HISTORY OF MIFFLIN COUNTY
From Franklin Ellis'
History of That Part of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys
Embraced in the Counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder. Philadelphia, 1886.
The Borough of Lewistown.
492 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
AMONG the traders who came up the valley of the Juniata a short time before the
purchase of this territory from the Indians, in 1754, was Robert Buchanan, who
had formerly lived at Carlisle. He located a trading-post at "the meeting of the
waters" of the Kishacoquillas Creek with the Juniata, at the place where lived
Pokety, an Indian chief, of whom he bought land.* Kishacoquillas, the Shawanese
chief from whom the valley takes its name, also is said to have lived there. He
died in 1756, and in June of that year Robert H. Morris sent a letter of
condolence to his sons.
Robert Buchanan built a cabin on the bank of the Kishacoquillas, near the present stone bridge. Upon the breaking out of the Indian troubles in 1756, Buchanan was warned by Kishacoquillas of the danger, and he, with others in the region, escaped and went to Carlisle. He probably did not return until 1762, as, on the 2d of July in that year, he warranted a tract of two hundred and one acres of land lying on the northeast side of the river and extending above the mouth of the Kishacoquillas Creek. His son Arthur, on the same date, warranted ninety-six acres lying back of Robert's land and extending along the bank of the Kishacoquillas Creek. Jane Buchanan, a daughter of Robert, received a warrant bearing the same date, July 5, 1762, for two hundred and eighteen acres of land lying below her father's tract and the Kishacoquillas Creek. Opposite Arthur Buchanan's tract and above Jane Buchanan's laud, on the same side of the stream, Robert warranted a small tract, on which the St. Mark's Cemetery is located. The tract of Jane Buchanan is that part of the town that lies across the creek from the public square, while on the Robert and Arthur Buchanan tract the main part of Lewistown is laid out.
Below the tract of Jane Buchanan, and on the Juniata, Andrew Gregg, in 1787, took up a tract of land, built a cabin and brought a stock of goods to the place. John Norris, then a lad of sixteen years, came with him as a clerk. Gregg remained about a year and a half. The plot of these tracts of land can be seen in the prothonotary's office at Lewistown. The Buchanan tracts were all surveyed in April, 1766. In the sketch of early taverns it will be seen that "old Mr. Buchanan" was then keeping tavern at the place. It will not be out of place in this connection to give an account of the "Long Narrows," and the settlement at this place in 1788, as given by a writer in the Columbia Magazine, in an article called "A Description of the Juniata River, in the State of Pennsylvania." From it we quote, -
"After crossing at Miller's Ferry (now Millerstown), which lies a few miles from the mouth of the river and keeping up at midway to Standing Stone, a three-fold junction of the mountains is plainly perceived, being the Tuscarora, Shade and Narrow Mountains. Through them, at this place, commence what is known by the name of the Long Narrows, formed by one continued break through the above hills, and continues surrounded by astonishing crags for upwards of eight or nine miles, during which space the traveller has nothing to walk on for either himself or horse (which he is obliged to dismount for better security) than the piled rocks and stones that have from time to time accumulated by their fall from the surrounding parts. After passing through this miserable place, immediately upon the other side stands the town or settlement called Old Town, consisting only of a tavern and a few scattered hovels, and containing nothing worth notice."
*The first name applied to this locality was Pokety town, from the Indian chief, Pokety. It also was given the name Old Town and Kishacoquillas' Old Town, although Aughwick, farther up the Juniata, was also called Old Town.
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 493
The next year after this tour through the valley was made, the county of Mifflin was erected. Robert Buchanan, the owner of the tract on which the county-seat was located, died about 1780, and left the tract he had originally settled upon to his eldest son, Arthur. Robert Buchanan's family consisted of his wife, Dorcas, Arthur, William, Robert (the last was born in 1773) and Jane. Arthur was living in Lewistown as late as 1806.
In 1787, Arthur Buchanan became involved in financial difficulty, a judgment was obtained against him and the three hundred acres of land in his possession were seized by Thomas Buchanan, high sheriff of Cumberland County, and finally sold, a fuller account of which will be found in sketch of the erection of Mifflin County.
The trustees appointed under the act of erection of Mifflin County located the county-seat upon this tract.
Colonel James Potter and Samuel Edmiston were employed to survey the plot and lay out a town. They performed the work and received for their services £16 15s. The trustees also appointed persons to value the lots laid out.
Lots 15 and 16, containing one-quarter of an acre, were set apart for a meeting-house and a burying-ground. These lots are on the corner of Water and Brown Streets, and are known as the Old Burying-Ground. No meeting-house was ever erected upon them. Lot 86 was set apart for a jail, which was erected of logs early in 1790, and is the present jail lot. The lot on which the old stone school-house and the old brick school-house stand was marked on the town plot as lot 120, and was designated as "for the use of a publick school-house."
There was also reserved all the "ground on the Juniata from the first Alley to the junction of the River with the Kishacoquillas Creek, together with the streets, lanes, alley and the center of the said Borough, agreeably to the plan of the said town of Lewistown, as laid out by the Trustees." While the trustees were authorized to purchase one hundred and fifty acres of land and lay out a town thereon, with authority to sell lots they did not do it; yet the lots mentioned were set apart for public purposes, and the jail building, including a courtroom in the second story, was built and used in the year 1790, while the property was still in the hands of the High Sheriff of Cumberland County, and it was not until November 27, 1790, that it was sold, and was then bought at public sale by Samuel Edmiston, then prothonotary of the county, who soon after sold one-third interest to Colonel James Potter and Samuel Montgomery, who sold the lots of the town. The court-house on the public square was built in 1796-97, before the title of the different lots was conveyed to the county of Mifflin, which was done in 1802.
The following letter, in the possession of C. H. Henderson, was written by Charles Hardy, in 1791, to friends in England, and as it gives an idea of Lewistown and the surrounding country at that time, a part of it is here quoted. Charles Hardy purchased lot 17, as is shown in the list given.
"Dear Mam: I take this oportunity of a Quainting you of my present hilth and weel fair for which I have reason to prais the Lord and Likewise the defrent seaings of life that I have Goone through Since I come to this Country. I wrought the first 9 months through the summer and winter, and in March I Went out to the Back Country, 160 miles from Philadelphia, whear thaar is a new place a Bilding by the name of Lewes Town, Mifflin County, and as this County is but new laad out, all county business is satled and courts helde in this place, and on the 22th of October I purtched a Lott and Hous, not finished, which cost me 60 pound, and 20 pounds mor will finish it which will Rent for 15 pounds per year. And 19th of January I purtched an improvement which is vacant Lands, on which is a Dwelling hous and Barn, Stablen, right Good Spring and 14 ackres of Cleared Land, and I have returned Back to Philadelpia to take a Ded out of the Land Ofes for 150 ackres of saad Lands, the improvement I pay 35 pounds, and the warent at Land Ofes is 2 pound 10 shillings per hundred, and 1 pound 10 shillings the Sirvey and Clarkes fees, 1 pound 10 shillings all per hundred, which, in all, will cost me betwext 40 and 50 pounds. This is the best part of the country that I have Ever seen for industrius people of Every Trade. Carpenters and Masons 7s. 6d. per day, and Labrers 5s. per day, and everything is plentiful, the best of Wheat 4s. pir bushel, Rie 3s. this currency, Inden corn and buckwheat in proportion. Beef, Mutton and Bacon at 3d. per pound. This is a fearful Country for wild creatures, Such as Dears, Bars, Wolves and
494 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
A DISTANT VIEW OF LEWISTOWN. [illustration]
Panters, the Dears meet yousd for Beef or venison, and Bears meet Good Bacon. Fishes and Folls in Great plenty. This is a fine Country for Roots and Vegtales. I shall send you a smal account of them Coowcumbers, Water Mellens, Squashes and Pomp-cans, with a variety of Beanes, sich as you have none in England, with many others too tedis to Name. Al rises from the Ground With out much troble and comes to Great pirfection."
Continuing, he deplores the loss of the privilege of attending worship with the Methodists, "with whome I hav many times being Feelingly and Sensible Blessed, both in public and privet convarse," and says, "in which I am in sum measure deprived of, as hear is no Methodes in this part, nor no other sort of worship but Prespeterns, and it is 5 miles to thear meeting.* this causes me to reflect on my Own Self for leaving the parts Whear I had the hapness of asembling amongst a people that I beleave truly worships God. it cases many Reasnings in my own mind when I think of the blessings in yeares past I received in publick and in privet convarse, but many times I feel that the Lord preaches to my sowl in privet when I poor out my Speerit before him, but I shall endeaver to pravail with the preachers to come to Lewis-town."
The erection of the public buildings and the fact that the town was made the county-seat attracted many people to it, and in 1793 the following persons were owners of lots in Lewistown. Their names, with the number of the lots owned by them, are here given as found in the assessment roll of Derry township:
|1. Thomas Duncan.||17. Chas. Hardy.|
|2, 3, 4. William Adams.||18. James Montgomery.|
|6. Samuel Montgomery.||19. Thos. Buchanan, Esq.|
|7. James Potter.||20. William Early.|
|8. Brown & Ellis.||21. William Brown, Esq.|
|9. William Brown.||22. James Potter.|
|10. Samuel Montgomery.||24. David Weldon Pickens.|
|11. Jos. Edmiston, Esq.||25. John Gillespie.|
|12. Zephaniah Stark.||28. Jesse Adams.|
|13. Thomas Gregg and Sam'l. Edmiston.||30. James Humes.|
|14. William Brown, Esq.||44. Isabella Buchanan.|
*The Presbyterian Meeting-house he has reference to was evidently the one then
standing in Granville township, in the old burying-ground, an account of which
will be found in the sketch of Granville township.
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 495
|46. Christian King||72 Robert Mitchell|
|47. James Henderson||73. Geo. McClelland|
|48. James Haslett.||74 James Scott.|
|49. Wm. McCandless||75. John Wilson|
|50. Michael Funcannon||76, 77. Saml. Edmiston.|
|51. Robert Cochran||78. Andrew Duff.|
|62. William Elliott.||79. James Alexander.|
|53. Adam Berger.||80. Moses Williamson.|
|55. George Riddle.||81. Saml. Montgomery.|
|57. William Harper.||82. Dr. Isaiah Blair.|
|58. Jones McDownell.||83. Robert Parks.|
|59. John Elliott.||Jacob York.|
|60. Alex. Cochran.||Henry Bemtheisel.|
|61. Joseph Cowgill.||93. Philip Weaver.|
|62. James Thompson.||96. John Speck.|
|63. Samuel Marshall.||100. John Buchanan.|
|64. Robert Power.||102. John Schnell.|
|65. Patrick McKinney.||116. Thomas Cullen.|
|66. William Power.||121. William Kenney.|
|67. Robert Patterson.||129. James Davidson.|
|68. Moses Williamson.||130. James Mitchell.|
|69. Robert Campbell.||131. John Norris|
|70. Samuel Henry.||or Wm. McCandless.|
|71. Jas. McFarland, Esq.||177. Jeremiah Daily.|
The act for the erection of the borough of Lewistown was approved April 11,
1795, and the boundaries were defined as here given: "Beginning at a post on the
Bank of the River Juniata;" then by courses and distances, "to a post on the
south side of Kishacoquillas Creek; thence down said creek south 85°, west 17
perches to a post; "thence, by courses and distances, "to the mouth of the said
creek; then up the said river north 78°, west forty-five perches, and then west
32 perches to the place of beginning."
The act provided for two burgesses, one of whom was to be chief and the other merely "assistant burgess," while there were also to be two "burgesses' assistants," a high constable and a town clerk.
The act named the first officers as follows: Joseph Cogill, chief burgess; George McClellan, burgess; Jeremiah Daily, high constable; James Robertson, town clerk; Robert Patterson and Michael Foncannon, burgesses' assistants.
The officers so named were to hold until the first Monday of May, 1796, when an election was to he held. The act remained in force until February 6, 1811, when an act was approved by Governor Snyder, altering and amending the original, This act provided for the election of a chief burgess, an assistant and five reputable citizens to be a Town Council, and a high constable. The meetings of the Town Council were to be held in the court-house until otherwise provided for.*
The presidents of the Council are here given from 1814 for about fifteen years from which time the burgesses are given, -
|1814. Peacock Major.||1824. Joseph B. Ard.|
|1815. William P. Maclay.||1826. Joseph B. Ard.|
|1816. David Reynolds.||1827. E. L. Benedict.|
|1817. David Reynolds.||1828. A. S. Wilson.|
|1819. Peacock Major.||1830. William McHall.|
|1820. D. W. Hulings.||1833. Joseph B. Ard.|
|1821. Andrew Keiser.||1834. James Culbertson.|
|1828. William McCay.||1858. John Davis.|
|1829. William McCay.||1859. John Davis.|
|1830. William McCay.||1860. Samuel Comfort.|
|1831. David Milliken.||1861. Samuel Comfort.|
|1833. William McCay.||1862. John Davis.|
|1834. James McCord.||1863. John Davis.|
|1835. Henry Eisenbise.||1864. Joseph M. Cogley.|
|1836. Henry Eisenbise.||1865. George Frysinger.|
|1837. Henry Eisenbise.||1866. Samuel J. Brisbin.|
|1838. Henry Eisenbise.||1867. John B. Selheimer.|
|1839. Henry Kulp.||1868. William B. Weber.|
|1840. Abraham Blymyer.||1869. Wm. B. Hoffman.|
|1841. George Miller.||1870. William B. Weber.|
|1842. George Miller.||1871. William Willis.|
|1843. George Miller.||1872. William B. Weber.|
|1844. Richard R. Franks.||1873. John Clark, Sr.|
|1845. R. Rush Franks.||1874. John Davis.|
|1846. Henry Kulp.||1875. Geo. S. Hoffman.|
|1847. Henry Kulp.||1876. Jos. M. Selheimer.|
|1848. John W. Shaw.||1877. George W. Soult.|
|1849. John W. Shaw.||1878. George W. Soult.|
|1850. Thos. A. Worrall.||1879. Robert McKee.|
|1851. Jas. L. McElvain.||1880. Geo. S. Hoffman.|
|1852. George Frysinger.||1881. Geo. S. Hoffman.|
|1853. Alex. A. Banks.||1882. John M. Nolte.|
|1854. George Frysinger.||1883. William Irvine.|
|1855. Geo. W. Stewart.||1884. A. E. Printz.|
|1856. John Davis.||1885. A. E. Printz.|
|1857. George Frysinger.|
*A supplement to the act of erection was approved March 19, 1829, concerning
high constable; also March 31, 1836; another March 5, 1841, which increased the
Town Council to six members. An act was passed March 25, 1842, which authorized
the appointment of commissioners to re-survey the borough and to erect the East
and West Wards. An ordinance passed the Borough Council July 15, 1857, ordering
street lamps to be erected for the accommodation of the citizens.
496 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
Joseph Scott, in the United States Gazetteer of 1795, gives this account of Lewistown, -
"Lewistown, the chief town in Mifflin county Pennsylvania, situated on the north side of Juniatta river at the mouth of Cishicoquilis creek. It is regularly laid out and contains about 120 dwellings, court-house and jail. A court of common pleas and general quarter sessions is held here the 2d Monday in January, April, August and November. It was incorporated by an act of the Legislature passed December 1, 1795, and is governed by two burgesses one high constable, town clerk and two assistants. It is 150 miles W. N. W. of Philadelphia."
In the early days of Lewistown a little stream ran through the town, crossing Third Street not far from the Methodist Church. On the bank of this stream was a fine grove of trees, under whose shade the women of the town were in the habit of doing their weekly washing. There was also a ravine, twenty or thirty feet deep, in the rear of the Ritz house, which, in time, was filled partly by stumps, and in the following manner: A borough ordinance was passed imposing as a fine for drunkenness the digging out a stump in the street, of which, at that early time, there were many. It came to be the custom that when a certain number, fifteen or twenty, had violated the ordinance, and were subject to the fine, that they would agree upon a time and have a stump-pulling bee, and upon the completion of the task the stumps were all thrown in this ravine. The items here given are taken from the various assessment rolls.
In the year 1803, Samuel Edmiston was assessed on two lots and one brick house on Market Street, valued at $1300; other lots and houses $1750; John Brown, house and lot, $300, store-house and half lot $400, grist and saw-mill and one acre of land $2000, one lot and barn $100, vacant lot $40; Robert Forsythe, two lots and three houses on Water Street, $1333.33, other houses and lots, $770; George McClelland, house and lots at the bridge, $1200; William Elliott, one brick house and two lots on the Diamond, $1100, unfinished house on Market Street, $140; George Mulholland, house and lot on Water Street, $600, house and lot on Market Street, $400. All others on the roll are assessed on less than $1000. James Criswell is assessed on one lot and two houses, one of which is in the tenure of "Old Nanny;" Foncannon & Smith, on a store-house and lot on Water Street; David Jordan, on a house and lot on Market Street, for the heirs of Arthur Buchanan (Jordan married Isabella, the widow of Arthur Buchanan); John McKelvey occupied a house, two lots and a store-house owned by the heirs of Samuel Montgomery; William Robison, a lot and brick house on Market Street; John and James Steel, store-house and half-lot on Water Street; William Scott, lot and hatter's shop on Market Street; Abraham Weaver, house and lot on Market Street and distillery and brewery.
The following are additional items culled from the assessment roll of 1809: Mary Estell, brick house on Diamond; Francis Ellis, "watterman" and inn; William Gallagher, brick house, Water Street; David McConahey, tanner, saddler and tanyard at Third and Brown Streets; Joseph and Samuel Martin, "watter-men."
