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History of Butler County Pennsylvania - 1883

Chapter 20 -- Adams Township

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Transcribed by Nancy Cain Knepper. For an explanation and caution about this transcription, please read this page.



Illustrations And Biographies In Chapter XX

p.192a-- Samuel Marshall
p.192b-- Mary Marshall
p.197 -- Samuel Marshall Bio
p. 200a Thomas & Mrs Kennedy
p. 200b T.W. Kennedy Residence
p. 200a Thomas Kennedy Bio



[p. 192]

Adams was formed from parts of the original townships of Cranberry and Middlesex in 1854. John IRVINE, a brother of Squire S. P. IRVINE, of Butler Borough and Dr. IRVINE, named the township in honor of John Quincy ADAMS, President of the United States. To one not familiar with this township, the first natural feature which presents itself is its extreme elevation in the central part. A gentleman, in 1878, when searching for coal and limestone, found by the use of the grade and leveler that the highest point in the township is the hill on lands of D. P. NICKLAS, a short distance east of the center of the township, which is proven by actual investigation to be just 100 feet higher than the center, and by observations and mathematical calculations it is discovered that the central part of the township is 300 feet higher than the ground where the court house in the borough of Butler stands. Adams Township is well watered by Breakneck Creek, Little Breakneck and Glade Run. The source of Breakneck proper is found one mile from Bakertown,(sic) and its general direction is northwest, emptying into the Connoquenessing about two miles east of Harmony. This stream derived its name from the fact that in the early settlement of the township an unknown person attempted to ford the stream in the extreme northern part of the township with his pack-horse, when by some means the horse stumbled and fell, breaking his neck. Little Breakneck is a tributary of the former stream, its general direction being north, and having its source in Allegheny County, and emptying into Breakneck about three miles south of the northern line of the township.

Glade Run passes through the northeast corner of the township. The first settlers within the boundaries of this township from the years 1794 to 1800 were James GLOVER,* James IRVINE, Adam JOHNSTON, Robert McCANDLESS, Timothy WARD, Moses MEEKER, Joshua STOOLFIER and William ROSEBOROUGH. All of these stalwart and noble pioneers have long since passed away, and they have left but few descendants who can relate the story of their early adventures and do justice to their sterling worth.
* See Chapter IV of the general history for an account of James GLOVER'S arrival in the county.

James IRVINE was a native of Ireland, who, on coming to this country about 1770, settled in Westmoreland County. He came into Adams Township in 1796, and took up 100 acres of land by settler's right, and was one of its first pioneers, in other senses than the chronological. He was one of the earliest school teachers in the county, and the progenitor of what might be called a family of school teachers. He died about 1830, and his property was divided among his heirs. He had nine children, all of whom married except two. His oldest sons were Matthew and Samuel, both of whom were soldiers in the War of 1812. The latter named was the father of Squire S. P. IRVINE, of Butler Borough. The other sons and daughters of James IRVINE were William, James, John, Armstrong, Aiken, Mary and Elizabeth. All are deceased except Armstrong, who is a resident of this township.

Adam JOHNSON was a man of great physical endurance, and possessed of many noble traits of character. Amidst the toils and privations of his fellowmen and their families, his goodness of heart, sympathy and material assistance more than once called upon him the blessing of his associates, then but a little band struggling with him for a home and happiness. He died in 1827 at the advanced age of 103 years. Of the early career of Robert McCANDLESS and Timothy WARD, but few facts remain, and with reference to their families the writer could gather nothing. Moses MEEKER was a Puritan, a sober, silent man, said to be a good listener, but a man of few words. He was intelligent, however, and could give excellent counsel to the young when sought after.

William ROSEBOROUGH came into Adams as early as 1798. He was a native of Ireland. He obtained his wife in this county when twenty-five years old. She was the daughter of Adam JOHNSTON, one of the prominent pioneers of this township. They had eight children born to them--Jane, Adam, John, Sarah, Elsie, William, Mary, Ann and Eliza. Jane, their oldest daughter, married Samuel PARK. The house in which they lived was erected in 1813, as the date is plainly visible on the chimney today. Samuel died in 1849, but Jane is still living, and for a woman of eighty-nine years possesses a bright recollection of early events. Of nine children, three are living--John, Samuel and Levina. Samuel owns and operates the large grist-mill near Over Brook station. It was built by Matthew PARK in 1800.

