Transcribed by: Pat Collins. For an explanation and caution about this transcription, please read this page.
Link to a sketch of Washington Township from the Atlas of Butler County, G.M. Hopkins & Co., 1874.
Surnames in this chapter are:
ADAMS, AGGAS, ALLEN, ALTER, ALTMIRE, AMSLER, ANDERSON, ARNER, ATWELL, BAIRD, BEAR, BEATTY, BELL, BLACK, BOND, BOWSER, BOYD, BOYLE, BRANFIELD, BREADEN, BRECKINRIDGE, BROWN, BULLMAN, BURNETT, CAMPBELL, CANFIELD, CARSON, CHAMBERS, CHRISTIE, CHRISTY, CLARK, CLYDE, CONN, CONRAD, CONWAY, COOK, COULTER, COVERT, CRAIG, CRAWFORD, CRUM, DAUBENSPECK, DECKER, DELO, DICKEY, DICKSON, DILLO, DIMOND, DODDS, DOMER, DONALDSON, EDMONDS, EMERICK, EMERY, EVANS, FAIR, FIDLER, FIFE, FITHIAN, FLETCHER, FLOYD, FOLWELL, FOWLER, GIBSON, GILBERT, GILFILLAN, GILLESPIE, GRAHAM, GREEN, HALDERMAN, HALL, HARPER, HAYES, HAZLETT, HENLEN, HENRY, HIGGINS, HILLIARD, HINDMAN, HOLLAND, HOOVER, HULL, HUMES, IAMS, INGRAHAM, JACK, JENKINS, JOHNSTON, KELLY, LEASON, MAHOOD, MARSHALL, MAYES, McCLELLAND, McCLOSKEY, McCLYMONDS, McCOMB, McCORKLE, McGILL, McKEE, McKINLEY, MEALS, MECHLING, MENDENHALL, MERSHON, MIFFLIN, MILLER, MILLISON, MIZNER, MONTGOMERY, MOORE, MORRIS, MORTIMER, MOSER, OLIVER, PARKER, PARKS, PATTON, PEARCE, PERRY, PISOR, POLLARD, RATHBURN, RAY, RAUCH, REDICK, REESE, REESER, REGELSWORTH, RHODES, RIDDLE, ROYLE, RUSSELL, SCOTT, SEATON, SHANNON, SHEIDEMANTLE, SHIRA, SHRYOCK, SINGER, SLOAN, SMITH, SPEARS, STARKS, STARR, STEVER, STEWARD, STEWART, STRATTON, STOUGHTON, STONER, STOOPS, STREAMER, SUTTON, THOMPSON, THORN, TURNER, VANCE, VANHORN, VARNUM, WALLEY, WASHINGTON, WASSON, WICK, WITHERUP, WRAY, YARD, YOUNG, ZIMMER
Washington township, which lies south of Venango and west of Parker townships, was created in 1846, and changed to its present boundaries in 1854. It was named after George WASHINGTON, the first president of the United States. The elevation of North Washington, or North Hope, the name of the postoffice, is 1,500 feet above the level of the sea, or thirty feet below a hill to the north, and sixty feet below a hill to the northwest. The cannel coal deposits are extensisve and rich, while the Clarion and Kittanning coals abound. The Allegheny, Buckeye, Eichbar and Erie Company's mines, in the Hilliard district; the Lake Erie Coal Company's new mines and Henry ROYLE's banks on the A. SHEIDEMANTLE farm, are all valuable properties. The develop- [p. 653] ment of the oil field in this township brought it into prominence in 1893 and 1894, and the field is now a busy one.
The population of the original township in 1850 was 1,003. Within the present boundaries the decennial census credits the following numbers: 1860, 933; 1870, 996; 1880, 1,287, and 1890, 1,351. Early in 1894, when its value as an oil field was clearly established, an army of oil men located here, adding largely to the figures of the last census. The assessed value of property in January, 1894, was $301,856; the county tax, $1,207.42, and the State tax, $153.73.
