HISTORY OF MIFFLIN COUNTY
From Franklin Ellis'
History of That Part of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys
Embraced in the Counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder. Philadelphia, 1886.
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THE territory that now comprises Union and Menno townships was part of Derry for 1757 to 1770, when Armagh was erected, with Jack's mountain as the dividing line. Its territory
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remained in Armagh from that time until 1790, when it was erected, embracing the western part of Armagh township. It was the first township erected after the organization of Mifflin County. At the March term of Mifflin County Court, 1790, a petition of the inhabitants of the west end of Armagh township was presented, asking that a new township be formed, and that the division line should begin at a certain stream of water extending from the Plumb bottom to Kishacoquillas Creek, emptying into the same near the Widow Alexander's. The petition was held under advisement until the June term of court, when it was ordered that the said township of Armagh be divided according to the prayers of the petitioners, and that the township erected out of the west end be called and known by the name and style of Union township, and that the inhabitants thereof choose township officers according to law. It retained its territory without alteration until January, 1837, when Menno township was erected from the west part.
The township is bounded north by Huntingdon County; east, by Brown township; south, by Jack's mountain, and west by Menno. The Kishacoquillas Creek flows northeasterly through it, and the settlements are along the creek in the Kishacoquillas Valley, reaching back to the foot of the hills. It contains two villages Belleville and Mechanicsburg.
The assessment roll of Union township is here given for the year 1791, the first assessment after the township was erected, -
General John Armstrong, 300 acres; Dr. James Armstrong, 1150 acres and slave; William Alexander, 250 acres; John Alexander, 200 acres; Rosanna Alexander, 200 acres; Thomas Alexander, 100 acres; Joseph Alexander, 100 acres; Nathan Allen, 100 acres; Robert Allison, 160 acres and still; Francis Alexander, 100 acres; Edward Ashcroft; Robert Barr, J.,; David Barr, 250 acres; Robert Barr, Sr.,; George Bell; Joseph Brown, 50 acres; Joseph Clayton, 100 acres; John Campbell, 300 acres and 2 stills; Robert Campbell, 250 acres, John Emmett; William Fleming, 160 acres; Henry Fleming; Robert Gardner, 150 acres; James Huston, 200 acres; James Hazlett, 180 acres and still; Andrew Hazlett, 500 acres; Matthew Kenney, 200 acres; Joseph Kyle, 400 acres; William Lyons, 400 acres; James Logan, 80 acres, John McDowell, Esq., 250 acres; James McBride, 250 acres; Hugh McClelland, 200 acres and a slave; Thomas McElroy, 250 acres; Charles McClenahen, 150 acres; James Mateer, 30 acres and 2 stills; Morris McNamara, 100 acres; Alexander McIntire; Daniel McCalla, tan-yard; Robert Nelson, 50 acres; Manuel Pecht, 50 acres; Frederick Pecht, 50 acres; John Riddle, 300 acres; John Reed, 300 acres; James Reed, 100 acres; Joseph Swartzel, 400 acres; William Stewart, 100 acres, Samuel Sample; John Steel, 200 acres; Jonas Steel, 50 acres; Jacob Steel, 50 acres; Daniel Steel, 50 acres, Samuel Steel, 50 acres; William Sankey, 100 acres and 2 stills; Robert Scott, 200 acres; Jesse Tanyer, 200 acres, William Vance, 260 acres and mill; John Wilson, 300 acres; Frederick Wyman, 60 acres; Samuel Wills, 190 acres; William Young; Michael Yotter, 100 acres.
EARLY LOCATIONS. - As soon as it became known that the land of the new purchase of 1754 was open for settlement, many flocked to the country to select locations on which to settle. The Sherman, Buffalo and Tuscarora Valleys, and along the Juniata, attracted most attention, and most of the locations made in 1755 were in that region. Others, however, ventured farther up and back into the valleys of the streams that flowed into the Juniata. One of the first to locate in the valley of the Kishacoquillas Creek, was James Alexander. He was a son of James and Margaret Alexander, native of Armagh, Ireland, where he was born in 1726, and when ten years of age emigrated with his parents to America and settled in West Nottingham, Chester County. From there the family moved to Cumberland County. When the purchase of 1754 was made, Hugh, the elder brother of James, located in Sherman's Valley, and James pushed further west to the valley of the Kishacoquillas, which attracted him by the excellence of its soil, its valuable timber, and the many fine springs in the vicinity. He located a tract in 1754, and received a warrant for it dated Feb. 5, 1755, the second day after the opening of the Land Office. This land when surveyed contained two hundred and thirty-nine acres and one hundred and twenty-five perches. It was resurveyed August 17, 1798, and found to contain two hundred and sixty-one acres and seventy-six perches. He made improvements upon this place and built a log cabin. He was driven out in 1756, when
618 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
the Indians were raiding in this section of country. About 1762, when the trouble with the Indians had somewhat subsided, Mr. Alexander and his wife Rosey (who was the daughter of Robert Reed, of Chambersburg), returned to their home. A log house, with an outside chimney-stack and a capacious fire-place, was erected to take the place of the little log cabin. This was replaced later by a stone house, which is not part of the residence of the heirs of Napoleon B. Alexander.
In 1773 Mr. Alexander took out a warrant for one hundred and eighty acres of
land adjoining his other land; in 1786 one hundred and fifty acres, and in 1793
two hundred acres; other lands were also purchased. He served in the Commissary
Department of Washington's army at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-78. For
this service he received sixteen hundred acres of land, which was located in
Clearfield County. He died in 1791 at the age of sixty-six years, and was buried
in the church-yard of the West Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church. The lands in
the valley were left to his sons Robert, John and James, and the Clearfield
County lands to his sons William B., Hugh, Joseph and Reed.
The children of James and Margaret were eleven in number, - Jane, Robert, Elizabeth, John, James, Hugh, Joseph, Rachel, William B., Rosanna and Reed. They were all born between the years 1763 and 1786.
Jane, the eldest child, married Colonel Alexander Brown, brother of Judge William Brown. He located a warrant for three hundred acres of land in the year 1783 and later three hundred acres additional, now occupied by John R. Garver, Jonas and John G. Kauffman. Col. Brown settled on the land he first located and left it at his death of his daughter Elizabeth, who was the wife of Hugh Alexander. He died in Philadelphia in 1791. His widow married David Semple and removed to Stone Valley, Pa., where she died in October, 1841.
