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History of Butler County Pennsylvania - 1883

Chapter 44 -- Parker Township

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



Illustrations And Biographies In Chapter XLIV

p.406a-- Res. of George Meals
p.408a-- Daubenspeck's & Meals
p.410 -- John Daubenspeck Bio



[p. 403]

PARKER TOWNSHIP was named for John PARKER, the surveyor of the northern part of the county. Mr. PARKER came here about 1794, in the employ of a man named MOORE, and surveyed a large section of the land in the immediate vicinity of Parker City.

The surface of the township is uneven, being greatly broken by the valleys of Bear creek and tributary streams. The township contains valuable coal deposits, which are as yet but little developed. The production of oil has long been an important factor among the industries of the township. John Parker was from Washington County. He settled on a tract of 600 acres. Some time after he made the survey, his father came, bringing his family and household goods up the river in canoes. One of the sons, George, was drowned while running Parker Falls. There were eight brothers in the family and one sister, viz.: James, John, Juliette (Mrs. John Gil- [p.404] christ), William, Fullerton, Washington, George, Thomas and Wilson. All lived in this county excepting William and James, who died in Armstrong County, at Parker's Landing, and Mrs. GILCHRIST, who died in Wheeling, W. Va. Thomas died in Oil City; Washington died in Harrisville, where for several years he was merchant and a prominent citizen. Wilson died in Parker City.

John PARKER, familiarly known as Judge Parker, was an active and energetic business man, and influential and useful citizen. He was a farmer and owned all the land on which Parker City is now situated. In 1815, he laid out the village of Lawrenceburg (now the second Ward of Parker City), and the sale of lots was made that year or the year following. He was one of the first Associate Judges of Butler County, receiving his appointment from the Governor. He died in 1842, at the age of seventy-six.

Of his family, there are now living but two sons--George and Fullerton--well-known citizens of Parker.

Settlement began in 1796. The first settlers were Scotch-Irish, from Westmoreland County, and native Pennsylvanians from the western part of the State. The hardships which the pioneers were obliged to undergo were great, and only men and women possessed of heroic fortitude and determination were capable of enduring them. Almost without exception, the early settlers were poor in worldly possessions, and came into the wilderness solely for the purpose of making homes for themselves and their posterity. Some of them lived to witness the dawning of an era of prosperity, while others died before much change in their condition became apparent. All deserve to be gratefully remembered.

John MARTIN, in 1796, settled two 400-acre tracts. He was a native of the North of Ireland, and had resided some years in Westmoreland County. In the year mentioned, he came into this township with his son Thomas, who was then about ten years of age. The two walked from Westmoreland County, carrying axes and guns. After they arrived here, they ate up all the provisions they had, and were three days without food. They hunted for game, but unsuccessfully, and were near despair and starvation, when a son of Mr. MARTIN arrived bringing supplies.

A village of Indians was then located above Martinsburg, on the Fletcher meadow. They did some planting, but subsisted mainly by hunting. They were peaceable and well-disposed, and the boy, Thomas MARTIN, often played with the young Indians.

In the spring of 1797, John MARTIN moved his family to the cabin which he had erected on the farm adjoining the present Capt. Martin farm. For the first year or two, the family depended largely on game for their food. John MARTIN, Sr., died in 1835, aged over ninety years. The children of John and Fannie MARTIN were John, Joseph, Robert, Thomas, William and Sarah. All live in this county but John. He married Mary CRISPIN, and settled in Clarion County. Robert and Thomas were in the war of 1812. Joseph married Christina SAY; William's wife was Mary EVANS; Thomas married Martha KELLEY; Robert remained single; and Sarah became the wife of John SAY. J. C. MARTIN, a grandson of John MARTIN, is one of the old residents of the township. He is well known as Capt. MARTIN, having been elected Captain of a volunteer company in 1845.

