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.


Granville Township

by Walter L. Owens


GRANVILLE township was erected from the western part of Derry in1838. No account of petition or report for its erection appears in the court records, and it first was recognized as an independent township at the April sessions of court in that year. It is bounded by Union and Brown on the northwest, Derry on the northeast, Juniata County on the southeast and Oliver and Bratton townships on the southwest. The Juniata River flows through it and several tributaries drain the township northerly and southerly.

At the time Granville was made a separate township, in 1838, it contained two hundred and three taxables and the following industries other than farming: David Brought, still-house; David W. Hulings, furnace; James McCurdy, tan-yard; Isaac & Joseph Strode, old saw-mill; Amos Strode, grist-mill; Augustine & George Wakefield, grist and saw-mill; John Henry, carding-machine; John McFadden’s heirs, saw-mill; Rev. James Johnston’s heirs, clover and saw-mill.

The early settlers in this township located at the foot of the mountain, of whom William Armstrong was one. A warrant was issued to him the first day warrants were granted from the Land Office (February 3, 1755). His warrant called for ninety-nine acres. Mr. Armstrong lived here, and in 1793 forty-four acres of it were owned by James McCord, who, November 1st of that year, sold it to Philip Minehart, who bought, March 13, 1795, one hundred and seventy-nine acres adjoining, from David Jones, who warranted it May 24, 1794. David Jones had taken up two hundred and ten acres August 1, 1766, and at this time (1794) William, his son, lived on the south of this Minehart land. David Corbin now owns the William Jones farm.


Jacob West was west of the Minehart farm, of which he had purchased a part.

The old Minehart homestead is said to be where Henry Selig’s new house now stands.

The gap in the First Mountain is known as Minehart’s Gap, and the stream is known as Minehart’s Run. In 1798-99, and a few years later, Philip Minehart had a saw-mill on this run. He had a son, George, who settled on the Hope farm, a part of the original Holt estate. John Minehart, a son of George, lives on the east side of the river. Thomas Holt, in 1762, took out a warrant for four hundred acres of land on Brightsfield Run and the Juniata River. He lived near what was later Hope Furnace, and in 1766 purchased other lands. The Rev. Charles Beatty stopped at his house on the night off August 25, 1766, when on his missionary tour through this county. Mr. Holt died before 1798 and left the estate to his children. It was sold in that year to General William Lewis, of Berks County, who at once erected “Hope Furnace.” Part of the Furnace tract was sold to Robert Hope, who lived and died there. His children were Robert, Mary (Mrs. George Davies), Thomas and Eliza. Robert settled in Oliver township. Thomas Evans, in August, 1767, took up a tract of two hundred and forty-eight acres. He was for a short time connected with General Lewis in Hope Furnace. Joseph Swift, of Philadelphia, on April 10, 1755, took up four hundred acres, and April 19 and August 4, 1766, took up six hundred acres in two tracts. This land lays along the Juniata River, in what is now known as the Loop. Andrew Mayes came to Derry township in 1792, and built the stone grist-mill above Lewistown, for many years owned by James Milligan. He sold the property, and March 22, 1811, purchased of John W. and Samuel Swift, sons of Joseph, two tracts of land, one of three hundred and ninety-eight acres, called “Palmyra,” the other of three hundred and nineteen acres, called “Homestead.” The homestead is now owned by the heirs of Judge Samuel Woods. Andrew Mayes had sons,----Andrew, James, William and Matthew. Andrew, the eldest son, lived and died at the homestead. William, a son of Andrew, resides at the homestead and sold it to Joseph Milligan. Matthew settled on part of the home tract and died there. Mrs. George W. Sault is a daughter of Matthew and lives on the tract she inherited from her father.

In 1824 William P. Elliott purchased a part of what was originally the Swift estate, and moved to the place from Lewistown. He remained there until 1841, and returned to Lewistown, where he still resides.

The property now owned by Samuel McCoy was part of one of the large tracts taken up by Joseph Swift, of Philadelphia, August 4, 1766, and contained three hundred and twenty-five acres. It was sold by his heirs to Joseph Matthews in 1815, conveyed it to David Yoder. Later by sheriff’s sale, it passed to Christian King, and in time to Abraham Stutzman, who, October 8, 1836, sold one hundred and forty-seven acres of it to Joseph Trumbull, who came from Concord, Delaware County, where his family had lived for generations, and settled on the place. A daughter became the wife of Dr. Abraham Rothrock, of McVeytown. It lies on the bank of the Juniata River, opposite the Brought farm.

