Search billions of records on

History of Butler County Pennsylvania - 1883

Chapter 49 -- Washington Township

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

Transcribed by Diane Carter. For an explanation and caution about this transcription, please read this page.



Note: Not all of the surnames in THE TAX PAYERS OF 1854 have been included in the list above.

Illustrations And Biographies In Chapter XLIX

p. 444-- Jacob Daubenspeck
p. 445-- Samuel G. Meals




[p. 437]
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP is adjoined on the north by Venango, east by Parker, south by Concord, and west by Cherry, and, it is to be presumed, like scores of towns, townships, counties, etc., throughout the United States of America, was named in honor of the first President. The surface is hilly and broken, particularly so in the northern part, yet fine farming lands are observable in various quarters, especially along the head-waters of Slippery Rock Creek, and in the localities termed "The Glades." In the southern part are valuable deposits of cannel coal, while in the vicinity of Hilliard Station in the northern portion, vast quantities of bituminous coal are found. The villages of the township are North Washington, Hilliard Station, Parsonville and Annisville. Church edifices and public school buildings abound, and at North Washington and Hilliards, the people are supplied with daily mails.


The HILLIARDS, CHRISTYS, MEALS, SHIRAS, WILSONS, GLENNS, KELLYS, PETTIGREWS, CAMPBELLS and MECHLINGS were among the first to settle in the township as now described. Doubtless there were numbers of others who came in here equally as early, and are equally as deserving of mention, yet in the absence of authentic data, and the fact that time has dimmed the recollection of the two or three surviving pioneers connecting the shadowy past with the bright light of to-day, the year 1796 with 1882, we are unable to place before the reader (within the space allotted) more facts than will be found by scanning the following paragraphs:

During the middle of the eighteenth century, was born in York County, Penn., Samuel MEALS, whose parents were natives of Germany. He there grew to manhood, married, and raised a family of children named as follows: George, who married Elizabeth daughter of Joseph STUDABAKER;* Peggy, who married George DAUBENSPECK: William, who ultimately became a resident of Clarion County, Penn.; Samuel, Jr., who married a Miss HOOVER; Jacob, who married a Miss VARNUM: and Daniel, who married Catharine STUDABAKER.

*When a resident of Westmoreland County and but eleven years of age, the Indians during one of their hostile incursions into that region, killed the mother of Joseph STUDABAKER, several of his brothers and sisters, and taking him to the remote regions of the great Northwest, kept him as a captive among them until he was twenty-one years of age. They then allowed him to return to Westmoreland, where he married and became the father of a considerable family. He died in 1812.

Prior to the marriage of any of this family of children, however, or in the spring of 1796, George MEALS, the oldest son of Samuel, Sr. came to this locality and began improvements upon a tract of 500 acres (situated [p. 437] partly in Washington and partly in Concord Townships as now formed) now owned, separately, by James HALL, P.F. RAY, Mathew MCGARVEY, Samuel P. CAMPBELL, Irwin BELL, and Joseph G. MEALS, son of George. The following summer (1797) the father, Samuel MEALS, Sr., and the remainder of his family slowly wended their way westward over the Alleghany Mountains, and finally settled on the premises described. His descendants are still numerous hereabouts, and numbers of them are known as among the many well-to-do farmers of Butler County. The father was a blacksmith DAUBENSPECK as well as a farmer, as were also his sons George and Samuel, Jr. All of them attained a ripe old age, Mrs. Peggy DAUBENSPECK being ninety years old at the time of her death. The great-grandmother of Joseph G. MEALS (or rather the mother of Samuel MEALS, Sr.), who was born in Germany, also came to this locality and here remained until her death. As a rather remarkable incident, it is further related that while Samuel MEALS, Sr. was enroute to his new home here, in 1797, he cut by the way-side a small water-willow sapling which he fashioned into a walking-stick. Upon his arrival he stood it up-right in the ground, upon lands now owned by James HALL, where it flourished, and grew to be a tree of great dimensions. Cut down in 1881, its truck measured over-four feet in diameter.

Of the children born to George and Elizabeth (STUDABAKER) MEALS, there were Samuel Lydia (who became the wife of John MAHOO, Molly, Joseph G., Peggy (who married Joseph PISOR), Elizabeth (who married Jacob PISOR), and Susanna (who married Daniel PISOR).

Jacob HILLIARD, the immediate progenitor of the family, once so numerous in Washington Township was of German origin, and removing from Northhampton County, Penn., settled upon the premises now owned by William ADAMS, about the year 1797. The homestead, in early days, comprised several hundred acres. His children were George, Francis, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Peter, Philip, John and Elisha, sons, and a daughter named Leah, who died in infancy. Of the sons, all married and became heads of families, except Philip. During the war of 1812-15, Abraham and Isaac served as members of Capt. Story's company of Pennsylvania troops and did duty on the Canadian frontier.

In 1798 or 1799, John CHRISTY, Sr., and his family of thirteen children, came from Westmoreland County and settled in the southwest quarter of Washington Township, as now formed. But as this family has been alluded to at some length in the history of Cherry Township, we will merely add in this connection, that the John CHRISTY here mentioned and the early school teacher, and Justice of the Peace, known as John CHRISTY, Esq. were closely connected. Thus James, the father of John CHRISTY, Esq. and John CHRISTY, Sr. referred to at the beginning of this paragraph, were brothers; James, however, always remained in Westmoreland a county. William and Andrew CHRISTY, brothers, who settled in the region now known as Concord Township, were also related to this family. But the CHRISTYS who settled at Portersville,* of whom Thomas T. and Marven G. are descendants, were, so far as we have been able to learn, in nowise related to either of those already named.

