History of Butler County Pennsylvania - 1883

Chapter 39 -- Brady Township

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


SURNAMES APPEARING IN THIS CHAPTER

AKIN, ALEXANDER, ALLEN, ALLSWORTH, ALSWORTH, BADGER, BEATTY, BELL, BENNETT, BLACK, BOWMAN, BRADY, BROWN, BRYAN, BUCHANAN, CAMPBELL, CARTER, CHRISTY, CLUTTON, COLLINS, COOPER, CORNELIUS, COVERT, CRITCHLOW, CROLL, CRUM, DICKSON, DONAGHY, DONCASTER, DOUBLE, DOUGHERTY, DOUGLAS, ELLIOTT, EMERY, EVANS, EYTH, FISHER, FLETCHER, FOLTZ, FOSTER, GALLAGHER, GIBSON, GILFILLAN, GLENN, GORLEY, GRAHAM, GROSSMAN, HALL, HALLING, HAWN, HAYS, HICK, HOCKENBERRY, HOGE, HOLLIDAY, HUMES, HUMPHREY, IDDINGS, IRWIN, JOHNSON, JONES, KELLY, KENNEDY, KLINGENSMITH, KOCHER, LAFFER, LILLY, LYON, MCCALLAN, MCCANDLESS, MCCANNON, MCCLYMONDS, MCDEAVITT, MCDERMOTT, MCJUNKIN, MCLURE, MCMILLAN, MICKER, MILLER, MONTOOTH, MOORE, MORROW, MOYER, MURTLAND, NEIL, PASSAVANT, PRICE, PURVIANCE, RALSTON, ROBINSON, ROSENBERRY, ROTH, SHAFFER, SHAW, SILVIUS, SMITH, SNYDER, ST. CLAIR, STRAIN, STURGEON, SUTLIFF, SWINGLE, THOMPSON, TURK, TURNER, WATERS, WEBB, WEBBER, WEITZELL, WICK, WIGTON, WILLIAMS, WOOLUM


Illustrations And Biographies In Chapter XXXIX

p.362a-- Rev. & Mrs. S. Williams
p.368 -- Rev. Samuel Williams Bio

CHAPTER XXXIX

BRADY

[p. 362]
EARLY SETTLERS, THEIR LIVES AND HARDSHIPS -- THE COVERT,   MCDEAVITT,   MCCLYMONDS,   DOUGLAS,   THOMPSON,   AND SNYDER FAMILIES -- THE OLD STONE HOUSE -- STRANGE STORIES CONCERNING IT -- A MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE -- THE OPERATIONS OF A BAND OF COUNTERFEITERS

Brady Township was formed in 1854, from Franklin Township, and small portions of Slippery Rock and Centre. [1] It takes its name from BRADY, the celebrated Indian fighter, who, according to tradition, once made a leap of wondrous length across the Slippery Rock Creek [2] when pursued by Indians. Inasmuch as the scene of 'Brady's leap' is located at several other places in the Indian country, it is evident either that he made several displays of his surprising agility, or else tradition has inaccurately reported his exploits.

Brady is a good farming township, and its inhabitants are generally prosperous.

SETTLEMENT

The pioneers of this part of the county were, in general, Scotch- Irish, and native Pennsylvanians. Settlement commenced about 1796. A few of the descendants of the pioneer settlers still live in the township.

[p. 363]

Among the very first to take up land and make a home within the territory now known as Brady Township was Luke COVERT, a Holland Dutchman [3], who had been a soldier in the American Army during the Revolution. He came from New Jersey to Northumberland County, and thence here. His family consisted of eleven chldren, of whom John COVERT was the last survivor, and died in 1873, in his ninety-second year. John COVERT married Sarah BENNETT, and reared a family of eight children.

The COVERT family moved from the East with horses and a wagon, cutting roads and making bridges as they came. After settling here, they allowed their horses to run in the woods, until sometimes they becames so wild it was difficult to catch them. Mr. COVERT, however, had a method which seldom failed. He would creep up to a horse as he was feeding, catch him by the tail, wind it around a tree and cling on, until the animal could be haltered and rendered manageable. He once kept a horse all winter standing near the corner of his log house. He had no stable, but he covered the beast with warm blankets, fed him well, and in the spring the animal was fat and in good order.

Soon after COVERT settled, James CAMPBELL came from the East and located where S. FISHER now lives. His son Henry afterward resided there.