The carpenters were Eli Smith, Anthony Ferrier (Main and Market Streets) Abraham Hufford, James McClintock. The masons were Philip and James Smith. The hatters were William McCoy and John Mulholland; coopers, John McKeely, John McDowell, John and James Pierce; saddlers, Francis McCoy, James McWilliams (also a butcher); chairmaker, John McBride; gunsmith, George Slaysman; blacksmith, Jacob Walters.
The following items were gleaned from the assessment of 1810: Pilots, John Baum and Rhoads Conner; tailor, Henry Harshbarger; tinman, Philip Rupert. In 1811, John Geepore was a barber and musician. In 1814, George Swartz, a brickmaker. The first mention of an apothecary is in 1823, when F. A. Milsheimer was keeping a shop in the town. In that year also Samuel Haller was keeping a shop for the repair of watches and manufacture of clocks, while Daniel McDavid was a silversmith. In 1833, Charles Ritz was keeping a drug-store.
Concerning the early business and other interests, much more will be found in this chapter, the several topics being treated separately.
In the year 1813, Andrew Keiser and Samuel Martin, both of whom owned considerable land
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 497
in close proximity to the borough, laid out nineteen lots. Twelve were on the road to Kishacoquillas and seven on the Sunbury Road. These lots were each sixty by two hundred feet and were advertised to be sold at public sale on the 8th of September, 1813. Other additions have been made from time to time. The facts connected with the constructing and opening the turnpike, canal and railroad through the borough will be found in the article on "Internal Improvements," in the "General History" of this work.
MARKET-HOUSE AND TOWN HALL. - The old court-house was erected in 1796 in the public square, and extending north from it was an open market-house, with a roof supported by brick piers or columns. This marketplace was used until 1819, when an ordinance of the Borough Council was passed, April 24th of that year, "Authorizing the sale of the ruins of the market-house, alleged to be a nuisance in the street." It was to be sold by the constable on or before the 1st of May following, and as, in an ordinance for improving the public square, passed May 3d, mention is made that "the market square remains unimproved," and it was directed that the street, in all directions from the court-house, be graveled and turnpiked twenty-one feet from the pavements of the courthouse, it is to be presumed that it had been sold and removed prior to the latter action.
From that time for several years no markets were held in the town. Another market-house was built later on the square southwest from the court-house, and on June 21, 1833, an ordinance was passed to regulate the market and to sell stalls in the market-house. It remained in use until the destruction of the court-house, in 1843-44.
An act of Legislature was passed April 27, 1844, authorizing the burgess and Town Council of Lewistown "to purchase a lot in the borough for the purpose of erecting a market-house and town hall thereon." A lot was purchased on the corner of Main and Third Streets, and a town hall and market-house created in that year. An ordinance passed September 6, 1858, regulated for the management of the market. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings of each week were made market-days, at which times meats and vegetables were to be exposed for sale in the stalls in the town hall, and on stands "on the pavement of the Town Hall, on Third Street, from the north corner of the Hall to the alley," ten feet of which by four in breadth might be assigned to any butcher applying. No meat was to be sold elsewhere during market hours. Markets were regularly held in the town hall for several years, and in later years at irregular intervals. The custom was finally abandoned about 1870.
FIRE DEPARTMENT. - The first definite information concerning any preparation for the extinguishing of fires is found in an ordinance passed by the burgess and Council of Lewistown, February 23, 1815, which declared that every owner of a house "Shall furnish the same with leathern fire-buckets, which buckets shall be placed in the entry or such other part of the house as shall be most easy of access, and be marked with the owner's name or initial thereof, and shall be kept in good repair for using at all times in case of fire." No record has been found concerning the purchase of a fire-engine, but that one was soon after bought is evident from the following ordinance, passed April 4, 1817: "That, for the better and more perfect organization of a Fire Engine Company, the engine is hereby placed under the direction of the Corporation of the Borough of Lewistown, and is to be directed by the Burgess and Town Council for the time being," and "That for the purpose, of exercising the engine the Borough shall be divided into two districts, the first district to be composed of that part of the Borough lying east of the Main Street, and the second district of that part lying west of said street." The taxable inhabitants of the districts were to meet on the last Saturday of each month; the clerk of the borough was to attend at every training of the engine company and call over the names, noting the absentees, a list of whom he was to furnish to the burgess, to be fined for non-attendance twenty-five cents. It does not appear that a fire company was formed until 1834, when a meeting was held to organize a company, and on the 12th of August a committee to draft a constitution reported "The
498 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
Kite Fire Company," composed of boys. It was organized March 12, 1836, with F. McCoy, secretary. An act of Legislature was passed June 22, 1839, incorporating the "Juniata Fire Company." These companies appear to have been in existence but a short time, as in 1841 the borough still was in charge of the engines and provided for action in case of fire. By an ordinance passed January 22, 1841, the Council was authorized to borrow not to exceed six hundred dollars, to purchase hose and other materials for the Fire Department. Section 2 of the ordinance authorized and required the high constable "to take in charge the fire-engines and hose after fires and have them carefully restored and kept in good order."
Section 3 "appointed Judge McCoy, Joseph Milliken, David Rittenhouse, John R. Weekes and William Brothers a Committee of Superintendence to compel the citizens to fall into ranks for the purpose of carrying water to the fires in time of necessity," the fine to be five dollars for disobedience of the orders of this committee.
James Kinsloe, William Butler, Francis McClure, Charles Ritz and Ephraim Banks were appointed a committee "to guard and protect property when carried into the street from houses in times of fire." On the 24th of May, 1843, the Republican contained a call for a meeting to organize a fire company. Two companies were organized soon after, - "The Fame" and "The Henderson Hook-and-Ladder." They continued until about 1878. In October, 1877, the Borough Council purchased a Silsby steamer No. 2, with one thousand feet of hose, for thirty-eight hundred dollars. The steamer was named "Henderson " and placed in charge of "the Henderson Hook-and-Ladder Company," whose name was then changed to "Henderson Steam Fire Company, No. 1." The steamer was kept in the old Lutheran Church on Third Street, which had been purchased by the borough many years before for an engine-house. In 1878 a tower was added to the engine-house, which was blown down in the spring of 1885, and rebuilt at a cost of five hundred dollars. The old Henderson Company at one time were in possession of a hand-engine named "The Hope," which was sold for old iron. The department also have twenty-eight hundred feet of hose in addition to that purchased with the steamer. The company contains one hundred and twenty-five members. R. H. McClintock was president, and Joseph M. Selheimer, chief director.
POLICE DEPARTMENT. - About 1849 a series of fires occurred in Lewistown, believed to have been started by incendiaries. It caused alarm, and on February 4, 1850, an ordinance was passed by the borough and Council establishing a police force, to consist of a captain and first and second lieutenants, who were authorized to appoint a proper number of citizens in each ward to patrol the streets and alleys during the night. A police system has been maintained to the present time, and now consists of two policemen.
POST-OFFICE. - A post-office was doubtless established at Lewistown before 1800, but the first positive information of an office is in 1803, when Jacob Walters was postmaster. He held the office until his death, and was succeeded by his daughter, Margaret J. Walters, who resigned in 1835 upon her marriage to E. L. Benedict.* Samuel Stewart succeeded to the office and remained postmaster until 1841, when William P. Elliot was appointed and served until 1845. Moses Montgomery was the successor and went out in 1849. The following persons have served as postmasters since that time: William Butler, 1849-53; Charles Ritz, 1853-57; Sevarus S. Cummings, 1857-61; Samuel Comfort, 1861-65; Emanuel C. Hamilton, 1865-69; Peter Printz, 1869-1873; Robert W. Patton, 1873-1882.
BUSINESS INTERESTS. - The mouth of the Kishacoquillas Creek was selected by Robert Buchanan as a trading-post in 1754, or earlier, and he built a cabin here and kept his stock of goods - such as were used in those days in trade with the Indians. The next account of any business at the place, other than Buchanan's, occurs in a sketch of Andrew Gregg, who married Martha, the daughter of General James Potter, January 29, 1787, and came to the vicinity of
*In the year 1814 William Rice was a post-rider and in 1818-19 Charles Hardy.
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 499
"Old Town" with a stock of goods and settled on a tract he took up below the town on the Juniata, where his daughter Mary was born November 3, 1788, John Norris (who died March 5, 1841) came to the site of Lewistown with store goods, as a boy in the employ of Gregg. The latter moved to Penn's Valley, two miles from Old Fort, in 1789, and in 1814 to Bellefonte, where he died in 1835. The town was laid out in 1789, and lots were sold at once, as the county buildings were to be erected. Carpenters, merchants, blacksmiths and other artisans and business men soon flocked to the place. The jail was in process of erection in 1790. William Scott, a blacksmith, and William McCandlish, a carpenter, were both at work upon the jail. In 1793 William Adams opened a tan-yard on lots 2 and 3. James Armstrong and Robert Forsythe were blacksmiths. Henry Bernheisel also opened a tan-yard at the west end of Grand street, which he continued until his death. His son-in-law, James McCurdy, then came into possession and continued it until 1862, when it was sold to J. A. & W. R. McKee, who carried on the business until 1870, when it was abandoned. George Walters, in 1793, kept a store-house at the foot of Water Street, which two years later was owned by George McClelland, who, still later, erected the stone house now the brewery. Francis Ellis & Co. opened a store in the same year, 1793. Ellis was in business at the place many years as merchant, jailer and tavern-keeper. Finley Ellis, a citizen well known, was a son of Francis. Benjamin Brierly, in 1793, had a saw-mill in the vicinity. In December, 1800, Adam Ebert opened a tan-yard, which he continued several years. In 1803 the persons whose names are here given were in business: John Brown, grist and saw-mill; Adam Ebert, tanyard; Foncannon & Smith, store; James and John Steel, store on Water Street; William Scott, hatter; Abraham Weaver, distillery and brewery. In addition to the above: 1805, Nicholas Deal, tan-yard (bought of Ebert); Mark Kulp, watch-maker; Peacock Major, inn-keeper and butcher; 1806, Arthur Buchanan, James Criswell and George McClelland, merchants; Frederick Orwin, tinsmith; Rowe & Kulp, boat-builders; Robert Stark Little, wheel and chair-maker. 1809, Andrew Keiser, pottery, on the corner of Second and Brown. This he continued a few years. In 1809 Emanuel Philips was in possession of a pottery, and in 1813 Henry Fulton had a pottery and kiln at the corner of Third and Brown. A pottery was established by Joseph Matthews, about 1832, at the corner of Valley and Nusbaum streets, which was continued by him until 1852, when he sold to John Dipple. With slight changes in ownership, it was run until 1868, when the property was sold and a new pottery and kiln was erected, fourteen by fourteen feet square, with chimney stack thirty feet in height and having capacity of holding "twenty-two hundred gallons of ware." The business is still conducted by John Dipple.
In 1809 David McConahey had a tannery Third and Brown; Anthony Young was carrying on weaving.
In 1812 Henry Butler was a boot and shoe-maker; William McCoy a tailor; Miller, Morton & Co. were the proprietors of Freedom Forge (now Logan Iron-Works) and a company store in the town; Robert Davison was a lumber dealer; James Sherrard had begun merchandising in the Yellow House, at the northeast corner of the public square; Samuel Eisenbise opened a cabinet-shop in November; Humphrey Goff was a tailor; Franklin, Ellis & Baum were butchers.
On the 25th of June, 1813, Lieutenant James McGhee, of the 22d Regiment of U. S. Infantry opened a recruiting-office in town. July 20, 1813, Robert Lytle advertised that he had in operation at John Brown's mill a cotton-carding machine, and hoped to obtain custom. In August, 1813, Charles Haas proposed opening a military academy to teach the "broad-sword exercise" at Kinsloe's tavern. John George and John Swisher were gunsmiths in 1813-15. The guns belonging to the militia were ordered to this shop for repairs and examination. Swisher abandoned the business in March, 1815, but George continued it, and later went to where Mann's axe-factory now is.
J. McClintock rented, in December, 1815, the store-house of George McClelland (formerly
500 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
kept by Robert Starks), on the bank of Kishacoquillas Creek, for the reception of wheat, flour whiskey, etc. He was prepared with boats suitable for the shipment of grain at high or low water. Soon after this James Sherrard sold his store and became a partner of McClintock's. Steely & Marks also advertise boating and storage. Steely soon after retired, and on the 29th of December, 1819, Philip Marks succeeded.*
In 1815, James McCord began the manufacture of saddles and harness next-door to
Mrs. Powers' tavern, on Main Street. On Water Street, C. Eisenbise established a
nail-factory, and George Swarts opened a brick-yard in the same year.
Samuel Smith, who was a merchant in the place before 1813, in that year sold his store to William Brisben, with the intention of going to Kentucky. Samuel Frampton, in October, 1813, moved his saddlery and harness-maker shop to Market Street, opposite Mr. Major's, and two doors above Hoyt's tavern.
John Brown, whose grist and saw-mill is mentioned in 1803, continued in business in and near Lewistown until after 1820, and was at one time part owner of Freedom Forge. He was a son of Judge William Brown; was born in Kishacoquillas Valley in 1772; came to Lewistown about 1800 and built a grist and saw-mill, and was identified with the business interests of the town in other ways. He was a member of Assembly from the district from 1809 to 1813, inclusive, and subsequently member of Congress from the district composed of Mifflin, Huntingdon, Centre and Clearfield Counties. He was highly esteemed by a large connection of friends and acquaintances. Later in life he moved to North Carolina, and died at Limestone, in that State, October 12, 1845, aged seventy-three years.
Robert Forsythe was settled in the town before 1797, and later opened a store on Market Street, and built a distillery. He continued in business there until about 1818, when he moved to a farm in Derry township. See sketch of that township.
Of the early merchants of the town, and who had a marked influence on the business of the place for many years, was James Milliken. He was the eldest son of Samuel Milliken, who settled in the Kishacoquillas Valley in 1772. He was born in 1776, and in 1804 journeyed to Pittsburgh and down the Ohio River to Georgetown (now Wellsville), at which place he purchased flour, which he traded with the Indians for furs on his way to New Orleans. After remaining several week in the city he took passage on a sailing-vessel for Philadelphia, from where he returned home partly by stage and partly on foot. In 1810 he settled at Lewistown and opened a store on the Diamond, in the building now occupied as a barber-shop, west of Mr. Selheimer's store. As business increased, a younger brother, Joseph, came to the
* The following sketch of early transportation is of interest in this connection. It was written by Mr. George Frysinger from the recollections of William P. Elliott, Esq., who was born in Lewistown in 1793, and still resides there:
"The early settlers of this county had to use pack mules in transporting whatever was necessary for food and such implements as axes, picks, shovels. &c., all of which had to be carried from Cumberland Valley across half a dozen mountains. Two paths were used, one by way of Shirley, the other coming out at Granville Gap, two miles south of Lewistown. The Narrows were then a tangled mass of undergrowth and full of rocks down to the water's edge, but a year or so afterwards a bridle-path was opened, thus in part avoiding the mountains. Peddling traders soon appeared and supplied minor articles, but meal and other necessaries involved a long and trying journey.
"Canoes next appeared, being constructed from large tree trunks and capable of carrying a considerable burden. These were run down the Juniata on a freshet to the Susquehanna, and thence down to Middletown, below which the roaring waters of Conewago Falls forbid further descent. These canoes were there loaded with plow-shares, hardware and other useful articles, and then poled back by two men, a distance of more than 70 miles. The first regular river boat was built for John Elliott, the father of W. P. Elliott, Esq., about 1791. This was followed by other large boats and arks for carrying produce. In the mean time a road was cut through the Narrows and wagons began to greet the vision of the pioneer.
"The turnpike eastward from Lewistown was opened about 1817.
"The first canal-boat arrived in Lewistown the first week in November, 1829, which event gave a great impetus to agricultural productions as well as business that continued until the opening of the Pennsylvania Railroad, in 1849. This road, with its branches, has curtailed all centres of previous business, the quantity of grain now shipped from Lewistown being less than a tenth of what it was in canal days."
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 501
place as clerk, and later became a partner, under the firm-name of J. & J. Milliken. The brick store building on Market Street, now occupied by Mr. John Clarke, was erected, and a general store for the sale of dry-goods, groceries and grain was opened. With increased facilities, their business extended over a wide range of country. Grain from all the surrounding region was drawn to Lewistown, and in the busy season as many as three thousand bushels per day were received. They established a line of boats, which carried from six to eight hundred bushels each, to ship the grain down the Juniata and to Philadelphia. After the canal was opened they owned a number of canal-boats and mules, which last were kept during the winter on some of their farms in the adjoining township.
A mill, long known as the Milliken Mill, was purchased and refitted, and for many years an extensive business in milling was conducted. In addition, the firm established six or eight branch stores in different parts of the county, and were also engaged in the manufacture of iron, being interested in the Martha and Brookland Furnaces, in Mifflin County, and the Hopewell Furnace, in Clearfield County. The building of the railroad through the county, in 1847, changed the nature of their business, as other stations along the line of the road became centres for shipment of grain and produce, and Lewistown from that time became only a station, and her prestige as a distributing centre for a wide range of country was gone, never to return.
James Milliken died in 1851, aged seventy-five years, leaving four children, of whom a daughter Mary is now a resident of Lewistown. Joseph Milliken married Elizabeth Patton, a daughter of Benjamin Patton, who for many years kept the stage-house. Of their children now resident in Lewistown are Margaret (Mrs. D. W. Woods), Elizabeth (Mrs. Robert W. Patton) and Mary (Mrs. William Russell).
Another early merchant was James Criswell, who, in 1806, opened a store, and later moved to McVeytown, where he established a store and, with his sons, conducted business many years; was proprietor at one time of the Brookland Furnace and associate judge of the county. Francis McClure, still living, came to Lewistown in 1826, and opened a store on the corner of the Diamond, in the Blymyer building, and continued in that place until 1842. when he was succeeded by George Blymyer, who, with his sons, conducted for many years a large business, dealing also in grain.