*Since the foregoing was written we have learned that it was a tradition among the older members of the CHRISTYS of Portersville, that about the middle of the last century, a Scotchman named Christie came to America, and settled in Connecticut where he raised a family of seven sons and one daughter. Very early in the history of Westmoreland County, three of these sons located near the forks of the Yougbiogheny and Monongahela Rivers, while the other four went to Nova Scotia, but ultimately became residents of the State of Ohio.

John SHIRA was a native of Berks County, Penn., and during the long war waged for American independence, served three terms in Continental army. He participated in the battle of Trenton, N.J. and various other engagements. After the close of that war, he married a young lady (believed to have been Miss Maria Ann FRIFUGLE, who, like himself, was of German origin) and about 1793, with three children, they settled in Westmoreland County. A removal from that locality was determined upon, however, and in the spring of 1798, with five children, they settled upon a tract of four hundred acres now in the township of Washington, and owned, or a portion of it at least, by Purviance BELL. In the spring of 1814, the farm now occupied by his son David became the homestead, and there he resided until his death, which occurred at the age of sixty-five years. Of the children of John SHIRA were Daniel, Susan, who married Adam MOONEY, of Clarion County; Polly, who married Jacob HILLIARD; John Jr., who served six months in a company of Pennsylvania volunteers during the war of 1812-15, and afterwards located Armstrong County; William, who remained in Butler County; Jacob, who removed to Michigan; Peter, who remained in Butler County; Lewis, who removed to Ohio; Elizabeth, who married Robert HANNA; and David, the youngest, who was born March 4, 1805, and still resides upon the farm which has been his home nearly sixty-nine years. Besides the children of John SHIRA here enumerated, there were two who died when small, in Westmoreland county, from the bite of a rabid car, and one died in infancy after the removal to this (Butler) county. David SHIRA married Miss Maria HUTCHINSON, of Butler County, who is now living. To them have been born eight children, viz: John (who died when a young man), William M., Samuel, Robert O., Alfred, David H., Eliza J. and Maria A. During the war of the rebellious, Robert O., while a member of the one Hundred and Third Pennsylvania Volunteers, was dangerously wounded in one of the battles on the Virginia peninsula. Afterward he served as Second Lieutenant in the Sixth Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery. David SHIRA's son states that when about eleven years of age he attended a school which was held in a small log schoolhouse standing on the present premises of Henry STONER. John DICKEY was the teacher. John [p. 439] CHRISTY, Esq., John Hanna and William CONN, afterward taught in the same rude building.

John CHRISTY, a nephew of the John CHRISTY mentioned in the preceding pages relating to the history of this township, was born in Westmoreland County, and about the year 1797, he settled upon a tract of land now owned separately by his son James CHRISTY, Samuel CAMPBELL and James R. MOORE. He built a snug log cabin* soon after his settlement here, but he did not occupy it for housekeeping purposes until some two or three years afterward, at which time he married Mary, a daughter of John CHRISTY, Sr. The children** of John and Mary CHRISTY, were Mary, who married Samuel N. MOORE; Andrew J.; Sarah, who married Isaac ROBB; Ann, who died when eight or nine years old; Jane, who married Samuel P. CAMPBELL; Ebenezer; James; Eleanor, who married William CAMPBELL, and Nancy, who married William ROBB. While a resident of Westmoreland County, John CHRISTY served against the Indians, going as substitute for his father, and he was well know as an early County Commissioner and a most capable Justice of the Peace, though he seldom collected his own fees. He was also an efficient teacher, and one of the earliest in the region where he lived.

*Soon after the building of this cabin (which stood very near the present residence of James Christy), a man named Benedict Grossman obtained the use of it for the sale of notions, groceries, etc. Robert Black was Grossman's clerk, and this, without doubt, was the first store established within the present limits of Washington Township. Grossman afterward removed to the premises now occupied by Abner McCallen, in Cherry Township.

**It is quite a remarkable fact that among these children not a death has occurred for more than sixty years.

In this connection, we will add that about sixty years ago Miss Abigial EDMONDS, of Ohio, taught school in a small log cabin. It had neither floor nor windows. It was on the farm now owned by Robert O. SHIRA. In a small log building, which James CHRISTY says stood on land now owned by Robert A. MIFFLIN, but which may have been the same one mentioned by David SHIRA, as having stood on the premises now owned by Henry STONER, Samuel N. MOORE, Sarah CHRISTY and Thomas KELLY taught school long before the enactment of the free school law. John WICK was another early teacher, and held sway in a building which stood southeast of the village of North Washington, and is now occupied by Thomas HINDMAN.

James GIBSON and his wife were natives of Ireland, and about 1798 came from Westmoreland County, and settled in what is now Parker Township of this county. Their children were Levi, Elizabeth, Esther. John L., Eleanor, James, George, Samuel, and Huston. All became heads of families, and all continued as residents of Butler County, except Huston, who located in Armstrong. About 1826, Levi Gibson* married Mary A., daughter of Andrew CAMPBELL, of Fairview Township, and their children were Rebecca, Lewis C., Nancy, William, James H., Andrew C., Mary A., and Levi B., all of whom are living except Mary A. who died when sixteen years of age. Of the sons, James H. served (during the war of the rebellion) in Company G, One Hundred and Thirty-four Pennsylvania Infantry , and Company L, Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry; Andrew C. and William also served in the same company and regiment of cavalry, Andrew being wounded by a shot through the body in a skirmish in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia.

