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Allegheny Township

Johannes Detrich (John Deeter), 1760-1828

(Information contributed by John Oester.)

John Deeter and Catharine Springer, his wife, settled in Deeter's Gap in 1784 in what was then Brothersvalley and Quemahoning townships, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. This is now Allegheny Township, Somerset County. The old homesite is 1 1/2 miles north of Pa. Route 21 on the New Baltimore Pike, located between White Horse and Allegheny mountains.

John Deeter served his county in the Revolutionary War in the Cumberland County Militia, Eighth Class. He was paid with worthless paper money for participating in the war. With this money purchased the original 269 1/2 acres of land with a warrant in 1783 from the state of Pennsylvania. The patent (which meant he had a clear title and would pay taxes on it) was granted in 1794. He lived his entire married life on this farm which eventually totaled more than 1,600 acres of ground. The farm buildings were located where the cleared land at Deeter's Gap is at present.

The wooded area where the cemetery in which John, his wife, Catharine, his eldest son, John, 2 unnamed children, and a child named Henry are buried was once a meadow. A millstone was placed at the gravesite and a pine tree grows on John's grave. Legend has it that a colored man is also buried here but no proof has actually been found. Legend also has it that John was in this part of the country serving with the militia when he met his wife, Catharine.

According to John's own records he hired a man named Brown in 1789 to build a dam and a mill. His sawmill and gristmill were among the first along the Allegheny Mountain. From that time on he sold lumber and started making and selling millstones which sold for as much as $36 a pair. He sold meat, hides, salt, rum, butter, grain, and garden vegetables. He traded one pair of millstones for a barrel of brandy and then sold the brandy.

John Deeter was a religious man. According to his own records between 1812 and 1816 he did a lot of business with a Lutheran minister named John Deeter Peterson. The minister bought lumber from Deeter and used this lumber to build a church. No records have been found showing these two men to be any relation even though their names are similar.

See also, Will of John Deeter

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