Of merchants now doing business in Lewistown there are but three who were in the town in 1844, - John Davis, saddler and harness-maker, came in 1840; Nathaniel Kennedy, in 1842; and F. G. Franciscus, who began a small hardware business November 1, 1844, and in 1865 erected the large building on Market Street and entered into the wholesale trade.
About 1820 R. U. Jacobs erected a tannery above the place where the old packet landing was located. In 1830 it was sold to Thomas and John McKee, who continued until 1854, when Thomas died. John remained in business until 1860, when J. A. & W. R. McKee, sons of Thomas, purchased the property and ran the business until 1870, when it was abandoned. The tannery building was destroyed by fire in 1865, but was rebuilt and is now used as an armory for the National Guard.
R. U. Jacobs erected a tannery about 1830 on the corner of Third and Dorcas Streets, which was operated by the McKees for several years, and abandoned about 1850.
In 1833, John R. Weekes, William Coggeshall and William Lockwood, under the firm-name of Weekes, Coggeshall & Co., built a foundry, which was called "The Lewistown Foundry." Mr. Lockwood retired March 5, 1834, and Weekes & Coggeshall continued until July, 1836, when Mr. Weekes became sole proprietor, and continued until 1855, when John Ziegler and William Willis became the owners. Several changes in ownership ensued, and in 1864 Thomas Reece, Sr., & Co. purchased the property and ran the business until 1869, when a slight change was made and the firm was called "The Weldon Engine and Brass Company." Under this firm the business was conducted until 1881; when James S. Weldon purchased it, and two years later the present partnership (consisting of George W. Elder, William Willis and James S. Weldon)
502 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
was formed, under the name of "The Lewistown Engine and Machine Company," under whose control the business is still conducted.
In 1834 R. H. McClintock established a furniture business in Lewistown, on Market Street, on the site now occupied by his sons. The building was burned in 1851 and a two-story brick building erected, which has since been enlarged to meet the demands. His sons continue the business under the name of R. H. McClintock & Brother.
Anthony Felix come to the place in 1837, and in the next year purchased the furniture business of Hopper & Kenney, which he moved to the site now occupied by his son, W. H. Felix. He continued in business until 1866, when his son succeeded him, and in 1871 erected the present brick warerooms. Another wareroom is on Dorcas Street.
The Logan Foundry was established by A. B. Long & Brother about 1842, principally for the manufacture of Hathaway stoves, of which the firm made a specialty. In 1849 it was run by Robert McManigle, in 1858 by Long & Brother, and in 1863 by D. Bearly & Sons, who were the last. It was on the corner of Elizabeth Street, across the Kishacoquillas Creek from the main part of the town.
The Glenorgan Iron Company own and carry on two blast furnaces, one of which was built by other parties. That known as the Duncan Furnace was established by A. B. Long & Brother in 1846, and began operations in January, 1847, It was operated by them a few years and lay idle for a time. In the spring of 1853, Etting, Graff & Co., of Philadelphia, purchased the property, refitted it as an anthracite furnace and put it in blast in the fall of that year, with Colonel William Willis as manager. The firm and business continued until 1863, when the Glenorgan Iron Company was organized and purchased the property. The company was reorganized in 1867, and in 1868 Colonel William Willis was elected president, and continued, until 1873. In 1871 the company erected a new furnace, fourteen feet bosh, lower down and on the bank of the canal. This was blown in soon after its completion and was running until 1885, when it was blown out and refitted with an increased capacity. At present its output is one hundred and eighty tons per week. The old Duncan Furnace has a capacity of producing one hundred and twenty tons per week.
The first mill in the town was built by John Brown about 1800, and was continued down to 1820. It probably was on the site of the present Lewistown Mills.
The old Milliken Mill, of which an account will be found in Derry township, passed, in 1842, to John Sterrett, and was operated by him a few years, when he bought and refitted the large mill in the borough. This was destroyed by fire December 24, 1849, rebuilt of stone at a cost of thirty thousand dollars, and opened for business June 28, 1850. Mr. Sterrett continued in possession till 1860, when the property was sold to Walter McAtee, who conducted business there for seven years, and sold to George Blymyer, who ran it till January 1, 1880, and sold to William Willis, who, in 1883, sold to A. Greybill, the present owner, who, with his son, still conducts the business.
About 1855, Marks and Mr. Birney erected a steam grist-mill at the foot of Grand and Water Streets, above the Juniata toll-bridge (now the railroad bridge). In 1857 it passed to William Willis, who operated it until 1864, when he sold to Marks, who, the next year, sold to George Blymyer, who continued the business three years and abandoned it. The mill lay idle until 1884, when Blymyer & Rogers, the present proprietors, again fitted it up.
In 1806 Rowe & Kulp were boat-builders near the mouth of Kishacoquillas Creek. Boat-yards were there also in 1847 and in 1863. Allen & Gintner were carrying on the business.
The North American Tannery had its inception in 1866, when Jacob Spanogle, Andrew J. and Andrew Spanogle, under the firm-name of Jacob Spanogle & Co., purchased thirteen acres of land of James Burns, on the limits of Lewistown borough, and in Derry township. Upon this tract they erected a brick tannery, two hundred and thirty-one feet by forty-five, with an L one hundred and ninety-five feet by
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 503
thirty-five, with slate roof, and filled with two hundred and ten tanning-vats, twenty-eight leaches and six limes and soaks and seven pools, having a capacity of tanning twelve thousand hides per annum. The firm continued until 1876, when it was changed to Spanogle & Panebaker, and was operated by them until 1880, when the property was bought by William M. Panebaker, who continued until the spring of 1884, when D. P. Lease and T. E. McVitty, of Philadelphia, became associated
with him, and the business, from that time, has been conducted under the name of W. M. Panebaker & Co.
R. H. Montgomery established a coach-works in a brick building on the corner of Third and Valley Streets in the year 1867, and in 1873 put in machinery for planing lumber. Business was continued at that place until 1871, when it was moved to opposite the depot of the Sunbury and Lewistown Railroad, where it is still carried on under the same management. In 1882 the manufacture of brick was established in connection with the other business.
In 1876 D. C. Matter erected a large building on Logan Street, in which he placed steam-power and planing-mill machinery, and began business. He was succeeded, in 1880, by his sons, L. W. Matter & Brother, who established also, in the building, coach-works, and in 1885 added a flouring-mill, under the name of the Globe Steam Flouring-Mill. These different industries are now being conducted by L. W. Matter & Brother.
Killian & Bailey established the business of carriage-making on Third Street in 1878, and in 1884 moved to their present place of business, on Marble and Logan Streets.
LEWISTOWN WATER-WORKS. - In the supplement to "An act to erect Norristown, in Montgomery County, into a Borough, and for other purposes," passed April 10, 1826, it was provided "that the corporations of the Borough of Norristown and the Borough of Lewistown be, and they are hereby authorized and empowered to introduce into said borough a sufficient supply of Schuylkill, Kishacoquillas or other wholesome water, for the use of said Boroughs, at the expense of said Boroughs;" also "authorized to convey such supply by means of pipes, trunks or aqueducts, and to provide cisterns or reservoirs for the reception thereof." The borough was authorized to borrow not exceeding eight thousand dollars for the purpose, and to apply such part of taxes as was necessary for the payment of interest; work to be commenced and water introduced within five years from the passage of the act. It appears, by the papers of the time, that work was commenced by the borough authorities January 1, 1829, and continued until the summer of 1830, but no record is found giving the location of the water supply.
On the 16th of April, 1838, the Lewistown Water Company was incorporated, with seven hundred and fifty shares of stock, at twenty dollars per share. The company was organized and work began on the reservoir June 7, 1839, under the superintendence of Jacob Bearly. In the act, authority was given the company to purchase springs, streams of water or water-power for their purposes. A lease of springs half a mile west of the town, on the Ridge, was obtained, and work was continued upon the reservoir and ditches until August 12, 1839, when it was abandoned.
Subscriptions to the capital stock began in 1839 and were continued until 1843, when, by an act of Legislature, five hundred additional shares were allowed.
On the 1st of May, 1846, a committee, appointed by the company, purchased of David W. Hulings twelve acres of land, including the springs. Prior to this time water was introduced into the borough from springs below this tract, and in 1843 the first fire-plugs (six in number) were erected on the main streets of the town. The reservoir begun in 1839 was completed, and was fifty-three feet square at the bottom, eighty-five square at the top and sixteen feet in depth. The waters of the Hulings or Upper Spring were added to the supply by resolution of the board April 21, 1852. The contract for furnishing and laying the pipe was given to A. B. Long. By authority of an act of Legislature, April 6, 1839, the county subscribed for sixty shares of stock and the borough one hundred and eighty shares.
504 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
On the 2d of April, 1853, the borough was authorized, by act, to elect from the citizens of the town one who should represent their interests in the board of management of the Water Company. The borough retained the stock until authorized to sell, April 9, 1864. The reservoir is located two thousand one hundred and thirteen feet below the Upper Spring. Several springs are led to the main and add to the supply.
In July, 1865, there was reported as laid thirteen thousand eight hundred and fifty-two feet of pipe. Since that time Chestnut, Logan and several shorter streets have been laid with pipe. August 5, 1872, it was resolved to issue additional stock to the amount of five thousand dollars, or as much as was necessary to procure an abundant supply of water. Prior to the 12th a lot on the Kishacoquillas Creek, adjoining the first railroad bridge of the Sunbury and Lewistown Railroad, was bought for three hundred dollars from D. M. Kline. A building upon the lot was fitted for an engine-house. An engine was purchased and pipes laid to conduct water from the Kline lot to the terminus of the water-pipes, at the end of Valley Street. The water is pumped from the Kishacoquillas Creek and. conducted in a six-inch pipe to a receiver on the Kline tract. In 1880 a proposal was made to procure a supply of water from the Juniata River, as the water in the springs was decreasing and pumping from the Kishacoquillas on the increase. This plan has not yet been adopted and the supply of water is at present largely drawn from the Kishacoquillas.
The officers of the company are Colonel R. H. Lee, of Logan, president; William Russell, treasurer; and General T. F. McCoy, secretary.
The Lewistown Gas Company was incorporated April 6, 1855, with authority to sell twelve hundred shares of stock at twenty dollars per share. The company was organized by the election of E. L. Benedict president, and John W. Shaw secretary. Nine hundred and ninety shares of the stock were sold, realizing $19,800. A lot was purchased at the west end of Market Street and on the canal-bank. A contract was made with Theodore D. Irish, of Carlisle, for the erection of gas-works and the laying of six-inch mains in Grand Street and four-inch mains in the other streets. The entire cost of the plant was $19,800. Mr. Benedict was succeeded as president by Andrew Reed, who still holds the position.
BANKING. - The Juniata Bank of Pennsylvania, located on the Main Street in Lewistown, was in operation in the year 1815. In that year William Armstrong was cashier, and he continued to hold that position until 1823, when William P. Maclay succeeded him. The bank continued doing business until 1833, when it failed. In January, 1841, David Condor was appointed Sequestrator of its affairs.
The Bank of Lewistown was chartered by act of Assembly April 14, 1835, with an authorized capital of two hundred thousand dollars. At a meeting of the stockholders Joseph Milliken was chosen president, and John Forster cashier. He soon after resigned to become cashier of the Exchange Bank of Pittsburgh. The teller, J. E. Whiteside, was elected cashier to fill the vacancy, and R. F. Ellis was made teller June 15, 1836. Mr. Whiteside died July 23d of the same year, and A. W. Burns was made cashier in October, 1836. On the 13th of December, Henry Stoner, James Parker and Henry Long, a committee from the stockholders, advertised for proposals to build a banking office. A contract was made and the present residence and banking office of William Russell was erected for that purpose. In that year R. F. Ellis was cashier. On the 8th of December in that year the bank suspended payment and was not again revived.
In August, 1849, the Bank of Lancaster established a branch bank in Lewistown, which was placed in charge of William Russell. The office of the Bank of Lewistown was secured and business opened. In November of that year, by authority of the State, Mr. Russell burned the remaining bills of the Bank of Lewistown. The Lancaster Bank failed about January, 1851, and Mr. Russell opened the banking business on his own account, and has continued in business from that time to the present.
The Mifflin County Bank was chartered on
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 505
the 26th day of March, 1860, with an authorized capital of one hundred thousand dollars. It was not, however, until the 17th of September, 1861, that the organization was effected. At a meeting of the stockholders held at that time, E. L. Benedict was chosen president, and on the 2d of October following, Robert H. Williams was elected cashier. The rooms now occupied by D. W. Woods, attorney, were fitted for a banking office and business was begun October 29th in the same year, and was transacted at that place until April 1, 1866, when the office was removed to the present location.
The bank was reorganized as the Mifflin County National Bank by authority of a charter granted September 22, 1865, which was renewed September 22, 1885. E. L. Benedict remained president until January 10, 1871, when Andrew Reed, who still holds the position, was elected. Robert H. Williams resigned the office of cashier September 20, 1864, and was succeeded, October 4th of the same year, by H. J. Walters, who served in that capacity until March 23, 1867, when David E. Robison, the present cashier, was elected.
A private bank was established in 1871 by E. L. Benedict, and kept by him until his death, in 1879, after which its business was suspended.
OLD-TIME TAVERNS AND MODERN HOTELS. - The first mention of a tavern at what is now Lewistown is given in an account of one McMurtre, who was traveling through this region on his way to what is now Huntingdon, in the year 1776. In writing of it in late years, be says: "I stopped at the solitary tavern of old Mr. Buchanan, where Lewistown now is, and at another cabin at Waynesburg." (The landlord was an Indian trader, and in 1755 had located a large tract of land at the mouth of the Kishacoquillas.) This tavern was also kept in 1788, and probably up to the time of the laying out of the town, as it was at the house of Arthur Buchanan the first court was held. A writer in the Columbia Magazine in the year 1788, in a description of the Juniata River, says: "After passing through the Long Narrows, that immediately upon the other side stands the town or settlement called Old Town, consisting of a tavern and a few scattered hovels and containing nothing worth notice." This was probably the tavern of James Alexander, who was licensed by the Mifflintown court in June, 1791. It was at his house a part of the voters met in September following, an account of which will be found in the history of the Bench and Bar of Mifflin County. At the September term of the same year Hannah Howe and Jeremiah Daily were also licensed to keep public-houses in Lewistown. In August, 1792, Michael Foncannon, William Powers and Benjamin Brearley were licensed; in August, 1793, Jeremiah Jacobs; and in April, 1795, Edward Williams. The name of James Alexander as a tavern-keeper soon disappears. It is probable that his tavern was at the corner of Main and Water Streets. On October 1, 1813, Elias W. Hale advertised the property for sale, and says of it: "It has been occupied for fifteen years and is now and ever has been the only Stage-House in town." The location was the natural place where Buchanan would open business when he came among the Indians, and where the business clustered for a long time. In 1823, and for some years after, it was kept by Benjamin Patton as "The Stage House." It was later kept by Christopher Mills, Jacob G. Lebo, S. W. Stewart, and last, from 1840 to 1844, by James Turner, who in that year built, with Alexander Wilson, the National Hotel. A room in Jeremiah Daly's house was used by the grand jury at different times. Michael Foncannon's tavern was on the present site of Pratt's grocery. It was kept by him for several years. About 1798 he exchanged property with David Jordan, who owned the Seven-Mile Tavern property, in the Long Narrows. He, however remained in the tavern in Lewistown until 1809, when he moved to the Long Narrows, and David Jordan became the landlord of the tavern in the town. Jordan was succeeded by Abraham Householder, Henry Spangler and Thomas Carr. The house has not been used as a tavern for many years. William Powers kept the tavern on the corner of the square, now occupied by the National Hotel. In 1806 it was' kept by his widow, who later married Francis Ellis, after that event the landlord for many years. It had not been used as a tavern for several years prior to 1843,
506 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
in which year James Turner and Alexander Wilson purchased the property, erected a large part of the present hotel and opened it in 1845. It has been kept by James Turner many years and passed to Alexander Wilson, who rented it to Adam Hamaker, James S. Galbreath, John A. Ross and others. In 1867 the property was purchased by Adam Hamaker and is now owned by his heirs. It has since the purchase been kept by J. D. L. Bear, Mrs. J. D. L. Bear, C. D. Breneman, and at present William G. Thompson is proprietor.
The tavern kept by Edward Williams in 1795 was from 1809 to 1812 kept by his widow Mary.
In 1803 Peacock Major appears on the records as owning a house and lot on the corner of Third and Main Streets, which was the location where he kept tavern for nearly thirty years. It was famous for its long piazza, which was a favorite resort for the sporting men of the town. In 1833 it was assessed to his heirs, and was soon after abandoned as a tavern. The site is now occupied by the brick residence of Joseph Miller.
Francis Ellis in 1809 was landlord of a log tavern where Mrs. James Burns now resides, and later was proprietor of the tavern on the site of the National. On March 4, 1813, he advertised the brick house on corner of Main and Market streets, fronting the court-house, as for rent as a house of public entertainment, saying: "Its situation renders it among the best stands for either a store or tavern in the borough."
Andrew Keiser erected in 1810 a tavern on the corner of Market, and Brown Streets, which was known as "The Bear." He was the landlord until 1813, when he rented it to James Kinsloe, who kept it for several years.
The Valley House was kept about 1800 by Samuel Sloane, and for many years after by others, and finally abandoned. It was in later years reopened, and is now kept by Mrs. Breneman.
The Lewistown House, on the corner of Market and Main Streets, on the square, was built about 1820 by David Reynolds as a residence, but he opened it as a hotel and kept it for several years. He sold the property to James Quinlan, of Philadelphia, who added the third story, and in July, 1845, it was kept by him as a tavern. In 1847 it was the property of William T. Moyer, and later passed to Adam Hamaker, who kept it as a hotel for several years and finally fitted it for a residence. The property is now owned by his son.
