History of Butler County Pennsylvania, 1895x05

History of Butler County Pennsylvania, 1895

Pioneer Reminiscences, Chapter 05

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Transcribed by: Dolores Carlson. For an explanation and caution about this transcription, please read this page.

Surnames in this chapter are:

ADAMS, AGGAS, ALBERT, ALLSWORTH, AMBERSON, ANDERSON, ARMSTRONG, ASH, AYERS, AYRES, BAKER, BARCLAY, BARNETT, BARRON, BAYNE, BEATTY, BICKEL, BIRCH, BLACK, BOGGS, BOONE, BORTMASS, BOWERS, BRACKENRIDGE, BREDIN, BRINKER, BROWN, CALL, CAMPBELL, CAROTHERS, COATS, COLBERT, COLLINS, COOPER, CRAWFORD, CROCKETT, CUMMINGS, CUNNINGHAM, CYPHER, DERRIMORE, DICKISON, DODDS, DOUGAL, DUFFY, DUNBAR, EKAS, ELEAN, ELLIOT, EMBRY, EMERICK, EVANS, EYTH, FAIR, FERRERO, FIEDLER, FINDLEY, FLEEGER, FREEMAN, FROST, FUNK, GALBRAITH, GARVIN, GIBLE, GILLESPIE, GILLILAND, GOLD, GRAHAM, HAGERTY, HALE, HALL, HARRIS, HECK, HEINEMAN, HENRY, HILLIARD, HOFFMAN, HUDSON, HUGHES, HURLEY, HUSELTON, HUTCHISON, IRVINE, JACK, JACKSON, JOHNSON, JONES, JORDAN, KARNS, KELKER, KELLY, KENNEDY, KERR, KLINE, KLINGLER, KNOUSE, LAFAYETTE, LECKEY, LEMMON, LONGBINE, LOWRIE, LOWRY, LYON, MACKEY, MARDORF, MARTIN, MAXWELL, MAYBURY, MAZERIE, McABOY, McCANDLESS, McCASKEY, McCLELLAND, McDEVITT, McJUNKIN, McKEE, McLURE, McMAHON, McMICHAEL, McNEES, McPHERRIN, McQUISTION, MECHLING, MILLER, MILLINGER, MITCHELL, MOORE, MOSER, MYERS, NEGLEY, NELSON, NEYMAN, NICHOLL, NIXON, O'DONNELL, OSBORN, PARKER, PATTERSON, PETERSON, POLLOCK, POWELL, PURVIANCE, PURVIS, RAMSEY, RAPP, REDICK, REED, REIGER, RIDER, RIMBEY, RIPPEY, ROBINSON, RUSSELL, SAY, SCHENCK, SCOTT, SHANNON, SHANOR, SHARP, SHIELDS, SHRYOCK, SKELLEN, SLATOR, SLOAN, SMITH, SNOW, SNYDER, SPARR, SPEAR, STEHLE, STEVENSON, STEWART, STOOPS, STRAWICK, SULLIVAN, SUTTON, SYKES, TAYLOR, THOMPSON, THORN, TROY, WALKER, WASHINGTON, WATERHOUSE, WAYNE, WELSH, WHITE, WILLIAMSON, WOODCOCK, WOODS, YOUNG, ZIEGLER


CHAPTER V

PIONEER REMINISCENCES

[p. 65]
PROVING A CLAIM -- PETITIONS OF BARRON AND McKEE -- ADVENTURES OF THE WIDOW AGGAS -- MRS. O'DONNELL'S DEVOTION -- PEGGY WALKER'S ESCAPE -- PIONEER BURIALS -- PIONEER WEDDING FESTIVITIES -- THE BACHELORS' TAX -- EARLY TAVERN LICENSES -- NEGRO AND WHITE SLAVES -- THE "FOURTH" AND "TRAINING DAY" -- CRADLE OF MORMONISM -- RETAIL MARKETS, 1804 TO 1830 -- THE ARGONAUTS -- WOOD RANGERS -- EARLY HUNTERS AND THEIR REWARDS - HUNTS OF 1820 AND 1828 - THE LAST GRAND HUNT -- FARMING AND MILLING METHODS

In a chapter of this character many pages might be devoted to portrayal of pioneer manners and customs. Here, however, some of the principal points in pioneer life will be noticed, as a sequel to the preceding chapter, wherein the names, connected with the development of this county, find a place. These reminiscences were obtained from contemporary records found in the court-house or in the newspaper offices. Among them is introduced the last great hunt, which, though occurring less than thirty years ago, is looked upon as the close of pioneer meetings, and in itself brings up the names of the sons of men, who in earlier days ranged the forests of this district, as self-reliant, expert hunters of the pioneer stamp.

