HISTORY OF PERRY COUNTY
S. Wright; 1873
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Apple-trees in bloom, December, 1822.
Advocate and Press, the name of an eight-column, 19x25, single sheet,
weekly Republican newspaper, started in Bloomfield in June, 1853, by a joint
stock association, with John H. Sheibley, Esq., as editor. It is devoted
to literature, politics, local news, agriculture and advertising. Mr.
Sheibley has become proprietor and greatly increased his facilities for job
printing. The subscription price of the Advocate is $2 per annum in
Advertisement-- "For sale a healthy stout mulatto man, aged about 22
years. To be sold as the property of Rev. John Linn, deceased." --Perry
A Remarkable Room.-- There is a room in the house now occupied by Francis
Gibson, Esq., Spring township, Perry county, Penna., in which occurred the
births of John Banister Gibson, Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pennsylvania,
George Gibson, Commissary of the United States, John Bernheisel, the Mormon,
Hon. John Bigler, Governor of California from 1852 to 1855, who died at
Sacramento, California, on the 27th of August, 1872, and Hon. William Bigler,
Governor of Pennsylvania from 1852 to 1855, still living in Clearfield,
Clearfield county, Penna.
Banks of Deposit.-- "Perry County, Sponsler, Junkin &
Co.," was organized on the 19th of September, 1866, by electing William A.
Sponsler, President, and William Willis, Cashier. "Newport" was
organized on the 12th of December, 1866, with Perry Kremer, President, Isaac
Wright, Cashier, and Charles A. Wright, Teller, and re-organized, March 23,
1867, with John Wright as President, and Isaac Wright, Cashier. An new
article of confederation caused a re-organization, Jan. 2, 1872, when Thomas H.
Milligan was elected President, Isaac Wright, Cashier, and Joseph M. Wright,
Teller. "Liverpool Bank:" was organized in July, 1871, with M.
B. Holman, President and J. C. Weirick, Cashier.
Burkholder, Hon. A. K., was born in Juniata township, Perry county,
Pennsylvania, and was educated at Markelville Academy. He read law in the
office of B. M'Intire, Esq., Bloomfield. After being admitted to the Bar
he removed to Ohio, from which place he went into the army as a captain of
volunteers. After his term of enlistment expired he returned home, and
soon afterward removed to Missouri, where he is now (Aug. 1, 1872) serving as a
Buckwheat in 1826.-- Solomon Bower, of Toboyne township, raised a stalk
which had 3,012 sound grains on it.
Brady, Rev. Joseph, for many years a zealous minister of the gospel for
several Presbyterian churches in the eastern par of the county, died on Tuesday
evening, April 24th, 1821.
Bloomfield Times, published every Tuesday morning by Frank Mortimer &
Co., is a five-column, 12x19, eight-paged weekly. It was first issued in
January, 1868. Subscription price is $ 1.25 per year in advance. The
Times is the only paper in the county published on a steam-power press.
Berkstresser, Henry, member of the House from Lawrence Co., O., was born
at Liverpool, Perry Co., Pennsylvania, January 19, 1831, and grew to manhood
near New Bloomfield. He removed to Ohio in the Spring of 1853, settling in
Richland county, but at the expiration of two years, he removed to Newark,
Licking county. He subsequently joined the Ohio Conference of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, and was appointed to Patriot circuit, October 1,
On the breaking out of the rebellion he entered the Union army, and was
commissioned as 1st lieutenant in the 18t Ohio volunteers, October, 1861.
He returned to the work of the ministry in the fall of 1862.
He was elected to the General Assembly of Ohio in the fall of 1871, and served
as chairman of the Committee on Temperance.
Beaver, Gen. James A., at present a practitioner at the Center county
bar, Bellefonte, Pa., was born in Millerstown, Perry county. He served his
country as colonel of 148th regiment infantry, from September 8th, 1862 till
December 22, 1864, when he was honorably discharged on account of a wound
which resulted in the loss of a leg. He was appointed brevet brigadier
Clark's Ferry was called by the Indians Queenaskawakee. This ferry
was once a great fording place. A little above it, at the White Rock, on
the river side, John Harris had, in 1733, a house which was complained of by the
Indians.-- Watson's Annals.
