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History of Butler County Pennsylvania - 1883

Chapter 47 -- Cherry Township

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Transcribed by Melba Tomeo . For an explanation and caution about this transcription, please read this page.



Illustrations And Biographies In Chapter XLVII

p.428-- Hon. Hiram McCoy Bio



[p. 422]

This township was formed in 1854, [1] and named at the suggestion of David CHRISTY.* The surface is generally hilly, and the soil, as regards its quality and productiveness, similar to that of adjacent townships. The township has vast deposits of bituminous coal. Extensive coal mining companies are now operating within its borders, and the prospects for the future prosperity of the people are most flattering.
* Various old residents delight in relating that David CHRISTY was the owner of a bright cherry-red cow, highly prized, and that her color suggested the name to him. There are others, who claim the name was adopted and deemed appropriate, from the fact that many wild cherry trees were to be found within its limits.


Among the prominent pioneer families of Cherry Township were the GROSSMANs, BLACKs, MCCALLENs, THOMPSONs, HUTCHISONs, RUSSELLs, STEVENSONs, CHRISTYs, STEWARTs, HALLs, DOBSONs and others whose names will be mentioned further on in these pages. The year 1797 seems to have been the date of the first settlement, but the two or three families who then came were joined by a score or more of others before the close of the year 1800. However, as means of showing who many of the early settlers were, when and from whence they came, we place before the reader the following:

During the year 1797, Benedict GROSSMAN removed from York County, Penn., and after a journey fraught with much labor and hardship, settled upon the farm now owned and occupied by his great grandson, Abner MCCALLEN. Mr. GROSSMAN was accompanied by his wife,* and a family of children named as follows: Simon, Benjamin, Catherine (who became the wife of Jacob KISSINGER), Jacob and Betsey (then the wife of Robert BLACK). Polly, another daughter was married the same year, 1797, to Robert MCCALLEN, but they did not become residents of this region until two years later. Robert BLACK, however, came here with the family. Mr. GROSSMAN brought into the [p.423] country also a small stock of dry goods, notions, etc. which he placed in a log building owned by John CHRISTY, Esq., (see history of Washington Township), and there exposed them for sale, his son-in-law, Robert BLACK, being in charge of this pioneer store. After a year or so, however, the goods unsold were taken to the home of the GROSSMANs and BLACKs in the present township of Cherry, where the business of merchandising was continued for a number of years. During the war of 1812, Simeon and Benjamin GROSSMAN, sons of Benedict, served with the Pennsylvania volunteers on the Northern frontier. Benedict GROSSMAN and his wife were both buried on the farm now owned by Abner MCCALLEN.
* The maiden name of Mrs. Benedict GROSSMAN was Miss Betsy STIVERT. During the French and Indian war of 1756-63, she was captured by the savages in York County and kept among them for a period of seven years, but at the age of thirteen years was finally returned to her friends at Fort Pitt.

Robert BLACK was a native of Huntingdon County, Penn., and came to this part of the county in 1797. He first engaged in the sale of dry goods, etc., for his father-in-law, but before the beginning of the year 1800, he purchased and settled upon the farm -- then wild and unimproved -- now owned by his son, Adam BLACK. The children of Robert and Betsey BLACK were Benjamin (who was born in 1800), Henry, Peggy (who died a spinster), Robert Jr., Betsey (who married John PRINCE), John, Adam, James, Simeon, Polly (who married John TURNER), Joseph and Eli. Adam, the fifth son of Robert BLACK, Sr., was born in 1814. He married Mary Ann, daughter of William TURNER, and to them have been born nine children, as follows: Robert P., William P., Ann E. (who married Giles O'VOGAN), John, Jane (who married William H. TINKER), Martha C. (the wife of Clarence BARD), Sarah E. (who married Smily SMITH), Joseph A. and John T. During the late war, Robert P. and John served in Company E, One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania Volunteers, and William P. in Company C, Fourtieth Regiment (Eleventh Reserve) Pennsylvania Volunteers. The children of Joseph BLACK now living are Elizabeth, Robert and Julia Ann.

It is the recollection of Adam BLACK, that in a log house formerly occupied by his father, which stood just below where Russell MCCANDLESS now resides, he (then about five years of age) attended school for the first time. The teacher, Martin BUTTS, was hired by Robert BLACK, Stephen WILLIAMS, Obadiah EDMONDS and David CHRISTY. BUTTS was paid about $100 for the time. Another early schoolhouse, which was also built of logs, stood at the end of Henry THOMPSON's lane, and in this building Joseph PORTER, Wilson POTTS and Catharine MCCLOSKY were early teachers.

