History of Butler County Pennsylvania - 1883

Chapter 21 -- Lancaster Township

<<Previous Chapter | GO TO TABLE OF CONTENTS | Next Chapter>>

Transcribed by June Mackey. For an explanation and caution about this transcription, please read this page.


SURNAMES APPEARING IN THIS CHAPTER

ALBERT, BAEHR, BALDWIN, BARGLEY, BARLEY, BASSLER, BASTON, BAUMGARTNER, BEAM, BEAVER, BEIGHLE, BELTZHOOVER, BENTLE, BINTRIM, BIRD, BOLTON, BOYER, BRADEN, BRADFORD, BRECHT, BUCK, BUTZ, CORT, CRATTY, CRITCHLOW, CROFT, DAVIS, DECHANT, DIMHOFF, ECKERT, FALLS, FETTER, FLINGER, FREEMAN, GARDNER, GIBSON, GILBERT, HARTMAN, HAYS, HEBERLING, HEISLEY, HELSCHE, HIPPEE, HUNTER, JACKSON, JOHNS, KEISTER, KING, KIRKER, KNAUTH, KNEISS, KRISTOPHEL, LACHENMEYER, LADERER, LANDIS, LAUCH, LEMMON, LEPLEY, LEUBBEN, LIEBENDEIFER, LUEBBEN, LUTZ, LYTLE, MANTZ, MARTIN, MATTHEWS, MCHENRY, MCKOSH, METZ, MILLER, MOECKENHAUT, MOON, MOORE, MORRISON, MOTHERLAND, MOYER, MUHLEISEN, MUNTZ, MYERS, NEELY, NEVIN, PEFFER, PHILLIPS, POLLOCK, POWELL, PYLE, RAMSEY, REDPATH, REED, RICE, RIFFER, ROSENBAUGH, ROSS, RUBY, RULEY, SAVAGE, SCHEEL, SCHNEE, SCHOENER, SCHOLAR, SCHWEITZERBARTH, SCOTT, SEACHRIST, SHAFFER, SHANOR, SHEIDEMANTLE, SHIEVER, SIGLER, SONNE, STAUFFER, STECK, STEINMETZ, STERRETT, STEWART, SULLIVAN, SWAIN, SWINGLE, TEATS, TICE, UHL, WALLACE, WATERS, WELSH, WILSON, WINTER, WRIGHT, ZIEGLER

Illustrations And Biographies In Chapter XXI

p. 206a Andrew & Mrs. Metz p. 205 Andrew Metz Bio

CHAPTER XXI

LANCASTER

[p. 198]
GERMAN-AMERICAN, SCOTCH-IRISH AND GERMAN SETTLERS -- THE BEIGHLES,   BAUMGARTNERS,   STEWARTS,   MORRISONS,   AND SCOTTS -- MRS. MYERS AND THE BEAR -- PROGRESS OF IMPROVEMENTS -- MIDDLE LANCASTER -- A NEGRO THE FIRST SETTLER -- THE OLD STONE CHURCH

LANCASTER TOWNSHIP was formed in 1854, from the old township of Connoquenessing. The development of this part of the county was a slow process. Forty years ago, much of this township was covered with the primitive forests. The population was small, and nearly all of the people lived in log houses. The surface of the country is generally rugged and broken, and on this account land was not so attractive to the pioneer as some other portions of the county. The township is traversed by a number [p.199] of streams, most of which bear deeply-marked valleys in which a stony soil, difficult to subdue, predominates. At this day, nearly all of the land is improved and excellent crops are secured annually.

Great changes have been wrought during the last ten years; large barns and comfortable farmhouses have been erected, and a hearty rivalry in the work of improvement has exerted its stimulating influence among the people.

Agriculture is the leading interest, and the farmers are a wide-awake, industrious class. Only one small village is embraced within the township, and most of its population are dependent upon tillage of the soil for support.

SETTLEMENT

The pioneers were of three distinct classes - Scotch-Irish, German-American and German. The Scotch-Irish and the German Americans began their work here at or near the same time. Few representatives of the former class now remain; some died here, others sold out and moved away, and the places thus made vacant were filled by the Germans, who began settling in large numbers about the year 1835. The German-American families came from Maryland, Virginia and Eastern Pennsylvania. They were generally permanent settlers, and their posterity is still numerous.