Cochran, Rev. Wm. P., D. D., was born in Greenwood township, Perry
county, in 1803. He graduated at Princeton College in this twenty-second
year. In 1825 he went to Missouri as a Home Missionary. He finally
became settled as the owner of a plantation and pastor of a Presbyterian church
in Marion county, Missouri, where he remained until the breaking out of the
rebellion, when he received a call from the Presbyterian churches of
Millerstown, Newport and Ickesburg (Buffalo church), which he accepted, and
removed his family to Millerstown. He continued to discharge the duties of
pastor over these congregations until the spring of 1868, when he resigned and
returned to his old home in Missouri.
Duncan's Island.-- The Swedish family of Huling came originally from
Marcus Hook, and settled the fine island now called Duncan's. In the year
1755 Mrs. Huling, with her two children, all on horse, forded the river when it
was unusually high, and made their escape from the Indians to Fort Hunter,
afterward known as McAllister's Place. A Mrs. Berryhill got safe to the
same place, but her husband was killed and scalped. At the angle of the
canal, near the large bridge, says James F. Watson, I saw the mound covered with
trees from which hundreds of cart-loads of Indian bones were taken and used,
with the intermixed earth, as filling material for one of the bastions of the
dam. There were also among them many beads and trinkets which were piled
up as so much clay or stones to form an embankment.
Duncannon Iron Works, now one of the most extensive iron manufactories in
central Pennsylvania, were started at Petersburg, Perry county, about 1830.
The first of these works was a small charcoal forge, erected by Duncan and
Morgan, who failed after a few years, when the property was bought by Wm. L.
Wister and C. W. Morgan, who built and put in operation the rolling mills, and
soon after the nail factory--all of which were run by waterpower until 1853,
when steam-power was added to the finishing mills and continued to be used in
them alone until 1860, when a flood washed out the dam. At this time
steam-power was added to the other mills, and since then has been used
throughout the works.
In 1853, the anthracite furnace was erected, with an average capacity of 7,000
tons of pig-iron per annum.
The old Montibello charcoal furnace was operated by the same firm until 1848,
when it was blown out because it would no longer pay.
Fisher, Morgan & Co. sold their interest to the Duncannon Iron Company in
This company has been the successful operators of these works since that
time. These works have grown by improvement and addition until there are
16 puddling and 6 heating furnaces and 54 nail machines; they use eight engines
with a total power of 700 horses, employ 350 hands and have upward of 80 tenant
houses, besides a large store, offices, and warerooms.
Flickinger, H. C., a graduate of Eastman College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and
a very justly celebrated penman, is a native of Saville township, Perry county.
First Locomotive.-- The first locomotive that ever crossed the Upper
Mississippi is in this city, in the possession of Mr. D. X. Junkin. It was
built in the year 1844, by the Hon. B. F. Junkin, of Perry county, Pennsylvania,
while attending Lafayette College, at Easton, Pa., after seeing the first
locomotive that ever run on the middle division of the Pennsylvania Central
railroad. It was brought by his father, Judge Junkin, to this county, in
the year 1854, and has all the requisites for drawing cars. It can be seen
at the residence of Mr. D. X. Junkin in this city.--Muscatine (Iowa) Courier.
Gantt, Hon. Daniel, a native of Perry county was for many years a citizen
of Bloomfield and a practitioner at that bar. While in Perry county, Mr.
Gantt was identified with the most advanced educational movements of the times,
ever ready to put his shoulder to the wheel and give his push.
Mr. Gantt left Perry county previous to the year 1860, and has been a resident
of several States since, and finally, we learn from an Omaha paper of Nov. 22,
1872, has been elected to the bench of the Supreme Court of the State of
Greek Cross.-- When the canal was making near Newport the laborers dug up
a stone shaped like a Greek cross, which, when thoroughly cleansed, the
transverse was seen to contain hieroglyphics plainly marked with a sharp-pointed
instrument. This cross was sent to Philadelphia for the opinion of the
members of the Historical Society, but never reaching its destination, is
supposed to have been lost on the way.
Gibson's Rock.-- About twenty rods from the old mansion house of the
Gibsons was the precipitous wall of stratified conglomerate sandstone, known as
Gibson's Rock. Its abrupt termination looked north toward a ravine.