Bartol LAFFER was one of the first comers, and lived on the tract which was subsequently purchased from him by Conrad SNYDER. Henry LAFFER, a son, married a SHAFFER, and lived on Muddy Creek. He moved to Ohio and died there.

Daniel MCDEAVITT, a native of Ireland, moved from Newcastle, Del., to Greensburg; thence, in 1797, came to Butler County, and settled in this township. He brought his goods upon pack-horses, his family, consisting of his wife and three children, accompanying him; also the MONTOOTH family (which settled in Franklin Township), making thirteen in the party. Mrs MCDEAVITT rode horseback, carrying her youngest child, James, while Catharine, aged nine years, and Henry, aged seven, drove two cows. They arrived here the 27th of April. Mr. MCDEAVITT cleared ground and raised corn and potatoes that year. After getting his family established in their new home, the father went back to Maryland to work and earn money for their support, leaving his wife and little ones alone in the wilderness, with few neighbors anywhere near them. During his absence, some hunting Indians came and encamped near the house. They appeared friendly, and never disturbed the family. The second house built by Daniel MCDEAVITT, a structure of hewed logs erected in 1815, is still standing. In that house James, the youngest of the three children that came to this county with his parents, died in 1882 at the age of eighty-five years. Until the very close of his life, he retained a remarkably clear and vivid recollection of early events, and delighted in narrating pioneeer experiences.

The children of Daniel and Elizabeth (STURGEON) McDEAVITT were as follows: Catharine, Henry, James and John. Catharine and James both remained single. Henry married Jane MCCLYMONDS for his first wife, and Mrs. Rebecca BELL for his second. Six children were born of the first wife, and one of the second. All are now living except one. John married Jane ST. CLAIR, and died while absent on business at Louisville, Ky., in 1851. Catharine died in 1864; Henry in 1876. He was an 1812 soldier. Daniel MCDEAVITT, the father, died in 1805 at the age of forty-nine. His widow survived until 1835.

James I. HOGE settled in 1797 in the northeastern part of this township. His children were Archibald, Thomas, John, Mary, Jane, Martha, Rachel, Elizabeth and Sarah. Mr. HOGE died in his eighty-fourth year. He was born east of the mountains.

John MCCLYMONDS, a native of Scotland, moved from Westmoreland County to this township in 1798. He brought here all of his family, and all settled here excepting Thomas and John, who lived in Beaver County. The other sons were James, William and Jonathan. The daughters were Elizabeth (MOORE), Agnes (McJUNKIN), and Ann (CORNELIUS). John MCCLYMONDS settled upon the farm where Thomas MCCLYMONDS now lives. His son Thomas settled upon the west end of the same tract, but moved thence to Beaver County some years later. He was quite a noted hunter. Thomas MCCLYMONDS, grandson of John, is an old resident, having been born in 1810.

Edward, Andrew and James DOUGLAS came to this county in 1798, and made the first clearing where the Stone House now stands. In 1799, they moved to the farm on which J. J. CROLL now lives. William MORROW, a relative of the DOUGLASes, settled about 1801 on land now owned by John WIGTON. He died on the place, and his widow moved to Venango County some years later.

Edward DOUGLAS, of Scotch descent, but a native of Pennsylvania, Franklin County, came to this county in 1798, bringing a knapsack, a gun and an ax, and camping out along the way. In 1804, or near that time, he married Hannah KELLY, and passed the remainder of his days here. His brother James settled with him, but afterward sold out and went to Beaver County. Edward DOUGLAS died about 1853, aged seventy-eight. The first grindstone that he owned was brought by him from Pittsburgh, on his back, being carried on a stick run through the hole [p.364] in the center of it. Four of the children of Edward and Hannah DOUGLAS are still living; Elsa and Rebecca in the West, John in Missouri, and Squire Thomas DOUGLAS in Buffalo Township.

John WIGTON, a native of Bucks County, came from the East in 1799. He at first stayed a short time on the land now known as the FOLTZ property, then bought out John MORROW's settler's right, lived on the MORROW farm seven years, then moved to the farm on which he died. Mr. WIGTON was a good penman, and taught school where West Liberty now is, holding writing-school in the evening. Names of the children of John and Magdalena (COVERT) WIGTON: Elizabeth (CORNELIUS), William, Cornelia (GRAHAM), Mary (WICK), Sarah (GROSSMAN).

