ALTHOUGH Conewango was not the first township to be organized in the
county, it is given a place in these pages next to the borough of Warren,
by reason of the fact that from 1808, when it became the second township of
Warren, until 1832, the town was only part of the township, and the corporate
limits of the former are still largely environed by the latter. The term
Conewango is supposed to be of Indian origin, but as now written and pronounced
it bears no more resemblance in form and sound to the name applied one
hundred and fifty years ago, than do the letters A and Z. From "Kanonogon" it
has been changed through a long series of years to "Kanaougou,"
"Kanoagoa," "Canawagy," "Conewauga," "Conewagoo," "Canawago,"
"Connawango," until now we have what many simple folk suppose a simon pure
Seneca term, spelled Conewango. A majority of our so-called Indian names of
streams, towns, counties, territories, and States have gone through the same
processes of change at the hands of white men. Indeed, they were wholly the
work of white men in the first place. The Indians, as we all know, had no
written language, and in the attempt to fashion their gutteral monosyllables into
written English, hunters, traders, and interpreters — some of them densely
ignorant in letters — have furnished us many wonderful Indian names.
The name and original boundaries of this township were established by a
commission (appointed by the Venango County Court in 1806), whose report
and recommendations were adopted and confirmed by the same authority in
1808. (See Chapter XIII of this work.) The township of Conewango then
embraced the eastern half of the county, and the first township election was held
at the house of Daniel Jackson, in the town of Wrarren, which then consisted of
five houses, in the spring of 1808.
The first settler within its present limits, probably, was Daniel Jackson,
who with his family began a residence on Jackson's Run, just north of Warren,
in 1797. Much concerning him will be found in the history of Warren borough,
to which place he removed about 1805.
Michael McKinney followed closely in the footsteps of Jackson as a settler
of Conewango township, and it is believed by his descendants that he settled
upon the farm where he lived for more than fifty years as early as 1798. He
came here from Southwestern Pennsylvania, the scene of the Whisky Insur-
rection—1790-94. He died at the age of eighty-five years, of injuries
received by a kick from a horse. His wife, a sister of Robert Russell, of Pine
Grove township, attained the great age of more than one hundred years. Of
the children born to them but one is now living—Eliza A., the wife of F. O.
Crocker, of this township. The old McKinney homestead is now embraced in
part by the asylum farm at North Warren.
Jacob Goodwin also settled in the township about 1798, by squatting upon
the premises since known as the Dougherty or Dunn farm. He was McKinney's
immediate neighbor on the north.
Martin Reese, sr., with his two sons Martin, jr., and John, came from Lycoming
county and settled on the beautiful plateau lying in the bend of the river
below Warren, about 1803-04. Here the family resided for many years, the
tract occupied being known as part of the outlots of Warren or "Reese's Flats."
John Reese, one of the sons above mentioned, married Miss Marcia Owen and
settled upon the farm on Conewango Creek, where he resided for more than
forty years, or until his death, which occurred in July, 1852. They were the
parents of an intelligent and respected family.
William Sturdevant, Asa Scott, and Asa Winter were also very early pioneers
in the township. The latter was one of the first three county commissioners
elected, and as early as 1815 he owned and operated a grist-mill on
In 1821, by an order of court confirmed March 8 of that year, the two
townships of Brokenstraw and Conewango, which to this time from 1808 had
embraced the whole county, were divided into twelve townships (see Chapter
XXV). By this division the area of Conewango was reduced to but a fraction
of its former extent. Still, it was yet a large township, for by the boundaries
confirmed in 1821 it included the major portion of the present township of
Glade, while Tionesta was temporarily attached to it. The first township election,
after the changes above referred to, was held at the house of Daniel Jackson,
in the town of Warren, March 16, 1821.
In the mean time, while the town had increased but slowly in population,
the township had become quite populous, and a number of well-improved farms
were already to be seen. The first assessment under the new condition of
affairs was made in 1822, and the following list embraces the names, etc., of
the resident taxables in town and township during that year:
Andrews, John, J. P., county commissioners' clerk, etc.
Alden, Richard, clothier, operating fulling-mill.
Arthur, James, lumberman.
Arthur, Robert, lumberman.
Ayres, John W.
Adams, Joseph, carpenter.
Brewer, Philo, cordwainer.
Brown, John, prothonotary.
Brown, David, Esq.
Dalrymple, Mark C, distillery, value $400.
Dunn, Henry, inn keeper.
Follett, James, Senr.
Follett, James, Jr.
Graham, Saml., tailor, house and lot in town.
Hackney, John, tailor.
Hunter & Fisher.
Houghwout, Danl., carpenter.
Harriot, James, of Meadville, Hackney's partner in saw-mill and lumbering business.
Houser, John P.
