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History of Bedford and Somerset Counties
Chapter 30: Townships in Somerset County, Part One
Note: There are three parts to this chapter: Part One | Part Two | Part Three
Jenner township was formed out of a part of Quemahoning township, in 1811. At the time it was formed there were 150 taxables, showing that for those days it was pretty well settled. There is, like almost everywhere else, more or less uncertainly as to who the earliest settlers were. James McMullen's land joined the James Wells survey (Jennertown) in 1772. He had nine acres of cleared land, a horse and a cow, and seems to have been on both sides of the great road. Alexander McMullen's surveys joins this, and is called "Wells' Escape," referring to Wells escape from the Indians before the survey was made. James Wells settled on the farm that is now the site of Jennertown. He lived there before 1777. There is a tradition of an epidemic of smallpox having prevailed in the township at an early day, but no names are connected with it. But the family record of James Wells shows that three of his children died within a few weeks of each other, and the traditions of the family are that they died of smallpox. This was in 1783.
Isaac Miller and George Lohr were settled here in 1779. Jacob Hoffman and Samuel Spiker were probably also settlers herein 1784. It is claimed that Robert Smiley settled in what is now Jenner township, about a mile and a half northeast of Morgan's woolen factory, in Quemahoning, as its postoffice is named. This was in 1780. Their nearest neighbor at first was eight miles away, and three miles beyond Jenner's. The neighbor was killed by Indians, and the Smileys fled eastward. Returning the following summer, they were again driven away. Smiley's wife was Rhoda Boyd, who had been an Indian captive for many years when a girl. Her mother and a smaller child were killed. This brings us to the Quemahoning massacre, of which there are dim traditions yet extant. So far as the killing of Mrs. Boyd having taken place in Somerset county is concerned, that is erroneous. It took place somewhere near Carlisle. It is well known that the settlers were driven off as stated in the traditions of the Smiley family, but no where else have we any account of any Indian massacre anywhere along the Quemahoning. The statement about the neighbor having been killed would indicate that this must have taken place not more than ten or twelve miles north of Somerset. Yet the Husband Annuals are silent on that subject. All that can be said is, that according to tradition an Indian massacre occurred about 1782, somewhere along the valley of the Quemahoning, all details of which are lost.
Moses Fream came into the township about 1791, from Hagerstown, Maryland. He married Agnes, the eldest daughter of Robert Smiley, and settled one mile north of Quemahoning, on a large tract of land heavily timbered. In 1813 he built a sawmill and cabin on the creek. William Daly, Fream's son-in-law, in 1817 built a small log building in which he established a carding and fulling mill. This, in 1827, was replaced by a three-story woolen mill, well equipped for that time. This factory was destroyed by fire in May, 1882. The owner, William S. Morgan, rebuilt it on a larger scale by November 1, following. The first gristmill in the township was built near Jenner's probably about 1790. this was done through contributing on the part of citizens. Thomas Faith was the first individual owner.
At the time that the township was formed there were three gristmills in it, known as Dennison's, Wilson's and Reid's mills. So far as is known the first store in the township was kept by Samuel Elder, sometime between 1830 and 1836. Col. Samuel Elder attained the great age of 94 years, dying in 1906.
The village of Jenners, formerly known as Jenner Cross Roads, does not seem to have been laid out in any regular plan. A draft of the town as it now is would indicate that lots and parcels of ground were sold in such sizes and shapes as purchasers desired. As far back as 1825 a hotel is said to have been kept here. There was also a store started here by Samuel Elder about 1836, and there may have been a couple of dwellings. In time this grew into a village. A church was built on its outskirts by the United Brethren in 1849. For many years the place was the chief business center of Jenner township. That it was so was largely due to the energy and business ability of one man. Edmund Kiernan began his business career as a clerk in the store of Samuel Elder. With a natural inclination for a mercantile life, and possessed of latent business qualifications of the highest order, which only wanted an opportunity for their development, he soon mastered the details of the business. Within a couple of years he became the sole owner of the store, which he successfully conducted for a period of nearly forty years, during which time he enjoyed in the highest degree the esteem and confidence of all who knew him. Mr. Kiernan disposed of his mercantile interests to Silas J. Cover in 1875m and removed to Somerset, where he continued to reside until his death in 1883. Retiring with a competency, his success is a lesson teaching what may be accomplished by a man making use of the opportunities about him, even if his lines have been cast in a country village.
Since 1901, great changes have taken place in Jenner township. From being a purely agriculture community it has since that time become one in which mining interests predominate. It is too soon to tell what effect the propinquity of the new town of Boswell, called into being by these interests, will have upon Jenners as a business center but there are still those who continue to pin their faith on its fortunes.
According to the records of Jennertown it was laid out in 1822, under the name of Jennerville, by John Dennison. On the recorded plat there are ninety-six numbered lots; two other lots are marked church and school house free gift; four lots on Pitt street, beginning at the corner of Pitt and Jenner streets, are marked public free gift; one other is marked "public." The town, however, must be several years older, for in the Somerset Whig of April 2, 1818, Joseph Hanes advertises a public sale of a lot of hardware, and also offers for sale ten lots in the town of Jennerville. There is said to have been a post office here about as early as the founding of the town. If this is correct, it was under the name of Laurel Hill, of which Elijah Dennison was postmaster in 1832. In that year there were only seven or eight houses in the village, among them a tavern and a store. The site of the town is on a part of the farm on which James Wells settled before the Revolutionary war, during which a party of Indians attempted to capture him in one of his fields. Being situated at the intersection of the Greensburg and Johnstown turnpikes, the village enjoyed a fair degree of prosperity as long as the traffic on these thoroughfares kept up. Whether the village will profit from the coal development going on in the township remains to be seen. There are at the present some thirty houses in the village, including Presbyterian, Lutheran and Reformed churches. The place was incorporated under the name of Jennertown borough in 1874. John A. Sipe was the first burgess. Since 1874 the following persons have filled the office: John A. Sipe, W. S. Matthews, two terms; Lewis Craver, A. B. Kautz, H. Markle, Alex. Markle, A. B. Kautz, Frank Kipple, a tie; P. Frank Berkley, J. F. Kautz, J. J. Griffith, A. B. Kautz, two terms; John O. Ranch, Forrest Ranch, H. W. Maurer, two terms, Charles Barnes, D. L. Witt, P. S. Pile, four terms; D. C. Wiand, two terms; J. J. Griffith, two terms; P. L. Berkey.