The date of the first settlement cannot be definitely ascertained. Death has been busy among the old residents of recent years, so that now very few of the children of the pioneers are left to speak of their fathers and their work. Tradition has it that when the first party of surveyors visited this part of the county, a hunter named SCHOLAR was found dwelling in a small cabin near the head-waters of a small stream, which is called Scholar's Run to this day. He had left the settlements and established himself in the wilderness to pursue his chosen work of hunting and trapping. Where he came from, where he went and how long he lived here no one can tell.

Henry BEIGHLE in 1796 settled on a farm in the eastern part of the township, and built a cabin near the site of the house in which his son-in-law, George KNEISS, now lives. He moved to another part of the same tract after a few years, and died within the present limits of Connoquenessing Township.

Most of the early families removed to Westmoreland County, and resided there for a time before taking up their abodes in Butler County.

George BEIGHLE came from Westmoreland County to Butler County soon after his brothers, Henry and John. The latter are mentioned in the history of Connoquenessing Township. He settled near Middle Lancaster. His son Michael lives on a part of the old farm. George BEIGHLE was out in the war of 1812 a short time. He died at the age of seventy. Following are the names of his children: Mary (HEISLEY), Mercer County; Elizabeth, deceased; Daniel, went West; Rebecca, Christina and Susan are dead; Michael resides near the spot where he was born; Catherine is dead; Lewis resides in Mercer County; John in Kansas and Elias in Franklin, Penn.

When BEIGHLE was commencing operations upon his farm, he left his work for a short time, and when he returned to resume it, he found an intruder had arrived, and was busily engaged in completing the cabin which he had begun. The man who cut the first timber was rightfully the settler; so, as was customary, BEIGHLE called a committee of three of his neighbors, who were acquainted with the facts in the case, and the claims to the settlement was decided in his favor. After he had his cabin erected, some Indians who were camping on Camp Run, in Lawrence County, a few miles distant, came in the night and threw it down. Mr. Michael BEIGHLE remembers when there were but three houses between his father's cabin and Harmony, and only one between it and Portersville.

George BEIGHLE was quite a noted hunter. Deer, wolves, bears, wild cats and wild turkeys were abundant. The thick woods and dense underbrush afforded excellent coverts for game, both large and small. BEIGHLE was accustomed to get young deer, tame them and keep them for pets. Henry BAUMGARTNER and Samuel STEWART were also great hunters. STEWART used to dress deer hides, from which many a pair of buckskin breeches were made, and worn by the men and boys in early times. There is an old spring on the SCOTT farm which contains salt. This was a "deer lick," and frequently deer resorted to it in large numbers. The deer were very troublesome, and frequently invaded the wheat fields, where they occasioned about as much damage as a flock of sheep.

John MORRISON settled on Yellow Creek about the year 1800. His brother William was also an early settler in the same neighborhood. His family are now all either dead or moved away. The MORRISONS were born in Philadelphia of Scottish parents, and came here from Westmoreland County. They were here before any mills were erected, and used to pack corn to Beaver. John MORRISON was out in the war of 1812 three months. He died about twenty years ago. His family consisted of ten children, and all but two of them were born in this county. Their names were Alexander, Hannah, Mary Jane, John, Sarah Ann, Robert, James, Slemmens, William and Fanny. All reached mature years. Only one son is living, James, on the old homestead. Four daughters survive - Hannah (MYERS), Muddy Creek Township; Mary Jane (DAVIS), Mercer County; Sarah [p.200] Ann (CRATTY), Franklin Township, and Fanny (ECKERT), Lawrence County.

Henry BAUMGARTNER, a Maryland German, was among the very earliest settlers, and lived and died on a farm near Middle Lancaster. His descendants are now widely scattered. His son, Jacob, resided here a number of years, then sold his farm and went West.

A man named FREEMAN, was one of the pioneers of the southern part of the township.

Samuel STEWART, a fine old gentleman, and a strict Presbyterian, settled very early on the farm where Hartman BINTRIM now lives. His sons were Robert, William, John, Samuel, Archibald and Joseph; his daughters, Betsey, Sarah, Margaret, Jane, Ann and Nancy. Sarah (STEWART), Nancy (MCKOSH) and Jane (MOTHERLAND) are still living. William, and the last of the sons, died in Connoquenessing Township in 1879, at the age of seventy-three. His sons are still living in Connoquenessing. The sons of Samuel STEWART settled in Muddy Creek and Lancaster Townships. The eldest, Robert, was the father of eight sons and five daughters, of whom seven sons and daughters are yet living. His widow, Elizabeth E., is still living, at the age of seventy- four.