Hall, Josiah, house and lots in town.
Hackney, Jos., Esq., associate judge.
Hall, Joseph, stone mason.
Hubbel & McConnell.
Hazeltine, Abner, attorney at law.
Jackson, David, house and lot in town.
Jackson, Danl., Esq., Justice of the Peace.
Jones, Jehu, single man.
King, John, house and lots in town.
Kidder, Corbin, single man.
Kidder, Nathaniel, settled about 1820.
Lewis, James B.
Littlefield, Stephen, carpenter.
Miller, Linus H.
Marsh, John, Sr.
Mansfield, Abel, carpenter.
McKinney, John, 2d, single man.
Mead, David, Jr.
Owen, Barnabas, single man.
Olney, Stephen, Senr.
Olney, Stephen, Jr.
Olney, Wm., carpenter.
Owen, Eben, Jr., single man.
Parmlee, Barrett & Co., merchants in town.
Parmlee, L. S.
Pier, Wm., cordwainer in town.
Reese, John, innkeeper and owner of sawmill.
Reese, Martin, Senr., outlots west of town.
Reese, Martin, Jr.
Stewart, James, double saw-mill, lived in town.
Stebbins, Albinus, cordwainer.
Swift, Seth, single man.
Sturdevant, James, Jr.
Scott, Asa, blacksmith in town.
Sawyer, Hezekiah, carpenter.
Saxton, Saml., house and lot in town.
Shirley, Moses, single man.
Sly, Timothy, single man.
Tanner & Dunn.
Tanner, Arch., merchant.
Valentine, Robt., saw-mill.
Willson, Johnson, single man.
Walbridge, _____, a distiller.
Young, Matt., county treasurer.
When Limestone was organized, in 1829, and absorbed the now obsolete
township of Tionesta, it took the latter, of course, from the jurisdiction of
Conewango; and by the erection and organization of Glade township, in 1844
Conewango was reduced to about its present limits. It is centrally located in
the county, the Conewango Creek forming its eastern boundary.
In 1832 the town of Warren was erected into a borough, and at this time
the interests of the two—town and township—in civil affairs became separated.
Separate assessment rolls were made out in 1833, and from them we learn that
Conewango's taxables, including that part across the creek afterwards attached
to Glade, were as follows. We will first explain, however, that a considerable
number of those owning lands in the township were residents of the village.
The names, where positively known to us, will appear in italics:
Arthur, Robert, saw-mill and seat.
Adams, Warren L., 18 acres.
Berry, Sidney, single man.
Berry, John M., saw-mill, 288 acres.
Berry, John J., 94 acres.
Babcock, Merritt, 100 acres.
Bell, Robert, 357 acres.
Babcock, Harley, 200 acres.
Blakesley, Benjamin, 50 acres.
Brown, Joseph, 100 acres.
Carter Zoar, 50 acres.
Clark, David, 50 acres.
Colver, John D., 50 acres.
Chapman, Amos B., 100 acres.
Cole, William, 100 acres.
Canon, Gilbert, 120 acres.
Connoutt, Harry, 190 acres.
Canon, Samuel, 92 acres.
Chase, Danl., 100 acres.
Davis, John S., 124 acres.
Dunn, Henry, 204 acres.
Doty, Halsey, 100 acres.
Doty, Elisha, 150 acres.
Doty, Isaac, 100 acres.
Dailey, Saml., 160 acres.
Dalrymple, Corning, 234 acres.
Dalrymple, Joseph, 50 acres.
Doan, Levi, 34 acres.
Follett, James, 3 acres.
Follett, James, Jr., 254 acres.
Farnsworth, Josiah, 100 acres.
Grunder, Henry, 100 acres.
Geer, Asa, 50 acres.
Gregory, Anson, 50 acres.
Gibson, David, 150 acres.
Gordon, Joseph C., 95 acres.
Green, Parker, 50 acres.
Gray, John E., 137 acres.
Green, Christopher, 250 acres.
Gregory, Asa, 113 acres.
Graham, Joseph, 50 acres.
Gray, Jason, 30 acres.
Huntington, Jacob, 100 acres.
Hook, Orrin, 1186 acres.
Houghwout, Danl., 74 acres.
Herrick, Henry, 50 acres.
Hibbard, Luther, 205 acres.
Holt, William, 100 acres.
Hatch, Dorastus, 84 acres.
Hook, Francis, 56 acres.
Hall, Saml. D., 83 acres.
Houghton, James, 149 acres.
Hamlin, Jacob, 150 acres.
Hackney, John, 100 acres.
Jackson, David, 100 acres.
Jackson, Wm., 100 acres.
Irvine, William A., 336 acres.
Jennings, Edmond, 100 acres.
Knapp, David, 50 acres.