The McFaddens bought a part of the Minehart farm, and Joseph McFadden built a saw-mill on Minehart Run about 1820. The farm is now owned by Sylvester Brought. The mill was abandoned about 1875.

General William Irvine, of Centre County, about 1846, erected on Minehart Run and in Minehart Gap a large saw-mill, half a dozen tenement-houses and a tramway to connect with the railroad at Granville Station. The mill did a flourishing business for fifteen or twenty years, after which time the mill was abandoned.

On the 1st day of August, 1766, Isaac Strode took out a warrant for three hundred acres of land on Brightfield’s Run (now called Strode’s Run). In 1793 Joseph Strode erected on the run and on the Strode tract a saw-mill and a grist-mill. On the 13th of December, 1800, Joseph Strode and Jesse Evans advertised that they had erected a new fulling-mill on Brightfield’s Run, and in the Western Star, published at Lewistown, they advertised that “cloth will be


received for this mill at the house of Mr. Jacob Walters, of Lewistown, and Captain David Davidson, in Mifflintown.” Mr. Walters was postmaster at this time, and Mr. Davidson was tavern-keeper at Mifflintown. This fulling-mill stood below the grist-mill in the hollow, at the crossing of the roads. It was a one-story log building; the carding-machines were at the grist-mill above. The fulling-mill was abandoned about forty years ago, and was fitted as a foundry and machine-shop by Orman Whitworth, who continued in business for twenty years, manufacturing plows and casting. It has long since disappeared. The grist-mill is still in use, having had repairs many times. A saw-mill is above the grist-mill. The sons of Joseph Strode were Amos, Joseph, George and Isaac. They all settled at the place, and at present Joseph Strode, a son of Amos, owns part of the original tract, the grist-mill and a store across the run, in Oliver township. Andrew and Isaac Strode, sons of Joseph, occupy the old homestead. Two daughters of George Strode live on part of the tract.

James Lyon emigrated from Ireland in 1763, and in 1768 was in possession of two hundred acres of land near what is now Anderson Station. On March 4, 1787, he took out a warrant for one hundred acres, and again, July 9, 1787, another hundred. James Lyon lived and died on the land he located, and left seven children----William, Margaret, Elizabeth, Nancy, Isabella, Mary and James----of whom Margaret, his second child, married John Oliver, who located near the Lyon homestead, now Oliver township. William, the eldest son, warranted four hundred acres of land March12, 1794, and lived on the present Silas Glasgow farm. He married Rebecca Graham and died in 1827. He left the farm to his son, George A., who lived there for a time and moved to Union township, and was also in business from 1843 to 1847 in McVeytown. George married, for a second wife, Sidney, the youngest daughter of Judge John Oliver. She is now living at McVeytown. A daughter, Ann Eliza, married Stewart Turbett, of Tuscarora Valley, and settled there. James, another son of William, settled on a farm on the north side of the river, which his father owned, and died there. Elizabeth, a daughter of James Lyon, Sr., married Enoch McVey, a brother of John McVey, the founder of McVeytown. They settled there for a short time and moved to Ohio. Nancy and Isabella (twins) each married a John Patterson, cousins, and of the Pattersons of Juniata County, where they settled and died. Mary became the wife of Robert Forsythe, of Derry township, and settled on the farm at the foot of Jack’s Mountain, which Robert Forsythe, his father, purchased in 1817. James, the youngest son, settled in Bedford County. David Steel, on the 21st of October, 1777, purchased a tract of land along the Juniata River, in Derry township (now Granville), of James Armstrong. In 1786 he took out a warrant for one hundred acres adjoining, and a year later bought one hundred acres which had been warranted by William Armstrong in January, 1786.

David Steel erected on his farm a tavern house which was known far and near as “Rob Roy.” It was built against the bank and was entered from the ground on both floors. It is related of some roysterers that at one time one of them rode horseback in on the lower floor, up the stairs and out the upper door into the orchard. David Steel died in 1821 and left “Rob Roy” and thirty acres to his son William, who kept the tavern several years. It stood where Abraham Hufferd now lives, and the old tavern was kept by him for a time.