Robert MCCALLEN was married to Polly, daughter of Benedict GROSSMAN, in 1797, but he did not locate in what is now termed Butler county until 1799. He first settled on the premises now known as the John HALL place, near New Hope, where all his children were born, but he ultimately became the owner of the GROSSMAN homestead, and there passed the remainder of his days. His children were John, Eliza (who married James NEAL), Benjamin, Jane (who married Levi SLOAN), Sally (who married Hiram C. MCCOY), Catharine (who became the wife of William GILMORE), Polly (who married Joseph BLACK), Julia Ann (who married Samuel RUSSELL), Harriet (who became the second wife of Hiram C. MCCOY) and Maria (who married Ebenezer RUSSELL).

Abner MCCALLEN, a grandson of Robert MCCALLEN, and great-grandson of Benedict GROSSMAN, was married to Mary A., daughter of Joseph PORTER, in 1850, and of six children born to them, five are living, viz.: Lizzie, Joseph P., Martha B., John R. and Mary M.

Joseph MCCOY, son of Thomas, was born in the State of Virginia about the year 1793; his father and the family located in Mercer County, Penn., where he (Joseph) remained until about 1802, when, having married Isabella CRAIG (who was also born in Virginia), he located upon the farm in Mercer Township, Butler Co., Penn., now owned by his grandson, David MCCOY. The children of Joseph and Isabella MCCOY, all born in Mercer Township, were Thomas, John, Nancy (who married David JOHNSON), Hiram C., Elizabeth (who married Alexander BLACK, and afterward Robert MITCHELL), Hugh, David, William and Lewis. Of these sons, Thomas, John, David and Hugh are dead. Thomas died in Tennessee; John in Clarion County, Penn. Lewis has been a resident of Australia for thirty years. During the war of 1812-15, Joseph MCCOY served as First Lieutenant under Capt. Henry EVANS. He died about 1820, in the State of Louisiana, whither he had gone for the purpose of purchasing a plantation upon which to locate his large family of sons.

Judge Hiram C. MCCOY was born in Mercer Township in 1811. For twenty years he worked at wagon-making in Harrisville. In 1850, he located at Annandale, and the following year engaged in merchandising, a business which has continued to the present writing. Besides having served as a Justice of the Peace for eight years, he was elected on the Republican ticket in 1861, to represent his district in the State Legislature, and was re-elected to the same office in 1862. In 1865, he was appointed Associate Judge of Butler County. By his marriage in 1834, to Sally MCCALLEN, he had six children, of whom three are living, viz.: Mary A., Sarah and Lewis. As a second wife, he married Harriet, sister of his first, and as a result of this union, two children have been born -- Isabella and John. During the late war, Lewis, the oldest son, served in Company F, One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, also a Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment.

[p. 424]

Mark MCCANDLESS was born in Centre Township, Butler County, Penn., in 1807. He married Mary, daughter of James RUSSELL, in 1829, and in 1834 settled upon the premises, in Cherry Township, where he still resides. His children are Elvira, wife of John BLAINE, of New Castle, Penn.; James R., of Cherry Township; Martha J., wife of Jeremiah HILLIARD; Eliza Ann, wife of David ARNER; Alexander K., a merchant in Pine Grove, Penn.; Minerva, who married John CHAMBERS; and Mary, wife of James T. BRYAN, of Cherry Township. Another son, Samuel B. MCCANDLESS, served as a member of Company E, One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, but was taken prisoner at Plymouth, N.C., April 20, 1864, and after having been confined in the prison pen at Andersonville, Ga., for several months, died at Charleston, S. C., October 29, 1864.

Mr. MCCANDLESS engaged in the sale of merchandise soon after his settlement in this township, which he continued for many years. His tavern, however, was opened as soon as his home was built. He was located upon the highway upon which the raftsmen returned on foot to their homes on the head waters of the Allegheny, and during the palmy days of rafting he frequently fed hundreds of those voracious, hardy river men in a single day. Scores of Indians also were in the habit of coming down in the river on rafts, being skillful pilots, and in great demand during the rafting seasons. On their return they would walk from Pittsburgh to MCCANDLESS' tavern without eating by the way, but, once here, their capacity for things eatable was truly wonderful. Mrs. MCCANDLESS assures us that she has placed before three Indians six dozen boiled eggs, besides esculents in like proportion, all of which disappeared at one sitting. One of these Indians could eat enough at one meal (a peculiarity characteristic of all of them) to last two and three days without much apparent discomfort. As the food eaten, digested, the savage merely tightened his belt and strode on.