Robert, the eldest son, was born in 1766, and settled near Stone Mountain on part of his father's land. He married Elizabeth McClure in 1790 and remained on the farm until his death, in 1843. He was for forty years a justice of the peace and in 1823 was elected to the Legislature. His eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married Alexander Gibboney, who settled in the valley and whose family is quite numerous. Silas, a son of Robert, settled on the homestead and later sold the place to --- Yoder. The tract is now owned by Joseph Z. Yoder, Jacob Yoder and John Hays, Sr.
Elizabeth Alexander, daughter of James, was born in 1768 and married, in 1786, John Wakefield. They moved to Spencer County, Ky., the next year, where their descendants are numerous.
John Alexander, the second son of James, was born in 1769 and died in 1820. He married Anna, the daughter of Henry Taylor, and settled upon the middle section of his father's lands, and built the house now owned and occupies by James Alexander. It is said that Logan, in 1767-68, when he resided in this vicinity, built his wigwam near the spring-house on this farm, and that he cut upon an oak tree near by the picture of an Indian with a tomahawk. This tree stood many years, and becoming decayed at the top was finally cut down. John Alexander had eight sons and four daughters, of whom Josiah settled on the homestead of his father for several years and moved to Milroy and died in 1847. Hugh, also a son, studied medicine with Dr. Joseph Bard and Dr. Joseph Henderson, and after attending lectures at the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania graduated in March, 1824, and steeled near Dayton, Ohio, where he was in the practice of his profession, and died in 1865.
James, the fifth child of James and Rosa Alexander, was born February 16, 1772, and in 1792 married Jane Adams, born in Philadelphia September 15, 1776. There children are Mary, born 1893; Rosey, 1795; Elizabeth, 1798; James, November 27, 1801; William, 1803, Jessie, 1806; Jane, 1810, Robert, 1813; Matilda, 1816; Napoleon B., 1819. James Alexander improved a mind naturally strong and active by varied reading, and was regarded as a man of more than ordinary intelligence. He died April 17, 1847, in his seventy-sixth year, and his wife July 27, 1834, aged fifty-eight years.
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James Alexander, the subject of this biographical sketch, though trained by his father to the occupation of a farmer, was led by his restless, enterprising nature to spend a large portion of his busy life in the more exciting pursuits of merchandising and trading. He removed to the farm two years after his marriage, and while managing varied interests abroad, still retained it as his home. Through many vicissitudes his business tact, good management and ceaseless energy brought a reasonable measure of success. Among his possessions is a section of land in Illinois, where he had been extensively engaged in farming. Though a firm adherent to the principles of Democracy, Mr. Alexander never accepted or held office, preferring the honors to fall upon those who participated in the active work of the party. Though not a member, he has ever been a willing supporter of the East Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church. Mr. Alexander was, on the 17th of February, 1834, married to Celia, daughter of Robert Alexander, Esq., of Kishacoquillas Valley. Their children are Jane Elizabeth, wife of Rev. Lefferd Lease Haughawout; James Porterfield, married to Annie Augusta Halsey, daughter of Joseph J. and Mildred J. Halsey, of Virginia; Celia Anna; Missouri Mary; Napoleon B., deceased; Matilda Virginia, deceased; Lucy Josephine, deceased; Robert Ard, married to Maggie, daughter of Charles Maclay and granddaughter of Judge Robert Maclay, of Mifflin County; and Emma Rosalind.
Napoleon B., a son of the third James, lived on the site of the residence of the first James and his heirs now reside there.
Rachel Alexander, the daughter of James, the settler, was born in 1780, married David Sample and settled near Belleville. He died in 1827 and his wife in 1833. Their children settled in the vicinity. William Brown Alexander, the ninth child of James, was born in
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1782 and in 1806 married Nancy, the daughter of John Davis, of the valley. In 1800 he went with his father to Clearfield County to make choice of his portion of land. His brothers had sold their claims, reserving to William B. the right of choice. In 1809 he removed to that section with his wife and two children, where he remained until within a few months of his death, which occurred March 30, 1862.
Rosanna, the youngest daughter of James Alexander, married John Taylor, also born in the valley. They settled on the Taylor farm for several years, and in 1806 moved to Ohio and son after settled on a tract of land, between the Big and Little Miami Rivers, where he died in 1843. She was living in 1878, aged ninety-one years, and was surrounded by numerous descendants.
The place now owned by Henry Taylor, on the opposite side of the road from
James Alexander, was once owned by the Hon. Samuel Maclay. He surveyed many
tracts of land in Mifflin County and took up for himself many warrants. He died
in Buffalo Valley October 5, 1811.
There are many springs in the valley of the Kishacoquillas, especially in the region of the Alexander and Taylor lands. They are nearly all claimed as the Logan Spring. One of these is on the present Taylor farm and said to be the one at which Judge William Brown first met Logan, the Mingo Indian chief. He related the incident as here given, -
"The first time I ever saw that spring, my brother, James Reed and myself had wandered out in the valley in search of land, and, finding it very good, we were looking or springs. About a mile from this we started a bear and separated to get a shot at him. As I was treading along, looking about on the rising ground for the bear, I came suddenly upon the spring, and, being dry, was more rejoiced to find the spring than to have killed a dozen bears. I set my rifle against a bank, rushed down the bank and lay down to take a drink. Upon putting my head down, I saw, reflected in the water on the opposite side, the shadow of an Indian. I sprang to my rifle, when, the Indian gave a yell - whether for peace or war I was not just then sufficiently master of my faculties to determine; but upon my seizing my rifle and facing him, he knocked up the pan of his gun, threw out the priming, and extended his open palm toward me in token of friendship. After putting down our guns we again met at the spring and shook hands. This was Logan, the best specimen of humanity I ever met, either white or red. He could speak a little English, and told me there was another white hunter a little way down the stream, and offered to guide me to his camp. There I met a Mr. Maclay. We remained together in the valley near a week, looking for springs and selecting lands, and laid the foundation of a friendship which has never has an interruption in the slightest degree.
"We visited Logan at his camp, at Logan's Spring, and Maclay and Logan shot at a mark at a dollar a shot. Logan lost four or five rounds, and acknowledged himself beaten. When we were about to leave, he went into his hut and brought out an many deerskins as he had lost dollars, and handed them to Mr. Maclay, who refused to take them, alleging that we had been his guests, and did not come to rob him; that the shooting had been a trial of skill, and the bet merely formal. Logan replied with dignity, and said: 'Me bet to make you shoot your best; me gentleman, and me take your dollar if me beat.' So he was obliged to take the skins, or affront his friend, whose sense of honor would not allow him to receive a horn of powder in return."