David Steel left to his son Alexander ninety-four acres where he then lived. This property, April1, 1836, was sold to Owen Owens, who lived there many years. David Steel left fourteen acres of the homestead to John Steel, his son, and other lands to Thomas and Mary. Thomas lived and died in the township, where his son Jacob now lives, at the foot of the mountain.

Andrew McKee, of Cumberland County, laid a warrant for one hundred and fifteen acres in what is now Granville township, December 9, 1784. The farm is now owned by Harvey McKee. He had two sons Robert and Thomas and a daughter who married Robert Means. J.A. McKee, of Lewistown, is a son of Thomas R. David McKee about the same


time came into Ferguson Valley. He settled on the line between Granville and Oliver.


HUGE McKEE is the son of William McKee, who was descended from Scotch-Irish parents, and served both in the War of the Revolution and in that of 1812. He emigrated from Cumberland County, PA, to Nittany Valley, Centre County, in the same State, having married Sarah Jane Taylor, whose children were William, a resident of Penn’s Valley, Centre County; Samuel, who resided in Nittany Valley; Hugh, the subject of this biography; Sarah, wife of Jacob Bergstresser; Elizabeth (Mrs. Samuel McGau), and Polly (Mrs. James Crooks). William, who was a native of Nittany Valley, early learned the trade of a chair-maker, while Samuel became a skillful blacksmith. William had six children, as did also his brother, Samuel, who married Jane McKinney. Their attention was, in later years, given to farming in which they achieved success; they were both representative citizens.

Hugh McKee was born in July, 1798, on the homestead, in Nittany Valley, and having, at an early age, been left without a mother’s protecting care, was bound out to George Woods, which period of service continued for seven years. About the year 1820, having been released from further service to Mr. Woods, he removed to Mifflin County, and was employed by David McKee, who resided in Ferguson Valley, Granville township, of that county. Mr. McKee subsequently secured a lease of the farm of the latter, and, at the expiration of the seventh year, rented the farm of John Oliver, in Bratton township, of the same county, which after cultivating for three years, he purchased. Preferring his early location in Ferguson Valley, he in 1839, purchased the David McKee property, now owned by his son, George, where he resided until his death, on the 25th of August, 1870.

Hugh McKee was, in 1826, married to Margaret Hannawalt, daughter of George Hannawalt,


of Wayne township, Mifflin County. Their children are George, married to Ann Elizabeth Corney, who has ten children; William (deceased); Margaret Ann (deceased); Sarah Jane (Mrs. J. Strode McKee, deceased); Andrew J. (deceased); Susan; Mary (Mrs. Scott Caldwell), who has three children; and Anne.

Mr. McKee, though by inclination a farmer, engaged in various business enterprises, having, for many years, been engaged in conducting a saw-mill. He also acquired much real estate, which was greatly improved, spacious barns and attractive dwellings having been erected on the ground.

Mr. McKee was an active politician and a firm believer in the principles of his party, which honored him with distinguished office. He was elected, during the sessions of 1849 and 1850, to the State Legislature, and served on various important committees. He also held various minor positions in the county of his adoption. He was frequently called to positions of trust, and at various times acted as guardian and trustee. In his religious prefences he was Presbyterian and a willing supporter of that denomination.

The land at Strunk’s and its vicinity was part of a large tract taken up by Charles Cox, of Philadelphia. In the year 1796, James Alexander made an article of agreement with Mr. Cox for land at the mill-site, and on which he erected a grist and saw-mill. Mr. Alexander continued these mills until 1818, when he sold his rights to Isaiah Wills, who built a warehouse in 1820, near where the acqueduct now is. While finishing this building he was killed by a fall from the scaffolding. His executors sold the property to Andrew Junkin, who, in 1823, conveyed it to Caspar Dull, who operated it until 1831, when Daniel Stutzman purchased it, and in1833 it was sold to David Brooks. On the 3rd of April, 1837, Augustine and George Wakefield became the purchasers; under them the old mill was abandoned and the new and present mill built. They operated it for about fifteen years. It is now owned by William and Albert Strunk.

Joseph Keneagy owned a farm east of the Lyon tract before 1830, now owned by Rudolph Kline and Frank McCoy.

