HISTORY OF  UPPER TURKEYFOOT TOWNSHIP
Somerset County, PAGenWeb

Upper TURKEYFOOT township was organized in 1848, its territory, up to that date, having been included in the old township of Turkeyfoot. This region was settled early, but much of the land, owing to its mountainous and rugged features still remains uncleared. There are few, if any, portions of the county which afford more attractive scenery. This township contains more than an average number of fine farms.

A large number of the early settlers were Irish. Many of their descendants are still living upon the original homesteads. But it is difficult to conceive the changes that have been wrought since their ancestors penetrated the heart of the wilderness, and, fighting their way against countless obstacles, prepared for the civilization of today. This entire region was tilled with wild game, and therefore it was not difficult for the pioneer to obtain the means of subsistence; but it required arduous and long continued toil to clear off the forests, subdue the earth and render it fit for cultivation. How dreary, how remote from the world, yet how courageous and how trustful were the lives of the early settlers.

John Cunningham was born in Ireland in 1774. At the age of sixteen he came to America, and after living for a time near Fort Hill, in Addison township, settled near Paddytown upon a farm. where he died in 1841. He married Jane McClintock, and was the father of eleven children: Alexander, James, William, John, Jane (Hanna), Mary (Gower) and Elizabeth, Robert, Easton and Margaret (Justice). John inherited his father's farm, and lived upon it until his death in 1875. His widow is still living, and also her ten children. Two of the sons, Brookley and Coston. have charge of the farm which is a good one, in a flourishing condition. Dr. Wesley Cunningham, of Gebhartsburg, is also a son of John, Jr.

Jacob Younkin, an early settler near Kingwood, was a native of Germany, and came to this county from Bucks county, Pennsylvania. After his death his farm was equally divided between his two sons, John J. and Henry. John J. was born on the old homestead in 1787, and died in 1839. He married Pollv Hartzell, and reared eleven children, three of whom survive: Jacob, Herman and Elizabeth (Hare). Herman Younkin is a farmer, and resides in this township. He has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church forty years, and a local preacher for thirty years. He has served as assessor and collector several terms.

Frederick Younkin was born in Bucks county about 1762. At an early age he settled near Kingwood, and cleared up a farm. He was one of the earliest settlers in that neighborhood, and experienced much annoyance from bears, panthers and other wild animals which then infested the forests. He was a shoemaker by trade, and also carried on distilling and farming. He died in 1843. His children were Moses, John, Frederick F., Henry, Betsey, Polly, Christina (Dull), Catharine (Lamer), Sarah (Weimer) and Peggy(Pinkey). Frederick F. was born in 1800, on the farm where he still resides. His son, J. C., lives on a farm adjacent to the homestead. He purchased it of his father in 1857.

Henry Kreger. a native of Germany, settled in Middle Creek township in 1836. He died in Upper Turkey-Foot where several of his children now live. His son, Henry S., born in Germany in 1800 came to this county about 1834. He has resided in this township since about 1847, and now lives with his son Christopher. His son Jacob, who was born in Middle Creek township, has been engaged in the mercantile business at Kingwood since 1864. He was a soldier in the late war, and lost a leg at Fredericksburg. Mr. Kreger has held several township offices.

Baltzer Gerhard, a native of Germany, came to Brother's Valley township in 1826. His son Jacob came to America with him in 1819, and in 1845 settled in this township. He has served as justice of the peace for twenty-three years. Jacob B. Gerhard, son of Jacob, is a native of this township. He was engaged in teaching for a time, but since 1881 has been carrying on the mercantile business in Kingwood.

Rudolph Meyers, a native of Stony Creek township, settled in Upper Turkey-Foot about 1838 purchasing a farm of three hundred and sixty acres of Barney Conollv. He died in 1874. Mr.. Meyers was the father of eight children. His eldest son, Jonas, served in the late war from August, 1862, to June, 1863, in Co.C, 142d regt. Penn. Vol., and was wounded at Hatcher's Run and at Cold Harbor. He purchased the farm on which he lives, of William J. Baer, in 1867.

