The History of Somerset, Bedford, and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania,
MIDDLE CREEK township is called after the stream of the same name which flows about midway betweem Laurel Hill and Cox's creeks. The township was organized in 1853.
The township contains several small veins of coal, which are mined for local use. A good quality of limestone is found. Considerable quantities of iron ore exist, but as yet they have not been utilized.
Caspar Harbaugh is supposed to have been one of the earliest pioneers in the present territory of Middle Creek township. He was originally from Germany. He served under Gen. Braddock in 1775, and resided in the eastern part of this state until 1789. In the spring of 1790 he came to the wild and sparsely inhabited region since known as Somerset county, and settled on the farm where Hiram Tedrow now lives, bringing with him a wife and two or three children. Harbaugh passed nearly all of the remainder of his life in this township. He died at the age of ninety years.
A few months after Harbaugh's arival, Elijah Lyons, from Virginia, came and settled on the farm now owned by Alexander Moore. He was then a yound man, but was married before coming to this neighborhood.
About 1791 Andrew Putman, from Maryland, settled on a farm adjoining that of Caspar Harbaugh. Like the other early settlers, he leased land from landholders residing in Philadelphia. Mr. Putman lived to be quite aged. He died about 1850. The farm on which he settled is now owned by Peter Whipkey.
Daniel Moore emigrated from New Jersey to this country about 1800. After making a location and beginning improvements on a farm in the southern part of this township, he left, and for some years led the life of an itinerant miller, working in various places. Later her returned to his farm and made rapid improvements upon it. He died in 1844, and his wife (Mary King) in 1852. They reared eight children, five of whom are still living. One son is in Ohio; Jesse is an old resident of this township; Catharine (Gross) lives in Milford township; and Mrs. Barron and Mrs. Whipkey, in Middle Creek. Jesse Moore is the father of Philip K. Moore, who owns a beautiful farm of two hundred and forty acres in the northern part of this township. Though Mr. Moore, senior, has passed the alloted threescore years and ten, he is still active; and being a man of observation and good memory, recalls much that is interesting concerning the early settlers, their customs and manner of life.
Alexander C. Moore, another son of Jesse Moore, is a prosperous farmer, residing one mile north of New Lexington.
William Moore was born and reared in this township. In 1838 he came into possession of the homestead farm, inherited from his father. He married Rosanna, daughter of George Pile, an early pioneer of this township, and reared five children: Louisa (Mognet), Cyrus B., Walter F., H. D. and Lyman K.
Cyrus B. served in the late war, and , after its close, established himself in the mercantile business at New Lexington, in 1866. Dr. H. D. Moore read medicine, and, after graduating, settled in New Lexington, where he now has a successful practice.
George Pile located in this township in 1818, on the farm which he bought of Andrew Putman, his father-in-law. He expended much hard labor in improving his farm and bringing it into good condition. He married Salome Putman. Their son, Josiah, is one of the thrifty farmers of this township. He resides upon a farm which he purchased of Samuel Barclay.
George Putman was born in Somerset county, and lived in Milford township. His son John commenced life for himself as a farmer in 1848. he owns a good farm of one hundren and sixty acres, which he purchased from his uncle, Michael Putman. Mr. Putman was a soldier in the late war; enlisted in the nine months' service in 1863. He has taken an active interest in educational matters, and has served as school director several times.
George Barron became a resident of Middle Creek township in 1817, moving from a neighboring township. His mother was captured by the Indians in Morrison's cove. (For particulars, see sketch of Milford Township.) Mr. Barron purchased a farm of John Weyant, and devoted his lifetime to improving it. His family consisted of ten children, all of whom are still living. Moses Barron owns one hundred and seventy acres of land in this township and operates a gristmill. He is a miller by trade, having learned the business thoroughly.
On the same site where Barron's mill now stands John Koozer erected a gristmill in 1806. it was largely patronized by the early settlers. Koozer's mill passed through various changes of owners, and, until it was pruchased by Mr. Barron, always retained its origional name. Peter Koozer had a carding-mill put in operation as early as 1808, near the present site of Baker's woolen-factory.
Jacob Baker was reared near Rockwood. In 1855 he came to Middle Creek township, and purchased from Thomas Van Horn one-half interest in a woolen factory. The following year Jeremiah Pile became his partner and the two conducted the business for six years. Mr. Baker's mill is almost new, having been built by him in 1876, at a cost of twenty-five hundred dollars. The factory contains a full set of carding-machines, a spinning-jenny and three looms. It is run by water-power. Mr. Baker manufactures blankets, cassimeres, waterproofs, barred flannels and yarns. Since his residence here he has made important improvements. Besides erecting the factory, he has built a brick house and a stable.
Hiram Tedrow moved from Milford to Middle Creek township in 1859, and settled on a farm known as the David Young farm, which he purchased from Dennis Hay. Mr. Tedrow has greatly improved his place. The farm consists of two hundred and twenty acres, and is in a high state of cultivation. The wife of Mr. Tedrow is Amanda C., daughter of Jesse Moore, an old resident of this township. Mr. Tedrow is a son of John K. Tedrow, whose parents were early settlers in this county. During the civil war Hiram was drafted into the army twice.
William R. King is a son of Mesmore King, who lived for many years in this township, although he was born in a neighboring township. The elder Mr. King was the owner of extensive tracts of land in various parts of the township. In 1875 he disposed of the greater part of his property and removed to Westmoreland county. William R. has also accumulated, as the result of industry and good management, extensive quantities of land, and is today the owner of over sixteen hundred acres.
