History of Lawrence County Pennsylvania, 1770 - 1877, by S.W. and P.A. Durant.
[p. 119] This township was formed from parts of North Beaver and Shenango townships, February 19, 1853. It was the first new township erected after the organization of the county, and was named in honor of President Zachary Taylor, who died in the second year of his term, July, 1851. It originally extended to the old county line between Beaver and Mercer counties, but on the 10th of September, 1859, the township of Union was formed from portions of Mahoning, Neshannock and Taylor, taking a strip two-thirds of a mile in width from the latter.
The township is in the form of an irregular triangle, and contains an area of about six square miles, or three thousand eight hundred and forty (3,840) acres, being the smallest in the county. It is bounded on the north by Union township and the city of New Castle; on the south by Beaver river and Wayne township; on the east by the city of New Castle and Shenango township, and on the west by North Beaver township.
About one-half of the township lies in the valleys of the three rivers, and the remainder is hilly land on the north and east.
The Mahoning and Shenango rivers unite and form the Beaver river a little north of the center, on the west side, and the old canal-beds traverse to the rivers. Numerous small creeks and spring-runs flow into the rivers from the hills, and the township is well watered. The soil on the bottom-lands is exceedingly rich and productive, and much of the hill land is good, and even the most precipitous hillsides afford excellent pasturage.
The mineral resources of the township are considerable. Coal is found in the bluffs all along the eastern part of the township, but the vein is not of sufficient thickness to make the working of it profitable. The coal is of an excellent quality.
There is a great abundance of limestone in the northern and eastern portions of the township, and in the northeastern part, at an elevation of about three hundred feet above the river, is an excellent deposit of ferriferous limestone. This stone is being worked by Messrs. Green, Marquis & Johnson, who have a tram-railway connecting with the Erie and Pittsburgh railway, by means of an inclined plane and bridge over the Shenango river. The quarry was opened by Messrs. Green & Marquis about 1869, and the same year an inclined railway was built, which connected with the canal. When the canal went out of use, the company built a bridge over the Shenango about 1873, and put down a side-track to connect with the Erie and Pittsburgh railway. The quarries are worked by Mr. J. D. Pitzer, who loads the stone upon the "flats" at a stipulated price per ton. The lands upon which the quarries are situated are owned by Robert Cooper and Martin and Newton Law. The stone is handled on the "incline" by means of two cables worked around a large drum; the loaded cars in their descent bringing up the empty ones. The amount annually taken out is about forty thousand tons. The quarries are opened for a distance of nearly half a mile, and the deposit is extensive. The stone is of two varieties, the upper [p. 120] portion showing a breast of from eight to nine feet in thickness, which is the valuable part, and all that the company works. The lower stratum is about three feet in thickness, and not considered of any value for fluxing purposes, for which the other is used extensively. The stone is shipped to various points on the Erie and Pittsburgh railway; New Castle, Middlesex, Sharon, Sharpsville, &c. There is a thickness of from three to six feet of earth overlying the limestone. A bed of fire-clay underlies the stone.
The Erie and Pittsburgh railway passes diagonally through the northern portion of the township, a distance of two and a-half miles, and there is about a-half mile of the Ashtabula, Youngstown and Pittsburgh railway also in the township, lying between the Junction and the Mahoning river. There are two railway stations; one at Mahoningtown, and the other at Lawrence Junction, a-half mile below.
A vast amount of labor was expended on the canal in this township. The aqueduct over the Shenango was 330 feet in length, and its abutments, wings and piers were solidly constructed of heavy blocks of sandstone. There were four piers, and the canal bed was built of plank, hung with heavy iron rods upon strong elliptical arches resting upon the piers. There were also within the township four or five locks constructed of the same material as the aqueduct, in the most substantial manner. The canal furnished considerable power, only a small portion of which was utilized for manufacturing purposes.
Frisbie & Newell had a saw-mill at one time about one mile above Moravia. With the abandonment of the canal, disappeared all these establishments, and much of the trade which had centered at Mahoningtown and Old Moravia departed to more favorable locations on the railways.
