Transcribed by: Beverly Oels. For an explanation and caution about this transcription, please read this page.
Link to a sketch of Portersville Borough from the Atlas of Butler County, G.M. Hopkins & Co., 1874.
Surnames in this chapter are:
ADAMS, AIKEN, ALBERT, ARMSTRONG, BADGER, BAILEY, BAUDER, BEATTY, BEIGHLEY, BELLIS, BLAIR, BLOOM, BOOK, BOSTON, BRACKEN, BRANDON, BRATCHI, BREADEN, BRENNEMAN, BROWN, BURNS, BURRY, CARRUTHERS, CARTER, CHEESEMAN,CHRISTIE, CLARK, CLEELAND, CLIFFORD, COOK, COPPER, COVERT, COWDEN, CRAIG, CRATTY, CUMMINGS, DANN, DAVIS, DEEDS, DEETS, DOMBART, DONALDSON, DOUGLASS, DOUTHETT, DRAUBAUGH, DUNLAP, ECKLES, EGGERT, ENGLISH, ESPY, FINDLEY, FISHER, FRAZIER, FULKMAN, GALBRAITH, GARDNER, GLASSER, GREAVIS, GUTHRIE, HALL, HANNA, HARVISON, HAY, HEBERLING, HENSHEW, HEYL, HUMPHREY, HUNTER, IRONS, JOHNSTON, JONES, KENNEDY, KINSEY, KRAUSE, LADERER, LAMBERT, LANDERS, LANG, LEHMAN, LILLY LOVE, LUTZ, MAGEE, MARSHALL MASSER McBURNEY McCASLIN, McCLELLAND, McCLYMONDS, McCOLLOUGH, McCONNELL, McCOSH, McDONALD, McELWAIN, McGRATH, MEYER, MILLEMAN, MILLIKEN, MOORE, MORRISON, MURRAY, MUSSELMAN, MYERS, NEWBERRY, NEWTON, NIPER, NYE, OKESON, OLIVER, PATTERSON, PAYNE, PORTER, PREGENZER, PRINGLE, RALSTON, RAMSEY, RIDDLE, ROBERTS, ROTH, RUBY, TYLE, SCHEIDEMANTLE, SCOTT, SHANOR, SHARP, SLOSS, SMITH, SPEAR, STEPHENSON, STEWART, STREETER, SWICK, VANORSDAL, WALKER, WATSON, WEIGLE, WELSH, WETZEL, WHITE, WHITHING, WILLIAMS, WILSON, WIMER, WORK, WRIGHT, WYLIE, YOUNG, ZIEGLER
Portersville, surveyed into town lots in 1825, was named Stewartsville, in honor of Robert STEWART, who was born here September 15, 1808, a son of Robert STEWART, the first white settler of the township. The latter located the land on which the town stands in 1796, and made it his home until his death, in 1851.
In March, 1826, when a postoffice was established, the name of the village was changed to Portersville, in honor of Governor PORTER. John STEWART, the first postmaster, held the office until 1836, when he was succeeded by Robert CRAIG, who moved it to a new building opposite the site of the BRENNEMAN House, in 1838, carrying it on there until 1846. William WILLIAMS was postmaster for eight years, and James NEWTON, who located here in 1842, filled the office for sixteen years. His successors have been as follows: Thomas H. WHITE, Alexander H. AIKEN, Maggie NEWTON and Nellie K. FRAZIER.
