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.
By John Swartzell.
MIFFLIN COUNTY 551
By 1769 many settlers had located north of Jack's Mountain, and as that range lay between them and the more thickly-settled portion of the township, they were compelled to cross the mountain to attend elections. To obviate this inconvenience, an effort was made to from a new township, and to this end petitions were sent to the courts of Cumberland County. The following action was taken at the January sessions, 1770:
"Upon reading the petition of several of the inhabitants of Kishachoquillas Great Valley, setting forth that they labour under the Burthen of being in one township with Derry, and as Jack's Mountain lies between the Great Valley and the rest of the township, which cuts away all communication only at the Narrows. The Petitioners therefore humbly prayed that the Court would take them under due consideration and strike the Great Valley off into a township by itself, leaving Jack's Mountain to be the Division line. The Court Do thereupon consider and order that Jack's Mountain aforesaid be the Division line between the township of Derry and the Part struck off from Said township, which is called by the name of Armagh township, allowing the township of Armagh to include Kishachoquillas Narrows to where the Road now crosses Kishachoquillas Creek."
Armagh township was originally part of Derry, which embraced the whole of
what is now Mifflin County from its erection, in January, 1767, to January,
1770, at which time the Cumberland County Court erected all that part of Derry
township lying east of Jack's Mountain as Armagh.
At the March term of Mifflin County Court, in 1790, the township of Union was erected from the west part of Armagh, and in January, 1837, the townships of Armagh and Union were divided, forming Brown and Menno, Brown being taken from Armagh, which was then described as being six and a half miles in length and six miles in width, and "from the Knobs eastward to the Union County line it is uninhabited, being a continuous range of mountains."
The following is a list of the names of persons assessed in 1773, and also shows the number of acres owned by each.
Colonel John Armstrong, 100; James Alexander, 200; James Paxton Alexander, 200; William Brown, Esq., 300; Robert Brotherton, 50; Samuel Beard, 100; Isaac Bole, 100; Edward Beals, 100; Samuel Boswell, 100; James Calhoone, 50; Joseph Coulter, --- ; John Cooper, 100; --- Cochran, 50; John Culbertson, 200; Duncan Cameron, 150; Richard Coots, 300; Charles Cox, 700; Benjamin Chandley (adjoining Beaver Dams) 250; Robert Davidson, 100; Neal Dougherty, 50; William Dickson, 200; James Drinker, 250; Thomas Ewing, 100; William Henry, 950; John McDowell, 200; Joseph McKibbon, 100; James McClure, 100; James More, 100; William Miller (on Lowther Manor), --- ; John Montgomery, Esq., 500; Samuel McClar, 300 (adjoining Colonel Armstrong) and 200 (adjoining James Alexander), Mifflin & Dean 900 (adjoining Lowther Manor); David Nealy, 100; James Reed, 200; John Reed, 100; Edmund Richardson, 200; Joseph Shippen, 200 (mouth of Laurel Run); James Sterrett, 600; Henry Taylor, 100; Mathew Taylor, 100; William Taylor, 50; Samuel Taylor, 250; Samuel Wills, 100;
552 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
Samuel Wallace, 700 (adjoining William Brown); Wallace & Jacobs, 900 (adjoining Sterrett).
The following list is from the first assessment roll of Armagh township after Mifflin County was erected. Acres, horses and cows are denoted by the letters a, h and c. Union township was erected the next year, and the names marked with a star indicate those who lived in the territory set off:
"Alexander, James, 500a, 1h, 1c.
Alexander, Robert, 500a, 2h, 2c.
Alexander, Thomas,* 100a, 1h, 2c.
Alexander, Samuel, 1h, 1c.
Alexander, Joseph,* 100a.
Adams, Jacob, 300a, 2h, 2c.
Adams, James, 2h, 2c.
Adams, Jonathan, 1h, 1c.
Allison, William, 270a, 4h, 2c.
Allison, Robert,* 100a, 2h, 3c.
Allan, Nathan,* 100a, 2h, 2c.
Andrew, Michael, 1h.
Armstrong, James,* 1000a, 2h, 2c, 1 negro.
Barr, Robert,* 2h, 2c.
Barr, David,* 200a, 2h, 2c.
Baum, Frederick,* 250a, 2h, 3c.
Barnhill, Robert, 80a, 2h, 2c.
Beatty, Stephen, 100a, 2h, 2c.
Beatty, John, 166a, 2h, 2c.
Beats, Edward, 100a, 2h, 2c.
Beard, John, 100a, 2h, 2c, 1 saw-mill.
Brown, Alexander, heirs, 500a.
Brown, William, Esq., 700a, 2h, 2c, 2 negroes, 1 grist-mill, 1 still.
Brown, Thomas, 250a, 2h, 2c, 1 negro.
Brown, Joseph,* 30a, 2h, 2c.
Boyd, William 1h, 1c.
Boyd, John, 2h, 2c.
Baird, William, 100a, 1c.
Beach, Frederick,* (Beght), 1c.
Burns, Anthony, 1h, 1c.
Campbell, Robert, 100a, 2h, 2c.
Campbell, John,* 200a, 2h, 2c, 1 still.
Cameron, Duncan, 100a, 1h. 1c.
Cameron, Alexander, 100a.
Carruthers, John, 100a, 2h, 2c.
Cochran, Alexander, 100a, 2h, 2c.
Cooper, John, 2 - a, 2h, 2c.
Criswell, Elijah, 100a, 2h, 2c.
Criswell, Benjamin, 100 a, 2h, 2c.
Criswell, Elisha, 150a, 1h, 1c.
Clayton, Mary,* 200a, 1h, 1c
Cowgill, Joseph, 2c.
Culbertson, John, 400a, 2h, 2c, 1 negro.
Clayton, Widow, 200a.
Davis, Samuel, 100a, 1h.
Davis, John, 500a, 2h, 2c.
Dickson's Heirs, 100a.
Dunlap, John, 332a, 2h, 2c.
Erwin, James, 1h.
Early, William, 100a, 1h, 2c.
Emit, John,* 100a, 1h, 1c.
Eaton, David, 100a, 1h, 1c.
Eshcroft, Edward,* 1h, 1c.
Fleming, John, 600a, 3h, 3c, 1 still.
Fleming, William,* 200a, 2h, 2c.
Fleming, Henry,* 1c.
Fleming, James, 1c.
Glass, James, 100a, 2h, 2c.
Gardner, Robert,* 150a, 2h, 2c.
Gardner, William, 1h, 1c.
Hall, Benjamin, 1h, 1c.
Hazlet, James,* 100a,2h, 2c.
Hazlet, Joseph,* 135a, 1h, 2c.
Hazlet, Andrew,* 400a, 2h, 2c.
Huston, James,* 200a, 2h, 3c.
Hughes, Patrick, 1h, 1c.
Jackson, Edward, 100a, 2h, 2c.
Johnson, James, 352a, 2h, 2c.
Kyle, John, 200a, 2h, 2c.
Kyle, Joseph, 400a, 1h, 2c.
Kenny, Matthew,* 100a, 2h, 2c.
Kishler, Jacob, 1c.
Logan, James,* 30a, 1h, 1c.
McNitt, John, 150a, 2h, 2c, 1 negro.
McNitt, Robert, 200a, 2h, 2c.
McNitt, Alexander, 300a, 2h, 2c.
McNitt, William, 200a, 2h, 2c, 1 negro.
McMonigle, John, 100a, 2h, 2c.
McMonigle, Neal, 248, 2h, 1c.
McDowell, John,* 300a, 2h, 2c.
McDowell, John, Jr.,* 200a, 2h, 2c.
McKibbon, Joseph, 200a, 2h, 2c.
McBride, Archibald, 100a, 2h, 1c.
McBride, James,* 200a, 2h, 2c.
McClelland, Hugh,* 200a, 2h, 2c, 1 negro.
McNamar, Morris,* 50a, 1h, 1c.
McKean, Roberts, 300a, 3h, 2c.
McKinney, William, 1h.
McClure, James, 150a, 2h, 2c.
Mitchel, Robert, 100a, 2h, 2c.
Mitchel, Samuel, 50a, 2h, 1c.
Mitchel, David, 200a, 2h, 2c.
Mitchel, William, 200a, 2h, 2c.
Milliken, David, 1h, 1c.
Milliken, Samuel, 100a, 2h, 2c.
Milliken, Samuel, 50a.
Murphy, John, 130a, 2h, 2c.
Mettleman, John, 1h, 1c.
Millroy, Henry, 150a, 2h, 2c.
Martin, Hugh, 150a, 2h, 2c.
Martin, William, 1h, 1c.
Martin, Alexander, 1h, 1c.
Minteer, James, 20a, 1h, 1c.
Moore, David, 2h, 2c.
Nealy, David, 250a, 2h, 2c.
MIFFLIN COUNTY 553
Nelson, Robert,* 50a, 1h, 1c.
O'Harra, Henry, 1c.
Power, Samuel, 100a, 2h, 3c.
Rubal, Mathias, 100a, 2h, 2c.
Reed, John,* 300a, 1h, 2c.
Reed, James,* 50a, 2h, 2c.
Reed, James, 440a, 2h, 2c.
Richardson, Edmond, 300a, 2h, 2c, 1 negro.
Scott, Robert, 130a, 2h, 2c.
Scott, James, 350a, 2h, 2c.
Smith, Peter, 2h, 2c.
Semple, Francis, 100a, 2h, 2c.
Semple, Samuel,* 1h, 1c.
Semple, James, 1c.
Semple, John, 150a, 1h.
Sankey, William,* 100a, 1h, 1c.
Sackets, Azariah,* 300a, 1h, 1c.
Sackets, Joseph,* 100a, 1h, 1c.
Swartzell, Joseph,* 400, 1h, 2c.
Steel, John,* 300a 2h, 1c.
Steel, Jacob,* 1h, 1c.
Steel, Jonas,* 1c.
Steely, Lazarus, 100a, 2h, 2c.
Stuart, William,* 200a, 2h, 2c.
Thomson, William, 100a, 1h, 2c.
Thomson, Moses, 150a, 2h, 2c.
Thomson, Thomas, 50a, 1c.
Taylor, Matthew, 500a, 2h.
Taylor, Henry, 168a, 2h, 2c, 1 grist-mill, 1 saw-mill.
Taylor, Esther, 100a, 1h, 1c.
Vance, William,* 200a, 4h, 1 grist-mill.
Wherry, Joh, 100a, 2h, 2c, ½ grist-mill, ½ saw-mill
Wherry, David, 50a, 2h, 2c.
Wills, Samuel,* 200a, 2h, 2c.
Wilson, John, Sr.,* 200a, 2h, 2c.
Wilson, John,* (mountain) 1h, 1c.
Young, William,* 100a, 2h, 2c.
Alexander, Jonathan, 100a.
Baswell, Samuel,* 100a.
Blaine, Ephraim,* 300a.
Cox, Charles,* 300a.
Cairey, Barnard, 200a joining James Scott and Jonathan Alexander.
Collins, Stephen, 400a joining Daniel Williams and Jonathan Adams.
Drinker; Henry,* 1100a joining James Fleming and Samuel Milliken, David Stewart And James Glass.
Harris, David,* 300a.
Hanert, Thomas, 300a joining James Scott and John Alexander.
McClay, Samuel,* 700a joining Elisha Crisswell and John Davis.
McFarlan, James, 200a.
Mifflin, Thomas, 200a.
Plunket, William,* 200a.
Shippen, Joseph, 170a joining James Adams and Duncan Cameron.
Williams, Daniel, 600a joining Jack's mountain above Mathias Rubles
"ROBERT BOGGS, Assessor.
"William Fleming, Assistant,
"James Scott, Assistant."
THE EARLY SETTLERS AND THE INDIANS.
