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History of Bedford and Somerset Counties

Chapter 5 Volume 2



Those parts of what is now Somerset county adjacent to the junction of the Youghiogheny river, the Castleman’s river, and the Laurel Hill creek have from the earliest times been known as the Turkeyfoot region.


But a much larger part of the county, west of the Allegheny mountains, was first known by the name of “the Stony Creek Glades.” This name may be said to have at first included pretty much all of the present townships of Brothers Valley, Stony Creek, Quemahoning, Jenner, Lincoln, Somerset, Jefferson, Milford and Black. The region received this name because of the fact that when it was first penetrated by white men a considerable part of it was found to consist of natural meadows, or openings in the forest that were devoid of timber, but instead timber in the summer they were covered with rich natural grasses that afforded ample pasturage for herds of deer and elk that were then quite plentiful. These glades were found in spots all over the townships we have named, and they took the general name of Stony Creek Glades because of that stream draining so large a part of this region. While this may be said to be the original name by which the county was first known after it began to be settled, that part of it in the vicinity of what is now Somerset soon became known as the Cox’s Creek Glades.


Among the earlier settlers, and possibly they were the earliest, were a number of Germans and persons of German extraction who were members of the Dunkard or German Baptist church, and among themselves called “The Brethren,” or “Brueders Lide.” Among themselves they gave their new home the name of Brueders Thal (Brothers Valley), a name by which it soon came to be known among other coreligionists in the east. Indeed, it may be said that so well had the entire region become known by this name that when the new county of Bedford was formed in 1771 and new townships were to be created, this name of Brothers Valley was chosen for that of the single township into which all the region of country west of the Allegheny Mountain in what is now Somerset County was formed.


For the purposes of this history we hall consider the Stony Creek Glades and Brothers Valley settlements as being the same, and as being for the most part in the Stony Creek and Brothers Valley townships of the present day. To us it looks very much as though the German-speaking population mostly knew the country by the name of Brothers Valley, while the English-speaking largely knew of it as the Stony Creek Glades.


There is not a little doubt both as to when and by whom the first settlement was made: In Brumbaugh’s “History of the Brethren Church” we find these statements, which are given principally on the authority of Morgan Edwards’ “Materials for a History of the Baptist Churches,” etc., the first volume of which appears to have been published about 1770: “George Adam Martin, who had been a minister of the church, but who afterwards joined the Ephrata movement and in 1762 removed to Stony Creek in what was then Bedford County” (error, Bedford county was not then formed). Again it is stated that the first movement of the Brethren across the Allegheny mountain was to Brueders Thal (Brothers Valley), and that the congregation began under George Adam Martin, he and the congregation holding to the doctrine of the Seventh Day Baptists, but that they soon returned to the practice and faith of the German Baptist or Dunkard church, Martin’s wife was a member of the Knepper family. Martin in many ways seems to have been a somewhat remarkable man, and the church has a considerable and quite a circumstantial account of his movements before coming into Stony Creek Glades or Brueders Thal.


If the date given in the church history be correct, it would indicate that the settlement of the Stoney Creek Glades began at that time.  Then the question naturally arises, as they must have lived within ten or twelve miles of the Forbes road, could they have remained here during the time of the Forbes road, could they have remained here during the time of the Indian outbreak of 1763?  If we may judge from what the best authorities say about the condition of things along the Forbes road in those days, we would think not.  They would almost certainly have had to flee from the country until the storm had blown over.


While there can hardly be any doubt but that this man did come into the Stony Creek Glades, there may after all be an error of a year or two as to the time of his coming.  This same church history gives it that his congregation in 1770 numbered seventeen persons. It also gives their names, among them Henry Roth and wife, Henry Roth, Jr., and wife, and Abraham Gebel. These names would stand for Rhoades and Cable, as the modern way of spelling would run. The name of George Adam Martin cannot be found on any of the early assessment lists, but those of Cable or Keble) and Rhoades do appear on the first one. But here again there is room for supposing that a possible error may have crept into the account.  Aside from the inferences that may be drawn from the foregoing, we have no means of knowing what the church affiliations of the Rhoades and Cables (or Kebles) were. But during the period of the Revolutionary war Henry Roades Jr., was captain of the Brothers Valley company of the organized militia, while one of the sub-lieutenants of this part of Bedford county was one of the Cable family.  This would preclude their belonging to a church that seems then as now to have been a church of non-resistants.  If we are to accept what is drawn from the church history as being substantially correct, and if Roth and Rhoades are the same name, then the locality of the first settlement must have been in the present township of Stony Creek.


There is still to be considered something in Rev. Captain Steel’s report of 1769 that has at least some bearing as to the time of first settlement in this part of the county. In this report, after alluding to the settlers at the place called Turkeyfoot, and stating “that we sent some proclamations thither by the said Speer,” he follows that up with “we did to a few families nigh crossings of the Little Yough judging it unnecessary to amongst them.” No names of any of these settlers are given, and the exact place of their location may rest on what we are to understand from the word “nigh” in this report of Captain Steele’s.  The Little Yough is the Castleman’s river: “the Little Crossings” is where the Braddock road and the later National road cross the river, and it is also in Garrett county, Maryland, about two and a half miles south of Mason and Dixon’s line.


If we are to understand this word “nigh” as meaning a distance of only five or six miles, then it could only mean that these setters, whoever they may have been, were in Elk Lick township and in the neighborhood of Salisbury.  It is known who the first settlers there were, although the time of their coming is not known, and we therefore can get no additional information from that source. But if a wider meaning may be given to this word “nigh” as used in this report (and there certainly are circumstances under which a much greater distance than five or six miles would be considered as being near or “nigh” to a place)-if in this instance it may mean a distance of fifteen or twenty miles that Captain Steel had in his mind when he made his report (and it is quite likely that he had very vague information as to the actual distance), then it could easily mean that these settlers were in the vicinity of where the town of Berlin now is, or even further away.  Steele may also have used the name “Crossings” of the Little Yough as being the name of the stream, and it has been so known. In that case the distance would have been only a little over eight or ten miles at most from its nearest point.  Placing the wider meaning on the term, it would add some weight to the claim of the settlement being as early was 1762 or 1763. The one thing certain is, that in the spring of 1768 Captain Steele and his fellow commissioners learned that already there were settlers in that part of Somerset county in which are now the townships of Stony Creek, Brothers Valley, Summit and Elk Lick, and that they were there before the Indian title was extinguished, and may already have been there for several years.  While in a general way the entire region must already have been known as the Stony Creek Glades and Brueders Thal, Captain Steele does not mention these names.