It towered about one hundred and ten feet above the waters of Sherman's Creek,
and seems to have once been a part of Pisgah Hills on the opposite side of the
creek. but whether the spur from Dick's Hills which joined these parallel chains
we could hardly safely determine. If it joined in this manner, then there
were two coves of peculiar formations, such the echoes of which no human ear
Gibson, Hon. John Banister, Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pennsylvania,
was appointed to the Supreme Court, May 9th 1853, thirty-five years ago.
On the death of Chief Justice Tilghman, he became his successor, an presided
over its deliberations more than twenty years, with honor to himself and to the
country. So distinguished were his ability, learning and impartiality,
that, after the adoption of the amended Constitution, in 1838, in times of the
highest and bitterest party excitement, Governor Ritner, forgetting his personal
and party feelings, and looking only to the qualifications necessary for that
high office, reappointed him Chief Justice of this Commonwealth; an act
honorable to both.
Judge Gibson lived to an advanced age; his knowledge increasing with increasing
years, while his great intellect remained unimpaired. (An extract from the
remarks of Thaddeus Stevens.)
We cannot forbear giving in full the eulogium of Chief Justice Black upon the
occasion that called forth the foregoing from Hon. Thaddeus Stevens. We
commend it as a gem worthy to be read and re-read by every student and admirer
"It is unnecessary to say that every surviving member of the Court is
deeply grieved by the death of Chief Justice Gibson. In the course of
nature it was no to be expected that he could live much longer, for he had
attained the ripe age of seventy-six. But the blow, though not a sudden,
was, nevertheless, a severe one.
"The intimate relations, personal and official, which we all bore to him,
would have been sufficient to account for some emotion, even if he had been an
ordinary man. But he was the Nestor of the bench, whose wisdom inspired
the public mind with confidence in our decisions. By this bereavement the
Court has lost what no time can repair; for we shall never look upon his like
"We regarded him more as a father than a brother. None of us ever saw
a Supreme Court until he was in it; and to some of us his character as a great
judge was familiar even in childhood. The earliest knowledge of the law we
had was derived in part from his luminous expositions of it. He was a
Judge of the Common Pleas before the youngest of us was born, and was a member
of this Court long before the oldest was admitted to the bar. He sat here
with twenty-six different associates, of whom eighteen preceded him to the
grave. For nearly a quarter of a century he was Chief Justice, and when he
was nominally superseded by another, as the head of the court, his great
learning, venerable character, and overshadowing reputation, still made him the
only Chief whom the hearts of the people would know. During the long
period of his judicial labors he discussed and decided innumerable
questions. His opinions are found in no less than seventy volumes of the
regular reports from 2 Sergeant and Rawle to 7 Harris.
"At the time of his death he had been longer in office than any
contemporary judge in the world; and in some points of character he had not his
equal on the earth. Such vigor, clearness and precision of thought were
never before united with the same felicity of diction. Brougham has
sketched Lord Stowell justly enough as the greatest judicial writer that England
could boast of, for force and beauty of style. He selects a sentence....
John Banister Gibson's birth-place has been given in another place, and it yet
remains for the public to be informed of his death, which occurred at the United
States Hotel, at 2 o'clock, May 3, 1853, in the 73d year of his age. He
was the son of Col. George Gibson of the Revolutionary war, who fell at St.
Clair's defeat in 1791. He graduated at Dickinson College in 1800.
He then studied law under Thomas Duncan, Esq. He was twice sent to the
Legislature--in 1810 and 1811--giving his support to Gov. Snyder and President
Madison. In 1818 he was elected to the Supreme bench.
Judge Gibson's remains were taken to Carlisle for interment, on the 4th of May,
Oil portraits of Judge Gibson and Col. George Gibson are still retained in the
old "Gibson house" in Spring township, Perry county, Pennsylvania.
Juniata, spelled C and Ch-oniata and Juneauta, is an Iroquois word, the meaning
of which is unknown. The Indians esteemed this river their best hunting
ground for deer, elk and beaver.
Liverpool Mercury and People's Advertiser, the title of a weekly
newspaper owned and edited at Liverpool, Perry county, by John Huggins.