Archibald KELLY, a native of Ireland, moved out from Westmoreland County with his family in 1796. He first made a shanty in Washington Township, proposing to settle there; but while away from it, a man named HINDMAN took possession. HINDMAN had previously erected a hut on the Storey farm, but Mr. STOREY arrived in his absence and took up his abode there. The cabin into which KELLY moved his family was situated northwest of the site of the village of Martinsburg. Mr. KELLY brought his family and his goods in a wagon, cutting a road before him a great part of the way. When they arrived, they found the cabin already occupied. It appeared that John JAMISON, who had settled one tract and located one of his sons on another, had concluded that he wanted KELLY's tract, and accordingly had placed his wife and a son in the cabin to hold possession. Mr. KELLY was a resolute man, and did not propose to be deprived of his rights in this way; therefore, halting his wagon with his wife and baby sitting in it, before the cabin, he took his ax and proceeded to a large tree that stood near by, threatening to cut it down at once and thus annihilate the cabin and the Jamisons if they did not leave. At first they made no stir. Kelly wielded his ax vigorously and soon had made an incision all around the tree. His wife pleaded with him: "Archie, stop; you'll kill the people!" "Don't care! let 'em get out then." And the Jamisons got out. Afterward the two families became very intimate.

Archibald KELLY was the first school teacher in this part of the county. He taught in many neighborhoods, and is still remembered by many who were his pupils. Judge BREDIN, Morris BREDIN, and other prominent citizens, received some of their school training under the rigid discipline of Master KELLY. He used an instrument known as the "cat-o'-nine-tails," and was severe but well-intentioned in his treatment of refractory pupils. He was married in this State, and was the father of a large family, viz.: James, Thomas, Hannah (JAMISON), Martha (MARTIN), John, Sarah (CANNON), David, Esther (FLEMING), Margaret (FLEMING), Betsey, William and Andrew; all are dead [p.405] but Andrew, who lives near Emlenton. James, Thomas and John lived on the old homestead. William remained single and lived with his brother David. The latter lived in Westmoreland County for a time, and worked on the canal some years. In 1833, he bought a farm near Martinsburg, on which his son, D. P. KELLY, Esq., lives in Martinsburg. Another of his sons, John KELLY, Esq., lives in Martinsburg. The father was a Justice of the Peace seventeen years.

As late as 1835, bears were still seen in this township. Two of David KELLY's sons, John and Archibald, were going to school one morning when they saw a large black object lying in a nest of branches in a cherry tree which stood on the creek bottom. They did not know what it was and called it a nigger. Reporting what they had seen, they were laughed at. But a few days afterward, William MARTIN came along one morning early and told the KELLY boys he had just killed the "nigger," and that it was a large black bear.

The settlers had great opportunities for hunting. James KELLY, oldest son of Archibald, once stated that for twenty-eight years he was never out of venison. Perhaps the most daring and successful hunters in this township were the Parker boys. They kept a number of dogs and devoted much time to the sport. It is stated that they once chased a panther into a den. Washington went into the den, stirred up the panther and drove him out. His brother, William stood by, and as soon as the panther emerged, stepped up and grasped his tail. The surprised animal leaped into the air, but William did not loose his hold, until Washington came to his assistance and killed the animal with a hatchet.*
*"I know not how this thing may be, But tell the tale as 'twas told to me."--Ed.

John JAMISON, above mentioned, is said to have been a good neighbor, though rather impetuous. It is stated that when engaged in ordinary conversation, he could be heard for nearly a mile; and when he became excited, his voice, which was hoarse and husky, produced sounds that were indeed terrific.

These pioneers were obliged to pack their provisions and salt from east of the mountains and from Westmoreland County for a number of years. Whenever one of the settlers made a trip of this kind, he went literally "loaded with errands" for the whole neighborhood.

Among the settlers of 1796 was Robert STOREY, who came here from Westmoreland County, but originally from Ireland. He settled on the farm now owned by his son, Robert, of Butler, and lived there until his death, in 1850. He was a Captain in the war of 1812. His wife was Jane, daughter of William MOORE, a pioneer of Oakland Township. The oldest daughter, Elizabeth (ADAMS), is now a resident of Washington Township; Alexander is in Parker township; Jane in Allegheny County; Ann (CAMPBELL) in the same county; William, in Parker Township; Robert, in Butler, where he has resided since 1878; and John is in Jefferson County.