William BELL, Sr., took up 500 acres of land here about 1796-97, and located on it soon after with his family. He was accidentally killed while assisting a neighbor to raise a house. His five sons served in the War of 1812. John CHRISTY, Sr., a native of Westmoreland county, settled here in 1797-98, taking up 500 acres of land. He was a pioneer justice of the peace, reared a large family and died at a ripe old age. James GIBSON, his wife and nine children, also came in the same year.
John SHIRA came from Westmoreland county about 1798, with his wife and family, and settled on what is now known as the FLETCHER farm, in Washington township, but he soon after purchased a large tract of land in the south part of this township, which he lost by fraud, and then located on 300 acres in the central part, still owned by his descendants. He served in the War of 1812. Robert and John HINDMAN, of Westmoreland county, settled on 400 acres in this township about 1798, and here John, elder son of Robert, was born, in 1804. James MAHOOD, a native of Ireland, settled on a tract of 500 acres of land lying southwest of the site of North Washington in 1800. A portion of the land is still owned by his descendants.
Jacob HILLIARD and family settled on land now owned by Oscar MEALS, in 1802, and with his sons finally acquired about 1,200 acres in the same locality. Concord township later contributed several families, while the sons of many of the pioneers of Fairview, Parker, Clay, Cherry, Muddy Creek and Slippery Rock townships found homes here prior to 1854, when the township was organized within its present boundaries.
The first election in Washington township, held in March, 1846, resulted in the choice of the following named officers: Philip STOOPS, assessor; James CONN, auditor; William HOLLAND and S.R. HILLIARD, assistant assessors; E.L. VARNUM, clerk; Philip STOOPS, constable; John JACK and John HILLIARD, supervisors; John CHRISTY, judge; John YOUNG and Levi GIBSON, inspectors; David PISOR and David BOND, fence appraisers; Peter SHIRA, Joseph MECHLING, William M. GRAHAM and John BOND, school directors, and Joseph CAMPBELL, overseer of the poor. After the re-subdivision of 1854 the same men resided within the present boundaries.
The justices of the peace for the township from 1846 to 1894 are named as follows: Andrew DONALDSON, 1846; Jacob DAUBENSPECK, 1850; William RIDDLE, 1851; William STOOPS, 1855; Robert A. MIFFLIN, 1855; Philip HILLIARD, 1860, 1865, 1870 and 1875; Joseph MECHLING, 1860; Samuel P. CAMPBELL, 1864, 1869 and 1874; James H. GIBSON, 1879; Samuel SMITH, 1880 and 1885; William HOLLAND, 1880 and 1885; J.H. BELL, 1888 and 1893; W.J. ADAMS, 1889 and 1894.
CHURCHES The First Presbyterian Church of Washington disappeared as if swallowed up in a maelstrom in 1834 or 1835. It was organized about 1817, and comprised all of the members named in the sketch of the United Presbyterian church of Mt. Varnum, as well as others who did not secede from the older organization. The roll of ministers who attended here prior to Joseph JOHNSTON's coming in 1830, would repeat the names of those early evangelists who preached in the groves at Scrubgrass or at Thorn tent.
Mt. Varnum United Presbyterian Church, north of North Washington, dates back to 1835, when the old Presbyterians of the Washington church seceded with Rev. Joseph JOHNSTON and formed the Associate Reformed society of Mt. Varnum. Samuel N. MOORE and wife, Andrew DONALDSON, Robert DONALDSON, David SHIRA, Rosanna DONALDSON, Samuel MORTIMER, Thomas SMITH, Charles HILLIARD, William and Jacob SHIRA, Robert HANNA and William BELL were the first members. In 1837 Rev. James GREEN succeeded Mr. JOHNSTON, who revisited his home in Ireland. Rev. R.W. OLIVER came in 1842; Rev. J.K. RIDDLE in 1846; Rev. J.H. FIFE in 1848; Rev. J.A. CAMPBELL in 1857; Rev. W.A. BLACK in 1860; Rev. J.E. DODDS in 1874, and Rev. R.A. GILFILLAN in 1879, who may be said to have been the pastor until the church became a part of Rev. BREADEN's charge in 1884. The present elders are W.M. SHIRA, J.H. GIBSON, I. [p. 655] N. THOMPSON and Robert S. CAMPBELL. Rev. Joseph JOHNSTON presided in 1830 over the Bear Creek, Washington and West Unity Presbyterian churches, and in 1834-35 carried nearly all his people into the Associate Reformed church. The present meeting house, dedicated by Rev. W.A. BLACK January 12, 1867, is the second building erected by the society.