In the chapter on land titles is told the story of the purchase of Butler county from the Indians and the agrarian troubles subsequent to 1803. The following statement made before Henry EVANS and Samuel CUNNINGHAM, justices of the peace for Butler county, December 12, 1801, shows the manner in which settlers acquired land in some districts:

William BARRON, of Butler county, farmer, applies for a tract of three hundred acres of land situate on the Glade run, a branch of Slippery Rock creek, being what is called commonly, "The Stripe," adjoining to land settled by Thomas CAROTHERS and David FINDLEY and to the Donation District, on which tract of land by the said William BARRON applied for, he hath caused an actual settlement and improvement to be made.

In a further statement he says that in May, 1797, he erected a cabin, deadened the trees on three acres and cleared two acres. By 1801 six acres were cleared and a cabin sixteen feet square was in existence. All went to show that he had complied with the land grant laws of the Commonwealth and that his application for a patent was made in good faith and not as a speculator or the agent of a speculator.

In 1823 the legislature settled the difficulties growing out of claims to lands in the Struck District of Butler county, when the petition of Andrew McKEE was considered. It appears that the act of March 7, 1780, promised to officers and privates of the Pennsylvania Line in the Revolutionary War certain lands to be divided according to the rank of grantees. The acts of March 12, 1873 [sic], [p. 66] and of March 24, 1785, provided for the location and survey of such lands, and Brigadier-General IRVINE was appointed to make a topographical survey. He reported that the most eastern part of the Second Donation District, commonly called the "Struck District," was unfit for cultivation, and hence tickets for such lands were not placed in the "wheel."

The story of the Widow AGGAS, bringing her family into this county in 1796, a short time after the Indians killed her husband, in Westmoreland county, is by no means an extreme picture of the dangers and troubles to which the pioneers were exposed. With her sons, Sylvanus, aged eleven years, and Abner, aged ten years, she entered the forest of what is now Centre township and early in the afternoon camped near a spring, where she intended to make a home. Later that day she went further into the forest in search of a better location, but losing her way among the hills, the brave woman became dazed and laid down exhausted to wait for the morning light. Next day was passed in a fruitless search for the encampment of the family, and night coming on she sought refuge from the wolves and a place of rest in the forks of a monarch oak. On the morning of the third day she discovered a trail, and shortly after met a few of her new neighbors, who assured her that her boys were safe and pointed out the way which would lead her to them.

Another instance of the courage and fortitude of pioneer women is to be found in the experience of Mrs. Mary O'DONNELL, who lost her husband shortly after their settlement in Clearfield township. With extraordinary courage she took up work of making a farm in the wilderness, and, at the same time, supported and educated the young pioneers, who were left to her as a pledge of a husband's love.

The early settlers had more than obstacles to deal with. The Indian, the wolf and the bear were not the only enemies to be guarded against, for the panther was still a ranger of the woods, and the most terrible enemy of the new inhabitants. The scene of Peggy WALKER's escape from the "painter" is not far from the location of the ARMSTRONG's first cabin on Wolf creek. Returning from that cabin about sundown one day in 1805, she heard the animal's scream. The horse on which the girl was mounted bounded forward and the race for life began. Often the panther came close enough to make the spring which he was sure would land him on his prey; but the good horse being swift and sure and the rider well trained in forest travel, escaped the angry brute, which gave up the chase when only within gunshot of her home.