About the same time, with the settlers already mentioned, William FLEMING located, with his sons--Edward and Hugh--where Dickson BARTLEY now lives. The old gentleman was an esteemed citizen. Some of his descendants still live in the county.

About 1796, Jacob DAUBENSPECK, from Luzerne County, settled in the northern part of this township. His wife died here and he removed to Clarion County, where he settled and married again. His original farm in this county was sold to his sons, George and Philip, who lived and died there. George was married in this county to Margaret MEAL, of German descent. He was a soldier of 1812. He died in 1858, in his eighty-second year. He was the father of eighteen children, of whom ten reached mature years and nine are still living. Of these ten children, one died when about seventy. Their names are Jacob, born in 1805, now a resident of Washington Township; Mary (HOOVER); Margaret, deceased; John, Lydia [sic--no comma]Emrick, Elizabeth (MUHLEISEN), George, Samuel, Lewis, and William. John, born in 1811, is one of the oldest residents of Parker Township. He remembers his father giving a cow, such as would now be worth $45, for a barrel of salt. William FLEMING made a business of bringing supplies over the mountains for the settlers in those days.

Philip DAUBENSPECK married Mary FREIZE. They had seven children: Catharine (WARNER), George, John, Mary (BARNHHART), Ann (KAMERER), Barbara (SHAKELY), and Lewis. Two are living--Mrs. KAMERER, Fairview Township; and Lewis, Parker Township. George died in 1881, aged eight-two years.

The following bear story is related by Mr. John DAUBENSPECK. His father and his uncle, John, who lived with him, were out in the woods one day and saw a bear. A shot was fired and the bear wounded. The dogs immediately attacked the bear, and John went to their assistance, having no weapon but a mattock in his hands. As he was attempting to strike the bear, he fell over a rock and was precipitated into the midst of the fight, among the dogs, and close to the paws of the bear. Fortunately he was able to save himself, but it was a narrow escape.

John GIBSON and William FERGUSON from Indiana County, visited Butler County in 1796. While on their way hither, they saw several Indians in a canoe in the Allegheny River at Brady's bend. Ferguson, whose relatives had been murdered by the savages fired upon the Indians from a place of concealment, [p.406] wounded one fatally, and continued his way undiscovered and unpursued. In 1797, Alexander, John, Hugh and James GIBSON came out and made settlements. Hugh was then a boy fifteen years of age; they saw no signs of habitation after they left Kittanning until they reached this township. After living alone in the woods for two years; engaged in pioneer work. The boys' father, Levi GIBSON, came to this county and settled on the Dutchess farm, now in Allegheny Township. Two of his sons, John and Samuel, were volunteers in the war of 1812. Hugh GIBSON, after 1797, lived at home a few years, and about 1806 began improving the farm now owned by A. B. GIBSON; he lived alone until 1811, when he married Mrs. James MCLAUGHIN (née MCCALL). He died in 1870, in the eighty-eighth year of his age. His children are William H., born in 1812, living on the old homestead; Esther (FOSTER), Armstrong County; John, Parker Township; and Sarah, Parker Township. Samuel GIBSON, brother of Hugh, was married to Sarah WADDLE, of Slippery Rock Township. Their children are Harvey, Mary (TURNER), and Lucinda (CRAWFORD)--all living.

Some of Hugh GIBSON's experience as a boy pioneer may be interesting. He brought with him from Indiana County a pack-horse loaded with provisions. There was no blacksmith in the Butler County settlement, and so as a substitute for chains for log rolling, he twisted hickory withes and used them; when he was living on his first clearing, (where Alexander GIBSON afterward lived), he was sitting in the door of his cabin one day, when two big Indians appeared. Naturally he felt somewhat timorous, but he knew that to retreat would be useless. The Indians appeared friendly and shook hands with him. Seeing some cucumber peelings lying on the ground, one of them pointed to them, made signs and said "Quash." Mr. GIBSON brought some cucumbers and a piece of cake; the Indians ate heartily, and one of them jumping up and smiting his breast, said "Ugh! Indian strong now." Mr. Harvey GIBSON of Martinsburg has kindly furnished the historian with the following statement regarding the original settlers on the farms of this township:

In the northeast corner, the Parker farm, and south of it the farm now owned by John Leonard and others, settled by John GIBSON. South of Bear Creek, William HUTCHISON, and next south Hugh GIBSON; east of his farm James KNOX. John MARTIN, west of Hugh GIBSON; James GIBSON on the D. WALKER farm; Michael SHAKELY, on the Shakely farm, with Samuel ERWIN on the west; Joseph CAMPBELL on the Campbell farm; Capt. Robert STOREY on the land now owned by his sons; Benjamin FLETCHER on the land now owned by his heirs; then beginning west of the Campbell farm--REEP, and across Big Bear Creek, William COLLINS, and next west, Charles McCAFFERTY, where his son John lives. The next settler north was John SHRYOCK, who erected a grist mill on Silver Creek; then came the farms of George and Philip DAUBENSPECK, James HAGGERTY, "Grubber Jimmy" SMITH, Samuel WESTMORE, --Burns on the SHIRA farm, and William D. ALLEN. Thence going east, William DICKSON, and south James CONLY, on the MCMAHAN farm; east, the THOMPSON and ROBINSON farms (on the latter is the village of El Dorado); next farm north, James ALSWORTH; east William TURNER, "Little" Jimmy ALSWORTH, and William MCLAIN on the present Owen THOMAS farm. Thence going south, KNOX, and up the creek, James TURNER. John FOWLER settled the Stone House farm about 1814; he built the stone house and operated a saw mill and carding machine. Other early settlers were John JAMISON, where P. D. KELLY now lives; William FLEMING, on land now owned by D. BARTLEY and others; Henry SANDERSON, where John DAUBENSPECK now lives; and to the north, Master Archibald KELLY, the pioneer school-teacher.

The early settlers were without mill privileges for some years. John FOWLER, of the Stone House, had the first saw mill. About 1833, William MARTIN erected a second. Col. PARKER built the first grist mill in the neighborhood, near the mouth of Bear Creek. Benjamin FLETCHER erected a log grist mill, the first mill in the township about 1819. He bought 100 acres, which included the mill site from Capt. STOREY. The mill stood near Martinsburg. The second mill on the same site is still standing, but is not now in operation. The second mill was erected by John SHRYOCK, Sr., on Silver Creek, about 1823, where a mill is still running. About the same time, William TURNER, Jr., erected a mill on the North Branch of Bear Creek. This mill is still in operation. In 1857, Harvey GIBSON built at Martinsburg the mill which he still owns and runs. Distilleries were numerous as soon as grain began to be produced largely. At one time there were nine or ten within a radius of two or three miles. War times put an end their operations. John ALLEN, from York County, was an early settler. He first located near Harrisville, but a short time afterward moved to the farm on which his son William now resides. His children were John, Robert, Richard, Washington, William and Martha (DAVIDSON). William is the only survivor.

Benjamin FLETCHER came from one of the Eastern States--probably Massachusetts--about the year 1800, and was married here to Elizabeth HEMPHILL. Their children were Esther, Ann, Martha, Thomas, Sarah, Eliza and Abigail. Of these, only two survive--Ann (REEP) and Abigail (SAY). Josiah FLETCHER, a nephew, afterward came and taught school for many years. [unnumbered page, sketch of Residence of George W. MEALS] [p.407] Thomas, Benjamin's only son, lived on the old homestead and died in 1874. He married Anna CAMPBELL, who died in 1882. They had a family of five children, all of whom live in this township. Thomas FLETCHER was a man of remarkable ingenuity and had great skill in mechanics.

William HUTCHISON, a native of Ireland, settled soon after the GIBSON's. His children were Sarah (WILSON), living; David, living; Samuel, Margaret, Mary, Jane, Martha and William (deceased). As soon as the country became sufficiently settled, so that sheep were not in constant danger from wolves, the settlers procured sheep, their daughters spun and wove cloth, which was dressed at the fulling mill, and all were well supplied with good warm clothing. Leather was scarce and high, and great economy in the matter of shoes was necessary. The new country produced good wheat and corn, and there was no scarcity of food.

