You are here:  PAGenWeb >  Huntingdon > Townships > Cromwell




Huntingdon County PAGenWeb



Cromwell Township History



History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties, Pennsylvania by J. Simpson Africa Philadelphia, PA:  Louis H. Everts, 1883, pp. 252-265.  Contributed by Mike Gifford.






Geograpical, Descriptive, and Natural Features - Cromwell is one of the interior townships of the south part of Huntingdon County, and was erected from Shirley and Springfield townships in January, 1836, and named "in honour of Col. Thomas Cromwell, deceased, who was an early settler and a distinguished and hospitable citizen," and is bounded on the northeast by Shirley, southeast by Tell and Dublin, southwest by Springfield and Clay, and on the northwest by Cass and Shirley townships.  Its southeast line, running along the summit of Shade Mountain, is nearly nine miles in length.  To the northwest, and nearly parallel with Shade Mountain, is Black Log Mountain, running the entire length of the township. Sandy Ridge, quite an elevation, lies nearly north from Orbisonia. Saddle Back Ridge is a range of mountains or ridges, lying nearly north and south, between Orbisonia borough and Aughwick Creek.  From Aughwick Creek to Jack's Mountain, which forms the boundary line between this and Cass township, are several ridges, knolls, and hills, the largest of which is Coaling Ridge, in the southerly part of the township.


The principal stream is the Aughwick Creek, which flows through the township from south to north. Its principal tributary is the Black Log Creek, flowing in a southwesterly direction down through the narrow valley between Shade and Black Log Mountains to the gap or narrows just east of Orbisonia borough, where it breaks through the mountain, running northwesterly along the southwest side of the borough, passing through a gap in Saddle Back Ridge, and empties into Aughwick Creek near the residence of H. Jones.  Shade Creek comes through Shade Gap into Black Log Valley at the late location of Lupfer's steam tannery and saw-mill, whence it flows northerly down the valley and empties into Black Log Creek a short distance above the narrows.  From the west are several small streams flowing into Aughwick Creek, the largest of which is Old Woman's Run, which empties into the Aughwick a little below the mouth of Black Log.  The East Broad Top Railroad passes through the township nearly northeast and southwest, alongside the borough of Orbisonia, and through the town of Rock Hill.


There are under the surface of Cromwell township large quantities of iron ore, both hematite and fossil, principally owned by the Rock Hill Iron and Coal Company, whose furnaces are located just outside the borough of Orbisonia.


The farming lands of this township, scattered as they are through the small valleys, are suceptible of a high state of cultivation, and upon some are raised large crops of corn, wheat, oats, and potatoes.


Early Settlers and Pioneer Incidents. - This township being on the old path from the lower Susquehanna to the Ohio country, and a portion of the gap or gateway through which many of the pioneers to the then far- off West journeyed, it would naturally attract the attention of some of the pilgrims in search of future homes. Of this class were


THE CLUGGAGE FAMILY. - This family of pioneers settled in Black Log, which was sometimes called Horse Valley, about the year 1763, and consisted of Robert, the father, who died a few years thereafter, and sons named respectively Robert, George, Thomas, Francis, James, and Gaven, each of whom became owners of land in the valley between Shade and Black Log Gaps.  For some time their neighborhood was known as Cluggage's Valley.  Robert, the most prominent man of the family, one of the justices appointed after the erection of Bedford County, marched his company in 1775 to the defense of Boston.  Some time prior to 1771 he had built a grist-mill on the Black Log Creek, above the junction of Shade Creek, near the William B. Gilliland brick house.  Being the first mill erected in that section of the county, its trade came from the adjacent country for many miles.


From the Cluggage military papers remaining with William B. Gilliland, a descendant of the family, the following extracts were made:


"War Office, June 24, 1778



In consequence of your application and the information of others in that quarter, a company of forty Continental troops is ordered to take post at Huntingdon for the protection of that village, and the grist-mill [Cryder's mill] near it, and to guard provisions, etc., to Fort Roberdeau, and perform any other Services in their power for the common good.  The stay of this company there will probably not be long; nevertheless, they will afford an immediate relief, and when it shall be necessary to draw them off, other measures we trust will remove the dangers further from you.  In the mean time it is expected that the inhabitants join hand in hand with the troops, and assist in their own defense; for those who will not help themselves as far as their own power extends, do not deserve aid from others.  We are aware the frontiers are distressed, and feel disposed to yield them all possible relief; but the inhabitants there should consider that we have a formidable enemy to encounter which demands more men, and even stores, than can readily be found.  But let the people take courage and not abandon their settlements; the enemy have left Philadelphia, and such measures are planning and forwarding as we hope will in a few months induce the Savages to retire from the frontiers.


"We are, Sir,

"Your Obed't Servants,

"By order of the Board,



"P.S. - We have paid Roger McLean, the bearer of your letter, forty- five dollars for his time and trouble.




"At Ford Roberdeau.

"(War Office)."


A Letter from Richard Peters.



"Deliver to Capt. Robert Cluggage or order - a Number of Suits of Clothes not exceeding one hundred either ready made or out of the Materials you have in your possession delivered by Lt.-Col. Campbell of the 13th Virginia Regiment.  This receipt shall be your Discharge.  The Suits to consist of one Coat, one Vest, one pair of Breeches, two pairs of Stockings, and two pair Shoes, two Shirts, and one Hatt, if you have them, if not such as you have in your Care, informing the Board and Sending Capt. Cluggage's Duplicate Receipt or that of the Person sent by his Order.


"Your Obed. Serv't, "



"War Office,

 "Nov. 5, 1778


"Winchester, Virginia."


Maj. (or, as he was afterwards called, colonel) Cluggage died about the close of the year 1787, and it appears from a draught of a letter he had written on the 21st of March of that year that the government yet owed him a considerable amount of money expended for the public service during the war.  Among the items of personal property that appear on the inventory made after his death are one Negro man named, Ham, valued at £100, and one Negro boy, named Joe, value at £15. His sword was appraised at £7 10s. The account of Gaven Cluggage, sole executor, was passed by the register, Jan. 19, 1792.


A paper relating to Capt. Thomas Cluggage is as follows:


"A Praisement Bill of the guns and Blankets for Capt. Thomas Cluggage's Company in the First Battalion of Bedford County now in actual service under the Command of Colonel John Piper.

"December the 13, 1776.


  L. s. d.
"Joseph Harbison one Rifle Gun 6 10 0
Alexander Anderson one Rifle gun 6 0 0
Thomas Morgan one Rifle gun 6 0 0
Thomas Coal one Rifle gun 6 0 0
David Sunderlin one Smooth gun 1 15 0
John Rodgers one Rifle gun 5 0 0
Jacob Ginnon one Rifle gun 5 0 0"


The old mill became as noted in its day as any county-seat within a hundred miles of it.  Col. Cluggage was the man of the times and of this section of country.  After the War of the Revolution, when the patriotic fires were still burning on the altar of many hearts, regiments, battalions, and companies were organized throughout the country, and training days were established, either by law or custom, and Cluggage's mill was designated as one of the places for company and regimental trainings or drills.  The company drills were usually attended monthly, or at farthest once in two months, during the summer and fall.  The first Monday in May was the great day of all the year, not excepting the glorious Fourth of July.  This was the time fixed for general or regimental training, and at these musters the officers and men usually had a "big time."  Rival companies from different sections of the surrounding country were present, and each company thought themselves the best man of the crowd, and it was not unusual, and in fact was thought to be a dull day if there was not several pugilistic encounters between the rival military men or their friends.


Col. Gaven Cluggage was considered one of the best hunters of the time in which he lived, and would always "bring down" his game at the first shot.  He left home one fine morning upon a short hunting excursion, which lasted but an hour or two, as he had extremely good luck.  By his request, his brother Thomas hitched up the horse and sled and started in pursuit of the game the colonel had shot.  He had gone but a short distance when he found the game.  It was a good-sized rattlesnake, measuring fifteen feet in length, and nearly a foot through in the thickest part.  Had this occured in the snake season of the year we could not doubt its truthfulness had the snake measure twenty feet, but in the winter, with the snow four feet deep, it beats any fish story and smell rather snaky.


After years of toil and pleasure, Col. Gaven Cluggage died in 1823.


The black log, or stopping place for travelers, from which Black Log Mountain, Creek, and Valley take their name, was a short distance above the mouth of Shade Creek, midway between the David Grove and Samuel Adams places, up the Shade Gap road.


Grove now owns the farm, up Black Log Valley, formerly the property of Nancy and Esther Logan, who, in 1819, built the stone house in which David Galbraith resides.  On this farm or plantation was a small tannery of four vats, which was in operation in 1825, and has since gone to decay.  There was also a blacksmith shop near the tannery in 1820.


Poplar Hill tract, located up Black Log Valley, near Shade Gap, was taken up by George Werrick, or Warrick, who died in 1853.  Michael Stair now owns two hundred and sixty acres of the tract.