Kidder, Nathaniel, 100 acres.
King, John, 73 acres.
Leonard, Levi, 90 acres.
Leonard, Calvin, 40 acres.
Leonard, Arnold, 57 acres.
Lee, Philip, 96 acres.
Littlefield, John, 180 acres.
McKinney, John, Jr., (sheriff) outlot.
Morrison, James, 100 acres and outlots.
McKinny, John, 50 acres.
Mead David, 56 acres.
Mead, Joseph, 114 acres.
Mead Benjamin, 236 acres
McKinny, Michael, 160 acres.
Mair, Hugh, 550 acres.
Mallony, John, 100 acres.
Mallony, Meredith, 89 acres.
Owen, Ethan, 50 acres.
Owen, Barney, 100 acres.
Owen, Heman, 124 acres.
Owen, Mary (widow) 124 acres.
Olney, John, 100 acres.
Olney, Stephen, 185 acres.
Ott, Jacob, 75 acres.
Parker, Timothy F., 231 acres.
Porter, Abraham B., 156 acres.
Parker, Oliver, saw-mill.
Perkins, Edson, 1/2 saw-mill.
Reese, John, 539 acres.
Russell, Robert, 100 acres.
Reese, Martin, 56 acres and outlots.
Reed, John, single man.
Shipman, William, 400 acres.
Sturdevant, William, 150 acres.
Salmon, Amos, 100 acres.
Sturdevant, James, 100 acres.
Simmons, Peter, 586 acres.
Strubler, Andras, 100 acres.
Sidler, Jacob, 40 acres.
Shaw, Joseph, 83 acres and 1/2 saw-mill.
Snapp, George, 100 acres.
Spencer, Judah, 92 acres.
Spencer, Abner, 250 acres.
Spencer, Alfred, 112 acres.
Shutt, Adam, 80 acres.
Scott, Asa, 119 acres.
Sly, Timothy, 50 acres.
Turner, Thomas, 99 acres.
Taggart, James, 240 acres.
Tanner, Archibald, 244 acres.
Tanner & Falconer, 814 acres.
Turner, Luke, 400 acres and tavern stand.
Taylor, Charles, 360 acres and saw-mill.
Wilcox, Thomas, 75 acres.
Wilcox, Thomas, Jr., 110 acres.
Wiley, Saml., 4 acres and saw-mill.
Wright, Justus B., 40 acres.
During the last fifty years many and varied changes have taken place.
The township has not increased in population and wealth to an unusual extent,
but the names and personal characteristics of its people have undergone almost
a complete transformation. Those of English and Scotch-Irish ancestry
have given place to those of Alsatian and German origin to such an extent
that at this time the latter seem to be largely in the majority. They are an
honest, moral, and industrious class of citizens, of which any country should
The general surface of the township is high and broken. The stranger in
driving over its roads in mid-summer, when the foliage by the wayside is
dense, is suddenly confronted by an abrupt hillside, or has an opportunity of
peering down into a deep ravine at frequent and the most unexpected places.
The land when brought under cultivation is productive and lasting, and abundant
crops of hay, potatoes, oats, corn, etc., are annually produced. It is also
well adapted to grazing and dairying purposes.
In 1886 the assessed valuation of taxable property, etc., was reported as
follows: Value of lots and buildings, $80,735 5 acres of seated lands, 17,302;
acres of unseated lands, 281; number of horses and mules, 312 ; number of
oxen, four; number of cows, 386; number of resident taxables, 443.
The little village of North Warren is very pleasantly located on the right
bank of the Conewango, about two or three miles north of the borough of
Warren. Besides the great structure known as the State Hospital for the In-
sane, it has a woolen-mill, hotel, post-office, lumber yard, two or three small
stores for the sale of groceries, hardware, flour and feed, and a number of
blacksmiths, carpenters, etc.
The woolen-mills, first known as the "Falconer Woolen Works," were established
about 1848. Their principal work was wool carding, though even at
the first some coarse cassimeres, plain cloths, tweeds, etc., were manufactured.
In later years they were owned by Judge Wetmore. About twenty years ago
George Hazeltine came into possession, and he has since successfully operated
them under the firm name of George Hazeltine & Co.
In 1873 a State hospital for the insane was located near the village by a
commission appointed by the governor. After a personal inspection of several
of the northwestern counties, for the location of such an institution, its members
found no place so perfectly adapted to the wants and purposes as this, in
the beautiful valley of the Conewango. The corner-stone was laid in the
presence of Governor Hartranft and other distinguished visitors, September
10, 1874, and was sufficiently completed in 1880 as to admit patients. From
the beginning its construction and management had been under the superintendency
of Dr. John Curwen. In style, finish, and perfect adaptation to the
purposes of its creation it is not surpassed by any similar institution in the
State or on the continent. Its great good fortune has been to have the designing
eye of Dr. Curwen over its architecture and construction, and of his
learning and experience as physician-in-chief in its management and care of
the unfortunate inmates.