It is said the improvements were made on the Taylor farm by one John Martin. It afterwards passed to Samuel Maclay and others, and in 1824 was bought by Samuel Taylor, whose son, Henry P., now owns it. Henry Taylor was the first of the family to locate land in this region, and resided in what is now Brown Township. He married Rhoda Williamson, of Cumberland Valley, Pa., whose children were Robert, Samuel W., Matthew, Henry, Joseph, David, Mary (Mrs. McKinney), Ann (Mrs. Alexander), Jane, (Mrs. McNitt) and Rhoda (Mrs. Cooper). Samuel W., of this number was born November 6, 1778, and married Elizabeth Davis, whose birth occurred April 12, 1780. Their children are Rhoda (Mrs. John Henry), born November 16, 1804; Catherine (Mrs. Francis McClure), October 10, 1806; Henry P., February 19, 1809; John D., November 17, 1811; Samuel W., February 25, 1816; James I., June 19, 1818; Robert M., January 7, 1821; and Jane Ann (Mrs. Matthew Taylor), January 9, 1823.
Henry Patterson Taylor, the subject of this biographical sketch, is a native of Union township, and was born on the land which was a portion of his father's estate. His opportunities for education were limited to the neighboring
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HENRY P. TAYLOR
district school, with the Bible, the Shorter Catechism and the spelling-book as the text-books. After the latter had been partially mastered and many precepts conned from the former, he began the labor of his life as assistant in his father's farming enterprises. He inherited, on the death of the later, a share of the homestead and purchased the remainder, receiving from his father one hundred and eighty acres of land, as did each of his sons. He has from that time until the present been largely interested in matters connected with the farm. Mr. Taylor was, on the 22d of December, 1836, married to Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Forsythe, of Lewistown, whose death occurred on the 4th of August, 1840. Their children are tow daughters, - Mary (Mrs. Alexander Reed) and Lizzie (Mrs. John Reed), both of Reedsville. Mr. Taylor has, as a Democrat, been more or less active in local and county politics. He was, in 1852-1853, elected to the State Legislature, and served on various important committees. He has also filled many offices connected with his township. He is identified with the business enterprises of the county as president of the Kishacoquillas Fire Insurance Company, and secretary and treasurer of the West Kishacoquillas Turnpike Company. He is, though not connected by membership with any church, a supporter of the various religious denominations of the neighborhood.
Robert and John Campbell were the first of the name who settled in this region. Robert Campbell, Sr., about 1745 or 1750, emigrated from the north of Ireland to America, and settled in the State of Delaware. He removed from there to Chester County, Pa., where he was connected with the Fagg's Manor Presbyterian Church. He remained there several years, and in that time buried on child, William. In the spring of 1774 he removed to Cumberland County (now Mifflin County) in company with John Campbell, his brother-in-law (the wife of the
622 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
former being a sister of the latter), each with a family of three or four children. They arrived at their future home May 6, 1774. Each built a cabin near the spot where the stone house of Robert Campbell, Jr., of Union township, now stands. They purchased four hundred and eight acres of land which had been surveyed on warrant issued to Thomas Ferguson, September 1762, and deeded to Robert and John Campbell April 19, 1773, by William Henry. Robert Campbell also warranted a large tract of land near his former purchase, which warrant bears date May 4, 1774. This land, with many additional acres, is still owned and occupied by the descendants of Robert Campbell, Sr., and his wife Jane, a Scotch woman. Their children were, William, born 1760, died 1767; Alexander, born 1762, died 1781; Elizabeth, born 1764, died, 1822; John, born October 18, 1766, died March, 1845; James, born 1768, died 1790; William (2d), born 1770, died 1795; Isabella, born 1772, died 1864; Robert, born 1774, died 1828; Joseph, born March, 1776, died August, 1857; Samuel, born September, 1778, died September 19, 1841. Joseph Campbell, father of Andrew W., in 1810-12, built a house and barn on part of the old homestead, now occupied by R. D. Campbell, the youngest son of Joseph. In 1813 he (Joseph) was married to Elizabeth, second daughter of Hon, John Oliver, who came to Juniata Valley in 1769 or 1770, married Margaret Lyon, and had a family of twelve children - four sons and eight daughters. Four of the Campbells - three brothers, John, Joseph and Samuel, and a cousin John - married four of the Oliver sisters - Rachel, Elizabeth, Nancy and Jane, respectively. From these unions all of the Campbells of this county and one family in Centre County are descended. Joseph Campbell, Sr., lived during his life on the old homestead and followed the business of farming. His family consisted of Isabella, born February 18, 1814, died December 9, 1863; Margaret Jane, born November 19, 1815; Joseph, born November 6, 1817; Elizabeth Lyon, born January 13, 1820, died February 7, 1883; Hugh McClelland, born November 27, 1821, died in Sacramento, Cal., May 11, 1850; Andrew William, born November 6, 1823; Robert Douglas, born October 30, 1826; Mary Rachel, born August 26, 1830, died November 17, 1859.
Mr. Campbell was a representative citizen, active in the furtherance of all public enterprises, and influential in the support of morality and religion. He was early a member of the West Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church, aided in its organization and in the erection of the edifice.
A. W. CAMPBELL
Andrew W. Campbell was born on the homestead, his whole life having been spent on the ancestral land. His training at the common schools was supplemented by a session at the Tuscarora Academy in 1846-47, after which, on returning home, he, in connection with his brother, Robert D., assumed the management of the farm. In 1851 the property was equally divided between the two brothers, the north portion of which was materially improved by the subject of this sketch, who, by the death of his brother, in 1857, came into full possession, and now resides upon the land. Mr. Campbell was, on the 22d of November, 1854, married to Margaret J., eldest daughter of George Wilson, Esq., and granddaughter of John Wilson, Sr., one of the early settlers of the valley. Their children are, Nannie Argyle, born October 20, 1856, who died September 15, 1858, and Lizzie M., born February 11, 1863. Mr. Campbell was formerly in politics a Whig, and later became a pronounced Republican. His influence in promoting the interests of his party and upholding its principles has been decided. During the late Rebellion he was a stanch supporter of the Union, and in June, 1853, on Lee's second invasion, at the call of Governor Curtin, he, with others, raised a company of mounted militia, marched to the southern portion of the State and, with many other citizen soldiers, checked the incursions of the Confederate army. He has filled the usual local offices, and been frequently called to act as executor, administrator and trustee. Mr. Campbell has from early life been a member of the West Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church, and, as one of its trustees for more than twenty years, assisted materially in its management.
The Campbells were early settlers in the township. The first of the name was Robert Campbell, who warranted a large tract on the
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4th day of May, 1774. The family have held these lands from that time to the present, and they are now in possession of Robert, Joseph, Andrew W. and Robert D. Campbell, grandchildren, and John A. Campbell, son of Robert.