Mr. Stair, one of the oldest residents of the south part of Huntingdon County, was born in Guilford Township, Franklin Co., Pa., Oct. 8, 1802. He is of German origin on both the paternal and maternal side.  His grandfather and a brother came from Germany previous to the Revolution, and settled near Hagerstown, Md.  The brother enlisted in the war for independence on the side of the colonies, and did good service. Samuel, father of Michael Stair, was born near Hagerstown, Md., and remained there until after his marriage to Elizabeth Ressler, whose parents came from Germany and settled in Franklin County, Pa.  After his marriage, Samuel moved to Guilford Township where he worked at his trade that of a cooper.  He was also what was known in those days as a rough carpenter.  He was a noted athlete and a scienced boxer, and seldom, if ever, found his match in trials of strength and skill.  At the breakout of the War of 1812, he enlisted in the American Army, and served until the close of the war.  He then returned to Guilford, where he resided until his death.  To him were born four sons and four daughters, of whom one daughter is now living; also one son who is the subject of this sketch.  When Michael was eight years old he was bound out to Simon Logan, who lived in Black Log Valley, Huntingdon Co., Pa. He was to receive one year's schooling and an outfit of a certain or prescribed amount.  The latter he never got and but very little of the schooling.  Michael remained with Mr. Logan until he was eighteen years of age, when he commenced life on his own account, his entire capital being a very poor suit of clothes.  He was blessed with a great constitution and a brave heart, elements that always bring success when backed up as in Mr. Stair's case with good judgment.  His first work for himself was threshing (with a flail) wheat, oats, and rye for a Mr. John Logan.  He was more than an ordinary thresher and by working hard could earn twenty-five cents a day.  He earned about four dollars, which was the start of his life.  Until 1830 we find Mr. Stair working at whatever he could get to do whereby he could earn a dollar.  The cooper's trade was learned, and for a year or so he worked at it.  At another time he would cut wood, again rail-splitting, working by the year driving team for seventy dollars per year.  But when a dollar was earned it was a dollar saved, for he never spent money unnecessarily. On the 5th day of January, 1830, he was married to Miss Mary Hagie, daughter of Jacob Hagie, who was born in Germany.  Miss Hagie was born in Tell Township, Huntingdon Co., Pa., in June, 1796.  On her marriage she received a small outfit, which, with his saving, enabled Mr. Stair to buy the tools and stock necessary to work a farm.  He rented a farm of Mrs. Logan, and remained on it four years; then rented of Mrs. Gray the farm he now owns.  In 1840 he bought the farm of the heirs, paying them off as they became of age.  When it was paid for another tract was bought and this he continued to do until he owned three hundred acres. He devotes his time and farm to stock-raising, at which he is very successful.  In partnership with Mr. Krough, of Orbisonia, he in 1866 engaged in the mercantile business.  At that time Orbisonia was but a small place, and Mr. Obison's store the only one.  The first year their trade amounted all told to not over five thousand dollars, but increased year by year until they sold in one year over twenty-seven thousand dollars' worth of goods.  After remaining in the business fourteen years he sold out to Mr. Jacob M. Krough.  He still owns property in Orbisonia, and in one of his buildings his daughter, Frances J. Stair, has and manages a millinery store.  He is a Roman Catholic in his religious belief, and has been a member of that church for half a century.  His family are also members of that same church. In politics he is an ardent Democrat, and as such was elected poor director though his county at the time was strongly Republican.  He has also held township offices at different periods.  Mr. Stair came into this county a poor and friendless boy when it was in its infancy, and now, after a residence in it of seventy-one years, sees it traversed with highways and railroads,  - sees villages and cities in the place of forests, and in the place of the poor bound boy finds himself a well-to-do farmer and businessman, and honored and respected by all.


Up the Black Log Creek about one and a half miles lives Frederick Harmon, in a house built by James Cluggage.  This was, no doubt, the best and most fashionable house in all this region of country, as it had matched flooring; the chimney corner and mantel-work, as well as the shingles, were fastened with wrought nails made by the blacksmith. A large tract of land above Harmon's was owned by the Pollard family, who have no descendants of that name in Cromwell at the present time.


In the early part of the present century Black Log Valley, narrow though it was, and isolated from the rest of the world, had become quite a noted place, so much so that --_ Blanchard, M.D., of Philadelphia, located here as early as 1809, and in 1826 Baltimore had caught the Black Log fever, and a Mr. Bryam came into the valley with several six-horse teams loaded with household goods, and is reported to have commenced the erection of a house upon quite an extensive plan. It was to be sixty by eighty feet on the ground, and three or four stories high.  When the building was nearly completed he abandoned the enterprise, sold out, and returned to Baltimore.  Benjamin Chilcoate was an early settler here.  He came from Maryland, and one of his sons died a few years ago at the age of eighty-two years.


Lost Treasure. - Many incidents are related of the burying of treasure by different individuals in different localities, and Black Log is not without its "buried treasure" story and its hero.  Capt. Jack, as Mr. Armstrong was familiarly known, was not an admirer of the copper- colored race, and lost no opportunity in making his dislike known to the Indians that frequented this part of the country.  He in turn was both dreaded and hated, and driven from place to place as opportunity offered.  Upon one occasion his flight was in the direction of Black Log, and being somewhat impeded in his flight by a leather bag filled with gold and silver which he was carrying, he secreted it as he was passing through the Narrows.  He never returned to the spot for it, and it never has been found, or, at least, no knowledge of the fact has been made known.  Some enterprising young men might employ their spare moments in hunting for the lost treasure in or around the Narrows.


Pioneer Transportation. - In the fourth quarter of the last century and the first decade of the present there was no means of transportation between Cromwell and the Susquehanna other than mules and farm teams, and there being next to no wagon roads, freight of most kinds was carried upon the backs of mules or pack-horses; but mules were not introduced until after the iron-works here had been under way for several years.  Oxen and heavy wagons were used to a large extent in hauling ore, limestone, and charcoal.  In carrying ore on horses two large boxes or baskets were hung across the back of the horse and filled with the precious stuff, and so transported from the opening to the furnace.  In this way, too, goods were transported from the Susquehanna, over the Tuscarora, and through Shade Gap to what is now Cromwell, or Orbisonia.  The iron made at the old Bedford and other furnaces in this vicinity was transported to Pittsburgh on horses and mules by bending the iron to fit the back of the animal, upon which was laid a saddle or pad made for the purpose, and the iron laid across. Of course the cargo had to be unloaded at night in order to give the animals rest on their weary journey to the city of smoke.  On either side of these saddles or pads were a sort of wallet or sack, in which goods were placed in Pittsburgh to be brought back to the furnaces. Extra pack-mules or horses were provided to carry feed for the animals and rations for the men.  One man could easily manage six or eight mules or horses.  Thus goods and merchandise were carried till the advent of canals and railroads.


Pioneer Highway. - Following is the order of appointment of viewers to lay out a public highway leading from Burnt Cabins to Drake's Ferry, crossing what is now Dublin, Cromwell, and Shirley townships:


"At a court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, held at Bedford in and for the County of Bedford the Tuesday in April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven. Before Barnard Dougherty, Esquire, and his associates, Justices of the same Court.


"William Morris, James Coyle, John Galbraith, Henry Warner, David Walker, and Hugh Logan, the six men who were appointed at the last Court to view, and if necessary to lay out a road from the Burnt Cabins to Drake's Ferry, made their report to the Court in the words and figures following:


"Road beginning at the Burnt Cabins, and Running thence, N. 25 W 40 perches; N. 3 E 60; N. 30 E. 244; N. 5 E. 64; N. 58 W. 94; N. 24 W. 68; N. 42 W. 40; N. 7 E. 172; N. 32 E. 94; N. 60 E. 48; N. 20 E. 140; N. 16 W. 48; N. 5 E. 252; N. 30 E. 40 [here following six courses and distances that are obliterated beyond recognition]; N. 25 W. 40; N. 5 E. 158; N. 23 E. 74; N. 3 E. 80; N. 28 E. 229; N. 11 E. 28; N. 26 E. 180; N. 2 E. 100; N. 70 W. 36; N. 43 W. 54; W. 40; N. 78 W. 100; N. 52 W. 170; N. 26 W. 176; N. 22 E. 540; N. 3 W. 48; N. 20 E. 106; N. 43 E. 44; N. 38 E. 172; N. 17 E. 80; N. 6 E. 108; N. 10 E. 168; N. 13 W. 44; N. 62 W. 54; N. 28 W. 100; N. 45 E. 174; N. 20 E. 114; N. 8 E. 112; N. 4 E. 112; N. 12 E. 60; N. 5 E. 32; N. 11 E. 68; N. 21 E. 214; N. 7 E. 106; N. 11 E. 114; N. 13 W. 54; N. 37 E. 56; N. 5 W. 42; N. 17 E. 100; N. 22 W. 32; N. 46 W. 128; N. 22 W. 144; N. 34 W. 200; n. 40 200 perches to Drake's Ferry, on Juniata River, in all 24 miles and forty- nine perches.


"Agreeable to your Worship's Order we have laid out a Road from the Burnt Cabins to Drake's Ferry, on the Juniata River, and laid it out by courses and distances. [Here is another obliteration. The last line is legible, except day of month, as follows:]


"In Testimony whereof we affix our hands this ____ of April, 1787.





"Whereupon it is considered by the Court and ordered that the same be and it is hereby confirmed as a public Road, and the Supervisors of the Highways of the Several Townships through which the same is laid out are ordered to open and clear the Same accordingly of the Breadth of thirty-three feet.


"Bedford County ss.

"I do Certify the aforegoing to be a true Copy of the Record remaining in my Office at Bedford.


(Bedford Co. Seal)  "IN TESTIMONY whereof I have hereunto Set my Hand and Affixed the Seal of the said County the "thirteenth day of October, Anno Domini, 1788.

"DAVID (balance obliterated).


Pioneer Land Claim and Testimony. - The following is the testimony of Gabriel Peterson in relation to "Turkey Hill" tract, now in Cromwell township:


Thomas Duncan, Esq.,  


Allegheny County ss.
Robert Cluggage, James Cluggage, Jane Cluggage.  


"In pursuance of a Rule of the Court of Huntingdon Co. to take deposition of Witnesses between the hours of Ten and three o'clock in the afternoon Personally appeared, Gabriel Peterson, before me a justice of the peace in and for said County of Allegheny and being sworn as law directs Saith about the year One thousand Seven Hundred and sixty-three or four my father, Lawrence Peterson, made an Improvement On a tract of land called turkey hill, Built a cabin, cleared between three and four acres of land, fenced the same, & raised corn thereon.  And Jacob Hair built his cabin on the Northwest Side of the Said Turkey hill some time after this Improvement was made.  Jacob Hair and my father showed me the Conditional line they had made between them, and this deponant saith that the said line run from Black Log Mountain to Shade Mountain & run along the top of said Turkey Hill, Some after George Armstrong was Surveying land in that County & Imployed my father & Hair to Hunt for said surveyors & promised that he would take out locations for each for their tracts of land & have them Surveyed for their Services as hunters; this deponent saith that his father & Hair hunted for Armstrong's Surveyors three or four months. At that time this deponent saith that there was at that time two or three acres cleared and fenced on Hair's tract and corn raised thereon. This deponent saith that his father & Hair continued on the aforesaid tracts Until they were drove off by the Indians.


"Question by Simon Logan.

"What age are you at this time?

"Answer: Sixty-three or sixty-four.

"Question: Which side of Turkey Hill was your father's improvement?

"Answer: The southeast side.

"Question: Who lived on the land at the time the Improvements were made?

"Answer: My father and Hair.

"Question: How long did your father and Hair continue on said tract of land before they were drove off by the Indians?