Among the early settlers in the northern part of Armagh township, near the foot of the Seven Mountains, were the McNitts, viz.: Alexander, Robert, William, John and James. They began their permanent settlement in 1766. The early settlers were often annoyed by the Indians, who made frequent raids upon them up to 1777. In order to protect themselves from those Indian raids, they unitedly built a stockade on the property of Robert McNitt, at a spring near which the farm-house owned by Alexander B. McNitt now stands.
Some time between 1766 and 1776 a cabin was built, somewhere near the foot of the mountain, on the John Montgomery tract, near what is now known as the McManigle property. The house was roofed with clapboards and the floor was laid with puncheons; a few clapboards had also been laid on the loft, but that was not entirely covered. Three men were at work in this house, one of whom (James Hately) was simple-minded. While these three men were at work one of them saw some Indians (about a dozen) approaching the house. The men went quickly to the loft and lay down on the clapboards, and remained very quiet. The Indians came in and made a fire on the puncheons in the middle of the house. After the fire had burned some time they began to roast venison by placing it on the ends of sticks and holding it to the fire. Soon the man Hately became restless, and, against the efforts of the other two to keep him quiet, he moved forward noiselessly, in order to see what the Indians were doing. He ventured too close to the edge, and the result was, the clapboards tilted and all three fell down among the Indians. The men were badly frightened and so were the Indians, who left the house in confused haste, leaving their venison on the sticks. The Indians did not return.
About 1775 the Indians made frequent raids
554 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
into the thinly settled parts of what is now Mifflin County. At the big spring now the head-waters of Honey Creek, in Armagh township, there lived the family of James Alexander, and about a half-mile southeast of Alexander's there lived the family of Edward Bates. In or about 1775 a company of five Indians and one white man (a Frenchman from Canada) concealed themselves several days in the cave at the Honey Creek spring, with a view of capturing James Alexander and John Bates, a son of Edward. But, with all their watching closely, they never caught either of them out without arms. They began to fear that their place of hiding might be discovered; so they left the cave, and were first discovered in the cornfield of Edward Bates. It was harvest-time, and Miss Jennie Bates had gone to the field to gather beans for dinner. While busily engaged at her task she saw the shadow of an Indian who had approached without having been perceived. She screamed with fright and ran toward the house; the Indian did not follow her. The harvest hands heard the screams and immediately came to the house to learn the case of the alarm. When they heard that Indians were about, they immediately armed themselves and followed after them with their dogs. The men went as far as the flat of Jack's Mountain, but they did not apprehend the savages. Nothing more was heard of them until the next morning, when they captured George Sigler, Jr.
The circumstances of Sigler's capture, as far as can be ascertained, are these: George Sigler, Sr., heard that Indians were in the east end of Kishacoquillas Valley, and said he would go over to Bell's and inquire whether he had heard the report; and if Bell would go with him, they would cross the mountain into Kishacoquillas Valley and there ascertain the truthfulness of the report. Bell lived near to where Henry Hassinger now lives, being about a half-mile from George Sigler's. George Sigler, Jr.,  said to his father that he (George Jr.,) was younger than he, and that he would go to Bell's instead of his father. He went, and when he was bout half-way and near a small spring (near the north side of the present public road), the Indians sprang out of the bushes and intercepted him. He being swift of foot ran toward home; the Indians pursued him and hurled tomahawks at him several times, until, about half-way home, he was struck across the neck and shoulders with a war club, which felled him to the ground, and before he could regain his feet the Indians laid hold of him; they pointed with their hands toward the mountain. He was unarmed and had neither coat nor shoes and was compelled to go with his captors.
There were five Indians and one white man (a Frenchman) in the party. When
they reached the mountain they gave him a pair of moccasins to put on and then
crossed Jack's Mountain into the east end of Kishacoquillas Valley. When they
arrived at the north side of the mountain they were joined by another party of
five Indians and one white man. This second party had a white girl with them.
(This second party had made an attack on Mathias Ruble's house, which will be
noticed hereafter.) They continued their course northward, and after leaving
Kishacoquillas Valley they were joined by more Indians. On the first night after
being captured Sigler was tied so tightly around the wrists that he moaned with
pain. The Indians would come to him where he was lying and strike tomahawks into
the ground beside his head. The Frenchman told them to slacken the thongs with
which they had him tied, that they were too tight and were the cause of his
moaning. They slackened the ropes, which gave relief.
Sigler said their food was generally venison, pole-cat and sometimes horse-flesh. He was compelled to carry two flat-irons in a bag all the way. All the Indians left camp one day except two, who were sleeping soundly. He said if he had known that the gun in their possession would not shoot he would have brained both of the sleeping Indians with the flat-irons. After they began to near the Canadian line they often left him entirely alone in camp during a whole day. But, mistrusting them, he sallied out of camp one day and discovered an Indian
1 George Sigler, Jr. was born in the State of New Jersey on the 17th day of February, 1762. At what time the family moved to Pennsylvania is unknown; he was thirteen years old when he was captured.
MIFFLIN COUNTY 555
watching him. He then gave up all hope of making his escape from them. On arriving in Canada he was painted black and compelled to run the gauntlet, and in the course of his race he knocked down some of the young Indians and thus he succeeded in getting through with but a few bruises or scars. He was an odd prisoner, - that is, he was one more than the chief was allowed to have, - but the havoc he made among the young Indians while running the gauntlet so pleased another chief that he exchanged a white girl for him. After the treaty of peace the prisoners were sent home. Young Sigler, in company with another young man whose father had been murdered by the Indians, resolved to be avenged; on their way home, at some place on the Susquehanna River, they found an old chief who was very drunk and split his head open with an axe they found there. Sigler and his companion came down the Susquehanna River until they reached Northumberland; there Sigler met one of his father's neighbors (Caleb Parschal). Parschal had gone to Northumberland for a load of salt and groceries. Here Sigler parted with his companion and came home with Parschal. They arrived at home after night. He (Parschal) went with Sigler to his home and left him outside of the house until he could prepare Sigler's mother for the meeting. This was about ten o'clock at night. Parschal went into the house and asked her if she had heard from George. She said she heard that he was somewhere along the Susquehanna River. She said if she thought the report was true she would leave her sick child that night and go down to the big river and try to find him. Mr. Parschal then said he had just come from Northumberland and had see George there and was certain he would be home soon, perhaps that night. He then went to the door and called George in. After being with his mother some time his four brothers were waked up. They all gathered into the back kitchen and remained there during the remainder of the night. George Sigler was in captivity one year and one day, and was released July 14, 1776.
George Sigler was married to Elizabeth Bun, of Hunterdon County, N. J., in 1791. They had five children, - two sons and three daughters. He died August 3, 1821, aged fifty-nine years, five month and fourteen days. He built a stone house on his property and from the thickness of the walls it would appear that he still feared at attack from the Indians. This house is still in a good condition and is situated in Decatur township, a short distance south of the old stage-road.
Mathias Ruble moved into what was then the extreme east end of Kishacoquillas Valley prior to 1773, as is shown by a beech-tree still standing on the property he owned. He cut his name on the bark of that beech in 1773 and it can still be easily seen. In the summer of 1775, on the same day the Indians captured young George Sigler, five Indians and one white man (a Canadian Frenchman) made an attack on Mathias Ruble's house. They approached the house on the east side. Ruble had several cross dogs which gave the alarm. The children were quickly gathered into the house, and the smallest took the babe and crept under the bed. Peter, one of the older boys, crept out of a window at the west side of the house, so as not to be seen by the Indians, and ran to the hemp patch, which was some distance west of the house, where his mother was pulling hemp. He told her of the Indian's attack. She cried out in alarm that they would kill her babe and then fainted. Peter covered her with an armful of hemp and then ran to notify the inhabitants of the neighborhood, who were few at the time. During this time Mathias Ruble kept up a great noise and commotion in the house, making it appear as if there were a dozen or more persons there. They had only one gun that would shoot, and several gun-barrels, which he and his son John stuck through the loopholes. The Indians concealed themselves behind the large rocks which still remain there. In this way Mathias and his son kept the Indians from approaching any nearer to the house. The dogs also did good service during this time. The Indians were kept busily engaged watching them so as not to be bitten, and they were afraid to shoot them, lest, while their guns were empty, the men in the house might attack them. Peter Ruble, after leaving the hemp patch, went
556 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
to Robert Glass', then to --- Kishler's, John Bates' and Stephen Beatty's. Beatty, Bates, Kisler (sic) and Glass armed themselves and went together to relieve (if possible) the family. They went along the foot of Jack's Mountain so they could have a view of the valley, knowing if the family had been murdered the house would be on fire. When they came within sight they saw the house undisturbed, and were satisfied that the family was safe. John Bates and Robert Glass came to Ruble's first and learned that the Indians had gone; and Mrs. Ruble was brought home from the hemp patch nothing the worse for her fright and fainting. The Indians went back eastward perhaps one-fourth of a mile, where they met the Indians who captured George Sigler, and from there the two Indian parties traveled together. John Beatty and Robert Glass followed the trail of the Indians to near the top of what is now called Beatty's Knob. The trail was easily followed, because of the abundance of pea-vines growing in the woods at that time. Bates and Glass thought this was the trail of white men who were in pursuit of the Indians till they came near the top of the Knob. They there in some way discovered that it was the trail of the Indians and that their number had increased; they went home and each prepared to meet another raid, but the Indians never returned to that neighborhood.
The original settlers of the McNitt family were Alexander, Robert, William, John and James. Alexander McNitt was the father of young Robert, who was taken by the Indians. He was taken on the old Robert Thompson farm (surveyed August 5, 1768, in pursuance of an order, No. 5114, dated July 19, 1760, granted to Robert McKee). Young Robert McNitt and a small girl were out in the rye-field following after the reapers and picking berries along the fence. The first notice the reapers had of the approach of the Indians was when they were fired upon. One of the bullets passed through Alexander McNitt's hat. They all ran in confused haste toward the house. Young Robert followed the party, crying and calling to his father to wait for him. One of the Indians caught the boy, and he was taken to Canada. He was eight years old at that time. The little girl hid in the rye and was not discovered by the Indians. A small girl by the name of Lee was taken by the same party of Indians from some other locality. Young McNitt and this girl were captives four years in Canada, and were both adopted into the same Indian family. The girl's father heard that his daughter was somewhere in Canada, went in search of her, and found her as had been represented to him. He also found young McNitt at the same place. His daughter had become attached to McNitt and entreated her father to take him along also. He did so, and brought him to some place in York State (at or near Rochester), and then advertised that he had a captive boy who called himself Nitt. Alexander McNitt, the father of the boy, heard of this notice, and he immediately started on horseback to the place where the boy was. He arrived there after night after his son had gone to bed. The next morning the son was up before his father, and when he saw the horse he knew him, but did not know his father when he saw him. His father brought him home seated on the horse behind him. He was captive four years, and was brought home in 1781. During his captivity he had become expert with the bow and arrow, and would amuse himself by shooting the chickens and ducks, etc. He finally grew into manhood and married his own cousin, Jane Taylor, a daughter of Henry Taylor, who was one of the first settlers of the west end of Kishacoquillas Valley. This marriage took place on Christmas day, and McNitt was killed in the following May by the falling of a tree on his own farm. He had but one child, who became the first wife of Robert Milliken. His widow married Crawford Kyle.