William CRISWELL, a native of County Down, Ireland, after living several years in Philadelphia, located in Adams Township in 1798. He settled on a tract of 400 acres, and agreeably to the grant, 200 acres became his, the other 200 falling into the possession of Henry BALDWIN of Philadelphia, afterward purchased by Judge John BREDIN of this county. Mr. CRISWELL kept bachelor's hall for two years after his arrival in the wilderness. Tradition says he became sincerely [p.193] disgusted with this mode of life, and his attempts at making "slap-jacks" and "johnny-cake," the chief dishes of the early settlers' table, and, in 1800, becoming enamored of one Margaret CRISWELL, he was fortunate enough to win her for his wife. He took her to his small cabin, furnished in the most primitive modern style, and from that moment Mr. CRISWELL'S perplexities in house-keeping vanished. Their offspring were numerous, having born to them eleven children, as follows: Mary, who married William HUTCHMAN; Martha, who married James KIDD; Robert, who died in 1856 unmarried; Nancy, who died in 1868; Margaret, who married Robert McKINNEY; Elizabeth, who married James PLUMMER in 1833; Jane, who married Samuel PURVIS, of Beaver; Susannah, who married Samuel KIDD; and James, who married Elizabeth SPEAR. Two died in infancy. Rev. Robert SPEAR, who graduated from Wilmington College in 1873, and is now preaching in Ohio; John MITCHELL, Professor of Greek and Latin at Wilmington, are the grandchildren of William and Margaret CRISWELL. It is related further of William CRISWELL that he walked across the Alleghany [sic] Mountains, not having any other means of travel, and when he built his rude cabin he slept the first night in it with his gun in his hands, frequently rising to discharge it at a pack of ravenous wolves which were prowling about the house endeavoring to effect an entrance. For some time after his settlement, he followed the business of "packing" salt, ammunition, etc., from Carlisle, and frequently from Philadelphia to this settlement for himself and neighbors.

David SPEAR was another very prominent arrival. Although he emigrated from "Emerald Isle" as early as 1792 to this country, it was not until about 1796 that he located in the western part of this township. He paid $100 for 500 acres of land to a land agent, and purchased 500 more from Samuel BOYD and Judge BREDIN for a nominal sum. He met Mary PIPER, now his wife, when on his way to this "land of the free." They had nine children, who all grew to maturity and married, with two or three exceptions. Their eldest son formed an alliance with Bell KENNEDY. Jane married Alexander BOYLES. Mary became the wife of William WRIGHT. Margaret married Hugh KIDD. William married Mary DAVIS. A fatal accident befell David while assisting at a barn-raising at James ALLISON'S, in Allegheny County, an he died unmarried. Annie also died unmarried. Sarah wedded John WRIGHT. Martha became Mrs. Alexander PURVIS. Hannah died unmarried. Robert's wife was Elizabeth WRIGHT.

The BARR'S, consisting of Andrew, his wife and three children--John, James and Jane--were quite early settlers. They came from County Derry, Ireland, where their children were born, and were not long in selecting a place of location after their arrival, which was on a beautiful tract of land called Edenderry, purchased from William ROSEBOROUGH, who received the patent from Gov. KEAN, having made settlement which entitled him to the land in accordance with the ninth section of an act of the General Assembly, passed the 3rd day of April, 1792, entitled an act for the sale of vacant lands within the Commonwealth. They were subjected to great anxiety of mind while crossing the ocean. Their vessel, besides bearing human freight, was supposed to contain valuable merchandise, and was, consequently, pursued by pirate ships, who fired upon her several times. John BARR, who was fifteen years of age when he landed in America, afterward married Jane DICKEY, who was reared in Allegheny County. James, one year younger, entered into marriage relation with Jane SPEAR, living very prosperously and happy until a sad event terminated his life. Mr. BARR, with many of his neighbors, was rearing a barn on Mr. ROSS' farm, and while he was standing on a cross-beam on the second story, an ascending stick of timber struck him on the head, knocking him off the building and killing him almost instantly. Jane remained unmarried and died in 1878, aged seventy-eight years.

