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History of Butler County Pennsylvania - 1883

Chapter 15 -- County Societies

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Transcribed by Ed McClelland ( For an explanation and caution about this transcription, please read this page.

Because this chapter is essentially a list of officers in the various societies, the surnames have not been repeated at the beginning of the chapter.



[p. 142]


The old Butler County Agricultural Society was organized in Butler Borough March 25, 1856, at which time the following officers were elected, viz., President, John ANDERSON; Treasurer, James BREDIN; Recording Secretary, Archibald BLAKELEY; Corresponding Secretary, Eugene FERRERO; Librarian, James CAMPBELL.

Vice Presidents-- Adams, Samuel MARSHALL; Allegheny, Henry KOHLMIRE; Brady, Silas COVERT; Butler, Silas PEARCE; Buffalo, William BARKER; Cherry, William GILCHRIST; Clay, Jesse HALL; Concord, Calvin GRAHAM; Center, Robert K. HUNTER; Connoquenessing, W.C. MARTIN; Clearfield, John GALLAHER; Cranberry, Alexander GILLESPIE; Clinton, Robert LOVE; Donegal, Manasses GILLESPIE; Fairview, James STORY; Franklin, Henry SHAFFER; Forward, Henry BUHL; Jefferson, James DUNLAP; Jackson, Jacob BURREY; Lancaster, Francis M. SCOTT; Mercer, John R. HARRIS; Marion, Joseph CUMMINGS; Muddy Creek, Isaac MOORE; Middlesex, James FULTON; Oakland, Anthony HOON; Pennsylvania, Abner BARTLEY; Parker, David KELLEY; Slippery Rock, Josiah MCJUNKIN; Summit, Robert B. MAXWELL; Venango, Samuel LAYSON; Washington, Peter SHIRA; Winfield, Giffin MCGEAREY; Worth, Alexander H. BOYLE; Borough of Butler, William CAMPBELL; Centerville, John T. BARD; Harrisville, James KERR; Harmony, George BEAN; Portersville, W.A. PATTERSON; Prospect, James WHITE; Saxonburg, E. MAURHOFF; Zelienople, Sidney PASSAVANT.


SECTION 1. The name of this Society shall be "Butler County Agricultural Society."

SEC. 2. The objects of this Society are to encourage and improve the agricultural, horticultural and domestic arts.

SEC. 3. This Society shall consist of all such persons as shall signify to the executive committee their wish to become members, and shall pay to the Treasurer, on signing the Constitution of the Society, not less than $1, and also of honorary and corresponding members. The payment of $20 shall constitute a life membership, and exempt all members so contributing from all annual payments.

SEC. 4. The officers of the Society shall consist of a President, and also a Vice President from each township and borough in the county; a Treasurer, a Corresponding and Recording Secretary, a Librarian and such assistants as the Society may consider essential to the transaction of its business. The Vice Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurer and Librarian shall constitute the executive committee.

SEC. 5. The President shall have a general superintendence of all the officers of the Society. In case of death, illness or inability of the President to perform the duties of his office, the executive committee shall select a Vice President to act in his place, who shall have the same power and perform the same duties as the President, until the next annual election. The duties of the Vice Presidents shall be to take charge of the affairs of the association in their several districts, and to advance all of its objects; to call upon farmers to report as to the condition of agriculture in their neighborhood; to ask for information as to the modes of cultivation and all such matters as may interest farmers in every part of the county. The Treasurer shall keep an account of all moneys paid into his hands, and shall only pay bills audited and approved by the executive committee.   *    *    *    *    *    *

SEC. 6. The Society shall meet annually. All officers of the Society shall hereafter be elected by ballot for the ensuing year and until another election. They shall also hold a general meeting at the time of exhibition, and special meetings whenever convoked by the executive committee. Fifteen members shall constitute a quorum to do business, but no member in arrears shall be entitled to the benefits of the Society.

SEC. 7. The constitution may be altered or amended at the annual meetings by a vote of two-thirds of the members present.