About the year 1804, John SAY, originally from Eastern Pennsylvania, came from Slippery Rock Township to this township. He married Sarah MARTIN and settled on part of the Martin tract. They reared four children, all of whom are living--John, Parker Township; James, Mercer County; Fanny (JACK), New Castle; and William, Armstrong--John SAY, Sr., died in 1869. His son John, born in 1811, is now one of the oldest residents of the township.

Joseph CAMPBELL, who died in 1876 at the age of eight-eight, was a son of John CAMPBELL, an early settler of Concord Township. Joseph settled the farm where his son Cyrus now lives. He married Mary STOREY and had the following children: William, John (deceased), Alexander (deceased), Joseph, James, Andrew (deceased), Thomas (deceased), Mary Ann (HANLEN) and Cyrus.

Samuel CAMPBELL lived and died on the farm where his son Levi now lives. He married Sidney GIBSON, and had the following children: Silan (deceased), Amos, James, Robert S. (deceased), Thomas C. (deceased), Samuel (deceased), Levi, Lavina (CAMPBELL) and Mary A. (DOUTT). For his second wife he married Jane WILSON (nee HUTCHISON). Children: Sidney J. (MCGARVEY), Sarah E. (MARTIN). Samuel CAMPBELL died in 1865. His second wife was the widow of Armstrong WILSON, by whom she had three children--Maria (deceased), Hutchison (deceased) and William A. Hutchison WILSON and Robert S. CAMPBELL were accidentally killed in 1850. They had taken shelter under a tree during a violent storm; the tree was blown down and they were crushed to death by it.

Robert H. CAMPBELL, a native of Ireland, came to this county in 1834. He married Lavina, daughter of Samuel CAMPBELL, and settled upon the farm on which he now lives.

Michael SHAKELEY was an early settler of the south-eastern part of the township. His youngest son, John, killed himself by hanging, leaving a wife and a large family.

James SIMPSON, an eccentric character, lived north-west of Martinsburg, where he settled early. He was quite courageous, and very severe on the boys when he caught them trying to play tricks on him. It is related that Simpson was sitting at his door, one Sunday morning, when a panther came and caught one of his pigs. He drove the beast away, and swore he would kill him if he came back. The panther returned, and Simpson went at him with no weapon but a flail, and after a desperate flight killed him, though Simpson himself came near being killed during the struggle. Another version of this story is that Simpson's neighbor, Jacob KISTNER, shot the panther, which fell from a tree to the ground, and that Simpson finished the killing with an ax. Old Simpson had a son, Tom, who was notoriously lazy. Tom got married, and soon after his father noticed that meat and other articles of food which were placed in the spring house, often disappeared. The old man had well-founded suspicions, and accordingly had Tom arrested. The latter did not deny his thefts; but to the old man's remonstrances he retorted: "Father, who taught me?" And the old gentleman was silenced completely.

Near the beginning of this century, William TURNER, of Irish birth, came from Westmoreland County and settled upon the farm where his grandson, John M., now lives. He came by land with his stock, and sent his wife and children with part of the household goods up the river in a keel-boat. The boat upset, and his wife and two children were drowned. One child was saved by getting on a feather-bed, which floated. Mr. TURNER afterward married again. His children were Samuel, James, John, Robert and William--all born in Ireland except William; and Sarah (KINCAID), Margaret (SCOTT), Fanny (FOWLER), Martha (RODGERS), Nancy (MCJUNKIN) and Jane (ALLEN). James and John were in the war of 1812. Sarah remained single until seventy-five years of age; then married a widower aged seventy-eight. Samuel and his second wife were poisoned by eating wild parsnips which they mistook for sweet myrrh. He lived eighteen months, but his wife died soon after eating. William lived on the old homestead and died in 1833, aged forty-two. He married Mary MCCANDLESS, daughter of the first Sheriff of Butler County. She was born in Westmoreland County in 1795, and is still living. Her children are Mary Ann (BLACK), John M., Martha (PORTER), William D., Sarah J. (EMERY), Nancy and James--all living but William D. and Nancy.