James PLUMMER was reared in Westmoreland County, and came here in 1815. Long before coming into Adams Township, he had a strong desire to make for himself a permanent home in this county. He purchased his land from Alexander HAYES, from near Whitestown, paying him $6 per acre for it. He at once set to work with a hearty good will to diminish the forests and break up the fallow-ground. During the first few years, he was not at all successful in obtaining large crops, suffering the same inconvenience experienced by many others of that day--that of not having the necessary implements with which to cultivate the stubborn soil. However, he did not fold his arms in sullen disappointment. He toiled on as many others of the pioneers did, in the hope and expectation of better success in the future.

His wife was Nancy STEEL, of Fayette County, who bore him eight children--Jonathan, Mary, Elizabeth, William, James, Ann, Thomas and Jane. James PLUMMER died in 1828, January 12, in the sixty-second year of his age. His son, James, now in his seventy-fifth year, is spending his last days on part of the same farm owned by his father, and which he owned up to 1854, when he sold it to Esquire HUTCHMAN, and removed to Bakerstown. After remaining there twelve years, he went to Beaver County, but tiring of that county he finally came back to Adams Township, and purchased from Mr. HUTCHMAN five acres of the old farm. His great-grandfather was [p.194] among the noble band of 101 who fled from England to this country on account of religious persecution, sailing in the "Mayflower." Several times he had his property burned by the Indians, near where Pittsburgh now is. He is said to have tanned the first leather and distilled the first liquor west of the Allegheny Mountains, using a copper kettle for the still and the barrel of a shot-gun for the worm.

Simultaneous with Mr. PLUMMER'S settlement, Job STAPLES came in and located first in what was Cranberry, and remained there several years teaching school. Later, he removed one mile west, to what is now Adams Township, on a farm of 200 acres, which he bought from an eccentric character, "Tom MEANS," by name, giving him as part payment a shot-gun and a yoke of oxen. MEANS owned a great deal of land during these times, and it is said that when he became comfortably filled with whisky, a fit of generosity would seize him, and he would offer his neighbors some extraordinary bargains. Susan HAYES became the wife of Mr. STAPLES, and had a family of sixteen children, two of whom died in early life and five in later years. John, next to the youngest child, is living on his father's farm, and is a man honored and respected by all his acquaintances.

Robert McKINNEY emigrated from County Down, Ireland, to American soil, landing in New York City, where he remained one winter, and coming to this locality in the spring of 1818. He settled in the eastern part of the township, and carried forward the business of distilling liquor for many years, on what is now known as the HUMES farm. His wife, whose maiden name was Margaret PEEBLES, was born in Ireland. Their family of four children are all dead. Their names were Elizabeth, Robert, Mary and James. Samuel McKINNEY, the son of Robert McKINNEY, and grandson of Robert, resides with his mother, an estimable lady, on the farm known as the Mount Evert tract, so called, because patented by Phililp EVERT in 1809 and conveyed by him to Adam McGREGOR by deed dated May 8, and conveyed by sundry deeds from time to time, down to Robert McKINNEY.

About the year 1826, Samuel MARSHALL, then a young man, settled in what is now Adams Township, where he resided until his decease, which occurred November 1, 1880, in his eighty-second year. Perhaps no citizen of Adams Township wielded a more extended influence than he, or did more in the building-up of the best interests of the township. His wife was a noble woman, his counterpart in all that pertains to true nobility of character. Their home was an asylum for the needy and oppressed, and a prominent station on the "Underground Railroad," and many stirring scenes were there enacted during the slavery days. The following sketch of the MARSHALL family will be read with interest:

"Some of the members of the MARSHALL family occupied conspicuous places in the history of Butler County; others have become widely known throughout Pennsylvania and the neighboring states. We therefore give a more extended notice of the family than might otherwise be deemed necessary in a work specially historical of Butler County. James MARSHALL and Jean PEEBLES, the heads of the MARSHALL family, were both born in Ireland. They were married, in November, 1797, and had a family of eleven children, all born in Ireland. In 1822, the family emigrated to the United States, and after a year of stay in Pittsburgh, settled in Middlesex Township, Butler County, in that part of Middlesex now known as Penn Township. Mary MARSHALL, the first born of their children, married Joseph BROWN. Mrs. BROWN died in 1877. Mrs. BROWN left a large family of children, among whom may be mentioned her eldest son, Maj. A. M. BROWN, who occupies a high and well-deserved eminence as a lawyer and citizen of Pittsburgh, in Allegheny County.