EAST KISHACOQUILLAS CHURCH. - The first settlers of Kishacoquillas Valley were Scotch-Irish, and belonged to the Presbyterian Church. They were of the better order of peasantry, and brought with them the characteristics of their native land. What the date of the organization of this church was we have no knowledge. There is reason to believe that there never was any formal organization, as is now the custom under the direction of the Presbytery. It was natural that the Presbyterians
MIFFLIN COUNTY 557
among the earlier settlers, who were as sheep without a shepherd in the wilderness, would voluntarily bind themselves together without any formal organization. These men would call the people together for prayer and praise, and when ministers and missionaries found congregations begun in this way, they preached to them and administered the ordinances of Divine grace. At what precise time that building called the meeting-house was erected it is impossible to tell; nor are any of the oldest surviving residents of the neighborhood able to give any very satisfactory account of it. It was situated a little west of where the stone church stood. It was probably erected by each member of the congregation agreeing to furnish a certain number of logs of a certain length, and to deposit them at the designated place. It was a rough log building, one story high, without any plastering, without any floor and without any fire-place or provision made for heating the house. It had windows on each side of the door, on the opposite side and perhaps at each end; but the lights were small and few in number. The entrance-doors faced toward the present ruins of the old school-house, and were made of plain boards. The seats were slab benches, made perhaps of split logs, with holes bored into them, into which were fitted round pieces of wood for legs, and without any back support for those who might sit upon them. The pulpit consisted, probably, of a simple stand or table. In the coldest season of the year the minister had to preach, and the people came to hear with their overcoats buttoned up to their chins; and seldom was the sermon less than an hour and half in length, and often much longer. Judge Kyle stated that at one time in particular, whilst a boy, he came a direct course across the fields and through the forest to attend the services in the old log meeting-house. He wore now-shoes, because the snow was so deep as to cover the tops of the fences. Not a spark of fire was in the church, yet the pastor stood up manfully to his work, with surtout buttoned up to his chin, preaching to a full house, and there was not a shiver or a shake among the entire congregation, although the mercury was near zero at the time. Rude and uncomfortable as that old meeting-house was, it was yet a sacred spot to many a person long since departed. What the names were of a number of that old congregation may be learned from the call given to Rev. James Johnston to become their pastor, dated March 15, 1783. This call is in the handwriting of Master Arnold, a teacher whom some gray-headed men still remember as a renowned penman. It is as follows:
"MR. JAMES JOHNSTON, preacher of the Gospel:
"Sir: We, the subscribers, members of the United Congregation of East and West Kishacoquillas, having never in this place had the stated administration of the Gospel ordinances, yet highly prizing the same, and having a view to the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ, and the Spiritual Edification of ourselves and families, have set ourselves to obtain that blessing among us, and therefore, as we have had the opportunity of some of your labors in this place, and are satisfied with your Soundness, Piety and ministerial ability to break unto us the bread of life, we do most heartily and sincerely, in the name of the Great Shepherd of the Flock, Jesus Christ, call and invite you to come and take the Pastoral Charge and oversight of us in the Lord. And for your encouragement we do promise, if God shall dispose your heart to embrace this call, that we will give a dutiful attention to the word and ordinances of God, by you administered; that we will be subject to your Admonitions and reproofs, should our falls and miscarriages expose us thereto, and will submit to the discipline of the Church, exercised by you, agreeably to the Word of God; and also, that we will treat Persons with Friendship and Respect, and behave in all things towards you as becomes Christians always should towards their Pastor, who labours among them in word and Doctrine. And farther, as we are persuaded that those who serve at the Alter should live by the Alter, we do promise, in order that you may be, as much as possible, free from wordly incumbrances, to provide for your comfortable and honorable maintainance in the manner set forth in our Subscription Papers accompanying this, our Call, during your continuance with us as our Regular Pastor. And in witness of our hearty desire to have you settle among us, we have hereunto set out Names this Fifteenth day of March, Anno Domini 1783, -
558 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
Alex Brown, Jr.
James S. McClure.
James Reed, Jun.
William Miller, Jun.
The Rev. James Johnston accepted the call, and continued to serve the congregation acceptably as their pastor during the remainder of his active life, which was thirty-seven years, or up to 1820.
In the mean time, in 1807, a subscription was taken for the purpose of erecting a new meeting-house. The log church had grown old and dilapidated, and was not sufficiently large for the wants of the growing congregation. The stone church was built in 1808, a short distance east of where the old log church stood. There was an aisle extending across the width of the building, and from this, at right angles, were two other aisles leading to the front of the building; the former communicated at each side with a door, and the latter with doors in front. The pulpit was goblet-shaped, high up the wall, and stood at the middle of the east side of the house. The pews, sixty-odd in number, were arranged on either side and in front along the aisles. The backs of the pews were so high as to hide from view entirely the persons who sat in the next pew in front. A gallery extended around three sides of the building. There were double rows of windows; the one row opening from the main floor and the other from the gallery. A desk was in front of the pulpit, at which the clerk stood who led the congregation in their psalms of praise. This church was used by the congregation as a place of worship until 1857, when it was taken down. The present brick church was completed and dedicated to the worship of Almighty God June 18, 1858. The Rev. G. W. Thompson, of Lower Tuscarora, preached the dedicatory sermon, and the Rev. George Elliott led the congregation in the dedicatory prayer. The elders at the time were Joseph Kyle, Henry Taylor and William Barr. Additional elders were elected about that time, Robert Milliken having died and Thomas Reed removed to the Little Valley, --viz., Crawford Kyle, Henry L. Close, Charles Naginey and, in 1870, John D. Barr, James R. Beatty and Francis A. Means. The names of the pastors who served this congregation are eight in number, viz.:
Rev. James Johnston, from 1783 to 1820; Rev. Samuel Hill, from 1820 to 1825; Rev. James H. Stewart, from 1827 to 1829; Rev. James Nourse, from 1830 to 1834; Rev. Joshua Moore, from 1835 to 1854; Rev. Nathan Shotwell, from 1854 to 1857; Rev. George Elliott, from 1858 to 1868; Rev. Andrew H. Parker, from 1869 to the present time.
In the old grave-yard lie the bodies of three of the pastors of this congregation, viz., James Johnston, Jas. H. Stewart and Joshua Moore. They are lying side by side. 
TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH. - E. E. Locke and family moved from Philadelphia
March, 1837, and were the first Episcopal family ever known to reside in the
east end of the Kishacoquillas Valley. They connected themselves with the Saint
Mark's Church, in Lewistown, under Rev. William White Bronson. In the year 1845
the first Episcopal services were held services at that place in September of
that year. In the fall of 1847 Trinity Church, at Locke's Mills, was commenced,
and the following year it was consecrated by the Rev. Bishop Potter (on the 28th
day of October, 1848). The building is a
1 Compiled from sermon by Rev. A. H. Parker, pastor; preached on the one hundredth anniversary of its organization.
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neat one-story frame building, thirty-five by forty feet, and the cost of erection was nine hundred dollars. Rev. Mr. Hiester held services, one in four weeks, until the spring of 1849. In 1850 the Rev. Wm. F. Bryant became the pastor until February, 1853. The Rev. Mr. Kennedy they officiated for nine months. The Rev. Theodore Hutchinson then officiated for nine months. This charge was then connected with the Saint Mark's Church, at Lewistown. The Rev. Wm. V. Bowers became rector of the Saint Mark's Church and Trinity Church, at Locke's Mills, on the 24th day of May, 1855, and continued his ministration until the close of May 1859. The Rev. Faber Byllsby took charge in the summer of 1859 and continued to officiate for one year. The Rev. John Leithead then officiated in Trinity Church in connection with Saint Mark's Church, in Lewistown, from some time in 1860 up to 1863, at which time Episcopal services closed at Trinity.
The Locke's Mills property became involved and was sold by the sheriff of Mifflin County to E. C. Humes, William McCallister, Andrew G. Curtin and James T. Hale, all of Bellefonte, by sheriff's deed dated November 19, 1863. This included the church property. Afterwards the parties sold and conveyed the same church property to the bishop and standing committee of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, by their deed dated the 16th day of March, 1865.
On the 18th day of January, A.D. 1868, the bishop and standing committee of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Diocese of Pennsylvania sold the property for eight hundred and forty dollars to Henry Shadle, John D. Barr, John D. Naginey, Henry Taylor, Oliver P. Smith, Robert A. Means and John McNitt, trustees of the East Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church, in the county of Mifflin.
The congregation of which these persons were trustees opened the house as a place of worship, and still continue its use, with the Rev. Andrew H. Parker at its pastor.
EVANGELICAL CHURCH. - The Evangelical Association build a small church near the upper end of the narrow valley known by the name of New Lancaster Valley. This house was built near the west line of a tract of land which was granted in pursuance of a warrant, to Joseph Filson, dated February 24, 1838. The lot upon which the church is built was purchased for a grave-yard, on the 7th day of May, 1861, by Frederick Francis, Jonas Wert and Eli K. Wagner, trustees, etc., and is bounded on the south by the public road, on the west by land of Philip Snook, and on the north and east by residue of tract. The corner-stone of this church was laid on the 5th day of October, 1872. The preachers present were the Rev. Simon Aurand, (preacher in charge of the Evangelical Reformed) and the Rev. S. G. Shannon (Lutheran). The church was finished and was dedicated in February, 1874. The ministers present were Rev. D. W. Miller (Evangelical) and the Rev. W. R. Wieand (Lutheran).
The following is a partial list of the Evangelical ministers who preached in New Lancaster Valley prior to the building of the church and since that time. The Evangelical ministers preached in that valley regularly as far back as 1858, but the list thus far obtained does not extend back of 1865:
1865. - Revs. J. Farnsworth and D. W. Miller
1866. - Revs J. Farnsworth and SS. Shortess.
1867. - Revs. J. Kreamer and A. Kreamer.
1868. - Revs. J. Kreamer and H. H. Ream.
1869. - Revs. E. Stomboch and H. B. Harzler.
1870. - Revs. E. Stomboch and W. M. Croman.
1871. - Rev. S. Aurand.
1872. - Rev. S. Aurand.
1873. - Rev. D. W. Miller.
1874. - Rev. D. W. Miller.
1875. - Revs. S. Yerrick and L. Dice.
1876. - Revs. A. Krause and B. F. Anthony.
1877. - Revs. J. M. Price and J. Shamboch.
1878. - Revs. J. M. Price and J. Shamboch.
1879. - Revs. N. Young and E. P. Leonard.
1880. - Revs. N. Young and E. P. Leonard.
1881. - Revs. N. Young and M. F. Fosselman.
1882. - Revs. W. H. Stover and E. D. Keen.
1883. - Revs. W. H. Stover and J. D. Shortess.
1884. - Revs. S. Smith and J. D. Shortess.
1885. - Revs. S. Smith and C. W. Leonard.
Since 1875 these ministers have also preached at Locke's Mills school-house and at the school-house in Havice Valley.
560 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
Perryville is the name that was first given to a part of the village now called Milroy. That part of the village east of the Laurel Run was called Perryville, while that part west of the Laurel Run and up along the turnpike road was known by other names. The Valley Post-Office was established here in 1828, and was kept by a William Thompson, who resided on the turnpike, some distance above the village. The name of Perryville was given to the place by a man called Perry, who lived there at an early day. The first house in the place was built of logs, and is still standing. It was built by John Fertig about the same time he built the mill. This house is built with a basement, in which John Fertig had his distillery, and is located immediately north of the mill, between the creek and head-race.
The village kept the name of Perryville until 1850, when the citizens had it changed to Milroy; at the same time the boundary was enlarged, by which the buildings west of Laurel Run and those up along the pike were taken in. Some years prior to that time the Valley Post-Office was removed from William Thompson's and brought down to the village, and in 1850 its name was changed from "Valley" to Milroy. This village progressed very slowly until the railroad was completed to that place, which gave it some additional life. In 1880 Milroy had five hundred and thirty-four inhabitants.
In 1835 the persons here mentioned were doing business in Perryville: George Foust, shoemaker; James Johnson, merchant; William McKinney, tailor; John Sterrett, merchant; John Thompson, tailor.
In 1840, Samuel Thompson was operating a tan-yard and in 1847, F. M. Shipton was keeping a hardware-store.
