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Until 1763 Toboyne Township was a part of
Tyrone Township, when in accordance with a petition of residents to the court of
Cumberland County, it was created a separate township. The action of the
court was not very specific in designating boundary lines, as this order would
indicate: "Upon application of some of the inhabitants of Tyrone
Township to this court, setting forth that said township is too large, it is
adjudged by the said court that Alexander Roddy's mill run be the line, and the
name of the upper, Toboyne, Alexander Logan being in Toboyne
Township." Accordingly, Toboyne became the second township in what is
now Perry County. Its area was reduced by the formation of Madison, in
1836, and of Jackson, in 1844, yet it remains one of the largest in the county,
its area being about seventy-five square miles. Located at the extreme
west end of the county, it reaches from Juniata County, on the north, to
Cumberland County, on the south. On the west it is bounded by Franklin
Count, and one the east by Jackson Township. It is the only township in
the county which borders on three counties, other than the one in which it is
The Waggoner gristmill, two miles west of Loysville, occupies the site of the
Alexander Roddy mill, and Alexander Logan lived on the farm of Preston J.
McMillen, at Sandy Hill. A line running through these points was
practically north and south, which evidently was the intention of the
court. Constituted as it was then Toboyne Township comprised about
one-fourth of the territory of the county as later formed.
Among early warrants for land in Toboyne were: John Wilson, 200 acres in
1755; John Rhea, 100 acres in 1767; John Thomas, 113 acres in Horse Valley, in
1765; William Wallace, 292 acres in 1765; John Watt, 209 acres in 1766 and 150
in 1767. On this latter tract the first gristmill in what is now Toboyne
Township was built in 1800, by Samuel Leaman. Other early warrants were
granted to John Glass, William Adams, John Jordan, Archibald Watts, John Farrier,
Patrick and John Culbertson and Robert McKee. Although the warrant of John
Wilson, dated in 1755, is the earliest on record, yet there must have been
others, as Wilson's lands are described as being "bounded by those of John
Watt, Joseph McClintock, Brown's Run, Robert Morrow and Anthony Morrison."
Stephen, Francis and John Johnston settled as early as 1780, and John Clendennin
in 1792. When the county was formed in 1820, the population of Toboyne was
1,955, and the valuation of $342,179. Tavern licenses were held in 1821 by
Peter Shively, and James Baird; in 1822, by John Snell, Henry Zimmerman and
David Koutz, and in 1823, by John Strawbridge. In those days it was a
common custom for merchants to take out a liquor license in connection with
their stores, so that it is not always possible to make a clear distinguishing
mark between the two lines of traffic. Anthony Black was licensed in 1825,
as was Henry Zimmerman, who kept a place at Andersonburg, where he was also
When the township was first created Tyrone and Toboyne voted at the same place,
but in 1803 they were formed into two election districts, the house of Henry
Zimmerman being named as the polling place for Toboyne. In 1830, Jackson
and Madison having not yet been separated from Toboyne, there were two polling
places, according to a proclamation in the Perry Forrester, at the
schoolhouse in New Germantown, and at Zimmerman's tavern. Early merchants
were Anthony Black, B. Fosselman & Co., James Ewing and James
Morrison. Ewing had a store in New Germantown, and also for a time at Mt.
Pleasant. Black's store was at his home near Mt. Pleasant, and later at
Toboyne Township was early an important location for tanneries. The Adams
tannery, located about two miles south of New Germantown, was the first one,
being built before 1814, in which year Thomas Adams was assessed with it.
In 1824, it was burned to the ground. It was assessed in 1835 in the name
of James Adams, and was operated until about 1840. The New Germantown
tannery was built by John Stewart about 1820. In 1835 it was assessed as
the property of Noah Elder, who ran it many years. It was later owned by
James Humes, and was then bought by the Morrison Brothers, who ran it until
about 1865. Fairview tannery, near the head of the valley, with a large
capacity, was erected between 1835 and 1840, by John Hoover and Arnold Faughs.