Boswell, a progressive and rapidly growing borough about one mile north of Jenners, was platted by the Boswell Improvement company in 1901. It takes its name from the president of the improvement company, Thomas T. Boswell. The mines and improvements of the Merchants' Coal company are located here, and are on a magnificent scale, making it one of the best equipped coal plants in the country. The town grew rapidly, and incorporated as a borough in 1904. It owns its prosperity entirely to the mining industry. There is an estimated population of 1,500. The town has four hotels and twenty-five stores. The First National Bank was incorporated in 1902, with a capital of $30,000. The town was the scene of a bloody riot in February, 1905. Its history as a town is yet in the future. Ralphton is a village of one hundred dwellings. It has a good hotel, and one general store. It was laid out by the Quemahoning Coal Company in 1903.
Conemaugh township was formed during the February sessions of 1801. The name is derived from an Indian village that was located where Johnstown now is. The court ordered "that all those parts of Quemahoning township included within the following bounds, viz.: Beginning at the Bedford county line due east of the head spring of the north branch of Shade creek, thence to the head spring thereof, thence down said north branch to where it empties into Stony creek, thence north sixty-four degrees west to the Westmoreland county line, thence along the Westmoreland county line to the river Conemaugh, thence a straight line to the junction of the north and south branches of the Little Conemaugh river, thence up the south branch thereof to the head spring thereof, thence due east to the Bedford county line, and thence along the Bedford county line to the place of beginning, and that the same hereafter be known as Conemaugh township." These boundaries included nearly all of the present townships of Ogle and Paint. They also included a wide strip that is now part of Cambria county, including the present city of Johnstown. The line on the south side of a later period was changed to a point about two miles higher up the Stony creek.
There were ninety taxables living in the township when it was formed, but not all of these lived within its present limits. Among the early settlers were Joseph Buck, Joseph and Peter Blough, Henry Hershberger, Philip Croyle, Christian Miller and John Miller. We have no information as to when they came. Nicholas Keim settled on Joseph Buck's farm before 1796. Buck was a noted hunter, of whom many stories are still extant. The improvement of Buck in more recent years has been known as the Adam Anstead farm.
The township in it earlier years was not settled very rapidly. Most of the people were of German origin, and among them the Amish and Mennonite element predominated. Even as the present day they are very numerous in the township, and everywhere the evidences of their thrift and industry are plainly visible in the many highly cultivated farms that meet the view. A noted family among these people are the Kauffmans. Jacob Kauffman came into the township from Berks county in 1807. His son, Isaac, born in 1806, became the wealthiest man in Somerset county. He owned farms aggregating 1,600 acres of land in one body, that probably are the best in the township. His estate was worth fully $250,000. Yet with all this wealth he lived the simple life of an Amish farmer, adhering closely to the dress and customs of his church. Almost to the end of his life he labored on his farms, hauling their produce to Johnstown. The Conemaugh Yoders, another prominent Amish family, came about 1809, from Brothers valley.
The first grist mill was built by Philip Croyle, in the northern part of the township, about 1800. Somewhat later John Horner and Peter Berkey built or at least owned grist mills. The Berkey mill dam, across the Stony creek, was the scene of a tragic event on May 16, 1819. The water was high that day, when Daniel Chrisman, George Varner, who was twenty-four years old, and Rachel Shaffer, a married daughter of Peter Berkey, about seventeen years old, attempted to cross the dam in a canoe, which was swept over the breast of the dam and all three were drowned. One of the bodies was carried nine miles down the stream. It is said that if the men had permitted Mrs. Shaffer to manage the canoe, the accident might not have happened, as she had some skill in rowing which they did not have. The Berkey mill has long since disappeared.
The village of Davidsville was laid out in 1831, by David Stutzman. Thomas Gaghegan was the surveyor. The place takes it name from the first name of it founder. The first house was built by Joseph Schell and Peter Levy, in the same year. This house was used as a hotel and store for many years. The first blacksmith shop was built by Tobias Mishler and Samuel Livingston in 1835. The first school house was a log building, erected in 1835. Josiah Swank operated an extensive tannery from 1862 until 1882, when it was destroyed by fire. Davidsville has been a post town for perhaps sixty years, and up to the last year or two it always was the business center of the town ship.
Conemaugh was the last township in the county to accept the Common School law, doing so in 1869. It now has fourteen schools. There are also six churches.
Conemaugh township, in the earlier years of it existence, was not as rapidly settled as were some other parts of the county, but during the past thirty-five years, considering that it was a purely agricultural community, there have been quite a large increase in its population. The township, like its neighbors, has a share of the vast mineral treasures of Somerset county, and since 1902 these have been undergoing development. Mining operations are being carried on by the Hawes, the Kelso Smokeless, the Jenner and Quemahoning and the Berwind White Coal companies. That there is a leaven at work is emphasized by the fact that there are now twenty-two retail stores in the township, when these formerly were but two or three.
STONY CREEK TOWNSHIP
The sixth and last township of Somerset county created by the Bedford County Court was formed in 1792, out of a part of Quemahoning township. We have no record of its original boundaries, but it is said to have at one time included almost one-sixth of the present county. Shade and Paint townships were part of it, and when a part of Londonderry township was annexed to Somerset county, that part of the present township of Allegheny, north of the Glade road, was attached to Stony Creek township.
The township takes its name from the Stony creek (should we not call it river!) which for a part of it course flows through it and then becomes its western boundary. As a stream it takes its name from the rocky road bed over which it flows in a great part of its course. Its Indian name was Sinne-Hanne or Achsin- Hanne. Hanne meaning a stream and especially a swift mountain stream. A good part of the township as it now exists consisted of Glades, "The Stony Creek Glades," by which name the entire region was for a long time known in the eastern part of the state. The present northern boundary of the township is the Bedford and Greensburg turnpike. The southern boundary is the Somerset and Bedford pike. The area of the township is about 50,000 acres. As a whole the soil is fertile, and there are many fine farms.
The township was settled at a very early day. If the traditions of the German Baptist Church (referred to else where) are correct even within a couple of years, there were settlers already here before this region was open to legal settlement. In addition to the names of early settlers that have been mentioned in other chapters, Israel Burket, John Rhoads, Martin Suter and Christopher (or Christian) Yoder and his sons were here as early as 1775, or perhaps even earlier. Christopher and Abraham Miller, Godfrey Raymon, Christopher Spiker, Samuel Spiker, Jacob Smith, John Yoder, James Ross, James Black, Henry Hess and Jacob Lambert were all here in 1783, and in that year the families of these and others known to have been here numbered 116 persons. When Somerset county was formed in 1795, the township, particularly the central and southern portions, may be looked upon as having been already quite well settled. The assessment records for 1796 on file in the commissioner's office show the names of 126 taxables. In connection with this matter of earlier settlers, there are claims made not only in this but in almost every other township in the county, that this or that person had settled in the township at or about a given time, that are not borne out by the tax records of that period, and in some instances their names do not appear for long years thereafter. Everyone who owned land is presumed to have paid taxes on it, and there was no more chance of a farm having escaped the notice of the assessor than there is now.