A meeting for the purpose of organizing the Butler County Agricultural Association was held in Thompson & Scott's law office October 15, 1877. The following officers were elected: President, G.C. CROSS; Vice Presidents, G.A. MCBRIDE, J.S. PURVIS, J.H. TEBAY; Directors, W.P. ROESSING, Joseph PURVIS, L.M. COCHRAN, G.J. CROSS, W.H.H. RIDDLE; Treasurer, J.L. PURVIS; Secretary, P.W. Lowry; Corresponding Secretary, W.P. ROESSING. The capital stock was fixed at $5,000. The charter of the society was granted November 3, 1877, by Judge E. MCJUN- [p. 143] KIN. The grounds at present used by the society were leased from Mrs. Eliza BREDIN and Dr. S. BREDIN for a period of ten years. The society started upon its career auspiciously, and held its first fair in the fall of 1878. The officers elected at the organization held over during that year. The officers for the years subsequent have been as follows:

1879-- President, Gardner J. CROSS; Vice Presidents, W.H.H. RIDDLE, J.H. TEBAY; Secretary, W.P. ROESSING; Treasurer, J.S. CAMPBELL; Directors, Gardner J. CROSS, George A. MCBRIDE, L.M. COCHRAN, James H. TEBAY, Joseph L. PURVIS, R.P. SCOTT, John S. CAMPBELL.

1880-- President, W.P. SMITH, Cenre Township; Vice Presidents, E.A. HELMBOLD, Saxonburg; J.L. PURVIS, Butler; Secretary, W.P. ROESSING; Treasurer, J.S. CAMPBELL; Directors, James D. ANDERSON, R.D. STEVENSON, G.H. GRAHAM, James H. TEBAY, Joseph L. PURVIS, W.H.H. RIDDLE, John S. CAMPBELL.

1881-- President, W.P. SMITH, Centre Township; Vice Presidents, W.H.H. RIDDLE, Butler; Alexander HUNTER, Brownsdale; Secretary, W.P. ROESSING; Treasurer, J.S. CAMPBELL; Directors, W.M. BROWN, R. STEPHENSON, J.D. ANDERSON, J.L. PURVIS, J.S. CAMPBELL, Harvey OSBORN, Thomas HAYS.

1882-- President, W.P. SMITH, Centre Township; Vice Presidents, W.H.H. RIDDLE, E.A. HELMBOLD; Secretary, W.P. ROESSING; Treasurer, J.S. CAMPBELL; Directors, Joseph L. PURVIS, J.D. ANDERSON, R.D. STEPHENSON, William M. BROWN, Walter EVANS, W.P. SMITH, Harvey OSBORN; J.L. PURVIS, General Superintendent; G.A. MCBRIDE, Assistant; Thomas HAYS, Chief Marshal; Fred BUHL, Marshal Horse Department; Thomas SCOTT, Marshal Cattle Department.

The Butler County Agricultural Society makes a practice of paying all premiums upon the close of the fair, at which they are awarded.


1. The Secretary will be prepared to receive entries at any time at his place of business, Butler, Penn., up to 6 P.M., September 18, after which his office will be on the grounds of the association, where he will receive entries up to 10 o'clock Wednesday, September 20, when all entries will be closed. But we would urge the importance of exhibitors making their entries previous to that day.

2. Cards properly numbered and classified will be furnished by the Secretary, which must be attached to their articles, and no article or animal will be examined by the judges without such card being attached.

3. No article or animal shall be entitled to more than one premium, except as provided for by the premium list.

4. All articles and animals should be in their places on Tuesday, September 19, at 5 o'clock, and no animal or article will be received after Wednesday, September 20, at 10 o'clock, and no article or animal will be allowed to remove from the grounds until after the grand parade on Thursday, September 21.

5. Hay and straw will be furnished free to bona fide exhibitors, and grain at cost for all animals put on exhibition.

6. Any person attempting to influence the judges in their decision, shall forfeit all claims to the premium.

7. The managers reserve the right to withhold any premium given by the judges under false representations, or not in accordance with the rules and regulations.

8. All protests must be made before 3 o'clock P.M. on the closing day of the fair, as at that hour the payment of premiums will be commenced.

9. All premiums which are not protested before 3 o'clock P.M. on the closing day of the fair, will be paid after that hour at the office of the Secretary, on the grounds, and in the order in which the judges' books of the several classes are returned to the Secretary.

10. Exhibitors of thorough-bred stock will be required to deposit with the Secretary an authentic copy of the pedigree of each animal or reference to Stud Book or Herd Book, for the use of the jury of awards.

11. No article can compete in more than one class, nor but once in the same class, except as provided for by premium list.

12. There will be a parade of all stock on exhibition, except sheep and swine, at 3 o'clock P.M., each day, at which time all horses and such cattle as may be required by the Superintendent shall appear at the call of the Superintendent, under halter and in charge of a goom. Exhibitors must give attention to their articles and animals, and be ready to exhibit them at such times, and in such places, and in such manner as the Superintendent in charge shall direct, in accordance with the daily official programme. This rule will be strictly enforced, and any failure or neglect, without excuse obtained from the General Superintendent, will work a forfeiture of all premiums.

