelled him to add two more green-houses; one large one for the cultivation of tropical plants, such as ferns, palms, bananas, pine-apples, &c., and the other a propagating house for plants in general. Both these last are heated with improved hot-water apparatus. During this season large shipments were made to the South and West as far as New Orleans, and even to California, both by mail and express. Mr. B. was also engaged during the season in laying out many fine private grounds, and furnishing them with trees, shrubs, &c.
The Spring of 1876 showed a marked increase in the business, notwithstanding the hard times, and still larger shipments were made to various parts of the United States and the Dominion of Canada. From twelve to fifteen hands were employed through the season at the grounds, and about [p. 52] fifteen traveling agents have also been employed in various parts of the country in soliciting orders. During the present season (1876), two more new greenhouses were added for the cultivation of general bedding plants. At the present time Mr. Butz is growing annually about 60,000 plants, such as roses, green-house, hot-house and bedding plants. His nursery stock of evergreens, shade-trees, ornamental shrubs, grape-vines, &c., is extensive and complete. All these splendid varieties are furnished in large or small quantities to the trade generally throughout the country, put up in the best manner and guaranteed to give entire satisfaction. He also imports largely from Europe all the newest plants and novelties of the day. He also issues annually a large illustrated catalogue, and two wholesale price-lists to dealers, in their season, which are distributed gratuitously.
The great success of these gardens and nurseries is no doubt owing to the thorough skill and knowledge obtained by Mr. Butz, through a long and successful acquaintance with the great horticultural and botanical gardens of Europe.
This knowledge and skill, coupled with untiring industry and energy, have made Mr. Butz many patrons, and his business has become at length permanent and profitable. The firm is Paul Butz & Son.
This establishment was originated and put in operation by D. F. Balph and James F. McConnell, in 1868. Mr. Balph had previously been engaged for a short time in the cultivation of "small fruits" at Hammondton, thirty miles east of Philadelphia; but not finding the business as satisfactory as he had anticipated, he returned to New Castle and arranged a partnership with Mr. McConnell, as above stated. The latter gentleman had been located on the place for some years, and owned about twenty-four acres of land. Mr. Balph purchased an interest in this property. In 1869 a green-house was erected, for forcing vegetables. In the Spring of 1870 Mr. J. R. Balph purchased McConnell's interest, and the two brothers began the cultivation of flowers, fruit and ornamental trees, shrubbery, &c. Additional greenhouses were erected the same year. When the new firm was established in 1870, they purchased twelve acres of land, and in the Autumn of 1873, D. F. Balph purchased four-and-a-quarter additional acres of John Long. The original greenhouses, being only temporary structures, were taken down in 1874, and the present permanent ones erected. These stand on the last purchase of four-and-a-quarter acres, in a fine sheltered location, to which all the necessary buildings, stables, sheds, &c., were removed.
The last purchase includes, also, an extensive deposit of almost pure sand, some fifty feet in depth. An acre of this land is planted in grapes of the hardy varieties. The present grounds include fifteen acres, one-and-a-quarter acres having been sold to Mr. Alexander Balph, father of the two gentlemen constituting the firm, for a residence.
They have now three acres planted in black and red raspberries, and are cultivating, more or less extensively, strawberries, currants, gooseberries, &c., &c., all of choice varieties. In addition they are also growing a variety of fruit and ornamental trees which they furnish at lowest rates to their numerous customers.
There has been a steady increase in the demand for their various productions, although the depression in general business affects them, as it does all other branches of business. Their products are mostly sold in New Castle at the public market, though they ship considerable quantities at times to the various railroad towns in the vicinity and occasionally to Pittsburgh. Quite a large amount of flowers, are disposed of in their season, by agents who take them through the country with teams.
The immediate location of the nursery is a very fine one, and the view from the grounds is hardly surpassed in the neighborhood, overlooking as it does the city of New Castle and the valley of the Shenango. The place is about one mile south from the post-office in New Castle.
Mr. Balph is something of a connoisseur in horticultural matters. He had intended to follow teaching, but was obliged to give up the profession for a part of the time at least on account of his health, which he found was too severely taxed by constant application. The occupation of a horticulturist had always been a favorite one with him, and he entered upon it with the enthusiasm of a veteran.
Mr. Balph was formerly principal of the (old) First Ward Schools, which included the bulk of the scholars in New Castle. He is at present Professor of elocution in the young but flourishing college lately established in the city.