"Answer: About one year.

"Question: How was this land surveyed for?

"Answer: It was surveyed for my father, Lawrence Peterson, and Jacob Hair.

"Question: Where did you live at the time the Improvements were made?

"Answer: With my father on said land.

"Question: What time was the land surveyed?

"Answer: In the year 1765, or thereabouts.

"Question: Who surveyed this tract of land?

"Answer: I do not know.

"Question: What was this tract of land worth at the time?

"Answer: Ten or fifteen pounds.

"Question: What was the common price surveyors gave to hunters per day at that time? "Answer: One dollar per day and the skins to themselves.

"Question: Did you see the corn that grew on Your father's Improvement and Hair's pulled after it came to be ripe?

"Answer: I helped to pulling father's corn, but know nothing about Hair's.

"Question: Was their cabins by Hair and your father for the purpose of Hunting or for the purpose of holding the land whereon they were built?

"Answer: For the purpose of holding the land whereon they were built.

"Question: Are you Interested in this suit?

"Answer: I am not.

"Question: Is all the facts stated above from your own knowledge or from Information obtained from others?

"Answer: From my own Knowledge.

"Question: Was there any agreement in Writing between Francis Clugget and You that if You gained this land of Hugh Logan that you was to give said Clugget one hundred acres of said land?

"Answer: There was no agreement, either verbal or written, between Clugget and me respecting the land.

"A True Copy

"Oct. 8, 1810."


The following, as well as the foregoing, is a copy of papers in possession of Simon P. Cook, of Orbisonia, great-grandson of Hugh Logan, a pioneer of this township, in relation to claim of Peterson and others for the Turkey Hill tract in Black Log Valley:


"Huntingdon, May 1801.


Brown, Hend, Smith. Lessee of Gabriel Peterson, William Tucker, and Nancy his wife, John Churchfield, and Christiana his wife. Ejectment for 3 houses, 2 barns, 2 gardens, 3 orchards, 100 acres of arable land, 20 acres of Meadow land, and 250 acres of Woodland, in Springfield Township. Demise 1st of July, 1795.


Ham. Watts. Hugh Logan. Suit in C.B. to Aug. 1793.



"Dun.* "Nov. 4, 1766, Application of Lawrence Peterson for 300 acres on Black Log Creek, including the Turkey Hill.

"1767. Survey of 441 acres in the Handwriting of Richard Tea.

"Francis Cluggage (Examined on the Voire dire).


"In March, 1772, I fell in with one James Ross below Jack's Narrows. He introduced me to Lawrence Peterson, who said he came from across the Laurel Hill to see about the Turkey Hill tract, which he got from George Croghan for his services.  He was going to Robert Cluggage's, my Brother, to procure some one to settle on the land and pay taxes. I engaged to see about his business if my brother Robert would not.  I put William Winton on the land to live on it for ten years, and if he made valuable improvements he was to be paid for them.  The possession had been vacant for ten years before, at least, to my knowledge.  In 1779 defendant bought from Winton, as he informed me, and had given him the price of a cow in Continental money.  In 1781 I told the defendant the land was Peterson's, his claim was notorious in the Country.


"X.  I mentioned to my brother what Peterson had said to me.  He neither said yes or no.  Logan brought an ejectment against me, which was discontinued on 20th of April, 1781.  He bound me over about keeping bad fences, and I bound him over for putting his Cattle in my Grain.  I have a Warrant for adjoining lands.


"Deps. of John Clark.


"Lawrence Peterson was buried in June, 1783, in Westmoreland County.


"Depn. of Thomas Hays.


"Knew Lawrence Peterson. He removed to Black Log Valley from Bedford County.


"Pro. deft. 2d Nov 1767.


"Letter from Robert McKinzie to Richard Tea, mentioning the application of Peterson, and that he made the same and other surveys for George Armstrong, for which he received an order from him, and charging him only 20s. for the making of each survey.  Richard Tea's Indorsmt. thereon as an original paper, proved to have been found among the Office papers of George Woods at Bedford, offered in evidence and objected to.


"Per curr. The Evid. may be well rec'd.  It is tantamount to a rect. for surveying fees, and shows at who Instance the Survey was made.  It therefore establishes an equitable interest in this Location in Geo. Armstrong.


"(No date).  George Croghan Metn. of a number of Surveys in his Hand Writing.  '1 Tract, Col. George Armstrong, Turkey Hill, . . . run out.'


"Objected to.


"Ruled to be good Evid.; it repels the Idea that Croghan had presented Peterson with this Location.


"Gavin Cluggage. 10th Sept. 1762.


"Robert Cluggage, my father, came into this country and bought Land of John Daley, and he said it adjoined lands surveyed for George Croghan, the Turkey Hill Tract.  Daley mentioned this several times at our House.  Lawrence Peterson and Thomas Hall were hunting and encamped on the other side of Black Log Creek; my father asked them over to our encampment.  Peterson I never heard claim any Title to the Land, tho' he hunted over it with me.  About 3 weeks after Jacob Hare erected a cabin on the Turkey Hill tract, and Daley told him the land had been surveyed for Croghan and he would lose his Labour.  Peterson was alone in the World and hunted about.  I hunted with him in 1767 and 1768, but he said nothing of his claim to this land.  He had a cabbin 22 miles off which he mentioned to me.  Wm. Winton first occupied this Land and made a cabin thereon, cleared 10 or 12 as., and settled on it as Gentleman's Land.  I showed him the spring.  He never held under Winton.  It was publickly known as Gentleman's Land.


"X.  Hare never told me that Peterson had Lands there.  The first I heard of it was from Deft., who said he had found out at Bedford that the land was Located in his name and belonged to George Armstrong.


"21st, March, 1780, Wm. Winton conveys the Improvement to Deft. in consideration of L1325.


"Depo. of Charley Boyle.


"William Henry called on Witns many yrs ago, and spoke of the Tract as Surveyed for George Armstrong.


"The Court thought that Geo. Armstrong was shown to be entitled to the Location and Survey, and Plffs. Counsel immediately Suffered a non- suit.


"The foregoing is a copy of my Notes on the Trial, and has been compared with the Original in my possession.





"Know all men by these presents, that I, William Winton, of Dublin Township, Bedford County, State of Pennsylvania, for and in consideration of the sum of thirteen hundred and twenty-five pounds current money to me in hand paid, at and before the sealing and Delivery of these presents by Hugh Logan, of County of York and State aforesaid, hath granted, Bargained, and sold, and by these presents Doth Bargain and sell to said Hugh Logan, his Heirs or assigns, all my Right, title, Interest, property, Claim and Demand whatsoever, in and to that tract of land whereon I now Liveth, Lying and being in said County of Bedford, adjoining Lands of George Cluggage, together with all the Improvements thereon made or erected, and the grain now in the grown on said premises, and a loom and other articles mentioned in an article of agreement between me and said Logan.  To have and to hold said Improvements, grain in the grown, and loom to said Hugh Logan, his Heirs or assigns, me, my Heirs, Executors, or Administrators shall and will warrant and forever Defend, and against no other person whatsoever, as witness my hand and seal the twenty-first day of March, in the fifth year of American Independence, and in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty.


"Wm. WINTON. [Seal]


"Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of




"Received the day of the Date of the above Indenture of the within named Hugh Logan, the first sum of thirteen hundred and twenty-five pounds, being the full consideration money above mentioned, as witness my hand and seal.








[Seal of Huntingdon County.] "Recorded in the office for recording Deeds for the County of Huntingdon, in Book E, page 95, the ninth day of November, A.D. 1795.




St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. - This church is located in Black Log Valley, southeast part of the township, near Shade Gap.


Services were held in this locality as early as 1765 or 1770 by Jesuits, or Roman Catholic priests, and in the early part of this century a house of worship was erected on the left bank of Shade Creek, on the Turkey Hill or Logan tract.  In 1845 the present substantial stone church was built, costing twelve hundred dollars.  This building stands upon the site of the old church.  In the same lot with the church is St. Mary's Cemetery, belonging to the parish.


The parish is visited monthly by the priest in charge of Huntingdon parish.  Present membership, one hundred.


Andrew Heage and Michael Stair are two of the trustees of the church property, which is valued at two thousand dollars.


Union School-House. - This is located two miles southwest from Orbisonia, and has been occupied by the different denominations for over fifty years.  Revs. John Ball and Jonathan Monroe held a series of meetings here in the winter of 1837, which resulted in the conversion of over eighty persons, many of whom lived devoted and useful lives during their sojourn upon earth.   Occasional services are still held here by Methodist and other preachers.


McKendree Methodist Episcopal Chapel. - This chapel is located in the south part of the township, and thus named in honor of one of the prominent pioneer preachers in Methodism.


This society was formed in 1832, with the following-named pioneer members: Benedict Stevens, Eve Stevens, Samuel Boher, Hannah Boher, Jacob Boher, Mary Boher, Sally Chilcoate, Alva Chilcoate, Catharine Chilcoate, and Benedict Stevens, Sr.  Just who the first class leader was is not positively known, but is supposed to be Benedict Stevens, Sr., and in 1850 Alva Chilcoate was leader.


The present and only chapel at this place was built in 1843 or 1844, and cost nine hundred dollars.  The shingles for covering the roof were made by Benedict Stevens.


The pioneer trustees were B. Stevens, Sr., B. Stevens, Jr., Samuel Boher, and Alva Chilcoate.


The "McKendree" has been at times connected with Fort Littleton, Mount Union, Concord Circuit, and Shirleysburg Circuit, and is now part of Orbisonia charge.  For list of preachers at this place, see Orbisonia Methodist Episcopal Church.  Present membership, thirty-two. The present trustees of McKendree Chapel are Rev. W. H. Stevens, J. F. Chilcoate, Henry A. Buckley, Joseph McKelvey, and Henry Beers; Steward, Henry A. Buckley; Class-leader, Rev. W. H. Stevens, who also holds a supernumerary relation.  Mr. Stevens is also superintendent of the Sabbath-school, wtih an average attendance of thirty-five scholars.