In early days, a very helpful disposition charac- [p.408]terized the inhabitants. Every species of work was performed by "frolics," at which the strong limbed men and boys toiled from sunrise till dark. No young man could expect to receive the smiles and favors of the young ladies if he was lazy. The girls were as industrious as any, and the zeal with which they entered into the work of a quilting or a "scutching" frolic [scutch: to dress (flax) by beating] would astonish the people of the present day.

Owen THOMAS, a native of Virginia, moved from Ohio to Phipps' furnace, and thence to the property on which his sons now live at least fifty years ago. He followed the trade of a collier and molder, but farmed during the latter part of his life. The children of Owen and Martha (JOHNSON) Thomas were William F., Nathan J. (deceased), Ann E. (CRAWFORD), John, George, Martha (COOPER) deceased, Owen J., Adam D. (deceased, Mary J. (JAMISON), Maggie (BLAIR), and Lucinda.

David FLETCHER had the first store in the township. He started the business about 1834. Murphy and Craig were his clerks. The store stood on his farm. Afterward, Josiah FLETCHER had a store on the Fletcher farm.

El Dorado (Glenora Post Office) is a small oil village in the northern part of the township, and has grown up since 1872. It contains two stores, a blacksmith shop and a few houses.


On the farm where Daniel WALKER now lives, there formerly stood an old log schoolhouse, with puncheon floor, window lights of greased paper, a huge chimney of sticks and mud and a large fire-place. Jacob SYPE, a young man, Edward JENNINGS and Samuel MOORE taught in this house. Sype was irritable, and did not take kindly to the barring out process, then a universal custom. When the schoolhouse had been barricaded he tried to enter by descending into the fire-place by the chimney. The boys threw fire-brands and kept him out. He next tried to break a hole through the roof and enter, but unsuccessfully. He also tried the windows, but was prevented from entering. He was very angry, and a fight seemed imminent. The difficulty was settled, as usual, by the teacher agreeing to "treat" the school.

Josiah FLETCHER taught school near Martinsburg, about 1816, in a cabin which had formerly been Benjamin FLETCHER's dwelling. His brother, Asa, also taught a year in the same place.

About 1827, a log schoolhouse that stood on the hill where the old Methodist Church stood afterward, was provided with a stove, which was then an article so rare as to be almost a curiosity in this part of the country. Among the teachers of those days were Josiah FLETCHER, Samuel GIBSON, Joseph CAMPBELL, Hugh WILSON, and William FOWLER.

An early schoolhouse, known as the Shryock Schoolhouse, stood near SHRYOCK's Mill. John GIBSON, a competent teacher, was the first who taught there, and after him came Robert LAWRENCE. Later, another schoolhouse was built on the farm now owned by John DAUBENSPECK. John KELLY and John BARTLEY were other early teachers.


1840, Andrew DONALDSON; 1840, David KELLY; 1845, Jacob DAUBENSPECK; 1845, James CAMPBELL; 1846, David KELLY; 1850, James CAMPBELL; 1851, Archibald KELLY; 1855, John SHRYOCK; 1856, Archibald KELLY; 1860, Robert STOREY; 1861, Archibald KELLY; 1865, Robert STOREY; 1866, John SHRYOCK; 1870, Robert STOREY; 1872, Amos YOUNG; 1875, Robert STOREY; 1875, Thomas B. SMITH; 1877, A. P. STEWART; 1877, John KELLY; 1882, A. P. STEWART; 1882, John KELLY.


This village was laid out by William MARTIN, in 1837, on land purchased by John MARTIN after his settlement, from a man named CONOLLY. The only buildings in the place previous to the above date were a few around FLETCHER's mill. Of late years, the village has extended to the Fletcher farm, upon which a large number of houses have been erected. Martinsburg contains three general stores, one grocery, one drug store, one hotel, two shoe-maker shops, one wagon shop, one blacksmith shop, one grist-mill, etc.