This township claims the honor of having within its limits the ground upon which the first white man settled, not only in Lawrence county, but in the entire valley of the Beaver river. This was the settlement of the famous Moravian missionaries, Zeisberger and Senseman, with their Indian converts, about the 25th of April, 1770. They had come from the mouth of the Tionesta creek, now in Forest county, where they had attempted to plant a mission, but failed for lack of success among the Indians of that region, who were more or less hostile. They had made the voyage in canoes down the Allegheny and Ohio, and up the Beaver rivers, and landed on the broad bottom land that spreads along the left bank of the Beaver at and above this point, upon the invitation of the great chief or king, Pack-an-ke, who gave them ground upon which to erect their log-chapel and the dwellings necessary to accommodate their small company. They camped and commenced improvements on the ground a little west of where the hamlet of Old Moravia now stands, but finding the location too low, and fearful of high water and malaria, they changed it some time in July following, to the west bank of the river, where they laid out a new town on ground elevated a hundred or more feet above the river. Here the settlement remained, making improvements and laboring among the Indians until the Spring of 1773, when they abandoned their town and removed to the head-waters of the Muskingum, now in the State of Ohio.
Christian Frederick Post, another Moravian missionary, and the man who built the first dwelling within the limits of the State of Ohio, was also a visitor to this township in 1758, when on his way to Kush-kush-kee, the great Indian town on the Mahoning.
When the first white settlers came to this region (after the Moravians) they found the crumbling remains of an old fortification. It was a small regular earth-work enclosing about one acre of ground, and was located on land now belonging to Thomas Brown. Mr. Samuel Copper, now living in Moravia, recollects seeing it when a boy. It has been plowed and worked over until no traces of it remain. It was undoubtedly thrown up by a company of French soldiers, who frequently passed up and down this stream in their journeys between the Ohio and the Canadas.* Post speaks of seeing a company of them during his visit to Beaver valley.
*A company of the French garrison of Fort Duquesne was stationed somewhere in the Beaver or Mahoning Valley during the Winter of 1758-59, succeeding the capture of the Fort by General Forbes.
One of the early settlers, and very possibly the earliest after the Moravians, was Hugh Gaston, who, according to the recollections of Seth Rigby and other old settlers, came into the valley as early as 1795-96, and settled temporarily on the five-hundred-acre tract which included the ground now occupied by the hamlet of Moravia. This tract was originally owned by David R. Porter, afterwards Governor of Pennsylvania. Robert Shannon, of Beavertown, purchased it about 1830; but, on account of Hugh Gaston's living upon it for some time, it was known as the "Gaston tract."*
*This tract was found to contain, by actual survey, about 620 acres.
"Hughie," as he was familiarly called, was a confirmed old bachelor, and is remembered by Mr. Rigby and others as the owner of two horses, two guns and two dogs. He was a great hunter, and lived solitary and alone until his brother, James Gaston, came out with his family, about 1800, and moved into the cabin with him. The brothers removed to a tract of land in what is now the northwest corner of Shenango township, about 1802-3. Their location was near what is now called Normal Glen--vulgarly, "Pumpkintown."
Another early settler, and one who might possibly have been here as early as Gaston, was Thomas Hendrickson, who probably settled at or near the present site of Mahoningtown, in 1798. He built and operated a primitive distillery at an early day, and is said to have been a great wolf-hunter. He afterwards removed to Plain Grove township, where he died, about 1830.
John Butcher, a Revolutionary soldier, settled in the northeast part of the township of Taylor, about 1800. Mr. John Sword now owns a part of the old Butcher farm.
Samuel Sample, from Carlisle, Pa., moved to Pittsburgh about 1806. His father, Robert Sample, had visited the Beaver valley at a very early period and purchased several tracts of the "Donation lands," but did not settle upon them. He returned to Carlisle, where he soon after died. His sons, Samuel and James, came together and settled on these tracts, about 1807. The land is now owned by Alexander English.
