History of Lawrence County Pennsylvania, 1770 - 1877, by S.W. and P.A. Durant.
[p. 123]The township was erected from portions of Mahoning, Neshannock and Taylor townships, on the 10th of December, 1859. It contains a little over nine square miles, or about 6,000 acres, and is, next after Taylor, the smallest township in the county. It is bounded on the north by Mahoning township and the Shenango river; on the south by Taylor township and the Mahoning river.
Lying between the two rivers, the surface is made up of lands descending on both sides towards these streams. On the east and north the declination is comparatively gradual towards the Shenango, but on the southwest the descent is much more abrupt into the valley of the Mahoning. There are considerable bottoms on both these rivers, and the land generally throughout the township is of a very superior quality, producing good crops of grain and fruit. The minor streams are all small, the largest being Sankey's run, in the northwest part of the township, which discharges into the Shenango at the "Harbor."
There is an abundance of limestone in this township, particularly along the bluffs of the Mahoning river, which in many places are very precipitous.
Coal is found in several localities, and is quite extensively mined on the farm of Robert Wallace, in the southwestern part of the township.
There is no improved water-power at present in the township. The bed of the abandoned Cross-cut canal follows the valley of the Mahoning. This was an important and busy thoroughfare in the years from 1838 to about 1871, when it was abandoned forever as a means of travel and transportation.
The Erie and Pittsburgh railway traverses the township its whole length, on the eastern side along the valley of the Shenango river There are two stations on this road within the limits of the township, to wit: the main New Castle station, and Harbor Bridge station, at the old Western Reserve harbor on the Shenango, long the terminus of the canal.
In early days when turnpike roads were something of great importance, the great "Scrub-Grass road" was opened by commissioners appointed by the State, from Venango county across Lawrence to Youngstown, Ohio. This road passed diagonally through what is now Union township, in a north-westerly direction, and it is still known as the "State road." A beautiful suburb of New Castle lies in this township, generally known as West New Castle. It is a fine location, overlooking the whole city, from which it rises gradually towards the west. It contains probably about two thousand people, many of them doing business in New Castle. This suburb extends a mile west from the bridge, and more than that distance up and down the river. There are many picturesque and charming locations for residences, and the landscape is covered with evidences of a thrifty population.
Among the many beautiful localities, the Greenwood Cemetery is deserving of particular mention; and a mile and a-half northwest from the Washington street bridge is the new Catholic cemetery, recently laid out on a very commanding site.*
*See article "Cemeteries."
Three fine bridges connect the township with the city of New Castle, two of iron and one (at the "Point") of wood. A wooden bridge at the "Harbor" connects Union with Neshannock township.
This township is the thickest settled of any in the county, and has, perhaps, increased more rapidly since its formation than any other. This is owing to its close proximity to the city, the privileges and advantages of which the people enjoy without being subject to the increased taxation necessary to maintain the various branches of a city form of government. The people lack one thing badly. Having no form of incorporation, there can be no general or uniform system of streets, side-walks, sewerage, &c. There is considerable talk of applying for a borough charter in order to remedy these evils, but the expense of maintaining a separate incorporation would probably equal the increased taxation consequent upon annexation to the city; and it would seem that a consolidation would be altogether preferable.
An addition to West New Castle was laid out by Phillps & Du Shane, in 1868.
Undoubtedly the first white settlers within the present limits of Union township were Cornelius Hendrickson and his son Daniel, who came probably in 1798, and erected cabins on the river, one above and the other below the present Washington street. Daniel built his cabin on land afterwards washed away in November, 1835, at a time when a great flood threatened to submerge the borough of New Castle, and the river was turned around the west end of where is the iron bridge, to let the waters have a freer passage.
Cornelius Henrickson, the old gentleman, was something of a practitioner of the healing art, without being a regularly educated physician. He dealt in herbs and simple domestic remedies, and was no doubt a welcome visitor at the sick-bedside. During his residence in New Castle he was known as Dr. Hendrickson. He located fifty acres and twenty and six-tenth perches of land when he settled, it being a portion of the "vacancy" lying between the first and second districts of "Donation lands." He also claimed the whole of the "vacancy" lying west of the Shenango river, and containing, by actual measurement, one hundred and seventeen acres and thirty-eight perches. It is probable that Hendrickson, during his occupancy, only received title to a portion of the land.