The Mercury was a five-column, 12x16, four-paged paper, devoted to
politics, literature, local news and advertising. It was started July 1,
1831, and finally became merged into the Perry County Democrat in June,
1826. The subscription price was $2.00 per annum.
Landisburg Sunday-school, in 1821, collected the following fines for
absences: From the superintendent, 6 cents; from directors, 6 cents each,
and from each teacher 3 cents.
Linn, Rev. John, D. D., for more than forty years pastor of Center
meeting-house, died August 29, 1830, aged 70 years.
Lewis, David, a bold robber who frequented the mountains and mountain
gaps of Perry county, died from wounds which he received in the successful
attempt to capture him, in Bellefonte jail, 1820. He made no confession.
Mitchell, George, Esq., for many years a justice of the peace for
Liverpool, died in that place, in his 39th year, on the 23d of April 1833.
A lengthy obituary recited his many virtues. We find the following lines
in the middle of four other stanzas printed in the Liverpool Mercury of
September 13, 1833:
With boundless thought thy manly
To cool the fires that seared another's breast;
The balm that soothed from reason's fountain drew
To ease the anguish of the mind distressed.
Miller township was formed out of
parts of Oliver and Center townships by act of Legislature in 1852.
Mills.-- There were thirteen flour mills in Perry county in 1792.
Miller, Hon. Stephen, an ex-Governor of Minnesota, was born and raised to
manhood in Carroll township.
Mt. Vernon Forge, noticed in chapter 1 of the introduction as Lewis'
Forge, was erected by Gen. James Lewis in 1807 or 1808. It was operated in
connection with Hope Furnace, west of Lewistown, Mifflin county, of which Lewis
was one of the proprietors.
Mr. James Blain, marrying one of Lewis' daughters, continued the forge after
He sold out to a Mr. M'Gara, who failed, and the property came into the
possession of Purcell & Woods, of whom, in 1815, William P. Elliot (my
informant) and William Power bought the forge and property pertaining. At
this time the forge was nearly in ruins, having been so long idle. Messrs.
Elliott and Power spent a large sum of money in repairing it. They
operated it from the time it was got in order until 1817, when they failed, and
the property reverting to its former owners, Purcell & Woods, the fires went
out never to be rekindled.
This forge had two fires and two large hammers which were supplied with charcoal
from the Forge Hill, and with pig metal from Hope furnace, in Mifflin county,
and from Juniata furnace, in Center township, Perry county.
The Forge Hill tract of land contained several hundred acres west of the Juniata
River, in Tuscarora township.
Millerstown Gazette, a five-column, 12x18, four-paged weekly, was started
at Millerstown by Levi Klauser, Jan. 1, 1857, and continued until April 22,
1858, when the press was removed to Newport, and the paper took the name of
Newport Gazette. At the latter place it was continued by Klauser &
Bowman, from April 29, 1858, until September 20, 1859. Subscription price
was $1.50 per annum.
Mitchell, Robert, Esq., is still living on the farm where he was raised
from a child of three years old. He was one of the first board of county
commissioners. He is now in his 90th year, and is able to walk
about. He related, when visited in July, 1872, the driving of 37 deer into
the Juniata, below the Rope Ferry, in one season, from September to January.
M'Clure, Hon. A. K., was born and raised to manhood near Center, in
Newport School Board passed a resolution to pay their teachers regular
wages while attending the Teachers' Institute, held at that place in December,
Newport Standard was started at Newport, September 1, 1841, by Samuel
Schrack. It was a five-column, 12x18 weekly. The press was removed
to Bloomfield and continued from August 22, 1844, as Perry County Standard,
by J. D. Crilly.
Newport News, a weekly newspaper, started by Hervey Smith and E. T.
Williams, January 1, 1869. It is independent in politics, and specially
devoted to general literature, local news, agriculture, and advertising.
It has been greatly improved by its present editor and proprietor, George Shrom,
and is a seven-column, 15x21, single sheet, mailed to subscribers at $1.50 per
annum in advance.
Nails.-- In 1821 a pound of nails was sold at 10 cents cash or 11 cents
Oak Grove Furnace, now in ruins, in Spring township, was erected by
Dr. William Hayes & brother.
Perry Forester, The title of the oldest newspaper published in the
county. It was started in Landisburg, July 12, 1820, by H. W. Peterson,
and Alexander Magee. It was a five-column, 12x17, single sheet weekly,
devoted to politics, foreign and home news, literature and advertising.