Joseph McMurray, a Revolutionary soldier, settled on the land now owned by Joseph Anderson, about 1808. He was from near Chambersburg, Pa., and had a family of eight children--four sons and four daughters. Samuel Sample married his daughter Esther, about 1809. After their marriage they lived near the river for about two years and a-half.
In 1810-11 there was a great flood in the Beaver river and its branches, and nearly all of the bottom lands were overflowed. Mrs. Sample says it was the highest water she has seen in seventy years.
Joseph McMurray lived on his place in the valley until his death, at an advanced age, about 1847. His wife survived him about one year. Mr. McMurray lived at Crow's Bottom, on the Ohio river, in Beaver county, about a year before removing to Lawrence county.
Mrs. Samuel Sample (Esther McMurray) was born on the 1st day of January, 1787, and is consequently now in her ninety-first year. Samuel Sample died in April, 1870, aged eighty-five years. They never had any children. Mr. Sample and James McMurray, his brother-in-law, were at Erie during the war of 1812, in Captain Kildoo's company.
When the Samples and McMurrays first settled on the Beaver, the country was wild and new, and the only roads were Indian trails and bridle paths, with the exception of the New Castle and Beaver State road, which was laid out as early as 1800, but not worked very much for many years. Wolves and other wild animals were exceedingly plenty, and the settlers were well supplied with venison and wild turkey. Large quantities of maple sugar were made, and Mrs. Sample tells of carrying fifty-two buckets of sap or sugar-water to the boiling place in a day, when she was a young woman. They made sugar all night in the "camp," and many a night she has heard the howling of wolves as they prowled around the scattered settlers' cabins.
All the clothing worn by the early inhabitants was spun and woven by the women from flax and its tow, and the old lady tells of weaving as many as thirty yards of tow cloth in a week, besides doing her regular housework. The price for weaving tow and linen cloth was about ten cents, and for flannel twelve and a-half cents per yard.
Cultivated fruits were scarce for several years after the settlement, and the wild fruits were used. The wild crab-apple, plum, cherry and smaller fruits and berries were quite abundant.
Mrs. Sample remembers visiting the ruins of the Indian village at Moravia, and seeing the remains of their hearths and chimnies[sic]. Although she never had any children of her own, yet she raised several from infancy. Mr. Samuel Hawthorne, with whom she is now living, is one of her proteges.
She is remarkably well preserved, and retains her faculties in an extraordinary degree.
Mrs. Thomas Sample and Mrs. Frisbie, both living at Mahoningtown, are about the same age as Mrs. Samuel Sample.
Joseph Pollock, grandfather of Hiram Pollock, of New Castle, came originally from Ireland. His wife was from Scotland. They were married in America previous to the Revolution, and lived in Westmoreland county for [p. 121] some years, and finally came to what was then Beaver county, and located on land near Westfield Church, in the present township of North Beaver, in 1800, intending to settle permanently, but, after a year or two, finding the title of his land defective, he gave it up and removed, about 1802, to the farm now owned by the Frisbie heirs in Taylor township. He resided here until his death--about 1830--and was buried on his farm. His wife died about 1835, and was buried beside him in the little burial-ground near the canal, on the old farm. Mr. Pollock was a remarkably honest, straight-forward and upright man. One incident will illustrate his character. After he had got his land partially cleared, and began to raise crops, he had a great many calls for grain and produce from the new comers who were settling in his neighborhood. He always asked them if they had money to pay for what they wanted, and if they replied in the affirmative, he sent them to a neighbor of his who would only sell his produce for cash, at the same time remarking that he was keeping his grain, &c., for those who had not ready money. He trusted all who came without means and when he wanted help to harvest his crops, he found plenty in those whom he had accommodated, while his parsimonious neighbor could scarcely hire help for money.