As the marriage in pioneer times was a signal for rejoicings and merriment, so death was one for sorrow and solemnity. The funeral in the wilderness, whether the mourners marched toward the cemetery round the church at Sugar Creek, or westward to Mount Nebo, was a moving picture of sincere grief. Simplicity marked the whole ceremony of burial. No plumed hearse was there, not even a wagon on which the plain coffin might be placed. When the pioneer THORN died, a large tree was cut down and hollowed out in canoe or "dug-out" fashion, the body was then placed in the cavity, a slab nailed on top, and the crude casket hauled to the grave-yard after the fashion of a sleigh. This funeral was the extreme of pioneer simplicity.

[p. 67] The youth of pioneer days were as anxious to enter matrimonial life as these of our own times, and the weddings were great attractions. There were no distinctions of class and few of fortune. The neighbors gathered to celebrate with natural joy the nuptials of their young friends. The dance continued just so long as any desired to step jauntily about to the music of the district fiddler, in square sets or jigs or in three or four-handed reels. The jigs were characterized by the "cutting-out" game, that is, when either of the dancers desired to rest, one would take his place in the set without disturbing the others. If seats were scarce, as they were often, every young man, not on the floor, was expected to offer his knees as a seat for a girl, and this offer was accepted with the same courtesy that would be observed today in leading a fair one to her chair. The "infair" took place the next night and was enjoyed equally with the wedding festivities. During the years, when single men were taxed seventy-five cents per annum, they would often marry to win exoneration. There is, at least, one case of this character related in the chapter on organization and administration. The marriage of Walter LOWRIE, in 1808 is recorded as follows:

This is to certify that on the fourteenth day of January, in the year of Our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and eight, before me, Samuel CUNNINGHAM, one of the justices of the peace of Butler county, Walter LOWRIE of the county aforesaid, and Amelia McPHERRIN of the same county, were legally joined in marriage, each of them being of competent age, and declaring themselves free respectively from prior engagements or other lawful impediments. In witness whereof, as well as the said Walter and Amelia, as I, the said Samuel CUNNINGHAM and others, the witnesses present, have hereunto subscribed our names the day and year aforesaid: Samuel CUNNINGHAM, Walter LOWRIE, Amelia LOWRIE, Samuel WILLIAMSON, Andrew WILLIAMSON, Samuel DICKISON, John NELSON, Benjamin WHITE, Elizabeth WHITE, John NEGLEY, William MARTIN, John SPEAR, Joseph HUDSON and Hannah HALL.

In The Repository of June 18, 1828, is a notice of the marriage of James NICHOLL, aged sixty years, with Elizabeth SNOW, aged twenty years, both of Parker township. The poet of The Repository added the following lines:

The groom of three score summer suns
Has braved the heart and sultry wind,
But now ere scorching August comes,
With naught but Snow can comfort find.

The persons recommended for tavern licenses in 1804, were William AYRES and James THOMPSON of Butler borough, with John MOSER, Robert GRAHAM, George BOWERS and William BROWN. In Connoquenessing township, were Guy HILLIARD, Robert BOGGS, Benjamin GARVIN, James AMBERSON and Matthew WHITE; David SUTTON, of Middlesex; Robert REED and Adam FUNK, of Slippery Rock, and Daniel FIEDLER of "Muller."

In 1805 Adam FUNK applied for township leave to open a tavern at Butler; while William BROWN, John MOSER, George BOWERS, Joseph McCLELLAND, Abner COATS, James THOMPSON and Abraham BRINKER also made similar applications. Thomas LYON, of Middlesex; Matthew WHITE, Robert BOGGS, George SMITH, James AMBERSON and William FREEMAN, of Connoquenessing; Samuel A. RIPPEY, of Slippery Rock; Benjamin GARVIN, of Cranberry, and Robert REED, of Mercer, were also applicants for license in 1805; and in 1806, Richard MAYBURY of Muddy [p. 68] Creek; James THOMPSON, Michael WATERHOUSE and George YOUNG, of Butler; Henry EVANS, of Mercer, and John COOPER, of Donegal.

In June, 1807, Frederick RAPP was recommended for a license to keep tavern at Harmony. In 1809 Elisha FROST was permitted to keep tavern at Zelienople, and Jacob MECHLING and William MARTIN in Butler; while in 1810, John SHRYOCK asked for a license to keep tavern in Donegal.