About 1818 he sold or transferred his claim to Ebenezer Byers and Geo. McDowell, who afterwards obtained the patent. It is quite probable that Oakey (or Okey) Hendrickson, a son of the doctor, also had an interest, in the property. George McDowell, is said to have been his son-in-law. It is also probable that Daniel Hendrickson had no interest, but was merely a squatter on his father's land for a short time.
Byers and McDowell made an equitable division of the property, the former taking the north, and the latter the south half. McDowell afterwards sold to James D. White, and his administrators to A. L. and John Crawford and Geo. K. Ritter; and subsequently the Crawfords owned the whole.
In 1836, Byers bargained his share to Ezekiel Sankey, and executed a deed for the same, January 13th, 1837. The Hendricksons established a canoe-ferry on the Shenango about opposite the present North street, when they first arrived. The young man, Daniel, managed the ferry, and frequently accommodated parties, going and coming on the river, with canoes, going sometimes himself to Beaver Falls.
The old doctor and his son, Cornelius, Jr., after a few years emigrated to Ohio, probably about 1818 or 1820.*
*For further account of the Hendricksons see history of New Castle.
Ezekiel Sankey, father of Ezekiel and David Sankey, now residing in West New Castle, was perhaps the first permanent settler within the limits of the present township. His ancestors were from near Warrington, in Lancashire, England, from whence they emigrated to America and settled in the Kishacoquillas valley, now Mifflin county, Pa., where his father died in 1794. He and his mother were appointed as executors of his father's will. Soon after the death of his father, he removed to a place called Potter's Mills, in Center county, and, after a short residence there, removed to the Chartiers valley, in Washington county, Pa., where he bought a farm and remained until 1800, when he removed to the farm at the mouth of "Sankey's run," since in Union township, Lawrence county. A few of the "red skins" still remained in the county, and their abandoned wigwams, made of poles and bark, were numerous. The territory of Union township was then in Mercer county, recently erected, and Mr. Sankey was the first sheriff of the county that was elected by the people--Wm Byers, the first sheriff, having been appointed by the governor in 1803.
[p. 124] Mr. Sankey was major of one of the Pennsylvania militia regiments, and it was on the occasion of one of its general musters on his farm, that a recruiting officer appeared in the Summer of 1812, and offered the regiment the privilege of volunteering in the service of the country in the war then just beginning between the United States and Great Britain. If the regiment accepted the proposition, they were to join General Wm. H. Harrison, then in command in the northwest territory, of which he was also governor.
The regiment declined enlisting in a body, and the offer was tendered to the companies, which also declined, and then individual enlistments were called for, when Major Sankey and a man named William Sheriff, of the same township, stepped forward and enlisted, being the only ones from that regiment. Major Sankey was appointed to a position in the commissary department of General Crook's brigade, which was organized at Pittsburgh. After a short visit to Erie, to learn what the British were contemplating in that quarter, he rejoined Crook's brigade at Mansfield, Ohio. He afterwards accompanied a portion of it as far West as the Rapids of the Maumee, where Harrison afterwards, in February, 1813, constructed the famous Fort Meigs. Here he remained during the Winter of 1812-13, and returned home in the Spring, and soon afterwards went to Mercer upon business, when his health, which had suffered severely by the rigor of the Winter and exposure in the camp, gave way, and after lying there for some time, he was brought home, where he lingered until the 13th day of July of that year, when he expired. Major Sankey raised a family of nine children, six sons and three daughters, all of whom are dead excepting his two youngest sons, Ezekiel and David, the latter of whom is the father of the co-worker with D. L. Moody--Ira D. Sankey--whose name and fame as a singer of Gospel hymns is world-wide. These two brothers reside in West New Castle, and have raised large families, who occupy respectable positions in society, and the name in Union township is more numerous than any other. They younger of these two brothers, notwithstanding he was deprived of the counsel and care of a father at the tender age of four years, in a new country, being the eighth member of a family, with moderate means of support, and the facilities for obtaining an education very meager, but with a mother whose memory will (he says) be ever cherished with profound veneration while life lasts--has been promoted to several public offices of honor and responsibility, both State and National, the duties of which he discharged with credit to himself and acceptability to the people, and, by close attention to business, has acquired a competency, and enjoys the respect and confidence of all who know him. He has been a man who has exerted a large degree of influence upon every measure, both local and general, which had for its object the good of the community. The formation of Lawrence county and the township of Union was brought about mainly by his influence. All speak in praise of his ability and integrity, except the worst elements of political parties, whose base schemes to corrupt public morals and prostitute the public service for personal and party purposes, he has to a considerable degree exposed and thwarted.