In August, 1834, Daniel Watson laid out the "Lafayette Gardens," and fitted up a house as a place of refreshment at the west end of the borough, on the place formerly owned by James Parker. In 1833 the tavern-keepers of Lewistown were as follows: Jacob G. Lebo, Samuel W. Stuart, Daniel Eisenbise, Joshua Beale, Thomas Osborne, John L. Porter, Francis W. Kinsloe, Melker Stoffey, Joseph Lechmere, Thomas M. Elliot and James Sherrard. The house kept by Daniel Eisenbise was the "Red Lion," which stood on the site of the present Coleman House. Major Eisenbise continued as landlord of the "Red Lion" until his death. He was brigade inspector for many years, and in the performance of his duty mustered the Logan Guards into the State service in 1865.
A writer, in speaking of him, says, -
"Who can fail to remember the day when we were mustered into the State service by our Uncle Dan in gorgeous array, immense chapeau, glittering epaulettes, nodding plumes, with first-class horse equipments? Who can forget him as he mounted his charger at the Red Lion Hotel, and in all the pomp and circumstance of war gave rein to his steed and bravely galloped out Market Street to the armory on Logan Street with his face beaming with smiles?"
The Red Lion Hotel was destroyed by fire some years ago.
The Juniata House, located on the bank of the canal, was, about 1835, kept by John M. Wiley, and in 1845 by S. W. Stewart, and later by Major T. J. Hyneman.
The Union Hotel, now on Market Street, was opened in the year 1830. The hotel at the depot was completed in the fall of 1849, and opened in March, 1850, by James Allison, as proprietor. There were many other taverns kept in an early day not here mentioned, but which were of short-continuance.
BRIDGES. - The first bridge across the Kishacoquillas Creek at Lewistown, was built in
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 507
1794 by John Johnston, who contracted for its erection with the commissioners of the county. It is mentioned as being "opposite the public square." The bridge was paid for by the commissioners in 1795-96, in three orders, Nos. 4, 35, 48, which called for £106 13s. 4d. each. This bridge seems to have passed to the care of the borough, and in November, 1802, a petition was presented to the commissioners stating "that the bridge over the Kishacoquillas was out of repair and dangerous in passing," that an entirely new bridge was needed, and that a greater outlay was required than the borough authorities thought they could afford alone, and they therefore asked the county to assist in the erection of a new bridge. The commissioners examined the bridge, but it was not until 1805 a new one was built at the place.* Contract was then made with Isaiah Willis, who built the present stone bridge and warranted it for five years. There was a heavy flood in the creek in the year 1810, and the last year of his warrant. He was very much concerned for its safety, but it was not affected.
A town-meeting was held at Lewistown, December 7, 1836, to consider the idea of building a bridge over the Juniata River. The agitation caused by this meeting brought forth fruit in the presentation of a petition to the Legislature in the session of 1837-38, and on the 4th of April, 1838, the Lewistown and Tuscarora Bridge Company was incorporated. The commissioners appointed to receive subscriptions and superintend the erection were John Norris, James Milliken, David Cummings, James Parker, Finley Ellis, Abraham S. Wilson, James Dickson, Samuel Comfort, William Reed, William Mayes, Samuel Alexander and Henry Hall. The shares were limited to five hundred, at twenty dollars per share. Subscriptions were made, and on August 7, 1840, the commissioners of the county subscribed for one hundred shares of the stock. The bridge was not completed for several years, but was in process of erection by William Shimp in the year 1847. On Friday, the 8th, and Saturday, the 9th of October, in that year, the greatest flood since 1810 occurred in the Juniata and Kishacoquillas Creek, and the first span of the bridge was carried away. The stone bridge over the Kishacoquillas was entirely submerged and the buildings beyond it were filled to the second story. The water reached thirty-one feet above low-water mark. From this time the bridge was pushed to completion, and in 1849 was in use and opened as a toll bridge. It was used exclusively as a road bridge until about 1865, when the Pennsylvania Railroad wished to form a connection with the Sunbury and Lewistown Railroad, and privilege was obtained to lay a track across the bridge and use it for the passage of trains. It was used as a railroad and toll bridge until July 4, 1874, when a high wind blew it down. In the mean time the railroad company had purchased a controlling interest in the stock of the company. The bridge was immediately rebuilt and the toll feature was abandoned.
Before the destruction of the railroad and toll bridge there seemed to he a necessity for another bridge across the Juniata River, as accidents had occurred several times on the Water Street bridge. An appeal was made to the county for assistance, and on April 15, 1874, the commissioners made a contract with D. H. & C. C. Morrison to build an iron bridge across the Juniata at the foot of Market Street for twenty-two thousand dollars, and with William G. Stahl for the mason-work for nine thousand nine hundred and eighty-seven dollars. The bridge was built in that year and used a little over a year, when it fell, having an insecure foundation. The commissioners advertised for proposals to rebuild the bridge June 30, 1876, and let the contract to the King Bridge Company for fourteen thousand three hundred dollars, the bridge to be completed in November of that year. It was completed at the time specified, and has since done good service.
NEWSPAPERS. - The first newspaper established within the limits of the territory here treated was The Mifflin Gazette, published at Lewistown in 1796. In its columns were published the proposals for building the court-house on the Diamond, and on the 18th of May in
*William P. Elliot says the bridge fell when a team of horses with a loaded wagon were passing over it.
508 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
W. P. ELLIOTT
that year, 1796, the commissioners passed a bill in favor of Joseph Charles for
advertising the proposals and for advertising unseated lands. William P.
Elliott, the oldest printer in the United States and a native of Lewistown, has
no recollection of hearing any mention even of this paper or its edition. But
the fact stated above is in the minutes of the commissioners and was there
The Western Star, a four-column paper, was established on the 26th of November, 1800, by Edward Cole and John Doyle; the latter retired January 22, 1801, and Cole continued the paper until about 1805, when, for some offense, his office was destroyed.
The Juniata Gazette (now The Lewistown Gazette) was established in the spring of 1811 by James Dickson and William P. Elliott; the latter retired in 1814. Mr. Dickson continued a few years and sold the paper to T. W. Mitchell, who owned it in 1819. It passed later to George W. Patton, and in April, 1833, was owned by William Ross, of Thompsontown, who changed the name to Mifflin Gazette. Later in the same year it was purchased by William P. Elliott, one of its founders, who retained it until about 1839. The name was again changed, and it was called the Lewistown Gazette and Mifflin and Juniata Advertiser. Richard S. Elliott, a lad of eighteen years and son of the proprietor, assumed the editorial charge in the year 1835, but soon after went West, and Mr. Elliott again assumed charge, June 10, 1836, and continued a short time. On January 5, 1837, the name of G. P. Edmiston appeared as printer and publisher. At this time William P. Elliott retired finally from editorial charge. He is still living at Lewistown, and is now in his ninety-third year. He was born in Lewistown January 12, 1793. His father was John Elliott, who kept tavern in a log house that stood on the site of
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 509
the banking office of William Russell. His mother was Jane Power, a sister of Colonel William Power, of what is now Perry County. William P. Elliott attended school, in 1805, in the old stone school-house, which is yet standing in the rear of the old brick house on Third Street. He learned the printer's trade in Carlisle, and established the Gazette in 1811 with James Dickson. He was in the War of 1812 and served seven months. He was afterwards commissioned major by Governor Snyder. His presence at the unveiling of the monument to Governor Snyder at Selinsgrove, in the summer of 1885, was a marked feature of the occasion. In 1815 he became interested in the manufacture of iron at Mt. Vernon Forge, below Millerstown, where he continued about two years. Returning to Lewistown, he served several years as deputy sheriff, and held other local offices. He retired to a farm in what is now Granville township and resided there eighteen years, part of the time conducting the Gazette, of which he again became the proprietor. In 1841 he removed to Lewistown; was appointed postmaster and served during the terms of Presidents Harrison and Tyler. He married Miss Emily Smith, of Huntingdon County, March 17, 1814. Their children were fourteen in number, of whom four are living, - Richard S., John, Mrs. Anna King, of Pittsburgh, and Miss Jane Elliott, who resides with her father.
Richard Smith Elliott now resides near St. Louis. He became interested with Captain J. B. Eads in the construction of dikes or jetties at the mouth of the Mississippi River, and has been connected with the enterprise from its inception to its completion. John resides in Idaho. D. Stewart Elliott was a soldier in the Mexican War and in the late war. He was killed at Baxter Springs. James, the youngest son, was also in the late civil war. He entered the service May 5, 1862, as sergeant of Company H, Eighteenth United States Infantry. He was in the battles of Murfreesborough, Chickamauga, South Mountain and Mission Ridge. For distinguished service in the last he received honorable mention in the official report of the commanding officer of the First Battalion. From disease contracted in the service he died in Henry Clay Hospital, May 1, 1864.
Reverting to the history of the Gazette, we find that about 1839 it came into possession of Henry Liebert, who changed the name to the Mifflin County Gazette and Farmers' and Mechanics' Journal. In 1841 F. C. Merklein became associated with Liebert and later was sole editor. In 1842 it was purchased by Adam Grier, who published it one year and sold it to William Ross, who, on November 18, 1843, changed the name to The Lewistown Gazette, which it still retains. On the 24th of October, 1846, George Frysinger became editor and proprietor, and continued its publication until March, 1865, when he sold it to Daniel Over, who kept it ten months and it was again taken by Mr. Frysinger, who became the editor and G. R. Frysinger publisher. In March, 1875, G. R. & W. M. Frysinger became publishers. The latter retiring in 1876, G. R. Frysinger became local editor and publisher and George Frysinger editor and proprietor. In January, 1883, the paper was leased to George F. & J. S. Stackpole, who became the purchasers January 1, 1884, and are now editors and proprietors.
The Mifflin Eagle, a paper established in Mifflintown was moved to Lewistown in 1826 and published by D. W. Hulings and Levi Reynolds from May in that year to 1832, when it was suspended. It was succeeded by the Lewistown Republican and Workingmen's Advocate, which was established by John W. Shugert and Stephen Cummings as a five-column paper. The first number was issued August 11, 1832. The name of C. C. Hemphill appears as editor and publisher November 15, 1836, succeeding John W. Shugert. Mr. Hemphill was followed, in about one year, by James A. Cunningham, who conducted the paper until December 7, 1842, when it passed to Henry Eisenbise. Henry J. Walters became associated in partnership January 1, 1844. Under this management it continued until January 1, 1845, when James A. Cunningham became the owner and Henry J. Walters editor. The name was changed to The True Democrat. In 1849 it passed to Henry J. Walters and William R. McCay, by whom it was managed until
510 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
the death of Mr. McCay, in 1853. In 1854 it was purchased by Henry Frysinger, who conducted it until August, 1879, when it passed to D. L. Sollenberger, who published it but a few weeks, when it was merged with the Democratic Sentinel, and, with change of name, is The Democrat and Sentinel as now published.
The Democratic Sentinel was established September 1, 1871, by the Democratic County Committee of Mifflin County, with H. J. Walters as editor. It was conducted under his management until October 1, 1879, when it was consolidated with the True Democrat, and the name changed to the Democrat and Sentinel, under the management of H. J. Fosnot, who is editor and proprietor.
The Free Press, an independent paper, was established February 13, 1880, as an eight-page quarto, by W. W. Trout, who is editor and publisher.
The Aurora, established in 1852 by W. F. Shaw, was the organ of the American party for some years. It expired, the press and material being purchased for use in the West.
SCHOOLS. - By the plan of the town, laid out in 1790, lot No. 120 was designated for a school-house lot, and in 1804 it was deeded to the county for that purpose. Upon this lot a log school house was erected. It was made of round logs, without regularly-formed windows, but lighted by panes of glass fitted in
between the logs. A "nine-plate stove" was in the centre of the room, the pipe from which extended through the ceiling into the loft, from whence the smoke escaped between the logs and the roof. Boys were often put in the loft as punishment, and it was not uncommon for the occupants below to be smoked out through the mischievous covering of the pipe by the little urchin above. The lot is on Third Street, and is now occupied by the old stone and brick school-houses.
William P. Elliott attended school in the old log house in 1806. An Englishman by the name of Robert Cooper was the teacher. He afterwards taught at Strode's Mills, died there and was buried in the old grave-yard at Lewistown. His widow, well-known by the older citizens as "Aunty Cooper," was also a teacher, and taught school from about 1810 to 1820 in a little log school-house on Third Street, above Brown. Mrs. Cooper and her niece, Betsey Smiley (afterwards the wife of Rev. Mr. Van Horne, who was also a teacher) lived in the back part of the house. Mrs. A. B. Long was a pupil who went to school in this house in 1815.
In the year 1809 what is now known as the old stone school-house was built on the site of the log house. James Kinsloe was the first teacher in the stone house, and taught in 1809-10. Samuel Crawford was teacher in 1811; Alexander Coulter, 1814; Captain Theodore Franks about the same time. Schools were kept by subscriptions until the public-school system was adopted. Immediately preceding the adoption Jabez Spencer and John H. Hickox were teachers.
The free-school law was passed April 1, 1834. A public meeting of the citizens of Lewistown and Derry township was held to consider this law September 6, 1834, and the court, at the November sessions in the same year, appointed Ephraim Banks and James Dickson as school directors. The directors, on the 10th of March, 1835, published that they would open three schools on the 16th inst., free to all children within the limits of the borough. At this time an election had been held, and the directors serving were Alfred Keiser, George W. Patton, Joseph M. Cogley, Charles Ritz, William Culbertson and A. Blymyer. The school directors' report for the year 1835 says, -
"The Directors have labored under many disadvantages, owing to the difficulties in procuring competent teachers and school-rooms. The additional expenses for the 1st six months will be no more than the sum required for the same length of time hereafter. The number of scholars in the schools is 225; their tuition in 6 months is $813.18, which would cost in other schools by subscription, for the same number of months, at an average of $2.50 per quarter, $1125, or $311.82 more than the cost in the free schools, making a saving in the year of $623.64."
The statistics of the report are as follows:
"Year ending November 1, 1835.
"Number of Scholars: Male, 114; Female, 111 - total, 225. Number of Teachers: Male, 3; Female, 3. Teachers' salaries, with assistants', $565.58. Number of months taught, 6. Branches taught, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Geography and Grammar. Rents of
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 511
School-Houses, $59.00; Repairs and other expenses, $197.60; Money received for Schools, $822.18. From the State, $86.59; From the County, $100.00; From the Borough, $489.05, - total, $675.64."
The three schools that were begun in 1835 were increased from time to time, and in 1850 there were thirteen. On the 18th of August, 1849, the School Board advertised for one first-class and two second-class male and six female teachers to take charge of the several public schools to be opened September 17th. One of the females was to teach a primary school to be established in the north part of the borough. The teachers who were engaged for this term were: Male Department, Rev. J. W. Elliot, William Lytle, William Kinsloe, Miss Jane E. Sherrard; Female Department, Miss Buck, Eliza McFarlane, Mrs. Elizabeth McDonald, Miss Margaret Shaw, and Mrs. Caruthers.
In September, 1850, the directors advertised that thirteen schools would be opened on Monday (16th) and more thereafter. The teachers in that year were Lytle, McCord, Barr, Esquire Kulp and seven female teachers.
The old brick school-house, on Third Street, was built under the public-school system and was the leading school in the town. It was used until the completion of the present large and commodious house in 1872. It is the intention to refit the old brick house and use it as a school-house again to meet the demand for more room.
The new school-house was built of brick, seventy-five by ninety-one feet, in 1872, on the corner of Third and Wayne Streets. It is three stories in height, with basement, and the entire cost, including the lot, was thirty-four thousand dollars. The building is heated by a furnace, and is under charge of a janitor, who, with his family, resides in the building. Miss Mary McCord was principal of the schools for several years before the erection of the present house and continued in charge at the new building until the fall of 1880, when she was succeeded by John G. Cope, of Chester County, who was the principal until the fall of 1885. George M. Wilner is now the principal. The building contains thirteen separate schools, under the charge of thirteen teachers. Six hundred and fifty pupils are in attendance.
LEWISTOWN ACADEMY. - An act was approved incorporating the academy March 11, 1815, with supplements passed April 10, 1826, April 3, 1852, and April 2, 1853. The title of the act was "An Act for the establishment of an academy for the education of youth in the useful arts, sciences and literature, by the name and style of the Lewistown Academy." The trustees appointed in the act were the Rev. James Johnston, Rev. William Kennedy, Rev. John Hutchinson, Rev. Thomas Smith, Rev. John Coulter, David Reynolds, James Knox, Mathias Taylor, William Lyon, Richard Hope, James Sherrard, Robert McClelland, William P. Maclay, John Oliver and Andrew Banks. The first election of trustees was to be held on the first Monday of April, 1816. By the act five poor children were to be admitted to the school free for a term not to exceed two years. William Maclay, as secretary of the board of trustees, advertised for a teacher February 1, 1816. The academy building was not erected until 1828. An act of Assembly passed April 10, 1826, authorized the trustees to build an academy building "in or near Lewistown." The building was completed in 1828, as mention is made of it in the Gazette, "with its bright tin roof and belfry." Prof. John H. Hickox and his wife were the only teachers, and continued until after 1833. Since that time the principals were as follows: ----- Leavy, S. Carpenter, Rev. D. L. Hughes, Prof. Alfred S. Williams, W. H. Woods, Washington McCartney, A. J. Warner, Azariah Smith, John Laird, Rev. J. B. Strain, Snyder, N. Foster Brown, W. F. Schuyler, Myers. The building was thoroughly repaired in 1872 and enlarged by the erection of a boarding-hall. In October, 1883, the property was sold by the trustees to George Miller, J. A. Miller and J. B. Selheimer, who, on the 18th of June, 1884, conveyed the property to Mrs. Elizabeth J. Knotwell, who at once opened it as an academy. The present faculty and board of trustees are here given, -
Board of Trustees: H. R. Knotwell, President; T. M. Uttley, Esq., secretary; Wm. Russell, treasurer; G. W. Elder, Esq., D. W. Woods, Esq., D. E.