When Harmon Husband came into what is now Somerset county in the early summer of 1771, the first settler that he found was a German named Philip Wagerline. This man had taken up a claim, made some improvements in the way of clearing a few acres of land and building a cabin for the shelter of himself and family. According to Husband, this was the third year that he had been there.


Husband in his own account says that on the 5th of June, 1771, he (Husband) was coming down from the summit of the Allegheny mountain, through or along the valley of a small stream that flowed in a westerly direction, when his attention was arrested by a cloud of smoke that was ascending from behind a hill that ran down into the valley. This at once told him that he was approaching the clearing of a settler, and that the smoke arose from the burning of brush.  The day was already well spent. Shaping his course in the direction of this welcome beacon of civilization, he pressed forward as fast as the speed of his jaded horse would permit, anxious, after days spent in traversing the solitudes of the wilderness, to meet a fellow man and hear the sound of a human voice.  It was almost sunset when he reached the edge of the clearing, and realized that his conjectures were true, and that he was now on the outer verge of a settlement.  As he entered the clearing he saw a man engaged in plowing with a team of oxen.  A number of children, boys and girls of various ages, were engaged in chopping, picking and burning brush.  When he came from the timber a dog with the children gave the alarm by barking.  With the exception of a sixteen-year-old by, the frightened children broke into a run toward the cabin, which was some forty rods away.  The man stopped his work and looked first with alarm and then with surprise, when he recognized in the intruder a white man, and not an Indian.  As the traveler drew near, the man waved a salute, approaching him with the hand of friendship extended, which was eagerly grasped by the stranger, while there came a profusion of words of welcome, but in a language of which the stranger understood but little, which seeing, the settler dropped his German and in broken English said “Welcome, broder, where you come?”  To this the answer was, “From Hagerstown.”  “And where you will go in the bush?”  But now as it was now nearly dark, turning to the boy the settler directed him to unyoke the oxen, and to the traveller he said, “come along; you be hungry, you be tired.” Having reached the cabin, whither the news of the strange appearance of a man and a horse had been carried to the mother by the frightened children.  Husband still found himself an object of eager interest to the children, who were curious to know who and what he was.  His wants supplied by the hospitality of his hosts, the weary traveler once more lay down to rest under shelter of a friendly roof.


In the morning there was a substantial meal of venison, boiled rye and boiled potatoes.  There was no excuse about having nothing to cook or nothing to eat.  Husband was seeking the camp of a hunter named Isaac Cox, which he knew was somewhere in this part of the country, but at the earnest request of the settler he remained with him for a day before resuming his journey.  From Wagerline he learned that his nearest neighbor that he knew of was five or six miles away, and that there were others further off that had their families with them, and had begun to clear land, and that there were also others who were only hunters, having no families with them, but spending their time in hunting and trapping.  He further told him that in the direction in which he wished to travel, which was to the northwest, there was nothing but woods, although he had heard tell that there were large glades some twelve or fifteen miles away.  He also informed him that he had raised a couple of acres of grain the first year that he had been here, that he had about four acres then growing, and that the land that was now being cleared was for the fall crop.  Potatoes he had raised in abundance, but meat was their staple food.  Of flour they had only a small quantity once a year, when a trip was made to the settlements east for a supple of salt, powder, lead, and other necessary articles.  Wagerline is the only settler that Husband makes any mention of as having seen in passing through what is the Brothers Valley of our time.  It may here be said that this name of Wagerline has in some way been changed to Weigley by his descendants.  Why this was done we do not know, but the settler himself, as is shown in deeds to be found in the county records, wrote his name as Philip Wagerline to the end of his life.


In August 1771, Husband made a trip to Bedford, passing through the Stony Creek Glades proper, and he speaks of having stopped to see Henry Rhoades, Senior, and his sons, and he also makes mention of one Jacob Newmayer.  They were located at that time on a stream still known as Rhoades’ run, to the present township of Stony Creek.  Newmayer would seem to have been a hunter, and the name does not appear to have been a permanent one is this region.  In fact, it does not look as though this location was anything more that a hunter’s camp, which Husband bought of these parties later on.


Henry Rhoades, Senior, must have been one of the very earliest settlers in this region.  Independent of what has been said in the Church History before referred to, re reach this conclusion from the fact that on the first assessment of Brothers Valley township (which then comprised all of the region between the Allegheny mountain and the Laurel Hill), that of 1773, there are three other persons that had a larger amount of cleared land, he having twenty-one acres.  If five, ten or twelve acres of cleared land were as much as such settlers had who were supposed to have been say two or three years, he certainly could have been here five or six years to have had such an amount of cleared land.  This Henry Rhoads died in 1774. At this time there were also Henry Roades, Jr., Jacob, Gabriel and John Rhoades.  How many of these were sons of the pioneer we do not know. John Roads, however, must have lived in the Somerset settlement.  It is to be remembered that Husband first speaks of these Rhoades as having been hunters at the time he came, which may account for some of them not having so much cleared land as they ought to have had to have been here so much earlier than some of the other settlers.  But several of them were up to the average.


In that part of the region now under consideration, which is Brothers Valley township as we now know it, may also be included that part of Summit township that lies north of Flaugherty run and the river.  At this time it cannot be told who really was the first settler to break the soil for cultivation to the Brothers Valley section.


Philip Wagerline is the first that we know anything of, he being the first to be mentioned to any account that has come down to us.  Of such others, and there must have been some few who may have been here at the same time, we have no names.  It has already been noted that Wagerline told Husband that his nearest neighbor that he knew of was five or six miles away, and that when Husband proposed setting his face toward the northwest he said, “You will find no one in that direction but hunters.”  It looks as though the earliest pioneer settlers in this particular settlement did not appear to have had at its beginning so much inclination to locate in as close proximity to each other as they did in the other settlements.  Apparently each one sought out and sat down on such spot as took his fancy, thus scattering over the country miles apart.


These pioneers appear to have come in singly or in pairs.  A good part of them were from the Conococheague settlements of the east.  They were probably induced to come out by reason of the representations made by hunters when they went eastward to dispose of their stock of peltries and lay in supplies.  Some of these hunters have been here for several years, and had never been molested by the Indians.  This, along with their favorable reports of the country in other respects, encouraged adventurers of limited means to push forward and locate themselves on the choicest of these virgin lands in advance of them who were pecuniarily better off.  Their thus coming here into what was then a wilderness may now be looked on as a piece of reckless daring.  But such was the aggressive spirit that characterized our pioneer ancestors that they readily assumed all risks, so that they might better their conditions in life by having homes of their own.  Animated by such purposes as these, they came into the wilderness, selected such lands as pleased their fancy, and marked their boundaries by blazing trees and building their rude cabins, usually near some flowing spring.  The drafts of their lands as shown in our survey books very plainly tell the story that these first comers were quite particular in the choice of their lands, for their lines run toward every point of compass and at every conceivable angle, many tracts having a dozen or more of corners.  This was because the settler, in making his selection, would encounter spots that did not please him.  These he contrived to avoid by changing his courses, so as to carry him away from rough or swampy lands to better ones.  His lines had to be continuous, and had also to come back to the place of beginning, but it was not requited that his draft or plat should have any particular degree of symmetry.