Ezekiel Sankey, brother of David, in 1823, at the age of sixteen years, hired to Samuel McCleary, of New Castle, at six dollars per month, to work on his farm. McCleary kept a store, and paid his help mostly in goods. In 1836 Mr. Sankey had acquired considerable property, including that portion of the "vacancy" formerly owned by Ebenezer Byers, from whom he purchased it in the year last mentioned. In the month of May, 1836, he laid out the town of West New Castle, in which he has been a prominent man, and intimately connected with a great variety of important enterprises which have built up the busy city of New Castle, its schools, manufactures, banks, and has also been closely connected the politics of city ad county. As a lobbyist, he, perhaps, is unrivaled in that peculiar tact which always commands success, and hence his connection with the many manufacturing, civil and political questions involving large outlays of capital and superior administrative ability.
The Wallace family was originally from the neighborhood of Londonderry or Donegal, in Ireland, from when John Wallace emigrated to America about 1765, and settled at Alexandria, Virginia, which place is said to have derived its name from his wife's family--Alexander--who were proprietors of the town. Mr. Wallace was a linen merchant, and carried on the business for a short time in Alexandria, where he married Mary Alexander, and soon after removed from Virginia to Bedford county, Pa., and settled in the "Big Cove," where he purchased a farm which he cultivated, and also traded and speculated more or less in lands. After a few years residence he sold, and again removed to the Ligonier valley, in Westmoreland county, where he purchased a tract of land and resided until driven away by the Indians subsequent to the Revolution. He served at various times during the war in short enlistments. When driven from Westmoreland he settled in Washington county, Pa., some four or five miles from Williamsport, now Monongahela city, on Peter's creek, near the present line between Washington and Allegheny counties. What he did with his property in Ligonier valley is not at present known. He served at various periods against the Indians, and was one of the party who constructed the original Fort McIntosh, at the mouth of the Beaver river. He died in Washington county in 1808, or 1809. He had five sons--Robert, Jacob, John, Hugh and William.
The old gentleman and his oldest son, Robert, visited the Slippery Rock valley (then in Allegheny county, now in Lawrence), in the Fall of 1797, and the old gentleman was so well pleased with it that he located four hundred and forty acres of land on the "vacancy," lying between the first and second districts of "Donation lands." His son, Robert, settled on the land at that time and remained. In 1801, his father visited the Mahoning valley and purchased about four hundred acres opposite where the town of Edenburg has since been built. Robert was born in Washington county in 1781. In 1807 he married Elizabeth Reader, of the same county. After his marriage he rented the property in Slippery Rock for about two years, and lived in Washington county. About 1809 he returned to Slippery Rock and resided there until 1827, when he removed to the land now occupied by his son, William R. Wallace, where he remained to the time of his death, which occurred February 12th, 1847. By his will he divided his property in Slippery Rock equally among his four daughters--Mary, Harriet, Elizabeth and Sarah. Mary married Andrew Robinson, of Mahoning township (now Union), who died about 1851. She is still living in the township. Harriet married John Leeper, of Mahoning township, who died about 1860. She is still living in the township. Elizabeth married Jacob McCracken, father of G. W. McCracken, editor of the Lawrence Guardian. They are both living near Harlansburg, in Scott township. Sarah married Rev. John McComb, of Findlay township, Mercer county, where they still reside. His property in Mahoning he divided equally between his two sons, William R. and Robert. The old gentleman served during the war of 1812, two terms in Captain McCune's company which went to Erie.