His son Joseph studied medicine, and located at what is now Monongahela City, then called Williamsport, where he practiced for some twenty years. In 1826 he removed to what is now Shenango township, where he engaged in farming, and, about 1835, removed to New Castle, where he died in 1856. The doctor was a prominent man, having been a member of the State Legislature, of the State Equalization Board, and Superintendent of the Beaver Division of the Canal.* Seth Rigby, father of Seth Rigby, of Shenango township, from Virginia, settled in this township on land afterwards purchased by Robert Sample. He did not purchase land in this township, but rented, and about 1806 purchased the land now owned by his son in Shenango township.
*See history of New Castle.
Joseph Copper, from Fayette county, Pa., and originally from Kent county, Maryland, came to the Beaver valley about 1800. He had five sons--Joseph, Jr., Nathaniel, Alexander, Ralph and Michael, all of whom, except Joseph came with him. The latter came in 1804. These brothers settled along the Beaver river, and at the mouth of the Mahoning. Joseph Copper, 2nd, occupied a cabin on the "Gaston Tract" for about one year or a little more. He was a weaver and shoemaker by trade. In 1807 he settled land about four miles below Moravia, on the Shenango and Beaver road, of "Scotch John Moore," a deserter from the British army during the American Revolution. He remained in this place about thirteen months, when he removed to the place now owned by Mr. Anderson.
In 1808, Mr. Copper and his uncle, Nathaniel Copper, removed to a tract of about 200 acres, which they had purchased in North Beaver township, about four miles west from Moravia. Old Mr. Joseph Copper, 1st, died in June, 1813, at the advanced age of one hundred and three years. He was living with his son Ralph, who occupied what is now the English farm, but at the time of his death was at his son Alexander's, on what is known as the "Zeigler farm," now owned by James Wilson.
Joseph Copper, 2d, died in 1842, at the age of sixty-nine years. Samuel Copper and Martha his sister, children of Joseph Copper, 2d, are still living, he in Moravia, and his sister in Hancock county, Ohio.
Joseph Copper, 2d, was in the army subsequent to the war of 1812. Samuel Copper worked on the canal during its construction, and afterwards ran a boat.
Among the early settlers were: Charles Morrow, who settled about a mile below Moravia, about 1800; two Johnsons, who settled near to John Butcher, about the same year, and Jack Tilton, a brother-in-law of the Johnsons, who came with them.
John Miller and Dennis Kennedy settled early on a portion of the land now owned by John Sword, Esq., who has a finely-improved farm of three hundred acres, including the "point farm" lying at the confluence of, and between the rivers Shenango and Mahoning. A steam saw-mill was operated on this farm for some years, but it is not now in use. This farm also includes one hundred acres of the old Butcher farm lying on the summit of the high hill east of Mr. Sword's residence.
The McCall and Lewis families were early settlers. Daniel Cameron's father settled at the Forks as early as 1816.
This place was laid out near the ground at first occupied by the Moravians about 1835-36, by Marcus T. C. Gould. It had always borne the same name, though it never had a post-office.
One of the first stores in the place was a small grocery opened by a Mr. Justice, about 1838. The first dry-goods store was opened by Samuel Smith about 1843-44. The first tavern was kept by William Lawton, in 1835.
There have been two church organizations in the place, Methodists and Baptists. The latter built a church about 1836, which was used as a kind of free church for a while, being open to all denominations. A man named Dr. Winters was the principal mover in it. It was only kept up a few years.*
*For an account of the Methodist Church see another page.
During the years of canal navigation this hamlet was quite a point for business. Below this place the Beaver river was mostly used for navigation purposes, under the slack-water system of dams and locks. The canal extended from this point up the river to New Castle, when the slack-water was again used on the Shenango for some distance. The "Cross-cut" canal connected at Mahoningtown, and thence followed the Mahoning river into the State of Ohio. There were two locks on the canal at Moravia, the stone work of which remains solid and substantial yet. The business at Old Moravia has, since the abandonment of the canal, departed to more favorable localities.
There is no school in the place, the nearest being about a-half mile below.
The first settler at this place was William Simpson, from Butler county, Pa., in the Spring of 1836, who opened the first store in the place.