Owen Owens came to Lewistown from Middletown, Dauphin County, in 1812, when seven years of age. He was a blacksmith by trade, and moved to Wayne township (now Oliver), at what is now Lockport, and in 1829 opened the three locks for the first time for boats to pass through. He remained at the place four or five years and moved to a farm which James Shepherd recently owned. In 1861 he moved to what is now Granville, on the McFadden farm. In 1865 Walter Owens opened a store at Granville. It was made a passenger station in 1866, and the same year a post-office was established as Granville; the place was known before as Wolfkill’s Siding.

James Gemmel received a warrant for three hundred acres of land January 23, 1767, which was assessed to John Gemmel in 1768. On the 17th of June 1774, he received a patent for it, called “Kilmarnock,” containing three hundred and five acres. On the 8th of June, 1809, he received a patent for another tract of one hundred and fifty-seven acres, called “Mount Equity.” John Gemmel was one of the trustees of the Presbyterian congregation who purchased two acres of land of David Steel in 1781. He had a son, Thomas, who studied law and was admitted to practice in Mifflin County in 1802. Another son, John, was a clergyman in Chester County, to whom the farm descended. On the 13th of March, 1813, the Rev. John Gemmel sold the four hundred and sixty-two acres to Jacob Comfort, of Columbia, Lancaster County. He had been in the Revolution, and, at this time, settled on the place, where he died. His sons were John, Jacob, Samuel and Nathaniel, who settled in the township and at Lewistown. After the father’s death the place passed to Judge Samuel S. Woods, and is now owned by William Satzler and Samuel Rittenhouse.

John Cever, before 1770, settled on a large tract of land on Kelly’s Run, in Granville township, and died before 1773. The property was divided, in 1774, into three parts, between three of his sons Peter, Samuel and John. In 1816 it was owned by Peter, John, Samuel and Robert. A saw-mill was on Samuel’s land in


1800, and some years later. It is now owned by Joseph McFadden and Robert A. Means.

On the 19th of January, 1792, Abraham Miller took out a warrant for one hundred acres of the land on Juniata River, embracing what is now Granville Station. This he sold, in 1811, to Daniel Brought, who, in 1798, came from Lititz, Lancaster County, to Richfield, Juniata County, where he rented a farm and lived until he purchased the land of Abraham Miller. His father, David Brought, was an officer of the Hessians, and was captured at Trenton N.J., in 1776. He was sent, with others, to Lititz, Lancaster County, and, liking the country and to escape being exchanged, he ran away and came to Juniata County. At the close of the Revolution he returned to Lititz and rented a farm there. He was joined in 1795 by his wife and sons, Daniel and David, who came from Germany to settle with him. Daniel, who came to what is now Greenville, in 1811, died in 1818, and left six children- David, John, Daniel, George, Ann and Mary. David married Jane Steel, a daughter of one of the early families. John became a farmer, and purchased large tracts of land in the township, and at his death owned nine hundred acres. Daniel became the owner of “Panther Spring” farm. His descendants own large tracts of land in the township.

George, the fourth son of Daniel, settled in the township where his descendants now reside.
Ann, a daughter of Daniel, became the wife of James Wilson, and settled in the county.
Her sister, Mary, married George Sellers, and also settled in the county.

Of those who took up lands on warrant in what is now the township of Granville are the following:
William Armstrong, February 3, 1755.
James Armstrong, April 10, 1755, 282 acres.
Thomas Holt, June 8, 1762, 150 acres; August 29, 1766, 300 acres.
Ephraim Blaine, August 11, 1766, 250 acres.
Isaac Strode, August 1, 1766, 300 acres.
Daniel Jones, September 1, 1766, 150 acres; August 1, 1766, 210 acres.
James Brown, June 8, 1762, 400 acres; April 9, 1766, 300 acres; August 4, 1766, 300 acres.
William Lloyd, November 30, 1765, 216 acres.
James Longwell, August 20, 1766, 100 acres.
Thomas Evans, August 17, 1767, 248 acres.
James Edwards, march 12, 1785, 200 acres.
George Bratton, January 6, 1786, 400 acres.
Thomas Holt and Andrew Gregg, February 4, 1788, 150 acres.
Daniel Jones, May 23, 1794.
John Brown, June 17, 1793, 300 acres.
Charles Magill, June 17, 1793, 300 acres.
Abraham Miller, January 19, 1792, 100 acres.
Thomas Martin, April 25, 1794, 50 acres.
John Baum, July 5, 1790, 50 acres.
Frederick Baum, November 30, 1793, 100 acres; 1794, 50 acres.
John Baum, March 31, 1791, 200 acres.