William HUTCHINSON was born in County Armagh, Ireland, and as one of the first settlers of Parker Township, located there about the year 1799. His children were Sarah, Samuel, Margaret, Mary, Jane, David, William, Jr., and Martha, of whom only Sarah (Mrs. James WILSON), of Fairview Township, and David, of Armstrong County, are living. William HUTCHINS, Jr., was born in 1812, and died when about thirty-five years of age. He married Esther (now living), daughter of James Gibson, Sr., and their children were Rebecca J., James and William.

About the year 1840, William LEWIS removed from Armstrong County and located in the northeast corner of this (Washington) township. He died in July, 1858, at the age of sixty-four years. His wife was Miss Fanny BLANEY, and them to were born thirteen children, of whom two died infancy, and another (Zachariah B.) when a young man. Those of this large family who still survive are the mother, now in her seventy-ninth year, and her children-Sarah (HILLIARD), Ezekiel, William, Margaret (Greer), John A., David, Fanny, Samuel W., Robert O. and Finley E. During the late war, John A. served in the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, and Robert O. in Company H, One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania Infantry.

In 1822, John W. MAYES came from Lancaster County, Penn., and settled in the southern part of Venango County, where he remained until his death. His wife (formerly Miss Eleanor S. WATSON) and several children accompanied him from Lancaster. He was the father of sixteen children, of whom thirteen, viz., James, William, Samuel, Josiah, Jacob, Hezekiah, Watson, Mary A., Jane, Elizabeth, Sarah, Eleanor and Eliza became men and women. Hezekiah, Watson, Mary A. and Sarah are the only survivors.

Watson MAYES was born in 1817, and has resided at Annisville since 1842. He married Sarah A. WICK, and to them have been born children names Rhinaldo L. (who, as a member of the One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania Infantry, was killed in the battle of the Wilderness, Va., May 5, 1864), Milton A. (deceased), Lycurgus W. (now in Colorado), Philetus R. (also in Colorado), and Clarence L. (deceased).

As early as the year 1800, David HARPER (grandfather of the merchants of that name, now doing business in the village of North Washington) emigrated from the State of Maryland, and began the first improvements upon the farm now owned by George B. Turner, in Concord Township. His children were Jacob, Joseph, David, Thomas, John, Rachel, Margaret, Jane, Nancy and Mary, all of whom lived to assume the duties of [p. 440] married life. Thomas HARPER married Margaret, daughter of John Shryock (who was also one of the earliest settlers of Concord township), and their children were, Mary (who died when twelve years old), Shryock, Rogert M., and Thomas N., who now resides in the State of Iowa. When but thirty-one years of age, Thomas HARPER, Sr., died. Afterward his widow married Jeremiah SUTTON, by whom she had two children, viz.: Chambers, who died in Illinois, and John H., who resides in Colorado.

The grandfather of Samuel C. PETTIGREW was born in County Down, Ireland. He came to America when a young man, and after living in the State of Virginia and other localities, at last settled down on the borders of Brush Creek, Westmoreland Co., Penn., where he died. Among his children was a son named Andrew, who married Peggy DICKSON as his first wife; Ella HILLIARD (who died from the effects of a bite from a rattlesnake. Resided on the Samuel CAMPBELL farm), as his second wife, and Polly Thompson as his third wife. Andrew PETTIGREW became an early resident of Venango County, and during the war of 1812-15 he served in Capt. Henry EVANS, First Rifle Company of the One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Troops. Lieut. Col. Robert MILLER was in command of the regiment, and Maj. Gen. David Mead of the division. PETTIGREW served from January 1, 1812 to March 12, 1814. Samuel PETTIGREW, the youngest child of Andrew, by his third wife, was born on the farm now owned by John WIKE, March 18, 1816. His father also lived for some years on the premises now occupied by John and Robert WADE. During the late war, A.J. Pettifrew (the only son of Samuel C.), as a member of Company H, One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania Infantry, died of wounds received in action (at Swicker's Gap, Ga.), August 3, 1864.

Thomas MIFFLIN, born in Huntingdon County, became an early resident of Erie County, Penn., where he married Miss Mary McLanahan. In 1820, he removed from Erie to Butler County, Penn., and settled upon the farm in Slippery Rock Township, now owned by Judge McJunkin. He died at the age of seventy-two years, but his widow is still living Slippery Rock Township, having attained the age of ninety years. Their children were Robert A., David, Thomas, Jr., Ann D. and Susanah. Robert A. MIFFLIN, the oldest member of Thomas, Sr.'s, family, engaged in merchandising at Moore's Corners, Worth Township, of this county, in the year 1850. In April, 1851, he located in the village of North Washington, and for thirty years was noted as one of its most prosperous merchants. The business was transferred to his sons in 1881. Mr. MIFFLIN served as a Justice of the Peace for five years, from 1854. In 1860, he was elected Clerk of Courts of Butler County, and in 1876 was elected to represent his district in the State Legislature. He is Republican, and a member of the North Washington Presbyterian Church.

The ARNERS were early settlers in Westmoreland County. There Tobias, son of David ARNER, was born. He located on Bear Creek in the township of Parker, as now formed, where he married Catharine, daughter of Philip DAUBENSPECK. About 1837, he purchased a tract of land from Peter HILLIARD, and became a resident of Washington Township. His children were David, George, Philip, Elizabeth, who married Andrew KELLY; Polly, who married John DAY; Anna, who married James GRANT; and Christina, who married Thomas TROUTMAN. George ARNER has been an occupant of the premises (first improved by William, brother of David SHIRA) now owned by him, since 1868.