In 1799, when Matthew WHITE settled at Whitestown--where he had previously purchased 400 acres of land--he brought with him three slaves named George MITCHELL, Pompey and Eleanor TROY, or "Black Nell." They were really the property of Alexander WHITE, of Franklin county, father of Matthew, who manumitted them prior to 1803, in fulfillment of a promise made during a serious illness. In order, however, that they might be cared for, he gave George MITCHELL to his son, Matthew, Pompey to his son, James, later of Waterford, Erie county, Pennsylvania, and "Black Nell" to his daughter, Mrs. Anna GALBRAITH, the wife of Alexander GALBRAITH, of Centre township. Eleanor Troy, or "Black Nell," who was listed in the assessment of 1821, in Centre township, as a female slave forty-five years old, died March 11, 1857. For over thirty years she was a member of the Associate Reformed Church, of Butler. She was buried on the Moses THOMPSON farm in Centre township, where a monument marks her grave.

In 1803 Captain PARKER was assessed as the owner of one slave. In 1821 the widow GALBRAITH was assessed as the owner of a slave named John, valued at $100. In the same year a slave named Lewis MARTIN, aged thirteen years, was valued for taxable purposes in Muddy Creek township. He was bound for six years. In this year, also, there were two male slaves in Connoquenessing township--one named Fulton, aged six years, and one named Thomas, aged five years; also a slave girl named Sylvia, aged fourteen years.

The apprentice of sixty years ago was made acquainted with experiences practically unknown to the boys of to-day. He was generally an orphan boy or the son of poor parents, and his apprenticeship, in many instances, approached actual slavery. He was often poorly clothed and fed, and so harshly treated as to be compelled to regain his liberty by running away. This he often did even when well treated. Sometimes his master made no further attempt at his recapture than to offer a reward, something like the following:

SIX CENTS REWARD
Ran away from the subscriber on Saturday evening, the 29th ult., an indented apprentice to the cabinet-making business, named John RIMBEY, between nineteen and twenty years of age. He had on when he went away a new black fur hat, blue coat and corded pantaloons and striped vest. He also took with him a pair of black, thick cloth pantaloons and vest. The public is hereby cautioned against employing or harboring said apprentice, as the law shall be enforced against any person doing so.
GEORGE MILLER                  Butler, November 4, 1828

Such rewards as one "gill of whisky" and $000 were offered in January, 1829, by John WELSH and William STEWART, the first advertising for Robert GOLD, a young tailor, and the latter for John POWELL, a young printer.

The "Fourth" and "Training Day" were the fete days of early times. The militia held the country then, and on "Training Day" felt they were its sole [p. 69] defenders, if not actual owners. Among the early celebrations was that of July 4, 1828, which was presided over at Butler by Capt. William BEATTY. William CAMPBELL, the secretary, read the Declaration. Fifteen general toasts and twenty-seven volunteer toasts were responded to at the banquet, held in the house of Col. Henry EVANS. A second organization, presided over by Moses SULLIVAN, with John BREDIN as secretary and reader, dined at David SCOTT's tavern and responded to thirty toasts. At the Harmony meeting twenty-two toasts were proposed during the banquet at Jacob KELKER's house. Such patriarchs as Peter DUFFY, Moses SULLIVAN, Jacob MECHLING, HAGERTY, NEYMAN, BEATTY and others emptied their glasses as each name or sentiment was given.

At a celebration held in Cranberry township, on another occasion, the militia received a toast in their honor with several cheers, the memory of WASHINGTON, LAFAYETTE, JACKSON, WAYNE and other heroes being likewise honored. At Prospect the local warriors observed the same rule.

