First Settlements in the County

The first deed recorded in Brothers Valley was dated 1784. However, there had been settlers in the Brothers Valley area as early as 1769. In 1769, Captain John STEELE was sent to warn settlers in the Brothers Valley area that they must leave Indian Lands. The next year, in 1770, the Rev. George Adam MARTIN, a pastor of the German Baptist Church, recorded that he had a congregation of 18 members in Brothers Valley. And, in 1771, Harmon Husband, arrived to find Philip WAGERLINE, Henry RHOADS Sr., and his sons, and Jacob NEWMAYER living in the area.

These settlers finally decided to form the first town, Berlin, in 1778. They gathered at Pine Hill and planned out the town. However, after much festivities, one of the young men was accidentally killed during a horse race. The town's formation was put off - until Jacob Keffer decidedt to try to organize a town later.

Jersey Settlement

The Jersey Settlement in Turkeyfoot Twp., was established in 1770. Many of the settlers were from New Jersey and the town was named after them. Drakestown, named after Oliver DRAKE, built the communities first grist mill. David KING followed the Laurel Hill Creek north to the community and founded another grist mill called Kings Mill.

The Jersey Baptist Church, said to be the first church west of the Alleghenies, was built in 1775 by John CORBLEY, a well known Baptist leader, and Issac SUTTON.

Meyersdale, Summit Twp.

The Meyersdale area of Summit Township was first settled by Jacob Castleman, a hunter, who built a cabin along the Little Youghiogheny river. Castleman disappear from the area and Amish-Mennonites and Dunkards arrived shortly after the Treaty of Stanwix in 1768. SAYLOR, BERKEY, KNAIGHEY, BUECHLEY, OLINGER, BURGER, MILLER, FAHRNEY, and BURNTRAGER were some of the earliest recorded names.

Elk Lick Twp.

Peter LIVINGOOD, an Amish preacher, arrived in West Salisbury in 1772.

(excerpted from Somerset Past, Vol V, No. 4, pp. 11-13)


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Last Revised: December 7, 2006

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