Monroe Methodist Episcopal Chapel. - Monroe Chapel is located two and one-half miles west or northwest from Orbisonia, and named in honor of Jonathan Moore, one of the pioneers of Methodism, who preached in this locality in the early part of this century.  Like most other pioneer beginnings of Methodism, the old log school-house was made the sanctuary, also the house of William M. Chilcoate.  When Mr. Chilcoate, who was the pioneer class-leader in that society, moved to the Wharton farm, the meetings were transferred to his house.  Preaching services were held in the school-house in the winter of 1837, which resulted in building Monroe Chapel, or Church, in 1838, which has stood the storm for nearly half a century.


Among the pioneer members at this place are found the names of William M. Chilcoate, who was a class-leader for nearly half a century, Keziah Chilcoate, Benjamin Rinker, Ellen Rinker, John Smith, Ellen Smith, Levi Heck, Sarah Heck, Samuel Heck, Mary Heck, Andrew Beard, Thomas Robinson, Thomas Long, Rebecca Long, Susan Price, John Hardy, Ellen Hardy, Eliza Stewart, Thomas Kelley, James S. Chilcoate, John W. Chilcoate, Mary Ann Chilcoate, Isaac Marlin, William Marshall, Isaac Gorsuch, Benjamin Heck, Rebecca Heck, John Hunt, Susan Hunt, Richard D. Heck, and Mary Miller.


Reformed Church of America. - The branch of this church located in Colgate district, three miles northwest of Orbisonia, was organized in the Colgate school-house in 1858 by Rev. S. H. Reed, and was at that time a part of Huntingdon charge or circuit.


The pioneer members were Samuel Grove, Daniel Isenberg, Samuel Isenberg, John Enyeart, and Isaac Enyeart.  Previous to 1882 the society worshipped in the Colgate and other school-houses, and in that year built the present brick church at a cost of three thousand dollars.


The preachers on this charge were --- Steckel, --- Keefer, and Dole till 1874, when this was separated from Huntingdon charge, when students and others supplied the people with preaching till 1878, when Rev. J. M. Shick was called and remained till October, 1881, when he was succeeded by Rev. E. H. Wrighter, the present pastor.  Present membership, one hundred and twenty.


Building committee for church edifice built in 1882 were James Smith, John Enyeart, David Enyeart.


Elders, John Grove, and Joel Isenberg.


Deacons, John Hernkane and Jackson Grove.


The average attendance of pupils upon the Sunday school connected with this branch of the church is forty, with Jackson Grove superintendent.


Industries of Cromwell. - Among the numerous mills and manufactories of various kinds through the township not heretofore mentioned are the following saw- and grist-mills: R. D. Heck's saw-mill, located in the southwest part of the township, and the saw-mill of J. B. Shenefelt, both on the same stream, and the sawmill of J. R. Lane, in the northwest part of the township, on Bear's Branch.  The tannery built by Bryce X. Blair, and known as the "Gap Tannery" and subsequently owned by J. M. & J. W. Supfer, was destroyed by fire in 1879.  There was also a grist- and saw-mill at this place, both of which have been abandoned for milling purposes.  There are several other small enterprises in the township, of which we could gain no accurate knowledge.


IRON INTERESTS. - For the data for our sketch of the iron interests of Cromwell township we are indebted to Mr. Thomas E. Orbison and Mr. B. F. Ripple, also to Mr. Coons, who furnished a copy of his paper in which Mr. Ripple's article on the iron interests of the township was first published.


The pioneer furnace of this township was built in 1785 by Thomas T. Cromwell, George Ashman, and Edward Ridgley, and was not only the pioneer furnace of Cromwell, but the pioneer west of the Susquehanna River.  It was located on the site of and in the rear of what is now the Franklin House, on Cromwell Street.  It had a five-foot bosh and sixteen foot stack.  The motive-power was water from both the Black Log Creek and Camp-Meeting Run, applied to an over and undershot wheel.


May 9, 1821, Thomas T. Cromwell purchased from Ruhannah Calhoon the land on which the Rockhill Furnance was built in 1830 and 1831.  The tract of land was formerly the property of William Chambers.


In May, 1831, William Morrison and Thomas N. Diven purchased of T. T. Cromwell nineteen acres of this tract, on which they built the "Old Rockhill Furnace." This furnace had a twenty-eight foot base, was twenty-nine feet high, and had a seven-foot bosh. The contractor for building furnaces was William Davis, and the pioneer furnaceman was Thomas Cluggage. The property was subsequently sold to Ford & Bell, and in 1841 passed by lease into the possession of Andrew J. Wigton and John R. Hunter, who ran the furnace for six years.


Mr. Cromwell with his well-known enterprise commenced the erection of the "Winchester Furnace," just below the old Rockhill, in 1832, and finished it in 1833, with Messrs. Bracken & Still as contractors, and after its completion it was operated for a few years by William Pollock and John M. Allen as partners.  From 1845 to 1847 the furnace was operated by Eli Beaty and George Davis, when in the latter year John S. Isett, Samuel Isett, Samuel Wigton, Andrew J. Wigton, and R. B. Wigton became the owners, and in 1864 sold the Winchester Furnace property to Levi G. Leamer and Bernard Lorenz, and in 1868 the property passed into the hands of Percival P. Dewees and Lewis Royer, M.D., who sold half their interest to Roberts & Co., of Philadelphia, in 1871.



Among the names most prominently connected with the iron interest of this district, and especially with the Rockhill Furnace, is that of Hon. Percival P. Dewees.  Of German origin, and born in Trappe, Montgomery Co., Pa., March 9, 1818, he grew to manhood among the sturdy yeomanry of that grand old country, inheriting from his ancestors, and acquiring from those by whom he was surrounded during his early life, that fixedness of purpose and sterling integrity of character which has placed him in the front rank of the successful business men of this county.  His ancestors came from Germany and settled in Berks County, Pa., from whence his father, David Dewees, migrated to Trappe, above named in 1790.  He purchased a farm, on which his family of eleven children were born, and on which both himself and wife passed the remainder of their days.  For many years they were devout and consistent members of the Lutheran Church, which was organized by Dr. Muhlenberg in 1743.  Percival P. was the youngest of the family, and has now but four brothers and sisters living.  He was early taught that one of the divine laws was "to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow," that labor was honorable and idleness dishonorable.  His education was obtained at the district school during the winter months of his boyhood, and has since broadened and deepened by observation, and by an active business life.  Arrived at his majority he started out in life on his own account.  Ambitious to leave behind him at his demise a record of having done something in his lifetime to develop the resources of the country, - something that would make the world better for his having lived therein, - with all his worldly possessions in a bundle under his arm, he started on foot for the Green Lane Forge, situated in the northern part of Montgomery County, and owned by Gen. William Schall, for whom he clerked four years.  On the 21st of February, 1843, he was joined in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Van Buskirk, daughter of Dr. George Van Buskirk, of Pottstown.  The Van Buskirks were an old and prominent family and among the earliest settlers of Montgomery County.  Miss Elizabeth was born Feb. 24, 1820, and died Feb 1, 1881.  To them were born three children, of whom two died in infancy.  The third, Amelia La Rue, is now the wife of Dr. W. T. Browning, and located in Orbisonia, where the doctor has an extensive and lucrative practice.  In May, 1843, Mr. Dewees came to Huntingdon County and became the manager of the Paradise Furnace, then owned by Reuben Trexler, of Berks County.  Here he remained until 1847, when he received from the owners of the Aetna Furnace Company an advantageous offer to superintend their business.  He accepted their offer, and remained with them eighteen months, when sickness compelled him to resign his position.  We next find him in Norristown, engaged in the nail business with Gen. Schall, with whom he remained thirteen years.  In 1863, Mr. Dewees, at the solicitation of the heirs of Reuben Trexler, again assumed the management of the Paradise Furnace, and remained in that position until 1866, when, the business failing to be profitable, the furnace was abandoned.  During his stay at the last- named furnace he had gained some knowledge of the Rockhill Furnace, which was built in 1830, and up to 1867 had been owned and operated by several different firms.  About this time he came to Rockhill and made a careful examination of the property.  He satisfied himself that the land contained valuable deposits of iron ore, and that the situation was a favorable one for an investment of capital and labor, and he at once, in company with Dr. Lewis Royer, of Montgomery County, purchased the entire property.  In December, 1867, he came on and assumed the management of the business.  He found Orbisonia a village occupying but one street, and in a very dilapidated condition, while at Rockhill hardly a building had a roof that would shed rain.  There were people ready to work and plenty of stock, but scarce anything with which to feed either the people or the stock.  To make matters worse, the winter was a very severe one, sonw covered the mountains to the depth of two feet or more, making the work of cutting wood for charcoal very slow and unprofitable.  But the people must live, and the stock had to be cared for, and all depended upon Mr. Dewees, making a task which caused him sleepless nights and gloomy days, and at times a feeling that it was more than he could endure.  These were days that tried his enduring qualities, which brought in play and tested the training of his early youth.  The spring of 1868 found them ready for business, and in May he made the first blast.  During that year it was found difficult to raise ore enough to make five tons per day, and for two years he was putting in shafts and tunnels, in the hope, and with a strong belief, of finding more extensive beds of ore than heretofore had been discovered. In 1870 his labor was rewarded by the discovery of the rich ore-beds or veins which has led to the present wonderful development of this part of the county, the building of railroads and the extensive furnaces now in successful operation at Rockhill.  In 1871, Messrs. Edward and Percival Roberts, of Philadelphia, who were largely interested in the Broad Top coal regions, bought of the firm Royer & Dewees an undivided one-half interest in the entire business.  In July, 1873, the Rockhill Iron and Coal Company was formed, and the property became merged therein, and the Messrs. Royer, Dewees, and Roberts became stockholders in the same.  Dr. Royer now owns the store at the mines, while Mr. Dewees operates the store and grist-mill at Rockhill, and now, at the age of sixty-four years, contemplates retiring from all active business pursuits.  In politics, Mr. Dewees was in early life a Whig, and cast his first vote for Gen. Harrison in 1844.  On the breaking up of the Whig party he for a time identified himself with the Democratic party. In 1870 he joined the ranks of the Republican party, believing it to be a party of progress and liberal ideas, also believing that its legislative enactments were for his best interests, and he is now a sturdy exponent of it policy so far as it is for the best interests of the whole people.  For many years he has been a school-director, and in the fall of 1876 was elected by his party to represent his county in the lower branch of the Pennsylvania Legislature, and served two sessions.  He served on the special committee appointed to Legislature to examine into and investigate the causes of the Pittsburgh riots, was also a member of the committee on corporations and railroads and iron and coal.  Mr. Dewees is now and for many years has been a member of the same church to which his parents belonged.