The present mill of Josiah Showalter is known as the Old Fertig Mill. The land on which it and the town of Milroy are built was granted to Henry Milroy on an order granted August 1, 1766. After his death the administrators, in November, 1792, sold it to John Yoder, who, two years later, sold twelve acres to Jacob Miller, who erected a log grist-mill, which was fitted with two pairs of burrs, and after several years, sold it to John Fertig, who tore down the log mill and built of limestone a large mill, forty by fifty feet, three stories in height. He continued the business at the place until July 27, 1824, when he sold it to Henry Hall, his son-in-law, who June 2, 1831, sold the property to Thomas and William Reed. On the 27th of January, 1831, it was destroyed by fire, soon after rebuilt and operated by them until March 27, 1851, when they sold it to William A. McManigle and Dr. Samuel Maclay. The latter sold his interest to Mr. McManigle in April 1864, who sold a half-interest to George G. Couch in March, 1867. Couch, in September, 1871, sold his interest to John and Joseph Strunk, whose rights were sold by the sheriff, in November, 1873, to Felia McClintock, who, April 15, 1875, purchased the other half-interest, and on the same date sold the entire property to Josiah Showalter, the present owner. A frame extension, twenty-five feet wide and as high as the main part of the mill, was added several years ago.
In 1825 John Hawn erected a frame clover-mill on the east side of the creek, near the present Foster & Rutter tannery. It was used as a huller and cleaner until portable mills were introduced, in 1843.
A tannery was built many years ago in the town by James Milroy and a half-brother of Colonel William Reed. It was conducted later by William Keever, Joseph Rothrock, Isaac Hawn, and before 1840 was in possession of Samuel Thompson, who carried it on until 1849, when it was abandoned.
In the year 1850 Samuel Foster and George Rutter, both of Lancaster County, erected a steam tannery in the town of Milroy. After operating for several years they leased it to --- Morgage for a term of years. In 1863 it was purchased by Holmes Maclay and Dr. Samuel Maclay, who abandoned steam-power and introduced water-power from the creek. In 1865 Samuel Maclay became sole possessor, and in July, 1870, sold to A. W. Groff and Ner Thompson. From this time to its close, in 1883, it passed to several parties, and at that time was the property of A. W. Groff. It had a capacity of tanning about two thousand hides per year.
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In August, 1884, the building was converted into a stave-factory, with a capacity of nine thousand two hundred and fifty staves in ten hours. This business is conducted by Leo F. Treester.
The Milroy Foundry, a one-story frame building, thirty by one hundred feet, was erected by Joseph Wagner in 1860, who carried on business at the place for several years and sold to Samuel Wormley, who later sold to Hugh Aiken, who conveyed to his son, John Aiken, who in turn, sold it to the Domestic Sewing-Machine Company, by whom it was sold to Samuel C. Treester.
MARION FURNACE. - The Marion Furnace, located in Upper Milroy, was built in 1828 by William Reed, James Thompson, Foster Milliken. It was a quarter-furnace at that time and had a capacity of from twenty-five to thirty tons per week. It was first operated with John Patterson as manager; later by Neal Duff and James Thompson. It was rented by J. & J. Milliken for a term of years (and conducted by William Patton, after which Brooks, Thomas & Co., of the Brooklyn Furnace, rented it, and Jesse Thomas became the manager. Later it became the property of William & Thomas Reed, by whom, under James Thompson, it was conducted to its close, in 1838.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN MILROY. - The Presbyterian Church in Milroy is a substantial frame building, forty by sixty feet, and was built in 1833. After the church building was completed a congregation was organized, the 13th day of August, 1834, by a committee of the Presbytery of Huntingdon. The new congregation contained the names of one hundred and five members. Three elders were elected, viz.: Hugh Alexander, John Beatty and Samuel Maclay, M.D. A call was made for the Fev. James Nourse, which he accepted, and began to preach in the new church in October of the same year. He continued to be pastor of this congregation to 1849, when he resigned because of failing health. He was succeeded by the Rev. Samuel Lawrence, who continued to be their pastor until 1857, when he resigned. The Rev. John W. White accepted a call in May, 1858, and continued as pastor until September, 1883, at which time he withdrew from the Presbyterian Church. Since that time the Rev. Dr. R. M. Wallace has been their stated supply. The following is a list of the names of the elders elected in this church since it was organized:
January 3, 1836, Robert M. Thompson, John Beatty, Jr., and William B. Maclay.
March 20, 1843, Jacob Kipp and Harvey McClenahen.
December 20, 1852, William A. McManigle, George W. Crissman and David Bates.
June 12, 1865, John M. Bell, James C McNitt, Samuel T. Thompson, John Longwell and Ira Thompson.
February 26, 1870, William C. McClenahan and James Aitken.
THE FREE CHURCH. - The Rev. J. W. White was pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Milroy from May, 1858, until September, 1883, about twenty-five and a half years. In later years his views materially changed and were not in accord with the doctrines of the church of which he was a member. This fact, in the course of time came to the knowledge of the Presbytery, and the following action was taken: "At a meeting of the Presbytery, of Huntingdon, held in Lewistown, September 4, 5, and 6, 1883, the brethren of the Presbytery inquired into and passed upon his views, reaching the conclusion that his doctrines, especially on the atonement and the resurrection of the dead, are not the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church, and should not be preached within its bounds." What these doctrines are may be gathered from Mr. White's statement made to the Presbytery, from which we take the following definition of the atonement:
"The atonement is the work of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which God and man are made at one, not by any change in the unchangeable nature of God and His law, but by a change in man's state and nature, by which he is brought into harmony with the Divine goodness and righteousness."
From the same statement we take the following expression of views on the resurrection:
"1st. Man's spiritual nature has substance and form, and is an entire man. 2d. In this world that spirit - the man - is enswathed in material substance
562 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
which makes the material body. 3d. At death man rises out of the enswathment, and appears in the form of man in the eternal world."
When it was decided that Mr. White could not preach the gospel as he understood it in the Presbyterian Church, he asked and obtained leave to withdraw from the ministry of that church, whereupon the Presbytery passed unanimously the following resolution:
"In complying with this request, the Presbytery desire to place on record their high appreciation of the Christian character of the Rev. J. W. White, and their entire confidence in his personal piety."
In his closing remarks to the Presbytery, Mr. White said, "Come what will, looking to the Lord Jesus Christ for the spirit of consecration, I give myself to Him, and consecrate what is left of life to proclaiming the Gospel and the Grace of God to all men." After Mr. White withdrew from the Presbyterian Church a large portion of his former congregation, and many other persons, joined in calling him to remain and preach the gospel to them. After a good deal of delay and hesitancy, he finally accepted this call, whereupon, at a meeting, held on the 6th day of April, 1884, about one hundred and forty communicants, and many former supporters and adherents of the Presbyterian Church, declared themselves free from the jurisdiction of the Presbytery. These persons, with members from other churches, and others not connected with any church, constituted the new church, known as the Free Church of Milroy and Siglerville. The number of communicant members, as nearly as can be ascertained, was at first one hundred and sixty, and the number of supporters and adherents three or four hundred. In the summer of 1884 a neat and substantial church building was erected in Siglerville, and dedicated the 21st of September, 1884, free from debt. The building is frame, is thirty-two by forty-two, and cost nineteen hundred dollars. J. J. Peace preached in the afternoon of the day this church was dedicated, and Rev. S. Smith preached the discourse in the morning of the same day. In the summer of 1885 a large and equally good and substantial church building was erected in Milroy, and was dedicated on Sunday, the 15th day of November, 1885, free from debt. Rev. John Miller, of Princeton, N. J., preached two able and practical sermons.
This church edifice is frame, build in the form of a cross, with steep roof, and four larger gables and two smaller ones. The audience-room had three apartments, one in the centre and two wings. The central room is thirty-two by fifty-four feet, including the pulpit recess, and the side-rooms are each fourteen by twenty-eight feet. The vestibule is six by ten feet. The three apartments are each pewed. The windows are of beautiful stained glass. The entire cost of the property, including the lot and furniture, was about three thousand two hundred dollars. Of this, eight hundred and fifty dollars were raised on the day of dedication. After Mr. White decided to remain in Milroy he purchased a piece of land and made improvements on it, and the congregation joined in moving him and his family into his new home, April 1, 1885.
"In this way was commenced a movement, the end of which is not yet. It is intended to emphasize the fact that the religion on our Lord Jesus Christ, by His grace, consists in brotherly love and square dealing among men. In this incipient work the Rev. J. C. Wilhelm, who withdrew from the Presbytery of Huntingdon at the same time, and for substantially the same reasons, had given valuable support. The increasing demand among the people of neighboring communities for preaching on the line of Mr. White's views seems to indicate that a field white for the harvest is inviting laborers to enter it."
METHODIST CHURCH. - The Methodist membership was small when they began to have preaching in the Laurel Run school-house, in 1822., Their number increased slowly until 1825, when they succeeded in erecting a small church in Perryville (now Milroy). The building is twenty-eight by thirty-three and a half feet, and is a low, one-story house, built of beautiful white-pine logs, which were hewn on the Cave Hill, on the property of Bell & Mitchell. The Methodists continued to use this church as their place of worship until 1846. The congregation had increased in number, and they found it necessary to build a larger and more convenient house. Consequently, in 1846, they bought a small lot a short distance west of the old log church. And on this lot they built a
MIFFLIN COUNTY 563
Large one-story frame building. The Methodist congregation still continues to worship in this building regularly.
After the new church was completed the old log church was sold to the Rev. James Nourse, who used it as an Academy. After his death Mrs. Nourse sold it to the Lutheran congregation, in the year 1857. They refitted it and used it as their place of worship until their new church was completed in 1872. They then sold the house and lot of William A. McManigle. It was afterwards sold from McManigle by the sheriff of Mifflin County, and Isaac Underwood became the purchaser. He used it as a dry-goods store-room. Peter Barefoot bought the property from Underwood, and it was again converted into a place of worship for the Free Church in October, 1883, and they used it as such until November 15, 1885.
THE LUTHERAN CHURCH OF MILROY. - The membership of the Salem congregation who lived in the neighborhood of Milroy became sufficiently numerous to support a separate place of preaching. They therefore bought the old Methodist Church in Milroy, in the year 1857, from Mrs. Nourse, and refitted it for a place of worship near the close of J. B. Christ's pastorate. They continued to use this church as a place of worship until the 25th day of August, 1872, when the new Lutheran Church was dedicated.
This church building is located in Milroy, on the west side of Laurel Run, and is a two-story frame house, thirty-six by fifty, the one story being an unfinished basement. The building was commenced in 1867, and the corner-stone was laid the 29th day of September, 1867. Rev. J. F. Detterick performed the services, and Rev. J. B. Anthony preached the morning sermon and Rev. J. B. Reimensnyder preached at night. The work at the building continued to progress for some time, when the work suddenly stopped for want of means. Joseph Wagner and Edward Kreichbaum were the contractors. The building remained closed until the time Rev. S. G. Shannon took upon himself the arduous task of having the church completed and out of debt. He persevered, and was successful. The building was completed (except the basement), and was dedicated on Sunday, August 25, 1872. Rev. P. Anstadt, of York Pa., preached the dedicatory sermon in the morning. His text was taken from Haggai ii. 9; after which Rev. S. G. Shannon was assisted by Rev. J. M. Steck, of Jersey Shore, and Rev. J. M. Rice, of Belleville, in the liturgical services of setting the house apart to the worship of the triune God. On the evening of the same day Rev. J. M. Steck preached on faith in giving.
During this day six hundred dollars were raised toward the payment of the church debt. During the time that Rev. S. G. Shannon had the church in his possession he collected and paid $1334.15.
The whole cost of the building was, by first contract, two thousand four hundred and fifty dollars, but it cost more than contract price before it was completed.
LAUREL RUN METHODIST CHURCH. - As nearly as can now be ascertained, the Methodists began to hold meetings in the Laurel Run school-house, near Milroy, in Armagh township, in 1822. It was then within the bounds of Aughwick Circuit. The names of the ministers who preached at that place and since are as follows:
1822, Thomas McGee, Jacob R. Shepherd and N. B. Mills; 1823, Thomas McGee and John Bowen; 1824, Robert Minshall and John A. Gear; 1825, David Steele.
1826-30, presiding elder unknown. 1826, Joseph White; 1827, Joseph White; 1828, Jonathan Munroe; 1829, Amos Smith.