When Mr. Paul Butz commenced the business of horticultural floriculture and landscape gardening in 1851, he labored under the disadvantage of being situated in the midst of a community in which the taste for his profession had never been developed, and this state of society, or rather, this lack of a taste for the beautiful in nature and art continues, though in a less degree, to the present time, and the Balph brothers have been obliged, like Mr. Butz, to cultivate a taste otherwise foreign to the community.
They have been eminently successful, and the return of confidence in business circles, which every one looks forward to, will see them on the high road to success and continued prosperity. There is one very favorable feature in this business: Wherever their products, more particularly flowers, have been once introduced they always find an increasing demand upon a second visit, and thus the business continues to reproduce in an accelerating ratio the demand, when once it is fairly established.
The earliest burying-place in the neighborhood of New Castle (with the exception of a few persons interred in private grounds), was, probably, the old ground adjoining Greenwood Cemetery on the southeast, and at present enclosed within its lines. It was probably laid out or opened for burial purposes, very soon after the country was first settled--possibly, as early as 1800; certainly, within a few years of that date. The original ground, consisting of about a half acre, was purchased by Cornelius Henderson at a very low price. Jesse Du Shane, Jared and Robert Irwin, Frank Ward, and perhaps others, bought out Hendrickson[sic] afterwards, and opened the ground to the public. The Irwins and Ward had relatives buried there.
Somewhere about 1836, another half acre was purchased of James D. White, and added to the original lot. There is no record of the date at which it was first protected by a fence, but it was probably soon after it began to be used. According to Mr. Joseph Justice's recollection, who assisted in the work, it was re-surveyed and a new fence built sometime between 1840 and 1845. This ground was used promiscuously by all classes, and was a common burial-place.
The Methodist denomination had a small burying-ground on lot No. 111, on Jefferson street, which was used as early as 1816, but the title was not made out until the 27th of June, 1820. The society had a log church adjoining, erected about 1816.
The "Seceders," as they were then called, had a burying-place at an early day, and also a small church, at the north side of North Street and facing Beaver street, which then extended no farther north than the limits of the original town-plat, as laid out by Stewart. The extension of Beaver street, at a later date, passed over the spot occupied by the old church, and also across a portion of the burying-ground.
When the "Seceders" abandoned their church and burial-ground, at the head of Beaver street, they built the stone church, still standing on Pittsburgh street, and laid out a small triangular burial-ground adjoining. The church was long since abandoned for religious uses, and has served various purposes since. The burial-ground, we believe, is no longer used for its original purpose.
The old "Seceder" and Methodist burial-grounds, in the original town, have not been used as places of sepulture for many years. A few of the remains in the Methodist ground were taken up and re-interred in the new Greenwood Cemetery.
Ezekiel Sankey was originally the owner of a large share of the land upon which Greenwood Cemetery is located. He and Samuel McCleary owned lands adjoining, and a difficulty arose regarding the boundary line; Mr. Sankey claiming that it was a diagonal line, according to the plat of survey, and Mr. McCleary claiming it to be an east and west line. The matter was finally compromised between them by running an east and west line, which gave McCleary a part of what Mr. Sankey claimed, and also gave Mr. S. about ten acres off the south end of McCleary's lot. This ten acres was the nucleus of the present Greenwood Cemetery.
In the Spring of 1852, Ezekiel Sankey went to Harrisburg, and procured a charter incorporating a cemetery association, with the following-named gentlemen as incorporators: James D. Clarke, Wm. McClymonds, Jacob S. Quest, Joseph Kissick and E. Sankey. The act was passed May 3, 1852. It authorized the purchase of not exceeding twenty-five acres. With this charter Mr. Sankey returned home, and sold the ten acres, and transferred the charter to James D. Clarke, William Dickson and Wm. McClymonds. These parties at once proceeded to purchase additional land, and make improvements. Mr. McClymonds superintended the work of laying out the grounds, and planting the trees and shrubbery. The company, however, never organized properly, and consequently could not make legal titles to the lots. As before stated, the bulk of the land was purchased of Ezekiel [p. 53] Sankey. An additional strip along the south side was subsequently purchased of the Crawford brothers, and also a small triangular strip along the ravine, at the southeast, of Mr. Richard Fulkerson. The amount of land now inclosed is about eighteen acres.