512 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
Robeson, Hon. Andrew Reed, F. G. Franciscus, H. J. Culbertson, Esq., N. J. Rudisill, John A. McKee, Esq., James H. Mann, William H. Felix, John W. Shaw, Esq.
Faculty: Hetty T. Knotwell, English branches; James W. Cain, A. B., mathematics and languages; Euphemia C. Knotwell, primary department; J. Emma Knotwell, French and music.
From about 1825 private schools were taught in different buildings in the town. The Rev. J. W. Woods taught a school in a building adjoining the old Presbyterian Church. He was afterwards a teacher in the academy. Mr. Leavy taught a school prior to his taking charge of the academy. Prof. Adams taught a school in the court-house in 1835. Rev. James Van Horne was teacher of a private school and later a tutor in the academy. A Mr. Anderson and a Mr. Walters were also teachers.
LIBRARIES. - An effort was made in 1801 to establish a Library Company in Lewistown. A subscription was opened, and on the 22d of January of that year Thomas Memminger advertised in the Western Star that "a number of shares have been subscribed for the establishment of the Lewistown Library Company, and the subscribers are requested to meet at the house of Edward Williams, tavern-keeper, on Saturday, the 7th of February next, at three o'clock in the afternoon, to proceed to the organization of the company." Nothing further is definitely known.
The Lewistown Library Association, now in operation, was formed under a charter granted January 7, 1870. An organization was at once effected, one thousand dollars was subscribed, and the money was invested in the purchase of books, amounting to over a thousand volumes. Thus was formed the nucleus for the present library, which, by purchases and contributions, now numbers two thousand and fifty volumes. The library-rooms were for the first three years in the Bachman building, since which time the present rooms in the Lewistown House, on Main Street, have been occupied.
George W. Elder was the first and only president, David Robison the first and only treasurer; William R. McKee was the first librarian, and was succeeded in 1875 by Miss Annie J. Clarke, the present librarian.
The Apprentices' Literary Society was organized on the 4th of July, 1842, in the old court-house, with twelve members. Henry J. Walters was chosen president, and Isaac W. Wiley (late bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church) secretary. The object of the society was the improvement of the young men of the town. Meetings were held for several years in the academy and elsewhere. A lot was purchased on Third Street, and the present brick Apprentices' Hall was erected, and meetings have since been held there. The society is still active, and has a membership of about forty. John A. McKee is president. The society is represented by its members in all ranks of life, and in its early days was a potent factor for good.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.* - The first resident minister having charge of a congregation in this part of the county was the Rev. Mathew Stephens, who, in 1785, settled in what is now Bratton township, and preached along the river at Waynesburg, Lewistown and in Granville township until 1796. The next minister of whom any information is obtained was the Rev. James Simpson, an ordained minister from "the kingdom of Ireland." He was received January 7, 1800, under probation by the Huntingdon Presbytery, in accordance with the standing rule in regard to foreign ministers.
"An application was immediately made by Lewistown and Waynesburg (McVeytown) congregations to have Mr. Simpson appointed their supply for one year. This request was substantially granted by Presbytery giving Mr. Simpson only two other appointments, and allowing him to supply Lewistown and Waynesburg at discretion.
"At a meeting of the Presbytery, held October 6, 1801, Mr. Simpson was admitted a member of the Presbytery, his papers having passed the review of the General Assembly previously, and the period of his probation being thus ended and nothing appearing injurious to his character up to that time. But the next day a 'supplication' was presented from the united congregations of Lewistown, Wayne and Derry, on the Juniata, for Mr. Simpson for stated supply for one year, in which they promised to pay him a salary of one hundred and sixty pounds; and at the same time a remonstrance signed by a number of
*Compiled from the "history of Huntingdon Presbytery" by Rev. William J. Gibson, D.D.
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 513
the inhabitants of Lewistown, opposing the settlement of Mr. Simpson among them for any term of time whatever; also a remonstrance from Derry and Wayne, against his settlement among them. The following action was taken by Presbytery in view of these remonstrances: 'Whereas, insinuations have been made by remonstrances handed into Presbytery by a commissioner from the congregations of Derry and Wayne, injurious to Mr. Simpson's moral character, the Rev. Messrs. John Johnston, John Coulter and William Stewart, with Messrs. David Riddle and David Caldwell, elders, were appointed a committee to meet at the house of Mr. Casper Dull, in Waynesburg [McVeytown] on the 15th clay of this month [October], and inquire into the foundation of these insinuations and the truth of the reports said to be in circulation; and to send for those persons who have, either in writing or otherwise, circulated them. And if, after inquiry being made, it appears that they arc without foundation or cannot be supported, the stated clerk is ordered to furnish Mr. Simpson with proper credentials, he being about to travel out of our bounds.'
"At an adjourned meeting of the Presbytery, held in November following, the Committee reported 'that having examined witnesses on oath, brought before them by Mr. Simpson's accusers, they found nothing sufficient to condemn him or deprive him of his credentials.' The minutes of the committee were submitted to the Presbytery, read, and their proceedings approved. However, at the stated meeting of the Presbytery, April 2, 1802, a paper was presented to Presbytery, signed by three respectable church members, pledging themselves to prove some aggravated charges, as to moral delinquency, against Mr. Simpson. Upon which, Presbytery appointed an adjourned meeting to be held at Lewistown the third Tuesday in June following, and cited Mr. Simpson to appear and answer to the charges exhibited against him by these persons. At the time appointed the Presbytery met to try the charges brought against Mr. Simpson, heard the witnesses on the part of his accusers and on the part of Mr. Simpson (it appears that there was no church building then in Lewistown, so they met in the court-house). The Presbytery considered that the charges were fully substantiated and suspended him from the ministry.
"As this may appear inconsistent with the report of the committee sent to inquire into the reports injurious to Mr. Simpson's character a short time before, and the approval of their proceedings in the case, the following action was immediately had by the Presbytery at the conclusion of Mr. Simpson's case, viz.: 'Whereas it has been intimated to Presbytery at our last Spring meeting, and there now appears some reason to suspect that the committee appointed to meet at Waynesburg in October last, to inquire into the truth and grounds of the insinuations that had been made injurious to the character of Mr. Simpson, did not transact that business altogether consistently with the instructions of Presbytery. Resolved, that citations be issued to those persons who were members of that committee, and also to Judge Oliver and Gen. John Bratton to attend our next fall meeting at East Kishacoquillas.' At the fall meeting, as cited, the committee being present and being heard in explanation of their proceedings, the following minute was made: 'Upon hearing the committee appointed on Mr. Simpson's case, the Presbytery are of opinion that any impropriety that took place in that transaction proceeded from inadvertency and not from design.' At the same meeting Mr. Simpson applied to Presbytery to be restored to his former ministerial standing, professing sorrow for the crime of intemperance and other irregularities, but denying the most aggravated charge brought against him and asking Presbytery to be permitted to bring forward some evidence which had been obtained since the last meeting, which he supposed would invalidate the testimony then given as to that part of the charge. Presbytery consented to hear said witnesses, but after hearing, did not see cause to modify their verdict or restore Mr. Simpson.
"At the meeting of the Presbytery in April, 1803, Mr. Simpson applied again to be restored, professing the deepest penitence and humiliation for his past conduct, particularly for those irregularities which were the cause of his suspension; at the same time expressing his acquiescence in the proceedings of Presbytery in his case, and acknowledging the justice of the sentence passed on him, which he admitted to be unavoidable from the evidence which appeared, although his conscience (he said) would not permit him to acknowledge real guilt, in regard to the more aggravated charge. He also expressed deep sorrow for his disorderly conduct since, particularly for continuing to preach, in open contempt of the authority of Presbytery, and on these professions asked to be restored to the exercise of his ministry. Presbytery approved of Mr. Simpson's professions of penitence, but could not see the way clear to restore him until a correspondent reformation evinced the sincerity of that repentance, which he himself acknowledged to be very recent. On the refusal of the Presbytery to remove his suspension, Mr. Simpson 'snatched' the paper containing his confession from the clerk's desk, treated the authority of Presbytery with marked contempt and gave to every member present ocular evidence that the whole of his solemn professions were fallacious and hypocritical. Whereupon it was resolved (in view of the whole case - his conduct in times past, and what occurred immediately before the Presbytery) that Mr. Simpson be deposed from the ministry; and he was accordingly deposed.
"Mr. Simpson gave notice of appeal from the judgment of the Presbytery, and the clerk was ordered to furnish him with a copy of the proceedings in his case. Whether this appeal was ever presented before
514 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
the higher courts, the writer has no present means of ascertaining. One thing is certain: the sentence of deposition was never reversed, the minutes of that year being reviewed by the Synod, and no exception taken, but to a few verbal inaccuracies. Of Mr. Simpson no future mention is made in the proceedings of the Presbytery. What became of him afterwards, there may be those living who could give some account, but it is not important. From all that is recorded of him, it may be reasonably inferred that he was a man of good education, classical and otherwise, possessing considerable popular talent as a preacher and plausible address; for as soon as he had any connection with the Presbytery, applications were made from important congregations for his services and the Presbytery, at his reception as a probationer from a foreign land, expressed entire satisfaction with his examination."
The congregation was without a pastor for several years. In March, 1805, a call was extended to the Rev. John Hutchison, which was not accepted, as he became pastor of the Lost Creek and Mifflinburg congregations. In 1810 the Rev. William Kennedy was called and accepted, at a salary of four hundred and eighty dollars per annum, two-thirds of his time to be given to the church at Lewistown and one-third to the West Kishacoquillas Church. He was ordained and installed at a stated meeting of the Presbytery held at Lewistown. He served the congregations until the year 1822. The following is from the minutes of the Presbytery:
"About the close of the year 1821 reports injurious to the character and usefulness of the Rev. William Kennedy, pastor of the church at Lewistown, were brought to the notice of the Presbytery. In particular and specially he was charged with the intemperate use of ardent spirits. Temperance had not in that day attained the point or status of total abstinence. A committee was appointed, to meet at Lewistown on a designated day, to investigate the ground for these reports and to take testimony. At the stated meeting of Presbytery, April, 1822, the committee reported. An adjourned meeting was held in May following, with a view to the formal issuing of this case. At that meeting, after hearing all the witnesses that could be made to appear, Presbytery passed unanimously the following minute, viz.: 'Although the testimony received against the Rev. William Kennedy is not of such a clear and specific nature as to subject him to the high censure of suspension, yet, in the opinion of Presbytery, his conduct has not always been so circumspect, in the case in which he is charged, as it ought to have been, and he is hereby warned to be more watchful in future, so as to prevent any ground of suspicion, and that he guard against every appearance of evil.'
"In the mean time Mr. Kennedy had resigned the pastoral charge of the congregation at Lewistown, and at the conclusion of his trial requested leave to travel out of the bounds of Presbytery till the next meeting.
"Mr. Kennedy's troubles, as well as those of some other of his brethren, resulted from the common and universal use of intoxicating liquors in that day. . . . At the time of the investigation Mr. Kennedy denied the charge in mild and humble terms, - 'I am not conscious of having acted improperly.' His contemporaries believed him to be a good and godly man, and his subsequent lengthened ministry in a neighboring Presbytery was without reproach or suspicion. October 1, 1822, Mr. Kennedy was, at his own request, dismissed to the Presbytery of Erie, but ultimately settled in the bounds of the Presbytery of Clarion, where he continued to labor until his death."
At a meeting of the Presbytery held at Lewistown, November 24, 1819, James S. Woods, a licentiate of the Presbytery of New Brunswick, appeared with proper testimonials and was received under care of the Presbytery. He received a call from the Waynesburg congregation for one-half his time, which was accepted. In April, 1823, soon after the resignation of the Rev. Mr. Kennedy, the Rev. James S. Woods was appointed stated supply of the Lewistown congregation for one year, and April 28, 1824, was installed as pastor for one-half his time. He remained in this connection until 1837, when, upon a call from the congregation of Lewistown for all his time, he resigned the charge of the Waynesburg congregation and continued as pastor of the Lewistown congregation until his death, in 1862.
REV. JAMES STERRETT WOODS, D.D., was born in Dickinson Township, Cumberland County, Pa., April 18, 1793. He received his literary and collegiate education at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. After graduating at Dickinson College he entered the Theological Seminary at Princeton, New Jersey. He was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of New Brunswick, N. J., in October, 1818, and was received as a licentiate by the Presbytery of Huntingdon, Pa., November 24, 1819, having accepted a call from the Congregation of Waynesburg (now McVeytown) for one-half of his time, at a salary of four hundred dollars a
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year. He was ordained and installed as pastor April 5, 1820. In April, 1823, he was appointed stated supply of the congregation at Lewistown and was installed as pastor for one-half his time April 28, 1824, at a salary of three hundred dollars a year. He served both those congregations until 1837, when both gave him a call for all his time. He accepted the call from the Lewistown congregation, at a salary of six hundred dollars per annum. He continued the pastor of this church up to the day of his death, which took place suddenly June 29, 1862. In 1850 he was honored with the title of Doctor of Divinity by the College of New Jersey, at Princeton. He was married to Marianne, youngest daughter of Rev. Dr. John Witherspoon, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, by whom he had nine children - six sons and three daughters. The eldest son, John Witherspoon Woods, died January 7, 1839. James S. Woods, his fourth son, was a lieutenant in the regular army, and was killed in the war with Mexico, at the battle of Monterey, September 21, 1846. Three of his sons - Samuel S. Woods, David W. Woods and William H. Woods - studied law and were admitted to practice. Samuel S. Woods was elected, in 1860, president judge of the judicial district composed of the counties of Mifflin, Union and Snyder. He died February 5, 1873. The youngest son, Alexander M. Woods, studied theology and became a minister of the gospel in the Presbyterian Church, and is now pastor of the church in Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County. His daughters were Frances, Marianne, Ann E. and Margaret J. Woods. Dr. Woods was a sound, clear and practical preacher. His ministry was a successful one, and he was instrumental in building up a strong church in Lewistown. He was an exemplary pastor and greatly interested in the young people, not only of his own church, but of the whole community. He was very fond of and popular with the children, and took great pains in their religious training. He was hospitable to an unusual degree, liberal and generous to a fault, and his memory to this day remains fresh, green and precious with all who knew him.
At the October meeting of Presbytery after the death of the Rev. James S. Woods, in 1862, the Rev. O. O. McClean was received by certificate from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a call from the Lewistown congregation, placed in his hands, which he accepted. A committee from Presbytery was appointed, and he was installed as pastor of the congregation, and continued until October, 1884, having served twenty-two years. The congregation was without a pastor for one year, and on the 1st of October, 1885, the Rev. John Gourley, formerly of Indiana County, Pa., assumed the duties of the position and is now officiating. The church reports a membership of three hundred and fifty.
A lot was purchased by the society about 1820, on the corner of Third and Brown Streets, and a stone church edifice was erected thereon, and used until the erection of the present church building.
The old stone Presbyterian Church of Lewistown was taken down, and the new brick church now standing on the same lot was erected during the summer and fall of 1855. The building stands on the southwest corner of Third and Brown Streets, fronting fifty-six feet on Third Street and ninety feet on Brown Street.
June 12, 1856, the new church edifice, having been completed some weeks previously, was dedicated to the service of Almighty God. The services at the dedication were as follows: 1st, an appropriate anthem of praise, "I was glad," etc., by the choir; 2d, hymn of praise; 3d, prayer by the Rev. Dr. Rogers, of Philadelphia; 4th, hymn of praise; 5th, a brief history of the church and congregation by the pastor, the Rev. James S. Woods, D.D.; 6th, sermon by the Rev. Dr. Rogers; 7th, the dedicatory prayer by the Rev. Dr. Plumer, of the Theological Seminary, Allegheny City, Pa.; 8th, hymn; 9th, the benediction by the Rev. Dr. Rogers. Previous to the dedication sufficient money was subscribed to free the church from all indebtedness. The cost of the church edifice was twelve thousand dollars, and the ladies of the congregation expended the sum of one thousand dollars in carpets, cushions and furniture.
LUTHERAN CHURCH.* - The Lutheran Church
*This sketch is taken from historical discourse by Rev. J. M. Reimensnyder.