While it cannot be told who were the very first persons to come into the Brothers Valley settlement, it maybe said with some degree of certainly that among the earliest were Walter Hoyle, Jacob Fisher, John Sweitzer, Valentine Lout, John Glessner, Philip Wagerline, Frederick Ambrose, Bastian (or Sebastian) Shaullis, Peter and Jacob Wingard, Ludowick Greenwalt, Adam Palm, Matthias Judy, Abraham Cable, Frederick Shoaff, and Francis Hay, a single freeman.  The names of all these persons may be found on the first known assessment for Brothers Valley township as it then stood.  Most of then are returned to having enough of cleared land to indicate a settlement of several years.   All of these names can be identified as being of Brothers Valley after it had been shorn of enough of its territory to have formed a principality. There are also names of other persons on this first assessment who might have belonged to this part of the township, but they cannot be identified as such.


Christian Ankeny, George Countryman, Frederick Walker, Frederick Allfather, Sr., John Eideneger, Jacob, Peter and Henry Glessner, all came a year or two later, and, as early as 1778, if not earlier.  The ridge west of where Berlin now is was pretty well occupied. Among others here were Peter Kober, Nicholas Foust, John Foust, and John Coleman-names that are still well known.  The Fritzes were early settlers near Pine Hill, but we can assign no date for them.  Christian Ankeny only remained here about a year, going over to the Cox’s Creek Glades.


Abraham Keble (or Cable, as the name is now spelled) lived on an improvement on Blue Lick run. This, we think, is now in Summit township. His name, however, is identified with a survey in Elk Lick of an earlier date than that of his Brothers Valley improvement, and he may possibly have lived there a few years before going to Brothers Valley.  He was the first justice of the peace to be commissioned for the territory that is now Somerset county, and is spoken of as a man of property and reputation.  Frederick Walker’s improvement was near that of Abraham Cable.  Of Frederick Shoaff it is a matter of tradition that he was more of a hunter than anything else, and that his first improvement was on what in these days is known as the Old John Sayler farm, which is in full view of the town of Meyersdale.  That some deal was made with Sayler by which Shoaff have way to him and went to a place further down the river.  This will be referred to again.


These settlers, of course, passed through all the ordinary privations and makeshifts of pioneer life.  All their flour for the first four or five years was packed from Bedford and Cumberland, and some of it from mills still further away, the grain, of course, being packed from the settlement to the mill, where the settler had to wait his turn to have his grist ground into flour, and as these early mills were of but small capacity it might oftentimes be several days that he would have to wait.  Under these circumstances much of the time the settlers and their families lived on boiled grain, potatoes and meat.


It is related of George Countryman, one of these pioneer settlers, and the ancestor of a family still well known in these parts, that he emigrated with his family from the Conococheague valley and came into this settlement about 1772, although some accounts would make the time several years earlier.  As was the custom in those days, he came over the mountain with all of his personal belongings on a couple of horses.  He found land that pleased him quite well, but some hunter had established his camp on it, and thus had some claim to it, so Countryman bought his rights, such as they were, for nine pounds.  This claim he afterwards, enlarged by blazing trees for boundary marks so as to include about nine hundred acres of land, but this had to be patented under more than one survey, as settlers were not permitted to take up so much land under a single survey.  As to whether he could have been here as early as 1768 or ’69, as is claimed by some, we are not able to say.  His name does not appear on the first assessment list, but as the names of some others were omitted from these early lists, but of whose presence here there is documentary evidence, his name may also have been omitted.  In addition to the well known Countryman farm of our time, his claim also embraced the John G. Hay, Philip Hay, Daniel Boger, and Benjamin Hay farms, of a later day, although the latter is only partly made up from this claim.


George Countryman had the hospitalities of the wilderness, camping in the forest until he could erect a rude cabin for the sheltering of his wife and children.  After he had his cabin built he set about clearing some ground, a part of which he planted in potatoes.  When these were lifted in the fall the ground was sown in grain.  For several years he deemed it prudent, or perhaps he found it necessary, to return to his former home at the beginning of each winter to obtain a supply of flour, leaving his family alone for five or six weeks at a time.  He usually started after the fall work was done, taking with him his horses.  Onreaching his old home he usually managed to secure a job in threshing out the grain on one or two farms for the tenth bushel, which for many years was the standard allowance for threshing grain.  Having completed his work he would have his share of the grain ground into flour and, taking as much of it as he could pack, he returned over the mountain to his anxiously waiting family.  Here we might pause and ponder on the danger and hazard attending this prolonged absence from home on the part of the head of the family.


It may appear foolhardiness, or perhaps downright brutality, for a man to leave his wife and children exposed to all the dangers of the wilderness for so lonf a time, and especially so when it is considered that Indian inroads were at all times possible.  Yet, on the other hand, it was an imperative necessity requiring that adequate provision should be made in the fall to meet the exigencies of the winter in these mountains forests, winters the severity and duration of which were not yet fully developed.  We may also imagine the thoughts and anxieties of the husband and father when thus separated from his family for weeks, nearing the spot on his return where all his hopes were centered, eager to catch the first sound or get the first glimpse to reassure him that all was well.  Such were some of the hardships that the pioneer settlers everywhere had to endure to those days.  Theirs were the toils and trials; ours is the better lot to possess and enjoy the fruits of their labors.


On one of these trips Countryman was somewhat later than usual in reaching the settlement where he expected to obtain this work.  Thinking that he would come that season, the farmers who usually held their threshing for him gave the work to others.  Not getting this expected work disheartened him, and he did not know what to do.  One of the farmers finally suggested that they go to the barn where the man was at work, and perhaps some arrangements might be made by which he could have at least a part of the work; with the result that some kind of a partnership was agreed on for the time being.  The man was young and a German, he expressed an earnest wish that he might become a land owner himself.  To become land owners seemed to be the burning ambition of nearly all of the German immigrants of that day.  Countryman told him of this country where much land might be had at little cost, but he also held up to him the dangers and privations that would have to be endured and overcome by everyone who sought to create a home in the wilderness.  By the time they had finished their work, the young German had made up his mind to go with his friend to his home in the mountains.  Countryman, after getting his grain ground into flour, packed it on his horses, and, accompanied by his partner, started on his homeward journey.  As they neared the top of the Allegheny mountain, in the dusk of the evening, something frightened one of the horses, causing it to start suddenly, bringing one of the sacks in contact with a tree, ‘tearing it, and thus causing much of the flour to be strewn over the ground.  But on reaching home he was consoled for the loss of the flour by finding his family safe and well.