In 1814, before the laying out of the town, Thompson McCOSH opened a cabinet shop here. The first storekeeper was Robert CRAIG, who began business in 1829 and continued selling such goods as the trade demanded until his death, in 1852. James NEWTON and John HALL opened a store in 1845. John W. RIDDLE, who died at Portersville in 1852, started a wagon and furniture factory on the site of the village about 1831. It was operated by steam and was the first steam power plant in the western part of the county. Mr. RIDDLE carried on the business until his death. It was then operated for a few years and finally abandoned. William WILLIAMS established himself here as a cabinet maker in 1836. The hotel was subsequently opened and carried on as the OLIVER House until 1868, when David BRENNEMAN purchased the property. The old house was burned in 1874, and the present large brick hotel erected by the new landlord, who carried it on until his death in 1880. The present HUMPHREY store, a modern mercantile building, was erected in 1876. The general store of William HUMPHREY & Son, which may be said to date back to 1868, when Mr. HUMPHREY entered mercantile life, carries the largest stock of goods of all the houses between Butler and New Castle. The general store of RAMSEY Brothers; G. B. McDONALD's hardware store; A. S. MARSHALL's drug store, and H. D. ZIEGLER's furniture shop, with the banking house of J. M. MARSHALL & Company, may be said to make up the business circle of the borough. Samuel T. OKESON established a furniture shop here in 1875, and other men, such as S. H. BAILEY, in 1872, and Peter SCHEIDEMANTLE were connected with the business interests of the town. The Portersville Creamery Com- [p. 604]pany, organized early in 1894, built a creamery on the lot where the Covenanter meeting house stood, and in April of the same year, began the manufacture of butter on a large scale.
The population of the borough in 1890, was 190. In June, 1893, there were twenty-four male and twenty-five female children of school age in the town. The revenue for school purposes was $436.46, including a State appropriation of $238.39. The assessed value in January, 1894, was $42,260; the county tax, $169.04, and the Sate [sic] tax, $56.70.
The question of borough organization was first discussed March 14, 1844. At a meeting held at John OLIVER's house, May 29, 1844, presided over by John M. SMITH, with John CRAIG, secretary, and at one held June 5, resolutions were adopted favoring incorporation. The petition for the incorporation of Portersville was presented to the court, September 11, 1844, with a plan of the town. The signers were William G. CHRISTIE, William SHARP, William STEPHENSON, George OLIVER, John DEETS, Robert CRAIG, Dr. W. R. COWDEN, John HALL, Jesse JOHNSTON, John MILLIKEN, J. W. STEWART, D. M. BEATTY, J. A. WHITE, F. D. COOK, Robert STEWART, Jr., R. BADGER, John CLEELAND, James HALL, Sheplar BOSTON, John OLIVER, J. S. WHITE, J. A. WELSH, G.W. WELSH, John STEWART, W. P. BREADEN, D. G. CRAIG, J. M. SMITH, John CRAIG, J. W. RIDDLE, James WATSON, James SHARP, J. C. SHARP, Peter MASSER, Simon SHANOR, James YOUNG, James MURRAY, John McGRATH, Robert STEWART, Sr., Jonathan LILLY, Joseph P. WORK, Sipe BELLIS, James STEWART, James HALL, Jr., Dr. William McCLELLAND, William BOSTON, James ARMSTRONG, Joseph STEWART, Newton BRACKEN, William WILLIAMS, Peter MASSER, Dr John COWDEN, Joseph CHEESEMAN, John CHEESEMAN and Samuel ESPY. The grand jury approved the petition, and, on December 16, 1844, the borough was incorporated. The first election took place January 6, 1845, when Dr. John COWDEN was chosen burgess; William SHARP, William G. CHRISTIE, John OLIVER, John COWDEN and John CRAIG, councilmen. They organized, January 11, 1845, with James HALL, clerk. Owing to John COWDEN's election for two offices, the vacancy in the council was filled by James STEWART, who was regularly elected. Robert CRAIG was appointed treasurer; William WILLIAMS and Robert STEWART, Sr., street commissioners, and James W. STEWART, collector; while William SHARP was elected high constable. Owing to the fact that the constable had no authority under the act of 1834 to serve precepts issued by a justice of the peace, a petition to the legislature was adopted in February, 1845, asking such privilege and for the authority to elect three auditors. At that meeting ordinances were passed providing for the construction of side walks; prohibiting horses from running at large or galloping through the streets, and authorizing the erection of hitching posts. In April, James SHARP resigned the office of assessor and William DUNLAP was appointed. The burgess was fined twenty-five cents for absence and William SHARP a like sum for the same offence.