H. W. Peterson was an associate editor of the Forester from July 12, 1820 until
January 13, 1821. He wielded a ready pen and for erudition stood A No. 1
in his profession. After he left Perry, Peterson edited a paper in Lebanon
county, which he quitted to remove to Gault, Upper Canada, where he became
probate judge under His Majesty George IV. He died at the latter place.
In the first issue of the Forester we are informed that but one mail reached
Landisburg weekly. The Perry Forester was continued by Alexander Magee at
Landisburg until April 9, 1829, when the first issue was sent from the office on
Main street, Bloomfield. The subscription price of the Forester was $1.75
a year in advance.
Perry County Democrat is the title of the Democratic paper continued in
the office of the Perry Forester at Bloomfield by Major John A. Magee. It
is devoted to literature, politics, general and local news, and
agriculture. It is the oldest of the weekly papers now published, dating
its Vol. No. 1 June, 1826. It is an eight-column, 19x26, four-paged
weekly, mailed to subscribers at $2.00 per annum in advance.
Perry County Freeman is the name of a Republican seven-column weekly, of
which Hon. John A. Baker is editor and proprietor. It was started June 20,
1839. Subscription price, $1.50 per annum in advance.
Perry County Railroads. Charters have been obtained for three
routes; one starting at Marysville and extending westward through Shermansdale
to Bixler's; another beginning at Duncannon and extending westward to Bixler's,
through Bloomfield, and the third to start at Bailey's and extend through
Bloomfield to Bixler's.
The distance of the former two we find set forth as follows:
New York to Harrisburg by Allentown and Reading (made)... 182 miles
Harrisburg to Marysville (made)... 7 miles
Marysville to Bixler's (made)... 30 miles
New York To Dauphin by Allentown, Tipton and Auburn (made except 17 miles ...
Northern Central, Dauphin to Peter's Mountain (made) ... 4-1/4 miles
Bridge to Duncannon (to make) ... 3/4 miles
Duncannon to Bixler's (to make) ... 22 miles
From No. VII. of the same series of articles we learn that $24,000 were
subscribed in two days at Bloomfield, and Duncannon, and $2,000 at Loysville and
Blain toward the Bloomfield route, in 1866.
Patent Medicine.-- D. W. Judkin's Patent Specific Ointment for the
various diseases was the first advertisement of the kind that appeared in a
Perry county paper -- January 15, 1829.
Poor-house.-- Perry County Poor-house is situated a half mile south-east
of Loysville, on a farm owned by the county. The original buildings were
of brick, two stories and a half high, and on account of the arrangement of the
rooms not well adapted for the purpose. The new buildings, just about completed,
are the best and most expensive public buildings in the county, costing upwards
Porter, John B., Esq., spent several years of his life at Liverpool in
the capacity of a scrivener; he afterward taught school for a number of terms at
Millerstown, and finally removed to Juniata county, where he was elected county
superintendent of schools in 1860. Mr. Porter served in this capacity
until 1863, when, soon after his term of office expired, he removed with his
family to Louise county, Iowa, where he had been but a short time until he was
again placed in the educational lead as county superintendent.
Robert Clark & Co.'s Mail Stage between Harrisburg and Bellefonte
will leave Buffington's Inn every Friday at noon, and arrive at Bellefonte every
Sunday afternoon; returning, leave Bellefonte every Wednesday morning and arrive
at Harrisburg every Friday morning.
Fare from Harrisburg to Clark's Ferry, $1.00; Clark's Ferry to Millerstown,
$1.00; Millerstown to Lewistown, $2.00; Lewistown to Bellefonte, $2.00, or from
Harrisburg to Bellefonte, $6.00-- Advertisement, August, 1820.
Religious.-- The following are the religious societies and congregations
of Perry County: Presbyterian--Old and New School united--and the Seceder,
Lutheran, Reformed Church, Methodist, Evangelical Association, Winebrenner
Church, established by Rev. John Winebrenner, of Harrisburg, now called the
Church of God, Dunker Society, United Brethren, and a few followers of Andrew J.
Smolnicker, who established "Peace Union" on Tuscarora Mountain; also
a few Free Lovers.