During his last term he was promoted to captain of the company in place of Captain McCune, resigned. His commission was issued in the Fall of 1814. After the war he served in the State militia with the rank of captain for fourteen years. He was a man of superior education for the times in which he lived, but was never an office-seeker. His father was a strict Presbyterian, and his son was baptized in that faith, but as he grew to manhood and mature years his judgment led him in a different direction, and he was one of that class, then few in numbers, who conscientiously declined to unite with any religious denomination, choosing rather to endure opprobrium, the natural result of bigotry, than to stultify honest conscience with hypocrisy, and he died an honest man.
The eldest son of Robert, William R., had the homestead portion of the farm for his share of the property, and Robert the remainder.
William had left his father in 1836, in his twenty-fourth year, and removed to the Slippery Rock property, which he carried on for his sisters until his father's death, when he returned, and has since lived on the place where his father died. He built the two-story brick house still occupied by him. His brother Robert still lives on his share of the old farm adjoining. Each of them has six children: William R. five sons and one daughter, and Robert three sons and three daughters.
William R. Wallace was captain of the same company which his father formerly commanded, from 1836 to 1842, when he was elected Colonel of the 27th Regiment Pennsylvania Militia, which office he held until 1849, when the system was abandoned. He held the office of County Commissioner from 1852 until 1855, and also the office of Justice of the Peace for eleven years--1856 to 1861, and from 1866 to 1871.
His two sons, Jacob and William, were in the army during the rebellion. Jacob served three years and four months in the "Roundhead" regiment. He was on detached service for about three years, in the signal corps. William was in the 134th (nine months') regiment. He also served in the Sixth Heavy Artillery for one year.
Colonel Wallace's mother (Mrs. Robert Wallace) is still living at the advanced age of ninety-five years. She makes the Colonel's house her home. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Reader. She was born near the city of Coventry, Warwickshire, England. Her father had a family of eleven children, and first settled at Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1804, but removed to Washington county the same year.
When the Wallace farm was first settled it was abundantly watered and heavily timbered. Colonel Wallace recollects of cutting a sugar-maple on the river bottom, which measured four feet in diameter, and had the marks of an Indian hatchet, which the concentric rings showed had been made ninety years before.
[p. 125] There is a fine little island in the Mahoning a few rods above the farm. Across the river, near where Edenburg now stands, was the famous village of Kush-kush-kee, and a remarkable mound, constructed, no doubt by the pre-historic people known as the "Mound-builders."
This well-known locality on the State road from New Castle to Youngstown, Ohio, was first settled in the Fall of 1800 by a colony from Virginia, consisting of William Park and his sons, John, James and William, Jr., Joseph Brown and family and Thomas Franklin, a son-in-law of Park. They were all from Berkely county, and the men had been out the previous year and purchased the land under a "joint article" of one John Chenowith, a Virginian, and father of Arthur Chenowith who afterwards settled in New Castle. Joshua Chenowith, brother of Arthur, came at a later day, and lived in the settlement until his death. He raised quite a large family.
The land purchased by the company amounted to three hundred acres. William Park, Sen. Died about 1806 or 1807, and was buried in the old ground at New Castle, now included in Greenwood cemetery. The old lady, his wife died about 1808 or 1809. Several of the descendants of William Park are now living in Edenburg.
Joseph Brown resided at "Parkstown" until about 1813, when he removed to what was called the Mayberry farm, on the Shenango river, which he worked for about a year, and in 1814 removed to New Castle. He was a tanner by trade and rented Wm. Dickson's tannery, and operated it for two years, when, finding the business unprofitable, he gave it up. He had lost his share of the land purchased by the original company at "Parkstown," in consequence of entanglements under the "joint article" and was left in somewhat straitened circumstances.