Samuel MARSHALL, the eldest of the MARSHALL family, married Mary GILLILAND, the daughter of Burnet GILLILAND, an old and honored citizen of Butler County. A biography of Judge MARSHALL appears in this chapter.

James MARSHALL, the second son, left home in 1825, and sought his fortune in Pittsburgh, where he pursued mercantile and manufacturing pursuits until he amassed a comfortable fortune. He founded the "Farmers Deposit Bank," and remained its President until his death, which occurred in September, 1869.

Elizabeth MARSHALL, the second daughter, married Mr. John DEAN, a successful merchant of Allegheny City. Mrs. DEAN and her husband still reside in Allegheny City, in the enjoyment of an ample fortune.

William MARSHALL, the fourth son, learned the trade of hatter, and for years was engaged in that business in Pittsburgh, but afterward returned to Butler County, where he died in 1876.

Esther MARSHALL, the third daughter, married Mr. John C. RAINBOW. She died in New Brighton, Beaver County, many years since. John C. MARSHALL, the third son, established a tannery on the homestead farm in Butler County. He married Nancy LYON, a daughter of Thomas LYON, an old resident of Butler County. He died in ____, leaving a large family of children, who have all removed to Allegheny County.

David MARSHALL, the fifth son, married Euphemia, the youngest daughter of Barnet GILLILAND. He resides in Prospect, in this county, and is a solid and responsible member of society.

[p.195] Archibald M. MARSHALL, the fifth son, early removed to Pittsburgh, where he has been successful in business as a merchant, and is now largely engaged in the flouring business in the firm of MARSHALL, KENNEDY & CO., Penn Mills, Pittsburgh.

Kennedy MARSHALL, the seventh son, died in 1826, before arriving at maturity. Thomas M. MARSHALL, the eighth son, and youngest of the MARSHALL family, in his seventh year, was taken to Pittsburgh. We elsewhere give a more extended notice of his public life.

James MARSHALL, the father of this family, was a man of strong, imperious will and firm of convictions. When he arrived in Butler County in 1824, he purchased a considerable body of land, and devoted himself to farming. He died on his farm in 1854. Although a man of large and powerful intellectual power, he never actually interfered in political affairs. He was a "Scotch Convenanter." His religious convictions prevented him from accepting the oath of naturalization to support the Constitution of the United States; in his judgment that instrument sanctioned and protected human slavery, recognized the right of property in man. Hence, he remained an alien and was prevented from the exercise of that civil influence which would otherwise have been freely accredited him.

In 1854, when this stanch, honest, manly man laid down the burden of life, his sons carried his dust to the family lot in the Allegheny Cemetery, where he sleeps beside the wife of his youth Jean PEEBLES, who survived until July, 1863, when her children conveyed her body to sleep in the silent city of the dead, near the precious objects of her watchful prayers during a long and lonely life. This old couple sleep side by side. The husband died when he had attained fourscore years and six; the wife fourscore and five.

Their family is now scattered far and wide, from the Keystone State to the Pacific coast. Some of the members of the family have attained great distinction and largely assisted a giving direction and form to public sentiment and national action.

William CASHDOLLAR purchased a farm of 200 acres at Commissioner's sale, and located on it in 1832. His first wife was Fannie FOWLER, who he married in 1829. She died in September of the same year. By his second wife he reared eleven children, who are all living--Catherine, John F., William S., Joseph, James, Margaret, Samuel B., Mary, Rosanna, Thomas, Drenen and Tillie. William S. is living within a few hundred feet of the homestead. His partner in life was Susie HAMILTON.