Sherman's Valley, at an early day, included all of Perry county except
Pfoutz's Valley. It received its name from the creek, which was called
Sherman's after an Indian trader who was drowned at Gibson's while attempting to
cross it with his horse and furs. In this valley, says the author of
Watson's Annals, I saw a real "leather stocking" in the person of a
Mrs. Stewart; twenty-five years ago he had killed as many as sixty deer in one
season; he goes out in snow-time in preference, and lays out all night. It
was in this valley that I heard of William Penn's iron spur, left on his visit
to the Susquehanna, near Columbia, and now in possession of Lewis Pennock, in
London Grove, Chester county. Many aged persons, still alive in Carlisle
remember very well when all the carriage of goods and stores westward from
Carlisle was done wholly on pack-horses, coming and going in whole companies;
only as late as twelve years ago there were not more than three wagons in all
Sherman's Valley--all the hauling was done on sleds, in summer as well as
winter. A Mrs. Murphy, who died in that valley in 1830, aged nearly one
hundred years--having lived a long life there among the Indians--remembered
seeing the first wagon arrive at Carlisle, and the indignation it excited among
the packers, as likely to ruin their trade! Even the widening of the
roads, when first ordered, offended them! The pack-horses used to carry
bars of iron on their back, crooked over and around their bodies; barrels were
hung on them, one on each side. She remembered that the first Indian track
(or path) to go westward, was to cross at Simpson's, four miles below John
Harris'; then across Conodoguinet, at Middlesex; thence up the mountain across
Crogan's Gap (now Sterret's); thence down the mountain and across Sherman's
Creek at Gibson's; then by Dick's Gap (the gap between Dick's and Quaker Hills,
through which the Landisburg road passes); then through Sherman's Valley by
Concord to the Burnt Cabins; then to the waters of the Alleghany and down the
Shumaker, J. H., Ph. D., was born near Sandy Hill, Madison
township. He received his preparatory education at Academia Academy,
Juniata Co., Pa., of which he was the efficient principal after he graduated a
Princeton College, until 1868, when he assumed charge of Chambersburg Academy,
his present position.
Smiley, Rev. Geo. W., D. D., a son of Mrs. Huling's by her marriage to
Mr. Smiley, was born in Carroll township. He was a clerk in Hoffenstein's
store, Carlisle, when but a boy; from this he went to Indiana, where he became
clerk and book-keeper in a store, and from the latter place he went to Kentucky,
where he was converted to religion in Rev. Dr. Bascom's church, under whose
tutorship he studied theology. He is widely known as an effective public
speaker, and is now engaged by the First Presbyterian Church of Pottsville, Pa.
Store Advertisement, July 19, 1820. "Dry Goods, including
Straw Bonnets, Hardware, Glass and Queensware, Brandy, Spirits and Wine."
Sypher.-- The family of whom J. R. Sypher, author of histories of
Pennsylvania Reserves, and of the States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey,
"American Popular Speakers" and "Art of Teaching," and Hon.
J. H. Sypher, M. C. from Louisiana, lived in Pfoutz's Valley, Greenwood
township, where they were born.
Hon. Jay Hale Sypher was born July 22, 1837. He received a collegiate
education, studied law and was admitted to the bar; he entered the Union army as
a private and rose through all the grades to that of bridadier-general, which he
held when mustered out of service at the close of the war, Nov. 25, 1865.
Having located in Louisiana in January, 1866, he was a delegate to the National
Republican Convention in Chicago which nominated Grant and Colfax. He was
elected to the Fortieth and Forty-first Congresss, and was re-elected to the
Forty-second Congress as a Republican by a majority of 5,500 over Walker,
Superstitions.-- Among the methods of relieving the ills to which
suffering humanity is heir, none is more universally practiced or more firmly
believed than the pow-wow. It cures the various forms of
erysipelas, the bite of a snake, burns, rheumatism, chills and fevers, and stops
the flow of blood by the power of words and the scarlet silk thread or a panful
of coals of fire, applied three times, provided the patient is possessed of the
scriptural full measure of faith in these means.
A few persons will not plant seeds when the moon "points up,"
believing if they do so the plants will grow to tops or go to seed.