North Hope Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1842, by Rev. I. MERSHON. Among the original members were John and Silas SMITH and their wives, W.M. GRAHAM, J.G. and J.H. JACK, and Dr. D.C. FOWLER. It is now the principal church of the circuit, comprising Greece City, West Sunbury and Anandale. The total membership in 1894 was 300. In 1860 R.M. HARPER was class leader, and the following persons were members: Mary ATWELL, Eleanor BELL, Anne P. BEAR, Eben, Ruth and Jane CHRISTY, Rosa A. DONALDSON, John FOLWELL, John FITHIAN, William and Adeline GRAHAM, R.M. and Shryock HARPER and their wives, John JACK and seven others of that name, the McGILLs and MAHOODS, Mary A. PATTON, A. and Mary RAUCH, Elizabeth STEWART, Robert THORN and wife, Mary A. VARNUM, David WASSON and James and Sarah YOUNG. During the pastorate of Rev. William HAYES the parsonage was repaired and improved. The pastors in charge since 1842 are as follows: Revs. I. MERSHON, A.L. MILLER, S.W. INGRAHAM, J. VAN HORN, G. F. REESER, E. HULL, S. BAIRD, J. REGELSWORTH, D.M. STEVER, J.G. THOMPSON, J.Y.C. McCLELLAND, J.H. VANCE and J. McCOMB, prior to the Civil war; R.B. BOYD, 1862; George MOORE, 1863; A.H. DOMER, 1865; John PERRY, 1867; J.R. MENDENHALL, 1869; J. CRUM, 1871; B.F. DILLO and W. HAYES, 1873; William BRANFIELD, 1876; J.C. RHODES, 1877; J.C. CLYDE, 1879; J.L. STRATTON, 1882; J.A. HUMES, 1883; S. FIDLER, 1886; L.F. MERRITT, 1889; William CANFIELD, 1890; I.G. POLLARD (short term); C. McKINLEY, 1891, and J.E. IAMS, 1893. The church building of 1842, as remodeled in 1846, 1863 and 1893, is still in use.
North Washington Lutheran Church was organized in 1845, by Rev. Elihu RATHBURN, with the following named members: Peter RHODES, Christopher HENLEN, Christopher HOOVER, Joseph BULLMAN, Philip and William VARNUM, William MECHLING, William EMERICK, John, Isaac and Elisha HILLIARD, Samuel G., Samuel, George and William MEALS, David GIBSON, Jacob DAUBENSPECK, Henry STONER and John SHRYOCK, with their wives and adult children. Rev. Eli FAIR succeeded Mr. RATHBURN as pastor in 1847. Then followed Revs. J.B. BRECKINRIDGE in 1850; J.A. DELO in 1857; Jacob SINGER in 1859; A.S. MILLER in 1865; J.W. REESE in 1873; M.L. SMITH in 1876; J.M. ZIMMER in1879; Charles L. STREAMER in 1883, and R.B. STARKS, the present pastor, in 1886. The society was originally a German Reformed congregation, and worshiped with the Associate Reformed at Mt. Varnum. In 1847, however, the members erected a church, which was rebuilt in 1891 at a cost of $4,200. The congregation now numbers eighty members.
New Salem Presbyterian Church of Annisville, was organized July 12, 1847, in a barn at Annisville, with twenty-three members, Revs. Loyal YOUNG and Louis L. CONRAD being the organizers. In September, 1849, Mr. CONRAD was called as pastor. Rev. Thomas S. LEASON was called in 1850, but declined. Rev. John V. MILLER was pastor from 1851 to 1855; J.R. COULTER from 1857 to 1870; B.C. MONTGOMERY from 1873 to 1876; T.M. THOMPSON from 1878 to 1882; [p. 656] William J. HAZLETT from 1883 to the close of 1893, when he resigned, and in the fall of 1894 R.L. ALTER was installed pastor. The first elders were Richard and W.D. ALLEN and George G. GIBSON. There were elected subsequently; E.E. EVANS, John M. SHIRA, M.D. McCLELLAND, Hamilton REDICK, Silas H. EVANS, S. H. MOORE, James HALL, W.P. MECHLING and George MCLELLAND.