Having reached home, Mr. Countryman showed the young German over his lands, and presently negotiated with him for a sale of about one-half of his nine hundred acres, and also for the trifling sum of nine pounds.  Of course the land office charges must needs still be paid, but it the present value of this land, made up as it is of farms among the finest in the country, is considered, it was indeed but a trifling sum.  A division of the lands having been made, the young German, who evidently was a man of thrift and enterprise, having thus early realized his hopes and aspirations of becoming a land owner in the land of his adoption, at once set himself to work to clear and improve what to him certainly was a great landed estate. Of course he had taken unto himself a wife, but whether here in the settlement, of whether in one of the settlements further east, we are not aable to say, although we know that she was a member of the Shaver family, well known in these parts to this day.  Thus he became permanently located and identified with the interests of the settlement in its early days.  It is also said that just prior to the rupture between the Colonies and the Mother County, he received information that required his presence in the Fatherland.  So, taking leave of his family, he recrossed the ocean to adjust certain affairs and interests in the land of his birth, intending to return at the earliest day possible.  It proved, however, that the leave taking was to be for long years.  Soon after he had left the country the Revolutionary was came on, and an English embargo practically closed all the harbors and ports of America against commerce and emigration.  Thus situated, he was compelled to remain in Europe, thorough sorely against his will, and without even any opportunity of communicating with his family.  In this ling period of separation his wife not only proved her fidelity, but, like many other women of her day, she also showed herself equal to the emergency by not only supporting herself and her family, but she also added much to the value of the estate by enlarging and improving the farm.  The name of the young German whose early fortunes we have thus sketched was Simon Hay, the ancestor of a branch of the Hay family that has always been numerous and influential in Somerset county.


Coal for blacksmithing purposes was hauled to Somerset from this Countryman farm as late as 1810, and this must have been done for years before that time, but as to its having been so hauled at the time named we have positive evidence.  It is therefore extremely probable that it was on this farm that the first discovery of good coal anywhere in these parts was made.


After the arrival of the earlier settlers, they in their travel and intercourse with the more or less distant eastern settlements, in their going to mill and in the bringing in of supplies, soon opened up trails, and tin time, as necessity required, widened them into roads for wagons to pass along.  Yet we have no evidence or knowledge as to when these earlier trails did become passable for wagons.




The settling of the country presently created more or less of a demand for the labor and services of men skilled in the mechanical trades.  It is true that probably nearly all of the first comers into any of these mountain settlements were men who were more or less masters of trades of some sort: that among them were carpenters, stone masons, weavers, blacksmith, shoemakers, and similar trades, and each one in his way could be quite helpful to his neighbors.  But these men had not come out into the wilderness to ply trades.  They had come to acquire lands and become tillers of the soil, and in this pursuit nearly all of their time would naturally be occupied.  The need was for a class of immigrants or settlers who would devote their entire time to the trades or occupations of which they were masters.  This is a kind of labor that usually concentrates itself for convenience.  A blacksmith shop, a store and a tavern, formed a nucleus which almost every village in the county was built up.


In time the general needs of the community led to the advisability of the laying out of a town in this settlement being considered.  Finally it was determined to do so, and a part of the farm now owned by Elias Cober, in the neighborhood of what is now known as Pine Hill, was selected as being suitable for a town site.  Near this place had already been built a house for school purposes and religious worship.  This must have been the first house in the country that was built especially for these purposes; certainly it was the first in the Brothers Valley settlement.


A day was fixed on which lots were to be staked off and sold.  The date or time at which this first attempt at starting a town was made is not now known, but it must have antedated the founding of the town of Berlin by several years.  This novelty of beginning a new town raised considerable excitement and interest all through the settlement, and on the appointed day this drew quite a number of people to the place.  Among others were a party of young men on horseback on their way to the proposed new townsite.  On coming to a smooth place of road, in a spirit of fun and banter, it was proposed to ride a race for the first choice of lots in this new town.  While this race was being run the horse of a young man named Jacob Walker, while running at full speed, made a sudden lurch to one side, throwing his rider against a tree, and killing him instantly.  This sad and untoward accident put a stop to all further proceedings on that day.  It was looked on as being an unfortunate omen, and cast such a damper over the spirits of the promoters of the new town that the project was entirely abandoned.




While the settlement west of the Negro mountain and the ridge into which it drops in its northern end, to some extent served as a foil against possible Indian attacks on this settlement, it nevertheless appears that the settlers gave some attention toward the protection of themselves and families against such attacks.  But at this late day little is known concerning such defenses.


There is, however, pretty good authority that a stockade or blockhouse had been erected on the Seth Wegley farm, at that time a past of the Philip Wagerline farm, as a place of refuge against the Indians.  The late Henry J. Young, of Berlin, knew Philip Wegley, who told him that there had been such a defense on this farm.  The wife of Martin Diveley, who may be classed among the pioneers, is also known to have spoken of this stockade or blockhouse.  Of two other defenses of this sort, David Husband gives this account: “The only indications of forts or places of defense are found at two places, and both singular in their construction.  The remains of one are on the farm of Joseph Walker.  He following description is from secondary tradition, the plowshare having passed over the site until the mound can barely be traced at the present time.  It was in the form of a cave, timbered within, and covered with earth, and was from forty to fifty feet in length; apertures, or portholes on the sides, and was more likely designed as a place of concealment than of defense.


It may be readily be seen and believed that a place for defense might have been constructed in the manner here described.  Timber in some form or other entered into the construction of all these forts or blockhouses.  One built of timber, and protected by an embankment of earth on the sides, and the roof also covered by earth, would certainly have been protected from attack by fire, an element of weakness in all simple wooden defenses.


“Another of these defenses was on a farm owned in 1870 by Nelson Walker, and several miles south of the one last mentioned.  It was built under a bluff or projecting rock near the river, and was constructed of logs on three sides, the rock forming the back against which timbers were butted and shortened as the rock shelved until it closed at the top against the cliff.  It could not be reached, and was entirely covered and dry, this preserving it from decay.  Many persons are yet living (1870) who have seen it in pretty good condition.  The connection between this relic and its builders has been broken or lost and all must be left to conjecture.