1830-33, David Steele presiding elder. 1830, Amos Smith; 1831, Samuel Ellis and Josiah Forest; 1832, Henry Taring and Peter McEnally; 1833, Henry Taring and Thomas Larkin.
1834-37, R. E. Prettyman presiding elder. (Changed to Lewistown Circuit in 1834.) 1834, John Bowen; 1835, Joseph S. Lee; 1836, Robert Beers; 1837, Jonathan Munroe.
1834-40, John Miller presiding elder. 1838, Jonathan Munroe; 1839, Henry G. Dill and Elisha Butler; 1841, Jacob Gruber and Zane Bland (1841, George Hildt presiding elder.)
1842-45, H. Furlong presiding elder. 1842, William Butler and Samuel Register; 1843, William Butler and Thompson Mitchell; 1844, J. G. McKeehen, Wesley Howe and W. W. Cristine; 1845, T. S. Harding and Charles Maclay.
564 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
1846-49, John Miller presiding elder. 1846, Wesley Howe and Cambridge Graham; 1847 Wesley Howe and Franklin Gearhart; 1848, Thomas Tannyhill and Jacob Gruber; 1849, Thomas Tannyhill and Jacob Gruber.
1850-53, T. H. W. Monroe presiding elder. 1850, James Ewing and J. H. C. Dosh; 1851, James Ewing and Plumer E. Waters; 1852, William R. Mills and H. C. Westwood; 1853, William R. Mills and H. Leber.
1854-57, A. A. Reese presiding elder. (Changed to Kishacoquillas Circuit in 1854.) 1854, D. C. Wertz and Samuel P. Lilley; 1855, J. W. Langley and Samuel P. Lilley; 1856, R. E. Wilson; 1857, R. E. Wilson.
1858-61, John A. Gere, presiding elder. 1858, B. P. King; 1859, B. P. King; 1860, A. A. Eskridge; 1861, John Anderson.
1862-64, George D. Chenoweth presiding elder. 1862, William Gynn; 1863, William Gynn; 1864, J. F. Brown and J. A. McKindless. (Changed to Milroy Circuit in 1864.)
1865-68, Thomas Barnhart presiding elder. 1865, J. F. Brown; 1866, D. B. McClosky; 1867, D. B. McClosky; 1868, Josiah Forest. His health failed and the year was filled out by J. Foster Bell, as supply.
1869-72, B. B. Hamlin presiding elder. 1869, J. R. King; 1870, J. R. King; 1871, J. W. Ely; 1872, J. W. Ely.
1873-76, Milton K. Foster presiding elder. 1873, J. P. Long; 1874, J. P.
Long, 1875, Luther F. Smith (Reedville church built); 1876, Luther F. Smith.
1877-80, Thompson Mitchell presiding elder. 1877, W. A. McKee; 1878, J. M. Johnston; 1879, J. M. Johnston; 1880, James Bell.
1881-84, Richard Hinkle presiding elder. 1881, J. Gulden; 1882, J. Gulden; 1883, J. R. King; 1884, J. R. King.
1885, Jacob S. McMurry presiding elder. 1885, Samuel Meminger.
LODGE NO. 213, I.O.O.F. - This lodge was instituted April 29, 1875, with the following officers: William Kays, N. G.; Abram Harshbarger, V. G.; J. R. Sample, Sec.; John Camp, Treas. Meetings are held in the second story of Dr. Harshbarger's drug store.
The first building in Upper Siglerville was a blacksmith-shop, built by Joseph Sigler in 1847. During the next year, 1848, he built the first dwelling-house in that place.
Upper Siglerville now contains fourteen dwelling-houses, two churches, two dry-goods stores, one double brick school-house and one
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school-house. He also preached exclusively in German. When he left, the congregation was supplied by Rev. J. Ruthrauff, who preached in German once in four weeks. His place of preaching was Alexander's school-house. After he left, the Rev. Muck, from Union County, preached for them. He was German Reformed and preached in German once in four weeks. His place of preaching was the house of Jacob Ruble, located in the extreme eastern end of the settlement at that time. After he left they were served by Rev. Jacob Bossler, from Union County. He was German Reformed, and preached in German once in four weeks. His place of preaching was Alexander's school-house, and in the grove near the school-house in summer. He remained about two years, and during that time instructed a large class of catechumens, who were taken into the church on the last Sabbath of his stay with them. The majority of the class were ladies, who according to the custom of the church then, were dressed in white and wore white caps.
Rev. Charles Weyl, the Lutheran preacher from Lewistown, assisted Rev. Bossler on the day of his last services, in 1832. About this time some of the members began to talk about the necessity of having a church in which to have preaching. After various plans had been proposed, they finally agreed to build a log house.
Up to this time there was no church organization. They elected George Marks and John Crisman trustees of the Lutheran and German Reformed Church in East Kishacoquillas Valley. One acre of land was purchased of John Wolf, which was laid off at the southeast corner of his farm and for which they obtained a deed the 23d day of January, 1833. Subscription-papers were circulated. Some subscribed logs for the building, others money. The logs were delivered on the ground, and on a fixed day the people of the neighborhood met and the house was raised a certain height. The congregation then concluded to raise it three rounds higher in order to make room for a gallery. In a few days afterward the logs were brought on the ground and the house was raised to the desired height under the superintendence of Adam Ramsey. No gallery was put in at that time. The building is thirty-one by forty-one feet and stands nearly southeast and northwest. The main entrance is at the south end; there was a door at the east side of the house, and from this door an aisle, extending into the middle of the church, where it intersected the main aisle, which extended from the door at the south end to the altar. The pulpit was at the middle of the north end of the building. This church was consecrated in October, 1833. The ministers present at the time were S. S. Schmucker, D. D., professor of the Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg; he read the dedicatory services and called the church Salem. He also preached the first sermon. Rev. Frederic Rothrauff, of Gettysburg, and Rev. Charles Weyl (the pastor) were present, and each took their proper part in the services, which included Saturday, Sunday and Monday. This church was used in this condition for some years, when it was weather-boarded and a short gallery put in the south end of the building. Reese Davis, of Milroy, was the contractor and carpenter. Nothing more was done at the building until 1855, when it was remodeled and greatly improved. The door at the east side was closed, the positions of the windows changed, the door at the middle of the south end was closed and two new doors put in at the south end, so as to divide the inside by two aisles, which would divide the building into four equal parts, so as to have a set of single pews at each side and a set of double ones in the middle. These two aisles extended back to the altar. The old pulpit was taken down and one of more modern style put in its place. It was rededicated May 22, 1855, Rev. J. B. Christ, pastor; and Rev. Charles M. Kline preached the dedicatory sermon. In this condition the church was used as a place of worship until March 10, 1878, when Rev. S. G. Shannon preached the last sermon in old Salem Church, from Second Corinthians, thirteenth chapter and eleventh verse: "Finally, brethren, farewell."
After the sermon, Rev. Shannon requested all in the house who had heard the first sermon preached by Rev. S. S. Schmucker to rise; some eight or ten stood up. He then requested
566 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
that all who heard the second dedicatory sermon preached, in 1855, should rise, and about sixteen or eighteen rose. It was discovered that some of those present had heard the three sermons, including the first and last. The following are the names of the ministers who preached in this church as pastors of this congregation:
Rev. Charles Weyl (Luthern) was pastor from the summer of 1832 to 1838. Rev. J. H. A. Bomberger, German Reformed, was pastor from 1838 to 1840. This was the last German Reformed. All the following were Lutherans: Rev. C. Lepley was pastor from 1840 to 1842. Rev. Mosheim G. Schmucker from October, 1842, to 1845. Rev. Thomas M. Flint from October 14, 1845, to 1847. Fev. A. Height from 1847 to 1849. Rev. G. Sill began April, 1849, to 1854. Rev. J. B. Christ from 1854 to 1857. During Rev. Christ's time Salem was rededicated. Rev. J. N. Burkett was pastor from 1857 to 1859. Rev. J. C. Lunger was pastor from 1859 to 1861. Rev. Lunger died on this charge at Mechanicsburg. Rev. D. S. Truckenmiller from 1861 to 1863. Rev. F. A. Fair began in June, 1864, to 1865. Rev. Fair resigned because of failing health, and died of consumption soon afterwards. Rev. J. F. Detrich was pastor from 1866 to 1868. Rev. Philip Sheeder was pastor from 1869 to 1871. Rev. S. G. Shannon was pastor from 1871 to 1881.
During the pastorate of Rev. S. G. Shannon the new Lutheran Church at Siglerville was built. This is a neat frame building, thirty-six by sixty feet, with a pulpit recess, and is nineteen feet high, exclusive of the basement, which is built of stone. The door is at the center of the north end of the house, and the main aisle extends along the church to the pulpit, which is at the south end. There are likewise two small aisles, one at each side of the house, along the wall to nearly the opposite the pulpit, to a small cross-aisle, which is at right angles to the others. The house is seated with chairs instead of pews. The windows are all memorial and are filled with stained glass of various colors. The pulpit is plain, made of solid walnut and is on an elevation of three steps high.
The laying of the corner-stone was on November 4, 1877. The basement story was dedicated March 24, 1878, and was used as a place of preaching and prayer-meetings until the upper part was completed. The upper part or audience-room of the church was finished and was dedicated the 13th day of June, 1880. Professor P. Borne preached the dedicatory sermon. The church is painted white, and cost nineteen hundred dollars.
Rev. S. G. Shannon continued as pastor until the 1st day of April, 1881, at which time he cleared his pastorate. Rev. Andrew J. Bean preached a short time after Rev. S. G. Shannon left, say to June 19, 1881. Rev. D. A. Sterner began June 26, 1881, and left October 9, 1881. Rev. C. M. Aurand began in 1882 and left March 17, 1884. Rev. J. H. Houseman began in 1884 and is the present pastor. The elders of the church are as follows:
1843. - Frederick Pecht.
1854. - John R. McDowell, Isaac Wagner.
1859, June 19. - Frederick Pecht, E. P. Harvey.
1861, September 15. - Frederick Pecht, Frederick Havice.
1864, February 28. - Frederick Pecht, Frederick Havice.
1866, May 6. - Frederick Pecht, William Nale.
1870, May 8. - Frederick Pecht, John Havice.
1872, May 26. - Frederick Pecht, John Havice.
1874, June, 21. - Frederick Pecht, John Havice.
1876, July 16. - Frederick Pecht, C. P. Ramsey.
1878, June 3. - C. P. Ramsey, John Havice.
After this one-half the number of elders were elected each year.
1879, March 23. - Philip Fickes.
1880, June 3. - Frederick Havice.
1881. - C. P. Ramsey. March 2d, A. J. Aitkens filled the unexpired term of Frederick Havice.
1882, March 19. - A. J. Aitkens.
1882, April 8. - Frederick Havice.
1884, April 6. - A. J. Aitkens.
SCHOOLS. - The following sketches of early school-houses have been obtained with much difficulty, and in some cases it had been impossible to obtain date.
The first school-house in what is now Armagh township (as far as known) was built along the old road leading to Penn's Valley, perhaps twenty rods north of where the present Thompson factory now stands. This house was built of round logs and had a clapboard roof, and was used for school purposes until the school-
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house was built on Cameron's Hill. James Hall was teacher in this house in 1806.
There was in early times a school-house built on the south side of Cameron's Hill, on the property of Alexander Cameron. It was built on what was then known as Potter's road to Centre County, and near the present line of the property of Alexander and James Brown. This house was destroyed by fire.