Butler county may be called the cradle of Mormonism, in so far as the idea of a polygamic colony originated here with Joseph SMITH, the Mormon prophet of Nauvoo, Illinois. In the "Twenties," SMITH resided at Harmony, where he boarded at the house of Isaac HALE. On January 18, 1827, he married Emma, a daughter of Isaac HALE, the union occurring in opposition to the wishes of her father, who would not permit the wedding to take place within his cabin. The sly Joseph was engaged at that time in digging for hidden treasure at Harmony; so he alleged. That he conceived the idea of his community here is highly probable. Studying the plans of the Harmony Society, he saw that by observing the same business ideas and opposing the extreme of celibacy by the other extreme of polygamy, he could gather round him men and women to live under the laws of free love. To make the bonds closer, he conceived of a spiritual rule. In September his god gave him the book of Mormon, and, in December, 1827, he crossed from Pennsylvania into New York, found the "plates" which he had buried there and began the organization of the Mormon Society. [1]

The prices of goods and provisions from 1804 to 1830, as they appear in the account-book of Gen. William AYERS, of Butler, now in possession of the commissioners of the county, is given as follows:

Paper of ink-powder at THOMPSONs
Pantaloons, vestcoat and trimmings
One-half yard of lining 20c, three fourths yards of muslin 23c
Black pair of hose from CRAWFORDS
Pair of socks
Pair of pantaloons and cloth to make a surtout
One pound of tobacco
Thirteen doz. quills @ 4c
Two bull calves @ $3.00
One pound of coffee (from Pittsburgh)
$        25
7 67
43
1 50
50
7 72
33
51
6 00
44
Six yards cotton cassimere @ 50c
A pair of coarse woolen stockings
Sixteen eggs and three chickens
Cider, 1 barrel
Two thousand brick at $5.00 per M
Plasterer, per diem
Building three chimnies and cellarwall
Bed-bolsters, tick and pillow, 25 lbs
Wheat, per bushel
Shoulder of bacon, 12 lbs. 10c
Eighty-seven lbs. of pork at 4 1/2c
Hired man, per month
$     3 00
75
34
5 00
10 00
75
65 50
7 81
1 00
1 20
3 91
5 00
[p. 70]
One pound of sugar (from Pittsburgh)
One and one-half doz. eggs
One loaf of sugar, 7 lbs. 5 oz. @ 44c
Wheelbarrow
Horse-collar
One cow and three bushels of buckwheat
Whisky, per gallon
Cord-wood, per cord
Comb
Blanket $3.00, blanket $6.50
Hide of small steer
Beef--14 lbs at 6c
Tallow--4 1/2 lbs. at 12 1/2c
Veal--7 1/2 lbs. at 5c
Coal--50 bushels @ 5c
Bacon from Scotland, 72 lbs @ 13 1/2c
Grinding wheat for bread, per bushel
Three and one-half yards linsey @ 87 1/2c
$       25
17
3 23
4 00
1 50
20 00
50
75
50
9 50
2 00
84
56
37
2 50
9 72
2
3 06
Housekeeper per week
Six bu. oats @ 20c and 30 bu. rye @ 37 1/2c per bushel
Pair of shoes, made by C. MYERS
Coarse blue and white handkerchief
Two quarts of salt
Herrings, per doz
Lime, per bushel
One-half bushel of salt
Butter, per lb
Flour, 33 lbs
Large kettle for hatters shop
Five and one-half yards flannel for Mallissa JONES
  (colored servant)
Tobacco, per lb
Nails, per lb
Pine tub
Bonnet and gingham for Mallissa
Skein of sewing thread
A pair of Morocco boots
Paper of pins
Six yards of calico @ 37 1/2
30 to 66c
$     8 25
1 75
37
25
31
18
1 25
6
67
5 00

3 09
12
10
1 50
2 85
6
2 00
25
2 25

The California gold-fever "struck" this county in 1849 and continued until 1852. During the two years several stalwart fellows left the county for the Pacific slope. Many of them found profit and pleasure, a greater number disappointment, and a few death. Among the Argonauts who left in 1849 was William J. BEATTY, son of Captain BEATTY. He died near Coloma, California, February 1, 1850. Alexander MARTIN, another Argonaut, died there in April, 1850. In March, 1850, the following-named residents of Butler borough started for California: C. E. PURVIANCE, P. De Park TAYLOR, Robert J. JORDAN, J. Q. A. KENNEDY, John BREDIN (son of Maurice), Capt. A. M. EVANS, John YOUNG, Simon P. YOUNG and Christian BORTMASS. At the same time a detachment left Harrisville, under Capt. James HARRIS. In February, 1851, Captain ZIEGLER and friends returned from the golden country. On March 4, 1851, Peter SCHENCK returned and died a day later. Peter DUFFY left with a thorough outfit in 1849, and did not return until 1853. Jacob ZIEGLER remained fourteen months. William RUSSELL, who died here in October, 1885, was one of the Argonauts of 1850. He resided in the Golden State for thirty years; while Martin McCANDLESS, who left here in 1852, revisited his home in September, 1893, for the first time.