Shingles must not be driven on a roof at this time or their edges will turn
upward. These persons believe Friday to be an "unlucky
day," and that the howling of a dog or the crowing of a hen portends
evil, a death, or a reverse of fortune.
The belief in such notions, strengthened by the early training of parents who
were believers, is so tenacious that nothing but a more liberal education can
ever change it.
Teachers' Gun.-- HARRISBURG, March 20, 1862-- Received from Lewis
B. Kerr, County Superintendent of Perry county, $26 contributed by teachers of
Perry county toward the purchase of the "Teachers' Gun."
Thomas H. Burrowes.
Some months previous to this a movement was started in the State, by the
teachers, to procure a gun by contribution, to be presented to the
government. This gun was to be christened the "Teachers' Gun."
Tailoring in 1825.-- Making fashionable coat, $3.50; next quality, $3.00;
home-made cloth, $1.50; fashionable pants, $1.00.
Traveling Show.-- The first traveling show that ever visited Perry
county, exhibited in Landisburg, September 7th, 1826.
Turkeys.-- David Snyder, an early resident of Jackson township, related
that, when a boy, while a blacksmith was doing some work for him, he went to the
fence of a neighboring field with a shot gun, when he made a noise which caused
the wild turkeys feeding in it to raise their heads and run together, when he
fired and killed five at one shot. He is said to have frequently killed
two at one shot with a rifle.
The Farmer's Bank of Millerstown was organized December 21st, 1872, by
electing Perry Kreamer President, William Rickabaugh, Cashier, Jacob Yohn,
Jonathan Weiser, Lewis Gilfilen, Philip Kepner, James Patterson, and J. E.
Singer, Directors. The capital stock was fixed at $50,000.
White, Thomas F., was born in Perry county, Pennsylvania, May 17,
1827. At the age of five years he removed with his parents to Ohio,
settling in Crawford county, where he resided since 1832.
On December 1, 1869, he was elected superintendent of the Crawford county
Infirmary, which position he held up to the time of his election to a seat in
the House of Representatives of the Sixteenth General Assembly of Ohio.
He is an earnest worker and careful representative of his county, well deserving
the place he holds.
Warm Springs.-- The tract of land which contains the celebrated Perry
County Warm Springs was patented by one Dently, who was its original owner.
It came into possession of James and John Kennedy next after Dently. They
lived in a stone house about forty rods west of the springs, on the road leading
John Hipple, Esq., leased the property of the Kennedy's for a term of years and
erected the first building, which was 40x45 feet, with kitchen attached, opened
for the entertainment of the public. Previous to this the farm-houses for
miles around were crowded with persons who came from a distance to drink of and
bathe in the waters of the springs. After the expiration of Mr. Hipple's
lease, William Updegraffe, who had come by marriage to be one of the heirs to
the property, kept open the buildings during the summer for the entertainment of
strangers, and employed his leisure time in farming and working in the pottery
which he had erected.
After Updegraffe, the property was sold to H. H. Etter, who erected the houses
over the springs, remodeled the bath-house built by Mr. Hipple, so that all the
tubs could be supplied with water at the same time, and built a new
bath-house. He improved the grounds, erected the summer-house on the
island of about one acre in Sherman's creek. He made gravel and tan walks
about the premises and built to the main building an east wing seventy-five feet
long, in which he had a ball-room in the basement. The built the house on
the hill with a bowling-alley an the billiard-rooms in it. Mr. Etter is
said to have had two hundred boarders at the springs at one time, beside
transient visitors, of whom there were not a few.
With an eye single to the ornamental, no doubt, Mr. Etter had a hydraulic ram
placed below the first spring, which forced the water to a reservoir above the
road, whence it was conveyed to the park below the road in pipes, and jetted
upward from the center of a large basin. No other use was made of the
water of the reservoir, although its position and capacity might have been made
to supply the buildings with water with a small, if any, additional expenditure.