In the year 1810, John S. DOUTHETT was born in Middlesex Township, but after the subdivision of the township, his home became Forward. He moved on a farm, bought of Judge John BREDIN in the present township of Middlesex in 1839. Mr. DOUTHITT filled the office of Justice of the Peace for three terms in succession, and was always interested in the welfare of the schools, several times being elected to the office of Director. Miss Ellen RICHARDSON, who was reared in this township, became his wife. They have four children living. Joseph, their only son, is cultivating his father's farm, and is rearing a family of his own, having been married to Esther LIST, of Middlesex.

The lives and history of the generality of the early pioneers of this township would indeed furnish good material for those who seek examples to illustrate the cardinal truth to the rising generation, that "it is the hand of the diligent that maketh rich" in character and knowledge as well as in that which more commonly, though with less truth, bears the name of riches.


The pioneers directed their attention as soon as possible to the beneficent object of furnishing for their offspring the means of obtaining an rudimentary education.

In 1800, when the settlement was yet sparse, the best informed among the young men were selectled to teach the youthful portion of the community the ordinary branches of reading, writing and spelling, and received for their services of two or three months home products of the farm. To give some idea of children's trials in those days in learning to write, we may state that they were summoned up one by one to a large box of sand, which was dampened every morning, and required to follow the copy written in it with a sharp stick. There was no such thing at the early period as chalk or slates and pencils in the community. For reading books, some of the pupils would have the Bible, others a spelling book, and still others leaves of some ancient history or geography, taken out indiscriminately. These first schools were taught in the summer, and it was a very common occurrence to see children come to school with feet lacerated and bleeding from trampling upon thorns. A rude log structure was built in 1805, as the settlement had received new additions, and school was continued here for several years, during certain periods with good success. The various teachers Matthew WRIGHT, Timothy WARD and Joseph KIRK. A public school was organized in this township in the year 1836, and the first schoolhouse was erected on the DAVIS farm, now known as the Thomas ANDERSON farm. Pupils came to this school from a great distance, and it is said, very regularly, too, although during the rigorous winter they were [p.196] frequently compelled to wade through very deep snows. Robert HILL was the first teacher, and the patrons of the school were the McMARLINS, KENNEDYS, MARSHALLS, GILLILANDS, FORSYTHES, CRISWELLS, BARRS, PARKSES, IRVINS AND COOKS. The second schoolhouse was erected in 1837 on the JOHNSTON farm, near what is now Templeton Station, and as the population increased other houses were built to meet the growing demands of progress and improvement. These buildings were all constructed of unhewn logs, and the long, rude and unfinished desks were fastened to the wall by means of wooden pins, and a large open fireplace occupied well-nign one-fourth of one of the sides of the room, in which lay burning huge logs.

Samuel HOOD, John IRVINE, Joseph COWAN and Robert COWAN were among the earliest public school teachers in Adams. For a few years previous to the subdivision of the townships, which occurred in 1854, the old log buildings were gradually giving way to convenient and more substantial ones, and since that time very marked improvements have been made in that direction. In the year last mentioned, Silas MILLER taught school in NO. 3. He had been engaged in the business of teaching since 1839, up to that date, in various parts of the county. He was regarded as a good teacher, and was skilled not only in the common branches, but was thoroughly conversant with the dead languages, history and music. His wife is a sister of Elias W. KIRK, of Butler Borough. Mr. MILLER is now sixty-three years old, and though his physical strenghth is meager, yet his mental abilities are still good.

After the organization of the township, which occurred in 1854, the first election was held at the house of John W. DOUTHETT, where the right of suffrage was exercised for many years. Mr. DOUTHETT was elected Justice of the Peace, and William SPEARS Constable. The first general store was started by William CASHDOLLAR, in a house contiguous to the one he lived in for more than a score of years. He remained in the business for four or five years, keeping on hand all those articles of merchandise which are classed under the head of absolute necessities. But tiring of the life of a merchant, he was succeeded by William STOOP, who supplied the wants of the community for a number of years.

William H. GILLILAND, reared in this county, settled within the bounds of this township in 1836, on a large and productive farm willed to him by his father, and which was previously owned by his great-grandfather, James GLOVER, who was one of the first settlers. In the same year of his settlement upon the farm mentioned, he married Miss Rachael CRAWFORD, of Allegheny County, who became the maternal ancestor of eleven children, nine of whom are now living, viz, Nancy, John, James, Mary, Margaret, Eliza J., Rachael, Louis and Amelia.