The first voting place in Somerset county was at the home of James Black. There being but one in the entire county.
In 1798, Henry Brant, Conrad Hite, David Kimmell, John Statler, William McDermitt and Cornelius Martenus were tavern keepers, presumably on the Pennsylvania and Glade roads. James Black had a tanyard. Stony Creek township claims the honor of having been the birthplace of Judge Jeremiah S. Black, one of the most eminent men of his time.
The village of Shanksville had its beginning as early as 1798. At that time Christian Shank had his dwelling here, and also owned two saw mills. About the same time Mr. Shank built a grist mill. This mill, was destroyed by fire in 1830, and was rebuilt by Jacob Shank on the same site. Christian Shank also built a woolen and carding mill. This, however, has long since ceased operation. The only other mill of this kind in the township is one known as Hill's factory, on Calender's run. Christian Shank laid out the village of Shanksville in 1829. There had, however, been a few houses built here before that time. Emanuel Shafer opened a store in 1828. A store, however, had been opened in the township about one mile southeast of Shanksville as early as 1820, by Augustus Coffroth. The first hotel in the village was kept by Daniel Brant. The post office was established in 1847, with Josiah Brant as the first postmaster.
The village was visited by a disastrous fire on August 24, 1889, which started on the second floor of Floto & Baltzer's store. This building, the store, residence and warehouse of Chauncey A. Brant, the dwelling house and an office building of Charles Shank, two dwellings belonging to Josiah J. Walker, and the county bridge over Stony creek, were all destroyed, causing a loss of upwards of $20,000. The Lutheran church was struck by lightning July 4, 1903, and destroyed. With all this, the place is thriving and prosperous. There are upwards of fifty dwellings, three churches, seven stores, two planing mills, and a flouring mill.
Lambertsville is a small village in the northwest part of the township. Abraham Lambert built the first house about 1855, and he also owned the land on which the village has since grown up. There has been a post office here since 1885. The Lambert family has numerous representatives in this part of the county. They are the descendants of three brothers-John, George and Jacob---who were among the pioneer settlers. The early Lamberts were noted hunters, and many stories of their prowess are still extant.
The south side of the village of Buckstown is also in Stony Creek township. Downey is a small village, with three stores, about two miles southeast of Shanksville. Coleman, Kimmelton and Mostoller are stations and post offices on the Somerset and Cambria railroad. Boone and Stony Creek are country post
offices. The township has sixteen schools. Except that the Somerset and Cambria railroad skirts the township along the Stony creek, it has not yet been penetrated by railroads. But as there are many thousands of acres of good coal lands that have already been sold to capitalists, the day when it will be cannot be far distant.
Shade township was formed out of a part of Stony Creek, in 1816. As first created, it included the present township of Paint. The township, therefore, extended from the old turnpike north to the Cambria county line on the north. While the Forbes road skirted its present southern border, and some of the first settlers in the county located along it, yet as a whole, the township was very slow in being settled. Even those who came in as late as 1810 are looked upon as being early settlers. Aside from Casper Statler, Jacob Moses, Daniel Gibler and George Lambert are counted as being among the earliest. Michael Wagner came about 1791.
The most of the township was heavily timbered, and even within the past twenty- five years a large part of it was looked upon as a wilderness. The first grist mill in the township was built by Christian Brollier, before 1800. This mill must have been on Oven run, perhaps two miles from Kantner. It has long since gone to ruin. It is not known that any other grist mill was built in the township until 1822, when the Shade Furnace company built one. William Oldham settled in the northeastern past of Shade township in 1828. In 1830 he built the first sawmill in that part of the township, working out all of the timber and stuff used in its construction with a broad axe. In 1833 he built a grist mill, which later was changed to a wood turning factory, and he also built the Rockingham furnace.
William Oldham, when he moved into this wilderness, purchased eight hundred acres of land. It is said that he mostly paid for the land with money received from the scalps of wolves killed by him. This may readily be believed, for land was cheap, wolves were plenty, and a good bounty was paid for their scalps. On one occasion he and his son William discovered a den of wolves on Ogle's Ridge. The son entered the den and brought out nine young wolves, for which they received forty-five dollars in bounty. The nearest neighbor and school house were six or seven miles away.
The beautiful Lewis valley begins on the head waters of Dark Shade creek, near where Jeptha Potts use to live, and takes its name from its having been the haunt at one time of the noted robber, David Lewis. There is also a cave somewhere in this region in which he is said to have harbored. The underground railroad had a line through and a station in this Lewis valley. A family of colored people by the name of Smith were the station. There were mysterious visitors, mostly men, but sometimes women. Sometimes they stayed several days, and assisted the agent Smith in his fields, and then disappeared as mysteriously as they came. It was noticed that if any remained over Sunday they never stayed in the house, but in thee woods back of the fields, and were always watchful.
In 1791 a hurricane swept over a part of Shade township. At a place on Shade creek where the forest was very dense, trees and brush were so twisted and matted together that the best way of clearing the ground seemed to be to burn the fallen timber as it lay, but in doing this the ground was baked so hard that scarcely anything will grow there, and this have given origin to the "Fire Bake,": as applied to this particular part of Shade township.
In some parts of Shade township iron ores are quite abundant, and several furnaces and forges were built and operated at different times, but apparently never to anyone's profit. But while they were operated they gave employment to a considerable number of men. The first school is said to have been taught on the Casper Statler farm, by William Newell. When Shade township was formed in 1816 there were 112 taxables, including single freemen. Much of Shade township is underlaid with good coal, but so far, nothing has been done toward development in this line, although there have been numerous transfers of coal lands with the last ten years.
Buckstown is a quiet little hamlet of fifteen or twenty houses on the "The Pike." It is usually associated with Shade township, but as a matter of fact the north side only of its single street is in this township, the south side being in Stony Creek township. The village, which is about six miles east of Stoyestown, dates from about 1824, perhaps earlier. John Lambert, a frugal farmer, built a house here. After the turnpike was opened, Lambert built houses and shops for several mechanics. William Small was the first blacksmith, and a man named Buck was a wagon maker. A store was built and leased to John Statler, who gave the name Buckstown in honor of his friend, the wagon maker, and there is a tradition that he received a sound thrashing for having done so. While the travel kept up on the pike the place enjoyed a fair degree of prosperity. There is a post office and a single church. It is to be noted that William Reel, John B. Richardson, Charles W. Williamson and David E. Wagner, all of whom reside or did reside within a mile and a half of the village, have held the office of county commissioner, Mr. Reel serving two terms. There are post offices at Forward, Mock, Reitz, Daley, Crumb and Anna. The township has fourteen schools.
