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Dublin Township History


History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties, Pennsylvania by J. Simpson Africa Philadelphia, PA:  Louis H. Everts, 1883, pp. 265-268.  Contributed by Mike Gifford.






Geographical and Natural Features. - This is the extreme south township in Huntingdon County. In form the township is an oblong square, laying northeast and southwest, and is fourteen hundred rods wide by two thousand eight hundred rods long. It is bounded on the southeast by Franklin County, southwest by Fulton County, northwest by Springfield and Cromwell townships, and on the northeast by Tell township.


The surface of the township is broken and mountainous, Tuscarora Mountain forming the dividing line between this township and Franklin County, and Shade Mountain the line between this and the townships of Springfield and Cromwell. Jerry Ridge is southeast of Shade Mountain, Turkey Ridge in the centre, Pine Ridge in the northeast end, and Hunting Ridge runs parallel with Tuscarora Mountain. The narrow valleys between the ridges and mountains, where properly cultivated, produce very good crops of cereals and grass.


Shade Creek rises in the northwest corner of the township, and flows southerly and westerly into Cromwell township. Little Aughwick Creek rises in the northeast end and centre of the township, and flows southwest into Franklin County. Trout Creek drains the southwest part of the township, and empties into the Little Aughwick a short distance above the county line.


Early Settlers and Pioneer Incidents. - Among the pioneer land locators and settlers in this township was George Hudson, who came here in 1782 and took up a tract of three hundred acres at the foot of the mountain, below what is now Shade Gap borough. The tract is now owned by his grandson, William A. Hudson, one hundred acres, one hundred acres more in the Hudson family, and the other hundred acres is owned by Henry C. Robinson.


Another of the pioneer settlers in Dublin was William Swan, who came here in 1784 and took up two hundred acres northeast of the Hudson tract. The tract has been divided, and is now owned by Widow Shearer and Widow Hooper.

Alexander Blair, grandfather of D. Blair, of Huntingdon, came to this township in 1784-85, and located on a tract of two hundred acres of land southwest from the Hudson tract. This tract has also been divided, and is now owned by McGinlay, Appleby, and Dr. Jones. Mr. Blair having an eye to business, hung out his sign in 1790, giving notice that he had a tavern and store to be patronized by the public.


Hugh Robinson was another of the pioneers that assisted in opening up this wilderness. He located on a tract of one hundred and sixty acres southwest from the Blair tract, and is now owned by John Minnick.


Among the other settlers who came here between 1790 and 1812 were George Wagner, Jay Robinson, William Newell, Anthony Manny, Andrew Sands, William Mosser, James Cree, David Cree, Jonathan Cree, Robert Cree, William Clements, George Kelley, John Kelley, Robert Peterson, Robert Taylor, John Swan, William Hooper, James Hooper, Brice X. Blair, John Blair.


Alexander McElroy was also one of the pioneers who was under the necessity of braving the fatigues, sufferings, and dangers of a life in the forest. Upon the occasion of his coming over the Tuscarora Mountain with his family, upon their first visit to Dublin township, he performed a feat of daring that none but a pioneer would dare undertake. It was winter, the snow deep and frozen, so that there was a thick crust sufficient to hold a horse. With difficulty "Aleck" and his little family had climbed up the mountain-side upon the slippery crust, and it occurred to the brave pioneer that be could go down the Dublin slope much quicker and easier than he came up from the foot of the Franklin side. Having a feather bed, which was the bulk of his household goods, he tied it in as small and convenient bundle as possible, mounted his improvised sled, took their little child in his arms, bid his wife give him a start, and away he went down Tuscarora's northwestern slope, reaching the valley below in safety. It is said that no more daring feat was ever performed, and certainly not a quicker trip down the mountain was ever made than that of "McElroy's ride."