Samuel STEWART was a soldier of 1812, and endured great hardships. He was a well-known hunter. On one occasion, he was treed by wolves and kept in the tree twenty-four hours, with a howling pack of over two hundred wolves around him. At another time he was attacked by a bear, and would have been killed had not his resolute wife come to his aid and killed the bear.

Peter BEIGHLE was one of the pioneers, and lived near where the old stone church now stands. John, David, Lewis, Gileon, Adam and Absalom were the names of his sons, and Catherine, Sarah and Leah, of his daughters. Absalom, Sarah (MILLER) and Leah (BUCK) are still living.

Among the earliest settlers of this township were the MARTINS. In consequence of the rebellion in Ireland, the family emigrated in 1801, and settled on Yellow Creek. William MARTIN and his wife, Elizabeth, with their children, came together. The children were Robert, who removed to Connoquenessing Township in 1809; Jane (WALLACE), Polly (HAYS), John, William and Betsey LEMMON. John and William remained, and died on the tract originally settled by the family. John had no family. William reared four children, who are still living, his son William being on the old homestead. The first residence of the original family was a pole and cloth shanty, occupied until a cabin could be erected.

The NEELYS - Joseph, John, Jacob and Peter - and Thomas and John RUBY were among the early Maryland settlers. Some of their descendants still reside here. Thomas RUBY lived on the place where Daniel SCHOENER afterward settled.

Mr. SCHOENER was an 1812 soldier. He died in 1879, aged about eighty-four.

Henry BAUMGARTNER, Samuel MYERS and John SCOTT were all in the war of 1812; but all were not residents of this township at that time.

An unusually large number of early comers left their farms after making slight improvements. These lands were sold at Commissioners' sales for non-payment of taxes, in due time, and, of course, they came mostly into the hands of land-jobbers. Titles to four hundred acre lots were thus secured, frequently for $8 or $10. The speculators, while waiting for their lands to become more valuable, frequently rented them to tenants for several years, and finally disposed of them to actual settlers at very profitable figures.

William BEIGHLE, a brother of the BEIGHLES previously mentioned, was one of the early school teachers. He came from Westmoreland county to Muddy Creek Township in 1811, and in 1825 settled on the farm where his son, C. S. BEIGHLE, now resides. He made the first improvement upon this place. Mr. BEIGHLE was married after coming to this county, to Magdalena MYERS. He moved from his farm to the village of Middle Lancaster, where he was Postmaster some years. He died in Adams County, Ohio, in 1868, aged seventy-nine. The names of his children are as follows: Joseph, Sarah, Daniel; Rebecca, William, Conrad, Jemima, Cornelius, Rosanna, Miriam and Lafayette. Of these, the following survive: Joseph, Venango County; Sarah (SAVAGE), Wisconsin; William, Venango County; Conrad and Jemima (BAUMGARTNER), Adams County, Ohio, and Cornelius, Lancaster Township.

The early settlers used oxen in the farm work, and later the Germans followed their example. All articles used in the family, whether of food or clothing, were made from home products. Pack-horses and saddles were the only methods of conveyance. The Pittsburgh & Mercer road was the first public highway through the township. Wagons were almost unknown. Some who were born here lived to attain their majority before they ever saw one.

A considerable tract of land lying in the southern part of the township was the property of the Economites of Harmony, until 1815, and was then purchased by Abraham ZIEGLER, who disposed of it to settlers. John BOYER from Bucks County, Penn., settled a mile north of Harmony in 1814. John, Sr., purchased about twelve hundred acres from ZIEGLER, and divided the most of it among his sons - John, Jacob, George and Henry. All, however, sold out [p.201] and moved away excepting John, who died here in 1860, at the age of seventy-four. His surviving children are: Lydia (LUTZ), Isaac L., Lancaster Township; Susan, Jackson Township; Henry, Allegheny City; Daniel, Indiana, and Jacob, Lawrence County.

Isaac L. BOYER, a native of this county, and a son of Jacob BOYER, Jr., settled on his present farm in 1841. The land was then heavily wooded with chestnut and oak. He first purchased a piece of land from Abraham ZIEGLER at $15 per acre, and in 1848 made an additional purchase from Judge BRADEN and Charles SULLIVAN, paying for the same $5 per acre.