During the month of April, 1886, a correspondent of the Bradford (Pa.)
Era prepared the following very complete description of this building, its size,
cost, appointments, etc., and, believing that we can do no better byway of explanation,
we insert it:
North Warren Asylum.— The building, of brick faced with sandstone, is
about 1,200 feet long, practically four stories high, situated about two miles
north of the borough of Warren, in a beautiful valley drained by the Conewango
Creek. It consists of a central building devoted to officers, reception rooms,
quarters for superintendent and medical staff, steward's office and
rooms, pharmacy, sewing-room, chapel, and amusement hall. Extending at
right angles from the center, and connected with it are a series of three connecting
wings, the north series devoted to male and the south series to female
patients. These two series are divided into eleven wards each, making a total
of twenty-two wards, capable of accommodating 600 patients according to the
original plan, but now containing about 650, owing to the excessive overcrowding
of other similar institutions, and can hold without injury to the inmates
quite a good many more. These wards connect with each other, those on the
same floor by doors leading from one hall to another, and those on different
floors by fire-proof stairways. In addition to the large double central stair
way there are two exits from each ward by means of the fire-proof stairways
referred to. The building is fire-proof throughout, well heated, lighted, and
ventilated. Each is classified, patients being assigned to such one as their
condition warrants; No. I being filled with those convalescent or nearly so,
while No. 11 contains the cases that are most violent and hopeless. The intermediate
numbers are graded from one to eleven, except No. 4, which, on the
north side, is a private and on the south a sick ward. Each ward contains a
dining-room, pantry, bath-room, wash-room, clothes closet, an automatic closet,
sitting-room, and is supplied with hot and cold water, elevator from the kitchen,
dust-shaft, clothes-drop, dry room, and is thoroughly lighted, warmed and aired.
There is not in the entire building a single room of any kind, used by patients
or attendants, which is not better lighted, heated, ventilated, and kept cleaner
than the rooms of the best hotel in your city. Absolute cleanliness of rooms,
halls, table service, beds and bedding is the most striking feature about the
The heat is furnished by four steel boilers, each one hundred horse power,
by a system of indirect radiation as simple as it is complete. The cold air is
drawn through two towers by means of large fans, and by the same fans driven
through underground tunnels arched with brick into the halls or chambers in
the cellar, containing the radiators. Above the fans in the towers is a coil of
steam pipe, another at the entrance to the tunnel, and still another at the point
where the tunnels enter the radiator rooms. Air having an external temperature
of zero will thus reach the radiator at about forty-eight above, and then
passes through another individual radiator, inclosed and connected with the
portion of the building designed to be warmed by it. Each room and hall
has separate heating radiators, and can be shut off or opened at pleasure without
in any way affecting the balance of the house. By means of ventilating
flues from each department the foul air is carried into air ducts connected with
the towers on the main building, the towers being thus not only an addition to
the looks, but also to the utility of the structure.
The same boilers also supply hot water, steam for cooking, and the laundry,
and for running the carpenter and machine shops. The water is pumped
from the Conewango into a reservoir back of the house, and from there distributed
by gravity. The pumps are of the Worthington duplex make, and
the quantity of water for all purposes is about 180 barrels an hour. The pump
house and gas works are contained in a handsome brick building near the
bank of the creek, about an eighth of a mile from the hospital. The gas is
made from coal and is abundant in quantity and of fair quality. Coal (anthracite)
is used as fuel, although natural gas was used until the gas company
wanted the building and some of the rest of the earth, when the trustees concluded
to fall back on the old standard fuel, and coal was reinstated. All the
furniture used in the building is made in the shop, and all repairs, plumbing
gasfitting, etc., is also done by the regular employees of the State. A fine
coach house of brick, in the rear of the house, furnishes ample quarters for the
horses used for carrying the mail, airing the patients, and the steward's business.
The garden supplies all the more common vegetables used, while the
farming is perhaps as yet in its infancy. An immense barn, which will hardly
bear favorable criticism either as to economy of construction, location, or adaptability
to the requirements, is under process of erection. The grounds are
being gradually laid out and beautified quite as fast as the limited means at
the control of the superintendent will allow, and will in time be beautiful.
Sixteen millions of brick were used in the building, which cost, including
farm and buildings completed, in round numbers $1,000,000, and it can be
said, to the credit of the gentlemen who had charge of the building and fitting
up, that the money was well and judiciously expended. The work throughout
is good, durable, and handsome, the material of the best, and the effect of
the whole harmonious and elegant.