The following is an article referred to, published in "The Leader" of the issue of Friday, January 7, 1876:


"The 1872 session of the Pennsylvania Legislature passed the bill incorporating the Rockhill Iron and Furnace Company, with a capital of two million dollars, allowing the company to hold property and own lands in Huntingdon and four or five of the adjoining counties.  The next autumn or winter a topographical survey of the lands immediately adjoining Orbisonia on the south was made by Mr. Paddock, a civil engineer of Philadelphia.  On the northeastern part of this survey the town of Rockhill is located, and on the other the iron-works of the company.  The company are the owners of about eight thousand acres of land at this point, extending along Black Log Mountain on both sides, running up Shade Mountain to the top, and scattered at various points along the Aughwick Valley.  On their land and in close proximity to the furnaces, of which hereafter, is found both fossil and hematite ores, limestone and sand.  At Rockhill Gap, within a half-mile of Orbisonia, a vein of fossil ore averaging twenty-four inches in thickness, and extending from water-level up over four hundred feet is opened.  On each side of the gap there are two openings at different elevations, the longest gangway penetrating the mountain for a distance of one-half mile.  The underlying vein is twenty inches, and is separated from a smaller vein of six inches overlaying by a parting of fire-clay six inches.  The rock beneath the vein is hard sand-rock, and the measures above the vein are soft shales.  The ores on the south side are compact, coarse fossil ore, reddish-brown color, with somewhat laminated structure.  The north side has a hard ore, with numerous small crystals of calcite, darker reddish color.  They run about forty per cent. iron, with a trace of sulphur, and about one-tenth of one per cent. phosphorous.  The vein dips at an angle of about seventy degrees towards the north, which is of great advantage over flatter veins in respect to the convenience and cost of mining.  The mining is done without powder by picking out the soft clay parting and wedging the benches of ore up and down.  Hematites are found within a half-mile of the furnaces, and on Sandy Ridge, two miles north, are several openings.  From the main mine comes a very hard and compact, containing considerable ochreous iron ore, dark-brown color, yielding from forty- five to fifty-one percent iron, and containing little sulphur or phosphorous.  There is also a hematite vein in crevice of Medina sandstone on Black Log Mountain which yields largely and seems inexhaustible.  They have also opened the Cheet Bank, lying directly under the Oriskany sandstone, Logan Bank in High Valley, and numerous other hematite mines.


"The same company are the owners of about eleven thousand acres lying across Broad Top Mountain and in Trough Creek Valley, of which about ten thousand acres may be classed as coal-lands, the rest being covered with valuable timber.


"These lands lie on the east side of Broad Top coal-fields, and are reached by the East Broad Top Railroad, the terminus being Robertsdale. The measures are flat but not quite level; there is a general dip towards the southwest.  In addition to this general dip, it appears that Trough Creek is a regular basin, having its synclinal axis near the bed of the stream, and its outcrops on the side of Ray's Hill on the east and Broad Top on the west.  This formation is the best possible for mining, as it insures drainage towards the openings on Trough Creek.  At Robertsdale the company has three mines, and are now shipping to market over four hundred tons coal daily.


"They have a coal-washer, crusher, coke-pits, and store located here, and employ about three hundred hands at this time.


"To return to the furnaces. Messrs. Taws and Hartman, mechanical engineers, furnished the designs and drawings.  On the 17th of April, 1873, the centre line of two furnaces was run, and the first ground broken in the afternoon of the same day.  The construction was under the superintendence of Mr. C. Constable, a civil engineer of New York, who in February last, after the completion of the furnaces, went to Tennessee, where he is now successfully engaged in running the Rockwood Furnace.


"The furnaces are wrought-iron stacks sixty-five feet high, seventeen feet bosh, with a stone stack house two hundred and eighty feet long, and two large brick casting houses.  There are twenty-four boilers, which supply steam to two massive engines with four fly-wheels, twenty- four feet in diameter, having steam cylinders forty-eight inches in diameter and eight feet stroke.  The blowing cylinders are ninety inches.  The engines are direct-acting, low-pressure, and were built in Southwark Foundry, Philadelphia, said to have cost sixty to seventy- five thousand dollars.  The gases are brought from the top of the furnace through a large downcomer to the boilers and the hot ovens, and there take the place of fuel in supplying steam for the engines.  There are four brick hot ovens, each containing forty U-shaped cast-iron pipes, through which the blast from the engines passes into the furnace, entering the furnace at eight hundred degrees, and above six hundred and twenty-five being the point that lead is melted.  There are five tuyeres, and numerous water-pipe connections.  A large reservoir is built on the hill back of the furnaces.  A patent air-hoist is used in hoisting the stock.  There are forty-eight coke-ovens, twenty-four and twenty-eight inches, on the Belgian plan, each having its own flues.


"In the present condition of the country and the state of the iron trade, it is somewhat suprising that a company would start furnaces so large as these, but it is nevertheless so.  Mr. H. G. H. Tarr, lately of the Gaylord Iron and Pipe Company, Cincinnatti, is the present superintendent.  After filling seven cords wood, fifty tons coke, and other stock, reaching to within eleven feet of the top, the furnace was formally lighted on New Year's Day, 1876.  There were present a large concourse of people of town and vicinity; the casting-house was brilliantly illuminated.  Everything being in readiness, Mrs. Tarr, at 8:23 P.M., after lighting the torch, applied it to the kindling, and lighted No. 1 furnace amidst clapping of hands and applauding.  She went off nicely from the start.  Several person were called upon for addresses.  Messrs. B. F. Ripple, H. G. H. Tarr, and W. T. Browning made short speeches.


"The blast was put on Monday, January 3rd, at 1:10 P.M., and the first cast made Tuesday at 4:15 P.M., producing about fifteen tons No. 2 extra iron.  Since this time she has been running very satisfactorily.


"The indications are that before long we will be a manufacturing town second to none in the State. So may it be.


Cromwell Township Officers in Table Format




1836, D. N. Carothers; 1837, David Burket; 1838, Hezekiah Irwin; 1839, Daniel Tague; 1840-41, Robert B. Herr; 1842-43, Felix Logan; 1844, David Etnier; 1845-46, Felix Logan; 1847-48, James Falkender; 1849, James Harper; 1850, William Halkenberry; 1851, David Cornelius; 1852, John McDonald; 1853, William M. Chilcote; 1854, B. F. Chilcote; 1855- 56, David Irvin; 1857, B. F. Chilcote; 1858-65, J. Cornelius; 1866, Thomas O. Cloyd; 1867, John Kelly; 1868, Martin Hammon; 1869, Thomas L. Chilcote; 1870-72, R. T. Starr; 1873-75, J. M. Rodgers; 1876-77, John A. Rodgers; 1878, Adam Whitsel; 1879, D. W. Laird; 1880, W. H. Hart; 1881, William Lynn.




1837, Eli Wakefield, Michael Star; 1838, --- ---;  1839, --- ---; 1840, William McDonald, Benjamin Bair; 1841, Joseph Cornelius, John Bee; 1842, Samuel Stewart, F. Harman; 1843, David Burket, Aaron Stains; 1844, George Swartz, Andrew Gilland; 1845, John Bolinger, Joseph Cornelius; 1846, Isaac Bee, William Chilcott; 1847, M. Miers, Joel Moore; 1848, Levi Heck, Frederick Harmon; 1849, Thomas Teague, Joseph Cornelius; 1850, Joseph Cornelius, Caleb Kelly; 1851, Louis D. Evans, John Bare; 1852, David Hillman, Louis Evans; 1853, Caleb Kelly, Joseph Cornelius; 1854, F. Haman, Caleb Kelly; 1855, John Wilson, Peter Sechrist; 1856, A. Wagner, George Price; 1857, Thomas Turner, A. Robinson; 1858, George Price, William Jordan; 1859, Joseph Rhodes, George W. Cornelius; 1860, Samuel Stewart, William Jordan; 1861, John C. Bollinger, D. N. Carothers; 1862, Samuel Rank, Peter Secrist; 1863, Peter Secrist, Jacob Wall; 1864, M. Chilcoat, Daniel Book; 1865, Thomas Kelly, J. B. Shenefelt; 1866, Thomas Long, Thomas Kelly; 1867, Thomas Kelly, William Jordan; 1868, Jonathan League, Joel Moore; 1869, Samuel Stewart, Samuel Gilland; 1870, D. Grove, H. Morgan; 1871, --- ---; 1872, R. D. Heck, W. Jordan; 1873, A. Miller, Jomes McElwee; 1874, R. D. Heck, J. P. McKelvy; 1875, H. Mitchell, J. McElwee; 1876, W. Jordan, A. Miller, J. McElwee; 1877, E. O. Rodgers, S. Gilland, H. Beers; 1878, John Rice, James McElwee; 1879, William Jordan, R. D. Heck, James McElwee; 1880, William Johns, William Jordan, A. G. Whitsel; 1881, James McElwee, Adam Whitsel.




1838, --- ---; 1839, --- ---; 1840, David Fleck, John Bee; 1842, George Swartz, Benjamin Bear; 1843, Michael Star, William McDonald; 1844, J. Butler, M. Miers; 1845, George Sipes, Aaron Stains; 1846, Michael Stare, Enoch McMullin; 1847, Michael Stair, John Bee; 1848, Samuel Book, Daniel J. Logan; 1849, David Etnier, Michael Star; 1850, David Etnier, Michael Star; 1851, W. Rutter, John Fowler; 1852, George Swartz, Thomas Long; 1853, Thomas Long, George Swartz; 1854, George Swartz, Thomas Long; 1855, H. R. Beers, Isaac Enyeart; 1856, A. Wagner, G. W. Cornelius.




The borough of Orbisonia is pleasantly situated in the beautiful valley or basin between Saddle Back and Sandy Ridges on three sides and Black Log Mountain on the other.  It is also at the mouth of the narrows or gap in Black Log Mountain through which Black Log Creek flows.


Tradition, that always present and ever reliable old gentleman, tells us that the site of what is now the beautiful and bee-hive like town of Orbisonia was once the site of an Indian village, and to prove his assertion cites the numerous relics of barbarism found upon this plain, also will call the traveler's attention to what is supposed to be a cave some two miles distant in the side of Sandy Ridge.