Henry KNEISS, a native of Maryland, came to Armstrong County when a young man, and in 1814 moved to Harmony, where he worked at farming for Mr. ZIEGLER. Mr. George KNEISS, a son of Henry, now in the seventy-fifth year of his age, recalls that at the time his father came to Harmony, arms were being sent out from Erie to Gen. JACKSON at New Orleans, and that a man with a load of muskets stopped one night at his father's house. Henry KNEISS was in the service a short time before he came to this county. Mrs. KNEISS died in 1815, and her husband removed to Ohio, where he died. George KNEISS is the only member of the family now left in the county. He has resided in the same neighborhood over sixty years. He lived nine years with John BEIGHLE, then settled on the farm now owned by Joseph POWELL, where he made the first improvements. He next traded for a part of his father-in-law's property, and has resided upon his present farm since about the year 1842. Mr. KNEISS married Magdalena BEIGHLE, daughter of Henry BEIGHLE. They have reared eight children, of whom four are now living - Catherine (MYERS), Kansas; Elizabeth and Henry (deceased); Jacob, on a part of the old homestead; George W. (deceased); Lewis died in the army; David lives on part of the old farm, and William resides with his father.

In 1817, Samuel MOYER moved from Northumberland County and purchased of John BOYER a farm. His son, Samuel, lives upon a part of the tract and has an excellent farm. He has been farming for himself about fifty years. His brother, Abraham, resided here, and was a Justice of the Peace many years. Samuel is the only surviving son of Samuel MOYER, Sr. He has three sisters living - Sarah (BOYER), Ohio; Catharine (SIGLER), Ohio, and Mary (BOYER), Venango County. Samuel MOYER is the father of seventeen children, fifteen of whom reached years of maturity. Fourteen are still living.

Several of the BOYERS, now dead, resided in this neighborhood at the time of Mr. MOYER'S settlement. Daniel RAMSEY and his sons came soon after. The RAMSEYS are now all either dead or widely scattered. About the same date, David STAUFFER purchased land of Abraham ZIEGLER, and settled where his son, Abraham STAUFFER, now lives.

John LUTZ, a native of Northampton County, moved from Luzerne County, and, in company with eight or ten families, most of whom were related, went to Ohio and settled near Salem. After a short stay there, the families left on account of the ague, returned to Pennsylvania and nearly all settled in Butler County. About 1823, John LUTZ bought a farm with John SHAFFER, which the two cleared and improved. He died in 1853, aged sixty-two. He had six sons and one daughter. Of this family, three survive - William in Indiana; Jonathan, in Lawrence County, and Joseph, in Middle Lancaster.

Jonathan LUTZ came to this county when twelve years of age. He now resides in Lawrence County adjoining. His son, William, settled upon the farm where he now lives in 1857. This farm originally belonged to B. R. BRADFORD, who had rented it to various parties until Mr. LUTZ purchased it of him.

Henry RICE was born in Lehigh County, Penn. About the year 1815, he moved to Harmony, where he worked for Mr. ZIEGLER two years. He then bought the farm on which his son John now lives, and there resided until he died aged about seventy-five. His children were John, Julia (MOYER), Jesse and Henry, Lancaster Township; Eliza (STAUFFER), deceased; Samuel, New Castle, and Rebecca (SHAFFER), deceased. Jesse RICE settled on the farm he now occupies in 1835. Only about an acre had then been cleared; now, not only his farm, but the entire neighborhood is in a most prosperous and thriving condition. Time and labor work wonders.

A worthy man and a sturdy pioneer was John SCOTT, who was one of the first settlers on the Ridge in the western part of the township. He was born in Scotland, and, when a young man, came from Philadelphia to Lawrence County with his father, William SCOTT. There he married Rachael MORRISON, and, in 1821, he settled upon the farm now occupied by his sons, William and Francis. The place had a few slight improvements which had been made by leasers. Mr. SCOTT had survived in the war of 1812. He died of palsy in 1865 at the age of eighty-four. His wife died some years before. Their children were as follows: William, Lancaster Township; Nancy (MOORE), Muddy Creek; Betsy (MORRISON), deceased; Rosa (KIRKER), Whitestown; John, deceased; Jane (MORRISON), Indiana; Francis, Lancaster Township, and Margaret (WRIGHT), Lawrence County.