Zeri B. SHEPARD built the first house after the village was laid out. He was a shoe-maker, and occupied the house as a dwelling and shop. The building is now John KELLY's stable. Robert CAMPBELL, who combined the trades of plasterer and school teacher, built the second house.

Robert BLACK came from Pittsburgh to Martinsburg in 1841, and opened the first store. The building was afterward occupied by Penn REDICK, who kept a house of entertainment. It stood on the east side of Main street, but was burned years ago. Black moved his goods to a house built by him, which is now Mr. MCNEES' dwelling, and continued the mercantile business a number of years.

Archibald MARTIN kept the first licensed house in the place, commencing in 1851. John MARTIN, in 1842, built a part of the house now occupied by Squire KELLY. The latter kept a licensed hotel from 1854 to 1868, and a temperance house until 1878. He remodeled and enlarged building erected by Martin. As an illustratiion of the values of property in oil times, it may be well to state that Mr. KELLY was [p.409] offered $16,000 for his hotel property, which would scarcely bring as many hundred dollars now.

William SEDWICK, one of the early settlers of the village, built a mill on the creek, and afterward a foundry. Nothing now remains of either.

In 1857, Harry ARNOLD and R. P. CRAWFORD built a charcoal furnace for the manufacture of iron, near Martinsburg. It was fired on Christmas Day. The furnace ran from that time until 1862, when the firm having become involved, the property was sold out by the Sheriff. This was known as the DUDLEY furnace, though it was nicknamed "Pegging Awl." The stack was of stone, and the works were run by a large steam engine. The product was taken to the mouth of Bear Creek, and thence by boat to Pittsburgh. From thirty-five to forth tons of iron per week were manufactured, and for a time the owners did a brisk and prosperous business, giving employment to about 100 men in all departments of their work. They had a store, and as they furnished supplies to their workmen, the customers of the two or three stores in Martinsburg became so few that their proprietors were obliged to give up their business, thus leaving an open field to the furnace managers. The latter rented much of the village property. The business failed because of poor management.

The village grew but slowly, until the oil developments began to create excitement, and then Martinsburg enjoyed a period of five or six years of prosperity, during which many improvements were made.

T. W. MCNEES settled at Martinsburg in 1872, and has followed hotel keeping and the livery business. Jerry SUTTON now keeps the only hotel in the village. He has been engaged in the business since 1870, always keeping a temperance house. J. W. ORR began the mercantile business in 1877. He had previously kept a store in Foxburg, Clarion County. Mr. ORR has been Chairman of the Prohibition County Committee three years, and a member of the State Executive Committee.

J. A. MCKALLIP & Co., general merchants, opened their store in 1877.

Bruin Post Office, at Martinsburg, was established in 1851, Perry WEEK, Postmaster. The postmasters since have been J. C. HALSTEAD, Isaiah GIBSON, W. G. HARSHAW and E. H. Adams, present incumbent.

In October, 1877, the small pox almost caused a panic in Martinsburg. Many people moved away, and business was injured in consequence. There were a large number of cases, but not many proved fatal.


Workmen.--Clipper Lodge, No. 59, A.O.U.W., was instituted September 3, 1873, and afterward moved to Petrolia. United Lodge, No. 127, A.O.U.W., was instituted on the 25th of January, 1878, with the following first officers: R. P. RUPERT, P.M.G.; J. W. WATTERS, M.W.; T.G. CROCKER, G.F.; L. C. GIFFORD, O.; J.W. ORR, Recorder; W. C. BECK, Financier; F. M. KINTER, Receiver; W. J. KELLY, G.; W. W. BAIRD, I.W.; W. MARTIN, O.W. The lodge organized with thirty members. About eighty have been admitted. The number of members in good standing October 1, 1880, was thirty-seven. This lodge owns the building and the hall in which meet all the lodges except the K. of H., who own a small hall.

Knights of Honor.--Bruin Lodge, No. 970, K. of H., was formed March 22, 1878, with seventeen charter members. There are thirty-one members in good standing at present.