“There is, however, a tradition connected with the ancestor of the Shoaff family* that would in a manner meet this case.  It runs thus: In the alarms which caused the more western and northwestern settlers to leave on several occasions, the settlers about the Middle Creek valley had nearly all removed. But Shoaff is said to have hid or concealed himself, living somewhere among the rocks along the river.  This, taken in connection with the sale he made to the Saylors of the limestone hill across the river from the present town of Meyersdale, which was his first improvement, and after him for a time was called the ‘Shoaff Kup,” together with his then moving down the river, would very naturally connect him with this defense under the bluff.”


     *Note.-This probably refers to Frederick Shoaff and not to John Shoaf, the ancestor of the Shoaff family of Milford township.  Nothing further is known of the former except that he once lived in Brothers Valley.




Mention has already been made that among the many hardships that these pioneer settlers had to endure in their struggle here in the wilderness that they were under the necessity of going as far as Fort Bedford and Fort Cumberland, and even to places still much further east, in order to procure flour, which, when obtained by such long and tedious trips once or twice a year, had to be saved and used sparingly, being looked on as one of the great luxuries of life, to be baked into bread only on special occasions, such as the coming of visitors, or when some member of the family was sick.


In one family the tradition comes down to us that they had been without flour for a long while, their homely fare being meat, potatoes and boiled wheat, or rye.  At last the children begged so long and hard for bread that a trip was made to an eastern mill for a supply of flour, this requiring, perhaps, four or five days of time.  On the day of expected return a small child three or four years old would eat nothing all day, but would frequently ask, “Will father soon come with the flour?”  Under such conditions, and they prevailed in all of these early settlements, the building of the first gristmill in any of them was a matter of the greatest importance to such community.


When Philip Wagerline was on one of his eastern trips after flour, the miller asked him if there were no mill sites in their new settlement.  Now Wagerline was a man somewhat given to jokes on a practical nature, so he replied, “Yes, I have one on my own land.”  The miller asked what fall might he obtained.  “Any fall you please,” replied Wagerline.  “Well,” says the miller, “I am bound to come and see you, and if you can show me such a situation I will build you a mill at home.”  So Philip returned home with the assurance of a visit from the miller as soon as he could get off.  In due time the miller redeemed his promise, and was cordially welcomed to this backwoods home.  All it afforded was most cheerfully prepared for his comfort.  In the morning, expressing a wish to see the millsite, Philip took him to a nice level spot at the foot of a considerable hill, and asked him, “Would you want a nicer place for a mill!”  “Yes,” replied the miller, “but where is the water?” “Water! Why, you said nothing about water.  You only spoke of a situation and a fall, and here you can have all the fall you want or need.”  The miller, seeing he had been the victim of a joke, heartily joined in the laugh, which was at his expense.  But, after all, there could have been but little difficulty in finding a mill site that had plenty both of water and fall.  Whether Philip Wagerline’s visitor did find a site to please him, and whether he really did build the first gristmill in Brothers Valley settlement, are questions that can not now be answered, because the name of this man has not come down to us.


So far as can be determined at this time, a small tub mill was built a short distance west from where the town of Berlin now is, on a stream that is tributary to the Buffalo creek.  This mill would appear to have been built by a man named Troyer, probably Michael Troyer, Senior.  He was the first of the name to come into the settlement, although within a year or two several others of the name also appear on the lists.  The time is somewhat uncertain, but we do not think that it was built before 1780.


The mill built by William Jones, near the foot of Laurel Hill, in what is now Jefferson township, was built some time in 1779.  This accords also with the Ankeny traditions, which say that the mill was already built at the time of the winter of the deep snow, at the same time saying this was the nearest mill.  The Troyer mill, whenever it was built, would have been a trifle nearer.  Yet the Husband Annals also speak of this mill as though it was already built at the time of the deep snow-1779-80.  There has always been a mill at this place from those days down to our own time.  This mill later on was owned by Jacob Fisher, also one of the early pioneers of the settlement.  Fisher sold it to Isaac Stoner, who owned it until 1814, in which year he sold it to Abraham Miller.  In 1826 he sold it to his son, John A. Miller, who rebuilt the mill in 1830, and in 1835 had it so remodeled that horse-power might be utilized to operate it in seasons of low water.  This probably is the only attempt ever made in the county to operate a gristmill in this manner.  In 1852 he put in steam power,, this again being the first mill in the county so equipped.  Under the terms of John A. Miller’s will this mill was inherited by Calvin Hay, a grandson, who has equipped it with the best roller process machinery.


The original mill, as we believe, and as already stated, was the kind known as a tub mill, a type of mill that has long since gone out of existence in these parts.  The name was taken from the form and construction of the wheel, which consisted of an upright shaft with wings, or floats, attached.  This was encircled by a tub, or chest, into which the water rushed from a chute, striking these wings or floats, and putting the wheel in motion, the water being discharged through an opening in the side of the tub.  In the upper end of the shaft the spindle was set that passed through the bed stone.   The balance and driver were attached as in later and better forms. In setting the mill, the bedstone was raised or depressed by a lighter staff, instead of a runner.  Bolting cloths were not used in these early mills, the flour made in them being used without bolting.  When something better was desired, the flour, as it came from the mill, was passed through a sifter-sieve, this separating most of the bran from the flour.  The modern sieve, or sifter, is made from woven wire, the meshes being of various degrees of fineness, as desired. But these early sifters, was used in the days of the pioneers, were made by stretching the dressed skin of some animal over a broad hoop while it was still wet, something in the manner of a drum head.  After it had become dry perforations were made in it with a fine awl, and as closely as possible.  This made a durable and fairly good sifter.  Bolting cloths were in use in all our mills long before the beginning of the writer’s own time, but it is within his recollection that all cornmeal was taken away from all of our mills unbolted as it passed though the stones.  The bran was separated from the meal by the good housewife at home with a sifter, which was a part of every well equipped kitchen.




The region adjacent to the present town of Meyersdale is or was a part of ancient Brothers Valley.  According to the traditions connected with this locality, a hunter named Jacob Castleman had his camp somewhere along the river on one of the Sayler farms.  This was probably the John Saylor farm, although it might also have been the Jacob Sayler farm adjoining, both of them being in full view of Meyersdale.


It is also a part of this tradition that he had a negro servant.  This servant was almost as expert a woodsman as was his master.  On one occasion, with a neighboring hunter, he was sent on an errand to the Turkeyfoot settlement.  The hunter returned and reported that while on their return home they fell in with a small band of Indians, who pursued them; that to baffle the pursuit they had separated the negro taking up the mountain and the white man toward the river.  The negro was never heard of-whether he was killed, captured or ran away, and that it was this circumstance from which Negro mountain takes its name.  That it does take it name from some adventure on it in which a negro had a part would seem certain, but there are four or five traditions relating to the origin of this name, all of which assign a different owner to this negro.  We give this account here because this tradition is connect with this locality. But the reader is referred to the account of the Turkeyfoot settlement for an entirely different account.