Joseph PORTER, the oldest child of Alexander,* was born in Washington County, Penn., in 1792. In 1798, his father and the entire family removed from Washington to Venango County, locating in what is now known as Clinton Township. The family consisted of the father, mother and thirteen children, eleven of whom became men and women. Those now surviving are Joseph, James, Alexander, Mrs. Ann KERR and Mrs. Margaret YARD.
* Alexander PORTER was born in Lancaster County, Penn., and was one of the first settlers of Washington County, where he married Miss Margaret BRADEN. He died in Venango County at the age of eighty-two years, and his wife attained to about the same number of years before her death.

During the war of 1812-15, Joseph PORTER, with the Venango County troops, marched to the northern frontier twice -- in August, 1813, and again in the following winter. He now draws a pension. In 1817, he married Martha VANDYKE, of Venango county, and the ensuing year settled on the boundary line between Cherry and Marion Townships. His nearest neighbors then were the WADDLEs and MCENALLYs in Marion Township, the THOMPSONs and the CHRISTYs in Cherry Township. The children of Joseph and Martha (VANDYKE) PORTER, were Lucy, who married Robert M. SEATON, but is now deceased; John, a resident of Marion Township; Isabella, deceased, who married Cyrus KERR; Mary Ann, the wife of Abner MCCALLEN, of Cherry Township; Braden, a resident of Marion Township; Martha, who died as the wife of David DUNN; Alexander, who resides upon the premises in Cherry Township, which were settled upon by his father in 1818; and Sarah, who is the wife of Robert SANKEY, of Cherry Township.

Michael STEVENSON, with his wife and several children, emigrated from Ireland and settled on the farm in the southeast corner of Cherry Township, now owned by William PORTER, prior to the year 1800. His sons were John, James, William, Andrew and Samuel. During the war of 1812-14, the three sons first mentioned -- John, James and William -- joined Capt. MCCULLOUGH's company, composed chiefly of men from the northern part of Butler County, and marched northward to the Canadian frontier. There they endured many hardships, in common with others, by reason of not being properly equipped and supplied, and soon after their return they became very ill with what was then termed "Black Rock fever," and all died within a period of ten days. Andrew, the fourth son of Michael, had no family. Michael STEPHENSON was the father of five daughters -- Lily, married a man named MILLER and removed to Virginia; Mary became the wife of John SMITH, Esq.; Jane the wife of William CAROTHERS; Sarah the wife of Samuel TURNER, and Fanny the wife of William GREER. All were mothers of families.

The children of Samuel STEPHENSON, by his first wife, were Michael M. and James. The latter died in infancy, and the mother did not long survive him. The father then married Miss KISSINGER and removed to Ohio. He died in Lawrence County, Penn., in the winter of 1881-1882, about eight [sic (eighty)] years of age. Michael M. STEVENSON, his oldest son, was born in what is now Cherry Township in 1823.

John CHRISTY was one of the earliest residents of Westmoreland County, Penn., and there married Miss Sarah DUNBAR. Their children were Andrew, David, John, Jr., James, William, Dunbar, Robert, George, Gilbert, Mary, Anna, Elizabeth and Sarah, and all became heads of families. In the spring of 1799, John CHRISTY and his family removed from Westmoreland and settled upon a large tract in the present [p.425] county of Butler, now owned in part by Mrs. Martha CAMPBELL, J. P. CHRISTY, James HINDMAN, George CHRISTY and Thomas S. JAMISON. John CHRISTY and his nine sons were pioneers, indeed, and all founded homes by clearing away the wilderness in various sections of the county. Of the thirteen children, but three are now living -- William, in Washington Township, aged ninety-two years; Dunbar, in Cherry Township, who was eighty-nine years old August 15, 1882; and Gilbert, now a resident of Pine Grove, Mercer Co., Penn. During the war of 1812-14, William and Dunbar CHRISTY served in the company of which the STEVENSON brothers were members.