James McElroy, brother of Alexander, was a "mighty hunter," and always carried with him his trusty rifle wherever he went, for he knew not the moment when he would have use for it. Upon one occasion, when he was on his way to Huntingdon for some provisions, he discovered a deer, and shot it, only wounding it. Before he could reach the deer a panther jumped into the path in front of him and started for the deer and soon overtook his prey, as the deer had become weakened from loss of blood. Before he could get a good shot at the panther a pack of hungry wolves were following on his trail. The situation became quite unpleasant, with a ferocious panther in front and a pack of hungry wolves in rear, and something had to be done and that quickly. No parleying, no chance shots; it was nearly night, and he was far out in the forest. Quick as thought he dispatched the panther as he was busily engaged partaking of his sumptuous evening meal, and then climbed a suitable tree, and awaited the coming of the rest of the menagerie. The tree served as a refuge during the dark hours of the night, and from his elevated fortress, and by his unerring aim and trusty rifle, one by one the wolves paid the death penalty, till when morning came he counted twenty-two dead wolves and a dead panther, the scalps of which he took to Huntingdon, and drew a bounty of twelve dollars each.


Mills and Manufactories of Dublin. - Like most other townships in the earlier history of the county, Dublin had her quota of saw-mills upon the numerous streams. Many of the pioneer mills have gone to decay, as the country has become settled and the timber cut off.


George Hudson, grandfather of William A. Hudson, built a grist-mill as early as 1800 a little south of his residence. The old mill served the purpose for which it was built till 1850, when it was abandoned for mill purposes and went to decay. The remains of the old mill are still to be seen just east of W. A. Hudson's residence.


The saw- and grist-mill at the gap, now owned by S. & N. Price, was built in 1820, and the grist-mill in 1846-47 by Brice X. Blair.


In 1818, John Blair built a tannery on the site of Minnick's steam tannery. It was subsequently owned by John Blair, Jr., who sold in 1848 to John Minnick, the present owner and operator of the Dublin Steam Tannery.


Dublin Township Officers in Table Format


In Dublin township the officers have been the following:




1789, John Cornelius, Patrick Fitzsimons; 1790, Azaria McLain, James McKee; 1791, James A. McPhelter, Samuel Boman; 1792, Hugh Glenn, James Morton; 1793, Samuel Briggs, Alexander Blair; 1794, Alexander McElroy, William Kelly; 1795, William Kelly, Alexander McElroy; 1796, David Walker, William Waters; 1797, John Person, James Marshall; 1798, John Kelly, James McNeal; 1799, Samuel McMath, John Walker; 1800, Michael Kern, Patrick Fitzsimons; 1801, James Waiob, Andrew Fricker; 1802, Joseph Campble, David Cree; 1803, Hugh Davison, Jesse Jeffries; 1804, Jacob Crow, Isaac Thompson; 1805, Adam Story, John Ramsey; 1806, William Gifford, Samuel Cree; 1807, William Pym, Jacob Hage; 1808, John Appleby, Hugh Dougherty; 1809, Michael Welsh, Hector Harper; 1810, David Walker, Gilbert Kennedy; 1811, John Ramsey, Michael Thronel; 1813, John Blair, James W. Neely; 1814, Samuel Finley, David Hudson; 1815, Robert Fleming, James Cree; 1816, David Cree, Matthew Taylor; 1817, Abraham Long, Matthew Taylor; 1818, John Walker, James Neeley; 1819, James Hudson, James Walker; 1820, William Jamison, Gilbert Kennedy; 1820 [sic], James All, Robert Marshall; 1822, William Fitzsinman, Eli McLean; 1823, Samuel Findley, Brice Blair; 1824, John Walker, Archibald Stitt; 1825, David Cree, Jr., Peter Foreman; 1826, Samuel Finley, William Swan; 1827, James Meely, David Jeffries; 1828, John Nave, Eli McLean; 1829, Robert Taylor, Peter Long; 1830, James Cree, George Hudson; 1831, James Walker, George Taylor; 1832, Thomas W. Neely, James Harper; 1833, Eli McLain, James Climans; 1834, John Walker, Alexander McAninch; 1835, Matthew Currey, David Bowman; 1836, Samuel Finley, David Welsh; 1837, William Grush, James McCanninch; 1838, David Cree, W. Harper; 1839, Daniel Brown, Eli McLain; 1840, Samuel Finley, Archibald Stitt; 1841, John Blair, John Walker; 1842, David Bowman, James Neely; 1843, Matthew Taylor, William Marshall; 1844, David Hudson, Andrew Sands; 1845, James Divin, William McLain; 1846, Christian Long, Abraham Morrison; 1847, John Findley, Benjamin A. Stitt; 1848, David Jeffries, Isaac Zigler; 1849, James N. Stitt, David Peterson; 1850, William McClain, Robert Patterson; 1851, Joseph Hall, W. McLain; 1852,W. G. Harper, John Atkinson; 1853, John Spitzer, William Roddy; 1854, George Hudson, John Findley; 1855, J. Hudson, S. Borin; 1856, R. Fleming, S. Long; 1857, B. E. Stitt, W. McClain; 1858, David Peterson, John Swan; 1859, David Peterson, James Neely; 1860, William Harper, John Atkinson; 1861, Robert Fleming, William A. Hudson; 1862, Samuel Doran, William G. Harper; 1863, William G. Harper, Amos Potts; 1864, B. E. Stitt, George Mills; 1865, Robert Morrow, George W. Jeffries; 1866, John Price, Joseph Hudson; 1867, John Findley, John J. Swan; 1868, G. W. Jeffries, Joseph Hudson; 1869, George Foreman, L. Yater, M. C. Stitt; 1870, J. Price, J. M. Gilland; 1872, W. A. Hudson, James Fleming; 1873, George Mills, William Appleby; 1874, James Diven, G. W. Price, Daniel Flat; 1875, James Diven, David Cisney, R. G. Campbell; 1876, D. Hicks, J. W. Fogol, J. Appleby; 1877, Samuel Runk, J. J Swan, J. D. Findley; 1878, John Foreman, Hiram Shadle, J. B. Stitt; 1879, George Mills, A. D. Stitt, John Foreman; 1880, ---; 1881, W. Snyder, George W. Jeffries, John Crouse.




1789, William Ramsey; 1790, John Walker; 1791, Jacob Gooshorn; 1792, David Cree; 1793, James Wamb; 1794, Samuel Bowman; 1795, Samuel McMath; 1796, William Steel; 1797-98, Andrew Fricker; 1799, Benjamin Briggs; 1800. James Fleming; 1801, John Person; 1802, Alexander Blair; 1803, Robert Welsh; 1801, Robert Standhard; 1805, John Aplliby; 1806, John Kelly; 1807, James Cree; 1808, John Gilliland; 1809, Patrick Fitzsimmons; 1810, George Wilson; 1811, Matthew Towlor; 1812, Hacket Harper; 1813, William Swan; 1814, Robert Welsh; 1815, David Walker; 1816, Samuel Finley; 1817, William Morrow; 1818, Robert Fleming; 1819, Robert Welsh; 1820, Robert Wels; 1821, James Neely; 1822, James Hudson; 1823, Archibald Stett; 1824, William Fitzsimmons; 1825, James Cree; 1826-30, John Kelly, Jr.; 1831-33, David Welch; 1834, Archibald Stitt; 1835-81, William Clymans.