Of other lands warranted in the township are the following: Ephraim Blaine, 109 acres, warrant dated July 15, 1762; John McKee, 106 acres, August 1, 1766; Christian Voght, 159 acres, February 24, 1773; Samuel Maclay, 352 acres, August 1, 1766; David Johnson, 106 acres, April 16, 1767; Caleb Gordon, July 10, 1762. A part of this cotton tract is now owned by David Y. Renno, Christian K Yoder and Christian Renno.
William Baker warranted a tract of two hundred and twenty-eight acres, now owned by Francis McClure, September 23, 1776. A part of the Maclay tract and the David Johnson lands are now owned by the heirs of Robert P. Maclay. The remainder of the Maclay tract is owned by Joseph H. Maclay, Christian K. Peachey and the heirs of Gideon K. Peachey. Colonel John Armstrong warranted, in different tracts, about 1762, about one thousand acres of land. These lands very largely passed about 1790 and a few years later to the Mennonites and Amish. At the present time, out of three hundred and sixty-three taxables, one hundred and forty-three are of these people. They are followers of Menno Simon, who was born about 1492 in West Freisland, educated as a priest and installed as vicar of Pingium in 1524. He soon after began to be troubled in regard to certain doctrines of the church and to study the New Testament for himself, and in 1531 renounced popery, and there soon after gathered around him a number who had followed the same spirit of investigation, and he, at their request, became their leader or pastor. From this small beginning there grew up a large and flourishing sect.
The Mennonites and Amish of the townships of Union and Menno are descendants of
624 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
the settlers who came to Lancaster County from 1717 to 1733. The Amish were a branch of the Mennonites, who sprang up under a Jacob Amish, who labored under the impression that the discipline of the followers of Menno was too lax, and by his preaching succeeded in gaining a few adherents, some of whom came to this country about 1718, and about 1726 came to Lancaster County.
The Hartzlers, Yoders, Peacheys, Rennos, Zooks and others began the emigrate from Lancaster and Berks Counties about 1791. The Zug, Zuke, Zook family were originally from Switzerland. The first of the family who came to this country were Moritz, John and Christian Zug. They settled about 1740 in Chester County. Moritz moved a little later to what is now Berks County, where he had five sons, of whom John and Christian, in 1791-93 came to the valley of the Kishacoquillas, purchased land and settled; John died in 1804. From these two early settlers sprang all of the name now in Mifflin County. Christian Zook's land was warranted December 4, 1792; John Hartzler, February 4, 1794; Michael Yoder, the same date. The society in these townships of Menno and Union are divided into three parts, - the old school, new school and the Peachey branch. Their ministers are chosen from their own members and not specially educated for the ministry. Prior to 1868 meetings were held in private residences. In that year the new school erected their first church, which was in Union township. The first services were held in the new house August 9, 1868. The next year, 1869, the society erected a house of worship in Menno Township. The old school and the Peachey branch still hold their services in private houses.
MILLS AND TANNERIES. - The grist-mill on the west bank of the Kishacoquillas, now owned by John Yoder, is on the site of a grist-mill erected by James Poe in 1794. It was owned by the family until November 1, 1835, when Mary Poe conveyed it to Samuel Holliday, who, in 1838, enlarged and improved it, putting in four run of burrs. He operated the mill until April 29, 1850, when he sold to John Lapp, who, on Mary 31, 1851, conveyed one-half interest to Isaac Plank, and March 28, 1857, the other half interest to John Yoder. It was continued by this firm until April 17, 1863, when Yoder sold his interest to Finley Strunk, and March 7, 1868, Plank conveyed his half of the mill property to Strunk, who March 25, 1870, sold the property to William Heddens, who operated it until his death. Jonathan Peachey, his executor, conveyed it March 31, 1880, to John H. Yoder, the present owner. The mill has been repaired at an expense of two thousand dollars. A saw-mill was run in connection with the grist-mill, and on the same stream. In October, 1882, John H. Yoder sold the saw-mill to Shem Byler, who sold it to Joseph G. Hostetter, who enlarged and improved it, and in the spring of 1885 introduced steam-power in addition, and also erected a lath-mill, which is run by water-power. About two miles east of Belleville John Hartzler erected a carding-mill before 1800, in which he carried on the business of carding until 1820, when he sold the mill to Jacob Byler, by whom it was continued until 1835, when the machinery was taken out and the building was fitted up as a grist-mill, with two run of burrs, and operated by Mr. Byler until 1843, when he sold it to A. G. Gibboney & Brothers, who kept it eleven years, and sold the property to A. F. Gibboney, who is the present owner. The old mill was torn down in 1863 and a large mill was erected on its site. About 1812 Jacob Plank built on oil-mill near the foot of Stone Mountain, and about two miles west of Belleville. He, a few years later, sold to James Mateer, who erected, in addition, a carding and fulling-mill, and, in 1834, sold the property to William McCullough. David Young, as tenant, conducted the business until his death, in 1848, purchasing the property about 1844. After the death of Mr. Young the property changed hands and was soon after abandoned. Crawford Kyle and Robert Milliken, about the year 1816, erected a carding-mill in Belleville, which was run a few years, when the machinery was taken out and put in the Hartzler mill.
In 1824 Alexander Gibboney erected a fulling-mill, to which weaving was added a few years later, and, in 1836, an addition was made to the building, and machinery introduced for the
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 625
manufacture of woolen cloth. In November of that year the mill was entirely destroyed by fire. A new building of brick was erected in 1837 and fully equipped as a woolen-factory. It was continued under the management of Alexander Gibboney until 1843, when the property came to the possession of A. G. Gibboney & Brothers, who, in that year, built a stone addition, enlarged the business and continued until 1854, when Robert A. Gibboney bought the interest of A. G. Gibboney. Under this management it continued for some years, when Adolphus F. Gibboney purchased the interest of his brothers and is now the sole owner of the property.
The mill now owned by Jonas K. Renno was long known as the McClellan Mill. It is situated on the south bank of the Kishacoquillas Creek, about two miles south of Belleville. The property, in 1811, belonged to Joseph Zook, who in that year sold it to James and Jesse Adams. In July, 1818, they conveyed it to Hugh McClellan. After his death, at the April term of court, 1824, the property was taken at appraisement by William McClellan and John Musser. The wife of the latter (he being deceased) sold her interest, May 14, 1832, to Robert McClellan, who had, by article of agreement, October 5, 1831, bought the half-interest of William McClellan, who operated it many years, and, upon his death, devised it to Rebecca McClellan. David Zook, as her executor, sold it to Henry Swartzel April 4, 1873. It passed to John Swartzel September 10, 1881, who soon after sold to Jonas K. Renno, the present owner, who, in 1883, thoroughly repaired the mill, and introduced as additional power a twenty-four horse-power steam-engine and erected a saw-mill.