The city of Germany, a paper town, was laid out by Dr. Samuel F. Conover, of Philadelphia, in 1810. Its site is about six miles northeast of Buckstown, in the Sand Spring school district, somewhere about the junction of the two streams that form the Beaver dam run. The locality is sometimes also referred to as being in the forks of Conover's run. Here in what must have been a wilderness, off from the main lines of travel, in 1810 Dr. Conover laid out a pretentious town, calling it the City of Germany. Its streets were named after the principal cities of Germany. There used to be a finely engraved plan of it on file at the court house, which cannot now be found. At this day it is difficult to see how this man could contrive to sell lots laid out in a wilderness. That he did so is fully evidenced by more than a hundred of his deeds that were placed on record, and for many of them he received considerable prices.
The victims, for such they certainly were, lived mostly in the city of Philadelphia and adjacent parts of New Jersey. No names of any of these purchasers can be identified as being residents of Somerset county, nor it is known that any houses were ever built in this paper city on the mountain. Dr. Conover appears to have owned large bodies of land in this section, and effected sales of them at prices of five or six dollars an acre a hundred years ago. Unless it would be known that they were underlaid with coal, it would be difficult to secure such prices even now for unimproved lands.
While the old Pennsylvania road was still the great thoroughfare of the township, the decomposed body of a woman was found about a mile west of Buckstown, near the road, covered by brush. No woman was missing from the neighborhood, and she was supposed to have been one of some party of emigrants who were passing over the road. Whether it was a case of murder or whether the woman had died a natural death and her body disposed of in that way, was never known.
The store of Anthony Earl, at Shade Furnace, was robbed of a large quantity of goods one night in November, 1819.
Milford, the fourth township of what is now Somerset county, is supposed to have been formed by the Bedford County Court out of a part of Turkeyfoot township, about 1780, but neither the exact time or its original boundaries are known. It must, however, have included in addition to its present limits all those parts of Somerset and Jefferson townships that lie south of the old Glades road, or the pike, and also the present townships of Middle Creek and Black. Even after Middle Creek township had been detached in 1853, Milford was still a large township. But with the division of the township in 1886, when Black township was created, it has lost its place as a large township both in area and population. But, while it has been greatly reduced in size, it still retains most of the fine farms for which the township has always been noted. Milford was settled almost as early as the present township of Somerset. In fact, it was considered as being part of that settlement.
Among the early settlers of Milford township were John Weimer, who lived on the Peter Putnam farm as early as 1772, Frances Phillippi, John Chorpening, Casper Pike, ---Wable, Frederick Weimer, John Dull, Michael Walter, Adam Flicke and Adam Hoover, all of whom were here before 1782. The first blacksmith in the township was a man named Kitzmiller, whose shop was on the John Weimer (Putnam) farm.
Prior to the construction of the railroad, the village of Gebhartsburg and the adjacent borough of New Centreville were the business center of Milford township, even before its final division. The village takes its name from George Gebhart, a blacksmith, who opened his shop here and was the pioneer settler; later he kept a tavern in a log house on the east side of the single street of the village. In 1822 he built a brick tavern on the opposite side of the street, which is still standing. The brick were from the first kiln ever burnt in the township. Gebhart's postoffice, the first in Milford township, was established in 1808. John and George Gebhart were the first postmasters. John Webster was postmaster in 1832. In 1834, Gebhart laid out a few lots. The first house on any of these lots was built by Henry Walter, which has since been used as a store and dwelling. A cheese factory was built in 1877 by Charles A. Walter.
This village of New Centreville was laid out by Michael Frease, in 1834, John Witt of Somerset being the surveyor. John Frease built the first house, known in later years as the McMillan property. Michael Frease built a hotel in 1836, and Francis Phillippi erected the first store in 1835. Michael Frease, the founder, was a blacksmith and operated the only shop in the town for many years. Josiah Miller established a tannery in 1843, which he and his son William operated for more than forty-five years, after which it was abandoned. Dr. William S. Harrah was the first physician, located here in 1847. A log school house with slab seats was built within the town as early as 1800, with Henry Weimer as its first teacher. There are three church edifices, two of which (the Lutheran and Reformed) are among the finest in the county. The town owed much of its early prosperity to the fact that its location was on the clay or mud pike, which was laid out about the same time that the town was. Since 1870 the town has not led its own.
New Centreville was incorporated as a borough March 6, 1854. Its first burgess was Aaron Will, Esq., his successors are as follows: Aaron Will, Isaac Philippi, Wm. S. Harrah, Isaac Miller-William Flick (tie), William Flick, Samuel H. Dull (two terms), William Scott, William M. Schrock, Isaac Miller, William Scott, Michael Frease, Daniel Dull, F. B. Long, Jesse C. Sweitzer, Isaac Miller, John Stahl, Josiah Miller, Jacob Sipe, Josiah Miller, John Stahl, George Brant, W. H. Gardner, Aaron Miller, George Knepper, Daniel W. Will, Josiah Miller, Jacob Sipe, Aaron Will, W. H. Walter, Aaron Will, D. W. Will, W. H. Gardner, W. W. McMillan, R. McMillan, William Flick, D. W. Will, R. McMillan, John H. Hay, Peter Pile, S. P. Tedrow, J.W. Hanna, John H. Benford, H. S. Boucher.
Middle Creek township was created in 1853 from a part of Milford township. The township takes its name from the stream of the same name, which in its turn seems to owe its appellation to the circumstance that its course is near the middle of Milford township as it first existed. Coal, limestone and iron ore are known to abound in the township, but thus far there has been no development of them other than for local use. The clay or mud pike, at one time a highway of considerable importance, passes through the township.
Among the early settlers in this township were Casper Harbaugh and Andrew Putnam, who settled on adjoining farms in the northeastern part about 1790. Elijah Lyons and Daniel Moore were also early settlers. It is claimed that Philip King built the first grist and saw mills on Middle Creek, in this township, not long after the close of the Revolutionary was. John Kooser built a gristmill in 1806, on the same site now occupied by Barron's mill. Peter Kooser began operating a carding mill in 1808. A woolen mill was established at a later day and rebuilt by Jacob Baker in 1876.