Following is a list of the burgesses and councilmen from 1846 to 1893:1846--John COWDEN, burgess; Joseph P. WORK, John CLEELAND, William McCLELLAND, John A. WHITE and Jesse JOHNSTON, with John W. RIDDLE, clerk. [p. 605]
The justices of the peace for Portersville borough, from 1845 to 1894, inclusive, are named as follows; James HALL, 1845 and 1850; John W. RIDDLE, 1845; Francis FINDLEY, 1847; Jacob WIMER, 1852; William H. PATTERSON, 1855; William W. ROBERTS, 1859 and 1865; Thomas H. WHITE, 1860; William HUMPHREY, 1863,-68,-73,-78,-83; William WILLIAMS, 1868,-73; Samuel T. OKESON, 1876,-88,-92: R. BADGER, 1882; J.J. RAMSEY, 1884; William CLEELAND, 1885; James RAMSEY, 1886; James LEHMAN, 1887; S. L. VANORSDAL, 1890; W. H. DANN, 1891; Joseph LEHMAN, 1893.[p. 607]
The Presbyterian church was organized October 13, 1820, although as early as 1814, Rev. Reid BRACKEN visited the settlement and preached to the people in the cabinet shop of Thompson McCOSH. The original members were John and Sarah WALKER, Robert and Margaret STEWART, Samuel and Nancy STEWART, Ephraim and Martha HUNTER, Thompson and Nancy McCOSH, and Elizabeth and Barbara STEWART. Peggy BURNS was the first adult baptized. John WALKER and Samuel STEWART were the first ruling elders. The latter died in 1829, but Mr. WALKER served until 1842. In 1833 John STEWART, Thompson McCOSH and Alexander MORRISON are named among the elders. The last served until 1837, the others until 1845. In 1839 William CRATTY and Robert CRAIG are named as elders; in 1843, Thomas COOPER, Joseph ECKLES and William CARRUTHERS; in 1850, Robert DUNLAP, Samuel HANNA and John CLEELAND; in 1854, John W. STEWART, John CHEESEMAN, John BOSTON, James MORRISON and John SWICK; in 1864, Thomas CRATTY, and in 1868, Peter S. GREAVIS and George OLIVER. The session, as constituted in 1876, comprised Samuel HANNA, John CHEESEMAN, James MORRISON and George OLIVER. In November, 1881, William HUMPHREY, Guyan MORRISON and Horatio D. PAYNE were ordained ruling elders, and with George OLIVER, James MORRISON and John CHEESEMAN formed the session. John CHEESEMAN was then, as in former years, clerk of the session, serving until his death, in February, 1891, when Mr. EGGERT served as clerk until the election of William HUMPHREY, in the same year.
Rev. Reid BRACKEN served as pastor from the organization of the church until 1841. On October 15, 1841, his son, Newton BRACKEN, was ordained and installed pastor, serving until 1859. In 1863 Rev. William P. HARVISON came and remained until 1867. Rev. Samuel S. JOHNSTON was installed in 1870 and preached here until 1872, when Rev. R. B. WALKER took charge as stated supply and served until October, 1883. Rev. A. M. REED was moderator in 1884; but Rev. J. W. MILLER, who came in 1885, was the pastor until October, 1887. Rev. R. M. DAVIS was moderator in 1888, and Rev. J. H. WRIGHT in 1890. Rev. John E.EGGERT, the present pastor, came in October, 1890.
The church was incorporated April 8, 1844, on petition of the trustees presented to the court December 16, 1843, by Joseph ECKLES, Solomon MEYER, Robert DUNLAP, Robert CRAIG and John W. RIDDLE, trustees. The brick church, erected in 1842, has been kept in a good state of repair. During the administration of the first pastor there were 108 additions to the congregation; under Rev. Newton BRACKEN there were 188; under that of Rev. Mr. HARVISON, twenty-six; under Rev. Samuel S. JOHNSTON, twelve, and under Rev. R. B. WALKER forty-five. The present membership is 175.