About the year 1800, two brother named Thomas and Marven CHRISTY, came from Westmoreland County, Penn., and settled upon the "Eight Tracts," or the locality now known as Portersville. Thomas was a prominent man in his day, an early Justice of the Peace, and was the maternal grandfather of Dr. William R. COWDEN, of Worth Township. Marven CHRISTY, married Miss Hannah TILLY, and to them were born eleven children, named John TILLY, William TILLY, George TILLY, Thomas TILLY, Robert TILLY, Elizabeth G., Andrew TILLY, Hannah TILLY, Marven G., Samuel TILLY, and Agnes J. CHRISTY. In 1840, Marven CHRISTY, Sr. sold out his interests near Portersville and located upon an unimproved five-hundred acre tract in the present township of Washington, now occupied chiefly by his sons Thomas T. and Marven G. CHRISTY.

John BEATTY (the grandfather of John L. BEATTY) was born in Ireland. When but a mere child, his parents left the Green Isle and sought a home in the wilds of Westmoreland. On the 31st day of December, 1789, he married Jane GUTHRIE*, who, like himself, was a native of Ireland. They remained in the vicinity of the locality now known as Greensburg, Penn., until about 1798, when a removal of the family was made to Perry Township in Armstrong County. The children of John and Jane BEATTY, were Jane, who, born in 1793, was married to William CAMPBELL; Agnes, who married James SHEPPARD; Margaret, who married first a Mr. HALL, and as a second husband, James GUTHERIE; John G.; Samuel; William, who was born in 1805; Elizabeth, who married James GUTHRIE, of Westmoreland County. William BEATTY married Elizabeth A. SEDGWICK, and remained on the homestead in Perry Township until 1854, when he sold out and removed to Washington Township in Butler County. He died the same year. His children were John L., now at Hilliard Station; Thomas S., a resident of Brady Township, Butler County; William G., who died at three years of age; Samuel R., who as a member of Company C, of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, was thrice wounded at the battle at Gaines' Mill, Va., and finally died of his wounds after the war closed; [p. 441] Sarah J., who died when five years old; George W., now a Methodist Episcopal preacher in San Francisco, Cal.; Benjamin F., now practicing medicine at Pescadero City, Cal.; William J., a resident of Martinsburg, Butler County, Penn.; and Joshua M., who died in infancy in 1854.

*During the Indian foray into Westmoreland County at an early day a brother of Jane Guthrie's was slain by them. "Jack Guthrie," the noted scout and Indian fighter, was her brother.


Turning back to the year 1854, the date the present township's organization, we find that the taxable inhabitants at that time were as follows:

Tobias ARNER, David ARNER, George ARNER, Philip ARNER, William ADAMS, Williams C. ADAMS, John BELL (of William), William BELL, Jr., Alexander BELL, James C. BELL, John W. BELL, E.H. BAILEY, John B. BRECKENRIDGE, Henry BLUEROCK. Henry BLACK, Eli BLACK, David BOND, George BIXLER, William BEATTY, Patrick CONNOR, William CONNOR, William CHRISTY, Josiah, of William CHRISTY, Andrew T. CHRISTY, John T. CHRISTY, Marven CHRISTY, Marven G. CHRISTY, Samuel T. CHRISTY, Thomas T. CHRISTY, James CHRISTY, Andrew CAMPBELL, James CAMPBELL's heirs, Samuel J. CAMPBELL, John CAMPBELL, Sr., Samuel A. CAMPBELL, Samuel P. CAMPBELL. HARPER CAMPBELL, James P. CAMPBELL, Thomas J. CAMPBELL, Washington CAMPBELL, Archibald CAMPBELL, Robert CAMPBELL, John CREST, Esq., Alexander CLARK, John CHAMBERS. Butterman CALLENDER, John CONN, James CONN, James CONN's heirs, William CONN, Dr., David CONN, James CUMBERLAND, Jacob DAUBENSPECK, Samuel DAUBENSPECK, Christian DAUBENSPECK, John DAY, Joseph EGGERT, John EBERT, Peter EMORY, William EMORY, Charles EBERSTON, John FOLWELL, John FITHIAN, William FORQUER, William FOGEL, Conrad FILE, Jacob FROSSMAN, Jacob GROSSMAN, Jr., William C. GLENN, James GLENN, William M. GLENN, Joseph GLENN, Levi GIBSON, David GIBSON, William P. GRANT, James C. GARDNER, Joseph GRIFFIN, Jonathan HILLIARD, John HILLIARD, Sr., James, of John HILLIARD, Philip, of John HILLIARD, Jere, of John HILLIARD, John, of Adam HILLIARD, Alexander HILLIARD, John M. HILLIARD, Robert HILLIARD, Isaac HILLIARD, Sr., Jeremiah HILLIARD, Elisha HILLIARD, Sr., Samuel, of Isaac HILLIARD, Isaac HILLIARD, Jr., Philip HILLIARD, Sr., Adam HILLIARD, Peter HILLIARD, Isaac, of John HILLIARD, John J. HILLIARD, Jr., Samuel R. HILLIARD, Abraham HILLIARD, heirs John HANNA, John HUTCHESON, R. HECKERT, Shryock HARPER, Mark HARPER, Christopher HENLEN, Adam HINDMAN, Josiah HOLLAND, James HOLLAND, William HOLLAND, Robert M. HARPER, Alexander HUTCHESON, Samuel JACK's heirs, John JACK, Joseph JACK, A.J. JACK, James JACK, Thomas KELLY, Jr., William KING, William Lewis, Ezekiel LEWIS, Ephraium LEASURE, Isaac Miller, William P. MILLER, Christian MEALS, Andrew MCCAULEY, Bernard MCCALLEN, Nelson MCALLISTER, William M. MEALS, Samuel G. MEALS, William MCELVAIN, David MEALS, James R. MOORE, Samuel N. MOORE, James MAHOOD, James MAHOOD, Jr., George W. MAHOOD, R.A. MIFFLIN, Daniel MEALS, Sr., Hugh P. MCLEMONS, F.H. MOORE, John C. MOORE, Joseph MECHLING, Samuel MEALS, Sr. Jacob MEALS, Thomas MAHOOD, George MORRIS, John MECHLING, Samuel, of Daniel MEALS, Samuel MEALS Jr., David MIFFLER, Watson MAYES, John D. MAHOOD, Alexander MCNAUGHTON, John MCNAUGHTON, Rev. John V. MILLER. John MECHLING, Jr. Jacob MILLER, John MURRIN, Esq., Rev. J.C.Y. MCCLELLAN, William MCCOOL, David PISOR, Alexander PATTON, David PARKER, Samuel PETTIGREW, Edmond PETTIGREW, Andrew J. PETTIGREW, Robert PETTIGREW, A.M. PETTIGREW, R.D. PETTIGREW, Catherine PETTIGREW, Patton POLLOCK, Samuel RIDDLE, W.B. RIDDLE and Co., W.B. RIDDLE, Robert ROBERTS, Thomas N. REED, James G. REED, Anthony ROME, William STOOPS, Henry STONER, David SHIRA, David SHIRA, Jr., Jacob SHIRA, Peter SHIRA, Ferguson SHIRA, Thomas STEWART, James STEWART, Charles STONE, Robert STONE, James G. SMITH, Lewis SHOTTS, Michael SHANE, Isaac THOMPSON, Robert THORN, Tev. T.J. THOMPSON, John VANDERLIN, William WASSON, John C. WASSON, Thomas WASSON, John WAIT, Robert WAIT, Isaac WAIT, James WAIT, Robert WILSON's heirs, Richard WILSON, John WILSON, Henry WILES, Widow YOUNG, Alexander YOUNG, William YOUNG, James YOUNG, John YOUNG's heirs, Hugh YOUNG.