13. The Department Superintendents are to have full control over every article or animal in their several departments, and shall arrange and assign, and re-arrange and reassign, as his judgment may dictate, each article or animal in his department, and each person who becomes an exhibitor thereby acknowledges and undertakes to observe all the rules and regulations of the association.

14. All entries in any class free, except those hereinafter mentioned.

15. Exhibitors must see to the delivery of their stock or articles to the Superintendents of the different departments, who shall assaign them their places and have full control of them during the time they are on the grounds.

16. All horses and cattle brought upon the grounds are required to be tied, and when exhibited in the ring, or on parade, to be under halter and in care of a groom.

17. No person, except members of the board, who are not competitors will not be allowed to see the entries or have access to the entry books until after the award is made.

18. All entries will be made in strict compliance with the offered premium list, and awards made in accordance. Parties should be particular to have stock or articles entered just as they want them. Entries of stock will not be changed from one class to another after the entry is once made.

19. If there is any question as to the regularity of the entry, or the right of an animal or article to compete in any given class, the judges shall report the same to the Superintendent of the department for adjustment.

20. No discretionary premiums shall be awarded, but articles or animals which are not included in the regular list may be commended; and the commendation, together with the reason therefor, shall be entered on the judges' books, and will be considered at some regular meeting of the association.

21. The judges, on all animals, will have regard to purity of breeding and the general characteristics of the respective [p. 144] breeds to which they belong; they will make due allowance for the effects of age, feeding, early maturity.


This agricultural club was organized in April, 1869, with the following officers: President, John Q.A. KENNEDY, of Penn Township; Vice Presidents, Herman J. BERG, Butler, John MARTIN, Connoquenessing; David MCKEE, Slippery Rock; W.M. GRAHAM, Washington; James ANDERSON, Penn; John B. MCGLAUGHLIN, Clearfield; H.C. MCCOY, Abraham MOYER, Lancaster; Samuel MARSHALL, Adams; Josiah M. THOMPSON, Brady; Corresponding Secretary, Edwin LYON; Recording Secretary, John Q.A. SULLIVAN; Treasurer, Hugh MORRISON; Librarian, W.H. BLACK.


This organization held its first annual fair at Butler September 28, 29 and 30, 1870. Its officers were as follows: President, John Q.A. KENNEDY; Vice Presidents, H.J. BERG, Sr., A. CUTHBERT; Secretary, W.H.H. RIDDLE; Corresponding Secretary, Edwin LYON; Treasurer, Hugh MORRISON; General Superintendent, G.W. SHOFFER.


This society had its origin in 1866. In the fall of that year, circulars were received by various medical petitioners in the county, from Drs. HAMILTON, COFFEE and KING, of Allegheny County, suggesting the idea of organization. This was acted upon at a meeting held in Butler November 3, 1866. The following officers were elected, viz., President, Dr. Amos LUSK; Vice President, Dr. A.M. NEYMAN; Secretary, Dr. Stephen BREDIN; Corresponding Secretary, Dr. HUSELTON; Treasurer, Dr. IRVINE; Medical Censors, Drs. MCMICHAEL, COWDEN and Joseph LUSK.

At a meeting held January 3, 1867, a constitution was reported by Dr. COWDEN, RICHARDSON, Amos LUSK, BREDIN and NEYMAN, appointed as a committee for that purpose at a previous meeting. This was signed by the following ten gentlemen, who thus were the original members of the society, viz.: Amos LUSK, Zelienople; A.M. NEYMAN, Butler; Thomas IRVINE, Evansburg; S.H. MATHEWSON, Saxonburg; J.B. LIVINGSTON, Slippery Rock; E.F. HENDERSON, Coultersville; G.W. COULTER, Slippery Rock; Stephen BREDIN, Butler; A.M. RICHARDSON, Prospect; T.J. BLACKWOOD, Glade Mills; Theodore FRICKELSTINE, Butler; W.R. COWDEN, Portersville, and Joseph S. LUSK, Harmony.