Pioneer Beginnings of Orbisona. - This being on the old Indian trail or path leading from the Susquehanna to the then underdeveloped West, and being at the outlet of the gaps through Shade and Black Log Mountains, it did not take the keen-sighted George Irvin long to determine where the best locality was for a store.  Accordingly, in 1760 he built a small log store-room on the site now occupied by the Methodist Episcopal Church, southeast corner of Winchester and Cromwell streets. His patrons were drawn of course from the Indians, a few white settlers, and those traveling from East to West along the old path. Here for several years he dispersed such wares as he had, consisting mainly of sugar, molasses, boots, shoes, a few dry-goods, guns, powder, and New England rum.


Mr. B. F. Ripple, of Orbisonia, has in his possession two of the original bills for goods purchased by Mr. Irvin, or Irwin, as it was frequently written.  The bills are on old-fashioned unruled paper, and were undoubtedly written with a quill pen.  The following is a copy of the bills:


                                                                                                                   Philadelphia, April 26, 1768
Mr. George Irwin,
                                                                               &nbrp;    &nbqp;&jbsp; &nbsx;               Bought ` of George Fullertn
3 pcs. 7/8 wide Irish Linen, No. 234, 69 ùardS, @ 1>½.........*...........................£4  &nbsP;   14     50½
1 ps. yard wide     do.   ¦jbsp;     » No. 237, 24 yards, @ 2-4..................................,.... 2      16 &lbsp;&nb3P;    0
1 ps.   do.   do. fnbsp;    do.  &nbSp;       No. 238, 25 yards, @ 2-1................&.............>...>.... 2      12       »1
&nBóp;  &nb3p; ?          .nbsp;                                                                                                      --------------------------
                                                                                                                           10        2      11½
                               Advance @ 85 per cent ....................................................   8      12        6½
                                                                                                   &nbsð;&nbs0;  .nbsp; "nbsp;        »  &nbsP;    .nbsp;£18     15 &Nbsp;nbsp;   »  6
1 ps. yard wide do. damaged¬ No. 239, 22 yards, @ $ 2..®...............................(     3     &~bsp;13        4
           &nbsq;              &nbsP;             {         &nbst; $nbsp; &.bsp;     &lbsp; &nâsp;      &jbsp;                                                 --------------------------
                       Payable one month after date ...............................................   £22       8       10
1 ps. Irish Sheeting, No. 149, 74 yards, @ 2.................................................      7       8         0
                                                                                                                          £29     16       10


                                                                                                             Baltimore, May 28, 1773
Mr. George Irwin,
                                                                                                              Bought of David McLure
1 Hhd. Molasses, 102 galn's @ 23  ...................................................................£  9     15       6
1 Hhd. N. E. Rum, 121 galn's @ 2-4  ................................................................  14       2       4
Cash paid porterage  ........................................................................................              2       6
                                                                                                                           £ 21       0       4

The following letter accompanied the last mentioned bill of goods, and is also in Mr. Ripple's possession:


"SIR, - I rec'd your favor of the 25th inst. with £16  6  8 to your Credit, and now send you one Hhd. Molasses and one Hhd. Continent Rum, which I wish safe to hand and to a good market.


"New England Rum is getting scarce now, but think there will be some here soon -- when any Comes I do intend to purchase the Whole that I may serve my friends at a reasonable rate.  I have no news; flour Low and likely to fall.


"I am Dear Sir your very Humbler Servt., "DAVID MCLURE"


The old Bedford Furnace, built in 1785, stood on the site now occupied by the Franklin House, and the old store of Cromwell, Ashman & Ridgley stood where David Etnier's house now stands, on Cromwell Street, and what is now Cromwell Street was the old original highway, or part of the Indian trail or pioneer path, and part of the road laid out from Burnt Cabins to Drake's Ferry in 1787.  The next store was by Thomas Cromwell and Benjamin Cornelius, from 1824 to 1827.  Their store, as well as that of Messrs. George Taylor and Henry Crownover, or Covenhover, stood on the lot now occupied by Thomas E. Orbison as a garden.


The pioneer tavern was what is now the Franklin House.  The building stood on the opposite side of the street, and served the purpose of a horse-stable till 1820, when the old log barn was moved to its present location, converted into a hotel, and Benjamin Franklin honored with another Tavern to perpetuate his name and fame. The landlords in the old Franklin have been --- McDonald in 1824; Foreman in 1830; William Pollock in 1834; then followed by William McCardle, Robert Giffin, Jacob Baker, --- Cook, and Henry Wilt, from 1872 to the present time.


The pioneer grist-mill was built in what is now the borough of Orbisonia in 1787, and Hezekiah Crownover was the miller from 1812 to 1816.  The stone grist- and flouring-mill was built in 1826 by Thomas T. Cromwell, and destroyed by fire in the fall of 1879.


The post-office at this place was established in 1830, and the pioneer office kept in Taylor & Crownover's store.


The Eagle Hotel, corner of Cromwell and Elliott Streets, was built in 1836 by Jonathan Carothers.


In 1833 there were but nine dwellings in what is now the borough of Orbisonia, and but three of the nine were standing in 1882.


The building now occupied as a grist-mill was built for a plaster-mill, and subsequently converted into a sumach-mill, and after the destruction of the grist-mill was, in 1880, converted into a grist- mill.


The pioneer resident physician of this town was G. W. C. James, who located here in 1844 or 1845.  He subsequently removed to Ft. Littleton, where he remained for four years, when he returned to this place and established himself in business, and opened a drug-store corner of Elliott and Ridgely Streets, and is still in the enjoyment of a lucrative practice.


In 1833 there were two distilleries in Orbisonia, one of which was converted into a tannery by T. & J. Carothers, and the other converted to other uses by T. E. Orbison.


In the early part of this century Thomas Galbraith was the owner of a wrought-iron nail factory which stood near the old Bedford Furnace.


Mr. Thomas E. Orbison came to this place in 1830, was instrumental in procuring a post-office for this then new town, and in April, 1833, engaged in the mercantile business in a log store-room that stood on the lot now occupied by him as a barnyard.  The building was subsequently moved across the street.  Mr. Orbison was instrumental in laying out and building the town.  His was the first brick house in Orbisonia, it having been built in 1835.


Orbisona in 1882, - There were in 1882 in the borough one general merchandise and hardware store, by C. H. Reed; five general merchandise stores, Gehrett & Swoope, Downing, Vanzant & Co., J. Brodbeck, G. R. P. Enyeart, and E. B. Orbison (the Orbison store the senior of any now in existence); one drug-store, by G. W. C. James, Sr.; three millinery stores, by Mrs. Alburns, Mrs. C. Bartello, and Miss Starr & Co.; one dentist, Z. B. Taylor; three physicians, G. W. C. James, Sr., G. W. C. James, Jr., and W. T. Browning; two hotels, Franklin House and Eagle Hotel; one grist-mill; six churches, Presbyterian, Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, United Brethren, Reformed Church, and Protestant Episcopal. The population of the town in 1880 was five hundred and eighty-two. Thomas E. Orbison is the present postmaster.


Rock Hill. - The town of Rock Hill, lying just across the Black Log Creek from Orbisonia borough, was laid out in 1874 into streets, avenues, and alleys.  Here is located the depot of the East Broad Top Railroad, other buildings, yard, etc., belonging to the road.  Here also is the "Markle House" a first-class hotel, situate in a shady grove, making it a pleasant resort for the summer tourist or the flying business man.  There is in the town a large number of dwellings, most of which belong to Rock Hill Iron and Coal Company, and are occupied by their employees.  There is no store in the town, and all trading is done in Orbisonia borough.  The name of the station is the same as that of the town.


Civil Organization. - The town of Orbisonia was surveyed and platted in May, 1850, and plan of town recorded May 4, 1850, and was chartered as a borough Nov. 23, 1855, with the following-named persons as borough officers: Burgess, A. W. Sims; Councilmen, William Ott, Amon W. Swoope, John Wilson, Solomon Grove, Solomon Koons, and Abraham Carothers; Return Judge, James S. Burkett.


The following is a list of officers named, as far as found in the borough records:




1856, Simon Gratz; 1857,1865-68, G. W. C. James; 1858, Peter Ripple; 1859, James Baker; 1860-62, David Hicks; 1863-64, no record; 1869, Lewis Carothers; 1870, W. H. Miller; 1871, James S. Chilcote; 1872, Anthony Cook; 1873, D. R. P. Neeley; 1874, I. F. Gehrett; 1875-77, A. W. Sims; 1878, 1881, W. T. Browning; 1880, B. F. Ripple; 1882, Z. B. Taylor.  Mr. Sims resigned, and W. T. Browning elected to fill vacancy March 9, 1877.




1856, Thomas E. Orbison, David Etnire, William Ruttor, William Templeton, John Wilson; 1857, David Hicks, Solomon Grove, Simon Gratz, John Wilson, William Templeton; 1858, R. S. Starr, Solomon Grove, Perry O. Etchison, James Baker; 1859, David Etnire, James P. Tarbox, Perry O. Atchison, Solomon Grove, David Hicks, Esq.; 1860, James Baker, David Etnire, P. O. Atchison, Andrew Shafter, James P. Tarbox; 1861, Thomas E. Orbison, David Etnire, P. O. Atchison, John Wilson, Daniel M. Giles; 1862, Thomas E. Orbison, Solomon Grove, John Wilson, Robert Giffin, David Etnire; 1863-64, 1866, no record; 1865, David Etnire, Thomas E. Orbison, Solomon Grove, Robert Gehrett; 1867, A. Carothers, T. E. Orbison, T. M. Kelley, J. S. Burkett, Robert Gehrett; 1868, T. E. Orbison, R. C. Templeton, Abraham Carothers, Thomas M. Kelley, Alfred Kelley; 1869, R. C. Templeton, Samuel Carothers, Jacob Gehrett, Adam Knight, James S. Chilcote; 1870, J. S. Chilcote, S. Carothers, Adam Kunze, James Nesbit; 1871, T. E. Orbison, Adam Kunze, Solomon Grove, Peter Ripple, A. Carothers; 1872, R. C. Templeton, T. V. Cloyd, T. M. Kelley, A. Carothers, S. Grove; 1873, I. F. Gehrett, George Wilson, T. V. Cloyd, It. M. Brown, H. W. Miller; 1874, James Ruth, William Harper, Henry Wilt, D. P. Enyeart, J. S. Burkett, I. Book; 1875, A. Carothers, Solomon Grove, E. B. Orbison (Mr. Orbison resigned March 3d, and J. S. Burket was appointed to fill vacancy), J. B. Chilcote, William Ott, A. K. Green; 1876, Solomon Grove, Solomon Coons, William Ott, John Wilson, A. Carothers, A. W. Swoope; 1877, J. R. Bell, J. S. Burkett (Mr. Burkett died, and A. W. Sims elected May 9, 1877, to fill vacancy), L. F. Watson, B. F. Ripple, R. C. Templeton, A. M. Pheasant; 1878, L. F. Watson, S. Grove, John B. Chilcote, A. W. Sims, B. F. Ripple; 1879, S. Grove, Jacob F. Gehrett, D. R. P. Enyeart, Jacob Conrad, William H. Miller; 1880, J. F. Gehrett, A. W. Swoope, D. E. Fleck, J. W. Downing, Joseph Rapper; 1881, William Keefauver, John J. Rowe, David Isenberg, B. F. Rinker, Solomon Grove; 1882, Henry Wilt, B. S. Willson, Miles Kelley, J. W. Downing, G. W. Kinsell, Joseph Blake.