In 1855, John MECHLING was the Assessor, and Alexander CLARK the Collector. The assessed value of real and personal estate, taxable was, $71,251, upon which a county tax of $427.51 and a State tax of $213.75, was levied. In comparison, it is found that, in 1880, the number of taxable inhabitants was 385; aggregate value of real estate taxable, $253,657; aggregate value of all property taxable for county purposes, $280,221; aggregate amount of State tax assessed, $55.65; aggregate amount of county tax assessed, $55.65; aggregate amount of county tax assessed at the rate of 5 mills on the dollar, $1,401.11.


Washington Township-1846, Andrew DONALDSON; 1850, Jacob WASHINGTON; 1851, William RIDDELL; 1855, William STOOPS; 1855, Robert A. MIFFLIN; 1860, Philip HILLIARD; 1860, Joseph MECHLING; 1864, Samuel P. CAMPBELL; 12865, Philip HILLIARD; 1869, James H. GIBSON; 1880; Samuel SMITH; 1880, William HOLLAND.


North Washington (North Hope being the name of the post office), HILLIARD's Station, Parsonville and Annisville, are mentioned as the villages of Washington Townships. Yet the two first names only are worthy of being so designated.

The village of North Washington is built upon the crest of a hill, having a elevation equal, apparently, to [p. 442] any point in the northern part of the county; and whether approached from the north, south, east or west, a sharp acclivity must be surmounted before its business center is reached. The village contains three church edifices-Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Methodist Episcopal-an academy, two hotels, two stores for the sale of general merchandise, one hardware store, one drug store, various small mechanical shops, and a population estimated at one hundred and seventy-five.

About the year 1830, John JACK*, accompanied by quite a large family of children, came from Venango County, and settled upon lands which now embrace the village site. A few years after, he built the brick structure now known as the "Valley Hotel," and at about the same time presented his sons, Samuel and Daniel, some ten or more acres of land, which they caused to be laid out into village lots, street, etc. The next building was erected by Christopher HENLEN, who occupied the same for the sale of dry goods, etc. Samuel JACK, a carpenter, built and occupied the third building; while David H. JACK, another son of John, Sr. kept hotel in the brick building first mentioned. David H. JACK afterward became a preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Henry L. HENLEN, a brother of Christopher, came here from Clarion County about thirty years ago, and kept hotel for twenty-four years.

*Long before John JACK , Sr., settled here, Samuel BELL occupied and sold whisky in a small log cabin which stood near or upon the site of John FOLWELL's furniture store.

Shryock HARPER, the well known merchant of North Washington, located in the embryo village on 1842, and it is his recollection that among those then doing business here were Christopher L. HENLEN, dealer in general merchandise; Hugh P. MCCLIMANDS, blacksmith; Thomas RUSSELL, cabinet-maker; Samuel JACK, carpenter; William PARKS, tailor; a Mr. DIAMOND, tanner; Dr. David C. FOWLER, physician; and Thomas PARKER, merchant. While those who lived near by were Enoch and Philip VARNUM, Andrew CHRISTY, John JACK and Alexander YOUNG. The Methodist Episcopal and Lutheran houses of worship were erected, but the village could not then boast of a post office or of a public house. During the past forty years, W.B. RIDDLE, George BOVARD, Amos YOUNG, S. & R. M. HARPER, MIFFLIN, & Niblock CLARK & Bro., Cheesebro, Thomas CAMPBELL, HARPER & GIBSON, J.F. Hammond & Co., R.A. MIFFLIN, and Robert M. HARPER, have been the merchants of the village. Those of to-day being R. M. HARPER, HARPER & GIBSON, MIFFLIN Bros. Dr. N.M. HOOVER, and John FOLWELL.