Within a year or so many of those who set out with such high hopes were glad to return to their friends here. Among the jokers of the company were the local poets, one of whom wrote as follows:

I've been to Californy
With my wash-bowl on my knee;
I've seen the tallest elephant
That ever mortal see--
He measures, from one tip to tip,
About a million feet,
And from the other tip to top,
The critter can't be beat.
[p. 71] The right of petition and its accompanying right of remonstrance were freely exercised by the pioneers. The following is one of the earliest instances of the exercise of the former right. It was presented to the court of quarter sessions in November, 1804.

To the honourable the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, in and for the county of Butler, now composing a Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace in and for the said county. The petition of a number of the inhabitants of the said county humbly sheweth, that the county labours under inconvenience for want of proper wood-rangers, and, therefore, pray your Honours to license two suitable persons for that purpose, agreeably to the 7th section of an Act of Assembly on that subject, passed the 9th day of May, 1724. And your petitioners as in duty bound will Pray, etc.

This petition was written by William AYRES and signed by the following named pioneers: Matthew WHITE, John NEGLEY, David KERR, James SCOTT, William CAMPBELL, David DOUGAL, John McCANDLESS, Samuel CUNNINGHAM, William DODDS, Andrew ALLSWORTH, John WOODCOCK, John SHANNON, James IRVINE, James AMBERSON, William SKELLEN, Barnet GILLILAND, Jacob MECHLING, Daniel McMICHAEL, William ADAMS, Christopher McMICHAEL and David McMICHAEL. The indorsement shows that the court appointed David SUTTON, Sr., and John STEWART to serve as wood-rangers for one year.

From the beginning of 1800 to December 2, 1803, the sum of $494.03 was paid out on wolf orders. From April 5, 1825 to May 10, 1831, there were only $412.97 paid out on warrants for wolf scalps. The names of the recipients of this money are given as follows: Philip HILLIARD, David SAY, John EKAS, John POLLOCK, Elisha BAKER and John WOODS, in 1825; Neal STRAWICK and William THOMPSON in 1826; David CYPHER in 1827; Robert SLOAN in 1828; Jacob EKAS and Elisha HILLIARD in 1829; George W. SMITH, William THOMPSON and William McQUISTION in 1830, and Thomas HAGERTY, Jr. in 1831.

John McNEES, a celebrated hunter of the pioneer period, delivered five wolf-heads and five wolf puppies in 1820, receiving as bounty thirty-two and twenty-five dollars respectively. Joseph EMBRY received twenty-five dollars for five wolf puppies. Justices SCOTT and GALBRAITH certifying that they were captured within the county.

In 1821-22 such hunters as Manassas GILLESPIE, John PARKER, David GARVIN and Patrick GILLESPIE were paid bounties for the killing of old wolves and the capture of wolf puppies. The hunters who received bounties in May, 1823, for wolf scalps and wolf puppies were William SMITH, William McPHERRIN, Jacob SLATOR, Robert THOMPSON and Joseph EMBRY.

The grand hunt of December 21, 1820, was organized for the purpose of destroying bears, wolves, deer and other wild animals, which preyed upon the farmers' live stock or fed upon their crops. Four great divisions were organized. The northern division, under Captain BEATTY, assembled at John L. MAXWELL's house; the western division, under William PURVIANCE, assembled at PURVIANCE's powder-mill; the southern division, under Capt. John DUNBAR, assembled at the house of Peter PETERSON, Sr., and the eastern division, under Capt. William CAMPBELL, started from the court house. No spirituous liquor was allowed to be carried into the field. This hunt was very successfully carried out, and a large number of wild animals were destroyed.