1852, 1859-66, David Etnire; 1857-58, David Hicks; 1867, G. S. Blake; 1868, William R. Baker; 1869, A. J. Hamilton; 1870-74, G. W. C. James; 1875-76, G. S. Baker; 1877, R. J. Coons; 1878-79, E. H. Miller; 1880, D. R. Enyeart; 1881-82, D. F. Miller.




1865, Caleb Kelly; 1866, Michael M. Logan; 1867,--- ---; 1868, James Burket; 1869, W. Chilcoat; 1870-71, G. S. Baker; 1872-75, J. Broadbeck; 1876, A. E. Chilcoat; 1877, Robert Wagoner; 1878, Jacob Reikord, G. J. Henry; 1879, Robert Wagoner, John B. Chilcote (high); 1880, George D. Wilson, W. T. Browning (high); 1881, S. P. Cook.




1866, G. W. C. James, David Etnier, Robert Gehrett, Abrm. Carothers, James S. Burket, D. S. Baker; 1867,--- ---; 1868, Robert Gehrett, Thomas M. Keley; 1869, --- ---; 1870, Thomas Weigh, William Harper, J. R. Carothers; 1871, --- ---; 1872, F. M. Keley, W. Harper, F. E. Orbison, A. Carothers; 1873, J. W. C. James, Joseph Repper, Robert Brown; 1874, R. M. Brown, F. D. Rutter, A. Krough; 1875, William Harper, C. H. Reed; 1876, G. W. C. James, James Repper; 1877, J. B. Chilcoate, H. F. Hess; 1878, J. F. Gehrett, C. H. Reed, Henry Loher; 1879, B. F. Repple, G. W. C. James; 1880, A. W. Swoope, J. B. Chilcote; 1881, J. Repper, J. F. Gehrett.


The Presbyterian Church of Orbisonia was organized as early as 1837, and upon the passage of the present free-school law by the State Legislature, a two-story building was erected in the town of Orbisonia the lower story of which was occupied as a school-room, and the second story for church purposes.


This organization was at the time a branch or outstation of the Shirleysburg Presbyterian Church, and remained as such till 1867, when it was recognized by Presbytery as a separate organization, and still continued to worship in the upper story of the school-house till 1876, when the church built their present brick meeting-house, which is forty by seventy-five feet, at a cost of four thousand dollars, Mr. T. E. Orbison contributing nearly or quite one-half that sum, and in 1879 the church edifice was dedicated free of debt.  In the spring of 1879 Orbisonia and Shade Gap Presbyterian Churches united in calling Rev. J. D. Owens, who is at present serving both churches.


Among the early or pioneer members of the Orbisonia Presbyterian Church were John Bollinger, Sr., Mrs. John Bollinger, William Lykely and wife, Mrs. Hooper, Mrs. Jordan, Mrs. Gilliland, Daniel Montgomery and wife, Mrs. T. E. Orbison, Mrs. Bigham, John Bollinger, Jr. and wife, and Mrs. Noble.


The pastors who have served this people are Revs. Britton E. Collins, who was for forty-two years a pastor of some church, --- Shaffer, --- Forbes, Samuel Alexander, --- Prideaux, and --- Watson (the two last were supplies), and in the spring of 1879, J. D. Owens, present pastor.


Present membership, fify; valued of church property, five thousand dollars.  The Sunday school connected with this church has a membership of ninety pupils, with an average attendance of seventy, with N. E. Otto superintendent.


Methodist Episcopal Church [by B. F. Chilcoate, Esq.]. - Just when the first Methodist class was formed in Orbisonia cannot well be ascertained.  However, the first Methodist church edifice in this place was of stone, forty-five feet square, and stood on the line between the lands of Thomas T. Cromwell and William Orbison, each one contributing half the land upon which it stood.  It was built in 1846 or 1847, against the side of the hill, and a basement under one-half the building, which was used for school purposes.  Mr. Cromwell was one of the projectors and principal contributors to the building fund.  The old stone church was destroyed by fire in January, 1865.


The present frame church, located on the southeast corner of Cromwell and Winchester Streets, was built in 1866, and dedicated in 1867.  The building committee were B. F. Chilcoate, Thomas Kelley, and James S. Chilcoate.  The first trustees were B. F. Chilcoate, Thomas Kelley, Rev. W. H. Stevens, and William M. Chilcoate.  The class-leader in 1866 was William M. Chilcoate.


Previous to 1846, when the seed of Methodism was being sown on this territory by the old pioneer Methodist preachers, services were held in school-house, grove, and private dwellings, the residence of Thomas Cromwell being the principal place, however, for such meetings.


Among the pioneer members we find the names of T. T. Cromwell, Catharine Cromwell, Ellen Martin, Thomas Martin, James Martin, Mary Harper, Nancy Hockenbury, Adam Hockenbury, David Hockenbury, William Hockenbury, William Rutter, Nancy Rutter, Lewis Evans, Jane Simpson, John W. Chilcoate, and Samuel Hockenbury.


Among the early and later preachers on this circuit may be found the names of Jonathan Monroe, John Ball, David Shaver, Joseph Lee, Joseph Parker, and Dr. --- Green.  The following is a complete list of preachers on the circuit, which at first embraced a large territory:


1841, James Brands and Franklin Dysons; 1842, James Brands and John Moorhead; 1843, Elisha Butler and James Ewing; 1844, James G. McKeehan; 1845, James G. McKeehan and W. Gwynn; 1846, Jacob Gruber and --- Beard; 1847, James Stevens and Cambridge Graham; 1848, James Stevens and Alexander McClay; 1849, Robert Beers and David Shoal; 1850, Robert Beers and W. Waters; 1851, Amos Smith and W. Shaw; 1852, Amos Smith; 1853, W. M. Meminger and Richard Dean; 1854, W. M. Meminger and R. Hinkle; 1855, Dr. James M. Clark and H. Wilson; 1856, Dr. James M. Clark and G. T. Gray; 1857, Amos Smith and G. W. Dunlap; 1858, Amos Smith and G. W. Hyde; 1859, G. W. Bowie and Thomas Care; 1860, G. W. Rouse and J. C. Cook; 1861, James M. Clark and G. W. C. Vanfossen; 1862, James M. Clark; 1863-64, C. Graham and A. W. Decker; 1865, David A. Isenberg and D. B. McCloskey; 1866, Seth A. Creveling; 1867, Seth A. Creveling and W. McKendree Reiley; 1868, George Leidy and J. W. Ely; 1869-70, J. P. Long; 1871-71, W. R. Whitney; 1873, W. A. McKee; 1874, W. McK. Reiley; 1875, W. McK. Reiley and O. H. Huston; 1876, W. S. Hamlin and P. P. Strawinskey; 1877, W. S. Hamlin and J. F. Pennington; 1878, W. E. Hock and W. H. Bowden; 1879, W. E. Hock and Alexander Lambertson; 1880-82, Elisha Shoemaker.


Present membership, one hundred.  Value of church property, fifteen hundred dollars.  Class-leaders, J. W. Dowing and Benjaming F. Chilcoate.  Stewards, J. W. Downing, A. W. Swoope, and John Barkle; Recording Steward, A. W. Swoope; Trustees, John Newatha, C. H. Reed, D. R. P. Enyeart, John J. Rowe, and A. W. Swoope.


United Brethren Church. - The pioneer preachers of this denomination who were traveling through the southern portion of Pennsylvania upon their missions of love and mercy, finding something of a settlement at what is now Orbisonia, made this one of their appointments or preaching-places as early as 1838.  Notwithstanding the unfavorable prospect before them for several years, they nevertheless kept up their appointments, and in 1853 saw something of the fruits of their labor in the organization of a class of worshippers under the leadership of Andrew J. Kelley and Thomas L. Kelley, with the following-named members: Caleb Kelley, Thomas Kelley, Sr., John Rodgers, Elizabeth Beightel, Matilda Rogers, Margaret Kelley, Rebecca Kelley, Sarah E. Hockenbury, Jemima Rogers, Diannah Coughmore, Margaret Kelley, William Lee, Eleanor Kelley, Mary E. Johns, Elijah Beard, Elizabeth Ow, James Grover, A. E. Taylor, Susan Carothers, David Jones, Noah Stewart, Abram Price, and Margaret Richerbaugh.


Thus far they had worshipped where as best they could, sometime in dwellings, and at other times in barns or school-houses, and thus continued till 1858 or 1859, when they built their present house of worship, located on the northeast side of Cromwell Street, in Orbisonia borough, at a cost of six hundred dollars.


At this time, Rev. George Washington Scott was the preacher in charge.


Among the preachers who have served this people the records give us the names of Rev. J. W. Bonewell in 1853; William Shepherd and R. G. Rankin in 1854; W. G. Rankin in 1855; Joseph Potts in 1856; J. F. Talhelm in 1857 and 1858; G. W. Scott, again in 1859; E. D. Pringle, 1860-1862; P. B. Sherk in 1863; J. F. Talhelm, again 1864-1865; P. B. Sherk, again in 1866, J. A. Clemm, 1870-1871; J. F. Talhelm, again in 1872; W. H. Mattern in 1875; J. E. McClay in 1877; C. W. Raver in 1881 and L. M. Gates in 1882.