After the first school-house on Cameron's Hill was destroyed by fire, the citizens of the district united and built another school-house on Cameron's Hill, locating it on the north side of the hill, alongside of the Potter's road. This house was eighteen by twenty-six feet, was built of round logs, had a slab roof; the seats were made of slabs with pin-feet. The first teacher was William Weekes; others were Robert Loomis, John Nevin, Benjamin Snyder, William Morrison (the people called him "fly-by-night"), George Gibson, Joseph Alexander, - - Sturgeon, Margaret Kinsloe, John Davidson, Alexander Glass, William Stephen and Martha Cottle, (afterwards Mrs. William Ingraham); the latter was the last teacher. When the country became more thickly settled it became necessary to change the size of districts for the sake of convenience; consequently, the school-house on the north side of Cameron's Hill was abandoned, and a new house was built a short distance north of Milroy, on the Hawn property, and was always known at the Laurel Run school-house. The first Laurel Run School-house was built of hewn logs, was eighteen by twenty-five feet, and had a shingle roof on it. The first teacher in this house was Samuel Kays; second, --- Dunbar; third, Timothy Ladd (he was a cripple and could not walk; the boys hauled him to and from school on a small wagon, he was highly respected by the school, and implicitly obeyed); fourth, George Green, Esq.; and fifth, Robert Harper. In the course of a few years this house became too small for the number of pupils in the district; a new frame house was built near the site of the old one, and was larger and had much more room. It was used many years as a school-house, and finally abandoned.
Beatty's Knob school-house was built in the year 1840. It was located on the northwest corner of the property of John Beatty, Sr., three fourths of a mile north of (then) Sterrett's mill, on the east side of the public road leading to the north side of the valley. This house was frame, with shingle roof and weather-boarding put on in the rough. The inside had long desks along three sides of the house, face to wall. George F. Ehrenfeld was the first teacher, and William C. McClenahan the last one.
The Alexander school-house was built in 1814, on the property of Jonathan Alexander. The house was about twenty by twenty-five, built of hewn logs. It was used as a school-house up to 1835, when, by the free-school law, the districts were changed, and this house was abandoned. Prior to this time a school-house was built of round logs and stood immediately across the road, on the Reed property. This house was built according to the means of the settlers in those days. It had a clapboard roof. As nearly as can now be ascertained, the teachers in the old house were John Payden, William Hall and Robert Crosthwite. The teachers who taught in the new house were Samuel Barr, Absalom Tims, Robert Scott, Joseph Alexander, Joseph Rankin, William Stephen, William Murphy, William Smith, John Gilleland, John Andrews, Thomas Wilson, Daniel Jones, Joseph Vanhorn and George F. Ehrenfeld, who was the last teacher who taught in this school-house.
One of the first school-houses along the south side of Armagh township was built in an early day, and was located on the property of James Alexander, on the west side of Honey Creek, on the south side of the public road and about twenty rods from the creek. Joseph Alexander was the first teacher who taught in this house, George Gibson was the second and William Stephen was the last. This house was small and had an uninviting appearance outside.
About sixty-five years ago there was a school-house near Sterrett's mill, located on the property of John Sterrett. The house, eighteen by twenty-four feet, was built of hewn logs; the cracks were chinked and daubed inside and out-
568 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
side, but not plastered. There was one long, movable double desk in the house, which resembled a carpenter's work-bench. All the other seats were low, make of slabs and puncheons, and had no backs. Some of the teachers in the house were --- Woods, John Brown, George Gibson and William Stephen. William Stephen taught in 1828, and was the last teacher.
The school-house at Sterrett's mill being so near the east end of the district, the citizens united and built a more comfortable house on a lot obtained from William McDowel, along the public road leading from Sterrett's mill to Brown's mill, and very near the center of the district. Districts were very large in those days. This school-house was built in 1828, of white-pine longs nicely hewn, and had a shingle roof. It was about twenty-five by thirty-five feet. William Stephen was the first teacher who taught in this house. After several terms the upper and lower floors were laid down tightly and long single desks placed along the walls. The other seats were neatly made of boards, but had no backs to them. William Stephen taught for a number of years, and after him John Brown taught until the time the new school law was accepted in Mifflin County. Brown then left and various teachers taught in the house. It was taken down by the order of the school directors and was rebuilt at the east end of Milroy, and was there used as a school-house some years, and was again taken down and was rebuilt near the property of John McNitt. It was built there to supply the place of the Salem school-house, which had been destroyed by fire the previous season.
In 1833 the citizens of Perryville (now Milroy) and vicinity united and built a small frame building on the property of Jacob Hahn, about twenty-five rods west of the Fertig mill, on the north side of the public road. This house was used as an academy for females until September 30, 1837, when it was sold to the directors of Armagh township for seventy-eight dollars and forty cents, in full for the house and lot. This building was used as a public school-house until the first double school-house was built on the Kanagy lot, in 1868, and when the new school-house was opened for school the above academy building was abandoned, but was afterward sold and is now a tenant-house.
The Coleman school-house is built on the old Coleman property; it is a substantial frame building with shingle roof, and is lathed and plastered inside. It is twenty by twenty-four feet and was built by mutual agreement by and between five persons, viz., J. W. Francis, president, and Joseph Filson, secretary, Edward Coleman, George Goss and Wm. A. Reed. This school-house and lot was sold to the Armagh School District in 1878 for two hundred dollars. Since that time it has been used by the district for public-school purposes.
The school-house at Crissman's Knob was built late in the fall of 1834. It was of hewn logs and was built by voluntary contribution. John Crissman and John Havice did the greater part of the work and paid the greater part of the expenses. It was daubed on the inside and temporary benches and desks were put up, and Dr. John C. Brechenridge was the first teacher and taught during the winter of 1834. In the summer of 1835 the outside of the house was daubed and the inside arranged so as to be made more comfortable. It was then taken as a public school-house and was used as such until 1867 when it was moved by George Showers (contractor) and was rebuilt at the Crissman's Gap Run, in the lower end of Havice Valley. The district continued to use this for a school-house until the summer of 1879, when a neat, well-finished frame school-house was built about forty rods farther eastward, on a lot bought from Joseph Ramer. This new house has all the modern improvements.
The school-houses of which accounts have been given were built prior to the public-school system, which came into force under authority of an act of Legislature which was approved April 1, 1834. In accordance with the provisions of the act, it became the duty of the court of each county to appoint school directors, who were to serve until the next election. At the November term of Mifflin County Court in that year Joseph Kyle and Shem Zook were appointed directors of Armagh township. On the 4th of March, 1835, a meeting of directors
MIFFLIN COUNTY 569
was held, and it was resolved to establish ten schools in the township, as follows:
No. 1, near Sterrett's Mills.
No. 2, at Ramsay's school-house.
No. 3, near the stone church.
No. 4, at Yoder's, near Fleming's mill.
No. 5, at the school-house near Centre Church.
No. 6, at the Gap school-house, near Dr. Henderson's.
No. 7, at Kyle's.
No. 8, near Perryville.
No. 9, at the Lutheran Church.
No. 10, at Crissman's school-house.
At this meeting they arranged for scaled proposals for teachers, to be sent to David Graham, at Norris' Mills, up to the 25th of March, at which time the directors were to meet at the house of John Kerr and make contracts with the teachers, - John McDowel, secretary of the board of directors.
A meeting of the board of directors appears to have taken place at the house of John Kerr, at Brown's Mills, on the 2d day of April, 1836.
The board organized by electing James Alexander, president; Samuel Maclay, M.D., secretary; and David C. Miller, treasurer. The business before the board on that day appears to have been the erection of a school-house near Abner Reed's, in what is now Brown township. The board next met April 16, 1836, at which time they agreed to let the building of this house to Willis Coplin for one hundred and fifty-five dollars, the building to be frame, twenty-two by twenty-six feet, on a stone foundation, raised eighteen inches above ground, the weather-boarding to be unplaned, and the school room to be lined with boards on the inside.
On the 16th day of August, 1836, the board met again at the house of John Kerr; on motion they resolved to divide the district into twelve sub-districts, according to the provisions of the school law (Sec. 8, Article 1st). Also that the sum of fifty-four dollars be appropriated to each school district for the employment of teachers. During the years 1836-37, $886.29½ were drawn from the treasury for school purposes in Armagh township, including Brown, which was set off in the latter year.
Saturday, April 1, 1837, the board of school directors of the lately-formed township of Armagh, who were elected on the 17th day of last March, met this day and organized by appointing Joseph Rothrock president, Samuel Maclay, M. D., secretary, and Thomas Reed treasurer. The board then examined proposals for building a school-house near Marion Furnace. The contract was awarded to William Orr for eighty dollars, to be paid as soon as the house was finished. The building was frame, twenty-four by twenty-eight feet, raised eighteen inches from the ground, on a stone wall. The agreement was made and concluded April 6, 1837, and the house was finished in accordance with the agreement.
The school-house here mentioned is near the site of the old Laurel Run school-house, and is known as the second Laurel Run house.
About 1840 the school directors erected a school-house on the east bank of Honey Creek, a short distance northwest of a blacksmith-shop, and which is now owned by Henry McAuley. It was a small frame building, very low in the story; it was used for a public school until about 1864, when it was destroyed by fire. The directors then secured a lot from Henry McAley on the east side of the road. On this lot they erected a frame weather-board school-house about twenty-five by thirty feet, which is still used.
On the 4th of May, 1840, the school directors of Armagh District bought a lot from John Beatty and built a very ordinary frame building on it. The house had rough weather-boarding on the outside, was lined with boards inside, with the intervening space filled with leached tan-bark. It was used as a public school-house till the spring of 1865. George F. Ehrenfeld was the first teacher in this house and W. C. McClenahen was the last one.
The Salem school-house was built on the Salem Church lot in 1840. It was a
frame building and was like the Beatty's Knob school-house. This was used as a
public school-house many years, when it was destroyed by fire. James C. Hassinger was teacher at the time it was burned.
The first school-house in New Lancaster Valley was built by the order of the school direc-
570 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
tors of Armagh township in 1845, and was located on the land of John Filson. The house was twenty by twenty-four feet, and was built of white pine hewn logs; had a lap-shingle roof. John Filson was the contractor and builder. The first teacher was John Snook. This house was used for public-school purposes until about 1881 or 1882, when the new or second school-house was built.
The second school-house in New Lancaster Valley is a substantial, well-finished frame building, and was built in 1881-1882 by Edward Krichbaum. The house is located near the east line of Calvin Filson's property, and on the north side of the road.
On the 23d day of September, 1853, the board of directors of Armagh township contracted for the building of a new school-house near William Thompson's, on the east side of the turnpike road, about Milroy. On the 4th day of February, 1854, John Barger, Esq. and directors to build the house for two hundred and forty-seven dollars; the building to be twenty-four by thirty feet, on a good stone foundation, raised eighteen inches above ground; door of the house to open into an entry or vestibule on the outside of the main building. This vestibule to be six by fourteen feet, in which there shall be one window. At the time the agreement was entered into, the contract price was raised from two hundred and forty-seven dollars to two hundred and seventy dollars. This building was used as a school-house until 1868, when it was given up for that purpose. It is now used as a dwelling-house.
The Armagh township district built a school-house on the property of Hugh
Aitken in 1856. It was built of hemlock fence-rails. It was never considered a
comfortable house, but was used for public schools until the spring of 1884.
Milo Cooper was the first teacher and Miss Minnie Shelly was the last one. In
the summer of 1884 the directors of Armagh township had the old building taken
down, and a new, substantial frame house built in the same place. Miss Alice
Siebert was the first teacher in the new house, and Howard Aitken the second.
The school directors of Armagh District built a new frame school-house in Siglerville in 1864, on a lot which they bought the same year. It was twenty-five by thirty-five feet, and was weather-boarded up and down with stripping on the seams, and painted brown. This was used as a public school-house until 1882, when the increase of inhabitants made it necessary to have a larger building. Therefore, in 1882, the school directors bought an addition to the present lot, and built the present double brick school-house on it, moving the location nearer to the public road than the place where the first house stood. This house is thirty-two by forty-seven feet, with a vestibule seven by thirty-two feet long, and is arranged for two schools. The house cost twenty-six hundred dollars, and William McDowell and Miss Kate McAuley were the first teachers.
In 1864 the directors erected a frame school-house on the east end of James M. Brown's farm, on the west side of the road. The house is twenty-five by thirty-five feet and weather-boarded. It is painted brown and is still used.