1789, James Coyl, Hugh Orlton; 1790, James Morton, William Lindsay; 1791, Alexander Blair, Samuel McMath; 1792, Patrick Fitzsimons, George Willson; 1793, Jacob Crow, John Ramsey; 1794, Matthew Taylor, Hugh Glen; 1795, Jacob Crow, Matthew Taylor; 1796, Joseph Fleming, John Appleby; 1797, John Ramsey, Samuel McMath; 1798, Isaac Thompson, James McFeters; 1799, William Waters, John Simeon; 1800, Henry Lukley, Matthew Taylor; 1801, Jacob Hegy, Jeremie Robeson; 1802, Adam Strong, William Kelby; 1803, James McKee, Robert Steenhard; 1804, William Gifford, John Ramsey; 1805, Andrew Johnston, Samuel Clemens; 1806, David Walker, Henry Bicherstoff; 1807, James McKee, Andrew Campble; 1808, Peter Bolinger, John Bigham; 1809, Joseph Campbell, Samuel Bowman; 1817, Robert Harper, Robert Taylor; 1825, Robert Fleming, Joel Eby; 1826, David Jeffries, James Carothers; 1827, Isaac Thompson, Archibald Stitt; 1828, Robert Harper, James Carothers; 1829, John Walker, James Neely; 1830, Alexander Appleby, Joel Eby; 1831, Mathew Curray, David Cree; 1832, John Bingham, Alexander McAnich; 1833, Samuel Finley, John Rouse; 1834, David Welch, James Harper; 1836, David Jeffries, James Walker; 1837, Hecket Harper, James Cree; 1838, James Hudson, John Walker; 1839, W. Clymans, David Brownsden; 1840, William Welch, William Appleby; 1841, George Kelley, John Appleby; 1842, Joseph Smith, William Roddy; 1843, James Cree, John Deniney; 1844, James Neely, Joseph P. Hudson; 1845, William Appleby, George Whittaker; 1846, W. S. Morrow, W. A. Hudson; 1847, Joseph Smith, Robert Fleming; 1848, Henry Robison, Jacob Hunt; 1849, Robert Peterson, David Paul; 1850, James Neely, James Harper; 1851, James Cree, A. J. Taylor; 1852, Brice Blair, William Harper; 1853, J. A. Shade, William McLain; 1854, John Appleby, Jacob Kough; 1855, J. Crer, R. Fleming; 1856, James Harper, H. C. Robinson.


Boroughs and Hamlets. - There are in this township but one or two settlements of sufficient size to be mentioned as villages or hamlets, and the only one of any importance is


SHADE GAP BOROUGH, located at the easterly end of the gap, at the foot of Shade Mountain.


The pioneer settler in what is now the borough or its immediate vicinity was George Hudson, whose log mansion stood, and still stands, just outside the borough limits, near the old Kittanning path. At the time Hudson located here the site now occupied by the borough of Shade Gap was a dense forest, and not a tree had been cut. The forests have been transformed into fields of golden harvest, hamlets and villages have grown up, and a borough incorporated, all within a century. The old log house became unfashionable and too far behind the times for the young generation, and in 1849 the brick house now occupied by William A. Hudson was built.


One hundred years ago, when Hudson came here, his nearest store or trading-point was Carlisle, forty miles distant.

The pioneer merchant at the gap was James Stark, who came here in 1830, and opened a store in the building now owned by H. C. Zeigler.


The pioneer tavern-keeper was A. Forman, who located here in 1828, and hung out the usual sign, "Entertainment for man and beast." The tavern down at the forks of the road, now kept by R. B. Jones, was also one of "ye ancient hostelries." This was the old stage tavern. Here they changed horses and gave the passengers an opportunity of refreshing the inner man with either liquids or solids, or both, as the appetite and thirst demanded. This was known as the "Jamison Tavern." The old Forman Tavern, now owned by H. C. Zeigler, was occupied as a tavern till the spring of 1881.


The pioneer blacksmith of the gap was a Mr. Goshorn, who had a shop near the old Forman Tavern, in what is now the borough.


The pioneer resident physician of Shade Gap was Dr. Shade, who located here in 1842, and was murdered in 1876 by his son-in-law, Creswell Reese.


Shade Gap borough was incorporated in 18--. The burgess and Council for 1882 were: Burgess, H. C. Zeigler; Council, William McGowan, W. C. Swan, James Cree, William Campbell, W. D. Hyskell, and S. C. Montgomery; Clerk of the Council, D. C. Ray; Constable, D. S. Walters; Street Commissioner, G. W. Lamberson.