Of the following names nothing has been ascertained: James Brown, William Lloyd, James Longwell, James Edward and Charles Magill. Ephraim Blaine was a non-resident and lived in Carlisle. John Brown was a son of Judge William brown and purchased land for ore. The land of Thomas Evans became, with the Holt lands, a part of the Furnace lands of General William Lewis. George Bratton resided in Harrisburg and died there. A Benjamin Chambers appears as a warrantee in 1793. Robert Chambers was trustee of the Presbyterian Church also, and Thomas Martin was a resident of this section evidently before 1780, and in 1794 took up other lands. Of the Baums nothing is known.

“HOPE FURNACE” General William Lewis, of Berks County, began the purchase of land in what is now Granville township in June, 1797, with a view of establishing a furnace. He purchased of the heirs of Thomas Holt a tract of four hundred acres which had been warranted in 1762-66, on the bank of the Juniata River, and extending along on Brightfield’s Run, which was soon after his purchase known as the “Furnace Tract.” Thomas Evans was associated with him, and in a mortgage of June 2, 1798, there is mentioned the Ore-Bank lot, also bought from the heirs of Thomas Holt; there was “subject to be paid forty pounds to each of the eight heirs of Thomas Holt in cast-iron one year after the furnace is in blast on the aforesaid described tract.” In all previous accounts of the furnace it has been stated that it was built in


1807, but an examination of the assessment roll of Derry township for the year1798 shows that William Lewis was assessed in that year on four hundred and thirty acres of land, a furnace and as an iron-master, which is conclusive evidence that it was built or building in that year. In 1806-7 he is assessed on a furnace and a saw-mill. The furnace was operated by James Blaine, of Perry County (who was his son-in-law), and who operated also mount Vernon Forge, on Cocolamus Creek, in Greenwood township, Perry County, which was built by General Lewis in 1804. The furnace was named “Hope Furnace,” and was situated about two miles from the Juniata River and about six miles from Lewistown. In 1810 R. Good was associated with him, and the property belonging to the estate was five hundred and thirty acres. Mr. Lewis died in 1811, and on the 24th of April, 1812, his executors, General John Bratton, William W. Laird and Ellen Lewis, offered the property for sale, with four hundred acres of land in Derry township. It was not sold at that time, and David McConahey and William W. Laired, who had formed a partnership before this and were operating it, continued until May 23, 1812, when the firm was dissolved and William W. Laird continued for several years. In 1817 it was operated by Blaine, Walker & Co., and for several years, when it was leased to different parties for different periods.

The furnace and property remained in possession of the heirs of William Lewis until the year 1830, when it was sold to David W. Hulings, Esq. It then contained two tracts of land, one of six hundred and forty acres, the other, on which the furnace was standing, of fourteen hundred and twenty acres. A part of the Furnace tract is still in possession of his descendants. It was refitted by Mr. Hulings and operated several years, with John R. Weeks as manager. Stoves were cast there also, and many are yet in existence having the brand “Hulings’ Hope Furnace.” In 1846 the furnace was leased by A.B. Long & Brothers, who rebuilt the furnace with a ten-feet bosh in that year, and in 1848 they were manufacturing chair-castings for the Pennsylvania road, then building. They dissolved partnership April 12, 1849, as far as operations at Hope Furnace were concerned, and soon after sold the material on hand.

On the 13th of November, 1854, articles of agreement were made between Gordon G. Williams, assignee of David W. Hulings, and Willis W. Hopper, Ellison A. Hopkins, James Murray and Henry R. Hazlehurst, partners of the firm of Murray & Hazlehurst, of Baltimore, Md., for the lease of “all the Old Hope Furnace site, houses and lands.” In the year1856 the Hope Furnace Company was incorporated, composed of the above persons and others. James Murray was president, A. R. Woods treasurer, and Willis W. Hopper manager. The furnace was refitted and operated by the company from that time to 1860, when it was abandoned and the lease given up. The site of the furnace is still in possession of the Hulings estate.