William SCOTT is now seventy-six years of age. He married Anna WRIGHT, and reared eight children - John, Lancaster Township; Marian (STEWART), near Whitestown; James, Greenville; David, died in the [p.202] army; William I.., on the old homestead; Mary (NEVIN); Nancy Jane, deceased, and Elizabeth (HUNTER), deceased.

John RUBY came from Maryland at the age of eighteen, and lived with John SCOTT for a time. Later he married Elizabeth BAUMGARTNER, and settled where the village of Middle Lancaster now is. He made the first improvement and built the first cabin on the site of the village. Lewis TEATS owned the place after him, and later, Thomas B. BALDWIN. Mr. RUBY moved to a neighboring farm where he died in 1865.

John MYERS, now seventy six years of age, was born in Muddy Creek Township. He settled upon his farm in 1827. There had been several renters upon the place before he came. Mr. MYERS has moved three times, but has never moved off the farm. He married a daughter of John BEIGHLE; she is still living, and is six months older than he. About the same date, his brother Samuel settled on a farm in another part of the township. Mrs. MYERS was once out in the woods looking up the cows which were allowed to roam at will through the woods, where she had an adventure with a bear. A neighbor's wife was with her at the time; the bear was treed, and one of the women remained keeping him up the tree while the other went to summon the men, who came and killed him. Bears have been seen in this township since 1840. One was hunted for several days by a large party of men and boys. The hunters were scouring the woods in two divisions, each set of men having agreed to call the others if the bear was discovered. At length several men came upon him. They at once began shouting to their companions, but did not think to use their own guns. The bear, as a natural consequence, became frightened, and made his escape.

David MATTHEWS has been in this county since he was a boy. He bought his farm at a sale before he was of age, bidding $100 for 100 acres. He had some twelve competitors, but no one would bid above his figures. He purchased a second 100 acres, and settled where he now lives in 1829. Hosea KING had built a cabin and made a small clearing previously but he did not live upon the farm. Mr. MATTHEWS paid 75 cents tax on his 200 acres the first year. For some time he made charcoal upon his farm, finding a market for it at BELTZHOOVER'S furnace, near Zelienople.

James KIRKER was an early settler on Yellow Creek. His farm is now occupied by his son Robert.

The Germans have done far more toward developing the agricultural resources of this township than any other class, not only on account of their industry and frugality but because they outnumber the others. True to their well-known social instincts, a number of German families usually settled in the same neighborhood at the same time. Henry BEAVER, on Yellow Creek, where his son George now lives, was one of the first German settlers. About 1836 John MILLER and John FLINGER settled on the creek. Henry SCHOENER was an early settler in the same neighborhood. George ROSENBAUGH, a German from Virginia, was an early settler on the place now occupied by Joseph CROFT. The name is generally called ROSS.

Frederick PEFFER, a native of Germany, is now eighty-three years old. He emigrated to Philadelphia in 1816, and in 1819 came to Harmony. They were three weeks on the road from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. Passengers as well as baggage were then carried at a stated price per hundred-weight. Mr. PEFFER worked for Mr. ZIEGLER until 1823, when he returned to Philadelphia on foot. In 1839, he returned to this county, and in 1841 he settled upon the farm where he now lives. For 400 acres of land he paid about $10 per acre. Two tenants, John SCOTT and Oakland MORRISON, had lived upon the farm. Mr. PEFFER'S sons, William F. and Charles, now occupy a part of this land, as do two of his daughters, Mrs. Conrad MYERS and Miss Caroline PEFFER. His father, also, named Frederick, a tailor by trade, came to Harmony before his son. He rented from Mr. ZIEGLER the house in which SWAIN & BENTLE'S store now is for one year; the price was the making of a coat for ZIEGLER. Mr. PEFFER, Sr, died in Middle Lancaster in 1850. His wife died in 1846. Their children who came to this county were Gottlieb, who died in this township in 1866; Mrs. Mary SWAIN, who still lives here, and Frederick.

Francis CROFT, a native of England, came to this country with his father, who settled in Allegheny County. In 1831, he settled in Cranberry Township, this county, and having moved several times, came to this township in 1866, and located on the farm where he and his son John M. now live.

In 1866, Lewis SHIEVER, a native of Germany, moved from Beaver County to the farm he now occupies.

John P. SHEIDMANTLE, a native of Germany, settled in this township about 1849. His sons, Andrew and William, are engaged in oil production. Andrew has been in the oil business since 1866, and is now the proprietor of the celebrated SHEIDEMANTLE well, at Bald Ridge. William is an oil producer near Petrolia. He has been in the oil region since 1872.