In 1829 Robert Alexander built a large grist mill and distillery in Sankey's Gap, about two miles north of Belleville. It was carried on after his death by his widow, and after her decease the property was bought by James Alexander, who continued business for a few years, when it was abandoned. The property is still owned by James Alexander.
In 1824 Christian Yoder was assessed on a tannery in the township of Union, which was on the site of Belleville. It is long since abandoned. A tannery was built in Belleville many years ago, and was first owned by - --Spear. He was succeeded, respectively, by - --Withington, John McKee, Peter Albright and Isaac Miller; the last-named tore away the vats and fitted the tan-house as a blacksmith-shop.
In 1845 a tannery was built, by Joseph A. Bell, about one-fourth of a mile northwest of Belleville, on the road leading from Belleville to Greenwood Furnace. It was owned later by David Weiler, David Semple, John G. Zook, and in 1882, Zook conveyed it to Samuel Yoder. It was continued by him until his death, in 1884, and was sold to Christian Z. Yoder and David L. Byler, who rented the property to David Fultz, who is now conducting it.
SCHOOLS. - At the November term of court, 1834, William P Maclay and David Zook were appointed school directors under the school law of April 1st, in that year. At a meeting of the directors held March 5, 1835, they resolved to establish in the township (Menno not then being erected) nine school districts, four of which were in what is now Menno. The schools, five in number, that were located in what is now Union, were as follows: Near Abraham Zook's, near Gibboney's fulling-mill, near Greenwood, near Haffley's and at Sankey's Gap. There are at present in the township nine school-houses, as follows: Two at Belleville (one brick, one frame), at Ore Bank (frame), at Gibboney's Mill (frame), near Alexander's (old), near Kauffman's, near Yoder's (brick, built in 1872), Semple's school-house and one in Mechanicsville. The present directors are Rev. R. M. Campbell, Pres't; David H. Zook, Sec'y; Howard Gibboney, James T. Hills, Jacob K. Detweiler and William J. Hays.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.
Samuel W. Taylor.
Gen. David Milligan.
Joseph Haffley, 1845-75.
The first settler on the site of the town was Joseph Greenwood, a blacksmith, who opened a shop at the place. Settlers gathered around him slowly and it became known as Greenwood, by which name it was known until the establish-
626 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
ment of the post-office, when it was changed to Belleville. A sickle-factory was established with a blacksmith-shop by Jesse Tanier, and Samuel Lewis. William McNabb, James Robson and Michael Castner were all blacksmiths on the south side of the creek. Isaac Miller built a blacksmith-shop on the north side of the creek, which he conducted until 1854, when he sold to Jesse W. Horton, who began the business and is still conducting it. The first saddler in the town was Andrew Means; of others were John McBride, Samuel Alter, Augustus and William Hemphill. Lewis E. Schuchl opened a saddler-shop in 1871 and still continues. John A. McClure, who also has a shop, began in 1874.
The first store in the town was kept by Kirk & Steel in the house now occupied by William M. Harman.
Henry Steely, before 1814, purchased a tract of land of Christian Yoder, on which the most of Belleville is located. Steely sold the store, in 1814, to Robert Milliken and Crawford Kyle, who continued until 1822, when it was again bought by Henry Steely, and continued by him until his death, in 1834. He built the stone house now owned by John Sankey, to which place he moved the store. His widow and Hugh Moran continued the store until 1850, when the goods were sold at auction and the store abandoned. About 1860 Levi Mentzer, Sr., of Lancaster, bought the store-house, and with his nephew, Levi A. Mentzer, opened a dry goods and grocery store, which they continued until 1870, when the younger partner sold to Levi Mentzer and went West. The store was managed from that time until the death of Mr. Mentzer by himself and his son, Alfred Mentzer, after which the goods were sold at suction, and in 1877 the store-house was sold to Mifflin D. Snyder, who, with William G. Roper, opened a store, which was continued for one year, after which the house was purchased by John Sankey, and is now used as a private residence.
Of others who have kept store for a short time in Belleville were Jesse Adams, Andrew W. Oliver and David Milliken, the two last in 1830. In the west end of the town John Clayton was the first of open a store. It was on the top of the hill, in the building now occupied as a dwelling by Laurence Stroup and Henry Fox. Samuel Culbertson, in 1833, opened a store opposite Clayton. He was succeeded by Joseph A. & William Bell, and in 1847 it was owned by Haas & McNabb, who kept until 1853, when they built a new store building north of and on the opposite side of the street, where they continued business until 1868, when it was bought by A. F. Gibboney, who, with Washington C. Nelson as a partner, carried on the business until 1881, when Mr. Gibboney bought the interest of Nelson and carried on the store until February, 1882. The business was then sold to John McNabb and Frank Culp, who continued until the spring of 1885, when Culp sold to McNabb, who took in his son in partnership, and by whom, as McNabb & Son, the business is now carried on.
Daniel Overholser and Isaac Stirk were each conducting a store in the town in 1830; but, in 1839, Overholser built, in the east end of the town, a store-house and residence, and began business in that place. In 1847 Isaac Stirk became a partner, and remained three years, and sold to Overholser, who, in 1855, sold to Samuel Watts, who now owns the property and is conducting the store. Since his first purchase he has had, as partners, Samuel Haffley, David Secrist and John Robier. In 1871 he sold the business to William J. & Joseph W. Fleming, who carried it on until 1877, when Mr. Watts again became the owner. A drug-store was built, in 1861, by Albert G. Gibboney, who became associated with his brother, Dr. Samuel R. Gibboney.
In 1864 Dr. Gibboney went into the army as surgeon and the business was continued by William M. & S. R. Gibboney, sons of A. G. Gibboney, until 1882, when William M. Gibboney erected a large drug store and continued the business.
The first tavern in the town was kept by James Poe before 1835. It is in the east end of the town and was later kept, respectively, by John Reed, William Means, Frank McCoy, Isaiah Coplin, Jesse Wingate, Joseph McElheny,
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 627
Collar Wix, Jonathan Hough (who remained nine years and until 1856), Richard Brindle, William Semple, Henry Selfridge and last by John M. Bulich in 1863, when it was abandoned as a hotel.
John Clayton built a house in the west end of the town, which he kept as a tavern for several years. He was followed by Thomas Elliot, James McDonald, Jesse Wingate (who kept it until 1838), Joseph Goodheart, John Robinson, Collar Wix and Henry Selfridge in 1861, after which time it was abandoned.