FOUNDRIES In 1873 Henry Selick, of Ferguson’s Valley, purchased a farm south of Granville village from Miss Mary McKee, and erected thereon a foundry, machine-shop and blacksmith-shop. Here he manufactured several patterns of plows of his own invention.

SCHOOLS Of the first school-houses of the township but little definite information can be obtained. Most of them were built by the citizens, the ground donated without any agreement or deed, and consequently but little can be learned except from the older citizens. The first house of which we have any knowledge, in the locality of Granville village, was a log structure built by the citizens on the site of the house now owned by F.A. McCoy. The land was then a part of the Wertz tract. This house was occupied as a school-house as early as 1830. About 1840 a house was built on the present site, the land being donated by john McFadden and the school being called the McFadden school. This house was replaced by the present one in 1860.

In 1870 the district was divided and a house built on a lot purchased from David Corbin, which is still occupied. An old house stood on the bank of Granville Run, which was replaced by the present one in 1859. The lot was purchased


from James Burns, and later deeded September 27, 1862. (In this house I taught my first term, in 1859.) There was an old house in the western end of the township, near to Strode’s Mills, but there is no record of it. The basement of the Presbyterian Church was occupied as a school-room for a number of years, when the site of the present house was purchased from Joseph Strode, Sr., in August, 1861. This house stands on the bank of Strode’s Run, about midway between the old pike and Strode’s mill. About the middle of the township (east and west), and on the north side of the Juniata River, was situated a log house of which there is no record, and which had not been occupied as a school house later than 1840. In its stead a log house was erected about a mile farther west, on land purchased from John Hoffman, August 6, 1840. This was used for school purposes until 1855, when a stone house was built near to the site of the old log house mentioned above, on land leased from Frank Thompson. This house was replaced one year ago (1844) by a substantial double plank house. About two miles east of the above house is one formerly known as the Loop, but now called the Mayes’ School. It was built on the corner of the Matthew Mayes’ farm. Of this school there is no record. The writer attended school here in 1845.

It was an old house at that time. A new building was erected on the old site in1868, and is still occupied. In March, 1853, the board of directors bought from the board of Lewistown a lot of ground situated north of the borough of Lewistown, and erected a building which is still occupied, but is in a dilapidated condition. The first school-house, known as Aurand’s, in Ferguson’s Valley, nearly opposite Lewistown, was replaced by the present building in 1860. This, in connection with one farther up the valley, known as the McKee school-house, are the only two in the valley.

In 1874 a lot was purchased from James Burns, at Lewistown Junction, and a frame house erected thereon. It was the first house in the township in which there were used the patent desk. There are now five houses supplied with them. There has been a marked improvement in school-houses and school furniture the past thirty years. The first houses were built of logs, nearly square, with ceilings scarcely seven feet high. The houses now built, though not fully up to the standard of first-class houses, are generally well-proportioned, substantially built and arranged for the comfort of both teachers and pupils. There are at present ten schools in Granville township. According to last year’s statistics, there were two hundred and thirteen male pupils and one hundred and sixty female pupils----total, three hundred and seventy-three, with an average attendance of two hundred and forty-seven, and an average percentage of attendance of eighty-six.

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH The history of the church here given has passed from the memory of all except William P. Elliott, of Lewistown. The facts here given are from official records and from his memory of the old church. It is not mentioned by the Presbytery unless embraced in the Upper and Centre Wayne congregations, of which Mr. Stephens was pastor, and who resided in what is now Bratton township.

On the 24th of May, 1781, David Steel conveyed to James Huston, Thomas Martin, John Gemmel and Robert Chambers, trustees of the Presbyterian congregation, two acres of land on the north side of the Juniata River, in consideration of “fiveteen bushels of good, sufficient merchantable wheat,” with “the privilege of the use of the head of the spring of water arising on the northwest side of said fore-mentioned tract or lot of ground, and also for liberty of a road from said tract to the present landing of him, the said David Steel, and what other roads may be necessary for the other parts of the said congregation to come from the great tradeing road to the said lott or tract of ground, said road to be laid out where they may be the most convenient to the people and do least damage to him the said David Steel; likewise the said David Steel doth grant as much timber as will be sufficient to built a house of worship and study house on said tract or lott of ground, and to allow privilege of fire-wood from time to time and at times that may be necessary for the use of said house of worship and study house.”