Benedict GROSSMAN, of German origin, moved to this county among the first settlers with his sons Benjamin, Jacob and Simon, and his daughters, Betsey (BLACK) and Mary (MCCALLAN). Benjamin and Jacob settled in Slippery Rock. Simon was the miller at ELLIOTT's mill for a time, then settled in Brady, where his son James now lives. His children are Benjamin (born in 1801), Alexander, Eliza (BLACK), Simon (deceased), Hugh, James (deceased), and Mary (WEBBER).

In 1799,* John THOMPSON moved to this county from Chartier's Creek. He was born in Ireland. Mr. THOMPSON settled in the eastern part of the township, where his decendants are still numerous. He died in 1846, at the age of ninety-four. His widow, Martha (HUMES), died in 1861, aged eighty-nine. Names of their children -- William H., John H., Robert W., Thomas C., Humes, James, Jane (ALSWORTH), Margaret (TURK), Elizabeth, Martha (MCCANDLESS), and Mary (COOPER). Of these, two survive -- Thomas C., Sunbury, and Mrs. COOPER, Mercer County. The sons were all men of remarkable size, each being at least six feet tall. William was six feet five inches, and was reckoned the strongest man in the county. He settled where his son Solomon now lives. He was the father of John N. THOMPSON, Esq., of Butler. Another son, William, is a prominent lawyer in Iowa, and has been a Representative to Congress. John H., settled about 1833, on the farm where his son, J. M. THOMPSON, Esq., now lives. He was accidentally drowned in Slippery Rock Creek in 1860. Robert, settled where his son N. H. now resides. Humes, lived on the place now owned by his only son, J. N. James, settled on the Rev. WILLIAMS farm, but afterward moved to Clay Township. Thomas C., settled in Clay, where he now resides.

* His descendants vary in their statements of the time of his settlement, some placing it in 1796.

About 1799, David MCJUNKIN and his brother James settled on Muddy Creek, in Clay Township. John, another brother, came a few years later. David, soon took up a farm in Brady Township. He married Nancy MCCLYMONDS after settling in this county. His children were William, Elizabeth (ROSENBERRY), David, and Hannah. David is the only survivor.

Alexander IRWIN and James CAMPBELL were early settlers, who lived and died in the northern part of this township.

Conrad SNYDER, a settler of 1800, was born in Philadelphia County, from which he moved to Bedford County, thence removing to Allegheny County, where he resided two years. In 1800, he came to Butler County, selected land, and the following year brought his family. His father, Conrad SNYDER, a native of Switzerland, and his mother, Nancy, and a sister, Nancy (CARTER), came here with him. Conrad SNYDER married Ann Mary BRYAN, in Allegheny County. He died in 1865, aged ninety years. His wife died two years later. Of their children -- John, born in 1801, married Elizabeth RALSTON, in 1826. Both are still living, in the fifty- seventy year of their wedded life. They have had twelve children. Mary (deceased), was the wife of Thomas STRAIN; Elizabeth, married Zephaniah DOUBLE; she is a widow and resides at Millerstown; Nancy, widow of Isaac DOUBLE, resides in Worth Township; Effie, Conrad (first) and Joseph, died young; Zephaniah, married Rachel KENNEDY and resides in Brady Township; Prudence, is the wife of John WEBB, of Clay Township; Effie Jane, widow of Humes THOMPSON, resides in Brady; Jane, is dead; Conrad, married Nancy McCANDLESS; he resides in Brady; Catherine, is the wife of John J. CROLL, of this township.

Conrad SNYDER, Sr., was fond of hunting, and made some money by following it. He at first lived near Muddy Creek, and, while residing there, one day he heard a hog squealing in a swamp or marsh formed by the overflow from a beaver dam. Taking his gun and creeping slowly along, partin the long weeds and tall grass as he went, he at length caught sight of the hog, and found, as he had anticipated, that a bear was trying to kill it. Mr. SNYDER did not dare to fire, fearing that he might kill the hog. But presently he happened to make some noise which attracted the bear's attention; the animal rushed at him; Mr. SNYDER fired and retreated as rapidly as possibly. Returning after a little he found the bear dead. Mr SNYDER succeeded remarkably well in gathering property. As a result of industry and wise management, he was at one time the owner of two thousand acres of land. He gave each of his children a farm.