[p. 72] The great wolf hunt of April, 1828, was suggested at a meeting of farmers held in James McMAHAN's house, in Venango township. The hunters were ordered to assemble early on April 25, at five places, under Gen. Thomas GRAHAM, Col. Benjamin McJUNKIN, Capt. John PARKER, John JACK and Thomas KERR, and to close in on ELEAN or BARNETT's cabin as a center. No spirituous liquors were allowed nor were fire arms permitted. Horns, bells and drums were called into play and the work of surrounding the wolves and other wild animals was begun and prosecuted successfully.

The grand circular hunt of March 26, 1829, was carried out in three divisions, all under Jacob MECHLING. The center or closing-in point was at NEGLEY's farm on the turnpike. No guns or liquor were permitted.

One of the last grand hunts in this county, and the first since 1863, took place October 30, 1866,--twenty-four men of the "Dan BOONEs," under Capt. Charles DUFFY, being matched against thirty-one men of the "Davy CROCKETTs," under Capt. Edwin LYON.

The roster of the "Dan Boones" contained the following names: Charles DUFFY, captain; John McCANDLESS, John PURVIANCE, Frank EYTH, Joseph B. MECHLING, John B. McQUISTION, Joseph ELLIOT, W. A. LOWRY, Frank STRAWICK, I. J. CUMMINGS, Joseph L. PURVIS, John HUTCHISON, Gottlieb LONGBINE, William LECKEY, John LEMMON, William STOOPS, James COLLINS, Col. Alexander LOWRY, Dr. J. C. REDICK, Daniel JOHNSON, Matthew CUNNINGHAM, Henry REIGER, George W. FLEEGER, Maj. George W. REED, Jacob GIBLE, Benjamin HUSELTON, George GILLESPIE, Isaac ASH, Thomas S. HUTCHISON, Daniel McDEVITT, J. D. ALBERT, John SNYDER, C. HURLEY, Andrew KNOUSE, Mike FAIR, V. REIGER, Jacob KNOUSE, Eli PATTERSON, Isaiah ALBERT, William CAMPBELL, Thomas A. HUTCHISON, Jacob SHIELDS, George HUTCHISON and Samuel BEATTY.

The roll of the "Davy CROCKETTs," contained the following names: Edwin LYON, captain; Abraham McCANDLESS, D. H. MACKEY, R. C. McABOY, George W. ZIEGLER, R. C. SHARP, Conrad SMITH, Lynn McABOY, Joseph McCASKEY, Col. John M. THOMPSON, Samuel SYKES, Jr., Lieut. Jerry MILLINGER, Harvey COLBERT, R. M. McLURE, Maj. Cyrus E. ANDERSON, John BEATTY, W. F. HUTCHISON, W. S. PURVIANCE, T. H. LYON, Samuel JOHNSON, William DERRIMORE, Simon YOUNG, George BLACK, Milton HENRY, Samuel CAMPBELL, James SHANOR, Simeon NIXON, Col. Thomas BAYNE, William MARDORF, Christ RIDER, Robert STEVENSON, George CAMPBELL, Dr. Samuel GRAHAM, Dave BIRCH, Mike EMERICK, John HOFFMAN, Daniel HECK, G. A. MAZERIE, James MOSER, William RAMSEY, Aaron HENRY, W. J. YOUNG, Matthew KLINE and Lewis SPARR.

Drs. NEYMAN, BREDIN and HUSELTON were referees; E. FERRERO and E. McJUNKIN, clerks; Lewis Z. MITCHELL, orator; Phillip BICKEL, German orator; Ed. M. BREDIN, historian; James KARNS, herald; James BREDIN, regular toaster; James Gilmore CAMPBELL, toaster for the winners; Jacob ZIEGLER, toaster for the losers; Thomas ROBINSON and John CALL, representatives of the press; Colonel LOWRY, Judge MECHLING, H. C. HEINEMAN and Charles McCANDLESS, carvers; Joseph STEHLE, chief of music; Alderman KELLY, butler; Sheriff BRACKENRIDGE, sergeant-at-arms; John SCOTT, marshal; Maj. Richard HUGHES, master of ceremonies; George W. MOORE, wire-puller; Maj. C. E. PURVIANCE, Harvey OSBORN and H. J. [p. 73] KLINGLER, committee on light; while the committee to report arrangements for celebration of July 4th, comprised Capt. E. L. GILLESPIE, Capt. George W. FLEEGER and Capt. C. S. BARCLAY.