Dunbar CHRISTY married Mary, a daughter of Judge Samuel FINDLEY,* of Clay Township, June 16, 1818. She died in 1870, at the age of eighty-two years. Their children were Mary, who died in infancy; John F., who now resides in Allegheny County, Penn.; Samuel D., who is a member of the Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, died at Alexandria, Va. in 1864; Rev. David D., now a resident of Kansas; Robert F., of Cherry Township; and Sarah Ann, who died at an early ago. [sic (age)] Rev. David D. CHRISTY is a clergyman and a physician.
* Samuel FINDLEY was one of the first Associate Judges of Butler County, and his brother William FINDLEY, besides having represented his district in the National House of Representatives, served as Governor of the State of Pennsylvania, from December 16, 1817, to December 19, 1820.

James SMITH and his wife were natives of Ireland, and among the first settlers of what is now Parker Township. Their children were John, Thomas, Rachel, Peggy and Ann. John,* son of James SMITH, was born in 1791, and in September, 1821, married Mary STEVENSON, daughter of Michael, who was born in 1801. Their children were John, Jr., who was born February 17, 1824; James, Samuel, Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary, Harriet, Ann, Fanny, Dorcas [no comma] Perry and Jane, of whom the sons and Fanny and Dorcas are now living. About sixty years ago, John SMITH, Sr., purchased a tract of land in the present township of Cherry, made the first improvements upon it, and there remained until his death. Afterward the homestead was divided among his sons, sixty acres of unimproved land being allotted to John, Jr. The latter finally bought out his brothers' portion of the home farm, and has since gradually increased his landed possessions until he is now the owner of 1,400 acres in Butler County. Seven hundred acres lying where he now resides, and 1,000 acres in Cherry Township. An excellent quality of bituminous coal, from three to four feet in thickness, underlies all of it, and the same has recently been leased to the Mahoning Valley Iron Company.**
* John SMITH, Sr., died July 22, 1846. His wife died February 5, 1860.
** Borings into the earth in this vicinity have demonstrated the fact, that sixty feet below the strata of coal now being mined, is another vein of coal four feet in thickness, then a bed of iron ore eighteen inches in depth, succeeded by limestone rock of the thickness of eighteen feet. Below the limestone are vast quantities of fire-clay, and below the latter still, a very fine quality of potter's clay.

Mr. SMITH has served as Justice of the Peace since 1865. On the 17th of June, 1852, he married Miss Margaret J. HINDMAN, who died December 31, 1878. To them were born ten children, viz.: John S., Norman, Curtis, William B., Flora J., Melissa J., Mary E., Ida J., Naoma and Sarah Ann.

The RUSSELL brothers -- Samuel, David, James, John and Caleb -- with the STEWARTs, STEVENSONs and THOMPSONs, were among the first settlers of the southeast quarter of Cherry Township. The RUSSELLs came to this region from Virginia. Samuel RUSSELL was married three times, and raised a family of twelve children. He served as a soldier during the year of 1812-14, and died in 1870, nearly ninety-four years of age, having, at that time, nearly two hundred descendants. James, his brother, was the father of twenty-two children, and David, another brother, was the father of twenty-three children. At the time of his settlement in the territory now known as Cherry Township, Samuel RUSSELL purchased 500 acres of land for $30.

During the year 1798, Andrew STEWART removed from Northumberland County, Penn. (of which he was a native), to the farm in Cherry Township, now owned by his son David. His wife was Miss Mary RUSSELL, whom he married prior to his settlement here. Their children, all of whom were born in this township, were Margaret who married David PHIPPS, of Venango county, James, William, Archibald, Andrew, Jr., Charles, Perry , David, Ellen (who married Patton POLLOCK), and Sarah, who married James HINDMAN. Of this family, Charles, David, Ellen and Sarah are now living. Charles STEWART was born in 1809. At the age of nine, he attended school for the first time in a small log building which stood just north of the present village of West Sunbury, Robert MCELVAIN being the teacher then and for several terms thereafter. Afterward MCELVAIN taught at Concord Church (the schoolhouse as well as the church being constructed of logs), and there, also, young STEWART attended his schools. The school-books then in use were the "Western Calculator," "United States Spelling Book" and "English Reader." In May, 1836, Charles STEWART married Miss Martha PERRY. To them have been born nine children -- Moses, Mary, David, Sarah, Phoebe, Archibald, Samuel, William, [sic] A. and Charles B., all of whom are living except Moses, who died at one year, and David at twenty-one years of age.

The parents of Mrs. STEWART removed from Northumberland County in 1798, in company with Andrew STEWART's family, but settled the same year in what was afterward known as Scrubb Grass Township, Venango County.