Upon this lot a log church was built and a grave-yard inclosed. It is now in the farm of James Shephard. In 1836, when Owen Owens became the purchaser of the farm, the logs of the church were still there, about three or four high. The burial-ground contains many graves, and among them the families of Armstrong, Lyons, Minehart, Steel Rittenhouse, Gemmel and others. The church was in use many years.

William P. Elliott says that the Rev. Matthew Stephens used to preach in this log church, and in the loft of the still-house on Archibald Moore’s farm, now owned by Wm. A. Moore, in Oliver township.

The Rev. Matthew Stephens settled in what is now Bratton township before 1780, where he owned one hundred and twenty-five acres of land adjoining the farm of James Crisswell, the elder, an uncle of Judge James Crisswell. He was one of the ministers present at the organization of the Huntingdon Presbytery, in April, 1795, and at this was not an installed pastor, but held a call from the Upper and Centre congregations in Wayne township, which he had accepted. He requested permission to return the call at Presbytery meeting October 6, 1795, which was granted, and in 1797 he accepted a call from Shaver’s Creek congregation, and soon after moved to that place, where he remained many years and died in 1825. This old church and society are not mentioned in the history of Huntingdon Presbytery, and was a small and weak congregation, and upon the removal of Mr. Stephens was probably not again supplied, and the old church went into ruin.

About 1826 the Methodist circuit preachers began traveling through this section and preached at the school-house on the Steel farm; among them were the Rev. Dr. Mitchell, now of Williamsport, and the Revs. Joseph A. Ross, Tobias Riley, John Bowen and Samuel P. Lilley: they also preached soon after at Lockport, where was built the Ebenezer Church, the first in this section, and which was used by the people in this section until 1882, when the Wesley Chapel, a neat and commodious frame building, was erected near the Granville Station. It is still supplied by circuit preachers.

The oldest church in Granville township is a Presbyterian Church located near Strode’s Mills. It was built in 1848, the ground being purchased from Joseph Strode, Sr. Rev. James Woods, D.D., of Lewistown, was its first pastor. He served the congregation several years previous to the erection of the church and continued to preach for them up to his death, which occurred in June, 1862. It is now supplied from Lewistown.

GRUBER CHAPEL, located on the south side of Juniata River, on land purchased from John Keys and wife, was built under the pastorate of Wm. R. Mills in 1853. It continued to be used until the fall of 1881. The village of Granville having grown up, the body of the congregation was at or near the railroad station, and felt the church should be nearer the body of the community. A movement was inaugurated for the purpose of selecting a site and taking measures for the erection of a new church. The site of the present church was selected and a sale of the old one was almost completed when, on the afternoon of December 20,1881, it was set on fire and burned with all its contents. Measures were at once taken to push the election of the present church. A committee, consisting of W. L. Owens, S. H. McCoy and John Potter, was appointed to superintend the building. The ground was donated by Mrs. Anna C. Brought. The foundation was dug and the wall built by voluntary labor by the citizens. The church was let by contract to F. D. Beyer, of Tyrone, and was dedicated July 23, 1882. It is a neat frame structure of Gothic architecture, thirty by fifty, with a wing on either side, nine by sixteen, used for class and library-rooms.


1844 John Robison      1866 Jacob Breman
1847 William Jennings   1867 Owen Owens
1848 John Cupples    1868 Thomas Mayes
1850 Owen Owens   1869 James Potter
1853 Joseph Brothers   1870 George H. Myers
1855 Owen Owens   1871 J. B. Ecksberger
1858 John Cupples   1872 Andrew C. Strode
1861 John Cupples   1873 Owen Owens
1862 William H. Smith   1874 Alvin Shimp


1875 Albert C. Burns      1880 Albert C. Burns
1876 V. Blake Owens   1881 John W. Ruble
1877 George S. Haines   1882 Albert Strunk
1878 Wm. J. Morrison   1884 Nathan Zimmerman
1879 Andrew Minehart    1885 William Cargill

Mifflin County History Table of Contents

Mifflin County PA USGenWeb Genealogy Project


Copyright 2004-2008. Individual file contributors.  All rights reserved.

This file has been transcribed and contributed for use in Mifflin County USGenWeb by Jana Dress.