After giving up the tanning business he removed to a place above Edenburg where he rented a farm known as the "Ashton" farm, belonging to a Revolutionary soldier, which he worked for about three years, when he moved on to the Martin place on the north side of the Mahoning river. He remained on this place for four or five years, when he again removed to the place now owned by Messrs. Miller & Peyton, in Pulaski township. On this place he staid two or three years, and finally moved to the place now owned by his son, William Brown, in the present township of Mahoning, one mile north of Edenburg, where he lived until his death, which occurred about 1850, at the age of ninety years.
He died of a malignant dysentery, then prevailing to an alarming extent in the vicinity. His wife died some years previously. Mr. Brown was adjutant of a militia regiment previous to the war of 1812, the same of which Ezekiel Sankey was major.
He and James Park were out together at Erie during the war of 1812. Subsequent to the war he served for some time in the State militia.
Joseph Brown had seven sons, Robert, William, John, Matthew, Joseph, David and Madison. Only two are now living.
A man named Isaac Bryson settled at the mouth of the little run above Grant street bridge, soon after 1800. Joseph Cox and Samuel his son also settled in this township about 1802-3 on the "Scotland" farm. A brother-in-law of Cox, William Miller, settled on the Cameron farm south of the district line about the same time.
Among other early settlers were William Young, who came from Cumberland county, Pa., and settled the place now owned by the Young heirs and others, on the New Castle and Youngstown road, about 1810.
Among the later comers were Robert Paisley and family, three sons and six daughters, from Lancaster county, Pa., who settled in 1827, in New Castle, but, after a residence of two years, in 1829 purchased thirty acres where his son Andrew N. now lives. He was a cooper by trade and followed the occupation until his death in October, 1851. His wife died in 1836.
His sons were named respectively John, Andrew N. and Robert. All three are now living in West New Castle, adjoining each other. The sisters are all dead but one, who lives in Sharon, Mercer county.
Shubael Wilder came to this vicinity in 1838, and was engaged in erecting the Ętna Iron Works during that and the succeeding year. He was from the State of Massachusetts, and, since his first settlement, has been more or less identified with the manufacturing and commercial interests of New Castle. He has a fine residence in the southern part of West New Castle. The Crawfords--Alexander L., George W., and James A.--came about 1840-41, and have been also identified with the great business interests of the city from that day to this. Two of the brothers, George W. and James A., reside in Union township, where they own valuable property. Alexander L. lives in Taylor township, on a splendid farm just south of the Union township line.
John McComb, from Washington county, Pa., settled in the township of Mahoning, one mile above Edenburg, about 1806, and lived there some ten years, when he traded for a farm about a mile below Edenburg, in what is now Union township, where he lived until his death, in November, 1866, at the age of eighty-six years. The old McComb homestead is now owned by A. N. Paisley and Mrs. Maria McComb. Mr. McComb was clerk in the old "Seceder" Church in New Castle for twenty years, commencing with its organization under Rev. Alexander Murray.
John Fulkerson, from Virginia, settled in this township about 1810.
John Ray settled at a very early date on the Shenango river, about two miles above New Castle. The country was a wilderness--luxuries were unknown, and even the necessities of life were sometimes hard to procure. Mrs. Ray was a woman of uncommon determination, as the following incident will show. At one time, when her husband, no doubt, was busy clearing his land and getting ready for raising a crop, she went on foot alone through the forest to Rochester, on the Ohio river, a distance of some twenty-five miles, to purchase a little salt for family use. At the store where she traded she saw a quantity of flax-seed, and her imagination at once looked forward to the day when the family could be "clothed in purple and fine linen," and she tried to think of some way by which she could procure a little of the shining seed. But her money was all gone, and she could not expect to get trusted. She talked with the merchant, and told how fine a thing it would be if they could only get enough of the seed to make a start, until finally he told her if she had any way in which she could carry it he would give her a small quantity and she could pay him when they raised a crop. She could find nothing to carry it in, and as a last resort, rather than go home without it, she improvised a sack from the skirt of her scanty dress, and actually carried home a peck of the seed through the wilderness in that way. Whether she ever paid the accommodating trader or not, we do not know, but she no doubt felt as rich when she arrived at home with her package as if she had been burdened with so much gold dust. The Rays afterwards removed to Hickory township, and eventually to some of the Western States.