Present membership, seventy.  Value of church property, six hundred dollars.  Trustees, G. S. Baker, D. L. Grissinger, and A. J. Kelley; Steward, A. J. Kelley.  The Sunday-school connected with this church numbers over one hundred, with William H. Carrigan as superintendent.


Reformed Church of America. - The branch or society of this church located at Orbisonia was organized in 1876, with the following-named persons as the original members, David Grove, Isaac Enyeart, Joel Grove, and Jacob Woolfe.


In 1878 the society or church purchased the frame building located on lower end of Cromwell Street, formerly occupied by the Lutherans as a place of worship, for which eight hundred dollars was paid.  The building has since been repaired, painted, and refurnished, and is now valued at fifteen hundred dollars.  Present membership, fifty.


The present trustees are David Grove, James Smith, and Joel Isenberg; Elders, James Smith, David Grove, and Daniel Isenberg; Deacons, David Isenberg and Luther Hileman.


The Sunday-school connected with this church has an average of twenty pupils, with James Smith as superintendent.


The pulpit of this church was supplied from 1876 to 1878 by students and others, when in the latter year Rev. J. M. Shick was called in connection with other appointments. He remained till October, 1881, when he was succeeded by Rev. E. H. Wrighter, the present pastor.


Trinity Protestant Episcopal Mission. - Trinity Protestant Episcopal Mission was established by the Rev. Thomas O. Tongue, under the direction of the Right Rev. Bishop Howe, in February 1877.


The following were the original members of the mission: Mrs. A. W. Sims, Mr. and Mrs. John Puckey, and Mrs. B. F. Ripple.


Services were first held in the United Brethren Church, since which time the mission has made such migratory flights as necessity demanded; at the present services are held every two weeks in the lecture-room of the Presbyterian Church.


The following clergymen have been in charge of the mission: Rev. Thomas O. Tongue, from February, 1877, to October 19, 1879; Rev. A. J. Barrow, from December, 1879 to January 9, 1881; Rev. C. E. D. Griffith from June, 1881, to March 6, 1882; Rev. John Gregson, the present rector, commenced his labors April 29, 1882. There are at present (July 1882) twelve communicants.


Press of Orbisonia. - The Leader, a seven column weekly quarto, was established in 1874 by Coons & Crouse, who continued the publication till the spring of 1881, when publication was suspended for a short time, after which the press and material was purchased by Messrs. E. J. Stackpole and B. F. Ripple, and the first number of the Orbisonia Dispatch was issued September 16, 1881, with E. J. Stackpole as editor. The paper was at first a seven-column weekly, and after three months was enlarged to eight columns, with an additional length to each column, making it one of the largest papers in the county.  Mr. Stackpole was for several years connected with the McVeytown Journal, and Mr. Ripple is officially connected with the Rock Hill Coal and Iron Company.  The Dispatch is neutral in politics and religion.


Orbisonia Lodge, No. 640, I. O. O. F., [by B. F. Chilcoate, Esq.] - organized Aug. 21, 1868.  Hall located corner of Cromwell and Ashman Streets, Orbisonia, Huntingdon Co., Pa.  Charter members, D. S. Baker, W. S. Thompson, A. J. Hamilton, Samuel Weight, Robert Gehrett, J. M. Booher, G. S. Baker, George W. Cornelius, Jackson Lambertson, W. B. Gilliland, Philip Kabis, T. M. Kelley, Richard S. Starr.


First officers: N. G., D. S. Baker; V.G., W. S. Thompson; Sec., A. J. Hamilton, now M.D.; Asst. Sec., Samuel Weight; Treas., W. B. Gilliland; W., Robert Gehrett; R.S. to N.G., T. M. Kelley; L.S. to N.G., R. S. Starr; R.S. to V.G., George W. Cornelius; L.S. to V.G., Philip Kabis; I.G., G. S. Baker; O.G., J. M. Booher; Trustees, Robert Gehrett, T. M. Kelley, R. S. Starr.


Present officers: N.G., D. H. Warsin; V.G., Jas. W. Rankin; Sec., B. F. Chilcoat; Asst. Sec., William Campbell; Treas., Jacob F. Gehrett; W., J. D. Singleton; R.S. to N.G., N. Galbraith; L.S. to N.G., Matthew Gilliland; R.S. to V.G., Samuel Crowther; L.S. to V.G., Daniel Cox; I.G., Jacob Painter; O.G., John M. Price; C., Joseph Blake.


Regular meetings every Saturday evening.  Present number of members, fifty-eight.


Col. Isaac Rogers Post, No. 252, G. A. R. [by B. F. Chilcoate, Esq.], organized May 30, 1882, at Orbisonia, Pa., with the following officers: C., George S. Baker; S.V.C., William Minnick; J.V.C., A. E. Chilcoat; Adjt., B. F. Chilcoat; Chap., Jacob C. Lockhard; Q.M., Henry H. Lahr; O.D., Georges S. De Bray; O.G., W. B. Snyder; Srgt.-Major, A. V. Chilcoat; Q.M.-Srgt., Job Shinn; Guard, Eph. J. Hampton.


Names of other charter members, their company and regiment:


A. V. Chilcoat, private, Co. K, 49th Regt. P. V.

Alf. Kelly, private, Co. I, 12th P.R.V.C. and Co. I, 19th Regt. Pa. Cav.

E. J. Hampton, private, Co. K, 205th Regt. Pa. Vols.

H. D. Weller, private, 101st Regt. Pa. Vols.

A. E. Chilcoat, private, Co. B, 110th Regt. Pa. Vols. and Srgt. Co. B, 6th U.S. Cav.

William Minnick, corp, Co. A, 1st Regt. Pa. Vols. and corp. 2d Pa. Cav.

H. H. Lahr, saddler, Co. L, 19th Pa. Cav.

Jacob C. Lockard, private, Co. K, 202d Pa. Inf.

Jacob Conrad, private, Co. H, 205th Pa. Inf.

Job Shinn, private, Co. I, 53d Pa. Inf.

Thomas M. Kelly, srgt, Co. I, 12th Pa. R.V.C., and private, Co. B, 110th Pa. Vols.

W. B. Snyder, private, Co. F, 1st D.C., and corp, Co. A, 191st Pa. Vols.

John E. Johns, private, Co. I, 12th Pa. R.V.C., and private 190th Pa. Vols.

George S. Baker, private, Co. I, 12th Pa. R.N.C., and private, 202d Pa. Vols.

Silas James, private, Co. K, 3d Prov. Cav.

George S. De Bray, private, Co. D, 2d Pa. Inf., and Lt, Co. B, 36th Pa. Vols.

Amon W. Swoope, private, Co. A, 22d Pa. Cav., and private, Co. G, 1st Pa. Light Art.

John C. Early, private, Co. I, 149th Pa. Inf.

James W. Hickson, private, Co. M, 16th Pa. Cav.

W. M. Lynn, private, Co. K, 102d Pa. Inf.

David Kelly, private, Co. G, 16th Pa. Cav.

Daniel Heck, private, Co. K, 202d Pa. Inf.

James Kelly, private, Co. E, 76th Pa. Inf.

B. F. Chilcoat, private, Co. B, 110th Pa. Inf.


Orbisonia Cornet Band. - This musical organization was effected in November, 1880, with fifteen members.  The following were the first officers: W. T. Browning, M.D., president; R. J. Coons, vice-president; T. J. C. Ripple, secretary; D. R. P. Enyeart, treasurer; W. C. Wilson, leader; and Professor D. N. Craft, teacher.


The regular meetings of this band are held on Tuesday and Friday evenings of each week in the public school building, Cromwell Street. Present number of members is twenty-seven.


Silver Cornet Band. - The Orbisonia Independent Band was organized January 20, 1881, with the following officers and members: President, N. E. Otto; Vice-President and Leader, Thomas Wear; Secretary and Major, Z. B. Taylor; Treasurer, George Trexler; Horace Gratz, W. T. Grantz, Jacob Conrad, Samuel Glaut, C. S. Lewis, Oliver Carothers, John B. Chilcoat, Eddie Williams, Joseph Pearce, E. B. Chilcoat, Lewis Keffauver, and Newton Sunderland.


July 18, 1881 the band was reorganized, and the name changed to "Silver Cornet Band" it having purchased a set of new silver instruments costing six hundred dollars.  The band is at present on a sound financial basis, and is destined to be one of the foremost of its kind in the State.


The following is the present organization of the band: President, Thomas Wear; Vice-President, Samuel Glaut; Secretary, George Trexler; Treasurer, George DeBray; Major, Dr. Z. B. Taylor; Musical Instructor, Professor Samuel Brewer; Members, Charles Lewis, Charles Gratz, Horace Gratz, W. T. Gratz, Harry Sunderland, Newton Sunderland, Edward Crummy, E. B. Chilcoat, Joseph Pearce, John Pearce, Jacob Conrad, Eddie Williams, James Edmondson, Thomas Puckey.


Educational. - CROMWELL TOWNSHIP. - There are in this township eleven school districts, in each of which were five month's school in 1880. To conduct these eleven schools eight male and three female teachers were employed, at a salary of $26.57 per month for the male and $25.00 per month for the female teachers.  Total amount raised by tax for support of schools during the year was $2,692.83; State appropriations, $369.90; total expenditures, $2870.90.


ORBISONIA BOROUGH. - The pioneer school-house was a small log building that stood at the north end of what is now Cromwell Street. When it was built is not known; however, it was the only school-house in what is now Cromwell Township, and was the only one till 1836.  The present school-house is a two-story brick building for the accommodation of two or more schools.  In 1880 there were two schools in the borough, with five month's term each.  Total receipts for school and building purposes during the year, $5,801.86; expenditures for the same time, $3,020.51.



St. Mary's Catholic Church

Shade Valley, Cromwell Township



Other GenWeb Sites


        PAGenWeb        USGenWeb Archives        PA USGenWeb Archives




Copyright © 1996-2014, All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 1996-2004 Ken Boonie & contributors

Copyright © 2005-2010 Judy Banja & contributors

Copyright 2011-2018, Josie Baughman and Individual file contributors. All rights reserved.