|Mount Pleasant Township
This portion of
The History of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania
by J. H. Battle, 1887
is made possible through the efforts of
TRANSCRIBER: Rosana Whitenight
|Previous to August, 1789, the region at the junction of the two Fishing creeks was included in Wyoming township, Northumberland county; during the succeeding ten years, in Fishingcreek; from 1799 to 1881, in Fishingcreek, Greenwood and Bloom. In January, 1818, the township of Mount Pleasant was erected, a comparatively small area north of Big Fishing creek being received from Bloom, and all that part of the township northward to the Mount Pleasant hills, from Greenwood and Fishingcreek.
It was while the latter township comprehended this whole area that it began to show the results of settlement and improvement. Those features of the region which most favorably impressed the land-buyer were its strong growth of timber and inexhaustible supply of water. The nature and quality of the timber, particularly, was such as to insure a fertile soil and invite improvement and cultivation. Although distinguished at a later period by a strong German element, the population of the region south of the Mount Pleasant hills was originally composed of English people from New Jersey. They werefrom Sussex county, in that state, and followed their neighbors who had located in the vicinity of Jerseytown. Not until the close of the revolution, however, and the establishing of peace and security on the border, did this section received the attention of those who subsequently made it their home. It appears that Peter Eveland and Jacob Force were among the first to permanently locate here, the former near Welliversville, the latter at Kitchen's church, in the north-east part of Mount Pleasant twp. Abram Welliver's land adjoined the farms of both of them, and embraced the site of the village which bears his name. Frederick Miller, a German from Northampton county, was the
proprietor of the village of Millerstown, but did not enter the township until a later period. John Mordan, who had lived in the same township of Sussex county, New Jersey, as Eveland and Force, followed them to the Mount Pleasant hills but removed a few years later to Little Fishing creek, where he build the first saw-mill in the present limits of the township. John Kester located on the hill above the village of Mordansville. In 1798 a road was surveyed over the Mount Pleasant hills to the Greenwood valley beyond; from that time until 1856 it was the only highway from north to south in the region. The position of the township near the growing towns of Bloomsburg, Orangeville, and Millville prevented the growth of any important villages on its own territory. Its exclusively agricultural resources and the inconvenience of distributing any products that might be manufactured, have not favored the establishment of industries of this character.
Quiet country villages have, however, clustered round each of the two hotels that formerly received the travelers on the Mount Pleasant road. Welliversville, first known by that name when Thomas Welliver was commissioned postmaster in 1857, comprises several substantial farm-houses, and the shops of two mechanics. At Millerstown, the first post-office in the township was opened in 1831 by Frederick Miller, in the days when every package or letter was receipted to the sender, and the date of its delivery, its destination and the amount of postage paid, reported to the department at Washington. Subsequently the office at this point was discontinued; it was again established in 1873 under the name of Cabby, the year the gallant general of that name was treacherously killed. At this point a dozen houses, a place of worship and a school-building suggest thrift and prosperity.
The last village to make its appearance was Mordansville, the nucleus of which was the saw-mill of John Mordan, built in the early years of the township's settlement. Mordansville woolen-mills, established in 1858 by Joseph E. Sands and Thomas Masher, have made the place a well known point. Mr. Sands became sole proprietor in 1860; on his death, in 1881, Charles S. Sands succeeded to the business. During the first years it was in operation farmers brought wool here to be carded, and after spinning, and weaving the cloth, returned it for the finishing touches of the fulling and pressing machines. Mr. Sands' enterprise and energy did not long submit to a process of manufacture subject to so many delays. He early introduced improved machinery, and was thus enabled to perform every process of the manufacture. The product of these looms found a ready sale in the coal regions of this state, and continues to do so wherever introduced. He established, also, a post-office, known first as Bear Run but subsequently as Mordansville. In addition to these features of the place, it comprises a number of private houses, two saw-mills, and the shops of various mechanics.
The church buildings of Mount Pleasant township, three in number, are located near the old Mount Pleasant road. Two of the congregations are Methodist Episcopal, and one an English Lutheran. The former are known as the While and Kitchen appointments. The Kitchen church-building was erected in 1859, but services for many years previous had been held in the Welliversville school-house, and, previous to its erection, in the house of Haran Kramer. White's church-building was erected in 1875, during the pastorate of Reverend Frank P. Gearhart. The White, Oman, Shipman, Melick and Hilbern families were connected with this organization during its earlier history.
The English Lutheran church of Cabby was organized November 18, 1859,
in the Millerstown school-house by Reverend E. A. Sharrets, of Espy. The present house of worship was built two years later. The congregation is connected with the Espy charge of the Susquehanna synod.
The early schools of the township, as well as its villages and churches, were formed near the old Mount Pleasant road. Peter Oman, desirous of providing some educational advantages for his children, employed an instructor to teach them at his own house. Children of neighboring families were also received into this school. Subsequently three houses were built, located respectively on lands of Joseph Gilbert, Aaron Kester and Andrew Crouse. The substantial appearance of some of the school-houses of Mount Pleasant, and the taste exhibited in the arrangement and shading of the grounds, evince a progressive spirit among some of its citizens.