This township is an anomaly in one respect among its sister townships.* It has not a single church or congregation within its borders. The people all attend church outside their own limits--at New Castle, Mahoningtown, Edenburg, the "Harbor," and possibly other points.
*This is also true of Washington township.
They are undoubtedly equally zealous in the cause of religion, and contribute as much in proportion to their means as any equal population in the county, but the singular fact remains that there is not a church in the township.
The earliest school in the township was opened in 1806, in "Parkstown." It was supported by subscriptions. The first teacher was one Shearer, an Irishman, and a terrible fellow with the rod. The school-building was of round logs, and the scholars, some of them, came a distance of three miles to attend. It was not kept up very long, for the few scattered settlers were not able to pay the necessary teachers.
There are at the present time four school-buildings in the township, two of brick and two of wood, and seven schools, with an enrollment of four hundred and fifty scholars, and an average attendance of two hundred and twenty-five. The total amount raised for school purposes in 1875 was $3,174.40.
The largest school-building in the township is the brick one in West New Castle. It is two stories in height, and contains four rooms, but, notwithstanding its large size, it is crowded with pupils.
There is also another school-building in the village, leaving but two for the balance of the township.
As a matter of history it is proper to put on record a few facts regarding this point, thought the business has long since departed, and only the quiet farms remain.
The Beaver Division of the canal was completed to this point in the Fall of 1833, and, being the "head of navigation," it at once became an important point. It was named for the reason that all the freighting and passenger business from and to the rich region known as the "Western Reserve," in the northeastern part of Ohio, made this its shipping and forwarding point. Great quantities of merchandise, cheese, black salts, and every kind of commodity entering into the general business of the country, was handled here. Large quantities of sandstone for building purposes were also shipped over the canal from some point near Pittsburgh, and landed at the "Harbor," and [p. 126] hauled thence by teams, of which hundreds were frequently on the ground at once. It was a busy mart, and transacted far more general business than New Castle.
F. J. Clark, from Bridgewater, Beaver county, erected the first warehouse in either 1834 or 1835. It was on the north side of Sankey's run, and Mr. Clark did a general forwarding and commission business. David Sankey erected a second warehouse on the south side of the run about the year 1836, and also built a bridge over the run, at his own expense, to facilitate his trade business, and was agent for a line of boars called the "Greenville line," and Mr. Clark was agent for a line owned by G. M. Horton & Co.
The two agents did a rival business for a few months, when Mr. Clark came to Mr. Sankey and made a proposition that he should take charge of his business, and also take the agency of the other lines. He offered Mr. Sankey a good salary, and only required him to do justice to both parties without partiality. Mr. Sankey finally accepted the proposition, and carried on the business for a year with such satisfaction that Mr. Clark paid him ten dollars per month additional salary when he settled with him, and offered him a partnership, which he accepted, though he still continued as agent for the "Greenville line." Soon after G. M. Horton & Co. bought the "Greenville line"--boats, horses, and everything pertaining to their business, and from this time until the canal was completed to Greenville, in 1840, Mr. Sankey handled the whole business at "the Harbor" with profit to the company and himself, and to the general satisfaction of the people.
A town was laid out at this point about 1835, by Thomas Allison, and quite a number of lots were sold. There were two hotels, one a frame building, and the other partly frame and partly logs. A general store was also kept by Samuel J. Bolby, and there was a blacksmith shop in or near the town. There were not many buildings erected, for the people soon saw that upon the completion of the canal their business must necessarily leave them.
Mr. Sankey was elected to the State Senate in the Fall of 1847. during his term of office complaints came from the lumbermen on the French creek, on account of the dams, built by the canal company on the creek to furnish water to the feeder, not having "slides" or arrangements for running rafts over them, and Mr. Sankey framed a bill requiring the company to build the necessary "slides" and "shutes," and also incorporated a clause requiring them to build a bridge over the Shenango river at "Western Reserve Harbor."