Hilliard Station, the eastern terminus of the Shenango & Allegheny Railroad, lies in a deep ravine, situated in the northern part of the township. John HILLIARD (one of the nine sons of Jacob HILLIARD) located here many years ago, built a small grist mill, and the locality, until the building of the railroad, was known far and near as "HILLIARD's Mills." John L. BEATTY purchased the Hilliard property and settled upon it in the spring of 1874. Not a building was then to be seen upon the village site except the old grist mill, and the log house formerly occupied by HILLIARD. The railroad bed was then completed but no ties or rails rested upon it. The first passenger train (excursion) visited the town on the 6th of January, 1876. John MCCORKELL established the first store; William Steward became the first Postmaster; and in February, 1876, John F. BEATTY received the first car load of freight (lumber from Michigan) consigned to HILLIARD Station. During the same year, Reuben EMRICK and A.B. FLOYD began hotel keeping, and the present commodious station house was built. The pumping station of "National Transit Company," formerly known as the "Cleveland Pipe Line Company," was commenced in December, 1879. Crude oil from various points in the Pennsylvania oil fields is received, and forced to Cleveland Ohio. The steam pumps here at work are two hundred and fifty horse power. Five thousand barrels of oil per day of twenty-four hours is their capacity. Three relay stations now intervene, and by their aid an average of about ten thousand barrels, however, have been sent within the time mentioned. The line now in use consists of iron pipe five inched in diameter, but being inadequate for the business, another line of six-inch pipe is being laid. Both lines will be used.

Coal mining is another important industry at this village. An excellent quality of bituminous coal, the stratum being four feet thick, abounds in vast quantities and the "Allegheny Coal Company," represents by C. B. MCFARLAND, general manager, is now making preparation to furnish employment to two hundred men . The village has three hotel, three stores for the sale of general merchandise, a drug store and post office (John MCCORKELL, P.M.), a steam planing mill, lumber yard, the railroad and pumping stations before mentioned and a population of about two hundred.

Annisville, noted chiefly as the site of the New Salem Presbyterian Church, was laid out by Charles HILLIARD about the year 1840. The merchants here were Charles HILLIARD, MILLER & MILLIRON, Watson MAYES, Henry & Millinger, William SCOTT, Samuel MARSHALL and Robert O. LEWIS. Revs. John V. MILLER and Beriah C. MONTGOMERY also resided at this point while serving as pastors of the New Salem Church.

Parsonville is a hamlet of three or four dwelling houses. Midway between North Washington and Annisville.


This institution (though not incorporated) was organized in the summer of 1879, by the election of Samuel SMITH, William M. SHIRA and James A. GIBSON as Trustees, and subsequently the services of Robert D. CRAWFORD were secured as Principal. Prior to that time, however, Mr. R.B. GILFILLAN had taught successfully a private school which, really, was the [p. 443] inception of the academy. Assisted by Mrs. DICKSON, so well known in Connection with the West Sunbury Academy, Mr. CRAWFORD began and completed the first school year with an attendance of more than one hundred students. During the present year, 1882-83, one hundred and fifty students are attending. Mrs. DICKENSON, as assistant, remained here through five terms. She was succeeded by Mrs. Rev. R.A. GILFILLAN, who taught one term, since which time the instructors have been as follows: Robert D. CRAWFORD, Principal; K. Grace BLYSTONE, assistant; Minnie GRIFFIN, instructor in vocal and instrumental music; and Rev. J.N. ZIMMER, instructor in German.

The building occupied was built in 1878. The first Board of Trustees continued in office until July, 1882, when the following were elected: Edward GRAHAM, President; Hon. R. A. MIFFLIN, Secretary: James A. GIBSON, Treasurer; R.M. HARPER, William M. SHIRA, Samuel SMITH, John HOOVER, Isaiah MEALS, Robert EMORY, John BEATTY and Perry SMITH, members.


The North Washington Methodist Episcopal Church as part of the Clintonville Circuit, was organized by Rev Israel MERSHAN, in 1842. Among the original members of this organization were John SMITH and Margaret, his wife, Silas SMITH, Rachel SMITH, William M. GRAHAM, J. G. JACK, Joseph H. JACK and Dr. David C. FOWLER, of who Mr. Graham is now the only one remaining in the society, though there are others surviving who have removed.

The church edifice was built in 1842 at a cost of $1,000, but has twice been remodeled at considerable expense. The present member number seventy-five. Since its formation, the pastors of this church have been as follows: Revs. L. MERSHAN, A.L. MILLER, S.W. INGRAHAM, J. VANHORN, G. R. REESER, Edwin HULL, S. BAIRD, J. RIGELSWORTH, D.M. STEVER, J.G. THOMPSON, J. Y.C. MCCLELLAND, J.H. VANCE, J. MCCOMB, S.A. MILROY, R.B. BOYD, W.A. CLARK, G.W. MOORE, A.H. DORNER, John PERRY, W. HAYS, J.K. MENDENHALL, J. CRUM, W. BRANFIELD, J.C. RHODES, J. Clyde and J.L. STRATTON.


