THIS borough, a handsomely located village, is situated wholly within the limits of Clarion township, on the "Turnpike," about three miles east of Clarion borough, and seven miles west of Corsica, Jefferson county, Pa. It is built upon a ridge, or watershed, about two miles south of the Clarion River. It is about one mile in length, and has a width of about one-fourth of a mile. Strattanville is one of the oldest villages in the county, being eleven years older than the county itself. The land on which the village is built was first purchased by Philip Clover in 1817. Mr. Clover, in 1826, sold it to John Strattan, sr. Two years afterwards, Mr. Strattan laid out the village, which received its name in his honor. At that time the village was in Armstrong county, and so remained till March, 1839, a period of eleven years. In 1850 the town was incorporated as a borough, and came under the general borough act of 1851, by decree of court in 1877. The first building erected on the site of the town was built by John Ray; the second by Captain Barber; the third by W. H. Lowrey; the fourth by J. R. Strattan; and the fifth by Samuel Wilson. The first store was opened by Samuel Wilson, esq., in June, 1834. This was the only store between Brookville and Franklin, except one at Shippenville, opened by Richard Shippen in 1822. Goods were brought here from Philadelpha, [sic] Pa., in Conestoga wagons drawn by six horses. These wagons always returned laden with flax, clover seed, rags, and deer and bear skins. People came to this store from what are now Armstrong, Jefferson, Forest, Venango, and Clarion counties. This village is regularly laid out -- three long streets, running directly east and west, while shorter ones cross these three and extend north and south. The central street, extending east and west, is known as Central avenue, and is in width about fifty feet. The avenue is kept in good condition, and on either side is a banquette about six feet in width, for the accommodation of pedestrians. The other streets are also lined with sidewalks, built of solid plank. Beautiful shade trees line its streets. The population numbers at present about three hundred. The vocations of the people are many. There are merchants, carpenters, mechanics, lumbermen, etc. The citizens are generally industrious, enlightened, and moral. The private homes are, many of them, handsome, and all tastily furnished. The private residence of R. Rulofson, esq., who is one of Clarion county's best business men, and one of the most useful citizens of this section of country, is especially worthy of mention. The building itself is one of the handsomest in the county, and is built in the midst of a beautiful park in the west end of the [p. 614] town. The park is laid out in walks, while the great number of trees it contains, indigenous and exotic, evergreen and deciduous, illustrate Mr. Rulofson's taste. The large handsome brick dwelling, erected by Samuel Wilson and now occupied by his son, H. B. Wilson, is also worthy of note; as is also the handsome new residence of Mr. and Mrs. James Cochran. Other residences that will compare favorably with the above are those belonging to and occupied by Dr. Barber and J. P. Jones, esq. The business portion of the town comprises four dry goods and grocery stores, a post-office, one drug store, one hardware store, one foundry, two boot and shoe shops, two millinery establishments, one blacksmith-shop, one tannery, one furniture store and undertaking establishment, one barber-shop, a Western Union telegraph office, two hotels, one livery stable, and a lumber office. Our merchants, viz., J. A. Cochran, H. L. Young, Charles Strattan, M. D., and J. P. Jones, esq., are all courteous, enterprising men, and all have a splendid custom. Of the above named gentlemen, Mr. Cochran is a son of one of the earliest settlers of the county. Mr. H. L. Young, one of our most charitable and best business men, is a son of Thomas Young, deceased, who was the oldest male child born in the county of Clarion. Dr. Strattan is a direct descendant of the founder of this village. His store-room is commodious. Mr. Strattan is also proprietor of the drug store. Mr. Jones has, in connection with his dry goods and grocery store, a hardware store; he is also postmaster, being assisted by his son, James Jones. The foundry is owned and operated by Steward Wilson, esq. Several men are given permanent employment in this foundry, and threshing machines, plows, stoves, etc., are manufactured. An excellent plow was invented by the proprietor of this foundry, and is called the S. Wilson plow. The boot and shoe shops, the proprietors of which are respectively J. W. Crooks and J. D. Smith, esq., do a large business. Mr. Crooks is also proprietor of the livery stable. The only blacksmith-shop is situated in the east end of the town, and is owned and managed by Mr. J. F. Green. Mrs. John Strattan and Mrs. Benjamin Hurley are each proprietresses of a first-class millinery store; there are also several mantua-makers in the village. Charles Warner is the owner of the tannery. He keeps for sale leather of all kinds. The Messrs. Fulton are the owners and proprietors of the furniture and undertaking establishment. The barber-shop, of which Mr. B. M. George is proprietor, was but recently established. The telegraph office is presided over by Messrs. Clyde, T. S. Young and G. G. Williams. The two hotels are large, commodious frame structures, located on Central avenue, and are known as the American House and the Clover House. Charles Beatty, esq., is the proprietor of the American House, and Mrs. Clover, widow of judge Clover, deceased, owns and keeps the Clover House. The lumber office belongs to Mr. Rulofson above named, and is connected by telephone with his extensive lumber mill at the mouth of Big Mill Creek.