EAST KISHACOQUILLAS ACADEMY. - The citizens in the vicinity of Locke's Mills united in a stock company and built the East Kishacoquillas Academy. The house is built of brick and is twenty-three and one-quarter by thirty feet. It was used several years as an academy, but did not prove a success.
On the 21st of September, 1865, the stock-holders and owners of the academy
sold it to the school directors of the Armagh District for a public
school-house, instead of the Beatty's Knob school-house, which was abandoned the
same year. The directors paid eight hundred dollars for this house, which is
still in use.
On the 10th of December, 1867, a lot was purchased of David Hooley, part of the property lately owned by Henry Kanagy. On this lot the directors built a frame house, with two rooms, making each room twenty-five by thirty feet. It is weather-boarded and was used for school purposes until several years ago. It is not at present used, but is not abandoned by the directors.
In 1876 it was found that the above-named double school-house was too small to accommodate the pupils of the district, and it was de-
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cided by the directors to build another school-house on the same lot. On the 19th of February, 1872, a contract was made with Isaiah Coplin to build a two-story brick building, thirty by fifty feet, with four class-rooms, the building to have a vestibule on the south side. The contract price was three thousand dollars. The work progressed smoothly for some time, but for some cause, Coplin did not complete the work. It passed into the hands of another contractor, who completed the building. This house has the late improvements in desks, etc., and the schools are in a prosperous condition.
On the 21st of July, 1877, Thomas B. McNitt sold to the board of directors a lot, upon which they erected a brick school-house, twenty-five by thirty-five feet, which is still used.
POST-OFFICES IN ARMAGH TOWNSHIP. - The first post-office in what is now Armagh township was established in 1828, and was called the Valley Post-office. William Thompson was postmaster. It was located above, or northwest, of what is now Milroy, at the house of William Thompson, who continued to be postmaster until 1843 or 1845, when it was removed to the village of Milroy, and Jesse Wingate was appointed postmaster. He continues in office till he moved away, in 1849. The name was changed to Milroy Post-Office in 1850. James Thompson was appointed postmaster after Wingate, and Mrs. Cooper conducted the office until 1853 or 1854, when Isaiah Coplin was appointed postmaster. He continued in the office until 1861, at which time A. W. Graff was appointed postmaster and continued in the office until November 30, 1867, when W. V. B. Coplin was appointed postmaster. He continued in office until July 1, 1868. Holmes Maclay was appointed postmaster on the 1st day of July, 1868, and the office was conducted by A. W. Graff until July 1, 1876, when Moses Thompson, the present postmaster, was appointed.
A post-office was located in Siglerville, Armagh township, on the 1st day of July, 1871, and Robert McNitt was appointed postmaster. The office was conducted by S. A. McClintic until January 17, 1878, at which time Wm. R. Barefoot was appointed. He still continues in office.
The post-office at Locke's Mills was established about 1846, when James K.
Polk was President. E. E. Locke was appointed postmaster and continued in that
capacity until some time in March, 1865, when he gave up the office. N. W.
Sterrett was appointed postmaster instead of Locke, who moved away from that
place about the last of March, 1865. The office did not remain long under the
control of N. W. Sterrett. It was taken away from Locke's Mills entirely, and
since that time there has been no post-office at that place.
MILLS AND OTHER INDUSTRIES. - The list here given contains the names of persons in Armagh township, in 1781, who were operating mills, tan-yards and distilleries, -
William Brown, two mills, two stills (two negroes); William Beard, tan-yard; Matthew Taylor, two stills (one negro); Samuel Galloway, tan-yard; Samuel Holliday, two mills and a still; Daniel Jones, mill; William Junkin, mill; George Mitchell, two stills.
In the year 1793, William Brown, Esq., erected a grist-mill and saw-mill on a tract of three hundred acres. John Beard erected a saw-mill and James McFarlane a grist and saw-mill; in 1828 he also had a fulling-mill and distillery. In 1835 they were owned by William McFarlane, IN 1812 David Williams advertised that he "had had for some time a wool and cotton-factory and now has complete new machines for carding, and proposes to do carding at eight cents per pound." Robert Work, in the same year, built a new fulling-mill in Kishacoquillas Valley, adjoining John Fleming's mill. The property was sold the next year to Aaron Work.
The first mill in the east end of the Kishacoquillas Valley was erected by John Sterrett. The work upon the mill and the race (which was about three-quarters of a mile long) was completed in 1816. The mill was started and three bushels of wheat were ground, when Mr. Sterrett was taken ill with a fever, which lasted but a few days and resulted in his death November 6, 1816.
This mill was a large-sized, three-story frame building, with two high overshot water-wheels
572 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
and four pairs of burrs. After the death of John Sterrett a part of his farm property was sold, including the mill, and Rebecca, wife of John Sterrett, became the purchaser. Afterward, on the 22d day of February, 1833, Rebecca Sterrett sold the mill property to John Sterrett, son of Robert Sterrett, who operated the mill in connection with the still-house until February 9, 1841, when he sold it to E. E. & L. Locke. The Lockes continued to operate the mill, with the still-house and alcohol-house, until July 25, 1857, when, about four o'clock in the afternoon, Locke's mills and four other buildings were destroyed by fire. The work of rebuilding began in November, 1857, and the mill was finished in June, 1858. John Todd was the millwright. This mill is built of brick, and is forty-six by seventy feet, and is three stories high. It has a brick extension at the south side. On the north side of the mill, and adjoining, is a brick still-house, which is forty-five by seventy feet. This was a steam distillery, with a capacity of over one hundred bushels per day. The fermenting tubs were in the cellar, and were made of white cedar planks. The whiskey made here was converted into alcohol in another building a few rods north of the still-house. The fixtures in the alcohol-house were of the most modern improved style, from which they made the ninety-five per cent alcohol. Rebuilding the mill, still-house, alcohol-house, whiskey-house, cooper-shop and several stables so involved the Messrs. Locke that their property passed into the hands of the sheriff, and was sold in November, 1863, to E. C. Humes, William McAllister, Andrew G. Curtin and James T. Hale, of Bellefonte, Centre County. The property was sold to Thomas Diven in February, 1871, and in March of the same year John M. McAuley bought the undivided half, and in October, 1871, he bought the other half of this mill property. McAuley still continues to be the owner.
James Alexander built a mill on his property on the Havice Branch of East Kishacoquillas Creek, about one mile north of Siglerville. The mill-house is a small frame building, and has two pairs of mill stones, and was built in 1830. Alexander afterward sold or traded it to William Strunk and his son, Benjamin Strunk. The Strunks did not own it very long, until it was sold from them by the sheriff of Mifflin County, and E. L. Benedict, Esq., attorney, became the purchaser. It remained the property of Benedict until his death, and is now owned by his heirs. The mill is still kept running while the stream continues to furnish a sufficiency of water. Frequently the stream is so small that the mill must stop.
Samuel McGrorey built a mill on his property, at the first bend in Honey Creek, below the mouth of Dry Creek. This mill had two pairs of mill-stones. After operating it some time McGrorey sold it to Robert Mitchell and John Wherry. The mill-house was built of logs. The great drawback connected with this mill was that the dam would wash away. Various dams were built, but none of them stood. Finally they became discouraged and the mill was stopped entirely.
After the Wherry mill ceased to run James McFarlane built a small frame mill on his property, about a half mile farther down, along the same creek. This mill had two pairs of mill-stones. It was operated for many years. About 1828 McFarlane built a fulling-mill, and a carding machine was put in operation in the same building. At that age woolen factories were unknown in that section of country. Each family spun their own woolen yarn, and the cloth was woven on Domestic looms, which were common at that time. After the cloth was woven it was taken to the fulling-mill and was there fulled and dyed, and made ready for the tailor's shears.
William and Thomas Reed built the woolen mill subsequently known as Thompson's factoy in 1840. It was a frame building, forty by fifty feet, three stories high. It contained one set of cards and mules, for the manufacture of cloths, satinetts, blankets, etc. The building was enlarged in 1847, and its capacity doubled. It was again enlarged in 1861, and the third set of machines added. This factory was first operated by Thompson & Hawn. In 1847 Thomas Watson and James Thompson operated it and continued to 1852. After that time it was oper-
MIFFLIN COUNTY 573
ated by James Thompson. This building was entirely destroyed by fire the 23d day of December, 1883. The present factory was rebuilt, partly on the foundation of the former one, the following year. The lower story is of stone and the second story is of brick. The building is forty-eight by one hundred and forty-six feet. There are several other buildings near the factory which are used in connection with it. The picker-house is two stories high, twenty-two by forty-two feet, and is built of stone and Brick. A one-story dye-house, twenty-six by sixty feet, is built of stone, and a two-story dry-house, fourteen by fourteen feet, is built of brick.
It is devoted exclusively to the manufacture of stocking yarn and hosiery, and is now operated by the Thompson Brothers, sons of one of the original proprietors.
A tannery was erected half a mile north of Milroy many years ago by Valentine Gardner and was conducted by him a few years, and later by George Keller, Henry & Jacob Moyer and Samuel Brisbin. It closed before 1850.
The following is a list of distilleries that at one time where in operation in Armagh township. The dates of their erection have been found in some instances. The owners and locations are here given. These early distilleries were built of logs and supplied with two copper stills, except otherwise mentioned. They were all abandoned before 1835 except Sterrett's, Strowley's and Coplin's. John McMonigle built one in 1809 on the John Montgomery property, at the foot of the mountain; Samuel McNitt built on the property now owned by James B. McNitt; Felix Lee built on the farm now owned by William Aitken; James Alexander built about half a mile south of Felix Lee's still-house. Others were located as follows: - William Longwell, near where the Benedict mill now stands; Matthew Longwell, at the north side of Beatty's Knob, farm now owned by H. L. Close; John Smith, on the farm now in possession of O. P. Smith; Robert Neely, stone still-house, on the present farm of Brown McNitt; John Fertig, in the cellar of the log dwelling-house which still stands in Milroy at the north side of Josiah Shawalter's mill; William and Thomas Reed, on the west side of the creek, opposite the Milroy Mill; Foster Milliken, an extensive frame still-house, on the opposite side of the road from Marion Furnace.
George Swartzell, about 1825, built on his farm a still-house which was operated by John Kenard and Zebulon Philips, property now owned by George Swartzell, Jr. Robert Mithcell had one on the west side of Honey Creek, in front of the present residence of Andrew McFarlane. James McDarlane had a log house opposite the Stone Spring-House; later another on the south side of the mill-race and east of the mill, to which the stills were moved. The distillers were John Kennedy, Joseph Bower, Robert Shared, Zebulon Philips, Charles Devine Edward Cox, --- Dudley, Gottlieb Richards and Isaac and David Phillips. John Hawn built one in 1808, on a farm a short distance west of the Milroy mill-dam; abandoned in 1810.
Caleb Strowley erected a still-house at the end of Hawn's Knob, near the north side of Joseph Hawn's farm, after the others in the township were abandoned, except Sterrett's. The property is now owned by the heirs of Reed Sample.
Isaiah Coplin, in 1858, erected a stone still-house on the land which he bought of William Thompson. It was later in possession of Nathaniel W. Sterrett, who operated it for a time. It is now owned by his heirs.
John Sterrett, Sr., who died in November, 1816, erected a log still-house, a few years prior to his death, north of the present road. In 1821 John Sterrett, a nephew, and William Reed & Co., erected a large log still-house on the same property, a short distance northwest of the Sterrett mill, and on the opposite side of the road. On the 22d of February, 1833, Rebecca Sterrett, window of John Sterrett, sold the mill and distillery property to John Sterrett, and son of Robert Sterrett. The distillery was enlarged by an extension as large as the original. The copper stills were removed and steam was introduced. After operating several years, a new frame building was erected at the north side of the mill. This building had a cellar under it, in which the fermenting tubs were placed. The washing and pumping was done
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by a gearing connected with the mill. On the 9th of February, 1841, John Sterrett sold the mill and stills to E. E. Locke, of Philadelphia. They continued to operate it as an alcohol distillery until the 25th of July, 1857, when the mill, still-house and four other buildings were destroyed by fire. They began to rebuild the same year, and in June, 1858, the mill and still-house were completed.