W can give no dates as to the time when Jacob Castleman was located here, other than that it was before settlers had come in.  It from this hunter that the Castleman’s river takes its present name; we say present name, because in the early days it was also known as the Little Youghiogheny.  Aside from giving his name to this beautiful stream, we do not know that this man left any other impress on the history of this time.  He must have disappeared from these parts as soon as the settlers began to come.  We do not know where Jacob Castleman originally came from.  There is a trace of the family name in early Bedford township, and also in Hampshire county, West Virginia.  It is more likely that he came from Virginia.  Whether the same man or not we cannot say, but the name appears in the early records of Allegheny county.  There is also a well known Castleman family in Kentucky, and it is by no means improbable that they may be his descendants.


Another hunter, whose name was Flaherty, or Flaugherty, gave his name to the classic stream that divides Meyersdale into a north and south side.  His camp is said to have been near the mouth of the stream.  There are, however, some accounts of him which say that he operated a still somewhere on the banks of the stream.


This region had at least some settlers at a very early date.  Tradition has it that very soon after the Indian title was extinguished, in 1768, a colony of some fifteen or twenty families was formed to emigrate and settle in this section, and that most of them were Mennonites.  The date assigned we think too early by several years, because not a single one of the names that may be considered as being of this colony is to be found on the first assessment list, although their absence from the list would not be entirely conclusive as to the time of their coming.  It is also more than likely that the Amish and not the Mennonite element predominated, and there may also have been some Brethren, or Dunkards, among them.  Indeed, if we are to judge from the church affiliations of their descendants, there must have been some of the Dunkard faith.  Some of these traditions even go so far as to say that it was this colony as a whole from which the name “Brueders Thal,” or Brothers Valley, had it origin.  This we think is erroneous.  Nor can we believe that this particular element came in as a colony, if we are to understand by that term that they came in a body, or at the same time.  This must have come in at different times.


Of these early settlers we have these names.  Jacob Saylor, John Saylor (father and son), Christian Knaigey, Christian Berkey (or Perkey), Peter Fahrney (Forney), Michael Buechley, John Olinger, John Burger, John Miller.  Also the Burntragers, and possibly some of the Houpts.  Of these the Saylors, Fahrneys, Buechleys, Knaigeys and Berkeys may be looked on as being among the first to come, and except the Berkeys, all of these are still well known names in the county.  The Berkey family in the northern past of Somerset county is not known to be of this stock, which is not known to have any representatives here.


Jacob Saylor settled on the farm on which the late Christian P. Livengood lived for so many years, and which is now owned by Cyrus Hochstetter.  He was a Mennonite preacher.  This is set forth in his will, but one on his descendants, the late Rev. Henry Blough, himself a Mennonite, once informed the writer that Jacob Saylor was of the Amish church when he came here, had become dissatisfied for some reason or other, and that a Mennonite bishop had come from Lancaster county and set him apart for the Mennonite ministry.


John Saylor, his son, settled on a farm adjoining his father’s place.  In it is included the well know Saylor Hill. It is said this hill was first known as the “Shoaff  Kupp,” from the circumstance that a hunter named Shoaff had some sort of an improvement right to it which Saylor bought from him.  There is a story that when Peter Livengood, who located near Salisbury, came in with his family, they meant to stop with the Saylors, but were overtaken by night without finding them, and were forced to camp in the woods.  It so happened that they were quite near the Saylors at the time, without being aware of it.  After they had built a fire, the Saylors noticed the light, made investigation and found them.  If the story has anything on which to rest, then it would look as though they were here as early as 1772, because shortly after coming in there was a happening in the family of Peter Livengood that would fix this as the date.


Jacob Saylor died in 1796.  His is one of the early wills to be found on our county records.  Among other things he bequeathed to his only son, John, the family Bible and a volume of the writings of Menno Simon, the same being John’s sole share of the estate.  This old “Menno Simon Book,” as it is called in the will, was printed in the 1575, and is still in possession of some one of the Blough family.  It contains a record of a Saylor family of children born between 1708 and 1720.


Andrew Burntrager’s location was within the present town of Meyersdale, and he built the first house that was built within what is now the town.  It was built on land that was afterwards a part of the Peter Meyers estate.


When Elk Lick township was cut off from Brothers Valley, with the exception of Andres Burntrager and John Olinger, all of the persons we have named as having been early settlers here were found to be in the new township. John Burger’s place was immediately south of Flaugherty run, and was later known as the Daniel Buechley farm, and most, perhaps all of it, is now within the town of Meyersdale.  John Miller’s place was perhaps a half mile above the mouth of Elk Lick run.  Here, operated by a descendant of his, was a blacksmith shop in which the famous “Axie” Yoder learned his trade.  The other persons named in connection with the settlement, with one possible exception, seem to have lived, some of them, as much as several miles away, and so far as can be determined, in the direction of what is now known as Summit Mills.”  The nearest other early settlers about here that we know anything of were Hugh Robinson and his son, Hugh Robinson, Junior.  The elder Robinson’s place joined Jacob Saylor’s place on the south.  The younger Robinson’s place was on the east side of the river, and joined John Burger’s place on the south.  Both of the Robinsons, so far as the records show, were here before these other settlers that have been named and were of a different nationality.  Most likely they were Scotch or Scotch-Irish. The name has long since disappeared from these parts.


As with every other of these pioneer settlements, the settlers here were greatly inconvenienced for want of a mill.  In the Husband papers we find an account that somewhere between 1778 and 1780 a stranger came into the settlement and offered that if he were given a piece of land he would put up a mill on Flaugherty run.  The land was given him.  Taking out a race some distance up the stream and on the south side, he obtained sufficient fall and put up a tub mill.  If this story is correct all through, it could not have been on or near the site of the later Meyers mill, because that is on the north side.  If the time was as early as 1778, it would probably antedate the other early mills, and we would know more about it.  We look on the early mills, and we would know more of it.  We look on the William Jones mill, near the foot of Laurel Hill, as being the earliest mill in the county, and that does not seem to date back any earlier than the early part of 1779.  No man’s name is connected with this mill on the Flaugherty as its builder.  There is, however, another tradition to the effect that one Adam Cook built a mill long before the year 1800; that it also got its power from the Flaugherty; and as this story runs, it may have been the predecessor of the later Meyers mill, and he may be the same man that the Husband account has reference to.  One thing is certain-such a man as Adam Cook was in Brothers Valley township as early as 1776, and there are traces of him elsewhere in these parts.