PIONEER CUSTOMS

In early years, not only boys but men went barefooted in the summer months. Boots were unknown. Stoga shoes and moccasins were the only covering worn upon the feet. Tow and linen goods for summer and home-made flannels for winter comprised [p.203] the clothing for both sexes. Home-made hats of plaited oat straw were worn by the men on Sundays. A pair of cotton pantaloons, colored yellow, and a cotton and linen shirt for Sunday wear made an excellent suit of clothing. People were not too proud to go to church without fine clothes.

Hard work, simple fare and little money - these rules were universal.

MIDDLE LANCASTER

This quiet little rural village contains about twenty houses, and supports one physician, two merchants, one hotel, two wagon-makers, two blacksmiths, two shoe-makers and one undertaker.

Middle Lancaster was laid out about the year 1835 by Henry JOHNS for Thomas B. BALDWIN, a colored man, who owned the land, formerly the RULEY farm. BALDWIN was an ambitious "colored gemmen," an enthusiast in religion, and devoutly believed that he had a "call to preach." He was quite a noted character, and frequently preached, drawing good audiences. For years, the town of which he was the founder was known everywhere as "Niggertown."

One of the first buildings erected after the village was laid out was the house of William BEIGHLE. About the year 1844, Jacob KRISTOPHEL began keeping a small grocery. He kept the first public house in the place, on the lot where Mr. UHL's house now stands.

In 1846, Andrew METZ moved from Philadelphia, and began keeping store where Mrs. SWAIN now lives, south of the village. A year later, he moved to the cabin where BALDWIN had lived, and began business in a small frame store. The building had been erected by George BEAM, of Harmony, and a man named REDPATH had kept store there a short time. Middle Lancaster then contained four or five houses, all of logs. Henry JOHNS, a school teacher, lived in one; STEINMETZ, a blacksmith, lived in another, and a third was occupied by a negro family. Mr. METZ died in 1854. The store has since been conducted by Mrs. A. E. METZ and her son, A. B. METZ.

About 1847, a post office was established. William BEIGHLE, Sr., was the first Postmaster. He was succeeded by Henry LUEBBEN, Samuel REED, W. E. KIRKER, and in 1865 by Mrs. A. E. METZ, the present incumbent. Mail was first received weekly, then daily and now tri-weekly.

Samuel REED and Nicholas GARDNER each kept store here for a time. In 1864, J. LADERER moved from Zelienople, and began his mercantile business in the store he now occupies. The store was erected by Samuel REED.

Christopher UHL settled in this place in 1853, and has since followed his trade of shoe-making. Since he has been here, and especially of late years, many improvements and buildings have been made, though the village has grown little in population. Mr. UHL has done considerable for improvement, having erected four houses for himself since he came, besides repairing several.

J. H. DIMHOFF moved from Pittsburgh to Middle Lancaster in 1869, and purchased of C. UHL the place on which he now lives. Mr. DIMHOFF follows carriagesmith work and farming.

CHURCHES

The religious organizations of this township are now three in number - two Lutheran and one Reformed. A Methodist Church was organized about 1841, with John SEACHRIST, class-leader, and mainly through his efforts a log building was erected soon after at Middle Lancaster. The organization is extinct, and the old church is now converted into a wagon shop. Two of the churches of the township are at Middle Lancaster, and the old stone church in the northeastern part of the township.

THE OLD STONE CHURCH

St. John's Church is one of the oldest German churches in the county, and is the parent of several congregations. It was formerly composed of both Reformed and Lutheran members, but for some years has been distinctively Lutheran. During the greater portion of its history, services were conducted both in German and in English, but now only the English language is used. There are no records of the first meetings. Rev. MOECKENHAUT was the first Lutheran preacher, and held meetings in John BEIGHLE'S barn. Rev. Jacob SCHNEE, of Harmony, preached at irregular intervals for some years. Rev. Michael J. STECK, pastor of the Greensburg congregation, preached occasionally in this neighborhood from 1808 to 1820. There is the record of a baptism by him in 1812. Previous to 1820, a log building was erected near the spot where the stone church now stands. This primitive structure was both the meeting house and the schoolhouse of the early settlers in the neighborhood. Probably there was no actual organization of a congregation during the early years of the church. The first communion of which there is any record, took place December 29, 1822, at which thirty-two persons were confirmed, making the number of communicants seventy-four. The membership was from the BEIGHLE, MYERS, MILLER, ROSENBAUGH, ALBERT, SHANOR, KEISTER, MÜHLEISEN, MOON, BAUMGARTNER, LEPLEY, KNEISS, BARLEY, BARGLEY, BASTON and other families of German descent.