John Henry, whose father was a revolutionary soldier, moved from McConnellsburg to this township about 1808. He settled upon a farm of two hundred and twenty-eight acres, which he cleared and improved. A cabin had previously been erected on the farm by an early settler named Henry Grove. When Mr. Henry came, and for many succeeding years, the country about him was wild and inhabited largely by wolves and bears, which destroyed his hogs, sheep and young cattle. During the winter of 1835 John Henry and his neighbor, David Whipkey entrapped and killed thirty-five bears.

During the years 1808-10 there were but few families in the vicinity. The Whipkeys-Henry, David and George; Peter Gary, who had been a fifer in the revolutionary war, and Nicholas and James Knight, with their families, were the only settlers in Mr. Henrv's neighborhood, in this township. After settling here, John Henry married Elizabeth Imel, daughter of Henry Imel, of Fayette county. They had seven sons. Jacob, who is the eldest, has always resided in this township. He lives on the old homestead, and is now seventy-two years of age. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Peter Gary, and granddaughter of the revolutionary fifer above-mentioned. They have reared eleven children, five of whom are living.

Peter Gary was born in what is now Middle Creek township, about 1785 and lived for eighteen or twenty years on the farm of his father, Peter Gary. John Gary, son of the first mentioned Peter, was born in 1819, and died in 1883. He married Margaret, sister of Jacob Henry, and was the father of twelve children, of whom eleven are living—Eve, Thomas, Mary. Catharine, Elizabeth, Fanny, Barbara, Jonas, Jacob, William and John. John Gary, Sr., settled in Upper Turkev-Foot about 1840.

William Eicher, a native of Fayette county, settled in this township in 1845. His farm is among the best in the township.

John Eicher, brother of William is also a native of Fayette county, and has resided in this township since 1850. Mr. Eicher has held several township offices. The farms owned by William and John Eichler formerly belonged to James Cunningham, now deceased.

Jacob Augustine, a thrifty farmer of this township, is a native of Addison township, where both his father, Peter Augustine, Jr., and his grandfather, Peter Augustine, lived. In 1861 Mr. Augustine came to Upper Turkey-Foot, and purchased a farm of three hundred acres of Samuel McMillen This farm, under Mr. Augustine's management, has much improved and increased in value. A recent discovery of a six-foot vein of coal has been made upon this farm.

A postoffice was established at Paddytown probably as early as 1820. John K. McMillen was the first postmaster.

Paddytown is a small settlement, so named from the fact that the earliest settlers in the locality w ere nearly all Irishmen.

Probably the first gristmill in Upper Turkey-Foot was built by Matthew Pinkerton, near Paddvtown. It was rebuilt several times, and finally converted into a distillery, which was burned. About 1840 the old mill became a noted place, owing to the operations of a band of counterfeiters, who made it their headquarters. The manufacture of spurious silver coin was carried on quite extensively for some time, but at length the counterfeiters were discovered, and some of them punished.

In 1880 a manufacturing industry, which promised to be important, was undertaken in this township. Markel & Co., of Pittsburgh, erected a large pulpmill, and began the manufacture of paper pulp from spruce. The business was carried on for about two years, when the company failed, and the property passed into the hands of an assignee.



KINGWOOD.

This village consists of about a dozen houses. The first store was erected by A. W. Walter about 1856.. It has since been rebuilt, and is now occupied by Jacob Kreger. A. W. Walter also erected the first dwelling-bouse in the place in 1854. A. J. Shultz built the first blacksmith shop about 1868. Kingwood's business interests in 1883 were two stores, one blacksmith-shop, one shoemaker-shop, three cabinetshops and one physician. The village contains two churches.