North Washington Presbyterian Church was organized May 18, 1880, by Revs. GLENN, DECKER and MARSHALL, with twenty-three members, namely: Robert A. MIFFLIN and James CHRISTY and wives; Madams C.E. and Sadie HALDERMAN, Polly MECHLING, A.J. JACK, M.A. JACK, Carrie CRAIG and B.F. CAMPBELL, with Maggie MECHLING and Sarah E. CHRISTY from the Concord church; Robert D. CRAWFORD, Harriet L. DICKSON, W.P. MECHLING, S.A. CAMPBELL, A.G. CAMPBELL and their wives; W.H. REDICK, Mary GLENN and William EMERY. Rev. T.M. THOMPSON, installed pastor at organization, was released November 28, 1882. On September 18, 1883, Rev. W.J. HAZLETT was installed and served until the fall of 1893. In the fall of 1894 R.L. ALTER became pastor. The first elders were W. P. MECHLING, R.D. CRAWFORD and Robert A. MIFFLIN. Clinton CONWAY, James CHRISTY and James DONALDSON were ordained prior to 1888, and Dr. PISOR, J.B. CAMPBELL, John ARNER and Robert RAY since that time. In April, 1881, a church building was commenced on two lots donated by Andrew JACK, which was completed at a cost of $3,000, and dedicated October 30, 1881.
Church of God - A frame building was erected in Washington township, above Hilliard's, in 1876 or 1877, by the denomination known as the "Church of God," on an acre lot said to have been given by Jeremiah HILLIARD for that purpose. He also subscribed money toward the erection of the little building. A few years later HILLIARD sold his farm to A.D. GILLESPIE; But in order to obtain an advance of the last payment, gave the buyer a deed to the church property. On October 1, 1881, an agreement to this effect was signed and recorded, but sometime later HILLIARD, it is said, deeded the site to the coal man, James BURNETT, who, in turn, transferred it to Newton HILLIARD. GILLESPIE, in the meantime, leased the land to the society for twenty years. In January, 1887, Newton HILLIARD began tearing down the building and hauling the lumber away. The members of the society now gave attention to their property, and employing S.F. BOWSER as counsel, pushed the matter into court. It was tried in March, 1887, and resulted in the defeat of the church authorities and the loss of their building.
The secret societies of North Washington have been as follows: North Hope Grange was organized in 1872, with Samuel SMITH, master, and David F. CAMPBELL, secretary, the number of members being forty-two.
North Washington Lodge, Number 888, I.O.O.F., was chartered early in the seventies, with Alfred GIBSON, Dr. HOOVER, W.L. DAUBENSPECK, Chester STONER, Samuel SMITH, W.D. THOMPSON, George W. CAMPBELL, A.L. JENKINS, John STOUGHTON, Monroe DONALDSON, Joseph MAHOOD, Thomas HINDMAN, McKee BELL and one or two of the SHRYOCKs. The charter was surrendered about 1880, and was transferred to a new lodge in Mercer county.
Resolution Lodge, I.O.G.T. was organized in January, 1877, with sixty-one members. It died soon after.
North Hope Tent, K.O.T.M., was organized in February, 1894. Among the members were Dr. O.P. PISOR, J.M. CHRISTY, O.E. EVANS, J.C. STOOPS, Eli PEARCE, J.F. HARPER, W.L. DAUBENSPECK, J.D. STEWART, R.P. JACK, Robert RAY, J.C. CLARK and A.L. JENKINS.
North Hope Council, Number 742, Jr. O.U.A.M., was organized November 17, 1891. The officers at the beginning of 1894, were; William WITHERUP, C.D. COOK, J.M. CHRISTY, and H.H. EMERY. This order boasts of sixty members.