Abraham BOLLINGER, a native of York County, [p.426] Penn., with his wife and children, settled near LOGAN's Ferry, in Allegheny County, in the year 1800, and that point became the permanent home of the major portion of the family. One son, however, by the name of Christian (who was born in 1785), took up his abode in Mercer County about 1815, where he married Miss Mary KIFFER. Their children were John M., Henry, Jacob, Susan C., Michael G., Daniel D., Elizabeth and Andrew J. BOLLINGER. In 1821, Christian BOLLINGER located upon 200 acres in Slippery Rock Township, where most of his children were born. They are now widely scattered, Jacob, Susan and Elizabeth being dead; Daniel D. resides in Missouri; Michael G. and Andrew J. in Nebraska, and Henry and John M. in Cherry Township. The latter was married in 1845 to Catharine, daughter of Robert WALLACE, who is still with him. They have had six children -- Raphael W., Mary E., Ella T., Charles F., Orville C. and Florinda J. Mr. BOLLINGER has lived where he now resides since 1850.

James MCGILL was born near Pittsburgh, Penn. The beginning of the war of 1812-14 found him in the State of Kentucky. Although still in his teens, he joined the Kentucky Volunteers, and marched with them in a campaign against the British and Indians. During the operations at or near Ft. Meigs, he was taken prisoner by the savages, and by them turned over to the British military authorities, who held him as a prisoner of war until the cessation of hostilities.

About the year 1827, he became the owner of the farm in the northwest corner of Cherry Township, now occupied by his descendants, and April 3, 1828, he married Miss Isabella ADAMS. The results of this marriage were children named Rebecca J., William, Lydia B. and Nancy P., all of whom are living at this writing, except the last mentioned. Born in PETER's Creek, near Pittsburgh, in 1793, James MCGILL died on his farm in Cherry Township April 13, 1882. His wife died in October, 1865.

On the 1st day of April, 1819, William GILCHRIST and family, of County Down, Ireland, left the port of Belfast in a sailing vessel bound out for America. They arrived safely at Eastport, Me., where they were transferred to another vessel bound for Philadelphia. England was then endeavoring to direct emigration to the Canadas, and the passage from Ireland to the British Possessions was but five guineas, whereas from Ireland to the United States it was just double that amount. For this reason the GILCHRISTs left the Green Isle, bound, apparently, for Canada, but which ruse necessitated a transfer on the shores of Maine.

Remaining at Philadelphia one week, arrangements were made with a man who, with wagons, hauled them and their effects to Pittsburgh, at the rate of $13 per hundred pounds. A trip which required eighteen days to accomplish. Finally, however, the midsummer of 1819 found them located on a 400-acre tract (near their old friend Samuel MCMURRAY) in the territory now Marion Township. The children, who came from Ireland with William GILCHRIST, Sr., were John, Betty Ann, Robert, William, Jr., Joseph and Mary, of whom William, Jr., is the only survivor. The latter was born Mary 13, 1806. Mr. GILCHRIST married Keziah GRAHAM, of Venango County. On the 1st of April, 1837, with his wife and three children, he settled upon the farm (then wild and unimproved) where he is still living. Besides farming, he has followed the occupation of blacksmithing for many years. He has been the father of ten chldren, nine of whom are living -- Mary A., Eliza J., Keziah (William, first, a twin brother of Keziah's died at the age of four years), Martha, James, Elizabeth, William, Jemima and Robert B.