Royal Templars of Temperance.--Campbell Council, No. 52, R.T. of T., was chartered September 8, 1880, with thirteen charter members. Present membership, eighteen. This is a temperance organization, with insurance benefits among its features.

The following lodges are now extinct: Martinsburg Lodge, No. 817, I.O.O.F., instituted January 8, 1873; and Thanksgiving Lodge, No. 1193, I.O of G.T., instituted March 15, 1878.


Benjamin FLETCHER was the leader among the early Methodists. In 1834, a Methodist class was formed, and the following year Mr. FLETCHER gave a lot upon which a church was erected. The first preachers were Revs. GILMER, John SOMERVILLE and John CARL. The latter organized the class. The present Methodist Church in Martinsburg was erected in 1874, at a cost of nearly $4,000. A society of Wesleyan Methodists built the first church in Martinsburg in 1853. The building has since been converted into a schoolhouse. The society became so small as to be unable to support a minister and the most of its members joined the M. E. Church.


For many years the Presbyterians of this vicinity worshiped at the old Bear Creek Church. In 1822, a Presbyterian Church was organized at Parker City. The Martinsburg Church was organized in the Wesleyan Methodist Church, November 21, 1870, with a membership of thirty-two, Rev. James COULTER presiding, and Rev. J. H. MARSHALL preaching the sermon.

The first Elders--Amos YOUNG, H. H. SAY and John C. MARTIN--were installed December 11, 1870. The church ediface was completed in December, 1873, at a cost of about $4,500. Rev. E. I. BRUGH preached the first sermon in it. The house was dedicated [p.410] September 6, 1874, with a sermon by Rev. R. B. WALKER, D.D. Rev. B. C. MONTGOMERY, the first regular pastor, was installed October 22, 1873; resigned April 17, 1876. On the 15th of May, 1877, Rev. T. M. THOMPSON was installed pastor; he resigned in October, 1882. The present membership is ninety-five.



John DAUBENSPECK was born on the old Daubenspeck homestead, February 16, 1811. He was the son of those worthy pioneers, George and Ann Margaret DAUBENSPECK, who came to the wilds of Butler County in 1796; they were probably natives of Luzerne; they were undoubtedly schooled in early life to the hardships and privations of a new country; and that they were as brave and resolute as they were hardy, is attested by the life they led in what was then a wilderness (for a further history of these worthy people, the reader is referred to the township history). John lived under the parental roof, sharing the privations and hardships of the family until he was twenty-six years of age. At the foot of his father's farm stood, in early days, a primitive log schoolhouse; the benches were of slabs and the light was admitted through greased paper, window glass being an article far out of the reach of the people of those days. The structure was warmed by a huge fireplace, which occupied one entire side of the building. Here the boy John was instructed in reading, writing and arithmetic. These three branches comprised the entire course. While his early life was replete with toil and privation, it developed many strong points of character that otherwise might have remained latent; it fitted him for the task before him, that of improving a tract of 200 acres of rough land which his father had given him before leaving home. In 1842, he was married to Miss Elizabeth SHAKELY; her family were among the first settlers in Armstrong County, where she was born July 5, 1820, her maternal grandparents were among the pioneers of Greensburg, Penn., who suffered severely from Indian depredations. On one of their incursions, several of the settlers were killed and her grandmother was scalped and left for dead, but eventually recovered and lived to a good old age. Mr. DAUBENSPECK, like his father, has given his attention to agriculture and, and despite the unfavorable circumstances under which he started out he has been highly successful, and, to the tract given him by his father, added 350 acres. Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. DAUBENSPECK, three of whom are living--Henry, Margaret and Elizabeth. Henry married Maria MEALS, Margaret is the wife of Richard TURNER, and Elizabeth married E. H. ADAMS. Both Mr. and Mrs DAUBENSPECK are consistent members of the Reformed Church, and exemplify in their daily life the teachings of their faith.

[End of Chapter 44--Parker 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 43--Mercer Township
Chapter 46--Clay Township
1883 Butler County History Contents
Butler County Pennsylvania USGenWeb Homepage

Edited 30 Nov 1999, 17:00