North Washington Institute. - The building now occupied by this institution was erected in 1878, and remodeled in 1893. The school was organized by the election of a board of trustees in 1879. R.B. GILFILLAN was the first principal. Under his successor, Prof. R.D. CRAWFORD, the school attained a high degree of success. Mrs. DICKSON and Mrs. GILFILLAN, the wives of resident pastors, were assistant teachers here for many terms. Rev. J.M. ZIMMER was the teacher of German. In later years the school was incorporated, the incorporators being: H.S. GILBERT, T.P. MIFFLIN, J.H. GIBSON, I.N. THOMPSON, J.H. BELL, C.E. McKINLEY, A.G. CAMPBELL, R.B. STARKS, O.P. PISOR, H.C. STONER, W.M. WITHERUP, T.M. SMITH, L.E. MOORE, E.H. SLOAN, C.A. MORRIS, Harmon SEATON, C. DAUBENSPECK, I.N. MEALS, J.M. YARD, J.A. MECHLING, H.H. DAUBENSPECK, J.L. STEWART, P.F. RAY, J.B. CAMPBELL, J.H. WALLEY, James CRAWFORD, Will YOUNG, R. WRAY, T.P. SHIRA and J.W. HAZLETT. Rev. R. [p. 658] B. STARKS is president; J.H. GIBSON, secretary, and T.P. MIFFLIN, treasurer. The faculty comprises H.S. GILBERT, B.E.D., B.S., principal; Carrie S. GILBERT, B.E.D.; Lizzie GIBSON, B.L., and Sarah AMSLER, B.C.S. To students who complete the scientific course, the degree of Baccalauria Scientiť is given, and in many ways, the 150 pupils in attendance are offered advantages. This institution is highly prized by the people of the community, as it affords to ambitious students a means for a more thorough education than can be obtained at the public schools.
The Excelsior Mutual Fire Insurance Company was chartered November 19, 1878, with the following named members: W.M. GRAHAM, John STARR, Sylvanus AGGAS, W.F. CAMPBELL, I.H. CHRISTIE, A.G. MEALS, David PATTON, Isaac MEALS, M.J. BROWN, P.R. SUTTON, J.T. WICK, Linn CHRISTIE, G.W. MEALS, J.B. CAMPBELL, A.C. CAMPBELL, Thomas GRAHAM, D.F. CAMPBELL and G.W. MOSER. On December 3, 1878, W.M. GRAHAM was chosen president, and Levi R. McFANN secretary. The presidents elected since that time are I.N. MEALS, 1880; Harvey CAMPBELL, 1884; I.N. MEALS, 1885; Thomas GRAHAM, 1887; W.M. GRAHAM, 1888; G.B. TURNER, 1889; O.R. THORN, 1890 and J.B. CAMPBELL, 1892. The secretaries have been: S. SMITH, 1880, J.H. GIBSON , 1881, and J.F. HARPER, 1893. The number of policies carried is 777, the face value of which, on January 1, 1894, was $827,654.24. The risks are held in six townships, and the assessment was three mills to pay the losses of the year, and one mill for expenses.
Annisville, SHIRA postoffice, was surveyed for Charles HILLIARD in 1838, [p. 659] around the site of his store, where he carried on business for many years. The COVERTS, Thomas MAHOOD and Samuel HILLIARD had their homes here, and the last named a carding mill, when Mrs. MAYES came, forty-nine years ago. The old merchants succeeding Charles HILLIARD were Mrs. HILLIARD, MILLER & MILLISON, 1853; HENRY & MILLISON, Watson MAYES, William SCOTT, Perry SHANNON and S. M. MARSHALL. The first postmistress of the village is the present incumbent, Mrs. Margaret McCLOSKEY, appointed a year ago. The postoffice store and the new hardware store of the Carsons are the only mercantile houses.
Argentine is the site of the mines so long operated by H.K. WICK. The mines were abandoned in the fall of 1893.
The SPEARS & MIZNER mine has recently been opened a mile north of Hilliard, and the railroad extended to that point.
Higgins Corners dates from March, 1894, when M.F. HIGGINS erected a store building on the farm of the late James HIGGINS, who was the pioneer of the place long known as Three Points.
[End of Chapter 66 - Washington Township: History of Butler County Pennsylvania, R. C. Brown Co., Publishers, 1895]Previous Chapter 65--Cherry Township
07 Jan 2000, 12:11