When the SNYDER family settled, they had few neighbors. Daniel CARTER, a brother-in-law of Conrad SNYDER, had come out a year or two before. The [p.365] THOMPSONs were the nearest neighbors in one direction. Andrew ALLSWORTH, a Revolutionary pensioner, came soon after and lived where John SNYDER now resides. He moved away early.

Conrad SNYDER kept a house of entertainment on the Franklin road a number of years. His son John has a vivid recollection of pioneer days. He inherited his father's fondness for hunting, and the record of his experiences would make an interesting volume.

John HOCKENBERRY came from Eastern Pennsylvania with his family about the year 1804 [4]. He died in the neighborhood where he first settled, in the ninety-ninth year of his age. Names of his children: John, Caspar, Joseph, Jonathan, Betsey (BUCHANAN), Jane (McCANDLESS), Anna (WOOLUM) and Ellen GRAHAM, Caspar married Margaret SHAFFER. He died in Worth Township. Six of his children are living in this county.

Enoch SMITH, an early settler in the COVERT neighborhood, lived largely by hunting. He and John COVERT were once encamped near the creek at night, watching for deer at a point where they had scattered salt. COVERT lay down on a couch in the camp to take a little rest, and had fallen almost asleep, when feeling something under him, he arose, got a light, and discoverd an enormous rattlesnake coiled up snugly in his bed. SMITH resided where he settled until game became scarce, then moved to Lawrence County.

Robert GLENN, from Center County, Penn., settled in 1810 on the farm where his grandson Robert F., now lives. He came out 1808, and purchased two pieces of land, and in 1810 moved his family with a wagon and four horses; Mrs. GLENN rode on a fifth horse. Soon after he settled here, Mr. GLENN saw that the settlers were much in need of a blacksmith's services, and accordingly he induced a man named John EMERY to come and establish a shop. EMERY worked many years, and Andrew GLENN learned the trade from him and continued the business afterward. The children of Robert and Marth GLENN were John (a soldier of 1812); Mary (GILFILLAN), Andrew, Catharine (HUMPHREY), Robert, Margaret (CHRISTY), William, and Archibald.

Archibald, Lawrence County, is the only survivor. Andrew married Ann AKIN, daughter of Robert AKIN, and reared three sons and three daughters. He and John lived upon the old homestead.

John RALSTON settled where CROLL's mill is, and built a small log mill quite early. His children were William, James, John, Samuel, David, George, Ellen, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary and Susan.

Daniel GRAHAM, Esq., son of Patrick GRAHAM, of Jefferson Township, settled on Muddy Creek in 1834 on the old LAFFER farm. He died in 1880, aged eighty-four years. His son, Daniel K., lives in the eastern part of this township, and is engaged in farming, coal mining, bee-culture, etc.

The farm now owned by T. S. BEATTY was settled by William GRAHAM, and afterward owned by Jesse CORNELIUS, then by Joseph DOUGHERTY, from whom Mr. BEATTY purchased.

L. H. LILLY came from Crawford County in 1867, and settled on a part of the WIGTON farm.

S. FISHER settled upon his present farm in 1860. The place was settled by James CAMPBELL, and later owned by Henry CAMPBELL, WICK, BADGER, and others.

George GIBSON, came from Ireland to this county in 1865, and has lived in this township for the last ten years.

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE

Brady Township -- 1854, Benjamin GROSSMAN; 1854, Ambrose ALEXANDER; 1859 Benjamin, GROSSMAN; 1860, Daniel GRAHAM; 1864, Benjamin GROSSMAN; 1865, John G. MCCLYMONDS; 1868, Robert DICKSON; 1868, Josiah M. THOMPSON; 1870, Benjamin GROSSMAN; 1873, Matthias MOYER; 1876, J. C. SNYDER; 1878, Matthias MOYER; 1881, John ALLEN; 1882, Josiah M. THOMPSON.

THE OLD STONE HOUSE

In a secluded spot, at the junction of the old turnpike and the Franklin road, stands the Old Stone House. Looking upon it now, no one would ever dream that it was once a place of general resort and noted far and wide. The marks of neglect are upon it. Nothing remains to tell of its former bustle and activity. Yet the Stone House has a history. The land on which it stands was taken up by the DOUGLASes, who came to this county in 1798, and erected a house of hewed logs. John ELLIOTT came a few years later, the DOUGLASes having found another location. He opened a house of entertainment, and kept it until 1812. Then John BROWN -- 'John BROWN of Oliver' -- he called himself in distinction from coutnless other John BROWNs that came from east of the mountains. He kept tavern in the log house thorugh the war, and some years thereafter. About 1822, he built the Stone House. The BROWNs failed to pay for the property, and it reverted to the COLLINS estate, to which the land belonged, and came into the hands of Mrs. MCLURE, daughter of Mrs. COLLINS. Among those who kept tavern after BROWN, renting the property from her, were TURNER, SUTLIFF, CAMPBELL, PURVIANCE, PRICE, HALLING, HAWN, Richard DONCASTER and Joseph MCCANNON.