The town was laid out in the Spring of 1836, by William Hayes and Benjamin Darlington, of Pittsburgh. These parties owned the five-hundred-acre tract of "Donation lands," patented to the heirs of Colonel William Crawford, for his military services. It included the site of Mahoningtown.
Mr. Simpson is still living about one mile west of the place on the Mount Jackson road.
Samuel Vandivort settled in the place in September, 1837. He was also from Butler county, Pa. He was a hatter by trade, and followed the business for some ten or twelve years after he came here.
Franklin Alexander, a blacksmith from Pittsburgh, came about the same time.
Henry Mace, a tailor, from east of the mountains, came about 1839.
John Simpson, a brother of William, came in 1838, and settled on a farm southwest of the town. He laid out a small addition to the place on the south side of "Cross-cut" canal, about 1840.
The last-mentioned canal was commenced in 1836 and finished about 1838. It connected with the Beaver division of the Pennsylvania canal at this point, and extended up the Mahoning river into the State of Ohio making connections with the canal system of that State, and opening a direct route to the city of Cleveland on Lake Erie.
Archibald Newell settled in Mahoningtown in 1844, and has been engaged in the mercantile business from that date to the present time, a period of thirty-three years. He came to America from Ireland in 1837, and lived a few years in Crawford county, previous to coming in this place.
John Wallace, from Mifflin township, Allegheny county, Pa., settled at Mahoningtown in 1842. he was born in Allegheny county, May 1st, 1786 and is consequently ninety-one years old. His father had twelve children, four sons and eight daughters, of whom only three are now living. The Wallaces were originally from county Tyrone, Ireland.
Mr. Wallace was in the service during the war of 1812. He was a private in Captain Peter Stilley's company, raised in Allegheny county, and his brother-in-law, James Irwin, was first lieutenant. The company was stationed at Pittsburgh for five months, guarding the British prisoners taken by Commodore Perry on lake Erie. Wallace drew a land-warrant of one hundred sixty acres for his service. He sold his warrant for $160. He was a carpenter and builder by trade. When he came to Mahoningtown it was only a small cluster of houses. There were then two stores, one blacksmith and wagon shop, and a Presbyterian church, or, at least, they held meetings.
Mr. Wallace worked at his trade twelve years. He afterwards worked at farming for twenty-eight years. His wife died January 14, 1874, aged ninety-one years. The couple lived sixty-one years together, and raised ten children. At a meeting of the veterans of 1812, held near Mahoningtown a few years since, only three of Mr. Wallace's company of one hundred and sixteen men were to be found.
The first postmaster at Mahoningtown was John Gillespie, who came from Pittsburgh, and opened a store about 1841. He built the "Lawrence House" the next year. The postmasters succeeding him have been David Bower, under General Taylor's administration; Joseph Cox, who held it until the [p. 122] Spring of 1874, and Seth Blanchard, who succeeded Cox, and is the present incumbent. Stephen Sherman held the office for an interval of eight or nine months under the present (General Grant's) administration, but was removed and Mr. Cox re-appointed. Mr. Cox settled here in 1850.
The first school in the place was about 1841. A school-building was erected, in 1838, on the hill one mile north of town. Mahoningtown was set off in a district by itself, and a school-building erected in the town. The school on the hill was then abandoned.
During the period between 1833 and 1870, the canal business made this town a place of considerable importance, and quite an extensive trade was transacted here. With the abandonment of the canals, much of its business was transferred to New Castle and other points.
James Raney built the first grist-mill in Mahoningtown in 1852, on the Cross-cut canal. He operated it about nine years, when he sold it to his son, L. Raney, who in turn sold it to Messrs. Genkinger & Kraft about 1865. After the transfer the mill was changed into a stave-factory, but was only operated as such about a year, when Mr. Genkinger purchase Mr. Kraft's interest and changed to the original business again. The mill contains three run of stone, and has a capacity for grinding about one hundred and fifty bushels in ten hours. It is doing both merchant and custom-milling, and has a good business. It is run by steam.