Hon. Jacob R. McMillen was born and reared in old Turkey-Foot township, of which both his father and grandfather were residents. The name of the latter was Rush, and he was a soldier in the revolutionary war. J. R. McMillen came to Middle Creek in 1847, located in the southern part of the township, and purchased a tannery of Harris Luddington -an eccentric old gentleman, who was a "jack-of-all-trades" - a tanner, merchant, minister, lawyer, doctor, etc. Luddington had established the tannery and operated it only a few years when Mr. McMillen took charge. The latter had learned his trade with his father in Paddytown, in this county. Mr. McMillen conducted the business successfully for thirty-one years, then turned the management of it over to his sons, R. S. and J. J. McMillen, who are now conducting it. Mr. McMillen has been prominent in public affairs and an active member of the republican party. In 1866 he was elected associate judge of the county, and held the office during a term of five years. He was elected to the state legislature in 1872 and served two terms.
Michael Ansell settled on Laurel Hill in 1866, having purchased six hundred acres of land of Samuel King. The farm had been improved years before by John Pile, now of Fayette county. Mr. Ansell's farm is very rich in iron ore. There is also a mineral spring, the waters of which possess great medicinal virtues, situated upon the place. Mr. Ansell served in the late war in Co. C, 142d regt. Penn. Vols., and was in a number of severe engagements, but fortunately escaped being wounded. He enlisted in 1861 and was mustered out at the close of the war.
Joseph B. Critchfield, an old resident of Middle Creek, was born in Milford township. Early in life he came to Middle Creek, and after working several years at various avocations, married Harriet King and settled on a farm which he purchased of Elizabeth Miller, of Salem, New Jersey. After residing on this farm twenty-two years, he sold it to Walter Moore, and subsequently bought back thirty-eight acres of it, upon which he presently resides.
Isaac Barron, son of John N. Barron, who was a native of Berks county, settled in Middle Creek in 1868, on a farm purchased of Abraham Hostetler, which he greatly improved. Isaac Barron's mother, as mentioned in the history of Milford township, was captured by Indians. Mr. Barron married Charlotte Moore. Two of their children are living: William II., who was a soldier in the late war and now resides upon the homestead, and Mrs. Anna Rebecca Meyers, in Fayette county.
The first gristmill and the first sawmill in the township were built by Philip King, on Middle Creek, about 1880.
The first store in the township was started by Elias Stahl, about 1840. Stahl continued in business fifteen years, then sold out to Henry F. Schell.
In Middle Creek township the following industries are at present carried on: Two gristmills, one on Laurel Hill creek, owned by Moses Barron, the other on Middle Creek, owned by Israel Gross. The one general store and post-office (at new Lexington) are kept by Cyrus B. Moore. Baker's woolen-factory is elsewhere alluded to.
The following is a copy of the official list of voters of Middle Creek township in 1854, one year after the organization of the township: John Boyts, Christian Barkley, Dav. Barkley, Jr., John Bongard, Geo. Barron, Benj. Bowman, Moses Barron, H. B. Barnes, Henry Boucher, John Boucher, Chas. Cramer, Josiah Crise, John Cummins, Jos. B Crichfield, Dav. Cramer, Gabriel Christner, John Davis, Geo. Enos, Adam Felderkerchner, Geo. Ferguson, Jac. Gary, Adam Gary, John Hidler, A. B. Hostetler, Jos. Herrington, Jac. Hechler, Wm. Henry, John Hersh, John Infield, Derrick Kreger, John King, Henry Kreger, Jos. King, John R. King, Missimer King, Cassimer King, Sam. Kooser, Dan. Lee, Jona. Lions, Jac. L. Miller, Dan. A. Miller, Jesse Moore, John G. Miller, Jac. R. McMullen, Chas. McLelland, Abr. R. Miller, Mich. Nicholas, Hugh Nichel, Geo. Pile, Dav. Pletcher, Sam. Pletcher, Christian Phillippi, Sam. Phillippi, John L. Sayler, Jere. Sayler, Christian Schrock, Jac. C. Schrock, Henry L. Snyder, Dewald Snyder, Levi Snyder, Chris. Speicher, Jos. Saylor, Jona. Sayer, John D. Snyder, Mich. Sanner, Dav. Tedrow, Derrick Trimpe, Fred Uphouse, Henry Uphouse, Thos. Vanhorn, Abr. Walker, Henry Weyand, Peter Whipkey, Dav. Young, Dav. Younkin, Eli Sayler, Dav. Sayler, Francis Singer, Amos Schrock, Solomon Pile, Jere Pile, David'n Pletcher, John Weyand, Jac. Speicher, Peter Speicher, Noah S. Snyder, Sol. Boucher, Cassimer Cramer, Emanuel Caron, Geo. Feldkerchner, John Gross, Dav. Hoop, Hiram King, Geo. King, Arnold Kuhlman, Geo. Leer, Elijah Lyons, Jas. Mickey, Geo. Mickey, Jos. Mognet, Josiah Pile, Wm. Putman, Dav. Pletcher, Sol. young, Isaac Younkin, Simon Barron, Chauncy Barron, Hiram Barron, Dan'l Barkley, Hiram Boucher, Sam. Cramer, Chauncy Cramer, Wm. Curry, Geo. Davis, J. G. Elder, Jona. Emert, Jac. Hechler, Jr., Aaron Hechler, Josiah Heminger, Chauncy Meyers, Eli Younkin.
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