In 1848 William Elder and son Filson, became the owners. The latter later
became the owner. After running it eight years he sold it to Ephraim
McLaughlin, who operated it until 1870, when it was abandoned, owing to the lack
of railroad communication. In 1847 Israel and Samuel Lupfer built the
Monterey tannery at the upper end of the narrow valley lying at the base of
Bower's Mountain. The brothers gained a competence through it.
Israel Lupfer purchased his brother's share in 1858, and ran it until
1880. In connection with John Wiley, Charles H. Rippman purchased
it. They sold it to Hans Reese' Sons, in 1881, who abandoned it in
1889. Prior to the construction of the Newport & Sherman's Valley
Railroad through western Perry Mr. Rippman hauled leather in wagons down the
valley on the way to market, and on the return trip he hauled hides for tanning.
The first gristmill to be built within the present limits of Toboyne Township
was erected about 1800, by Samuel Lehman, at a point on Sherman's Creek, about
two miles west of New Germantown. In the year of the county's erection he
was assessed with a gristmill, a sawmill and 277 acres of land. Rev. Peter
Long, of Huntingdon County, purchased it in 1843, and while in his possession,
in 1885, the mill burned. He rebuilt it, and in 1890, his executor, E. D.
Book, sold it to Ernest Blemel, who operated it until 1895, when it again
burned. It was not again rebuilt.
The New Germantown gristmill had much to do with the location of New Germantown,
which was laid out in 1816, as to it came the trade from the surrounding
territory. The mill was then already established, and its owner, Jacob
Kreamer, had his home within the present limits of New Germantown. It is
now known as the Snyder mill. It is located on Sherman's Creek, a short distance
southeast of the town. While Mr. Kreamer had occupied the lands before and
erected the mill, his patent only dates to 1827. In 1857 he sold to Lydia
and James E. Gray, who in 1874 sold to Abraham Snyder. In 1903 the
property was purchased by John W. Fry. In the assessment list of 1767,
when Toboyne yet retained its original area---including what is now Jackson and
Madison---the following names appear:
Assessment of Toboyne Twp.
In 1814, the assessment list, still including
Madison and Jackson Townships, shows the following industries:
Assessment of Toboyne Twp.
The number of industries was 4 stills, 6
sawmills, 10 gristmills, 2 tanneries and a fulling mill.
John Clendenin, a settler in what is now Toboyne Township, was killed and
scalped by the Indians, about one-fourth miles southwest of the Monterey tannery
site. He evidently had located lands which the Indians considered an
encroachment. In July, 1772, his son, also John Clendenin, warranted 109
acres, and in January, 1792, 178 acres. This first tract may have been one
claimed by the father.
Toboyne township furnished the officers for two companies, the fourth and
eighth, of the famous Frederick Watts battalion of Cumberland County Militia
during the Revolution, and practically all the men. See chapter on the
subject. During the War of 1812 Captain David Moreland's company contained
a large proportion of Toboyne men. Captain Moreland was from what is now
For variety of physical features Toboyne Township leads the county, but as many
of them are described in the chapter, "The Tuscarora Forest," the
reader will do well to refer there. Within its borders is the head of
Sherman's Valley, parts of Horse and Henry's Valleys, Little Illinois Valley,
Sherman's Creek, Houston's Run (locally known as Sheaffer's Run), Brown's Run
(Locally known as Fowler Run), Patterson's Run, parts of the Tuscarora and
Kittatinny or Blue Mountains, Conococheague Mountain, Rising Mountain, Bowers
Mountain, Big Round Top, Little Round Top, Buck's Hills, Chestnut Ridge (locally
known as Shultz Ridge), and others of lesser note. A mile north of New
Germantown is a small settlement known as Seagertown.