The United Presbyterian Church was organized in December, 1841, as an Associate Reformed society, with the following named members: Dr. John COWDEN, Elizabeth COWDEN, Thomas and Eleanor CHRISTIE, James and Jane McCLYMONDS, James and Catherine GARDNER, George FRAZIER, John McCLELLAND, David and Mary CLEELAND, Jonathan McCLYMONDS, and others, the total membership at the beginning being seventy-five. The pastors have been: Revs.[p. 608] William DOUTHETT, 1841-49; James N. SMITH, 1853-57; A. IRONS, 1859-63; J. M. DONALDSON, 1865-70; William GALBRAITH, 1872-73, and James A. CLARK, 1876-88. Rev. J. J. RALSTON came in 1889, and is now pastor of a congregation embracing 147 members. The brick house of worship was erected in 1840 at a cost of $3,000, and remodeled in 1890.
The Old Covenanter Church, on the site of which stands the new creamery, dates back to 1833, when Rev. Mr. GUTHRIE preached to the Reformed Presbyterians of this vicinity. A quarter of a century elapsed, however, before a resident pastor was appointed. Rev. Thomas HANNA came in 1858, but four years after joined the United Presbyterian church. Rev. J. C. SMITH, who was installed in 1863, remained until 1890, or five years after the society at Portersville disbanded. When Mr. HANNA came, the old building formerly occupied by the Seceder church was purchased and dedicated by the Covenanters. A. F. KENNEDY was then, as he still is, the clerk of the session, while he, with Joseph KENNEDY, Matthew STEWART, Thomas BLAIR, Thomas SPEAR, John LOVE and Thomas WILSON, were elders. Among other members were Samuel McELWAIN, George MAGEE, Matthew WRIGHT and Mr. SCOTT. The remaining members of the old Covenanter society attend the church at Rose Point, in Lawrence county. Among the latter-day elders the names of Thomas YOUNG, Robert WYLIE and Robert McCASLIN may be mentioned.
Portersville Lodge, I.O.O.F., was organized June 30, 1875, with James PORTER, Levi BEIGHLEY, Caleb COVERT, Frederick BAUDER, Nicholas BAUDER, James HUMPHREY, William H. SHANOR, George NYE, Milton KENNEDY, William MOORE, Samuel BAUDER, Peter and John SCHEIDEMANTLE, Alexander McDONALD, Nicholas GARDNER, Clark PORTER, John PORTER, David PREGENZER and John RUBY members. James PORTER served as Noble Grand until September 30, 1875. His successors in the chair are named as follows: Levi BEIGHLEY, Frederick BAUDER, C. COVERT, John SCHEIDEMANTLE, George NYE, M. W. KENNEDY, S. J. MUSSELMAN, Thomas BOOK, C. W. PORTER, S.T. OKESON, Samuel BAUDER, John BAUDER, James HUMPHREY, John DOMBART, William BAUDER, W. S. YOUNG, Joseph LEHMAN, A. A. ADAMS, John W. WIMER, John M. ROTH, Andrew DRAUBAUGH, Nicholas BAUDER, W. McCLYMONDS, P. LAMBERT, J. P. CARTER, Isaac JONES, H. R. WILSON, W. R. WILSON, E. H. LADERER, J. N. BAUDER, J. W. McCLYMONDS, James C. McCLYMONDS, P. J. NEWTON and Alonzo HENSHEW, who is now serving, with Joseph LEHMAN secretary. The strength of the lodge is seventy-nine and its financial condition is most satisfactory.
Watson Brothers Post, Number 478, G.A.R., at Portersville, and Randolph Post at Prospect, embrace in their membership the greater number of the Union veterans of Muddy Creek township.
Roundhead Camp, Sons of Veterans, Number 84, was instituted at Portersville, September 30, 1887, with twelve members. James McCONNELL was elected captain; A. A. ADAMS first, and R. B. KENNEDY second lieutenant; W. S. LUTZ, S. G. CUMMINGS and J. S. LUTZ council, and F. R. COVERT, Q.M.S.
[End of Chapter 57 - Portersville Borough: History of Butler County Pennsylvania, R. C. Brown Co., Publishers, 1895]Previous Chapter 56--Muddy Creek Township
Updated 03 Mar 2000, 09:20