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of Lewistown dates back to 1796, when Rev. Fisher preached in the old log jail. However interesting might have been the doings of these early days, our fathers have left no record. The services evidently were few and the number of worshippers equally so. In 1814, on the 3d day of January, the Lutheran and Reformed congregations bought lot No. 119, on the south side of West Third Street, for the purpose of erecting a house of worship and of burying their dead. For this lot they paid the odd sum of $66.55. The names of the Lutheran trustees mentioned in the deed are Andrew Keiser and John Ort. This lot was purchased of Peacock Major. The Lutherans held services at different times during these years in the old jail and court-house, but have left no record until ten years after the purchase of this lot, when we find the following interesting account of the corner-stone laying of the first church, which took place on the 29th day of July, 1824. These proceedings were recorded in an old book in German and a German and English copy were filed with the church papers. We give the paper in part, -
"In the name of God the Father, the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Be it known unto all men that this building in the borough of Lewistown, county of Mifflin and State of Pennsylvania, which shall be called Zion's church, and into which walls we this day, the 29th day of July, in the year of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four, lay the corner-stone in the name of the Holy Trinity. The German Evangelical Lutheran and the German Evangelical Reformed members have commenced to build this house in common and will also finish it in the same way, and it shall from this time and forever, as long as the world stands and the sun and moon run their course, be used as a house for worship by the German Lutheran and German Reformed congregations. The gospel shall be preached in its purity in this Evangelical Christian Lutheran and Reformed church, so that it may be in accordance with the constitution of both synods. This lot on which we have commenced to build and also intend to finish this Zion's church, was bought from Peacock Major and his wife Martha, in the borough of Lewistown, the 3d day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fourteen, by Andrew Keiser and John Ort, as trustees of the Lutheran congregation of Lewistown and neighborhood, and Christian Gro and Isaac Spangler, trustees of the Reformed congregation of Lewistown and neighborhood, for the sum of sixty-six dollars and fifty-five cents. The deed dated on the above date will also show that the above four named trustees or guardians of the said Lutheran and Reformed congregations have bought the said lot of Peacock Major and his wife Martha for both congregations as aforesaid, for their descendants, their heirs and assigns, and that the above said congregations shall together forever have equal rights to the same. The lot itself on which this Zion's church is to be erected and in which walls we, the trustees or guardians of the Lutheran and Reformed congregations, do lay the corner-stone in the presence of the different members of both congregations, as also in presence of all men which are assembled here, is situate on the south side of Third street, in the borough of Lewistown, bordering on lots No. 118 and 120, and in the plan of said borough known as lot 119. If it should happen that in the course of time the members of both congregations as aforesaid should become so numerous that there should not be sufficient room for all the members of said congregations on usual days of divine service in this Zion's church, then shall the members of both congregations have a right to do with said church as they in their best opinion would think proper. That is, to tear down said church and build a larger one jointly or one or the other, or one of either congregations (no difference whether the Lutheran to the Reformed or the Reformed to the Lutheran), may sell said church and give up all their right and title of said church for the share which by right and according to deed belongs to them, as also their share for building said church, and then said congregations have full right and privilege to build a new or other church for themselves in their own name. But such a separation and sale should never be done with displeasure and by no means with unchristian feeling and discord, but in union and Christian love, as true Christians and sincere followers of Jesus Christ should do.
"And all that we will yet lay into this corner-stone for the memory of our descendants of the German Evangelical Lutheran and German Evangelical Reformed Zion's church, is a Lutheran and Reformed Catechism, as also the following coins of the United States, namely: One copper coin, worth one cent; one silver coin, worth one-half dime; one dime, one five-dime piece, or half-dollar, and one ten-dime piece, or a whole dollar. And now we put, as all good Christians do, or at least should do, all our trust in God, who has created the heavens and the earth and all that is therein out of nothing, with the full confidence that he will bless and prosper our children and all our descendants from one generation to another of both these congregations, as well in relation to their spiritual endowments, which all true Evangelical Christians are most in need of, as also in relation to their bodily wants. We all know that on
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God's blessing everything depends, and if the Lord will not preserve this church which we are about to erect, all man's trouble and labor will be in vain; therefore let us in our silent prayers entrust this building to Him in the name of the holy trinity, and after it is finished we shall with His blessing consecrate it to be a temple of God. He says My house shall be a house of prayer; in the name of God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost. Amen. Written on the day and in the year first above mentioned, to which we, the trustees of this common Zion's church, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, and in the presence of these witnesses, have hereunto set our hands and seals.
"JOHN ORT [Seal].
"DANIEL RAUCH [Seal].
"CHRISTIAN HOOVER [Seal].
"GEORGE BECK [Seal].
"F. O. MELSHEIMER.
"I. W. SCHMIDT, Evangelical Lutheran, in Union County.
"JOHN FELIX, Evangelical Reformed, in Union County.
"DANIEL RAUCH, ) Builders."
"CHRISTIAN HOFFMAN, )
This church, built jointly by the German Lutheran and German Reformed congregations, was completed in less than one year, and was dedicated on the 12th day of June, 1825. Rev A. H. Lochman and Rev. D. Weiser were the officiating clergymen. This fact is the first item recorded in a regular church record. From this time forward we have landmarks leading us in the way of our fathers. From this date the Lutherans continued to increase in number: and prosperity. The two congregations were incorporated on the 9th day of July, 1827, under the title of the Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed United Church of Zion. From these records we find that the first church was called Zion's Church. On the 10th day of June, in the same year, we have the first list of communicants. There were ninety communed and fourteen confirmations. It is further recorded that of this number, thirty-eight attended the preparatory service. It is hardly likely that all of these were Lutherans, but more likely composed of the members of both congregations. The Reformed denomination, however, must have been very weak, as they had no pastor of their own, and are not mentioned in the proceedings of the congregation later than 1828.
At a meeting of the councils of the two congregations, held at the house of Henry Eisenbise, on Wednesday evening, the 4th of April, 1827, a constitution was adopted, which we still have. The only thing peculiar about this document is that it was copied from the formula for the government of the Lutheran Church, as adopted by the General Synod, and that the copyist omitted the name of the Reformed in it from one end to the other. He evidently was a Lutheran. This error was corrected afterward with a lead-pencil. In the back part of this old constitution book are a few resolutions which complete the history of this early period,
"First. None but the members of the Lutheran and Reformed congregations who contribute regularly to the church shall have privilege to bury in the Lutheran and Reformed burying-ground.
"Second. Respectable members of other congregations, by paying three dollars, shall have privilege of a grave, unless two-thirds of the council object to it.
"Third. The church council shall have power to admit respectable poor persons who have not been able to contribute anything to the church."
Three names are found connected with all the business of the church in those days, - appearing on every page. They were the pioneers and are given now that they may be handed down to succeeding generations. They are John Ort, Sr., Christian Hoffman and F. A. Melsheimer, and also that of Henry Eisenbise.
"Aunty Marks" appears among the faithful ones recorded in the earliest list of communicants. This church building is still standing, situated on the south side of West Third Street. It is now known as the Henderson fire engine house. It is even yet quite a respectable structure, and was, at that early day, a very good church. The graveyard lot in the rear of the old building is still the property of this congregation. It has not been used as a place of burial for many years. Nearly all the bodies interred there were removed to the present Lutheran Cemetery some years ago. This church building and this burying-ground were used by the congregation for a period of twenty-six years.
A few items will close this period and bring the history down to 1849. The first church was not frescoed, but the walls were kept pure
518 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
and clean. This resolution was passed by the council February 25, 1844, -
"Resolved, That the walls of the church be whitewashed preparatory to the next communion."
There were some progressive movements in those days. L. McIlwaine was employed by the council to give the choir one quarter's singing. The salary of the sexton was raised from nine dollars to twenty five dollars. The pastor's salary, or rather the part paid by Lewistown, which was nearly all of it, was three hundred dollars. A resolution to raise it to three hundred and fifty dollars failed. This, however, was apparently based upon the unpopularity of the pastor. A balance due the pastor of eighteen dollars at the end of the church year proved quite a trouble. A subscription started in the council resulted in raising six dollars, each member giving fifty cents. Finally a committee was appointed to solicit subscriptions in the country. March 14, 1847, Rev. Flint preached a sermon which greatly disturbed the peace of the congregation, and he felt necessitated to hand in his resignation, which was at once unanimously accepted. The subject of the sermon is not recorded; but some whose memories extend to that day say it was "Temperance." During the next pastorate the salary for Lewistown was increased to four hundred dollars. During all these years there was a steady increase of membership. Protracted meetings, catechetical classes and confirmations are regularly recorded, the number of additions running up at times to twenty-seven. We now lay aside the old book, with its occasional and brief records, and take up one which introduces a period more familiar to all. The services of Colonel John Hamilton (deceased) date from this period, being secretary of the council nearly all the time until the middle of the present pastorate. Colonel Hamilton, long known as an active member of the congregation, kept a careful record of all the important transactions of the congregation. He was always interested in the past history of the church. This latter period is so full of doings that it will be impossible to do more than mention the specially important transactions. The very first record of this book, under date of October 20, 1849, is a resolution to build a new church. A building committee was appointed at that same meeting, consisting of Rev. John Rosenburg, James L. Mcllwaine, David Bloom, John Hamilton, Jonathan Yeager and John Ort, Sr. Henry Dubbs was instructed to procure a plan. The building of the church was first let to Isaiah Coplin for three thousand seven hundred dollars, being the lowest bidder. Articles of agreement were signed January 10, 1850. He, however, having taken the church too low, afterwards declined undertaking it.
The lot on which this building stands was purchased May 27, 1850, and was known in the plan of the borough as lot No. 152. The chain of title is traced back to 1792, there being a deed in our hands of that date.
The congregation was incorporated by an act of Assembly approved May, 1850, under the title of "St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lewistown, Pa." This act of incorporation took the place of the old incorporation, under which the two denominations were bound by one title. It invested all the rights of the old property in the Lutheran Church, and specified the right to sell or tear down or use the material in the old building. December 2d of this year John Ort and Daniel Fichthorn were appointed to fill vacancies in the building committee. Up to this time over two thousand dollars had been paid to Coplin, when the building committee took the church in their own hands. It was given to George Carney, December 21st, to complete upon his bid of one thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars. Mr. Carney, however, refused to sign an agreement, when the specifications were read, and it was finally let to John R. Turner for one thousand nine hundred and twenty-five dollars. The old church was sold to Joseph F. Yeager, April, 7, 1851, for four hundred dollars. April 21, 1851, the council held a meeting in the lecture-room of the new church. This is all the record we have of any meeting held in the new church, which was now rapidly nearing completion. About ten o'clock on the night of January 28, 1852, the new church was discovered to be on fire and an alarm was immediately made. It appears that the fire was discovered very soon after it
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had commenced, and could easily have been extinguished had there been a supply of water. It seems there had been a misunderstanding for some time between the borough officials and the water company as to the obligation of the latter to furnish a sufficient supply of water as a protection against fire. No effort was made to remove articles from the building, as all confidently hoped the fire could easily be controlled. After the hose companies appeared and made
the fatal discovery that water was wanting, the fire had gained such headway that only a few benches were saved. The beautiful structure, much the finest in town, was soon a mass of smouldering ruins - nothing but the bare walls remaining. This was the saddest night in the history of the thriving congregation.
As no fire had been at any time about the building, the fire commencing in the steeple and the night being calm, the opinion has always prevailed that the fire was the result of a willful act. True to the spirit of their fathers, a meeting was held the next morning, January 29, 1852, at the home of F. Swartz, where we find the following action:
"Whereas the new Lutheran church was consumed by fire last night, by the hands of some incendiary unknown to the church, the church being almost finished by the contractor, John R. Turner. Therefore,
"Resolved by the Trustees and Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of the borough of Lewistown and its vicinity that we will proceed to rebuild the Lutheran church."
Resolutions of sympathy were passed by all the churches of the borough, and each one kindly offered the use of their church for one Sabbath service. The building had been insured for three thousand dollars. The trustees had considerable difficulty in securing this money.
At one time a resolution was passed to bring suit against the company. A compromise finally was made in which the council agreed to settle for fifteen hundred dollars. April 26, 1852, the building committee were authorized to receive proposals to rebuild the church, and the name of Jacob Ort was added to the committee. Through the confusion and misunderstanding between the insurance companies and the contractor, the lot and ruins were sold by the sheriff, but were purchased by Daniel Fichthorn, well known to the older members of our congregation, and were repurchased by the congregation June 21, 1852, for $451.50. The rebuilding of the church was finally given to William McClure for thirty-three hundred dollars, to be built on the old walls.
The old bell was purchased at Harrisburg for $186.50, and weighed five hundred and twenty-nine pounds. Rev. C. M. Klink preached the first time in the present lecture-room January 16, 1853. The congregation was now in straitened circumstances. A mortgage for one thousand dollars was given, which increased to fifteen hundred dollars before it was removed. The congregation would certainly have failed at this time had it not been for a few persons who made great sacrifices. The old church, which had again passed into the hands of the trustees, was sold to the African Methodist congregation. The trustees evidently were in doubt as to the financial ability of their colored brethren, from the conditional clauses found in the agreement. The colored friends, too, felt uneasy under these shackles, and after paying one hundred dollars asked to be relieved, which was promptly done and the money paid by them refunded. The building was finally sold to the borough and used by it as a hose-house.
Dr. F. W. Conrad, editor of the Lutheran Observer, preached the sermon when the church was dedicated, May 15, 1853. The amount of money subscribed that day was $719.19. During this year the present parsonage was built and the salary raised to six hundred dollars, and that of the sexton to fifty dollars. Daniel Fichthorn was the contractor for the building of the parsonage. In 1856 the salary was raised to eight hundred dollars, and steps were taken to aid the Jack's Creek congregation to secure a pastor, so that the pastor could confine his labors to the Lewistown congregation. During this prosperous year in the new church eighty-five members were added. In addition to all the expense of this and the past year, gas was introduced into the church, and the pulpit and other fluid lights presented to the Jack's Creek congregation.
In 1858 a mortgage was entered against the
520 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
new parsonage for fifteen hundred dollars, which by considerable effort was raised by subscription in 1860. It was to remove this mortgage that part of the present cemetery lot was sold.
In 1865 the pastor, having received and accepted a call to another field, thought it a good opportunity to give the council a plain talk as to their duty and neglect of duty, whereupon a member of the council returned the favor by giving the retiring pastor a few hints as to his duty and neglect of duty. They, however, parted on good terms. April 9, 1865, Rev. J. B. Reimensnyder, D.D., now pastor of St. James Lutheran Church, New York City, and brother of the present pastor of this church, was unanimously elected pastor of this congregation. During the next pastorate the salary was raised to one thousand dollars, and that of the sexton to one hundred and twenty dollars. The church building was extensively repaired, at a cost of over three thousand dollars. The gallery was removed, and the choir changed to their present position near the pulpit. The lecture-room was also remodeled; the audience-room was frescoed and the present stained glass windows purchased.
The pastorate of J. H. Brown was especially a prosperous and happy one for both pastor and people. The congregation had increased largely in its membership and usefulness. It was only ended by his death, on Monday morning, September 14, 1874. Pastor Brown had won the affection and esteem of the entire community, and was held in high regard by his brethren. This was the second time that death had deprived them of a pastor, Rev. Koch having been killed by being thrown from his horse in the Long Narrows. On February 7, 1875, the present pastor, Rev. J. M. Reimensnyder, was unanimously elected. He took charge on the first Sunday of March of the same year. The present pastor has resided in Lewistown nearly four years longer than any former one, having entered upon his ninth year the 1st of March. During this time the church and parsonage have been improved at various times. The spire carried away by the tornado of July 4, 1874, was replaced by another which was completed July, 1876. A new bell, weighing with the frame over one thousand pounds, made of pure bell metal, was purchased at a cost of over three hundred and fifty dollars. In 1882 repairs were made at a cost of over two thousand three hundred dollars. The church was reopened with appropriate services and a sermon by Rev. M. Valentine, D.D., September 24, 1882. The beginning of the present pastorate was marked with the addition of seventy-five members within the first year. During the entire eight years the increase of membership had averaged thirty-six. The benevolent operations of the congregation have more than doubled that of former periods. A young people's religious society was formed by the pastor in 1875, which has been of great service. The congregation today numbers three hundred and thirty-eight regular communicants, and the Sunday-school three hundred and fifty scholars. The history of the congregation is concluded with the names of all who have served it as pastor, -
Revs. Fisher, Koch (killed by being thrown from his horse in the Long Narrows), Gensel, Schnepach, George Hime, William Hime, John Smith, A. H. Lockman, Nicholas Stroh, J. Ruthrauff, George Yeager, Charles Weyl, C. Lepley, S. Schmucker, Thomas M. Flint, John Rosenberg, C. M. Klink, Henry Baker, H. R. Fleck, J. B. Reimensnyder J. B. Baltzly, J. H. Brown (died at the parsonage September 14, 1874), J. M. Reimensnyder.
ASSOCIATE REFORMED CHURCH. - The old brick building standing on Third Street, now used as a dwelling-house, is said to have been the first house of worship erected in Lewistown. It was built by members of the Associate Reformed congregation, of whom but little is known. It has been used by different congregations of the town at various times. The Rev. John Elliot preached in the house to a New School Presbyterian Society which did not form an organization as a church. It was sold to the Baptist Society about 1847-48, who kept it a few years and conveyed it to the original owners. Later it came into possession of General James Burns, who converted it into dwelling-houses.
THE FIRST METHODIST SOCIETY. - The first Methodist in the town of Lewistown was Charles Hardy, as is clearly shown in the let-
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ter given in the history of the early settlement of the place. He evidently prevailed on preachers to come there, as services were held in the old log jail, which was torn down in 1802-3. The Rev. Mr. Davis and the Rev. Mr. Gilwal visited the place before 1812, and in May of that year the Rev. Mr. Stevens preached. On the 5th of January, 1815, the Rev. Mr. Buck held service, and in that year the Methodist Society in Lewistown was formed and placed in charge of the Aughwick Circuit, Rev. Tobias Reilly, pastor, and Rev. Jacob Gruber, presiding elder.
The first person who united with the Methodists in Lewistown was Mrs. Jane Gillespie, who was soon followed by a number of others, when a class was organized and. Peter Smelker appointed the first leader. The names of the members of this infant organization, as far as can now be ascertained, were John Gillespie, Jane Gillespie, Charles Hardy, Minnie Hardy, Henry Butler, Rachel McCord, Jane McCord, Margaret McCord, Mary McGinness, Rachel Worley, Experience Row, Nancy Row, Samuel Martin, Jacob Wonder, Hannah Wonder and a Mr. and Mrs. Graham.