James D. Clarke died on the 2d of December, 1854, and his brother, Cyrus, became administrator for his estate. After his death, McClymonds continued the business until March, 1861. He and Dickson were partners in the banking business. Some time previous to the latter date, Samuel D. Clarke, David Sankey, Joseph Douthett and Cyrus Clarke associated themselves together and purchased the interest of the heirs of James D. Clarke. McClymonds and Dickson became involved, and their interest was eventually sold under execution, and purchased by, David Sankey. The association having now obtained possession of the entire property, and being fearful that they could not properly or legally organize and do business under the old charter, sent Mr. David Sankey to Harrisburg to procure the passage of a new incorporation Act, or a re-enactment of the old one, which he accomplished, the new charter being dated May lst, 1861. Under this authority an association was organized, with David Sankey as president, Joseph Douthett, secretary, and Cyrus Clarke, treasurer. At a subsequent election Mr. Clarke was made secretary and treasurer. Mr. Sankey continued to fill the office of president until September 1875, when he sold his interest to Mr. Clarke, and at the same time the entire property was transferred to C. B. Lower and W. T. Dougherty, who are the officers of the present association, Mr. Lower being president and Mr. Dougherty secretary and treasurer. Mr. R. W. Sankey, son of David Sankey, was superintendent for the greater part of the time up to the transfer of the stock, in 1875.
The situation of this cemetery, and its topographical features, are among the finest in the land. On the east the ground slopes quite abruptly toward the Shenango river, but two natural depressions converge towards the slope, and unite at the bottom, where they form a shallow ravine, and broad roadways follow these to the summit beyond, making all parts of the ground, at present occupied for burial purposes, easily accessible from the main entrance, which is at the northeast corner of the grounds. An immense ravine cuts through the southwestern portion, deepening rapidly as it approaches the river, and affording wild and picturesque scenery all along the southern border of the cemetery.
About midway of the ravine is a beautiful and most picturesque waterfall, where a small stream tumbles over the sandstone strata into the gorge below. The original growth of timber covers the hill in the southwest corner; and throws its sombre shadows over the ravine, with here and there the dark green foliage of the hemlock interspersed.
The grounds are finely and judiciously laid out, and ornamented with a great variety of evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs. Many fine monuments are scattered through it, and the people are justly entitled to feel a commendable pride in their beautiful cemetery.
The Crawford brothers have a very beautiful private burial-ground adjoining the Greenwood Cemetery on the southeast. It contains about one acre of ground, rising from all sides towards the centre, which overlooks the whole place, and is crowned with a fine and costly monument. It is tastefully laid out, and adorned with shrubbery and flowers. The situation is charmingly picturesque, and from the summit a pleasant view is obtained of the smoky city and the valley of the Shenango.
The first burying-ground belonging to the Catholics, exclusively, in the vicinity of New Castle, was opened in the year 1852, on the north side of Washington street, in West New Castle. it consisted of about one acre of ground and was used until October, 1873. The first interment in this ground was the remains of Charles Kelly in July, 1852. In October, 1873, a new cemetery was located on the Crawford Keifer farm, where the church purchased sixty acres of land, devoting a portion to cemetery purposes and cultivating the remainder. The location is about a mile and a half from the center of the city, in a high and dry position, the ground being of a light, sandy nature, and well adapted for burial purposes. Most of the remains have been taken from the old ground and re-interred in the new, and the remainder will, eventually, be removed also.
On the brow of the deep ravine south of the residence of Joseph S. White where the gravel bank overhangs the Mercer road, are a few abandoned and dilapidated graves. There are only two headstones (made of the sandstone of this region) remaining. One of them is broken off, and lies on the ground. It bears the following inscription: "In memory of Hannah Robison, who departed this life September 4th, 1830, aged 32 years, 6 months and 19 days." The other stone is still standing, but so close, to the bank that a few years will see it tumbling into the road. It bears the simple initials "B. W." There have evidently been quite a number of interments at this place in an early day.
This place was originally settled by William Crow, from Bucks county, Pa., about 1826. Mr. Crow was a soldier during the war of 1812, and his father, Abram Crow, was a soldier in the American army during the Revolution. William Crow had the warrant which his father had drawn for his services in the army, which he located where Croton now stands. His two brothers, George and Moses, settled at Croton about a year later. It is probable that the three brothers divided between them the land located by their father's warrant. The place was for a long time called "Crow-town," in honor of its first settlers. The name was by some means changed to Croton about the time the glass-works were located there in 1847.
William Crow died May 12, 1836.