James Raney commenced building a dam over the Shenango at this point in June, 1873, and, by extraordinary exertions, finished the work in September of the same year. It forms one-quarter of a circle, with the convex side facing the stream. Measured on the curve the length is 450 feet; in a straight line from one abutment to the other the distance is 400 feet. The dam is solidly constructed of timber, bolted to the bottom and pinned together so as to form a compact structure, strong enough to resist the powerful action of both water and ice in time of floods. The fall is four and one-half feet. In 1874 the race was excavated and the foundations of the mill laid.
The mill was mostly completed in the Summer and Autumn of 1875. It is perhaps the best grist and flouring mill in Lawrence county, all things considered. Its size is 45 by 58 feet, and it is four stories in height. It has four run of stone and is fitted up in every department with the best machinery and appliances known to the business. The wheels in use are of Mr. Raney's own invention and construction, upon which he has letters-patent. They are of the "turbine" class, and claimed by their inventor to be superior to any similar wheel in use. Mr. Raney has been a practical millwright and miller for forty consecutive years, and has constructed in his day five new flouring and grist-mills, and repaired many others. He is connected in the milling business with the firm of Raney, Sheal & Co., at Steubenville, Ohio.
The "Shenango Mills" are leased by Messrs. Gordon, Raney & Co., who are doing a very extensive business--making a specialty of what is known as "patent flour," manufactured by a peculiar process (this being the only mill in this part of the State using it), and a brand which is much sought after in the market by connosseurs.
There are about eight acres of land belonging to the property, including a margin on each bank extending above the dam about half a mile, sufficient to cover the overflow. The power is one of the best and most permanent in the county.
The capacity of the mill, measured by the patent process, is about fifty barrels in twenty-four hours. The process is not what is known as a "fast" one, but one which requires quiet and steady manipulation to produce exact and satisfactory results; the quality alone being considered without regard to amount. (See view of this property on another page.) Mr. Raney laid out an addition to Mahoningtown about 1852-53.
The number of school buildings in this township is three, all frames, in which there are taught four schools an average of six months in the year. There are four teachers employed (two male and one female), and the total number of scholars is one hundred and eighty-eight, with an average attendance of one hundred and fifty-nine. The total receipts for school purposes during the year 1875, were $1,230.60, and the total expenditures for all purposes during the same time, $1,193.72.
The village of Mahoningtown contains at present two churches, Presbyterian and Methodist Episcopal, one school-building with two schools, one hotel, the "Lawrence House," four stores, and two grist and flour-mills, with a population of several hundred. It is situated on a fine piece of ground lying between the Shenango and Mahoning rivers, and high and dry above all overflows. The junction of the Erie and Pittsburgh, and Ashtabula, Youngstown and Pittsburgh Railways is about a-half mile south of the town, and is known as Lawrence junction.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH at Mahoningtown was organized May 14, 1866, by a committee of Presbytery, with thirty-five members, received by certificate from other churches--twenty-eight from the First Church of New Castle, four from Westfield, and the balance from other churches. The first elders were John Sword and A. D. Simpson, and soon after James Moffat was added. The first board of trustees consisted of John Simpson, Thomas Sample and Samuel Vandivort.
The church-building was erected during the Summer and Fall of 1866. It was fully completed and paid for by the 10th of March, 1867, on which day it was dedicated. The total cost was about four thousand dollars. Rev. D. L. Dickey, the first pastor, commenced his labors November 1, 1867, and continued until August 14, 1876, when he demitted his charge. Rev. J. R. Andrews succeeded him on the 1st of April, 1871, and still continues. When Mr. Andrews assumed charge, the members numbered eighty-three, and there have been eighty-five received since. The present number is one hundred and forty-eight. A Union Sabbath-school was organized as early as 1846, in Mahoningtown, by this denomination and the Methodists, which was kept up with little interruption until it was finally merged in the Presbyterian congregation. The school at the present time (1877) consists of about fourteen officers and teachers and one hundred and twenty scholars. It has a small but select library. The parsonage was purchased in 1871, at an expense of two thousand five hundred dollars. The society is entirely out of debt and in a very prosperous financial condition.