Alexander HUTCHISON came from Westmoreland County, Penn., and settled on or near the hamlet now Annandale, about the year 1800. His children were Polly, who married John SHROYER; Thomas, who married Margaret VANDERLIN; Robert, who married a Miss SEATON; John, who married a Miss VANDERLIN; White, who married a Miss STOOPS; Margaret, who married Bernard MCENALLEN; Eliza, who married James MCENALLEN; Isabella, who married Robert DUNLAP, and Lucinda, who married William G. SMITH. The children of Thomas and Margaret (VANDERLIN) HUTCHISON, were Alexander, John, Stephen V., Josiah, Milton, Robert, Catharine, Harriet, Elizabeth and Viola. Of the sons, Stephen V. served in Company H, One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania Volunteers, during the late war (see history of that regiment in this volume) and Milton in the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Following is a list of the taxpayers of 1854, the date of township organization [1]; James ARMSTRONG's heirs, James ARMSTRONG, Jr., William ARMSTRONG, Alexander ARMSTRONG, Robert ALLISON's heirs, G. M. ALLISON, Henry BOLLINGER, John M. BOLLINGER, Christian BOLLINGER, Michael BOLLINGER, James C. BOVARD, Charles BOVARD, Washington BOVARD, Joseph BARR, Samuel BEIGHLEY, James BLACK, Samuel BALL, Joseph BLACK, John BILLINGSLEY, Adam BLACK, James BILLINGSLEY, John BLACK, George BEIGHLEY, Robert BLACK , Daniel D. BOLLINGER, John F. CHRISTY, S. D. CHRISTY, Dunbar CHRISTY, Andrew CHRISTY, George CHRISTY, George E. CHRISTY, Robert CHRISTY, Gilbert CHRISTY, Harvey CHRISTY, James D. CHRISTY, Samuel CHRISTY's heirs, John D. CHRISTY's heirs, Jonathan CHRISTY, John CANNON, James CANNON, James CAMPBELL, Wiliam CRAWFORD, Charles CRAWFORD, Arthur CRAWFORD, Cyrus CARR, Walter CURRY, John DOBSON, John DOBSON, Jr., George DOBSON, Israel DUNBAR, Robert DUNBAR, Rob- [p.427] ert DUNN, John J. DUNN, Isaac DOUBLE, Thomas DUNLAP, Ebenezer FOSTER, Michael FRICK, Edward FRAZIER, Samuel GREER, William GREER, James GREER, John GRIFFIN, George GRIFFIN, William GILCHRIST, James GOULD, Thomas GRAHAM, Benjamin GROSSMAN, John GROSSMAN, Benjamin GROSSMAN, Hugh GROSSMAN, James GROSSMAN, Jane GORDON, Charles GRUBB, Alfred GILMORE, George LEWIS, Isaac HALL, John HALL, Benjamin HOCKENBERRY, Robert HOCKENBERRY's heirs, John HOGG, Robert HOGG, Robert HOGG, Jr., Henry HILLIARD, G. HILLIARD, A. W. HUTCHISON, Thomas HUTCHISON, Alexander HNTCHISON [sic (HUTCHISON)], Michael HAMILTON, John HINDMAN, John IRWIN's heirs, Thomas S. JAMISON, James JAMISON, William JONES, William JONES, Jr., Aaron KELLY, Joseph KELLY, Job KELLY, John KENNEHAN, Charles KING, Joseph KENNEDY, James LOGUE, William LOGUE, William LINDSEY, John LINDSEY, George LINDSEY, Francis LINDSEY, Francis LINDSEY, Jr., Cornelius MCCLAFFERTY, George MCELVAIN, James MCGILL, William MCGILL, John MCCALLEN, Samuel MCMURRY, John G. MCCANDLESS, Mark MCCANDLESS, Russell MCCANDLESS, J. W. MCKISSICK, Hiram C. MCCOY, David MORRISON, David MCCALLEN, Abner MCCALLEN, Matthais MCGREGOR, Nancy MCKISSON, Marcus MCNEES, James PERRY, Thomas PERRY, Jonathan PETERS, David L. PETERS, John PORTER, William PORTER, David PERRY, Joseph PORTER, Alexander PORTER, David RUSSELL, William RUSSELL, William RUSSELL, Jr., Robert RUSSELL, John RUSSELL, Huston RUSSELL, Capt. RUSSELL, Samuel RUSSELL, Joseph RINKER, John SMITH's heirs, M. M. STEVENSON, Hugh SPROUL, John SMITH, John STILLWAGON, David STEWART, John SMITH, Charles STEWART, William STEWART's heirs, William SHIRA, William SMITH, William STEVENSON, Charles C. SULLIVAN, Conrad SNYDER, Henry TINKER, Joseph THOMPSON, Joseph THOMPSON, Jr., Robert P. THOMPSON, James THOMPSON (of Joseph), James THOMPSON (of James), James THOMPSON, John THOMPSON (of James), Allison THOMPSON, Wilson THOMPSON, David TINKER, Edwin, [sic] TINKER [sic - no comma] Jacob WOLFORD, Henry WOLFORD, Eli WOLFORD, Daniel WOLFORD, John WIGTON, William WIGTON, Robert W. YOUNG.

In 1855*, John HINDMAN served as Assessor and William GILCHRIST as Collector. The assessed valuation of the township then amounted to $49,914, upon which a county tax of $287.59, and a State tax of $143.85 was levied. In comparison, we find that in 1880, the number of taxables was 310; aggregate value of real estate taxable, $204,280; aggregate value of all property taxable for county purposes, $226,047; aggregate amount of State tax assessed, $44.90; aggregate amount of county tax assessed at the rate of five mills on the dollar, $1,130.24.
* The first election in Cherry Township, was held in the spring of 1855 [1] at the house now owned by Abner MCCALLEN.