Moses Crow sold his property lying on the south side of the "Scrub-Grass" road, to Dr. Whippo. Isaac P. Rose purchased a strip, about ten rods in width, of Dr. Whippo, about 1848, and laid it out into lots. It laid along the south side of the "Scrub-Grass" road. Previous to this, in 1837, Samuel Pearson purchased about thirty acres of William Crow's land, and laid out the town on the north side of the road. An addition was made by George Crow on the west side of the village. Dr. Whippo also purchased a strip of George Crow's land, and afterwards sold it to Rose. William Becker laid out a few lots about 1871-72 on the west side of the road leading south from Croton, called Vine street, and lying south of Rose's addition. E. and P. Hoover also made a small addition of lots to the place about 1870-71, on the east side of Vine street.
Among early settlers were Isaac P. Rose, James Vogan, Alexander Roderick and William Bennett.
The place grew slowly until the erection of the glas-works in 1847, when it took a fresh start, enlarged its borders, and began to put on the airs of a town. The first attempt at manufacturing was in the shape of a pottery, put in operation by Isaac Rose on a piece of land purchased of George Crow. Mr. Rose carried on the business for several years. His productions were confined to common earthen-ware. Ferdman Aye, a German, put up a small stone-ware manufactory at an early day, and operated it for some eight or ten years, in the eastern part of the town. Brick were manufactured at quite an early day by William Crow, David Shafer and John Tidball, and later by John Hammett and John G. Ray.
Schools were in operation soon after the settlement was commenced. Among the early teachers were John Tidball, Isaac Rose and Charles Blye.
One of the first trading establishments, in the form of a grocery store, was opened by David Emery as early as 1846. Among the earliest physicians were Doctors Searles and Fish. The glass-works were put in operation by Messrs. Henderson & Morris, in 1847.*
*See sketch of Glass-works, in another place.
Iron ore is quite abundant in the vicinity of Croton. P. & G. Cluse are working a mine or drift, a little northeast of the glass-works. Another drift, between this and the glass-works, is operated by David Hoover.
One of the most interesting localities around Croton, is the nursery and flower-garden of Paul Butz, for a sketch of which see another page.
Croton at present has two religious societies, Methodist and Baptist; one school building, with two schools; three grocery establishments, and about 500 inhabitants.
Stone for building purposes is quite extensively quarried.
The village of Croton, formerly a suburb of New Castle, now forms a part of the city. It lies north east from the Court House, and about a mile distant.
It is situated on high ground, about one-fourth of a mile from the Neshannock creek, and the same distance from the New Castle and Franklin railway, on what is familiarly known as the "Scrub-Grass road." The manufacturing and mining interests of the place give employment to a large number of men, and support a very considerable population. Lying in such close proximity to the busy centre of New Castle, its mercantile business is necessarily limited, and it has no separate post-office. There are many desirable residence localities in its vicinity, and as the city grows and expands its borders, Croton will eventually become a delightful and well-built suburb.
A class of this denomination was organized about 1847-48, in this place, and a church building erected about 1850. Among the prominent members at the date of organization were T. P. Bitner, Isaac Cline, John Rhodes J. C. Young, Daniel Bitner and James Emery, with their families, making quite a congregation.
The first men who preached here, (previous to the erection of a church building), were Reverends Crum and Hubbard. The first preaching was in the school-house. The first regular pastor in charge was Rev. John Graham, who preached for a number of years, and dedicated the new church. This congregation has been generally united in the same charge with other congregations, and the records are scattered in various places, so that no consecutive history of the society can very well be given.
Among the pastors succeeding Mr. Graham, have been Reverends Thompson, Bennett, Merchant , Johnson, Morris, Wick, Ward, Darrow and J. C. Rhodes, the latter being the present pastor. The present number of members is about sixty. The society supports a Sabbath-school, with seven officers and teachers, and from sixty to seventy scholars. The school has a small select library of about one hundred volumes.
A society of this denomination was organized in Croton, about 1855. Among those prominently connected with it were Thomas Blake and family, the Carrs, James and Douglass Ray, David and Joshua Pierce, Almond, John and David Miller, and their families. The first preacher was Elder Wm. Ray. Among those who afterwards officiated were Elders Manning, Bumpus, Ring, Morford, Harvey and Clary--the latter has since united with the Methodists, and removed from this part of the country. John Kelty was also an ordained elder at one time, and preached occasionally. In the prosperous days of this society, the congregation was quite large.
The brick church, now standing unoccupied, was erected about 1857-58.
The society is mostly broken up, and moved away from the place, and there has been no regular preaching for several years. Occasional services have been held at intervals.
End of New Castle Borough
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