For some time the Methodists, as well as the Presbyterians, worshipped in the old court-house. Subsequently the former occupied the old stone school-house in the rear of the long brick school-house building on West Third Street. In 1815 a small brick edifice was erected on East Third Street, midway between Brown and Dorcas Streets, and was occupied as a place of worship until 1830, being the same building subsequently used by the Baptist denomination, and owned by the heirs of General Burns. Early in the year 1816, Elizabeth Keiser (now familiarly known as Mother Stoner) joined the struggling band, and one of her fist acts of benevolence was to collect seventy dollars to pay for the plastering of this antiquated structure. In 1830 a larger church building was erected on the corner of Dorcas and Third Streets, and this becoming too small for the rapidly-increasing congregation, galleries were added about the year 1844. In this shape it was used until the pastorate of the Rev. D. S. Monroe, 1867-69, when it was remodeled and enlarged as it now stands.
Lewistown remained a part of Aughwick Circuit until the close of the Conference year 1833, when it was set apart as a station, and the first stationed preacher was Rev. S. Kepler, who served the charge in 1834. But few are now living who united with the church previous to this time. In 1874 but six are among the membership who were in the society before Lewistown became, a station, - Nancy Row, Mrs. Stoner, Mrs. John C. Sigler, George Wiley, and Mr. and Mrs. John Evans, all of whom are still quite active in the church. Many of precious memory who identified themselves with Methodism here during the earlier periods of its history have passed away - such as Andrew Keiser and wife, Mrs. Dr. Ard, Mrs. George Green, James McCord and wife, Joseph Martin and wife, Jane McCormick, Henry Stoner, Mrs. William P. Elliott, Elizabeth Clark, Margaret Hardy and others.
The foregoing sketch was written in 1874, and as it contains all the material history to the present time, it is here given. The following is a list of the ministers who served this charge when it was on the Aughwick Circuit and after it became a station, until now:
In 1815, Jacob Gruber was presiding elder on the Aughwick Circuit, whose term ended with 1817. The preachers were in 1815, Tobias Riley and William Butler; 1816, Thomas Larkin and Jacob L. Bromwell; 1817, Samuel Davis and James Wilson.
1818-21, --- ---, presiding elder. 1818, Thomas Larkins and William Hamilton;
1819, Gideon Lanning and Jacob Larkin; 1820, Robert Cadden and Banj. Barry;
1821, Robert Cadden and William P. Poole.
1822-25, --- --- ---, presiding elder. 1822, Thomas McGee, Jacob R. Shepherd and N. B. Mills; 1823, Thomas McGee and John Bowen; 1824, Robert Minshall and John A. Gear; 1825, David Steele.
1826-29, --- --- ,presiding elder. 1826, Joseph White; 1827, Joseph White; 1828, Jonathan Munroe; 1829, Amos Smith.
1830-33, David Steele, presiding elder. 1830, Amos Smith; 1831, Samuel Ellis and Josiah Forest; 1832, Henry Taring and Peter McEnally; 1833, Henry Taring and Thomas Larkin.
1834-37, R. E. Prettyman, presiding elder. 1834, Samuel Kepler (Lewistown became a station); 1835, Tobias Riley; 1836, Henry Taring; 1837, Henry Taring.
1838-40, John Miller, presiding elder. 1838, Joseph Merrikin; 1839, Joseph Merrikin; 1840, John S.
522 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
Martin; 1841, David Thomas (George Hildt, presiding elder, 1841).
1842-45, Henry Furlong, presiding elder. 1842, Thomas Myers (great revival); 1843, G. G. Brooks; 1844, G. G. Brooks; 1845, George Guyer.
1846-49, John Miller, presiding elder. 1846. George Guyer; 1847-48, Mayberry Goheen; 1849, S. V. Blake.
1850-53, T. H. W. Monroe, presiding elder. 18501 S. V. Blake; 1851-52, James H. Brown; 1853, Benjamin H. Creaver.
1854-57, A. A. Reese. presiding elder. 1854, Benjamin H. Creaver; 1855, G. W. Cooper; 1856, William Wickes; 1857, Joseph A. Ross.
1858-61, John A. Gere, presiding elder. 1858. Joseph A. Ross; 1859-60, Samuel Kepler; 1861, J. S. McMurry.
1862-54, George D. C. Chenoweth, presiding elder. 1862-63, John Guyer; 1864, Samuel Barnes.
1865-58, Thomas Barnhart, presiding elder. 1865-66, Wilford Downs; 1867-68, D. S. Monroe.
1869-72, B. R. Hamlin, presiding elder. 1869, D. S. Monroe; 1870-73, John Thrush (died July, 1872).
1873-76, Milton K. Foster, presiding elder. 1873-75, W. G. Ferguson; 1876, G. T. Gray.
1877-80, Thompson Mitchell, presiding elder. 1877-78, G. T. Gray; 1879-80, Samuel Sears.
1881-84, Richard Hinkle, presiding elder. 1881-83, Thomas Sherlock; 1884, John J. Pearce (present pastor).
1885, Jacob S. McMurry, presiding elder.
ST. MARK'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH. - The first clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church to hold service in this section of country was the Rev. Charles Snowden, who, in 1820, preached in the old court-house, that then stood in the Diamond. He soon after was rector of an Episcopal Church that was organized in Thompsontown, now Juniata County. In the spring of 1823 the Rev. Norman Nash, a missionary of the church, sent out from Philadelphia, visited the town and organized the parish, the members of which elected a vestry. Late in the same year application was made to the Legislature for a charter of incorporation, which was granted January 2, 1824. The following were constituted as corporators: Adam Strode, James Kellogg, Jr., John Hoyt, Sr., Elias W. Hale, Christopher Marks, David W. Hulings, William P. Elliott, William A. Patterson and Robert Buchanan.
The parsonage adjoining the church was the gift of the daughters of Elias W. Hale to the congregation. The addition of fifteen feet to the rear of the church building and the stone front were made under the pastorate of the Rev. Thomas Martin. The chapel was erected under the care of the present rector. Soon after the society was incorporated a lot was secured on Main Street, and in the same year the present brick church building was erected, and consecrated in the fall of the same year by Bishop White.
The Rev. Mr. Nash, who remained with the society for a year or two, was succeeded by the Rev. Robert Piggott, D.D. (afterwards rector of Holy Trinity Parish of Sykesville, Md.). The following is a list of his successors:
1828, Rev. John P. Robinson; 1832, Rev. Corry Chambers; 1835, Rev. T. M. Whitesides; 1836, Rev. J. T. Hoff, D.D.; 1839, Rev. J. B. Noblitt; 1840, Rev. W. T. Brown; 1840, Rev. W. W. Bronson; 1843, Rev. H. T. Heister; 1849, Rev. T. B. Lawson, D.D.; 1853, Rev. George B. Hopkins; 1854, Rev. J. T. Hutchinson; 1855, Rev. W. Bowers; 1860, Rev. John Leithead; 1865, Rev. Edward Hall; 1868, Rev. Thomas Martin; 1874, Rev. W. Henry Platt; October 1, 1883, Rev. B. F. Brown, the present pastor.
CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART. - At the time the Juniata Canal was building, many Catholics were among the workmen, and Father Millaly was placed in charge of members of the Catholic faith in this region. Services were held at different places along the line. Lewistown was a central point, and it was deemed desirable to locate a church edifice at the town. In accordance therewith, the Right Reverend Henry Conwell, D.D., Roman Catholic bishop of Philadelphia, purchased, April 14, 1828, of William Moore, of the borough of Lebanon, a lot of land in Lewistown, sixty by two hundred feet, fronting on Third and extending back on Dorcas Street. On this lot a chapel was built and a brick parsonage. The chapel was used until the completion of the present brick church, in 1870. The congregation was in charge of the Pittsburgh Diocese and was served from Huntingdon and Bellefonte until 1868, when it was attached to the Harrisburg Diocese, then just formed. In 1872 it became an independent station and was placed in charge of the Rev. T. J. Fleming, who remained two years. He was succeeded by Father Galvin, who was followed in 1875 by the Rev. P. A. McArdle, who re-
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 523
mained in charge until 1880, and on July 29th of that year the present pastor, the Rev. T. F. Kennedy, assumed the pastoral charge of the congregation, which now contains two hundred Souls.
FIRST REGULAR BAPTIST CHURCH. - This church was organized, with eleven constituent, members, September 21, 1840 - William M. Jones, David Hough, Sabra D. Weekes, James Barnard, Catharine Swartz, Sarah A. Boner, John R. Weekes, James Brenner, Emily Souls, Phebe P. Weekes and Isabella Barnard. John R. Weekes was chosen deacon. Aid was asked from the Missionary Society of Philadelphia to assist them in the support of a minister. A number of ministers were called, and remained but a little while, for various reasons. The first was the Rev. Alexander Gamble, who was ordained in January, 1846, and preached his farewell sermon April 19th the same year. December 3, 1848, the Rev. David Williams was called to preach to them one-fourth of the time, and the church was incorporated January 1, 1849. The church edifice of the Associate Reformed Society, on Third Street, east of Brown, was purchased some time previous and used. The society was not able to keep the property, and returned it to the Associate Reformed Society, and rented the building until April 16, 1851. A call was extended to the Rev. Joseph Sharpe, of Philadelphia, which he accepted October 7, 1849. He preached his first sermon October 28th following, was ordained January 16, 1850, and resigned in June following. The Rev. David Williams succeeded from December 24th, having also Lockport and other congregations in charge. The Rev. David Hunter served in the summer of 1852. The Rev. Amos B. Still served from March, 1853, to October of the same year, during which time the association met with the church, services being held in the Lutheran Church. The Rev. William B. Harris became pastor, and served one year from April 21, 1854. From 1859 services were held at various times in the town hall and Apprentices' Hall. The Rev. David P. Philips preached in 1862, '63 and 64. The church from this time was almost without organization until 1871, having only occasional service. December 6th, in that year, a meeting was called, trustees were elected, and the Rev. W. Z. Coulter was called as pastor, and served about two years. He was succeeded by the Rev. D. W. Hunter, who began October 5, 1879. On December 21, 1879, the church adopted new articles of faith, and on the 18th of February, 1850, reorganized and was constituted with twenty-one members, retaining the Rev. D. W. Hunter as pastor, and with A. Ridlen, deacon. Apprentices' Hall was rented, and service was held in that place until the present edifice was in readiness. The McCord lot, on Third Street, was purchased in 1881, and the present neat brick chapel was erected upon it, which, with the lot, cost three thousand five hundred dollars. It was dedicated, free of debt, December 16, 1883. The Rev. D. W. Hunter resigned in the summer of 1885, and the church is at present without a pastor.
EVANGELICAL CHURCH. - The society was organized about 1876 by the Rev. Samuel Seibert, who was succeeded by the Rev. --- Senger, Charles Finkbinder and Robert Runyon, who is the present pastor. The society purchased a lot on Logan Street, opposite the Presbyterian Cemetery, and in 1882 erected a brick chapel at a cost of two thousand dollars.
AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHES. - The first society of this church in Lewistown was organized in 1816 by the Rev. Richard Allen and Bishop White, of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The Rev. Richard Allen became the pastor, and remained until 1831. In 1840 the Rev. J. S. Griffith moved to Lewistown, and has been in charge of the church to the present time. In 1873 a lot was purchased on Juniata Street, and the present church edifice erected at a cost of one thousand eight hundred dollars. The society has about twenty-five members.
The second African Methodist Episcopal Church Society was organized in 1872 by the Rev. Mr. Torry, who remained about two years. Under his charge the present church edifice was erected on Third Street. The Rev. Mr. Torry was succeeded by the Rev. Solomon Whiting, Rev. Mr. Trimble and the present pastor, the Rev. J. Pendleton.
524 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
CEMETERIES. - The first cemetery, and the only one for many years, was situated on the corner of Water and Brown Streets. It was laid out for that purpose at the time of laying out the town, and was deeded to the county of Mifflin by Samuel Edmiston, January 14, 1802, and were lots Nos. 15 and 16, as marked on the general plan of the town. They were placed under the care of the borough of Lewistown. The borough ordinance here given shows the care taken of the grounds in an early day, -
"March 20, 1820.
"That whereas the Grave Yard in the Borough of Lewistown is Publick property and under the care of the officers of said Borough. Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the said Grave Yard be repaired by rebuilding and roofing the wall, and by putting up the Gate. . . . and that a partition fence of boards and posts be made between said Grave Yard and the adjoining Lot . . . and that the Chief Burgess take the necessary measures to carry said ordinance into effect immediately by selling the said work to the lowest bidder."
The grounds are still in charge of the borough, but are little used, as other cemeteries are better adapted for burial purposes.
The burial-place, known as Henderson's, on Third Street, was part of the church lot purchased by the Lutheran and German Reformed congregations January 3, 1814. It was used as a burial-place until 1854. On the 10th of May in that year the society purchased two and a quarter acres of land, on the canal-bank, of John A. Sterrett, for use as a burial-place. It was at once fitted up and the remains of those buried in the Henderson yard were mostly removed to the new grounds. A small addition has been made and the whole is neatly inclosed and is used at present as a burial-place by the congregation.
The grounds of St. Mark's Cemetery are beautifully located on the east bank of the Kishacoquillas Creek, adjoining the borough of Lewistown. The society under whose management they are was incorporated April 1, 1845, and received of George D. and Caroline Morgan a tract of land for burial purposes. In 1872, Mr. R. B. Ellis, many years a member of St. Mark's Church, bequeathed to the society a tract of laud adjoining the first for the same purpose.
The grounds at present embrace about fourteen acres and are finely and neatly arranged.
The Methodist Society purchased of Isaac Wiley, September 14, 1831, three-quarters of an acre of land on the bank of the canal for a burial place, and on March 19, 1850, two acres and sixty-five perches on the west side of the original purchase of John A. Sterrett, and soon after a lot adjoining on the east, thirty by thirty-three feet, of Daniel Fichthorn. This ground is used by the society and is kept in good order as a cemetery.
The Presbyterian Society purchased of James Milliken one acre of land, on Logan Street, January 4, 1842, which was arranged as a burial-place and is still used.
The African Cemetery was opened about 1837 on the bank of the canal and is still used.
LODGES AND SOCIETIES. - The first Masonic lodge in this section of country was No. 68, located at Mifflin. Its charter was dated March 21, 1796. Dr. Ezra Doty was designated as Master. It remained in force for eighteen years and on the 4th of April, 1814, the charter was vacated.
Jackson Lodge, No. 203, also located at Mifflin, was chartered June 6, 1825. Soon after that time the anti-Masonic excitement broke out, and the lodge had for years a feeble existence and finally was removed to Lewistown, where it was reorganized with the same number, and is at present Lewistown Lodge, No. 203, the date of its reorganization being May 27, 1845.
The first officers under the new organization were Francis McClure, W. M.; John R. Weekes, S. W.; Christian Ritz, J. W.; John Kennedy, Treas.; John A. Sterrett, Sec.
Meetings were held in the stone building at the foot of Main Street for several years, a short time in the old Jacobs house, on Market Street, and for many years past, as at present, in the upper floor of Odd-Fellows' Hall.
The present officers are H. M. Vanzandt, W. M.; W. Irwin, S. W.; Frank. J. Zerbe, J. W.; D. E. Robeson, Treas.; C. A. Zerbe, Sec.
The following is a list of Past Masters living: J. A. Wright, John Davis, Isaiah McCord, William Willis, John A. McKee, Riley Pratt, Joseph
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 525
F. Mann, J. B. Selheimer, Jacob C. Blymyer, Oliver O. McClean, Joseph M. Selheimer, C. A. Zerbe, Robert H. McClintic, David E. Robeson, Rev. William Henry Platt, R. H. McClintic, Joseph H. Alter, Samuel Belford, Dr. A. H. Sheaffer, S. McClay Brown, S. A. McClintic, Robert P. McMonigle.
Lewistown Chapter, No. 186, F. and A. M., was constituted June 23, 1856, with the following officers: C. M. Klink, M. E. H. P,; John A. Wright, King; George V. Mitchell, Scribe; H. J. Walters, Sec.; H. W. Junkin, Treas.
The chapter contains sixty-three members. The present officers are as follows: George E. Heimback, M. E. H. P.; L. C. Heskitt, Sr., King; William Irwin, Scribe: D. E. Robeson, Treas.; C. A. Zerbe, Sec.
The following is a list of the Past High Priests who are living: J. A. Wright, I. H. McCord, William Willis, H. J. Walters, John A. McKee, J. B. Selheimer, J. C. Blymyer, George Macklin, W. H. Swanzey, J. F. Mann, John Davis, J. M. Selheimer, Charles A. Zerbe, D. E. Robeson, A. H. Sheaffer, W. H. Platt, Henry R. Zerbe, H. M. Vanzandt.
Lewistown Lodge, No. 255, K. of P., was chartered June 2, 1870, and was organized in Odd-Fellows' Hall, where their meetings have since been held. The membership is at present one hundred and nineteen.
A charter was granted for Ougpatonga Tribe, No. 6, Improved Order of Red Men, on the Seventh Sun of the Buck Moon, G. S. D. 376. It has at present eighty members. The present officers are William Hall. S.; H. H. Matter, S. S.; William C. Davies, J. G.; C. C. Secrist P.; Orrin Braman, C. of R.; Joseph H. Allen, K. of W.
Lewistown Lodge, No. 97, I. O. of O. F., was created by a charter bearing date August 19, 1844, and mentioning the following persons as officers: John Hamilton, N. G.; L. J. Eberly, V. G.; A. W. Groff, Sec.; Joseph Sourbeck, Asst. See.; William Yerger, Treas. A stock company was organized in 1844 of members of the lodge, who purchased a lot on the corner of Market and Dorcas Streets, and, in 1845, erected a brick building at a cost of six thousand dollars, with lot, fitting the second and third floors for lodge and society-rooms. After a few years the building passed entirely to Lodge No. 97, who now own it. The lodge has a membership of one hundred and sixty-five. The present officers are as follows: William Smith, N. G.; James Smith, V. G.; A. T. Hamilton, Sec.; W. S. Settle, Treas.