In addition to the foregoing, the society has received, from time to time and in the order given, the following members: W.N. CLARK, Whitestown; N.M. HOOVER, North Hope; J. MCMICHAEL, Millerstown; Samuel GRAHAM, Butler; S.S. FOWLER, Millerstown; C.E. PECK, Millerstown; S.D. BELL, Millerstown; C.F. MCBRIDE, Butler; A. DONALDSON, Coultersville; B.A. HENLEN, North Hope; R.L. PATTERSON, St. Joe; David HARPER, Karns City; R.H. PILLOW, Josiah M. THOMPSON, G.W. SLOAN, J.L. CHRISTY, John E. BYERS, all of Butler; J.H. KING, Saxonburg; H.R. WILSON, PORTERSVILLE; F.W. BROOKS, Evansburg; Will R. WILSON, Portersville; C.A. MCCASKEY, Millerstown; Lewis G. DAVIS, ____; Theodore KERSTING, Evansburg; C.L. CAMPBELL, Brownsdale.

The objects of the Butler County Medical Society, as stated in the constitution, are "to organize the profession in the county in connection with the State Medical Society and American Association, and to advance the interests of the profession and render it more subservient to the good of humanity."

To be entitled to membership, the applicant must be a citizen of Butler County and a practitioner in the same for at least six months, be either a graduate of some respectable medical school, have license to practice from a board recognized by the State Medical Society, or have been a practitioner in good standing for fifteen years.


The first teachers' institute was organized November 19, 1855, with the following officers: President, Isaac BLACK, County Superintendent; Vice President, A.J. REBSTOCK, Matthew GREER; Secretary, Thomas BALPH; Treasurer, Jacob P. MYERS; Executive Committee, S.P. IRVINE, Mary M. TAZEGART, M. Louisa BUTLER. Fifty teachers were present at this meeting.

"Feeling that popular education would be greatly enhanced by the adoption of a uniform system throughout the county," the institute selected and recommended the following list of school books, viz., Little Teacher No. 1, Orthographic Chart, McGuffey's Eclectic Primer and the Pictorial Primer, Spelling-Book, First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Readers by the same author, being McGuffey's entire series, also Ray's Arithmetics, Mssrs. McNally's and Monteyth's Geographies and Pineo's series of grammers.

The following preamble and resolutions were adopted:

WHEREAS, We firmly believe the common school system of Pennsylvania to be well calculated to redeem the schools of the State, and advance the sadly neglected cause of popular education, and feel that we are worthy of public confidence and support, therefore,

Resolved, That in order to promote the public interest in this respect and elevate the character of our profession, we hereby secure the allegiance we owe to that great system, by pledging ourselves to the faithful discharge of our responsible duties as educators commissioned by the State, and to a cordial co-operation with our energetic County Superintendent (Isaac BLACK), in his arduous efforts to reform and build up the common schools of Butler County.

Resolved, That in the opinion of the teachers here assembled, Mr. Isaac BLACK, our worthy Superintendent of Public Schools, has discharged the arduous and responsible duties of his office with marked zeal and ability, and that we will cordially co-operate with him in all of his efforts to elevate the common schools of the county.

Resolved, That the several Boards of Directors of this county be respectfully requested to vote a salary to the County Superintendent, commensurate with the duties of his office, which have demanded, and will continue to demand, his whole time and best energies.

Resolved, That we loudly call upon the friends of education throughout Butler County to unite with us in our endeavors to elevate the standard of teaching, and the condition of our common schools.


The organization of this association was effected May 26, 1881, at a meeting held at Butler, of which the Rev. T.F. STAUFFER acted as presiding officer. The officers elected were as follows: President, J.C. TUISTMAN; Vice President, T.F. STAUFFER; Recording Secretary, Louisa MCLURE; Corresponding Secretary, P.L. BARNHART.

This association is entirely independent of the County Teachers' Institute, which is held annually, in accordance with the previsions of a special law. In 1882, that association had seventy-five members.

This society was organized August 12, 1828, at a meeting held at the court house. Walter LOWRIE was chosen Chairman and John BREDIN, Secretary. A constitution was adopted, and the following officers elected: Presidents, John POTTS, Rev. Reid BRACKEN; Vice Presidents, Rev. Isiah NIBLOCK, Rev. John FRANCE, Rev. Robert GREER, Rev. S. STOUGHTON, Rev. John COULTER, C.G. SWEITZERBACH, Thomas MCCLINTOCK, Robert BROWN; Treasurer, Robert SCOTT; Secretary, John BREDIN.

[End of Chapter 15--County Societies: History of Butler County, Pennsylvania. With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Waterman, Watkins, & Co., Chicago, 1883.]

Chapter 14--Butler County Oil Development
Chapter 16--Statistics
1883 Butler County History Contents
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Edited 14 Mar 2000, 17:37