CASSELMAN

This village was laid out in 1869 by L. L. Wolfersberger and D. J. Phillippi, who were the owners of the land. The plat was made on an extensive scale, but unfortunately the place is slow in building. Casselman contains two stores, one blacksmith-shop and one shoemakershop. It is a point from which considerable lumber, bark, charcoal, railroad ties, etc., are shipped. The first house in Casselman was built by L. L. Wolfersberger in 1869. The first store was erected the same year by John R Weimer. The shookshop, erected bv Weakland & Nutter in 1873, is still in operation and affords employment to six hands. A steam sawmill, operated by C. Berkley and Isaac Grossuch, manufactures ties and lumber. Jacob Hochstetler, who lives at Casselman, operates a coalbank near the village. Mr.. Hochstetler also owns a good limequarrv, from which large quantities of limestone are sold. William Zufall and B. F. Snyder also operate a quarry and kiln, carrying on the most extensive business of any in the township in this line. They employ from six to eight laborers and burn an average number of one hundred bushels per day.



Churches

Methodist Episcopal. - The first church in Upper Turkey-Foot was a log building, erected by the Methodists, at Paddytown in 1816. Rev. Jacob Gruber held the first quarterly meeting and preached the first sermon in this church. Rev. James Wilson was the first preacher in charge. The following presiding elders have conducted services here: Revs. William Stevens, Robert Boyd, Charles Elliott, Joshua Monroe, Thornton Fleming, David Sharp, Thomas M. Hudson, Samuel Wakefield, C. D. Battelle, John J. Swayze, Franlklin Moore, Z. H. Coston, J. G. Sanson, Robt. Hopkins. C. A. Holmes, A. J. Ensley, R. L. Miller, L. R. Beacon, present presiding elder.

A new meeting-house was erected by the Methodists in 1874-- a frame building which cost fourteen hundred dollars. The first minister was Rev. M. C. Lichliter: trustees, Herman Younkin, Samuel Phillippi. Wm. Eicher, Dr. Wesley Cunningham. John Blubaugh and John S. Cramer: classleader, Samuel Phillippi. The present membership is about forty-five.

Wesley Chapel Methodist t Episcopal church, situated in the northern part of the township, was erected in 1863, at a cost of one thousand dollars. The first ministers were Revs. Wilkinson and Williams. The trustees were John Lanning, Messimer Cramer, John C. Phillippi, Norman Lichliter, David Lichliter, Jeremiah Pile and Joseph B. Critchfield: classleader, David Lichliter. Membership about thirty five.

Kingwood Churches. - The first church in Kingwood was the Evangelical Lutheran, built in 1852, at a cost of about five hundred dollars. The first pastor was Rev. M. F. Pfahler. The present membership is about sixty-fire.

The Church of God at Kingw ood was erected in 1876. The first minister was Rev. John Hickernell. The first officers were as follows: Trustees, Jacob Kreger, John A. Shultz, Ephraim Schrock: elders, C. H. Kreger, Josiah Gross; deacons, Wm. Gerhard, Sam'l Metzler. This church cost thirteen hundred and fifty dollars. The membership is about thirty-five.

A Church of God, situated about a mile and a half south of Kingwood, was erected about 1859 at a cost of about four hundred dollars. The first preacher was Rev. J. Hickernell, under whom the house of worship was erected. The church officers were: Jonathan Dumbauld and Josiah Gross, elders: James, King and John F. Kreger deacons. The present membership is about forty-five.

A log church, one mile east of Kingwood, was erected about 1830, by the Disciples. There is no record of the first members or early pastors. In 1887. the house was sold to the German Baptists,who now hold services in it regularly.

Casselman Union Church. - The Union church at Casselman was erected in 1878, by the Lutherans, Methodists, United Brethren and the Evangelical Association. It was dedicated by Rev. J. Metzger, of the United Brethren, who was the first pastor of that denomination. His successors have been Revs. J. Potter, J. N. Munden and B. F Noon.