The business of the borough in 1882 consisted of one hotel, by William McGowan, who kept a temperance house; two stores, S. C. Montgomery (who is also postmaster) and W. C. Swan; one blacksmith, D. Thomas Bock; wheelwright, D. S. Walters; hardware-store and tin-shop, by H. C. Zeigler; cabinet-shop, by Frank Scott; shoe-shop, by S. D. Harvey. There are two physicians, W. D. Hyskell, George C. Borst; and Z. T. Jones, the druggist. W. C. Swan and H. C. Zeigler are the borough justices of the peace. There are also at this place two churches, academy, and district school-house. Population of Shade Gap borough in 1880 was 170.




1871, George Corbin; 1872, H. C. Zeigler; 1873, Alexander Cree; 1874, G. C. Rhea; 1875-76, Robert Morrow; 1877, I. J. Scott; 1878, William Morrow; 1879-81, Alexander Cree.




1871-72, J. P. Rody, Henry Hirch; 1873, W. Campbell, H. Shearer, W. McGowan; 1874, D. Appleby, W. C. Swan; 1875, J. A. Shade; 1876, A Cree, John Smith; 1877, Mrs. W. C. Kuhn, W. H. Lee, W. McGowan; 1878, S. C. Montgomery, D. S. Walters, W. C. Swan, W. McGowan, W. H Lee; 1879, W. C. Kuhn, H. C. Zeigler; 1880, J. C. Roddy, S. C. Montgomery; 1881, J. Brown, William Cook, W. C. Swan, W. McGowan, D. S. Walters.


Methodist Episcopal Church. - There are but two churches in this township, one in the borough of Shade Gap, built in 1847. Who the pioneer members were we are unable to say. This society is a part of a circuit, and is served alternately by the senior and junior preacher. The meeting-house is a frame building, located on the west side of Main Street.


The Presbyterian Church is located outside the borough and near William A. Hudson's. The old church was a log building, erected in 1800, and stood on the site of the present brick church edifice, built in 1848. The present trustees of the Presbyterian Church are J. E. Harper, S. C. Montgomery, Robert McNeil, William Wilson, and John J. Swan.


Musical. - The only social or musical organization in this township or borough is the SHADE GAP CORNET BAND, organized in November, 1880, with fifteen members. For 1882 the organization was as follows: S. C. Montgomery, leader; A. A. Minick, 1st E-flat cornet; Frank Scott, 2d E-flat cornet; W. C. Locke, solo B-flat cornet; S. N. Minick, 2d B-flat cornet; Charles Scott, solo alto; S. H. Price, 1st alto; John McGowan, 2d alto; J. E. McGowan, 1st B-flat tenor; John Swan, 2d B-flat tenor; E. H. Montgomery, B-flat baritone; C. G. Minick, tuba; William Wagoner, tuba; Miles Appleby, drum and cymbals; G. Neely and W. McGowan, small drums; J. E. McGowan, president; S. N. Minick, secretary; John Swan, treasurer.


Educational. - DUBLIN TOWNSHIP - There are in this township eight school districts, which in 1881 had five months' school each, and employed six male and two female teachers at $20 per month each. There were in that year 114 male and 196 female pupils, and an average attendance of 148 scholars. The total amount of tax levied for school and building purposes during that year was $984.14; State appropriation, $311.43; total expenditures for the year, $1184.95.


SHADE GAP BOROUGH. - The borough has one school, and in 1881 a school was taught five months. Total amount of tax levied for that year was $76.81; State appropriation for the year, $42.15; total expenditures, $127.16.


The school board for 1882 were: President, W. C. Swan; Secretary, S. C. Montgomery; Treasurer, D. S. Walters; and Henry C. Zeigler, William McGowan, James Cree.




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