The village of New Lexington, in the southeastern part of the township, was platted by David Tedrow, September 14, 1824. The site of the town is on the lands that were surveyed to James Wells and Richard Brown, in 1792, and included Brown's camp. The lands were patented to John Wells. After several transfers the title became vested in Michael Tedrow, who was probably the father of David Tedrow, in 1808. The first store in the village was opened by Elias Stahl, about 1840, who sold it to Henry F. Schell about 1854. Horace Ludington established a tannery about 1844, which he sold to Jacob R. McMillan in 1847, who operated it for more than thirty years, when he turned it over to his sons. The first physician to locate in the village was Dr. Harmer D. Moore, who is still in practice.
There are three postoffices in the township-New Lexington, Trent and Barron Vale. The Laurel Hill creek flows through the middle of the township, and nearly all the lesser streams are tributary to it. About half a mile north of Baid Knob is Ice Spring; its temperature is 43 degrees.
When Milford township was divided in 1886, that part of it lying east of Coxe's creek and east of Castleman's river below Rockwood was given the name of Black, in honor of Judge Jeremiah S. Black. It embraces the larger but not the better part of Milford as it was before the division took place. All of Black township may be said to lie on the eastern flank of the Negro mountain, and there is considerable rough and poor land. The township, however, is rich in coal, and when it is once fully developed will show up well.
As early as 1774 or '75, James Wilson built a cabin about two and a half miles northeast of the present town of Rockwood and probably was the first settler in the township. He also built the first saw mill in the township. A house used as a church and school house was built on or near the Jacob Critchfield farm as early as 1800, or perhaps earlier.
Michael Sanner, the ancestor of the Sanner family, kept the first store in Black township, on the Wable farm. He had settled on this farm and commenced its improvement, but seeing his opportunity in the needs of the settlers, he brought goods from the east into the settlement on pack horses, which he sold, or exchanged for furs and skins. It is not known when Mr. Sanner began this business, but he is known to have been here already in 1795---it may have been even earlier. It certainly was before the time that the wagon superseded the pack horse. A store was kept here until 1827, about the time it was sold to John Walter, and removed to Petersburg.
The village of Milford Station, on the northern edge of Black township, dates from the construction of the railroad in 1871. A small store was opened about that time by a Mr. Long, about which a cluster of houses was presently built. It has always been a shipping point for lumber and railroad ties. One of the principal industries of Black township is at the Bare Rock quarries of the Somerset Stone company, about four miles east of Milford Station. A branch road connects the quarries with the Somerset and Cambria railroad. The company was incorporated in 1891. Its product is split building stone. Steady employment is given to about one hundred men. The road to the quarries is of a very steep grade, and a terrible accident happened on it April 24, 1803. A locomotive in charge of Engineer Jacob Neff was bringing several carloads of stone to the station. A number of Italian laborers were on the cars. John E. Pile, wife and daughter, had seats in the cab of the engine, and also Russel Neff, a son of the engineer. The train became unmanageable and ran down the steep grade at a terrific speed until near the station, where it jumped the track. In the wreck that followed, Mr. Pile, his wife and daughter, were crushed to death. The boy Neff was so badly scalded that he died the following night. Several of the laborers were scalded to death. Mr. Neff, the engineer, and a number of laborers were severely injured.
The Somerset Coal company is operating a mine at Wilson's creek. There is also a mine being operated at the mining village of Moro, and one other near by. These mines date back to 1902.
The prosperous borough of Rockwood is situated at the junction of Coxe's creek with the Castlemans river. The Pittsburgh division of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad passes through the town which is also the southern terminus of the Somerset & Cambria branch of that road. The country all about it is underlaid by the lower productive coal measures, and there can be little doubt but that the town has a future before it.
The town is laid out on a part of a tract of 405 1Ú4 acres of land that was warranted to Moses Rambeau, November 25, 1773. As Rambeau's name appears on the assessment list for 1776, he must certainly have lived on the tract, but perhaps not within that part of it that is the site of the town. There was no survey before 1785, when it was made to John Shoaff, in right of Moses Rambeau. Shoaff, who acquired Rambeau's rights, appears to have been the central figure of this locality all his life. He and his neighbors carried their grain on pack horses to Hagerstown, Maryland, to have it ground into flour. The mill was of small capacity and each had to wait his turn. On one occasion Shoaff and those with him had to wait six weeks before his turn came. Tradition says one of his sisters was made captive by the Indians and remained with them for twelve years. He operated a still in an old log home near the town that up to within a few years was, and may still be standing. Shoaff died in 1816.
A bridge was built across the river in 1816. Seven hundred dollars was raised by subscription, and the remainder was paid by the county. This bridge was rebuilt in 1843. From the time of the building of the first bridge the locality has been known as Shoaff's bridge, and this was the first name of Rockwood. In 1856 Philip Wolfersberger became owner of the land about Shoaff's bridge, and in 1857 laid out a town, giving it the name of Mineral Point, on account of the minerals abounding in its vicinity. The place, however, was more generally known by its first name. Martin L. Meyers, of Stony Creek, was the surveyor. The first house was built near the bridge in 1856 by Philip and David Wolfersberger and used by them as a store and a dwelling. The first blacksmith was Solomon Bechtel. Benjamin DeHaven, a shoemaker, certainly built a house in 1857 or '58. John Poister built a house near the bridge in 1860, that was used as a hotel for a number of years. The post office was established in 1868, under the name of Shoaff's Bridge. Franklin B. Long was the first postmaster.
Aside from this, the town had little or no growth, until the completion of the railroad in 1871, when Mineral Point at once became a scene of bustle and activity,---houses began to be built, stores were opened, and the town has had a steady growth from that day to this. A necessity for a change of name both of town and post office, soon became apparent,---that of the post office, because it no longer represented anything but a bridge. There being already a Mineral Point post office in the state, the town could not take that name. After prolonged discussion, it was decided to name the town after about the only thing then in sight---rocks and woods---Hence the name, Rockwood. The woods have about disappeared. The rocks still remain. A tannery was established by Henry Weimer in 1869. A. Growall & Sons built a planing mill in 1872, which still operated on an extensive scale. A boiler explosion, in this mill in 1900, killed Frank Growall, a son of one of the proprietors.
Edward H. Werner, of Somerset, installed an electric light plant in 1895. A dam was built across the river which furnished the power. This plant has been superseded by a better one. A fine two-story brick school house was built in 1905, and at the present writing (1906), water works are about completed by a corporation, of which James C. McSpadden, a prominent business man of the town is the head. The town has a good newspaper, The Leader, founded in 1905. There are four churches, an Odd Fellows' Lodge, four hotels, one of which, the Rockwood House, has been successfully conducted by David H. Wolfersberger for upwards of thirty-five years, without the sale of liquor. The First National Bank of Rockwood, was organized in 1900, with a capital of $25,000. Its deposits are $150,000. Penrose Wolf is president, and H. F. Berkeybile, cashier. Since the completion of the railroad the town has always been a trading point for a large scope of territory, and at the present time it has twenty-nine stores. Rockwood was incorporated as a borough in 1885. Philip Smith was the first burgess. Succeeding burgesses have been: Philip Smith, Chauncey Forward, Henry Weimer, S. Haines, C. W. Beck, two terms; M.H. Hartzell, S. A. Haines, Albert G. Will, W. E. Baker, F. L. Milliron, S. S. Devere.