It is worthy of remark that it has always been self-supporting, and, in addition, has contributed liberally for denominational purposes.
The Methodist Episcopal church at Mahoningtown was organized about 1858, with some eight members--John D. Pitzer and wife, John Balmer and wife, Joseph Cox and wife, Mrs. Jane Wallace, and Mrs. Eve Forney.
The church-building was erected some time previous to the organization of the society, at a cost of about $4,500--finished and paid for. The first pastor was Rev. Allen Crowell, who preached for two years, and was succeeded by Rev. Johnson, who only staid one year. Rev. John Crawford followed, and remained for two years, and was succeeded by Rev. John Cruman, who remained two years. Rev. Richard Bear, the present pastor, succeeded him. The present membership numbers about sixty, and the society maintains a Sabbath-school, with ten officers and teachers, and sixty-two scholars. The school has a small library. David Rhodes is the superintendent.
Among the earliest Methodists in Moravia were Michael Pitzer and wife, John C. Ault (who was also a local preacher), Mrs. Mary Robertson, Rhoda Boyle and Lydia Phillips.
The church-building was erected about 1846-47. Thomas Robertson and Patterson White were the contractors. The first preacher was Rev. Gideon Kinnear under whose auspices the church was built and a society gathered. Succeeding him were Revs. Hawkins, Monroe, J. Somerville (occasionally), Bennett, James Sheilds, S. K. Paden, John McCombs, Foster Boyd, S. K. Shattuck, Shurick, Marshtellar, J. E. Johnston (the latter serving two terms), James Foster, Morris, Moore, J. H. Merchant, Brown, Crawford, &c. the society is small and at present without a permanent preacher. The Rev. Mr. Perry, located at Wampum, supplies a portion of his time.
The present membership is about twelve. Among the members not heretofore mentioned are Bazaleel Pitzer, Joseph Phillips and Charles Phillips, the latter of whom is steward and class-leader. There was a small Baptist organization at this place for a few years subsequent to 1836. A man known as Dr. Winters was a prominent member, and was chiefly instrumental in building a small church. Henry Frazure probably preached the first sermon at this place, as he lived in the vicinity a portion of the time while pastor at Providence, Beaver county. It is supposed that Thomas Rigdon and Andrew Clark also visited this church occasionally while at Providence, the distance being only ten miles. William Tindall, Joseph Brown, Elizabeth Brown, and Isaac Jones and his wife, were among the first Baptists here. [p. 123] On the 15th of August, 1818, privilege was granted by Providence Church to their members living on the west side of Beaver river, to organize a branch. The church was constituted by Wm. Stone, Jonathan Davis and Samuel Williams in 1831, and numbered twenty-two members. Their first pastor was William Stone, in 1832. Jonathan Davis was his successor; until 1848; Daniel Daniels, 1849; John McConchy, 1850 to 1853; Gabriel Lanham, 1858 to 1863; John McConahy, 1863 to 1867; Gabriel Lanham, 1867 to 1871, when he received a letter of dismissal, and united with the Disciples. Rev. John Davis came in 1871, and served about eighteen months. After him the Rev. Melvin Nye served one year, and was followed in 1875, by Rev. John Owen, who is the present pastor.
The members who have served as deacons of this Church have been Robert Aiken, James Book, Henry Crider, Zachariah Tindall, Jacob Book. The meeting-house is located about two miles below Wampum. The first meetings of the congregation were held in a coal-house for some years. The present membership is about eighty. The society is much scattered, part of the members living on each side of the Beaver river, and extending from within two miles of New Castle on the north of the Connoquenessing on the south. The membership at one time was much larger than at the present.
From the 1770 - 1877 History of Lawrence County by S. W. and P. A. DURANT.
Explanation and Caution | Abbreviations | Lawrence Co. Maps | 1877 Portraits
Previous Section | Next Section
Table of Contents
Updated: 21 Mar 2001, 16:51