What the effect of the continued Indian alarms of the Revolutionary period was on the Brothers Valley settlement-that is to say, of the region to the south of the Glades road, or the later Bedford pike-we are not able to say.  The Cox’s Creek Glades (Somerset) settlement served al least to some extent as a foil against Indian attack from the west and northwest, while the same may be said of the Stony Creek glades settlement proper on the north. All the accounts that we have on this subject appear to refer to the Cox’s Creek Glades, or Somerset settlement, or when we find any reference at all in the Pennsylvania archives, the term “glades” and “Stony Creek Glades,” or the “Forbes road,” are used.  Nowhere is the term Brothers Valley used.  Whether or not these terms are to be held to include all of the country from Berlin south to the Maryland line we cannot say.  There is abundant local evidence that on several occasions most of the inhabitants of the Cox’s Glade settlement fled from their homes, but from these parts we have no such local evidence.  Yet, as the outskirts of the settlements about Berlin certainly reached within a half dozen miles of the Cox’s Creek Glades, and as it is positively known that some of these settlers in flying from their homes passed Brothers Valley settlement, we cannot well view the matter in any other light than that these alarms must have had some effect on this settlement also, even though there is a marked absence of any local accounts that would indicate the same general flight.  There certainly was some attention given to the preparing of places of safety and defense, of which some mention has already been made.


At the time of the close of the Revolutionary war, Brothers Valley township as it then was seems to have included all of its present territory, as well as all of the townships of Elk Lick and Summit, and most likely all of the eastern part of Stony Creek.  A census of the four townships of Bedford county that were west of the Allegheny mountain that was taken in 1784, shows a population that exceeded nine hundred souls as being found in Brothers Valley township, and as this did not include the families of such persons as were tenants, who numbered some twenty-seven families in the preceding year, it is safe to say that the number of inhabitants exceeded one thousand.  The return of Turkeyfoot township, so far as the number of its inhabitants is concerned, is missing, but it is quite clear that Brothers Valley had as many if not more inhabitants at that time than the three remaining townships had when put together, and the same will apply to the number of houses or cabins, and the live stock, of which the returns are more complete.  All this may be taken as an indication that the Revolutionary period did not bring quite so much trouble to the settlers here as it did to those in the other settlements.




That section of the county known as Elk Lick takes its name from a stream that, rising near the top of the Negro mountain, and flowing is a northeasterly direction, finally empties into the Castleman’s river, a short distance below the town of Meyersdale.  The stream itself takes the name from one of those natural saline springs that were found in different parts of the county.  This spring, or lick, as it was called, was much resorted to by cattle in the early days of the settlement.  At the time of the coming of the first hunters and settlers it was a resort for elk and deer.  Its location was on or near the stream, a sort distance below the present village of Summit Mills.  The name of Elk, given to this lick, indicates the presence of these animals in those days, although we have never heard the claim advanced that they ever were very numerous in this or any other part of the county.


An early tradition connected with this lick is that Henry Miller, who was an early settler in these parts, and also something of a hunter, had gone one night to watch this lick in the hope of killing a deer, secreting himself among the bushes that grew around the place.  After a due season of waiting and watching by the dim light of a clouded moon, he at last saw several deer approach the lick.  Bringing his gun to bear on them as well as he could in the dim light, he fired it.  His shot was both remarkable and lucky, for the ball broke the backbone of one deer, the leg of another, and passing on, lodged in the heart of the third one standing in the same range.  Henry Miller was the grandfather of Gabriel, Manasseh D., Jacob D. and Ephraim Miller, all in their time well known citizens of this region.  The latter, we think, is still living.


This region may be considered as being the valley of the Castleman’s river, lying between the Allegheny and Negro mountains, and extending from the Maryland line as far north as the Flaugherty run.  Who the first settlers in these parts were is will known,  but, like almost everything else, the time of their coming is involved in more or less doubt.  John Markley is considered by all the best authorities as having been the first settler here.  He had taken up several tracts of land, but his home place was a large tract of several hundred acres, known under the name of “John’s Fancy,”  All the older part of the town of Salisbury was platted on this tract.  The remainder of it makes up the farm adjoining the town on its north side, and which in late years has been owned by the late John W. Beachey and his son, Milton J. Beachey.


Others settlers whose names are found on the first assessment list, supposed to have been made in 1772, were Benjamin Biggs, William Tissue, William Dwire, Andrew Hendricks, High Robinson, William St. Clair, John St. Clair and James Claypool. Abraham Cable’s name is identified with the Cox farm, and be may have lived on it, but this is by no means certain.  How long they had been here at the time that this first written record was made, is not known.  But some of them may have been of the trespassing settlers who were in the country prior to the time that it was legally open for settlement.  Without mentioning any names, as he did when speaking of the Turkeyfoot region, Steele, in his report of April, 1768, does make much reference to a few settlers as “living nigh the crossing of the Little Yough,” to whom some proclamations were sent.  The “Little Yough” is the Castleman’s river.  The crossings are in Garret county, Maryland, where the Braddock and National roads cross the stream.  The distance from John Markley’s improvement is about five and a half miles.  If Steele in using the word “nigh” had no greater distance in mind than one of five or sex miles, then this is the only settlement that could possibly have been meant.  Just what distance Steele himself had in mind as falling within the meaning of the “nigh” we have no means of knowing, but for him to have had reference to the settlement about Berlin then it would have to mean fifteen or twenty miles, because the distance from the Little Crossings in Maryland to the then outskirts of that settlement is fully fifteen miles.  This is a matter that we suppose everyone will have to decide for himself.  We do not mean to claim that this settlement antedates that of Brothers Valley proper, but we do believe it to have been about as early.


About three-eights of a mile from the upper bridge between Salisbury and West Salisbury is a small farm of about one hundred acres that lies between the old Peter Livengood farm, now owned by Jeremiah B. Keim, and the Henry Keim farm, which has a history of one hundred and thirty-six years.  It was on this farm that William St. Clair, one of these first settlers, made his improvements and on which he had six acres of cleared land in 1772.  He sold this farm to Peter Livengood in 1773.  His deed to Livengood recites that his application for the warrant for the survey was made under date of April 12, 1769, or nine days after the opening of the land office.  This is the earliest date for any warrant for survey in what is now Somerset county that we have so far encountered.  Its date would show that he certainly was among the first of these Elk Lick pioneers, and he may even be one of those referred to in Steele’s report.  John St. Clair stands in the first assessment as a single freeman, but he certainly owned lands here.  After the sale of this little farm to Peter Livengood we find no further trace of wither of the St. Clairs in the settlement.