The Presbyterian Church in the village of North Washington was organized on the 18th day of May* 1880, when a committee appointed by the Presbytery met in the Lutheran house of worship in the village mentioned, and after listening to a sermon by Rev. Samuel M. GLENN, of the Clintonville Presbyterian Church, witnessed the enrollment of the following-names members (twenty-three), all by certificate, viz: Mr. Robert D. CRAWFORD, from the First United Presbyterian Church, of Mercer; Mrs. Harriet L. DICKESON, from the Presbyterian Church, of West Sunbury; Mr. Robert A. MIFFLIN, Mrs. C.E. MIFFLIN, Mrs. Sadie HALDIMAN, Mrs. Polly MECHLIN, Miss Maggie MECHLIN, Mrs. A.J. JACK, Mrs. M.A..JACK, Mrs. Carrie CRAIG, Mr. James CHRISTY, Mrs. Jane CHRISTY, Miss Sarah E. CHRISTY and Mrs. B.F. CAMPBELL, from the Concord Presbyterian Church; Mr. W.P. MECHLIN, Mrs. W.P. MECHLIN, Mr. Samuel A. CAMPBELL, Mr. A.G. CAMPBELL, Mrs. A. G. CAMPBELL, Mr. W.H. REDICK, Mrs. Mary GLENN and Mr. William EMERY, from the Salem Presbyterian Church. At the same meeting three Elders were elected and installed, viz.: Robert A. MIFFLIN, W.P. MECHLIN and Robert D. CRAWFORD.

*The pastor, Rev. T. M. Thompson, was installed in May, 1880. Rev. J.H. MARSHALL, of Concord, Rev. I. D. DECKER, of Fairview, and Rev. J.R. COULTER, of Scrub Grass, being present.

On the 2nd day of October, 1880, James CHRISTY, for three years, Samuel A. CAMPBELL, for two years, and Andrew J. JACK, for one year, were duly elected as the first School Board of Trustees. At a meeting held December 1 of the same year (the pastor, Rev. T.M. Thompson, serving as chairman, and Robert D. CRAWFORD, as secretary) a building committee composed of James CHRISTY, Samuel A. CAMPBELL, Campbell HUTCHISON, Robert A. MIFFLIN, Robert D. CRAWFORD, and D.F. CAMPBELL, was appointed, of which Robert A. MIFFLIN was elected Treasurer, while Andrew J. JACK donated two village lots upon which to build a church edifice.

Ground for the present handsome house of worship was broken April 14, 1881, and on Sunday, the 30th day of October following, the building (which is of wood) was formally dedicated. Rev. W.J. MCCONKEY preached the dedicatory sermon, and the pastor, Rev. T.M. THOMPSON, in a eloquent prayer, invoked Divine aid and blessing. The church edifice complete cost nearly $3,000, and has sittings for three hundred and fifty people. On the 15th of April, 1883, S.C. HUTCHISON was elected Trustee for three years, vice A.J. JACK, whose term had expired. The congregation at this writing (October, 1882) numbers forty-five.


The New Salem church edifice is situated in the hamlet termed Annisville, lying about three miles northeast from the village of North Washington. It appears that the congregation was organized in the summer of 1847, its members first meeting in a barn in Annisville, and at the organization, Revs. Loyal YOUNG and Lewis L. CONRAD were presented as representatives of the Allegheny Presbytery, the bounds of which then included this church.

Messrs. Richard B. ALLEN, George GIBSON and William D. ALLEN were ordained as the first Ruling Elders May 1, 1848, and the first communion services were held in the 11th day of June of that year, when Revs. Loyal YOUNG and "father" John COULTER officiated. The members then numbered but twenty. For three years various ministers supplied this organization. Early in 1851, however, Rev. John V. MILLER became the pastor, and continued until the early part of 1855.

[p. 444]
His successor was Rev. J.R. COULTER who came in 1857, and preaching one-third of his time here, and the remainder of the time at Scrub Grass, remained until October, 1870, when failing health caused him to resign . In October, 1870 when failing health caused him to resign. In October, 1873, Rev. B.C. Montgomery was installed as the pastor of this and the Martinsburg Church, dividing his time equally between them. Ill health caused him to resign in April, 1875. Following him came the last pastor, Rev. T.M. Thompson (just from the Wesleyan. Theological Seminary), who was installed and ordained over this and the Martinsburg Church May 15, 1878. He resigned in October, 1882 to accept a call from the Presbyterian Church at Freeport, Penn. New Salem Church, therefore, is now without a pastor. Its present membership is one hundred and five. (From data furnished through the courtesy of Rev. T.M. Thompson).


During the first quarter of the present century, a Presbyterian Church was organized within the limits of Washington Township as now formed.. A church edifice was erected, and though the congregation was small in numbers, its flourished as well, presumably, as other churches of like denomination in this portion of the Presbyterian, yet just when it was organized or who its pastor and original members were, we have not been able to ascertain. About the year 1834, however, a Presbyterian minister named Johnson (then but recently from Ireland), was called to the charge consisting of this church, Bear Creek and Unity Churches and for a time, it seems, matter progressed very smoothly. It was but the lull before the coming storm, though, for Mr. Johnson being of a nervous, passionate, intractable disposition, became incensed at some act or ruling of the Presbytery, and about the beginning of 1835 seceded from the old church, joined the Associate Reformed, or as now termed, United Presbyterian Church, and carried a large number of each of the congregations, over which he presided, with him.

Thus was ushered into existence the United Presbyterian church of Washington Township, known as "Mt. Vernon," and among its original members were Samuel N. MOORE, Mrs. Samuel N. MOORE, David SHIRA, Andrew DONALDSON, Robert DONALDSON, Mrs. Rosana DONALDSON, Samuel Mortimer, Thomas SMITH, Charles HILLIARD, William SHIRA, Jacob SHIRA, William BELL and Robert HANNA. Of the original members, names or unnamed, David SHIRA, Mrs. Samuel N. MOORE and Mrs. Rosana DONALDSON are the only survivors at this writing.