Joseph Goodheart erected, in 1845, a house for tavern purposes, which was not used, however, until 1851, when it was owned by John Brindle and rented by Collar Wix, and later by William Swineheart, John G. Stewart and Collar Wix. In 1858 the property was purchased by Richard Brindle, who has kept it as a public-house to the present time.
The first post-office was kept at the east end of the town by John Reed about 1800. He was succeeded by George Means and by Rev. William Kennedy, from 1810 to 1822; Frank McCoy and Isaiah Coplin. It was during the administration of these postmasters at the place first opened by Reed, after Mr. Coplin's term expired, Jesse Wingate was appointed and the office was removed to the extreme west end of the town. In 1838 Dr. George V. Mitchell was appointed, and kept the office in the basement of his house (now occupied by Dr. John Floyd) until 1842, when Joseph Goodheart was appointed and held the office one year, when David Overholser was appointed and move the office to his house, now occupied by Samuel Watts. It has since been kept by H. S. McNabb, Lewis N. Cogley, H. S. McNabb, Levi A. Mentzer, Albert G. Gibboney, Washington C. Nelson. The latter served until his death, March 15, 1885. John McNabb served as deputy until the appointment of the present postmaster, William M. Gibboney, who keeps the office in his drug-store.
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. - The early history of this church will be found in the sketch of the Presbyterian Church of Allenville, where it was organized, and where, for many years, the only church edifice of the congregation was located. The present brick edifice at Belleville was erected in 1860, at a cost of four thousand dollars.
The pastors since 1860 are here given. Rev. Robert B. Moor was called to the charge of the Allenville and Belleville congregations in 1860 and served until the fall of 1866. In the spring of 1867 the present pastor, the Rev. R. M. Campbell, received a call to become their pastor, which he accepted and is still in charge.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH. - The church was organized at Mechanicsville in 1835 or 1836, with the Rev. Thompson Mitchell as pastor. A brick church was erected, which was destroyed by a storm. It was then decided to erect a new frame building at Belleville, which was begun and finished in 1844. The Rev. Jacob Gruber succeeded the Rev. Mr. Mitchell. He was followed by the ministers on the circuit. The Rev. Mr. Memminger is now the pastor.
The land on which the town now stands was the property of David Zook, and in the year 1832 he procured the services of Joseph Haffley, a surveyor, to lay out fourteen lots, each containing one-fourth of an acre, with a view of selling them at moderate prices to mechanics and laborers. To this plot he gave the name of Mechanicsville. The lots were soon sold and others have been added. In 1834 the Lutheran Church was erected, and, soon after, the school-house. The town at present contains twenty-three dwelling and about one hundred inhabitants. The history of the Lutheran Church is here given.
ST. JOHN'S EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH. - This congregation was organized in 1834 as All Souls Lutheran Church, with the Rev. Charles Kyle as pastor. A class of thirty-one members were confirmed. The following is a list of pastors, with terms of service.
Rev. Charles Kyle, from 1834-1839; Rev. Christian Lepley, from July 4, 1839, to January, 1840; Rev. --- Heister; Rev. Adam Height, from January 1, 1845, to April 1, 1849; Rev. George Sill, from April 1, 1849, to March, 1855; Rev. Jacob B. Crist, from 1855 to 1857; Rev. J. N. Burkett, from 1857 to 1859; Rev. John C. Lunger, from 1859 to Mary 6, 1861; Rev. J. M. Steck, from August 2, 1861, to January, 1870;
628 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
Rev. J. M. Rice, from August 1, 1870, to 1875; Rev. David Z. Foulk, from August, 1875, to 1879; Rev. J. M. Steck, from 1879 to August, 1883; Rev. C. W. Heisler, from October 18, 1883, to the present time.
The corner-stone of the first church edifice was laid August 2, 1834, with appropriate services by the Rev. Dr. Lochman, Rev. Mr. Martin and the pastor. The building was of brick, forty-five by thirty-five feet. Contract was made with John Koser for its erection, for the sum of eight hundred dollars. The edifice was completed, dedicated and used until 1880.
In the spring of 1879 agitation was begun for the erection of a new church edifice and it was fully decided to build, and preparations were made and the material was on the ground. On the 5th of March, 1880, a high wind occurred and the church building was unroofed and the west end blown in. The Presbyterian and Methodist congregations of Belleville offered to the society the use of their churches, which was accepted for service once in two weeks. A lot had been selected on the main road and on the top of the hill about fifteen or twenty rods from where the old church stood. The corner-stone of the new building was laid June 12, 1880, with impressive sermons conducted by the pastor, the Rev. J. M. Steck, the Rev. R. M. Campbell, of the Lutheran Church of Lewistown, who preached sermons appropriate to the occasion. The church was completed in the fall and early winter of 1880, and dedicated, December 12th in that year, as St. John's Evangelical Church at Mechanicsville. It was built of brick, forty by sixty-five feet, with a steeple one hundred and seven feet in height from the base. The entire cost of the edifice, including two organs, was eight thousand dollars.
In 1853 a dwelling and lot was purchased for a parsonage, which was used until 1883, when it was decided by the church council of the entire Belleville charge that a new parsonage should be erected at Mechanicsville on the west side of the church. Contract was awarded to Mr. Owen Coplin, of Milroy, for the erections of parsonage and stable, at a cost of one thousand five hundred and forty dollars, which however, did not complete, as additional work to the amount of three hundred dollars was put upon it. The old parsonage and lot were sold in December, 1883. The grave-yard, which was a part of the old church lot, is still used.
KISHACOQUILLAS MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY. - This company was incorporated by the courts of Mifflin County February 9, 1854, for the purpose of insurance in this and surrounding townships in the Kishacoquillas Valley. The office is located at Belleville. Since the organization of the company there have been assessments made to the amount of $31,670.67; the amount of losses paid during that time was &25,996.34. The number of policies in force December 31, 1884, was four hundred and eighty-nine. The amount of premium notes held by the company on policies issued and in force is $49,971. The total value of property insured is &1,191,849.
The present officers and directors are Henry P. Taylor, president; G. Gibboney, secretary; R. J. McNitt, Ner Thompson, John P. Taylor, William B. Kyle, Joseph H. Maclay, Nicholas Hartzler.
JOHN W. WILSON.
John Wilson was born September 26, 1751, at Newtown-Limavaddy, on the Row-Water, Londerry County, Ireland. This was his home until September, 1770, when, at the age of nineteen years, he emigrated to the United States of America, landing at New Castle, Del., and one month after he settled two miles west of Reedsville, Kishacoquillas Valley, Mifflin (then Cumberland) County, Pa. He soon after moved ten miles farther west, in the same valley, into what is now Menno township, where he engaged in farming. This was his home for sixty-two years. Here he died September 11, 1832, aged nearly eight-one years.