Many years ago William Stump, father of Jesse Stump, came across the Kittatinny
Mountain to locate. he carried a willow cane, which he stuck into the soil
near the creek at the farm now known as the Philip Sheaffer place, about two
miles west of New Germantown. From that little cane, used to mark a line,
there grew a large willow tree, which the writer measured in July, 1919, while
collecting material for this volume. At a height of five feet from the
ground the circumference was twenty-four feet, nine inches. The ravages of
time have started its disintegration.
Toboyne Township was also the home of the Blaines, one of America's noted
families, which gave to the country both then and since distinguished services,
but as the lands taken up by these pioneers of that name were in that part of
Toboyne which later became Jackson Township. The history pertaining to
them in included in that of Jackson Township and the chapter devoted to the
As early as 1800 records show two schoolhouses in that part of Toboyne Township
which constitutes it at present. One was located at the western end of New
Germantown, and Anthony Black and two men named Johnston and Steele were
teachers before the county was created. The other was near the farm now
owned by Samuel B. Trostle. It had a clapboard roof, slab benches and
desks, a wooden chimney, and two windows, the lights of which were of greased
paper. The ceiling was of poles, and the floor of hewed logs. About
1805 another schoolhouse was erected at the farm now owned by D. Dervin
Hollenbaugh. As early as 1814, a bill dated March 28th, passed the
Pennsylvania Legislature relating to Toboyne, as follows:
"Section I. The land officers to make a title clear of
purchase money and fees to trustees for schools to be established in the
township of Toboyne for a piece of land.
"Section II. A majority of subscribers to supply vacancies of
There is record of a schoolhouse "built of mud," located near
New Germantown, and taught by a man named Thatcher, among the pupils being
children of James Johnston, then a prominent citizen of that community, one of
whose sons, George Johnston, was later Perry County's representative in the
The business places of Toboyne Township, according to the report of the
mercantile appraiser, are as follows:
General stores, Vernon Smith; C. W. Bistline; J. A. Rhea.
Stambaugh & Smith, coal; M. E. Morrison, millinery; Kirby Moose, meat
New Germantown. Joseph McClintock
warranted much land and bough more until he owned a large tract. The Kern farms
and the Wilhide lands were part of his holdings, as were also the lands on which
New Germantown to-day stands. He took up most of them before 1767.
Solomon Sheibley came into possession of them property on which the town stands
and which he laid out lots March 1, 1816. The original plan was four block
of six lots each, eighty feet wide by one hundred and fifty feet in depth.
A public sale of lots was held on March 18, 1816.
Among the earliest residents of which there is record were J. Kuntz, shoemaker;
John Leiby, carpenter; J. Smith, hatter and William and Mathias Stump,
blacksmiths. The lots for taxation purposes were valued at ten
dollars. Jacob Kreamer, who once owned the mill southeast of town, was
At the east end of the town, on the George Kern farm, now owned by George M.
Smith, is a remarkably large spring---one of the noted springs of the
county---and which gave to the immediate vicinity the name of Limestone Spring,
before the town was laid out. It is so named on Mitchell's old map of
Pennsylvania. One of the early settlers of the town was William A.
Morrison, who located there in 1830, father of the present Morrisons residing
there, who was a county auditor, postmaster for eleven years, and for a period
of thirty years a justice of the peace. In 1830 there were two taverns
there, the "Old Stone Castle" or "Blue Ball Hotel" of David
Koutz, and another kept by Thomas B. Jacobs, who died in 1833. It was then
purchased by Mrs. Emily Gray, grandmother of the Morrisons, who kept a licensed
house, known as "Travelers' Rest," until 1860, when she decided to run
the place as a temperance house, which shows that over a half century ago the
temperance question was already a matter of issue in Perry County. The
Koutz place was unlicensed from 1831 to 1875, when William A. Shields was
licensed. Samuel Kern and John Sanderson were once proprietors. From
then on until the county "went dry" in 1918, there was a license at
times and at times not. It was once known as the "Blue Ball"
tavern, the sign being two large globes.
John Kooken was appointed a justice of the peace in 1822, and served many
years. The tannery in the early years of the county's history, was
operated by Noah A. Elder.