ELK LICK TOWNSHIP
Elk Lick township, the fifth township in order of formation, was formed by the Bedford county court out of southern part of Brothers Valley, about 1785. The exact time cannot be told on account of defective records. Neither are its ancient boundaries known. After the formation of Greenville township, in 1811, its eastern and western boundaries were the summits of the Allegheny and Negro mountains. The northern boundary was Flaugherty run, and the Castlemans river, from the mouth of Flaugherty to the present Black township line. The formation of Summit township, in 1842, reduced its area. The township line was so changed about 1895 as to add the Peck School district of Addison to Elk Lick township. In connection with the early boundaries of the township, the reader is referred to Greenville township.
The names of the first settlers have been given in the history of the first settlements. Well supported tradition says that a small grist mill of the tub- mill pattern was built by William Tissue, on Tub Mill run, somewhere between its mouth and the Cox farm, about the close of the Revolutionary war. One of the millstones may still be seen on the Beachey farm. The stream must take its name from this early mill. The old Hochstetler mill was built by Ebenezer Griffith, probably before 1790. It stood until 1868, when it was rebuilt by Samuel Compton. Livengood's mill, now abandoned, was built by John Fike about 1800. Engle's mill was built by Clement Engle in 1807. As early as 1802, and perhaps even earlier, there was a grist mill on Laurel run, in the southwest corner of the township, owned by Adam Weaver. Christian Forney built a fulling and carding mill at Livengood's mill in 1813. Jacob Livengood was the last to operate it. It was, for its day, a well equipped mill. Thomas McCloskey built the fulling mill that is yet in operation on the upper waters of Tub Mill run. David Sweitzer built a mill of this kind in 1854, on a small stream that empties into the river a short distance above the Moser bridge. In 1812 there were not less that eighteen stills operated in Elk Lick township. All of them have been abandoned many years ago, and there is not any one in the township.
In 1799 the Yost Zook farm (the old Jacob Lichty farm), had eighty acres of cleared land, the largest amount in the township. The first bridge across the Castleman's river is the West Salisbury bridge, built in 1819, and rebuilt in 1833 and in 1860. The bridge at Livengood's mill, built by John Ming, contractor, in 1836, stood sixty-six years without the county having to expend any money in its repair more that once. Such bridges are no longer built.
The barn of Joseph Fike was struck by lightning and burned on August 14, 1844, as was also the barn of Jacob Keim, near St. Paul's church, August 20, 1853. Peter Beachey, the ancestor of the well known Beachey family, was found dead in the road near where William C. Livengood now lives. This was about 1815. On a cold winter morning is 1804, Francis Wagner, a saddler by trade, and probably the first in the township, was found frozen to death in the road, not far from Springs, by George and Jacob Folk, two boys on their way to mill. In 1827 Abraham Harshberger, a well known farmer, was killed by a falling tree on the road near the old Beachey mill, on Laurel run. The noted preacher, Doctor Muckenhoupt, was riding with him, but his horse, a higher-spirited animal than the one Harshberger rode, startled by the crash of the breaking tree, jumped forward and cleared it.
Philip Hofford froze to death on the Negro mountain during winter of 1837 (as near as can be ascertained). His disappearance was known, but in the deep snow he could not be found at the time, but when found, some two months later, and his pockets examined, a bottle of whiskey was found. Peter Shoemaker, one of the party who discovered the body, said that he could not see that the finding of the whiskey on the body of the dead man had in any way injured its flavor, and proposed to those with him that they drink it, which was accordingly done.
On the night of January 1st, 1836, the house of George Folk took fire and was destroyed. A son and a daughter perished in the flames. In 1837 ---- Baker, a son of Douglas Baker, was killed by a runaway team on the road across the mountain, east of Engle's mill. About the same time Martin Engle was killed at the raising of a barn on the farm of Jeremiah Glotfelty. In 1853 Jacob Wagner had his arm torn off in a threshing machine at the barn of Jacob S. Livengood, and died the next day. In or about 1856, a small house on the farm of Lewis Bockes took fire at night, and Mrs. Bockes, his aged mother, perished in the fire. In 1866 the cabin of a colored man known as Blue Bill, who lived by himself in a lonely place on the present Ross Sechler farm, was burned to the ground, and in it the unfortunate owner. In 1893 the house of John Haines, near the Tub Mill run bridge, in West Salisbury, burned down, and with it two small children lost their lives. Before day on the morning of January 5, 1900 a house burned at Coal Run. Three brothers, Charles Stott, aged 14 years; Allen Stott, aged 16 years; and Thomas Stott aged 19 years, were burned to death whole asleep. The fire is supposed to have been caused by the explosion of a lamp. A girl named Lydia Shultz, about ten years old, on being sent to the woods on the Negro mountain, one day in 1830, to hunt the cows, lost herself and was not found for several months. It was in the late spring and summer. While in the woods she subsisted on berries, and had become quite wild, even concealing herself from the searching parties who were looking for her.
In 1849 Dr. William Collins built a draw kiln on the Flog Hill farm, and burnt in it the first line used for fertilizing purposes. James Keim was the first farmer to use lime in this way. The well-known tannery, on the old Josiah Diveley farm, was first put in operation by George Newman, probably as far back as 1825.
It was generally known that Jonathan Hochstetler, an Amish farmer, kept a considerable amount of money about his house. There were no banking facilities in those days, and in his dealings he always refused paper money if it could be avoided, demanding gold and silver in all transactions, which was carefully hoarded. One night in 1863, then gold was at a high premium, three or four men in masks entered his house and robbed the old man of all his money, amounting to about $4,000. Several years afterwards a woman from the vicinity of Grantsville, Maryland, came to his house and told him who had taken his money, implicating a man named David Johnson, and several well-known men who lived at Grantsville. She was present at the division of the spoil. Johnson fled from the county, but Mr. Hochstetler did not prosecute the other men.
In 1889 a party of four or five masked men, from Fayette county, entered the house of Christian Yoder, also an aged Amish farmer, and robbed him of such money as he had about the house, also taking him to his barn and brutally torturing him. These men were followed, in their harboring place, arrested, and brought to Somerset, where they were tried, found guilt and sentenced to the penitentiary for long terms.
