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Tuscarora Township, with the single exception of Howe, was the last division in so far as the townships of Perry County are concerned.  It was at the October term of the courts in 1858 that the matter of the formation of a new township from parts of Greenwood and Juniata Townships was presented.  The court ordered an election to be held, which was the only instance in the entire list of townships where such a course was taken, and it was accordingly held on November 30, 1858.

The result of the election being favorable the court at the session of January 3, 1859, issued the following decree:

"Whereupon, January 3, 1859, the Clerk of the Court of Quarter Sessions having laid the within return before the court, it is ordered and decreed that a new township be erected agreeably to the lines marked out by the commissioners, whose report is filed, and that the said township be named "Tuscarora," and further, the court do order and decree that the place of holding the elections shall be at the house of Michael Donnally, at Donnally's Mills, and do appoint Jacob Yohn, Judge, and James H. Deavor and David Leonard, Inspectors, to hold the spring elections for the present year, and also appoint John S. Kerr, constable."

Tuscarora Township is bounded on the north by the Juniata County line, on the east by the Juniata River, on the south by Oliver and Juniata Townships, and on the west by Saville Township.  Its territory is considerably of wooded land, being traversed its entire length by four ridges of more or less importance.  At the north is the Tuscarora Mountain, its crest being the township line as well as the county line.  Ore Ridge, comparatively low, and running parallel, comes next.  Then south of the fertile Raccoon Valley lies Raccoon Ridge, and south of that is Hominy Ridge, which separates it from Juniata Township.

Raccoon Valley is drained by Raccoon Creek, which empties into the Juniata River below Millerstown.  The streams from the Tuscarora Mountain all flow into Raccoon Creek, and the streams from Raccoon Ridge and Hominy Ridge flow into Sugar Run in Buckwheat Valley.  The soil in the latter valley is not so fertile as that of Raccoon Valley.

Among the early warrants for lands was that of Robert Larimer for 219 acres, opposite Millerstown and above Raccoon Creek, in 1766.  The next property northward was warranted by Lewis Gronow in 1775, and contained fifty-three acres, and still further north Thomas Craig warranted 214 acres in 1794.  Up the valley to the north, James Black warranted 251 acres in 1763; John Black, Jr., 366 acres in 1790; Robert Cochran, 212 acres in 1767 and Samuel Atlee, 200 acres in the same year.  The John Black tracts were occupied in recent generations by Jonathan Black and James G. Kreamer.  The tannery built by John Black and operated by him, and later by his son, Jonathan, was located there.

The mill property known as Donnally's Mills and still in possession of a member of that family, L. E. Donnally, who once represented his county in the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, was warranted by Henry Bull in 1763.  He built the gristmill and sold to Michael Donnally about 1840.  The William Fosselman and B. H. Inhoff farms were warranted to William Bull in 1767.  Other warrants were granted A. Thomas White, Janet Brown in 1763, Robert McCrary in 1767, and George Robinson in 1763.  The Loudons took up almost a thousand acres, as follows:  James Loudon, 266 acres in 1767; Matthew Loudon, 372 acres in 1768, and Archibald Loudon, 296 acres in 1784.  Another warrant was that of John Murray, for 130 acres in 1766.

In Buckwheat Valley Cornelius Ryan warranted lands in 1792, George Leonard in 1782, and Edward O. Donnally, the ancestor of the Perry County Donnallys, in 1782.  John Miller warranted lands in 1794 and Robert Campbell's heirs in 1767.  This is, no doubt, the Robert Campbell referred to in one of our chapters on the Indians, in which a house was attacked while six men were at dinner, and all of them, including Campbell, were murdered, except one George Dodds, who escaped.  The cabin was burned by the redskins.  