Following is the assessor's list of owners of real property in Upper TurkeyFoot Township in the year 1848:

John Ansell, Mich Ansell Sr., Sam Baldwin, Wm. Baldwin, Fred Blubaugh, John Blubaugh, Simon Blubaugh, Chris Boyer (miller), Widow Bradford, Widow Briggs, John Brook, Jac Brougher, John Brougher Jr., John Brougher Sr., Peter Brougher, Sam Brougher, Silas Buley, Moses Caton, Thomas Caton, Paul Cleavinger, Emanuel Conn, Henry Conn, Bernard Connelly, Hugh H. Connelly (saddler), Widow Connelly, John Cramer, Mesmore Cramer, Sam Cramer, Bernard Creager, Fred Creager, Henry Creager, Dav Crosson, Alex Cunningham (blacksmith), Easton Cunningham (blacksmith), James Cunningham, John Cunningham, Robert Cunningham, Benj Davis, Jos B. Davis, John L. Dietz, Jona Dombold, Fred Dull, Shaphet Dwire, Wm Eicher, Peter Fadely (carpenter), Sam Fike, Jac Firestone, Jac Friend, John Friend, John Gary, Jac Gerhart, John Glacher, Jona Gray (shoemaker), Josiah Gross, Alex Hanna, Thos Hanna, Esq., Robt Hare (weaver), Jac N. Hartzell, Jonas Hartzell, Melchi Hartzell, Jac Henry, John Henry, John Henry Jr., Wm Henry, Jos W Herrington (tailor), Dav Himebaugh (miller), Sam Himebaugh, Adam Hochstetler, Henry Hofalt, Henry L. Holbrook (surveyor), Jesse Hoover (merchant), Isaac Husband, Christo King, Jere King (wagonmaker), John King, Lem King, Mich King, Sam King, Sam K. King, Thos King, Dan Knight, Wm Knight, Peter Lanning, Dav Lechliter, John C. Lechliter, Levi Lechliter, Margt Lechliter, Sam Lechliter, Dan Lee, John Leiphart, Uriah Marietta, John May, Widow May, Wm McClintock, John McMillen (tanner), John McMillen Esq., John K. McMillen, Sam E McMillen, P. & W. Meyers, Anth Mickey, Geo Mickey, James Mickey, Abr Miller, Byard H. Miller, John Miller (cooper), Chas Minard, Henry Minard, Henry Minard Jr., Jac Minard, John Minard, Rudolph Moyer, Widow Moyer, Mich Neff, Dav Nichola, Geo Nichola, John Nichola, Mich Nichola, John Nickel, Chris Ober, Robt Parker, Abr Phillippi, Dan Phillippi, Dav Phillippi, Geo Phillippi, John Phillippi, Ph Phillippi, Simon Phillippi, Wm Pinkerton, Jos Pritts (blacksmith), Levi Pritts (blacksmith), Peter Putman, Geo Ramsparger, Chas Rose, Easton Rush, Jehu Rush, Wm K. Rush, Abr Sanner, Jere Saylor, Aaron Schrock, And Schrock, Dav Schrock, Emanuel Schrock (shoemaker), Jos Sechier, John Shaaf, Dan Shultz, Jac Shultz, John Shultz, Peter Shultz, Garrison Smith, Adam Snyder, Benj Snyder, Geo Snyder, Henry D. Snyder, Jona Snyder, Enoch Solomon, Simon L. Solomon, Wm Spencer, Sam Storm, Leond Strait, Ph Sullivan (tanner), Henry Tedrow, Wm Tedrow, Dan Tresler, Jac Weimer, Peter Weimer, Alex Whipkey, Geo Whipkey, Geo Whipkey Jr., John Whipkey, Sam Whipkey, Dan Williams, Chas L.Younkin, Fred Younkin, Fred H. Younkin, Herman Younkin, Jac J. Younkin, John Younkin, Widow Younkin, Widow F. Younkin, John Zufall, Peter Zufall.

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