He became a member of the Presbyterian Church in his native land, and brought a certificate of membership with him to his adopted
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 629
country, uniting with the Presbyterian Church of West Kishacoquillas, in which he became a ruling elder, holding the office until his death, a period of about forty years.
He married, in 1782, Margaret Fleming, who was born at Fagg's Manor, Chester County, Pa., December 17, 1764, and who died June 2, 1829, aged sixty-four years, five months and sixteen days. Her father's name was John Fleming, and her mother's maiden-name was Mary Hays. They had twelve children who lived to adult age, - eight sons and four daughters, viz.:
David, born September 11, 1783, died June 11, 1822. He was unmarried.
Mary, born September 30, 1785, who married Richard Allison, and died October 8, 1852.
Ann, born August 28, 1787, who married William Hazlet, and died December 29, 1837.
Sarah, born July 17, 1789, who married Robert Reed, and died August 14, 1850.
John, born July 3, 1791, who married Mary Scott, and died March 12, 1870. His wife died September 22, 1878, aged seventy-one years.
James, born August 22, 1793, who married Jane Hope, sister of Rev. Matthew B. Hope, D.D., missionary to China, and afterwards secretary of the General Assembly's Board of Education, then professor in Princeton College, New Jersey. She having died May 26, 1829, he married Isabella Stewart. Died Jan. 6, 1837.
George, born May 28, 1795, who married Nancy Taylor February 22, 1821, and died August 19, 1862. His wife died November 3, 1877.
Margaret, born July 2, 1897, married James Wilson March 20, 1825, a resident of Dauphin County, Pa. She died February 18, 1848. They had three sons and two daughters. James, the eldest son, a cavalry man, was killed at Hartsville, Tenn., in the Civil War. Samuel R. was wounded in the same war at Fort
630 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
Blakley, near Mobile, Ala., while in command as a prominent officer, leading his men in an engagement, dying eight hours after the amputation of his leg. He was a graduate of Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, and had the gospel ministry in view. John F., the second son, was a graduate of the same college, a captain of a company in the same war, seriously wounded at Vicksburg, Miss.; left for dead, but rising, walked to his tent, being carefully nursed for three months by his brother Samuel R.; he measurably recovered, though losing an eye and having an arm permanently disabled. He was commissioned judge advocate of Old Virginia by President Lincoln. Became postmaster, under President Grant, at Lynchburg, Va., for eight years. He is now an attorney and engaged in other business. Thus the Union cause in the Civil War was well served by these three brothers.
William, born August 28, 1799, married Eleanor Baily January 21, 1823, and died March 14, 1881. He was commissioned a major of the militia, and was a member of the Legislature of Pennsylvania. His wife died October 13, 1848, in the forty-sixth year of her age. His second wife was Mrs. Rebecca Gonzales. She died January 1, 1875, aged fifty-seven years, nine months and twenty-two days.
Thomas Jefferson, born November 18, 1801, married Margaret Fleming, and died ---. They had three sons - John F., Joseph C., Thomas J. - and four daughters, - Elizabeth, Margaret, Sarah and Matilda.
Samuel, born September 24, 1804, began his academical education at Mifflintown, Juniata County, Pa.; graduated at Jefferson College, Pa., September, 1828; studied theology at Princeton Theological Seminary; was licensed by the Presbytery of Huntingdon, at Huntingdon, Pa., April 5, 1831; preached the following Sabbath at Alexandria, in the same county, and was there ordained and installed pastor, continuing to preach until illness from bronchitis compelled him to cease, June, 1837. At the urgent request of prominent men in Uniontown, Fayette County, Pa., the same year, he started a female seminary and also a boy's school, which he conducted until April 1, 1840, when called to the pastorate of Dunlap's Creek and McClellandtown Churches. The labor being too great for him, in May, 1869, he removed to El Paso, Ill., where he served the church until October 1, 1872, when, November 7, 1872, he removed to Bloomington, Ill., and served the church of Normal for three years. He preached as an evangelist, living at Streator, Ill., for four years; then removed to Fairfield, Iowa, September 23, 1881, where he still lives, having completed his eighty-first year September 24, 1885.
He married Anna Maria Rodgers, of Mount Pleasant, Pa., who still lives. He received from Jefferson College the degree of Doctor of Divinity. Their children were six sons and two daughters, - three sons were graduates of college; tow sons and one daughter are living. John F., a captain in the Union Army, was shot through both arms at Gettysburg. He was wounded in the thigh while captain in command of his company, supporting General Sheridan in an engagement; his limb was amputated, but he died in the hospital at City Point April 15, 1865, five hours before President Lincoln was assassinated. He was buried at Dunlap's Creek, Pa. James G. Wilson is a banker at Streator, Ill. Rev. Joseph Rodgers Wilson, D. D., is a professor in Parsons College, Fairfield, Iowa.
Robert Fleming, youngest of the twelve children, born February 9, 1808, began his education for the ministry, but died September 30, 1824.
John Wilson had a brother David, who came from Ireland with him, and married a Miss Black, of Stone Valley, Huntingdon County, Pa., and lived but a short time.
He had two sisters who, with their husbands, also came over to America in company with him and his brother.
Elizabeth had married a Mr. --- Gettys. John and Joseph were their sons. The
husband dying, she married William Fleming, and William, John, Joseph, Martin,
Margaret (wife of Thomas I. Wilson) and Elizabeth (wife of Dr. William R.
Finley) were their children.
Anna had married a Mr. McNitt families settled in Kishaco-
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 631
quillas Valley, and among the children of the McNitt family were Ann, who married Ephraim Clark, and after his death she became the second wife of William Hazlet. Mary became the second wife of her cousin, John Gettys. Margaret married John Shadle. Elizabeth and Nancy were unmarried. James was killed at a wedding, being thrown from a horse.
Sarah married Hugh Laird, and died at Port Royal, Pa., March 15, 1885, in her eightieth year, in the family of her daughter, Mrs. Robert A. Robison.
George Wilson, at the age of twenty-five, married, February 22, 1821, Nancy, a daughter of Robert Taylor, of the same valley, where they took up their residence on one of his father's farms in Menno township, known as the "Three Spring Farm," of which he became the owner, and where he lived until his death, August 19, 1862. His wife survived him until November 3, 1877. She was born November 27, 1802.
His age was sixty-seven years, two months and twenty-two days, and hers was seventy-four years, eleven months and seven day. Their children we five sons and four daughters.