The Stone House was the place of exchange for passengers on the routes to Mercer and Franklin, and was much frequented by lumbermen who passed it on their way northward, as well as by stage passengers. [p.366] The old house was thronged by customers in these days, and the 'sound of revelry by night' was sometimes heard within its walls. But by degrees the old hostelry acquired a bad name. Belated travelers disliked to go thither after dark, and rather than pass through the lonely woods leading to it, sought lodgings at farmhouses along the road. Two rival hotels sprang up in the same neighborhood, and each did a good business. The Forest House (on the Butler & Mercer Turnpike) built in 1833 by Robert THOMPSON, was kept as a hotel until about 1854. Norbit FOLTZ also kept tavern between the Forest House and the Stone House. Stories of robberies, and of the mysterious disappearance of guests at the Stone House got abroad, frightening timid travelers so that they no longer patronized the old tavern. The people who kept the house were not at fault, but they were powerless to stop the spread of damaging rumors. There is no evidence that any of the frightful stories once current concerning the Stone House had any foundation in fact. Whence, then, did they arise?

The explanation is easy. A band of couterfeiters had taken up their abode in the neighborhood. In time the Stone House became their favorite resort. A number of strangers, as well as some residents of the neighborhood, were supposed to be implicated. A young man nmed Julius C. HOLLIDAY came from Ohio, married here, and settled not far from the Stone House. He soon came to be looked upon as the acknowledged leader of the secret doings. He was well educated, shrewd, and in his dealings with his neighbors, straightforward and honest. He held some township offices and was for some years a member of the school board. But notwithstanding these facts, he was more than suspected of being one of the leading spirits among the counterfeiters. He was arrested and tried once or twice for playing the 'box game,' but so shrewdly had he acquitted himself that sufficient evidence to convict him could not be produced. He died here, and, somewhat remarkable to relate, every one of his five or six children died of diphtheria, within a period of a few weeks, a short time after. Whether he was actually engaged in the manufacture of spurious coin, or ever pursued the business of selling alleged counterfeit money, no one can determine. But that counterfeit silver was made and circulated by some of the frequenters of the Stone House, no one doubts. The business operations extended over a period of many years. After HOLLIDAY's death, two of the gang were arrested, tried, convicted and sent to the penitentiary.

During the time that DONCASTER was landlord of the Stone House, strangers, to the number of twenty or more, came to board with him. They were, to all appearances, gentlemen, but they seemed to have no business of any kind, and suspicion was aroused against them in consequence. They conducted themselves in an orderly manner, but kept their names and their residences a secret. They spent a good deal of their time in hunting and other kinds of amusement. Before the citizens, they never called each other by their proper names, but in converstion addressed one another as 'Colonel,' 'Major,' 'Bob,' 'Dick,' etc. DONCASTER knew that his house was getting a bad name from being the stopping place of the supposed counterfeiters. He went to Butler and sought legal advice as to whether he ought to keep his boarders or turn them away. He was advised that it was his duty, as landlord of a public house, to board them so long as they gave no offense and paid their bills regularly.

After HOLLIDAY's death, the couterfeiters either did not manage their business so shrewdly, or else more vigilance was exercised toward them, until at last, after the conviction of two of the number, the making of spurious coin was entirely stopped and has never been resumed.

One William TURK, a resident of the neighborhood, mysteriously disappeared some years ago. This circumstance, no doubt, gave color to many of the stories so long current concerning the Stone House. TURK had formerly been a stage driver. He was a man of drinking habits. The last time he was ever seen by his neighbors was on the evening of a Fourth of July, at a celebration held at the Forest House. Many suppose him to have been foully dealt with by some of the counterfeiters, who feared that he would reveal some of their secrets. [5]

The foregoing are the facts concerning the Stone House and some of its frequenters. To relate the fictions, once believed by many, would fill a volume.

CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

This is the oldest religious organization in West Liberty. It was formed, about 1845, by Revs. BRYAN and GALLAGHER. Among the first members were John COVERT, Jacob COVERT, Jesse CORNELIUS and John WICK. The first meeting was held in John WICK's barn. Joseph BOWMAN preached for this congregation some years, then went to the army, and again resumed his work on his return. Samuel BOWMAN was the next preacher, and F. W. SILVIUS was the last. The congregation was always small, and very few members now remain. The house was erected about twenty-five years ago, and was used by all denominations until other churches were built.

ST. JOHN'S EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH

During the war, Rev. A. H. WATERS, of Prospect, preached at intervals in the Cumberland Presbyterian [p.367] Church. Rev. S. H. SWINGLE was the next Lutheran preacher in the place. In May, 1878, at a meeting held at the house of J. J. CROLL, it was resolved to form an English Lutheran Church, and Rev. H. W. ROTH and J. J. CROLL were appointed to prepare a constitution. During the spring of 1878, a house of worship was erected, and June 23, 1878, it was dedicated with a sermon by Rev. W. A. PASSAVANT, D. D., of Pittsburgh. June 24, the constitution was accepted. Rev. H. W. ROTH was the first pastor, succeeded by Rev. G. W. CRITCHLOW. The congregation was organized with twenty-two members, and now has thirty-nine.

WEST LIBERTY M. E. [Methodist Episcopal] CHURCH

This church was organized in 1873 with a small membership, by Rev. J. M. FOSTER. A substantial church building was erected immediately after the organization. The present membership (October, 1882) is thirty-two. The church is part of the Centreville Circuit.

WEST LIBERTY U. P. [United Presbyterian] CHURCH

This church was organized in September, 1875[6], and is now in quite a flourishing condition. Rev. W. P. SHAW is the present pastor. A house of worship, comfortable and convenient, has been erected since the organization of the church.

ST. JOHN M. E. [Methodist Episcopal] CHURCH

A Methodist organization was formed many years ago at Hickory Mills, in Slippery Rock Township. After it died out, Jesse HALL, one of its leading members, projected, and carried to successful completion, the organization now known as St. John's Church. Revs. HAYS, HICKS and John CRUM were the first who preached in the neighborhood. The latter formed a class. Jesse HALL acted as leader and exhorter when there was no minister present. In 1868, the house of worship was erected. From a small beginning the church has increased to a membership of 134. It belongs to Centreville Circuit.

WEST LIBERTY

This little village, in the western part of Brady Township, contains four churches, three stores, one blacksmith shop, two shoe-maker shops, and one harness shop. The lots were laid out in 1845, by Jacob and John COVERT, on their lands.

J. J. CROLL was the first merchant in the place. He now owns a large farm, and lives at CROLL's mill.

West Liberty Post office was established in 1866. Postmasters -- Jonathan CLUTTON, John ALLEN, John KOCHER and W. W. ROBINSON.

MILLS

Smith NEIL, as early as 1810, built a grist mill, afterward known as the HOGE Mill, on MCDEAVITT's Run. It was afterward owned by Nicholas KLINGENSMITH, then by the HOGEs.

A man named IDDINGS built a grist-mill on BROWN's Run at about the same date. Henry EVANS, John WICK, Caleb JONES and Samuel TURK were subsequent owners. Neither of these mills have been in operation for many years.

STORES AND POST OFFICES

Previous to 1820, Jonathan MCMILLAN and a man known as Col. MICKER kept store here near where the Stone House now is. The next store at the same point was started by Henry PURVIANCE. DONCASTER, the landlord, and others had a store there later.

Joseph DONAGHY kept store on his farm a number of years.

Some twenty-five years ago, EYTH Brothers kept store at the Forest House. The store was discontinued for some years, then re-established in 1870 by MCDERMOTT, succeeded by JOHNSON. J. H. LYON bought out JOHNSON, and in 1873 moved to the place where J. C. MURTLAND now keeps store. Mr. MURTLAND commenced business here in 1879.

The first post office in the township was at the Stone House. When or by whom it was established, there is no means of ascertaining. Brownington was the name of the office. It was discontinued about 1870.

Forest Post Office, at the Forest House, was in existance many years. It was discontinued some years before Brownington. In 1873, Elora Post Office (then Memphis) was established.