Nancy, John, Mary, Margaret and Eliza are all married; but James, Louis and Amelia are unmarried and residing with their mother on the old place. William GILLILAND during his lifetime was always looked upon as a man who possessed many good qualities, both of mind and heart. He early identified himself with the cause of education, and did all he could for its onward march.

Messrs. Samuel BELFOUR, William THIELMAN and George MARBOROUGH are among the later settlers. Mr. BELFOUR came from Scotland and located on a farm in the southwestern part of the township, purchased from Hon. John BREDIN, then President Judge of the courts of this county. The farm consisted of 185 acres, but only sixty acres were cleared and fit for cultivation. Here was a wide field of labor, and Mr. BELFOUR relates that, during the first few years, he and his father labored under very great trials and difficulties. Sickness overtook them, preventing those who were capable of working from earning a livelihood and acquiring means to pay for the farm. In the midst of these distressing circumstances and anguish of mind his father died, leaving affairs in a worse financial condition than they were before. Almost appalled at the thought of the great responsibility resting upon him, Samuel BELFOUR toiled and struggled night and day to maintain the family and liquidate the tremendous debt against the place, and he was successful. A few years of hardship endured, and through the leniency of the present Judge BREDIN, who was the agent for the farm, he managed to bring order out of chaos, and to finally see things prosper around him. None deserve greater credit for industry, indefatigable labor and energy under trying circumstances than he. His wife was Miss Letitia CRANEY, from Scotland.

William THIELMAN located in this township in 1858. He is the possessor of a beautiful farm, well cultivated and well managed. Not only is Mr. THIELMAN an excellent farmer, but he has been prominently identified with public affairs for many years. The cause of education was not neglected by him, and on account of the genuine interest he manifested in schools, he was several times elected to the office of Director, which office he filled with credit to himself and usefulness to others. He has also been Supervisor of Roads for ten years, which fact certainly argues his skill in this direction.

Although George MARBOROUGH is among the latest settlers in Adams, having come in 1875, he is none the less a valuable citizen. During the civil war, his record is that of a gallant soldier belonging to Company E, Seventy-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania [p.197] Volunteers, under the command of Gen. THOMAS. Since that time, his solicitude in behalf of public instruction has been thoroughly appreciated by everyone, because of its practical nature.

Immediately opposite the church known as the Evangelical Association, is the neat little home of Otto SHULTZ. His farm, if it may be called so, consists of four acres of land, which plainly shows the care and cultivation which it has received. Mr. SCHULTZ is a blacksmith by trade, and has his shop on his own farm.


1854, William REA; 1854, John S. DOUTHETT; 1859, William REA; 1859, John S. DOUTHETT; 1864, William REA; 1864, Francis H. DAVIDSON; 1865, Samuel MARSHALL, 1869, Benjamin DOUTHETT; 1870, Samuel MARSHALL; 1872, Jacob HUTCHMAN; 1874, James BARR; 1877, Jacob HUTCHMAN; 1879, James BARR; 1882, Jacob HUTCHMAN.


With regard to the early history of Union congregation prior to 1808, nothing definite can be said. It had an existence, however, before that date. In the year above mentioned, Rev. Matthew WILLIAMS was ordained and installed over Pine Creek congregation, this place being a branch of that congregation. The place of preaching was at Straight Run, three or four miles north of the place known as Old Union. Joseph and Benjamin DOUTHETT and James ANDERSON were the only Ruling Elders in this part of the charge. In 1820, the congregation moved their tent (for they had no house of worship during all this time) to the place already designated as Old Union. In 1824, they purchased a lot from Robert McKINNEY, and one year later erected a log house for a church; the remains of which may be seen at the present time. In the same year, the church building was erected. Rev. WILLIAMS became stricken with paralysis, and became entirely disabled. He died in 1828, being quite old. A call was presented to Rev. F. C. GUTHRIE some time in 1826 and was accepted. From the time Rev. WILLIAMS ceased his labors as pastor until the second minister was called, the charge was under the care of the General Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.

