Sunsbury Township

Lee township

Sunsbury Township was organized on June 24, 1819. It lies on a high ridge dividing the waters of Captina Creek on the North and Sunfish Creek on the South. The following were among the first settlers of Sunsbury Township: Abner Barrett; John Linn; Citizen Beall; George Stewart; Robert Wilson; John Nelson; George Decker; John Palmer; Elias Pitman; Samuel Mellott; Henry Smith; Samuel Starr; Noah Stewart; Jesse Morris; and the Trembly family. The first settlement was made around 1812 about 3/4 mile South of Beallsville. It is believed that two or three years earlier, the first cabin was built by John Linn and Abner Barrett. The first child born in Sunsbury Township was Joshua Barrett, the son of Abner and Anna Barrett.

The first election was held on John Linn's farm about one mile West of Beallsville in 1819 or 1820. It is said that eleven votes were cast -- ten of the votes being those of John Lin; Caleb Linn; John Nelson; Robert Wilson; Benjamin Truex; Jacob Truex; Abner Barrett; John Wink; Citizen Beall; and George Stewart.

The first officers of Sunsbury Township were as follows: John Linn, Clerk; Abner Barrett, Justice of the Peace; David Palmer, Constable; John Linn, Treasurer; Casper Hendershot, Trustee; George Stewart, Trustee; and John Smith, Trustee.

It is believed that William Green built a water grist mill in 1816 on the Piney Fork. In 1820, Henry Balding built a horse-power grist mill. The horses, hitched to a sweep, traveled in a circle giving motion to the mill gearing overhead. The mill was made of round logs with a height of ten or twelve feet, The clapboard roof was held in place by weight poles. It is believed that Joseph Dillie built a water saw mill in 1819. Its location is not known but it is known that the mill was of little service. John Truex built a saw mill on the Piney Fork in 1820.

The first school, about one mile South of Beallsville, was taught by a man named Mr. Rodgers in 1815 with a total of eight scholars. The school was a primitive building. There were seven good, substantial, and comfortable frame school houses in Sunsbury Township on 1880. The school house in Beallsville, however, was made of brick and was two stories high.

The first post office of Sunsbury Township was located in the village of Beallsville and the second post office of Sunsbury Township was located at Ozark.

The first sermon was preached about one-half mile South of Beallsville where the first society was organized by the Baptists in 1813. The first ministers were Reverend Philip Skinner and Elias Conger. Among the first members of the church were Richard Truex, Polly Truex, John Wink, Ivy Wink, Sally Linn, Rachel Linn, and William Green. The second church which was organized was the Methodist Episcopal Church. This was the first frame church which was built in Sunsbury Township. Although the exact location is unknown, there were six members. The third church which was organized was the Presbyterian Church with 20 members.

There were eight churches in Sunsbury Township 70 years ago. They were as follows: The M.E. Church in Bealsville with a membership of 125 persons; the Pleasant Grove M.E. Church located South of Beallsville with a membership of 60 persons; the Asburg Chapel M.E. Church with a membership of 40 persons -- Reverend W. Becall being the pastor; The Baptist Church located in the Eastern part of the Township with a membership of 57 persons -- Reverend R.H. Lyons being the pastor; the Baptist Church located one mile South of Beallsville with a membership of 35 persons -- Reverend R.H. Lyons being the pastor here also; the Christian Church in Beallsville with a membership of 85 persons-- Reverend A. Linkliter and Reverend W.H. Willison Being the pastors; a church of the Christian denomination located in the Northern part of the Township -- Reverend John Secrist preaching the first sermon at an early date; and the Presbyterian Church in Beallsville with a membership of 100 persons -- Reverend George McDonald being the pastor in 1881.

The first Sabbath school was organized by Ebenezer Coe in 1832 with 40 scholars. In 1881, there were eight Sabbath schools in Sunsbury Township as follows: the Beallsville M.E. Sabbath School, Robert Cleary being the Superintendent; the Pleasant Grove Sabbath School, Leander Wiley being the Superintendent; the Asbury Chapel, John Hobbs being the Superintendent; the East Middle Union School, Christian Blattler being the Superintendent; the East Sunsbury Sunday School, a man by the name of Mr. McDougal being the Superintendent; the Christian Church in Beallsville, Ellsworth Thornberry being the Superintendent; and the Presbyterian Sabbath School in Beallsville, Reverend George McDougal being the Superintendent.

Citizen Beall organized the Town of Beallsville in 1824. Mr. Smith and Mr. Hess made additions in 1833. Since that time, these additions have been called Linn's Addition; Beall's Addition; Hudson's Addition; Daniel's Addition; and Miller's Addition.