Rev. Christian G. SCHWEITZERBARTH, the founder of most of the German churches in this county, began [p.204] ministering here in 1821. He had eleven appointments in Butler, Lawrence, and Mercer counties, and sometimes made the rounds on foot. He was a talented man and an indefatigable worker. Largely through his efforts the present house of worship was erected, and, during his ministry, St. John's Church enjoyed a high degree of prosperity. It is said that he went East to raise money for the building; the congregation joined in the work, and performed the manual labor at "frolics." Work began in 1829. The building was dedicated on St. John's Day, 1831. The completion of the church was delayed on account of the destruction of the seats by fire. The building is 40x50 feet, and its construction cost a great deal of hard work.

Mr. SCHWEITZERBARTH continued as pastor until 1849. His long and faithful service is gratefully remembered. It was his custom to preach two sermons daily - one in German the other in English. Rev. W. A. FETTER was his successor, and remained until September, 1850. The remaining pastors of this congregation have been: Rev. B. H. MANTZ, two years; Rev. Anthony LACHENMEYER, June to November, 1854; Rev. C. F. W. BRECHT, 1855-64; Prof. Herman GILBERT, 1865-67; Rev. F. G. BUTZ, 1867-68.

March 31, 1856, it was agreed that the English Lutheran congregation be allowed equal rights with the Germans. (The church had always been mainly Lutheran, the Reformed membership being very small.) The English Lutheran pastors have been: Rev. Asa H. WATERS, 1855-66; Rev. Lewis HIPPEE, 1866-73; Rev. S. H. SWINGLE, 1874-79; Rev. G. W. CRITCHLOW, 1879, is now in charge.

From St. John's have sprung the congregations of Middle Lancaster, Prospect and West Liberty. The present membership is fifty-two.

ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH

This church was organized as a German congregation about 1840, by Rev. SCHWEITZERBARTH. It was formed with about fifteen families, but now has a large membership for a country church. It was wholly German for some years, then an English congregation was formed. The house of worship erected in 1841, is now occupied by both congregations on alternate Sabbaths. Revs. SCHWEITZERBARTH, MUNTZ, HELSCHE, BASSLER, TICE and BUTZ have been preachers up to date. Rev. RIFFER is the pastor of the English congregation.

ST. PETER'S REFORMED CHURCH

This congregation was organized by Rev. H. F. HARTMAN in 1854. The first officers were John SCHEIDEMANTEL and Adam LAUCH, Elders; and John SONNE and Christopher UHL, Deacons. The original membership consisted of some twenty families. Till the church edifice was erected in 1862, services were held in the old log church built by the Methodists. The church was erected under the pastorate of Rev. F. W. DECHANT. The pastors of the church have been Revs. HARTMAN, Lucien CORT, F. W. DECHANT, W. M. LANDIS, E. F. WINTER, --- --- KNAUTH and C. SCHEEL. There are at present about one hundred communicants. The organization was incorporated in 1878.

MILLS, ETC.

Abraham ZIEGLER was instrumental in getting salt works established on Yellow Creek at an early day. The business was carried on by the WILSONS, who also had salt works at Harmony for several years.

Mills have been few. The early settlers had their milling done at LIEBENDEIFER'S Mill, where Wurtemberg now is, at Slippery Rock Mill and at Harmony. The first grist-mill of any importance in the township was erected by John PYLE, on Yellow Creek, about 1843. It was burned down, and has never been rebuilt.

John BAEHR had the first saw-mill. It was on Scholar's Run, on the site now occupied by SHAFFER'S saw-mill. Later, Samuel MYERS built a saw-mill on Little Yellow Creek.

A small grist-mill was erected by Moses BOLTON on Crab Run. He was among the first settlers, and the mill was built soon after he came. It ran but a short time, and "never amounted to much." Old settlers describe it as a "corn-cracker," and a "kind of a thunder-gust mill."

SCHOOLS

This township now contains seven school districts, each provided with a good schoolhouse. The number of pupils in attendance in 1882 was two hundred and eighty-three.