The still-house adjoins the mill on the north side, and is forty-five by seventy feet. All the machinery was of the latest improved style, with a capacity of distilling one hundred and ten bushels per day. The whiskey was converted into alcohol before it left the premises, and in no case was the whiskey sold for any purpose. The alcohol-house stood a short distance north of the distillery. In this building there was one copper still which held twelve barrels of whiskey containing forty gallons each. These twelve barrels were converted into ninety-five per cent alcohol in one day. E. E. & L. Locke continued to operate this distillery until the 19th of November, 1863, when the sheriff of Mifflin County sold the same to E. C. Humes, William McAllister, Andrew G. Curtin and James T. Hale. These parties sold to Thomas Diven in February, 1871, and John M. McAuley bought the undivided half of the same from Diven in March, 1871, and in October of the same year McAuley bought the other half. After John McAuley became the full owner of the still-house he disposed of much of the inside material, and again refitted it with a much smaller capacity. About one or two months in each year he distils whiskey for medical and mechanical purposes.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.
David Sterrett, before 1809.
George Green, 1824-39.
Wm. Sloan, 1840-49.
Wm. B. Maclay, 1850-53.
John Barger, 1854-58.
Peter Fertig, 1859-63.
John Barger, 1864-80.
Adam A. Brown, 1881.
The following are the justices of the peace elected for the east end of Armagh township:
John C. Cooper, 1840-49.
William Ramsey, 1849-54.
Wm. Bell, 1855-65.
Adam A. Brown, 1866-70.
John Swartzell, 1871-75.
Adam A. Brown, 1876-79.
T. A. Crissman, 1879-83.
Samuel D. Coldren, 1884.
FOSSIL REMAINS. - In 1872, while workmen were engaged in excavation about sixteen feet below the surface at the quarries of Charles Naginey, bones were thrown out. They attracted the notice of John Swartzell, who carried them home, and in course of time sent them to Professor Leidy, of the University of Pennsylvania, for examination. The following from the Lewistown Gazette of January 17, 1873, give the facts:
"The fossil animal remains found in Charles Naginey's limestone quarry a year ago, and referred to in a recent issue of this paper, were discussed by Professor Leidy a few weeks ago at the Academy of Sciences, when he gave as his final opinion that they belongs to a species of peccary, and conferred on them the name 'Platygonus Vetus,' meaning an ancient peccary, only one other species having ever been discovered in this State. Dr. Leidy is said to be preparing a monograph on extinct species of peccaries, so we may hope to hear something further in regard to our unique representative. Much honor is due Mr. Swartzell for the thoughtful care shown by him in preserving the remaining fragments from the destructive carelessness of the workmen at the quarry, as otherwise this species might never have been known to science. Mr. Swartzell had decided to donate the specimens to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. They will be forwarded to their destination at an early date. Professor Morrill, of the Lewistown Academy, had made several plaster-of-Paris casts of the most perfect bones, one of which will be placed in the cabinet at Lewistown."
The donation was made to the Academy of Natural Sciences, and the specimens arrived in safety.
Mr. McDowell was born near Milroy, June 26, 1800. He was of Scotch descent, his grandfather having emigrated to the colonies about the middle of the last century, settling in what was then Cumberland (now Franklin) County, Pa., and from thence removing in 1754 to Kishacoquillas Valley, where he passed the remainder of the days allotted to him on earth. His father was engaged at different time in agricultural and mercantile pursuits, and served
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his county, which comprised what is now both Mifflin and Juniata Counties, as sheriff for one or more terms. His mother's maiden-name was June Mitchell. The subject of this sketch was the oldest of nine children. He lived and worked upon the farm during his minority, receiving such elementary educations as farmers' sons usually obtained in those time in common schools; not, however, schools sustained by the State, but by the families in each particular neighborhood. His mind being naturally good, by reading and association with men of intelligence, he acquired a considerable amount of general information, which well qualified him for the ordinary business of a citizen and for the offices of trust to which he was sometimes chosen. His business during the whole of his life was farming, and he was truly a self-made man, in the sense in which we usually employ those words. Thrown upon his own resources in early manhood, having no capital with which to begin life, except those powers and faculties of body and mind with which God had endowed him, he succeeded, through his own exertions, in acquiring a considerable estate. The record of indomitable energy, industry, steadfast perseverance and economy which marked his earlier years; his skill and foresight in the management of his affairs; and the determination with which he met and triumphed over difficulties and discouragements, stand as an encouragement to any who may be struggling with adversity of entering upon the battle of life. Naturally prudent and having a discriminating judgment and large experience, he was frequently consulted in the purchase of property, and a number of time appointed administrator of estates. He was not only a member, but also an efficient and judicious trustee of the East Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church. In 1861 he was elected a commissioner of the county, in which office he served two years, until his death. He was prominent in the management of township affairs, and was the counselor and friend of many in
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circumstances of want and embarrassment, who, relieved by his timely aid, revere the memory of his acts of kindness and interest in their temporal welfare. A man of commanding presence, of true and honest purpose, especially useful by his wise and peaceful counsels, a true friend, a genial companion, his demeanor that of the humblest and plainest of men, he enjoyed the esteem and confidence of the community in which he lived. He was married, December 21, 1841, to Miss Mary Brisbin, daughter of James Brisbin, Esq., and native of the same valley, who is still living and by whom he had four children, two of whom are living, ---the son, John McDowell, residing at the old homestead and engaged in farming, and the daughter, Margaret J., the wife of Rev. A. H. Parker, pastor of East Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church.
Mr. McDowell died March 29, 1863, in the sixty-third year of his age. His death, sudden and unexpected, although he had been confined to his house for two weeks, was caused by the rupture of a blood-vessel.
HENRY L. CLOSE
Henry L. Close is the grandson of Peter Close (or Klose), who came from Lancaster County to Mifflin, (then Cumberland) County, and settled on the farm now owned by the subject of this sketch. This land was first purchased by a Mr. O'Connor, in 1767, and by him transferred on the 29th of September, 1787, to Hon. Thomas Mifflin. He sold, in turn, to one Christopher Boker, who gave a deed of the property to Peter Close on the 23d of November, 1787. The latter married Catherine Livingston, of Lancaster County, whose children were Peter, Henry, Elizabeth and Adam. Henry removed to Ohio, Adam to Venango County, Pa., Elizabeth, who married George Bridge, settled on an adjoining farm. Peter,
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who was born in Lancaster County in 1786, and settled on the homestead in Mifflin County, married Jane, daughter of John Orr and Catherine, his wife, of the same county and township. Their children were John, born December, 1810, who settled in his native county; Henry L. Elliott, born August 5, 1815, now residing in Milroy, Mifflin County; Eliza, born August, 1819, deceased, who married William Akins, of the same township; William T., born August 1, 1821, a farmer in Armagh township. Mr. Close during his lifetime followed the employment of a farmer. His character for probity, integrity and intelligence was such as to make his influence for good apparent in the community. He was also active in the affairs of the East Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church, of which he was a member. His death occurred March 24, 1838, and that of his wife March 26, 1864. His son, Henry L. Close, was born May 19, 1813, on the homestead, which is his present residence. The common school afforded opportunity for acquiring a limited education, the winter only being devoted to study, as during the summer he was occupied on the farm. During his father's lifetime he was one of his most industrious helpers, and on the latter's death a portion of the estate became his own. In 1842 he built the house now occupied by his son, James. H. Close, and in 1877 his present convenient residence. Mr. Close was, on the 12th of November, 1845, married to Francia M., daughter of William Ramsey and his wife, Elizabeth, of the same township. Their children are William T., born September 4, 1846, deceased; Edmund M. and Edwin (twins), November 3, 1847, of who Edwin is deceased, Edmund having married Clara P., daughter of William and Sarah Nale; Elizabeth B., July 23, 1849; S. Jennie, May 29, 1853, wife of James B. Smith, of the same township; James H., July 28, 1856, married to Mary Blanche, daughter of James and Elizabeth Alexander, of Centre County, Pa. The last-named son resides on the farm of his father. Mr. Close has seldom been attracted by business speculations or commercial ventures from the routine of farm labor to which he was educated. He has been either a Whig or a Republican in politics, and active in the local political issues of the day, having for seventeen successive years held the office of school director of the township, as he does at present. He has also been county auditor, and filled the position of county commissioner. His services are frequently sought as guardian and in the settlement of estates. Mr. Close aided materially in building the East Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church, of which he and his wife and daughters are members.
OLIVER P. SMITH.
Oliver P. Smith is the grandson of Conrad Smith, who on his emigration from Germany, settled in Lancaster County, Pa., from whence he removed to Cumberland (now Mifflin) County. He was united in marriage to Esther Anderson, and had children, ---John, who settled in the Kishacoquillas Valley in 1781; Samuel, who resided in Lewistown; Jacob, who removed to Philadelphia; Joseph, who also settled in the Kishacoquillas Valley; and two daughters: Elizabeth (Mrs. Jonathan Alexander) and Catherine. The birth of John Smith occurred in Lancaster County, on the 7th of April, 1766, from whence he removed, when a youth, with his father to Mifflin County, performing the journey entirely on foot, as other means of travel were rendered impossible from the want of roads of any kind. He began with scanty aids and in a very humble manner the calling of a farmer, but eventually, as success crowned his persevering efforts, purchased the farm now owned by his son, Oliver P. Smith. John Smith married Sarah, daughter of Stephen Beatty, of the same county, and had children, --- Samuel, born November 12, 1798, and married to Eliza Porter, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; William, born March 21, 1801, married to Nancy McFarlane; Mary E., born October 16, 1806, married to Andrew McFarlane; John, born October 20, 1809; James B., born May 1, 1812, married to Eliza Campbell; Oliver P., born July 16, 1814; and Sarah J., born December 27, 1816, wife, of Samuel Kyle. John Smith died March 11, 1848, in his eighty-second year, and his wife October 7, 1848, in his eighty-second year, and his wife October 7, 1846, in her seventieth year. Their son Samuel graduated from the Medical
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Department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1823, and after a brief interval of practice removed to Pittsburgh, when he became the senior member of the firm Smith, Pryn & Co., iron manufacturers. He also became interested in steamboat enterprises and in other important business schemes. Later he embarked in the drug business, which was continued until a few years prior to his death. He possessed a commanding presence, a clear and well-cultivated mind and a remarkably genial nature, which rendered him justly popular. His death occurred June 7, 1883. Oliver P. Smith still occupies the farm which was the scene of his birth. After such opportunities of education as the subscription schools of the day afforded, he bore his share, though at a very early age in the labor of the fields. Continuing thus a willing aid to his father until his thirtieth year, he then, with his brother James B., took the farm on shares. Eventually a part came to him by inheritance, and the remainder being purchased, he continued to cultivate the land until 1864, when, having decided to abandon active labor, the farm was rented. Mr. Smith was married, on the 25th of November, 1845, to Margaret I., daughter of John and Elizabeth Taylor, of Brown township. Their children are John W., born July 10, 1847, who died November 22, 1861; Sally G., born January 7, 1857, who died September 15th of the same year; Elizabeth T., born August 24, 1848, married to George R. Frysinger, of Lewistown; and James B., born October 17, 1851, married to S. Jennie, daughter of Henry L. Close. The death of Mrs. Smith occurred February 20, 1864, and Mr. Smith was again married, February 20, 1868, to Amelia E. Helman, of York County, Pa. In their political sentiments the Smith family have always been Whigs, and the subject of this sketch has, since the formation of the Republican party, supported it principles. He has served as county commissioner and held various township offices. His integrity and judgment have rendered his services on many occasions desirable in the capacity of guardian. Both Mr. and Mrs. Smith are members of the East Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church, of which the former is a trustee.
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