1840, Joseph CROSS; 1840, John HANNA; 1843, John GLENN; 1845, Thomas FLOYD; 1848, John GLENN; 1849, Johnston BOVARD; 1853, John GLENN; 1854, Washington BOVARD; 1854, George E. CHRISTY; 1858, Hiram C. MCCOY; 1859, Robert DUNN; 1863, Moses CRAIN; 1864, Samuel D. CHRISTY; 1865, John SMITH; 1868, Hiram C. MCCOY; 1870, John SMITH; 1871, John MCCALLEN; 1875, John SMITH; 1876, Robert MCELHENNY; 1880, John SMITH; 1881, Robert MCELHENNY.


Coaltown, the most important business center of the township, was established in the fall and winter of 1880-81, as a result of the "Union Coal & Coke Company," leasing several hundred acres of coal land in the vicinity, and at once engaging very extensively in mining and coking coal.

The first store was opened by the BARD Bros., in the fall of 1880. SHANNON & BOOK, who are natives of Butler County, and came here from BOVARD's, opened the next store in the spring of 1881. The "Kelso House," A. L. KELSO, proprietor, was built the same season, and John H. WALKER, druggist, and Dr. W. D. DEWOLF also established themselves here in the spring of 1881. SAMPLE & ELLIOTT, successors of Lewis OWENS, opened their store in the spring of 1882.

The town is connected with the main line of the Shenango & Allegheny Railroad, by a branch three miles in length, and contains besides the business places above mentioned, a post office, telegraph office, lodge of the Knights of Honor, John CANNON's lumber yard, several small mechanical shops, sixty coke ovens in operation, and a population estimated at 350. On the 30th of June, 1882, the place was visited by a terrific storm or tornado, which destroyed fifteen buildings and killed two people, viz., Henry HENDLEY and Mrs. William BARRON.

BOVARD's, a station on the Shenango & Allegheny Railroad, contains a handsome station house, two stores, post office, blacksmith shop, Dr. MCCUNE's office, a flouring mill propelled by the waters of Slippery Rock Creek, and some fifteen dwelling houses. It derives the name from members of the BOVARD family, who have lived here for many years.

Annandale, a small village situated in the northeast corner of Cherry Township, was laid out by John HANNA, about the year 1840, and was named in honor of Rev. William ANNAN, a Presbyterian minister of Pittsburgh. Mr. HANNA was an early merchant and tavern keeper here. Other business men have been Barnard SHULTE, Rev. James GREEN, John D. VOGAN, Hiram C. MCCOY, Braden PORTER, merchants, John RIDDLE, John STILLWAGON, Jacob SETH and Richard [p.428] GRAHAM, tavern keepers. The post office was established through the exertions of Mr. HANNA.

Gomersall, another new coal town and railroad point is alluded to in preceding pages of this work.


The early records of the Pleasant Valley Presbyterian Church are meager, but from data gathered by the present pastor (Rev. George W. BEAN), it appears that this church was organized about the year 1844, by a committee of Presbytery, consisting of Revs. Loyal YOUNG, R. B. WALKER and John COULTER. The original members, eighteen in number, being as follows: Dr. H. C. LINN and wife, James S. MART and wife, Robert P. ALLISON and wife, James CAMPBELL and wife, Levi GIBSON and wife, David RUSSELL and wife, Mrs. Elizabeth MCCANDLESS, Robert MCCALLEN and wife, Mrs. Nancy MCELVAINE, Mrs. Elizabeth BLACK and Mrs. Mary Ann BLACK, of whom Dr. LINN, James S. MART and Robert ALLISON were the first Elders elected.

The church edifice was built in 1846, and the same year (but before the completion of the church building) Rev. Joseph MOORE began his pastoral labors. He preached once in four weeks for about eighteen months. For some time thereafter, there were but occasional supplies. Then came Rev. Sharp LEASON, who served as a supply part of his time for six months. He was succeeded by Rev. John COULTER, who devoted to this congregation one-third of his time until 1864. Rev. James COULTER next came, who administered to the spiritual wants of this and the West Sunbury Church, giving to each one-half of his time, until the year 1871. His successor was Rev. A. L. THORNE, who came in March, 1872, and served this and the West Sunbury Church as stated supply for about three years. Following his ministry was preaching by supplies as they could be had. In May, 1877, Rev. A. W. LAWRENCE came from the Western Theological Seminary and remained until September of that year. In May, 1878, he was installed as pastor, which relation was dissolved in April, 1880. Since August, 1880, this church has been supplied by Rev. George W. BEAN, of West Sunbury. It now numbers 108 members, and the members of session are William PORTER, George CHRISTY, Walter CURRY, Nelson MCELVAINE and A. W. CHRISTY.