One of the first schoolhouses in the township was in the SCOTT neighborhood. It was a rude log structure, built with purcheons in place of boards, and without the aid of nails or glass. Samuel POLLOCK, William BIRD and John WELSH were among the early teachers. Henry FALLS, who lived in the edge of Beaver County, taught one or two terms. Any man who could write a legible hand and had some knowledge of figures, could be a schoolmaster if he could secure pupils enough. FALLS was considered a little "cracked." Sometimes when the moon was full he appeared crazy, and was unable to teach for two or three days at a time. A primer and a Presbyterian catechism, the United States Speller, and a very few arithmetics were the text-books. Figures were generally taught by the master, always without the aid of a blackboard. John WELSH also taught later, after the [p.205] free schools were established. He was an excellent teacher, thorough and systematic in his methods.

Playing ball at all times, and barring the teacher out at Christmas, were the chief amusements. Some young men of twenty-five years attended school. The teacher had to be master, and only a strict adherence to rules would preserve the pupils from floggings.

A later teacher was Henry JOHNS. He was a very eccentric kind of a schoolmaster; called his school a menagerie, and nick-named his scholars "Tiger," "Lion," "Elephant," etc.

The old Concord Schoolhouse in Muddy Creek Township was attended by pupils from Lancaster. Charles PHILLIPS and John STERRETT were among the teachers in that school.

A log building, used both as a church and a schoolhouse, stood in the eastern part of the township, very near the spot on which the old stone church now stands. Constantine, who taught both German and English, and John MCHENRY taught in this school. The latter was a good scholar and a successful teacher.

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE - LANCASTER TOWNSHIP

1854, Abram MOYER; 1856, James S. KIRKER; 1859, John H. GIBSON ; 1861, Abram MOYER; 1861, James MORRISON; 1866, Abram MOYER; 1866, J. D. LYTLE; 1871, Henry LEUBBEN; 1872, John HEBERLING; 1876, Jacob LADERER; 1877, John HEBERLING; 1879, John MARTIN; 1881, J. S. RICE; 1881, J. LADERER.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

ANDREW METZ

Andrew METZ was the son of Abraham and Elizabeth METZ, and was born in Montgomery County, Penn., December 21, 1811. His parents were Mennonites, and very worthy people; they were of German extraction. His father was a farmer and miller by occupation. Andrew received a common-school education; and went to Philadelphia, where he remained until 1840, when he came to Butler County, and was married near Harmony; he then returned to Philadelphia.

In 1846, Mr. METZ and his wife moved to this county from Philadelphia, and began keeping store, where Mrs. SWAIN now lives. Mrs. METZ still has in her possession the first piece of money taken in, which was known by the name of a "fip." A year later, they moved to the village, where Mr. Metz continued the business with good success, until his death, January 8, 1854, since which time it has been conducted by Mrs. METZ and her sons.

Mr. METZ was a man of honesty and integrity, prudent in business, and fair and honorable in all his dealings.

In politics, he was originally a Whig, afterward a Republican. When he came to this county he was a member of the Presbyterian Church, but finding no organization of that denomination near his home, he and Mrs. METZ joined the Lutherans.

Mr. METZ was married, may 14, 1840, to Miss Ann Elizabeth LUEBBEN, who was born in Philadelphia May 19, 1818. Mrs. METZ is the daughter of Henry and Catherine LUEBBEN. Her father died in April, 1822. Her mother afterward married J. F. PEFFER, and lived in Lancaster Township, where she died September 3, 1877, in the eighty-sixth year of her age. Mr. and Mrs. LUEBBEN had three children who reached mature years - the oldest - Henry LUEBBEN, survived his mother six months; Mary, now Mrs. F. SCOTT, of Lancaster Township, and Mrs. METZ.

To Andrew and Ann E. METZ were born four children - Mary Louisa, now Mrs. William E. KIRKER; Albert Henry, now a physician in East Liverpool, Ohio; Anna E., now Mrs. S. D. KIRKER, and Andrew B., who now conducts the business established by his father.

One of the sons - Albert H., was in the nine months' service during the late war, in the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Pennsylvania Regiment.

[End of Chapter 21--Lancaster 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 20--Adams Township
Chapter 22--Jackson Township
1883 Butler County History Contents
Butler County Pennsylvania USGenWeb Homepage

Edited 21 Feb 2000, 18:04