Mr. JOHNSON returned to Ireland after being here some two or three years, and was succeeded by Rev. James Green, who was installed in October, 1837, and remained about three years. His successors have been Robert W. OLIVER, from about 1842 to 1846; J.K. RIDDLE, 1846-48; J.H. FIFE, 1848-55; J.A. CAMPBELL, 1857-59; W.A. BLACK, 1860-73; J.W. DODDS, 1874-77; R.A. GILFILLAN, 1879-83. The present church edifice was built in 1866. The one which preceded it, about 1833. The present members number one hundred and twenty-five.


For the past forty years, a Lutheran congregation has existed at North Washington, and its members, now numbering one hundred and five, worship in a church edifice which was erected as early as 1842. Although earnest efforts have been made to obtain further information concerning this organization, they have not been successful. The present pastor, Rev. J. N. ZIMMER, has been in charge since November, 1879.



George DAUBENSPECK was born of German parents, and passed his youthful days in Bucks County, Penn., where he married his wife. Some time between the years 1796 and 1800, he emigrated westward and finally settled in the region now known as Parker Township, Butler County, Penn., or to more particular, on the premises now owned by Christian HOOVER, who married a grand-daughter. The sons of George DAUBENSPECK, Sr., were, Henry, Philip, LEWIS, George Jr., and John, besides four daughters, who married respectively HILLIARD, SMITHERS, Milliron and Hepler. George DAUBENSPECK, Jr., married Margaret A., daughter of Samuel MEALS, Sr. (before alluded to in the history of this township), and to them were born eighteen children, of whom ten arrived at a mature age, viz.: Jacob, who was born November 14, 1805; Polly, who married HOOVER; Margaret, who never married Milliron; John, Samuel, George, William and LEWIS.

Jacob, the oldest son of George DAUBENSPECK, Jr., was born in 1805, and resides in Washington Township. Early in life he married Miss Catherine HOOVER, and to them were born thirteen children, all of whom became men and women. As a second wife, he married Margaret MEALS, and by her had four children, all of whom are living. Of the fourteen surviving children of Jacob, DAUBENSPECK, there are Christian, Elisa, John, William L., Henry H., CAMPBELL, Daniel C., Ann M., (MCCULLOUGH), Lydia (HUTCHINSON), Mary C. (DONALDSON), Elizabeth (ATWELL), Mary (ATWELL), Sarah (MCMAHON) and Lousia; while of those deceased, there were Samuel, who as member of the One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania Volunteers, died of his wounds on the field of battle near Richmond, Va., in the spring of 1865; George who died of disease, in the State of Indiana, and Jacob, Jr., who died [p. ]at home, of typhoid fever. Jacob DAUBENSPECK has ever been known as a quiet, unostentatious, but most estimable citizen. He served as Justice of the Peace for a period of ten years, and the official title in his case was most appropriate, for he advised his neighbors to keep the peace, to settle their grievances among themselves, and as consequence but few cases were tried before him.


Samuel G. MEALS, the son of George and Elizabeth (STUDEBAKER) MEALS, was born in Westmoreland County July 4, 1809, and when about two years old came to Mechanicsburg, Worth Township, Butler County, with his parents. Here the family resided until about 1817, when they removed to Concord Township, where they remained until their removal to Concord Township, where they remained until their removal to Washington Township. His father was a blacksmith, and Samuel worked in his shop when a boy. He learned the trade of a Stonemason, and worked at it for about sixteen years, in Butler and adjoining counties, getting his start in life in this way. Before he married, Mr. MEALS improved the land that is now the SHIRA farm. February 18, 1836, he married Catharine, daughter of Peter and Elizabeth HILLIARD, of Washington Township. The children of this union were Isaiah N., now a resident of Washington Township; Alfred G., Concord; Elizabeth (Arnold), Shenango, Mercer County; Maria (DAUBENSPECK0, Parker Township; Emeline, deceased; Maggie L. (CAMPBELL), Washington Township, and Catharine, deceased. Mrs. MEALS died October 5, 1850, in her thirty-seventh year. November 4, 1853, Mr. MEALS was married to Mrs. Emeline CLARK. She was born in Allegheny County, but came to Butler County when a child, with her parents, Henry and Mary BRIGHT. By her first husband, Alexander CLARK, she had two sons-Henry J. CLARK, Concord Township, and Hale CLARK, Fairview Township. The children of this second marriage were, Amanda J., George W., Samuel F., Mary A., Abraham L. (deceased), Anna L. and Carried B. The oldest daughter is the wife of Robert THOMPSON, Washington Township. The other children are unmarried and reside at home.

Mr. MEALS was a man of diligence and industry and succeeded well in business. Soon after he began farming he owned over four hundred acres of land, on which he had commenced improvements. This fine farm is situated in the beautiful spot known as the "Glade," on the South Branch of Slippery Rock. Mr. MEALS erected a large barn, and a fine brick house, which is now the home of his family; also a tenement house on another part of his farm. Mr. MEALS was a life-long member of the Lutheran Church, and held the office of Deacon. He also held several township offices, and stood high in the community. He died September 21, 1877. Mrs. MEALS and her unmarried child reside on the old farm. The homestead now consist of two hundred and forty acres, and is owned by George MEALS, a successful and progressive young farmer.

[End of Chapter 49--Washington 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 48--Marion Township
Chapter 50--Allegheny Township
1883 Butler County History Contents
Butler County Pennsylvania USGenWeb Homepage

Edited 03 Feb 2000, 14:23