Lewistown Encampment, No. 256, I. O. O. F., were chartered September 13, 1881, and holds its meetings in Odd-Fellows' Hall. It has sixty-five members. George S. Hoffman, Sec.
Bell Lodge (Rebecca Degree), No. 141, I. O. of O. F., holds a charter bearing date May 12, 1884, and has at present fifty-two members. Its meetings are also held in Odd-Fellows' Hall.
Juniata Lodge, No. 270, K. of P., was chartered October 26, 1870, and was organized in the Davis House, where meetings were held for about two years. Arrangements were then made for the use of Odd-Fellows' Hall at the present place of meeting. The lodge has a membership of one hundred and thirty-five, commanded by the following officers: John Mertz, C. C.; Jefferson Sheesley, V. C.; George W. Goddard, K. of R. of S.; A. T. Hamilton, M. of F.; W. W. Trout, M. of E.
COLONEL HULINGS POST, NO. 176, DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, G. A. R. - This post
was organized December 10, 1868, as Post No. 176, in the hall of the Apprentices' Library Society, by a committee from Post No. 58, of Harrisburg, Pa.
The following officers were elected at the time: Commander, John P. Taylor; Senior Vice-Commander, Robert W. Patton; Junior Vice-Commander, A. J. Hiland; Adjutant, C. J. Arms; Quartermaster, F. H. Wintz; Surgeon, A. T. Hamilton; Sergeant-Major, Michael Hiney; Quartermaster-Sergeant, C. M. Shull.
The post adopted the name of Colonel Hulings Post, No. 176, in January, 1870, in honor of Colonel Thomas M. Hulings, who was a member of the Forty-ninth Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, and was killed at Spottsylvania May 10, 1864.
The minutes of August 31, 1871, show that that was the last meeting under the original
526 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
organization. It was reorganized in April, 1880, by Junior Department Commander Burchfield and a large deputation from Post 62, of Altoona. Forty-six recruits were mustered, and C. G. Marks was elected commander and was succeeded in the order named, - W. W. Trout, 1881-82; Thomas M. Strang, 1883; Henry T. Mitchell, 1884; William H. Felix, 1885; William M. Bobb, 1886.
The post is in a flourishing condition and has a membership of one hundred and eight.
MIFFLIN COUNTY FAIR ASSOCIATION. - An Agricultural Society was formed before 1850, which, after a few years, was disbanded. The one above named was organized November 19, 1874, with a capital stock of six thousand dollars. A tract of twenty-one acres of land was purchased of William R. Graham, lying east of the borough of Lewistown. In the summer of 1875 the grounds were fenced, a half-mile track was graded, two buildings, forty feet by sixty, and a grand stand one hundred feet in length, were erected, and a fair held in the fall of that year, and fairs continued to be held until 1879, when the association was abandoned, the last meeting being held in February of that year.
The presidents of the society were J. Ritz Burns, David Muthersbaugh, W. R. Graham and W. C. Bratton.
Albert Hamilton and C. S. Marks, were the secretaries of the association.
ARTHUR B. LONG.
Arthur B. Long, the son of James Long, was born in Lancaster County, Pa., on the
5th of November, 1806. He received a common-school education in his native
county, and early deciding to become master of a self-supporting trade, served
an apprenticeship with his uncle to that of a wagon-maker. On seeking a suitable
location for business, his steps were directed towards Lewistown, where he at
once began the pursuit of his trade. The following year he purchased property,
including a shop and lot, erecting on the latter a comfortable dwelling. On the
1st of December, 1829, Mr. Long married Anna Eliza Shaw, granddaughter William
Shaw, of Northumberland County, and daughter of William Shaw and Catherine
Watson, whose father emigrated from Ireland and settled near Philadelphia, where
he was united in marriage to a Miss Corey.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Long are William James, married to Margaret Albright; Robert Watson, deceased; George Henry, married to Kate Scheller; Mary Catherine, wife of Dr. Charles S. Hurlbut; John Shaw, married to Kittie Rosa; Anna Mary, deceased; and Albert Buchanan, married to Sarah Chesney.
Mr. Long followed his trade successfully for four years, and in 1833 began a remarkable business career, which, though interrupted by singular reverses and vicissitudes of fortune, eventually led to the accumulation of a large and valuable estate. In the year above mentioned, in connection with his father-in-law William Shaw, he built the Mount Rock Flour Mills, located in the suburbs of Lewistown which were successfully operated for a period of ten years. During this time he embarked in the manufacture of threshing-machines, which proved so lucrative as to induce him to dispose of his interest in the flouring-mill. Soon after he purchased, for six counties, the right to manufacture the Hathaway stove, and erected for the purpose a foundry at Lewistown. These stoves were conveyed by teams to various portions of the territory, and permission asked to place them in the houses of the residents. Their purchase soon after was a matter of little question, the enterprise proving exceedingly profitable to the manufacturer. In 1846, Mr. Long, in connection with a partner, erected the Isabella Furnace at Lewistown, and later rented the Hope Furnace in Mifflin County. This project proved disastrous, and wrecked the fortune he had accumulated by years of industry. Nothing daunted, and with an ambition and recuperative power rarely manifested in the face of reverses, he at once laid the foundation for a larger fortune. Repurchasing, at sheriff's sale, the Isabella Furnace, he began the manufacture of iron used for railroad construction, and at the same
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 527
time filled extensive railroad contracts. While thus engaged, he purchased timber lands in Clearfield County, Pa., which, on being cleared, were found to contain valuable deposits of coal. These lands were subsequently leased at a stipulated royalty for thirty years. Mr. Long then purchased an extensive tract in Michigan and embarked largely in lumber interests near Grand Rapids, in that State, meanwhile constructing a railroad from the mills to the latter city. This interest is now managed by his son, George H. Long. Although Mr. Long was, during his active life, devoted to business pursuits, he was nevertheless active and interested in public affairs. He was early a Whig and afterwards a Republican, but never sought nor held political office. He was for many years a member, and held the office of deacon, of the Presbyterian Church of Lewistown, in which he organized the first choir, and was active in promoting the musical interests of the church. The death of Mr. Long occurred on the 23d of June, 1884, in his seventy-eighth year.
David Reynolds, who was an associate judge of the Mifflin County Courts for
several years, haying previously held some of the most important of the county
offices, was born in 1774 in Cecil County, Md., being the son of Benjamin
Reynolds, a Quaker, whose ancestor of the same family name was a preacher of the
Society of Friends, who, in 1682, came with William Penn to Pennsylvania, but
soon afterwards settled in Maryland.
David was the youngest of the six sons of Benjamin Reynolds, the others being named, respectively, Isaac, Levi, Jesse, Stephen and John. After the death of Benjamin Reynolds, their mother married a Mr. Bryson, a man of good family, and both remained in Cecil County until their death. John Reynolds also lived and died in Maryland, but all the other sons of Benjamin removed to the Juniata Valley, in Pennsylvania, about the close of the last century, and settled in Mifflin County. Jesse and Stephen became farmers in that part of Mifflin which was afterwards taken to form the county of Juniata, and there they lived and died. Isaac emigrated from Mifflin County to the West, and became a resident of the State of Indiana, where he died. He had one son, Major Levi Reynolds, who, in his boyhood, had been reared by his uncle, Judge David Reynolds, at his home in Mifflin County, and who afterwards was a resident of Chester, Pa. He became widely known as a public man, was superintendent in the construction of the Delaware Breakwater and canal commissioner of the State. David Reynolds early became associated with the public offices, and was one of the most prominent men of Mifflin County at the beginning of the century.
In 1809, at which time David Reynolds had been for twelve or fifteen years a resident of Mifflin, Governor Simon Snyder divided the principal offices of that county between Mr. Reynolds and William P. Maclay, commissioning the former as register of wills, clerk of the Orphans' Court and recorder of deeds, and giving to Mr. Maclay the offices of prothonotary and clerk of the Quarter Sessions and of the Oyer and Terminer. The offices were held as thus divided until 1816, when, on the election of Mr. Maclay to Congress, the offices which he had held were transferred to Mr. Reynolds, while the offices thus vacated by the latter were filled by the appointment of David Milliken as his successor. The office of prothonotary was afterwards filled by David R. Reynolds (nephew of Judge David Reynolds), who held it for two terms in the administration of Governor George Wolf.
Under Governor J. Andrew Shultze (1823-29), David Reynolds was appointed and commissioned associate judge of the courts of Mifflin County, which office he continued to fill honorably and acceptably to the time of his death, in 1839. He was a Jeffersonian Democrat and an active politician through all the mature years of his life. His business was that of canal contractor and general dealer in merchandise, grain, and other products, which, at that time, were brought in large quantities from the surrounding country to Lewistown, to be shipped thence by boats on the Juniata in times of high water. Among the buildings which he
528 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
erected and owned in Lewistown was the residence which is still standing on the south side of Market Street, at the head of the Juniata Bridge, and the large brick building which occupies the north corner of Market and Main Streets, on the "Diamond," and which was for some years used as a hotel, but is now occupied by the offices of the Gazette, the Adams Express and for store purposes. Both the buildings mentioned were, at different times, occupied by Judge Reynolds as his residence.
Judge David Reynolds was first married to a daughter of Colonel Purdy, of Mifflin County. Their children were John Purdy Reynolds, who was killed at the massacre of the Alamo, in the Texan Revolution of 1836; Benjamin Bryson Reynolds, who settled in La Salle County, Ill., but died in Texas; and Mary Job Reynolds, who became the wife of John Christy, a farmer of Juniata County. The mother of these children died at Lewistown. The second wife of Judge Reynolds was Eleanor, daughter of John Moore, of Cumberland County, to whom he was married in 1813. She died in 1849, leaving an only child, Eleanor Moore Reynolds, born in 1815, and married, in October, 1839, to Dr. John C. Reynolds.
Dr. John Cromwell Reynolds was a son of Reuben Reynolds, of Cecil County, Md. At a very early age he became a pupil of the Nottingham Academy, of West Nottingham, Cecil County, under Dr. McGraw, and at the age of twelve years he entered Dickinson College, at Carlisle, Pa., where he was graduated with honors at sixteen years of age. He began the study of medicine under Dr. Nathan Smith, a distinguished surgeon of Baltimore, and had the advantage of practice in the hospitals of that city. He afterwards prosecuted his studies in Washington, D. C., and received the appointment and commission of surgeon in the United States army. His first active service was in the Seminole War in Florida. Afterwards he served in the war against the Cherokees, and took part with General Hunter in the treaty with that tribe at Washington, and in their removal to the reservations assigned to them west of the Mississippi. Later, he served under General Scott, in the Mexican War of 1846-48. From the time of his marriage Dr. Reynolds made his home chiefly at Lewistown, though for a period of about three years he resided at McVeytown. He died on the 20th of February, 1849, aged thirty-eight years, in the house before mentioned as having been built by his father-in-law, Judge Reynolds, at the head of the Juniata Bridge, in Lewistown. His widow, Mrs. Eleanor Moore Reynolds, who still survives him, is a lady of refinement and culture, who, though she has spent many years of her life abroad, yet retains a lively interest in her native village, Lewistown, and it is from her that the main facts in the preceding sketch were obtained.
GENERAL JAMES BURNS.
General James Burns was of Scotch-Irish lineage, his grandfather having been
'Squire James Burns, who resided in Derry township, Mifflin County, where he was
the owner of an extensive tract of land. His children were James, Robert, Hugh,
Samuel and three daughters. James Burns, the eldest of these sons, was born on
the 21st of May, 1772, on the homestead, where during his lifetime he pursued
the occupations of a farmer. He was united in marriage to Mary Dixon, of the
same county, whose children were Martha, born May 3, 1800; James, July 4, 1802;
Mary, June 13, 1804; Eleanor, December 17, 1806; Washington, March 2, 1808;
Robert, May 3, 1810; Sarah, December 23, 1813; and Dixon A., August 12, 1815.
The birth of James Burns, Jr., the subject of this biographical sketch, occurred
at the home of his parents in Derry township, Mifflin County, where he remained
until his majority was attained. His education, being confined to such
opportunities as the neighborhood afforded, was therefore necessarily limited,
though quick perceptive faculties and a remarkably clear and comprehensive mind
made, in a great degree, amends for the lack of early attainments. Having been
made familiar with the labor connected with farming, he, before the age of
twenty-two, left the homestead behind and rented a farm in the vicinity, which
was cultivated for two years. He was, on the 13th
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 529
of June, 1823, married to Miss Cartes Steely, daughter of Lazarus Steely, of the same county. The children of this marriage are Elizabeth Margaret (Mrs. James Allison); Mary Jane (Mrs. Montgomery Morrison); Ann Brown, deceased; Caroline S. (Mrs. Peter Spangler); and James Ritz, deceased, married to Ellen E. Ritz.
General Burns continued at farming after his marriage until his removal to Lewistown, which borough became his residence on his acceptance of the agency for the Pioneer Line of Packets and Stages, which he held for a period of ten years. His active mind then sought a wider range, which was opened in the business of contracting, the field of operation not being limited, but extending throughout the State. He was chiefly occupied in the building of locks and the construction of tunnels, one of his most important enterprises being the completion for the Pennsylvania Railroad of a tunnel through the Allegheny Mountains. Many other important works were executed under his personal direction, both for the State and for private corporations, which brought him into close business and social relations with the prominent and representative citizens of the commonwealth and made his name an influential one in business and political circles. General Burns subsequently engaged in other enterprises connected with the government, in all of which be was successful, his contracts having been filled with the most scrupulous integrity. He was a skillful political worker, wielding an extended influence both in local and State politics. A stanch exponent of the Democracy of the day, he represented his constituents for two successive terms in the State Legislature, and was for four years a member of the State Board of Canal Commissioners, a portion of which time he was its president. His private business influenced him to decline further political honors other than
530 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
that of treasurer of Mifflin County. He was largely identified with the business interests of the borough and was president of the Mifflin County National Bank; he was also a leading spirit in the organization and construction of various railroads throughout the State. General Burns, though not connected by membership, was a warm supporter of the Presbyterian Church, His death occurred at his home, in Lewistown, on the 26th of October, 1879, in his seventy-eighth year.
John Davis is of Welsh descent, his grandfather, Richard Davis, having been a
resident of Port Clinton, Schuylkill County, Pa., where he was an enterprising
farmer. His children were Reuben, Richard, Thomas, John and Hannah, wife of
George Mauser. John Davis was born on the farm, in Hamburg, Berks County, owned
by his father. On attaining a suitable age he learned the trade of a hatter in
his native town, and subsequently removed to McCainsburg, Schuylkill County,
where he continued the business in which he had by practice become skillful.
Pottsville, Pa., afterward became his residence and the scene of his labors. Mr.
Davis married Susanna, daughter of Jacob Lindenmuth, whose children are Mary,
wife of John Cooper, of Pottsville; Catherine, wife of John M. Crosland, also of
Pottsville; John; Susanna, wife of --- Gager, of Pottsville; Sarah, wife of
Edward Jennings, of Lancaster; Hannah, wife of Henry S. Kepner, of Tamaqua, Pa.,
and two who are now deceased.
John Davis, the subject of this biographical sketch, was born on the 9th of January, 1817, in Hamburg, Berks County, Pa. His mother having died when the lad was but ten years of age, he was taken by his maternal uncle, George Lindenmuth, to learn the trade of a saddler and harness-maker.
Being very desirous of attaining greater skill than was possible under his uncle's instruction,
MIFFLIN COUNTY. 531
at the age of nineteen he repaired to Pittsburgh, and there completed his trade, mastering it in all its branches, and becoming especially proficient as a saddler. He then chose Hollidaysburg as a favorable point for business, but soon after removed to Lewistown, where a more advantageous business connection awaited him, his first employer being James McCord, with whom he remained one year. He then formed a co-partnership under the firm-name of Osborn & Davis, which, at the expiration of the first year, was dissolved, and Judge Davis continued the business alone. He was, on the 2d of August, 1840, married to Jane A., daughter of Gershom and Nancy McCallister, of Lewistown. Their two children, Ellen and Annie, are both deceased. Their home is, however, brightened by the presence of an adopted daughter, Clara M. C. Davis. Judge Davis is a Republican in politics, and has been for years one of the influential members of his party in the county. He has served in the Borough Council, was for six terms chief burgess of Lewistown, for three years coroner, and was by Governor Hoyt appointed to fill an unexpired term as associate judge of Mifflin County, to which office he was afterward elected. He has been identified with the progress of Lewistown, and was for ten years president of the Lewistown Building and Loan Association. He is, as a Free and Accepted Mason, connected with Lewistown Lodge, No. 203, and with Lewistown Chapter, No. 186. He is also a member of Lewistown Lodge, No. 197, of I. O. O. F. He is a supporter of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which his family worship. Judge Davis is from choice still an active worker at the trade he learned in youth.
GEORGE S. HOFFMAN.
George S. Hoffman, of Lewistown, has been prominently identified with both
532 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
and county affairs. He is of German descent, his great-grandfather having emigrated from Hesse Cassel to America. Among the children of the latter was Christian Hoffman, who resided in Lewistown, to which borough he removed from Carlisle, Pa., having, during his active life, followed the trade of a carpenter. His children were William B., Christian J., Frederick J. and one daughter, who died in childhood. Christian Hoffman evinced his patriotism by participating in the War of 1812. His son, William B., born in Carlisle, Pa., removed to Lewistown, with his parents, in 1824. He chose the trade of his father, which was finally abandoned for active business as a grain and coal dealer. He married Frances, daughter of George Strunk, of Granville township, Mifflin County, to whom were born children, - Henry C., now residing in Milroy and married to Hattie N. Blymyer; George. S.; William
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