A thousand acres of ridge lands were warranted by Peter Jones, Philip Jones and William White.  The John and Matthew Louden lands were later known as the Devor tract.  Colon John McKenzie buit the gristmill there about 1840.  In 1845 it passed to Devors.  On Sugar Run, William Brown warranted 416 acres.  The Archibald Loudon named here as warranting lands was doubtless the author of the famous Loudon's Narratives, reference to which is made a number of times in this book.  The William Bull named as warranting lands, had three sons.  One one occasion he and his son William were in a field planting corn when they were surprised by the Indians and taken captive, being held for a year.  One of William Bull's children, Rebecca, later became Mrs. William Neilson, who was the grandmother of the late Judge William Neilson Seibert.  Bull's Hill graveyard, which was a burying ground for a hundred years, was named after this family.  This place of burial was started by the burial of a man who was crossing the old Indian path over the Tuscarora Mountain and was frozen to death.  The graves in the earlier days were covered with stones to prevent the wolves from digging up the remains.  The oldest stone in this graveyard is dated 1783, the the memory of James Loudon, who was the father of Archibald Loudon, author of Loudon's Narratives.  Colonel Bull was killed after the surrender of Fort Erie on July 4, 1814, being ambushed by the Indians.  See chapter on the War of 1812.  

Ward's mill was located in Tuscarora Township, near the mouth of Raccoon Creek, and not far from the line of the Pennsylvania Railroad, on lands once owned by Jacob F. Markley, which passed to George Rothrock in 1844, and to others in 1858.  In 1868 Fietta Ward, wife of John Ward, became the owner.  Just when it was built cannot be stated but, in the deed of 1868, from Wm. and Jacob Rothrock and William J. Jones, it is described as having thereon erected "a frame gristmill an sawmill."  About 1886 it was burned down, ownership at that time resting in the Wards.  It was never rebuilt. 

The oldest schoolhouse in Tuscarora Township was situated in "the narrows," along the road from Donally's Mills to Buckwheat Valley.  It was built in 1780.  Owing to defective wooden chimneys three houses were burned on this site.  There was an old-time house in Buckwheat Valley and another known as Bull's, at Donally's Mills, in an old carpenter shop.

Donnally's Mills M. E. Church.  The Donnally's Mills M. E. Church was erected in 1868, under the pastorate of Rev. A. R. Miller.  It then belonged to the Newport Circuit, but in 1904 it was assigned to the Millerstown Circuit, whose pastors serve it.  

The Gingerich Church.  This church was formerly an old stone school building which was remodeled for church purposes about 1861, for the U. B. denomination.  In 1892 it was replaced by a new church while Rev. Barshinger was pastor.  Henry Harman, Samuel Buchanan, Andrew Paden and Chas. Gutshall were then the officials.  The split in the U. B. denomination caused it to be sold, in 1910, to the Methodists who are served by the pastor of the Millerstown church.  

According to Wright's History, that part of Tuscarora Township known as Raccoon Valley was settled by the Blacks, the Nobles and the Robinsons, in the order named from the Juniata River westward.  We quote:  "In this selection certain distinctions gave precedence of location.  Their pastor, Re. Wm. B. Linn, having the preference, chose his portion near Robinson's Fort; the father of the Irvin families in Saville Township, chose their old mansion property; he was joined by Elliot's on the west, and he in turn by a younger man, until we reach the Robinson, Noble and Black farms in Raccoon Valley, extending to the Juniata River.  The chain of settlements extended more than twenty miles, and included some of the best and most highly respected citizens of the county.  It is historic for its arrangement of families in chronological order, as well as the noble record made during every war in which its own or he general welfare was endangered."

The business firms, according to the report of the mercantile appraiser, are as follows, the date being the time of entering the business:

L. E. Donnally, flour and feed; J. Logan Jones, general stor; R. H. Kerr (1913), groceries, old location of Marsh Run post office; I. B. Secrist (1910), coal, feed, flour, etc...

There was once a United Brethren Church near Donally's Mills, known as Otterbein Chapel, which was then a part of Eshcol Circuit, long since out of existence.  The church was sold on April 3, 1900, to Harriet Hogentogler, for $500.  

Donnally's Mills United Evangelical Church.  Services by the members of this faith were first held in the homes.  About 1870 the first church was built, the building committee being Mr. Inhoff, John Bressler and Joseph Lesh.  It has always been a part of Perry Circuit, whose minister resides at Elliottsburg.  The names of the pastors will be found under the chapter relating to Spring Township.  

The above information was extracted from the book, History of Perry County Pennsylvania; H. H. Hain; Harrisburg; 1922.  

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