With the building of the railroad, in 1876, there came a rapid increase in population, and from an agricultural, it became largely a mining community. Many changes have been wrought upon the face of the country, and a number of villages have since sprung up. The long meadow belonging to the David Livengood farm, on the west side of the river, was platted into the town of West Salisbury, in 1871, by the Salisbury & Baltimore railroad company. The part about the river bridge was platted by others. A number of lots were sold, but little building was done until after 1877. A steam gristmill was built about 1870, on the river bank near the bridge. After being operated, perhaps a dozen years, it burned down and was operated, perhaps a dozen years, it burned down and was never rebuilt. Since the completion of the railroad, the town has grown into a village of about 75 houses. The business part of the village has always been up about the bridge, where the hotel, stores and other business houses were built. The first hotel was built by Thomas Williams; it was burned, and was rebuilt by John R. Fair. West Salisbury became a post office about 1904. Joseph Patton was the first postmaster.
Probably the greatest industry the township ever had, aside from coal mining, was the Standard Extract works, built in West Salisbury, in 1888. The plant cost upwards of $60,000. Their business was the extraction of certain properties from chestnut wood, that are used in tanning. It was a thoroughly equipped plant for its business, and gave employment to a large number of men, both in the works and in cutting and hauling the chestnut timber used. The works were destroyed by fire in 1892, and were never rebuilt.
Boynton, on the old Douglas Boyd farm, dates from 1880, when Dill Watson & Co. located a large steam saw mill near the old sugar camp of this farm. Some lots were sold, and fifteen or twenty houses were built. The mill has long since been abandoned, but the town is there to stay. The Maust Lumber Company has a sawmill, but it is not the large plant that the first one was. A plant for the manufacture of traction engines has been operated in the village by a company of local capitalists, of which Harvey Maust is president. The post office, store, church and school house are in the village. The post office was established in 1884, with George S. Young as the first postmaster.
Coal Tin is a mining village on the old Samuel C. Lichty farm, and grew up with the mines that were opened along Grassy Run. It was made a post office in 1894, with Samuel R. Hare, with Solomon Harshberger as postmaster. The post office at Tub (now known as Springs) was established about the same time. Keim post office was also established at St. Paul's church, but with Rural free delivery, it has been discontinued. The Coal Run post office has also been discontinued for the same reason.
A test well for oil was drilled to a depth of about 2,500 feet in the meadow of Frank Livengood farm, near Boynton. The tools dropped to the bottom and could not be recovered. Necessarily this made the well a failure. Samuel P. Maust, the president of the company, which was composed of citizens of the township, made a report of this venture in which he said that sand bearing some oil was struck at a depth of 1,870 feet. A second sand also bearing a small quantity of oil was struck at a depth of 1,960 feet. At 1,150 feet two four-foot veins of good coal, with eight feet of rock, were passed through. The mountain limestone was found at 1,500 feet. WE cannot give the exact time, but it was about 1892. In 1890, the Standard Oil Company laid a pipe through the township. It may be said that this pipe line passes through the entire tier of southern townships, on its way to the seaboard. It skirts Mason and Dixon's line, keeping a uniform distance of about two rods to the north. A second line was laid in 1904.
The town of Salisbury was founded April 15, 1796, by Joseph Markley, on a part of tract of land known as "John's Fancy." This tract was surveyed to John Markley, father of Joseph Markley, and was the first farm in Elk Lick township that was settled on. As Markley [platted the town, there were 56 quarter-acre lots, laid out in a somewhat singular manner. His main street is now Ord street. On the south side of the street are four blocks of ten lots each; four lots of each block front on the street, and four on the rear. If they front on anything, it is on an alley that was never opened. On the north side is a single tier of sixteen lots, in blocks of four lots. These extend back eight rods to an alley 28 feet wide, that he calls Middle alley. According to the deeds, Markley sold fifteen of the lots, in 1798, at the uniform price of three pounds per lot, without regard to their situation. Two lots belonging to the Simpkins estate were sold for three pounds and eleven shillings, and the old Brewer lot for three pounds, seven shillings and six pence. Although the town has grown to have a thousand inhabitants, twenty-four of the original fifty-six lots have never been built on. An examination of all the Markley deeds on record shows that the highest price he received for any one lot was ten dollars. This was for the present Jere J. Livengood lot. The Markley plan provided for three streets extending north and south. These are now known as Gay and Grant streets, and Smith avenue. It is said that the road from Berlin to the Maryland line was not then located, and that Markley, not knowing where this would be, provided these streets to meet the road on any route that might be chosen. The road entered the town on Market (now Grant) street, and became the main thoroughfare. Peter Shirer built the first house on lot No. 32, on the corner of Grant and Ord streets, where Michael Hay afterwards built the brick house. Mathias Markley built on the old Brewer lot; Adam Glotfelty on lot No. 33 (Silas A. Wagner, present owner), and Martin Weimer, Jr., on the Simpkins lot. All of them were built form 1798 to 1801. The Brewer house is still standing. The house owned by Jere J. Livengood was built by Samuel Farner, perhaps, almost as early as the others. Peter Shirer, who had carried a peddler's pack, opened the first store. John Welsh probably kept the first tavern. Peter Shirer also kept a tavern at one time. The Brewer and Martin Weimer houses were also taverns at one time.
In 1823 the store of Peter Shirer was entered by boring out a part of a window shutter, and robbed of about $350, a large sum for those days. Shirer offered a reward of one hundred dollars. The thief proved to be one Halderman, his son-in- law. It then became a family affair.
In 1815 Peter Welfley and Peter Shirer platted an addition of 46 lots on the north side of Middle, or Broad Alley. Douglas Baker was the surveyor. He probably also surveyed the Markley lots. In 1826 Christian Shockey laid out a small addition from the Leochel property north to the borough line. In 1849 John Smith platted the lots in what is known as Jerusalem. His name was given to that part of the town by Lizzie Brewer. In 1869 the remaining ground between Union street and the old Markley farm and down to the river was platted into lots by Silas C. Keim and Jacob D. Livengood. In 1869 John W. and Abraham P. Beachey platted seventy lots south of the Markley plan. These lots were sold at private sale at a very reasonable price, and many of them were improved within the next two or three years. The lots on the north side of Ord street, between the last lots of the Markley plan and the river, were platted later by William Smith and the estate of Dr. Stutzman. Those on the south side of the street, opposite the Brewer or Smith meadow, as it used to be called, were laid out by Michael Hay, John W. and Abraham P. Beachey about 1876, but it is only within the last ten years that any number of them have been sold.