An election of Elders took place in 1840, at which time John McGEORGE, Samuel BOYD, John WALDRON and David GILLILAND were elected and ordained Ruling Elders. The congregation remained vacant frm 1841 until the fall of 1851. In the year 1850, a few families living on the western border of the congregation applied for and obtained an organization which materially diminished the congregation. They took the name of Mount Pleasant for their organization. In the summer of 1851, a united call was made out by Mount Pleasant and Union for Andrew WALKER, which was accepted. Rev. WALKER was ordained in the fall of 1851 and remained with this charge until 1854. The congregation was without a pastor until 1859.

On the 2nd of May, 1855, another election of Elders took place, which resulted in the selection of David DICKEY, William ANDERSON, Joseph DOUTHETT and Jacob STOOP. A number of families on the extreme northern part of the district applied for and obtained, in 1859, an organization at Brownsdale, under the care of Butler Presbytery. This served to weaken the former congregation still more, and in June, 1859, the majority of the old congregation decided to vote to connect themselves with the United Presbyterian Church of North America. They placed themselves under the care of the Allegheny Presbytery. On the 2nd of January, 1860, an election of Elders was held; Joseph JOHNSTON, Joshua DAVIDSON and Jacob HUTCHMAN were elected, and ordained by Rev. John STEEL on the 21st of May of the year before mentioned.

Brownsdale and Union congregations agreed to unite as one pastoral charge, and in the summer of 1861 a call was made out for R.M. PATTERSON, and by him accepted. The ordination and installation occurred on the 11th of November, 1861. In 1864, Presbytery allowed Rev. PATTERSON to devote his whole time to the congregation of Union. Two years later he received an appointment from the Board of Freedmen's Mission to go to Knoxville to take charge of a school at that place, under the supervision of the United Presbyterian Church. He accepted the position, and remained there until 1867, when he returned. During the summer, he resigned his charge, and the resignation was accepted by the Presbytery. This left a vacancy until 1871, when a call was extended to Rev. R. G. YOUNG, who was ordained and installed by Butler Presbytery on the 5th day of September, 1871, over the united charges of Union and Brownsdale. He resigned his charges in the winter of 1874 and 1875. In the spring of 1880, both congregations presented a call for Rev. R. P. McCLIESTER, who accepted the same, and was installed pastor of these congregations on June 15, 1880. This relation still continues at the present time.



The subject of this sketch was the eldest son of James MARSHALL. He was born in Ireland on the 6th day of April, 1800, his father having settled in [p.198] Butler County in 1826; he married Mary GILLILAND, daughter of Barnet GILLILAND of Connoquenessing Township. Shortly after their marriage, the newly married pair removed to a farm in Cranberry Township, now Adams Township, Butler County, where they remained more than fifty years in a happy home, until death removed the wife. Shortly after, Mr. MARSHALL removed to Cranberry Township; he actively entered into the direction of local affairs; he soon developed a master mind among his neighbors, and quietly obtained the confidence of the whole community where he resided. He was early called into public life; his neighbors elected him a local magistrate, where he distinquished himself by settling and managing nearly all the litigation that was brought to his forum; generally he managed to make litigants friends at the cost of the magistrate and his officers. Before the expiration of his term as a local magistrate, the people of Butler County elected him Associate Judge. At this time he was known as a radical anti-slavery man and a Whig. In this position, he distinquished himself as eminently competent to an intelligent and firm discharge of the duties of Judge. He proved himself a power on the bench; he excercised his own judgment with firmness and promptitude, sometimes to the surprise, if not the pleasure, of the President Judge. His fitness, ability and faithfulness in judicial positions were never questioned. He was elected and re-elected until he was disabled by disease and old age. His death occurred on the 1st of Novemer, 1880, in the eighty-first year of his age. Nominally a farmer, Mr. MARSHALL, by his skillful and wise investments, accumulated a comfortable fortune, and, during his long and useful life, was his own executor. As his children attained maturity and settled in life, he was willing and able to place at their use a home, provided with all the necessary appliances of comfort and competency.