Jefferson Taylor, who married Sarah Ann Gonzales. Their children are Harry G. (now of Kansas), Rebecca G., George T., Robert M. and Nannie T.
Farming is his occupation, owning, besides the farm on which he lives, several in Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.
John Williamson, of whom an account will appear hereafter.
Robert Fleming, a Presbyterian minister, graduate of Jefferson College, of Princeton Theological Seminary; licensed at Huntingdon, Pa., by the Presbytery of Huntingdon, June 14, 1854; ordained in McKeesport, Pa., November 20, 1856; pastor of First Church there eleven years; afterwards pastor of Bedford Church, Bedford, Pa., ten years; pastor of Port Royal Church past seven and a half years, and still there. He married, September 24, 1856, Elizabeth C., second daughter of Hon. James McCullough, Cannonsburg, Pa. Their children are Nannie Eliza (wife of Horace Brady Robinson, chief engineer of the National Transit Oil Company, Bradford, Pa.), James McCullough, cashier of Everett (Pa.), Bank, Anna Margaret and Mary Josephine.
Margaret Jane, wife of Andrew W. Campbell, for some years a farmer, but living at his leisure at present. Lizzie M. is their only daughter living. They have one dead.
Miles Cooper, a graduate of Jefferson College and of Princeton Seminary; licensed by the Presbytery of Huntingdon; for many years a teacher; preached a number of places, and died June 15, 1870, while preaching in the church of Sidney, Iowa. He was unmarried.
Henry Smith, a farmer and extensive owner of lands in Kansas and Nebraska, as well as of a fine farm in Mifflin County, on which he lives. He married Sarah Elizabeth Fleming. Their children are George T. (deceased), N. Amie, Jennie T., James M., Richard and Joseph F.
Nancy Ann, unmarried.
Rhoda Mary, who married Joseph W. Fleming, a farmer, then merchant, sheriff of Mifflin County, and now farming near Lewistown. Their children are Nannie T., George, John, Mary and Stella, with one deceased.
Sarah Reed, who married John A. Campbell, a farmer.
George Wilson and his wife and their children, with the husbands and wives of those married, became members of the Presbyterian Church of West Kishacoquillas, except Rev. R. F. Wilson's wife, who was a member at Cannonsburg.
Jefferson T., John W. and Henry S. became farmers. John W. was born June 23, 1823, on a farm where his father lived and died, which is now owned by the eldest son, Jefferson T., and cultivated by him. The neighboring public school furnished him all the education he received in his youth. He and his older brother became interested in the work of the farm, and were thus invaluable assistants to their father. In 1847 he married Margaret N., daughter of 'Squire James Wills, of the adjoining township of Union. One year after he rented a farm in Menno township from his uncle, John Wilson, on which he remained fourteen years, cultivating its productive acres, to the profit and satisfaction of his uncle and himself.
632 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
The health of his wife failing, he was obliged to give up farming. At the urgent solicitation of his mother-in-law, he, with his family, moved to her home to reside, his wife's death occurring soon after.
Their children were two daughters - R. Tillie (Mrs. James C. Fleming, of Tama County, Iowa), and N. Ida (Mrs. M. F. Kenyon, of Humboldt County, Iowa), and three sons, deceased, - George T., James J. and an infant. Mr. Wilson's father had purchased, some years before his death, an adjoining farm, which, with the one formerly in his possession, on which he lived, he left at his death to Jefferson T., John W. and Henry S. John W. sold his interest to these two brothers, and purchased a farm a mile distant, adjoining the mill and farms of the McClellands (Robert, William and Jane).
This farm was, in early days, noted for a fort, where invaluable protection was afforded from the Indians during the stirring scenes of those times.
After occupying this farm for nineteen years, he sold it in 1884. Some two years before he had become the owner of one of the McClelland farms near by. He also has several farms in Iowa and Nebraska. He now resides near Belleville, Mifflin County, Pa., not specially engaged in business other than the general care and oversight of his farms. On the 6th of December, 1866, Major John W. Wilson married Elizabeth A., daughter of Benjamin Garver, Esq., of Kishacoquillas Valley, whose children are Bettie L. and John Taylor. He was always interested in military matters, and was an officer of the Mifflin County Cavalry for a number of years. Subsequently the Governor of the State commissioned him as a major. When the State, during the late war, needed defense from invading foes, he was among the first to volunteer his services, and materially aided the Union cause. He is in politics a Republican, and has held various offices in his township.
As executor of wills, administrator of estates, guardian and in other positions where intelligence and integrity are demanded, his services have often been sought. He is a member of the Patrons of Husbandry and a director in the Kishacoquillas Turnpike Company. For many years he has been an acting elder in the West Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church, of which his wife and daughter, Bettie L., are members.
Never having used, in any form, tobacco or intoxicating liquors, he is earnestly in favor of temperance, and still enjoys good health.
JOHN HAYES, SR.
John Hayes is of Irish descent, Andrew, his father, having married, in his native land, Jane Alcorn, and with his wife emigrated before the war of the American Revolution, and settled in Lancaster, Pa. Their children were Robert, Thomas, Edward, Andrew, John, Frank, William Henry, Sally and a child who died in youth.
Their son John, the subject of this biographical sketch, was born March 6, 1797, in Lancaster County, when he remained until twenty years of age, meanwhile enjoying such instruction as was imparted at the common schools. Being desirous to become master of a trade, he chose that of a plasterer, first pursuing his craft at home and afterward for two years in Centre County. He was, on the 25th of August, 1824, married to Jane, daughter of John Alexander, of Mifflin County, a descendant of Hugh Alexander, of County Armagh, in Ireland. Her birth occurred March 11, 1803. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Hayes are William, born July 2, 1825; Henry, November 3, 1826; John, July 9, 1828; Francis, March 1, 1830; Josiah, April 1, 1833; Jane Ann, July 19, 1838; William James, October 20, 1843. Of this number William died in 1838, Jane Ann in 1843 and Francis in 1866. The death of Mrs. Hayes occurred on the 10th of January, 1883. Mr. Hayes, in 1824, made Mifflin County his home, and having already established a reputation for skill in his trade, found his services much in demand. After a period of nearly thirty years thus industriously spent, he purchased the farm he now resides upon, and aided
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 633
By the labor of his sons, cultivated and greatly improved it. This
land, together with an adjoining farm, are now worked by his sons James and
Josiah. A Democrat in politics, Mr. Hays had frequently been tendered, but
invariable declined office, though often importuned to become a candidate for
important posts. He was educated in the faith of the Protestant Episcopal
Church, though a contributor to all Christian denominations.
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