Benjamin Biggs we locate as having had his improvement up on Meadow run, about one and a half miles southeast of Salisbury.  This place was afterwards known as Adam Koch’s claim.  Koch (or Cook) sold this place in 1779 to John Durst for fifty pounds.  A part of this land has been incorporated into the Shultz farm.  One is at a loss to account for anyone locating at so early a day on land as poor as this is, when there was so much good land near by to be had for the taking of it.


William Tissue (whose name is also spelled Tyshu, Tyshoe, Tyse, and Tice in old papers that we have seen) was located on a large tract of land that for the last hundred years has been known as the “Sullivan” farm.  Tissue’s warrant called for four hundred acres of land, while a second warrant for one hundred acres adjoining stood in the name of Huldah Tissue, his wife.  The buildings on this farm, as they have been within the writer’s own recollection of the place, which goes back to 1847, are a little over two miles from the present town of Salisbury, and may be seen from some parts of the town.  At the time when the first assessment of Brothers Valley township was made, Tissue had twelve acres of cleared land.  This indicates a presence here of at least several years prior to 1772.  Like many other settlers of that period, he must first have held his lands under an improvement right, for the warrant and survey are dated in 1784, and the draft of the survey shows the land lies on both sides of the Turkeyfoot road.  According to this, that road must already have been laid out at the time, which would make it one of the earliest roads in the county.  The late Christian C. Livengood once told the writer that Tissue’s first buildings were on the northwest part of the tract, in the hollow beyond the sugar camp on the Abraham P. Beachey farm, and that before the road was made a packer’s trail passed through this hollow and passed Tissue’s house.  There is also some tradition that he at times entertained persons who passed over this trail.  Tissue himself never took out the patents for this land.  That was done by Patrick Sullivan, to whom Tissue sold it in 1798.  The present buildings on this place are the east side of the Turkeyfoot road.  In 1847 the dwelling was a log house, the largest log house the writer has ever seen anywhere in Somerset county.  At that time it was in rater a dilapilated condition, and was torn down in 1851.  Whether it was built by Tissue or Sullivan the writer cannot say.  It is known that Tissue’s first house was burned down, and he then may have rebuilt it on another part of the farm.


William Dwire, another of these early pioneers, must have held his lands under an improvement right.  On the first assessment he is returned as having ten acres of cleared land.  This is one of the famous Wilhelm farms of our own day.  The St. Paul Reformed church is built on it.


The Andrew Hendricks, or Hendrickson (the name is spelled both ways), improvement was the John J. Keim form, which is in full view of Salisbury.  He, too, was one of these first settlers, and at the time of our first certain account had ten acres of cleared land.  The patent for this land was taken out by his son John in 1810.  On this farm, so far as is known, was taught the first school in this settlement.  The wife of John Hendricks was a daughter of John Markley.  While the name has long since been unknown in this region, we do known that Andrew Hendricks lived in the community many years.


James Claypoles’s improvement, as township lines now run, is in Summit township, and seems to have been well up on the Negro mountain.  The survey says it is located one mile from the river.  We think it is the same place that Solly Ramsperger, a quaint character, owned in later days.  We know that Claypole went to Armstrong county, but he must have left some descendants here, for the name has been known here up to recent years.


Hugh Robinson, Sr., and Hugh Robinson, Jr., were both among the earliest settlers in this region.  The elder Robinson’s place was next to Jacob Saylor’s place, but he was much the earlier settler.  Like the Saylor farm, it ran down to the river, somewhere near the little village of Romania.  The first assessment credits him with but eight acres of cleared land, a horse and two cows.  The farm is or was one of the most valuable coal farms in this region.  Hugh Robinson was a man of some prominence in the settlement in its early days.  The younger Hugh Robinson’s farm was on the east side of the river, and was mostly bottom land.  The Robinson name, so far as this family is concerned, has long been unknown here.


The Saylors, who really resided in the ancient Elk Lick, have been mentioned elsewhere.


We have now named all of the very first settlers who can be identified with Elk Lick settlement, nearly all of whom may already have been here at the time that the country became legally open for settlement.


There remains something to be said of Peter Livengood.  We consider the evidence good that he came here as early as 1772, although his name does not appear on the assessment lists until several years later.  He came here from Berks county, although he was really born in Europe.  He settled on the farm just west of West Salisbury, now owned by Jeremiah B. Keim, who is one of his descendants.  One of the family traditions is that on coming, a rude shelter of some sort was made beneath the spreading branches of a large sugar tree, and then a more substantial cabin was built, but that before the completion of the cabin the family was increased by the arrival of a daughter, who was born under the sugar tree mentioned.  The name of this daughter was Elizabeth, who afterwards was married to Jacob Brenison.  She was still living in 1870, in which year her age was given to Michael F. Smith, Esq., census -----, as being ninety-eight years.  This would fix the year 1772 as the time Peter Livengood came here.  He is said to have been an Amish preacher, and was ancestor of a well-known family that still is represented by numerous descendants.


Of the very early happenings in this vicinity very little is known.


Tub Mill run passes through the Abraham P. Beachey farm.  Here, somewhere along the stream, pair of common millstones were found many years ago.  Mr. Beachey moved one of them to his house, and it still may be there.  These stones are supposed to have belonged to a small tub mill that is said to have been built somewhere along the stream by William Tissue.  While his own home farm or place did not come down to the run, this account may still be true, and it would bee the first mill built in this part of the county.  There must be some such reason for the stream having the name it has.  The date must have been as far back as the time of the Revolutionary war.  Both Christian C. and Samuel C. Livengood, who were born about 1803 and 1805, and reared near by, have confirmed to the writer the existence of such a mill somewhere along the run, and to which these millstones must have belonged.


An atrocious murder was perpetrated on the Tissue farm by a German indentured servant, the victims being the first wife and an infant daughter of William Tissue.  This murder, which seems to have taken place during the period of the Revolutionary was, will be referred to elsewhere.


William Tissue was commissioned a justice of the peace in 1778, the first one for this settlement that we know of.


We have no account of the people of this Elk Lick settlement ever having been in any way harassed on account of Indian alarms at any time during the Revolutionary period.

Some twenty-five years ago we made particular inquiry on this subject from several of the oldest persons then living in this neighborhood, and who were born and reared in Elk Lick township, being also descendants of early pioneers, and who still remembered some of those people.  By them we were informed that they had never heard any traditions, either in their own families or from those of others, that indicated that the people had ever been compelled to fly from their domes, or that they had ever heard anything in any way that would lead one to suppose that these settlers ever had any such troubles.


[Source: The History of Bedford and Somerset Counties by Blackburn and Welfley, published in 1906. Transcribed and donated by Batha Karr <batha.karr@gmail.com>. ]

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