Mr. MARSHALL's personal characteristics were very marked. He was of large physical frame, about six feet in height, wonderfully active and energetic during the first thirty years of his married life. He was almost constantly engaged in business requiring his presence in Butler and Pittsburgh. At all hours and in almost all kinds of weather, he might be found on horseback either bound for Butler or Pittsburgh. He was well known to the people of Butler County, and equally well known to the inhabitants of that part of Allegheny County northwest of the Alleghany [sic] River. Notable among the events of Mr. MARSHALL's life may be mentioned his change of political relations. His early training in the home of his parents made him an earnest radical anti-slavery man. His parents had instilled these sentiments of hostility to slavery; his home in Cranberry Township was well known as a station on the Underground Railroad to Canada. The colored people of Pittsburgh knew his hospitality and courage; there the fatigued always found shelter, sustenance and protection. The slave-holders frequently came in search of their fleeing chattels, but never succeeded in capturing a human soul from beneath the roof of Samuel MARSHALL. Notwithstanding his enthusiastic love of human freedom, when the Whig party of 1854 became subordinated to the "Know-Nothing" mania, Mr. MARSHALL being a foreign-born citizen, esteemed the movement an assault on his manhood, and, in common with his brother, Thomas M. MARSHALL, of Pittsburgh, he left his party and acted with the Democratic party in the struggle with "Americanism." He induced his brother to visit Butler County and address the people in vindication of the manhood of a citizen, without regard to the accident of birth. The Democrats quickly appreciating the value of the man, extended the same confidence and trust which his own party had bestowed, and he was twice elected to the bench by the Democratic party. Mr. MARSHALL had a family of ten children; some of them reside in Butler County; some were called away before the father. Among his children, some are well-known citizens of Butler County--Kennedy MARSHALL, a member of the bar in Butler; Thomas M. MARSHALL, a farmer in Adams Township; Daniel MARSHALL, farmer, Adams Township; Samuel MARSHALL, the youngest boy, resides on a part of the old homestead. Some of his children are settled in Illinois. He sleeps in the quiet churchyard at Mount Pleasant Church, beside the dust of his beloved wife, Mary GILLILAND. He was a man of large capacity, of high and clear integrity, warm in his principles, with certain and immovable courage to fulfill his own convictions of duty.

[p. 200a]


Among the early settlers of Adams Township was Thomas KENNEDY, the father of T.W. He married Miss Ann PURVIS, and raised a family of six children, five boys and one girl, T.W. being the fourth son. The elder KENNEDY was an industrious, thrifty farmer, and not only amassed a comfortable competency, but left an untarnished reputation. T.W. was born July 31, 1832, and resided under the parental roof until he was twenty-four years of age, when he was united in marriage with Miss Nancy G. GILLELAND, daughter of William H. and Rachel GILLELAND. Mr. GILLELAND was the son of Burnett GILLELAND, who may with propriety be called one of the founders of the county, having been one of the first settlers, and indentified prominently with many of the initial events in its history. After their marriage, removed to the farm he now occupies, which consists of 233 acres of choice land under a high state of cultivation. [On another page, we present a view of Mr. KENNEDY's home.] Mrs. KENNEDY is also a native of Adams Township, and was born February 22, 1837. They have three children--Annette J., now Mrs. John C. CAMPBELL, she was born May 5, 1857; Rachel MELZENA was born May 14, 1859, and died December 10; and T.W. DARWIN was born August 31, 1869. Mrs. CAMPBELL is the mother of three children--Lida Olive, Ella Blanche and R.W. KENNEDY. Mr. KENNEDY is a prominent member of the United Presbyterian Church, and a stanch Republican in politics. His life has been comparatively uneventful. He has devoted himself solely to his business, and has not been unmindful of his relations to his family and the county. His reputation is unspotted, and his career worthy of emulation.

[End of Chapter 20--Adams Township: History of Butler County, Pennsylvania. With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Waterman, Watkins, & Co., Chicago, 1883.]

Chapter 19--Connoquenessing Township
Chapter 21--Lancaster Township
1883 Butler County History Contents
Butler County Pennsylvania USGenWeb Homepage

Edited 21 Feb 2000, 17:53