The number of officers and the variety of offices speak at once of the character of the banquet which followed the hunt. The marshal arranged the hungry hunters at table and the herald proclaimed the lists of game; the toaster for the losers led the winning captain to the head, while the toaster for the winners lead the losing captain to the foot of the banquet table; the chief of music blew his horn as occasion required; the historian granted permits for songs or yarns, and the butler took charge of punsters and arranged punishments. He also decided what were and were not intoxicating drinks, and laid-out--under the table--any one who introduced politics. Deaf men were exempt from joining in the merry laugh, and, in the matter of profane language, its use was only countenanced when uttered by the losing captain and the toast-master for the losers. Married participants in this affair were not permitted to receive messages from their wives, as the receipt of such messages was considered an obstacle to the hilarity of the festive meeting. The orators spoke until "choked-off," and held the "Dans" and "Davys" spell-bound. At the close, when many were too "full for utterance," the memory of the hunters, who died since the last great hunt of 1863, was received in silence, and the hunters of 1866, so far as they were able, quietly dispersed.

The "CROCKETTs" counted 3,715 head of game, or 119 head for each of the thirty-one members of that club in the field. The "Dan BOONEs" counted 2,985, or 124 3-10 head for each of the twenty-four members who went into the field, with their blue colors, under Captain DUFFY. The color of the "CROCKETTs" were orange, in many shades, and of the officers, red, white and blue in rosettes.

Two important items, in pioneer times, were farming and milling. Axes and hoes were clumsily made by the rough blacksmith. Grain and hay were stacked in the fields or yard or placed in crude log barns. Threshing was done with flails or the grain tramped out by oxen or horses, when it was winnowed through the meshes of a riddle; or in a calm, two persons would raise and maintain a breeze by a dexterous swinging movement of a double linen bed-sheet, while the third operator would winnow the threshed grain from a riddle. Corn and buckwheat were sometimes ground in hand-mills and sifted in sieves made from dressed perforated sheep or deer skin, drawn tightly over a wide oaken hoop. The nether or bed stone of the hand-mill was fixed to a bench, and the upper or runner stone revolved on a spindle by means of a pole, the upper end of which passed into an auger hole in a board fastened overhead, and the lower end was fitted into a hole drilled in the upper surface of the runner, near the periphery. The miller would seize the pole with one hand, sweeping it around, and with the other would feed the grain. A ruder device was simply a hollow in a tree stump, which would hold a peck of grain. A hard wooden pestle was then made to fit the hollow in the stump, and this was fastened by withes to the top of a sapling bent for a spring-pole. The operator would then place the grain to be ground in the mortar or hollow, and seizing the pestle with both hands, would thrust it into the mortar, crushing the grain. The spring-pole would raise the pestle when released from the hand, and leave it ready to be thrust again and again into the mortar [p. 74] until the grinding process was completed. Of course there were grist mills as early as 1800, with mill-stones made of fine conglomerite rock, but many of the early farmers found it more convenient to rely upon the domestic hand-mill than to make a perilous journey through the forest to the nearest grist-mill and there, after taking their turn, according to custom, wait through the tedious processes then in vogue. In either case the flour was coarse, containing much of the gluten, phosphates and starch, lost by the modern process. It was a brain food, as well as a muscle-maker, and was particularly adapted to pioneer times.

[End of Chapter 05 - Pioneer Reminiscences: History of Butler County Pennsylvania, R. C. Brown Co., Publishers, 1895]

[1] This information refers to Harmony on the Susquehanna River now called Oakland, Pa. Visit www.lds-mormon.com/jsmith.shtml for more information.

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Updated 30 Dec 1999, 09:34