The history of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Annandale begins with the year 1858, when a class numbering some eight or ten persons was organized by Rev. J. MCCOMBS (in charge of the Clintonville Circuit), assisted by Rev. Mr. NYE. The early meetings were held in the upper part of Thomas F. CHRISTLEY's dwelling house, which part being unfinished and 18x36 feet in dimensions, was seated with slab benches.

In 1859, a series of meetings were held in a grove, a short distance southwest of the Pleasant Valley Presbyterian Church, and many were added to the original number of members. The last meeting of the series mentioned was held in the Pleasant Valley Presbyterian Church.

Soon afterward, however, the Methodist congregation built a house of their own, which, standing in the woods, about one-half mile north of the Pleasant Valley Church, was constructed of unhewn logs. The walls of this primitive structure were six logs in height and total darkness was dispelled from the interior by placing two windows (each containing four lights of 8x10 glass) in the rear gable. Of course, the pulpit and sittings were in harmony with their surroundings. This building was occupied for four years, when it was burned by an incendiary. At the next quarterly conference, held at Clintonville, Penn., it was proposed that the members of this class should give up their organization and join other churches nearest to them as individuals, but the members themselves would not consent to such a proceeeding, and continued holding regular meetings in a schoolhouse, which, located in an almost inacessible place in the forest, was distant about one mile from the site of the church destroyed. Finally the society become [sic (became)] able to build a house of worship, and as a result the present church edifice at Annandale was commenced in 1872, and dedicated May 3, 1873. It cost nearly $2,000. The present membership of this organization is 110. For a list of the ministers in charge since Mr. MCCOMB's pastorate, the reader is referred to the sketch concerning the Methodist Episcopal Church of North Washington.



The progenitors of the MCCOY family in Pennsylvania, were Thomas and Catherine MCCOY, natives of Virginia, who emigrated from that State to Mercer County, Penn., some time previous to the year 1800; he was a farmer and a man of ability and influence. Joseph MCCOY, son of Thomas and Catherine MCCOY, and father of the subject of this biography, was born in Virginia, and came to this State with the family. He married Miss Isabella CRAIG. The CRAIGs were Virginians of Scotch extraction, a sturdy race of people, inheriting the prominent characteristics of their Scotch progenitors. But [p.429] little is known of Joseph MCCOY, farther than that he was an industrious man of good habits, a millwright by occupation. About 1820, he engaged to construct a mill in Louisiana, and was there taken sick and died, leaving his wife with a family of nine small children.

Hiram C. MCCOY, or Judge MCCOY, as more extensively known, was born in Mercer Township, Butler County, August 17, 1811, where his father had settled shortly after his marriage. At the time of his father's decease, he was but nine years of age, and the family being in limited circumstances, he was obliged to assist in their maintenance, and received only a limited education. At the age of seventeen, he was apprenticed to the trade of a wagon-maker, and after the completion of his indentures, he followed his trade as a journeyman for some time. He went into business in Harrisville, where he was engaged until in 1839, when he came to Annandale, and in company with Judge VIERR engaged in merchandising, where he has since remained. The Judge has always taken an active interest in matters of public import. In 1861, he was elected to the representative branch of the assembly, and on the completion of his term was re-elected. In 1865, he was appointed Associate Judge, and since that time has served his fellow townsmen as Magistrate for eight years. In 1834, he was married to Miss Sarah MCCALLEN. She died in 1837. The Judge is now in his seventy-second year, and during his life-time he has never known a single day's sickness; he appears as hale as a man of fifty. In company with his son John, he is engaged in merchandising under the firm name of H. C. MCCOY & Son. In his political and religious affiliations, he is a Republican, and a member of the United Presbyterian Church.


[1] Cherry Township appears on the 1840 census, so its creation was before 1840. In the 1854 redistricting, its boundaries, like those of all the other townships, were redrawn.

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Chapter 46--Clay Township
Chapter 48--Marion Township
1883 Butler County History Contents
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Edited 09 Nov 1999, 09:51