[p. 615] There are within the limits of the borough two church edifices,
one a Methodist Episcopal Church, the other a Baptist Church. The
M. E. building is a modest, white frame structure, situated about the center
of the town, on the north side of Central avenue. It is one story
in height, and has a seating capacity of about two hundred. The building
is surmounted by a handsome steeple in which is a large bell, used to call
together the people during hours of worship. Church services are
held every alternate Sunday by the pastor, Rev. Wharton. Sunday-school
is also held every Sunday at two o'clock P. M., and is usually attended
by a goodly number of people, large and small. The present superintendent
of the school is Mr. J. W. Crooks. The Baptist edifice is also a
frame structure, painted white, and is located at the west end of the town.
It is somewhat larger than the M E. Church, having a seating capacity of
perhaps two hundred and fifty. Its height is but one story, while
it is surmounted by a spire containing what is said to be the best toned
bell in Clarion county. Its beautiful peals as they ring out on a
clear Sabbath morn, can easily be heard a distance of five miles.
This church, at present, has no regular pastor, but services are held occasionally
by the Rev. Jacob Booth, of Limestone. A Sabbath-school is also held
in this building every Sunday at ten o'clock A. M., so as not to conflict
with the M. E. school. The school is not very large, but it is quite
interesting and is well conducted. Mr. Steward Wilson is superintendent
of this school.
The cemeteries, two in number, are nicely located, and well kept. The one near the M. E. Church is the older, and is pretty well filled up with graves, while the one lying west of the town is not so full of graves, on account of its more recent existence. Both cemeteries contain fine monuments.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows has an organization here which is one of the most flourishing in the county. Their building is of brick, and is in size about thirty by forty-five feet, and two stories high. The upper part is exclusively used by the lodge, while the lower room, or basement, is the town hall. It is neatly furnished with benches and chairs, and has a speaker's stand. In it religious services are sometimes held by the Presbyterians. Local amateurs give entertainments in the hall for their own benefit, and for the amusement of the people. Two physicians and surgeons, viz.: Drs. Shirley and Barber are located in this village. Both are graduates of the best medical schools in the country, and are meeting with success in their profession. Dr. Barber has been permanently located in this village for many years, and Mr. Shirley has purchased property with a view of erecting thereon new buildings, and permanently locating also.
The schools are under the direct control of a board of six directors: Messrs. C. Basim, president, H. Corbett, secretary, J. D. Smith, H. L. Young, J. Frazier, and J. F. Green. The building in which the schools are held is a frame structure two stories in height, and fifty by forty feet. There are three [p. 616] rooms, two below and one above. The building is surmounted by a belfry. The rooms are furnished with patent furniture, the upper one, known as room No. 1, having seating capacity for seventy-two students. It is also plastered, the walls being papered, and hung with pictures. This room has a library. Among the books of the library may be mentioned the complete "Library of Universal Knowledge," fifteen volumes, which is a reprint of Chambers's encyclopedia, with an addition of eighty thousand American topics, a Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, with patent index, and a large family Bible. In justice to the pupils of this room it must be remembered that through their exertions this room was papered and the walls beautified by pictures; they also placed in the room the above mentioned books. The citizens of the borough are generally interested in the education of their children. They tax themselves heavily in order to pay good salaries. That they appreciate good work is evidenced by the fact that when they employ a teacher who does good work, they do not turn him off for a new man, but keep him as long as he continues to do well. The courses of instruction are thorough, being the same as those used by all graded schools of the county, viz.: The Primary, the Red Seal, the Yellow Seal, the Blue Seal, the Gold Seal, and the White Seal courses. Since the adoption of these courses, about six years since, several of the young people of the village have received diplomas from the county superintendent, evidencing the fact that they had finished the prescribed course. Among the gentlemen graduates may be mentioned James Jones, who is now a successful merchant; T. S. Young, who will engage in the medical profession; G. G. Williams, a successful telegrapher; S. J. Williams, who will enter the profession of law, and J. B. Neil, who is a successful teacher. The lady graduates, two of whom, Miss Ora Gahagan and Miss Jones, are teachers.
The surviving soldiers of the late war have, with their surviving comrades who reside in Clarion and Mill Creek townships, organized a Grand Army Post, having a good membership, the roster of which is as follows: Commander, George Johnson; adjutant, U. L. Boyles; quartermaster, J. D. Smith; chaplain, B. H. Hutley; officer of the day, H. B. Wilson; junior vice-commander, Henry Shrum; senior vice-commander, John Sherman.
The sons of the veterans of the late war have also an organization of thirty members, known as the "Rankin Guthrie Camp," No. 70, the officers of which organization are as follows: Captain, S. W. Wilson; first lieutenant, M. M. Strattan; second lieutenant, S. J. Sherman; orderly sergeant, S. J. Williams; chaplain, E. C. McCoy; quartermaster, J. F. Green; sergeant of the guard, F. F. Fisher; principal musician, M. M. Strattan; picket guard, J. F. Sherman; camp guard, M. E. Showers.
Strattanville has a brass band containing twelve pieces. There is also a martial band which was but recently organized.
[p. 617] The town is lighted by petroleum, and heated by bituminous coal; but we believe the day is not far distant when natural gas will take the place of coal and oil. Some of the most influential citizens are at present considering the advisability of purchasing gas, and the supposition is that they will ere long decide so to do.
The village is noted for its healthfulness, the sanitary regulations
being good. The supply of water, which is freestone, and the best
and coolest of its kind, is supplied from wells, which are sunk into the
earth to a depth of from twelve to twenty feet.