He was contractor for this latter work, and built a substantial frame bridge about 1852-3, which is still standing, in good condition. He also procured an Act of Assembly authorizing the County Commissioners to take charge of it, and it was turned over to them ready for use without expense to the county. After the canal was completed to Greenville "the Harbor" was abandoned as a shipping point, and the warehouse erected by Mr. Sankey was moved to another locality and used as a stable for a long time. The canal-dam at New Castle, which backed the water up about six miles, was torn away about 1873.
The valuation of the taxable property for a series of years, commencing with 1872, has been as follows: 1872, $231,158; 1873, $234,612; 1874, $245,284; 1875, $241,563; 1876, $240,972; 1877, $227,323.
The taxes assessed for the purpose of keeping the roads of the township in repair for a number of years, appear to be as follows:
For 1860, total amount levied, - - - - $607 70 For 1861, " " - - - - 606 42 For 1862, " " - - - - 609 05
As a subject for comparison we give the amounts levied for the past few years, as shown by the auditor's books, commencing with 1873:
For 1873, total tax levied, - - - - - $1,410 38 For 1874, " " - - - - - 1,228 64 For 1875, " " - - - - - 2,032 63 For 1876, " " - - - - - 1,204 54
The increase for 1875 was caused by extraordinary rains and floods. There is very little manufacturing done in this township; with the exception of the Ętna furnaces and a brewery or two near the Erie and Pittsburgh railway depot, there is nothing of consequence.
A steam saw-mill was built and operated for a time some years since by Amaziah Sample, near the river.
One of the most beautiful spots in the vicinity of the romantic city of New Castle, is found on the west side of the Shenango river, among the glens that afford such enchanting scenery to the south and west of Greenwood Cemetery. On a promontory lying between two of these wild glens, stands the fine residence of Mr. C. B. Lower, surrounded by tastefully laid out and finely ornamented grounds and mostly occupied by flower and fruit gardens, and familiarly known under the title given at the head of his article.
Mr. Lower purchased, in 1868, eight acres of wild and uncultivated land, intending it solely for a homestead. He had served in the army during the rebellion four years--two in the Pennsylvania "Bucktails," and the balance in the 23d Ohio Infantry, Colonel R. B. Hayes commanding, now (February, 1877) Governor of Ohio. After his discharge, he returned home an entered the law office of David Craig, Esq., a prominent attorney of New Castle, intending to follow the legal profession. In the Spring of 1869 he was offered a position in the United States Revenue Department, procured mainly in consequence of his services during the war, which position, by the advice of Mr. Craig, he finally accepted, and continued in the government service until 1875. He had, in the meantime, spent his leisure hours in the cultivation of vegetables, and gradually worked into the flower and fruit business. He sold off a portion of his purchase to advantage for building purposes, has now three and a-half acres. He erected a fine house, and laid off his grounds with roadways, walks, &c., transforming the once unsightly place into a bower of beauty. The place is approached from New Castle by a wild and romantic road, winding around the side of the steep bluff south of the cemetery, and crossing the "Hemlock Glen" on a bridge elevated some forty or fifty feet above the roaring torrent below. In 1875 Mr. Lower became one of the stockholders in the "Greenwood Cemetery Company," and was also chosen president.
In connection with the cemetery he has a fine greenhouse, where he cultivates choice varieties of flowers, ferns &c. At his home-place he has two large greenhouses for the cultivation of early vegetables and flowers. He is gradually going out of the fruit business, and giving all his attention to the cultivation of flowers, shrubbery and vegetables. The bulk of his products is sold at the public market-house in New Castle, but he also employs men and teams during the summer, who sell in Lawrence and adjoining counties. In the pursuit of his chosen avocation Mr. L. unites pleasure with profitable labor, and thereby finds abundant employment for both mind and body.
His establishment is finely and conveniently situated with reference to the city of New Castle, and to the lover of the romantic and beautiful we know of no other locality in the vicinity which is more interesting.
From the 1770 - 1877 History of Lawrence County by S. W. and P. A. DURANT.
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Updated: 21 Mar 2001, 17:52