EARLY SCHOOLS

The schools of pioneer days were all conducted on the tuition plan, and almost any cabin or shelter was deemed suitable for a schoolhouse. After the free schools were organized, more comfortable log-buildings were erected and used as schoolhouses. Then, after Brady Township was organized, old-fashioned octagonal frame buildings, some of which are still standing, were built. In nothing has there been more conspicuous changes than in schoolhouses and schools, comparing the early days with the present.

About 1808, Henry EVANS, an Irishman, taught school near where Henry MILLER now lives. Master FLETCHER also taught near Muddy Creek Church.

An early school was taught in a small log building which stood near where Nicholas WEITZELL's stable now is, at West Liberty. Thomas GORLEY, an Irishman, of drinking habits, taught there several winters. When he was in liquor he became a veritable 'terror to evil doers and little boys.'

[p. 368]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

REV. SAMUEL WILLIAMS [7]

Samuel WILLIAMS was born in Venango County, Penn., Oct 25, 1820. Carefully instructed by good and intelligent parents in religious truth, he formed in early life habits of industry and temperance, while principles of honesty and self-respect became indelibly fixed upon his character. He attended the common schools, and formed such studious habits that he made excellent progress; when a mere youth he began teaching, with good success. He continued to teach during winter and worked at other employments in summer until he had earned and secured funds sufficient to meet the expense of a collegiate education. His mind had long been impressed with the duty of preparing himself for the Gospel ministry; and with that object in view he entered Washington College, Pennsylvania, on the 5th of November, 1849. After a pleasant and successful course of four years, he was graduated September 21, 1853, having the honor of delivering the valedictory oration of his class.

The day after his graduation, Mr. Williams entered the Western Theological Seminary, at Allegheny City, Penn., where he pursued a three years' course in theology, and was graduated on the 7th of May, 1856. June 15, 1856, he was licensed to preach the Gospel by the Presbytery of Allegheny (now Butler); on the same day he was engaged by the churches of Centreville and Muddy Creek to serve as supply until the next meeting of the Presbytery, and at once entered upon the work. On the 5th of November, following, he received and accepted calls to be pastor of these churches, each church to receive one half of his labor. He was ordained and installed pastor of Centreville Church, April 14, 1857; and installed pastor of Muddy Creek Church, May 23, of the same year. This relation continued with mutual satisfaction for thirteen years. During that time both churches had so increased that each desired the whole of the pastor's time, and presented calls to the Presbytery to secure it. Mr. WILLIAMS accordingly resigned the charge of Centreville, and for eight and one half years devoted the whole of his time to Muddy Creek congregation. In the meantime, a portion of the latter congregation having withdrawn to organize the Unionville Church, Mr. WILLIAMS was called to its pastorate and since January 1, 1878, has divided his time equally between the two congregations. Mr. WILLIAMS' career as a minister of the Gospel has been in the main a happy and successful one. He is held in grateful esteem by the people in whose behalf he has labored so long and faithfully. The aggregate number added to the several charges during his pastorate would exceed six hundred, and not withstanding continual looses by deaths and removal, the churches are greatly increased in efficiency and usefulness in every department of Christian work.

[End of Chapter 39--Brady Township: History of Butler County, Pennsylvania. With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Waterman, Watkins, & Co., Chicago, 1883.]


Footnotes: (not part of the original text)

[1] Cherry Township probably also contributed to the formation of Brady. The histories that state that Cherry Twp. was formed in 1854 are incorrect. Cherry Township is formed prior to 1840, since the 1840 census includes Cherry Township. Wills and deeds from the 1840's also confirm the existance of Cherry Twp. before 1854.

[2] Various locations in Western PA or Ohio have been claimed to be the site of Brady's Leap. Kent, Ohio is the location suggested by the 1895 History.

[3] According to the 1895 History, he was a Hessian.

[4] According to the 1895 History, he settled in 1803 and later moved to Cherry Twp.

[5] According to the 1895 History, William Turk 'reappeared in August 1885, having been absent 32 years. Meantime his wife married and went westward with her husband, while his three children were also scattered.'

[6] According to the 1895 History, organized June 15, 1875.

[7] Portraits of Rev. and Mrs. S. WILLIAMS and a drawing of his residence are located opposite page 362 in the 1883 History of Butler County.



Chapter 38--Worth Township
Chapter 40--Fairview Township
1883 Butler County History Contents
Butler County Pennsylvania USGenWeb Homepage

Edited 30 Nov 1999, 16:03