On June 18, 1842, the town was incorporated as a borough by an act of the
legislature, but failure to fulfill all the provisions of the act caused the
charter to be forfeited. Its existence as a separate unit must have been
longer than usually stated, as an act of the Pennsylvania Legislature, March 12,
1849, creates it a special election district, and an act of May, 1850,
authorizes New Germantown Borough and Toboyne Township jointly to sign liquor
applications. During the existence of the town there have been two serious
conflagration. On March 3, 1876, the store of Dr. F. A. Gutshall and J.
Morrison & Son and the dwellings of Barbara Kreamer and Jane Morrison's
heirs were destroyed by fire, and in 1885, J. E. Rumple's store burned.
New Germantown is located twenty-eight miles west of Newport, almost at the
extreme west end of Sherman's Valley, and is the western erminus of the narrow
gauge railroad. It is on the state highway leading from New Bloomfield,
Perry County, to Chambersburg, Franklin County.
Rev. Dr. Frederick Oberholtzer was the first physician at New Germantown, being
also pastor of the Lutheran Church. This was prior to 1821, in which year
he died. Dr. J. R. Scott began practice there in 1824, but there is no
record of the length of his practice in point of time. In 1843 Dr. William
C. Hays located in New Germantown, where he practiced for six years. Dr.
F. A. Gutshall, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1866,
located in New Germantown, but some years later removed to Blain, where he is
still in active practice. Dr. A. R. Johnston, reared in the vicinity,
located here in 1883, but removed to New Bloomfield a year later. Dr.
Milton Shull located here in 1885, but later removed to Hummelstown, where he
was successful. Dr. W. J. Allen, Baltimore University, '76, was located
here for a while, when he transferred to Landisburg. Dr Russell Campbell,
Medico-Chi., '09, was also here for a year or two, until his death. Dr. B.
F. Grosh, an able and learned physician, came from Lancaster County and located
at Andersonburg in 1844. He married into the well-known Anderson family
and practiced here until his death in 1857. He was the father of Alexander
Blaine Grosh, later a prothonotary of the county and successor of the late John
A. Baker as editor of the Perry County Freeman. After Dr. Grosh's
death Dr. E. B. Hotchkin was located there for about two years. Previous
to locating in Ickesburg Dr. Jonathan Jackson practiced in Andersonburg in
1859. Dr. George W. Mitchell, a native of the county, located at
Andersonburg at the close of the War between the States, having graduated in
1860, and served in the war as a surgeon of one of the Pennsylvania
regiments. He practiced until about 1900.
New Germantown Lutheran Church. A number of Lutheran families
having been residents of New Germantown and vicinity, a meeting was held March
12, 1893, at which an organization was effected. The church was built in
1894, its first officers having been: Solomon Gutshall and J. K.
Shoemaker, elders; S. A. Gutshall, William Hollenbaugh and P. G. Beighler,
deacons. It belongs to the Blain charge, and has the same ministers.
New Germantown M. E. Church. The first Methodist organization was
effected in 1841, and at that time the congregation was connected with the
Concord (Franklin County) Circuit. The church was built in 1843 on land
donated by Solomon Sheibley, who also gave the land for the cemetery.
Until then the congregation had worshiped in the school building, but was
refused its further use. They also worshiped in a discarded schoolhouse
owned by James Adams. The church later belonged to the New Bloomfield
Circuit until about 1875, when the Blain charge was formed, and it became a
part. (See Bloomfield and Blain chapters for list of pastors.)
Horse Valley M. E. Church. A Methodist Episcopal church was built
in Horse Valley in 1857, being located on lands of Benjamin Scyoc, who donated
them. It was dedicated December 27, 1857. It was then designated as
"Scyoc Chapel." Among those interested in its erection were
Elias Cook, Benjamin Scyoc, William Widney and Jacob Seibert. It is still
in use, the pastor from East Waterford holding services.
The above information was extracted from the
book, History of Perry County Pennsylvania; H. H. Hain; Harrisburg; 1922.
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