After Etter, the property passed into the hands of R. M. Henderson and John
hays, Esqrs., who leased it to John Early, who kept it but a single
season. Mr. Wm. T. Dewalt next leased and kept open the buildings for two
years. He was succeeded by William Vansdalen, who continued two
He removed in the forenoon of April 4th, 1865, and in the evening about 11
o'clock the buildings were discovered to be on fire. Mr. John Louch was to
occupy the property in a few days after Vansdalen left it, but did not come on
account of the buildings being destroyed. After the fire the springs
ceased to be a resort, and the property was allowed to become impaired by
neglect. In 1867, Mr. Christian Thudium bought the property, and soon
afterward sold it to Mr. Abraham Bower, its present proprietor. Mr. Bower
has begun in earnest to repair, build, and fit the property for what is seems so
well, naturally, designed--a resort for the invalid or pleasure-seeker, during
the hot weather of summer. Indeed we doubt whether a better place could be
found for those who are in feeble health at any season of the year.
Mr. Bower has erected, under roof and partly finished (1872), a main building,
60x30, with large kitchen attached, three stories high, which he designs opening
for the accommodation of visitors next summer. His building will have more
spacious and in every way pleasanter appointments than the old one, and we are
assured other things will be in keeping. We like the plan of having small
cottages for private families, as is contemplated here.
The Springs.--The water of these springs contains "carbonate of iron
held in suspension by an excess of carbonic acid gas; it is strongly impregnated
wand a highly salubrious chalybeate water." The water of these
springs have a wide celebrity among those who know them for their medicinal
properties and healing virtues. The temperature, as their name indicates,
is warm, but not so much so as to produce nausea; on the contrary, invigoration
No. 1, the warmest and largest spring, discharges ninety three gallons per
minute. The water rises from a sandstone rocky bottom of thirty-six square
feet, and is confined within these limits by a stone wall. The appearance
of the water is clear, with an occasional bubble, or if disturbed, bubbles,
rising to the surface.
No. 2., probably discharges thirty-six gallons per minute and is situated two
hundred feet from No. 1, at the foot of a large poplar tree.
No. 3 discharges about forty-five gallons of water per minute, and has a surface
of seventy-two square feet. The water of this spring bubbles from the
bottom as in No. 1, and has the appearance of being more highly impregnated with
No. 4 is an uncovered spring which rises at the root of an ash, and has a
capacity of fifty gallons per minute. There are two other springs, of an
average capacity of fifty gallons per minute. These springs all issue from
the earth in a due south-west and north-east line, along the foot of Quaker
Hill, which here runs parallel with Sherman's Creek, into which their waters are
The location of the springs could not be more propitious for rest and
recuperation from the cares of business. With Mount Pisgah in front,
Quaker Hill, from which they issue, in the rear, and Sherman's creek rolling
between, which a mile and a half below breaks over the rocks into gentle rapids,
and the near proximity of the celebrated Falling (or Dropping) Springs, what
more romantic spot could be chosen?
Vancamp.-- The Vancamps came originally from Holland, from whence they
immigrated to Esopus, (now Kingston), New York, which they left hastily in
terror of an Indian massacre, bringing away all their household effects on the
backs of two horses.
They journeyed, driving before them their cows and hogs, until they came to Bald
Eagle Valley, Clinton county, Pennsylvania, where they sojourned, probably with
or near their friends or country folks, until after the French and Indian war,
when they left the Bald Eagle and came to Perry county and settled on and above
the site of the present railroad station, at Bailey's in 1763, where their
descendants of the third and fourth generation still reside.
Water.-- There is not a farm of 100 acres in Perry county but has a
stream of running water on it. The streams are Sherman's creek, which
rises in Round Top Mountain, in Franklin county, and empties into the
Susquehanna below Duncannon; Little Juniata creek, which rises between Mahonoy
and Dick's hills, in Carroll township, and empties into the Susquehanna at
Duncannon; Little Buffalo creek, which rises in Saville township, and empties
into the Juniata at Newport; Big Buffalo creek, which rises in Liberty Valley,
Madison township, and discharges its waters into the Juniata above Newport, in
Oliver township; and Raccoon creek, which rises in Tuscarora township and
empties into the Juniata on the opposite side of the river below
Millerstown. All these streams have an eastward course. Of the
streams that flow westward, Cocalamus creek rises in the Shade Mountains,
Juniata county, and discharges its waters into the Juniata one mile below
Millerstown and Wildcat creek rises in Forge Hills and Buffalo Mountains, in
Greenwood township, and empties into the Juniata about two miles from the mouth
of the Cocalamus.