The first tinner in the town was Phineas Compton, who was also able to make a first-class squirrel rifle. His shop was where the Reformed parsonage now is. Peter Welfley's pottery was established in 1809 on the present Milton Glotfelty lot. He also built a good log house upon the corner where the Elk Lick Supply Company's store now is. A postoffice was established under the name of Elk Lick in 1812, and Peter Welfley was the first postmaster. An old account-book of his shows that the charges for postage on letters in those days ranged from 5 1Ú2 cents to $1.26. Peter Shirer was the second postmaster. The first church was built up at the old graveyard by the Lutherans and Reformed in 1809. The brick church now owned by the Brethren was built in 1853. On its site was once an old log building, in which Peter Markley kept a store. Afterward a farmers' store was kept here. The stone house was built by John Keagey about 1820. Keagey was one of the most prominent citizens of the village and well-to-do. In 1823 he became involved in the celebrated Boring robbery, for which he and Peter Markley were arrested. Both entered bail for court. Keagey immediately took to drinking, and is said to have died within a week. While his death may have been due to excessive drinking, the prevailing opinion was that he had taken poison. In those days people looked on suicide as such an abhorrent crime that they would not permit the body of a suicide to be buried in a graveyard, so Keagey was buried in a field of his in the rear of his house. Peter Markley, on trial, was found guilty and then, being still at liberty on bail, he fled from the country. Keagey and Markley were partners in a store, and they, with a man named Kreider, had, through collusion with a wagoner who was hauling a load of goods from Baltimore to the Ohio river for Abraham Boring, a merchant living somewhere in Ohio, diverted them from their destination and stocked their store with them, and on the goods being found in their possession their arrest followed. Kreider fled before arrest.
The Samuel Glotfelty house, at the corner of Grant street and the Broad alley, was built by Jacob Fuller, who kept a tavern in it. It was kept as a tavern until 1850, William De Haven being the last landlord. The first brick house was built by Benjamin De Haven in 1849. Tunison Glotfelty has rebuilt it. The second one was built by Elijah Wagner, who kept a store in it. This house, which was opposite Leochel's hotel, has been torn down.
In 1838 a large bear came into the town and walked leisurely down Union street to the river. David Steele and other noted hunters organized an immediate pursuit, but bruin got away. No other bear was ever seen in the vicinity until the one which figured in the famous bear hunt of 1851.
In 1868 the Berlin Foundry was removed to Salisbury by Ohley & Lepley, its owners, they having associated themselves with a stock company formed by a number of citizens. It site was on the west side of Grant street, opposite the large spring in the Beachey addition. While it has gone out of business long years ago, its being here was the beginning of the prosperity that Salisbury has enjoyed for the last thirty-five years. A planing mill, which Tunison Glotfelty and Edward Durst established about the same time, is still in operation. An ancient tannery was at one time operated by Peter Deal on the foundry site. This was about 1815.
In 1871 Silas C. Keim and Jacob D. Livengood began a private banking business, which was carried until 1878 or 1879 when it was discontinued, being no longer profitable on account of the long continuance of hard times following the panic of 1873. The First National Bank of Salisbury was organized in 1902, with a capital of $50,000. It deposits at this time reach about $150,000. John L. Barchus is president. The first dwelling house known to have been destroyed by fire was a new frame house belonging to Benjamin De Haven, which burned down in December, 1848. It stood on the lot where Tunison Glotfelty now lives. About two years later the dwelling house of Jonathan Kelso and two carpenter shops belonging to Mr. Kelso and John Rosenbaum were burned. This was where Samuel J. Lichty now lives. In 1851 a hotel belonging to Benjamin De Haven, but occupied by Leonard Berkey, was destroyed by fire. In 1868 the dwelling houses of Peter S. Hay, Ambrose Breig and Peter Welfley, together with what probably then was the best equipped carpenter shop in Somerset county, were burned down. This fire had its origin at night in the Breig dwelling. On the night of March 18, 1895, a wide swath was cut in the business blocks of Salisbury by a fire which originated in the printing office of Peter L. Livengood. Henry Leochel's hotel, Beachey's hardware store and opera house, the Stutzman brick house, Livengood & Saylor's store, on the west side of the street; Dr. Speicher's fine dwelling and also his drug store, a dwelling, barber shop and harness shop owned by Mrs. O. W. Boyer, on the east side, were all destroyed, with a property loss of nearly $25,000.
On April 8, 1895, the large hotel owned by Drusilla Hay was destroyed by fire, and with it the wagonmaking shop of Samuel Kootz and the meat market of Casper Wahl, the Hay block, besides the hotel, containing the general store of George Walker, and a large hall for public meetings. The large hotel of Dennis Wagner was also destroyed by fire, but some years earlier, about 1884.
In the summer and fall of 1848 an alarming epidemic of typhoid fever prevailed in and about Salisbury. The present writer, then a small boy, remembers of the thirteen deaths as having taken place in the village or within a half a mile of it. This, for a population of probably less than two hundred, was a high rate of mortality. In the fall and winter of 1861 an epidemic of diphtheria prevailed, both in the town and township, with an unusual number of fatal cases, both of children and adults. Of a family by name of Yowler, with seven children, every child died. For a time funerals were of almost daily occurrence and the writer remembers three open graves at one time. Adam Caton, a citizen of the town, was instantly killed in January, 1862, by a falling tree.
While it will be seen that a full share of hard luck has come to individuals, still the town has prospered greatly, as any thrifty and enterprising community deserves. There are two hotels, tow restaurants and twenty-one stores. One of the finest schoolhouses in the county was built in 1903. There are six churches, an Odd Fellows lodge, also a Knights of Pythias lodge.
According to the best information a Union Sunday school was started about 1838. John Lowry was the first superintendent. It has been said that John Smith was very active in its organization. In the writer's own time, as a boy, the most active workers were Gabriel Miller, Arthur McKinley, Martin Welfley and Michael Diveley.
Salisbury was incorporated as a borough in 1862. Elijah Wagner was the first burgess. The list of his successors is as follows: Elijah Wagner, Samuel D. Livengood, Peter S. Hay, M.A.R.F. Carr, E. Wagner, Henry Wagner, Jeremiah J. Livengood (four terms), Levi Lichliter (two terms). John J. Livengood, C. C. Livengood, Joseph Dively, D. O. McKinley (two terms), Emanuel Statler, Samuel Lowry, John J. Livengood (two terms), Walt. Boucher, H. De Lozier, Henry Loechel, S. A. McKinley (four terms), Samuel Mier, J. J. Livengood (four terms), L. C. Boyer, J. J. Livengood, M. C. Lowry, S. R. McKinley.
[Source: The History of Bedford and Somerset Counties by Blackburn and Welfley, published in 1906. Chapter 30. Transcribed and donated by Batha Karr <[email protected]>. ]
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