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Erie County (PA) Genealogy

Family Histories

Rees' Pieces - Part One

Contributed by Beth Simmons

The information below has been written by Beth Simmons. “REES’ PIECES” was run as a series of articles in the Harborcreek Area Tri-Community News during the years 2000-2002. The Harbor Creek Historical Society will also publish this as a commemorative booklet for the Bicentennial of the Township in 2016.

For presentation on this web site, the article has been split into five parts. These parts will not necessarily align with the published articles. This is Part One, Background and Introduction to Thomas Rees.

Anyone wishing to add to, correct or otherwise question or comment on the information below should contact Beth Simmons directly.

Part One


          The sunsets from Gospel Hill, Harbor Creek Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania, are world renown. As a child growing up in Harbor Creek Township in the shadows of the Mack’s and the Behrend’s, I listened to the legends of Thomas Rees and perpetrated the ghost stories of Gospel Hill Cemetery. As did many township residents, I always believed that Thomas Rees lived on the top of Gospel Hill in an old one and a half story house across Station Road from the Gospel Hill Cemetery (Map 1).

          Today’s local residents use the name “Gospel Hill” to refer only to the first steep hill on Station Road.(PA Route 430) east of Wesleyville. The second hill on Station Road east of Behrend College was commonly called “Lavery Hill” after the Peter Lavery family who owned that section of land in the late 1800’s[1]. My mother, Helen King Evans, always called the steep hill on Hannon Road nearest the lake “”Raeder Hill” for the Phillip B. Raeder family. Younger locals often call it “Frazier Hill” for the Frazier  family, Raeder’s children, who still live there. So when the history books refer to Gospel Hill, to me that meant an area of about one square mile surrounding the Gospel Hill Cemetery. When history books told of the ‘road Rees opened to his property in 1797[2]’, I thought they referred to Station Road out of Wesleyville. How quickly a little historical research changed my misconceptions of the “way it was.”


The Big House


          On March 9, 1994, Harbor Creek Township native Marie Frazier Stoltz showed Jack Gallagher, Teresa Frazier, and me a picture of her grandfather Raeder’s palatial “old house”[3]. The style of the house (Photo 1) was unlike any of the other old houses in the neighborhood. Its architectural trim resembled early houses along Buffalo Road near Moorheadville and trim on the old brick house along the south side of Station Road east of Behrend Center that we always called the Miller farm. Another similar house was the “Hall house” on the north side of Station Road east of Lunger Road.

          The chimney and fireplace were in the center of the Raeder house, with openings into every room. It was a classic example of an Early Central Chimney colonial architecture or “New England Large[4]. The style matched very closely the style and layout of the old house that used to stand on the northwest corner of Colt’s Station, Judah Colt’s original country manor.[5]  Marie told us that when the fire was built in the bottom of the fireplace, the heat rose and filled each room. She could “never remember being cold in Grandma’s house.”[6]

          The old house stood just north of the present house at 4261 Hannon Road See Map 1), in the flat area where the Marie and Ed Knipper always maintained a beautiful flower garden. The long side of the house faced the road, perpendicular to the orientation of the present house.[7] “The south end of the house was originally a log cabin built “long before the main house.” Marie’s grandmother “religiously white-washed the ‘summer kitchen’ every spring”, while Marie would “leave and go hiking in Six-Mile Creek to avoid the smell.” The following day, Marie “would have the job of hanging all of the pots and pans back on the walls”. On the backside of the house, a porch went the entire length of the main house. The north wing was a parlor. “The house was so big”, Marie told us, “that it took fifty yards of carpet to cover just the floor of the ‘reception hall’.” Marie’s grandmother laid “only the finest ingrain carpeting when she replaced the original floor covering.”

          Fire destroyed this beautiful home on January 23, 1906.[8] According to Marie “a high wind came down the chimney and blew sparks in every direction, out the vents into each room and ignited everything in the dry old house.” All of the family’s possessions burned.

          Who would have built such a beautiful place? Who built the log cabin? Who built the brick springhouse that stands at the rear of the present house and shows in the photograph of the old house?

          The answer to those questions jump out from Nelson’s Biographical Dictionary and History of Erie County[9].


 “Mr. Raeder purchased his farm of over 225 acres of exceptionally fertile land in 1888. It was FORMERLY THE REECE [sic] PLACE, and is located a very desirable spot, about a mile and a half southeast of Wesleyville[10].


          Desirable is an understatement to describe this piece of property. From 1775 until 1779, Thomas Rees was the chief surveyor in this region. During those years, he was employed either by the Pennsylvania Population Company or by the state of Pennsylvania. The surveyors diligently walked the land, complete with wilderness forest, and shot their perfectly straight section lines. They knew the lay of the land first hand. They knew the qualities of each piece of property. In payment for his work, which he valued at $15,000, Rees claimed the finest piece of gravel soil he found on the north side of the steep hill that faces the lake. He called it ‘Rees’ Reserve.’

          The 1884 History of Erie County located Rees’ farm “one mile south of the present Buffalo Road, to which he cut a highway in 1797. He cleared up several large farms, on one of which he resided until his death in May, 1848”.[11]


Who was Thomas Rees?


          Thomas Rees was one of the first settlers in Erie County and one of the founders of Harbor Creek Township. Locating Rees’ residence on the hill in Harbor Creek fills many gaps in knowledge about the man.

          Thomas Rees was born in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, on May 9, 1763[12] . He served in the Revolutionary War from 1777 to 1781. According to the DAR Records, Rees entered the service in 1777 and served five months as a private under Captain Chatam. In May of 1779, he enlisted and served as a private for six months under Chatam again, and served six months each in 1780, 1781, and 1782. When Rees applied for his pension many years later in 1833, he stated, “in 1778, he was fifteen years old, large for his age, and accustomed to handle a rifle.”[13] Rees was listed as a private in Nelson’s Biographical Dictionary in 1896.[14]

          Rees married Ann Pearson, a native of Burlington, New Jersey, who was born on October 18, 1768[15], sometime before he came to survey the lands of the new triangle in western Pennsylvania. He was appointed the Deputy State Surveyor on May 16, 1792 and opened an office in Northumberland County. The following year, 1793,


“I went to the mouth of Buffalo Creek to inquire of the Indians there whether they would permit me to go into my district to make surveys. They refused, and added that if I went into the country I would be killed. At the same time, I received information from different quarters which prevented me from going that year”[16]


          Thomas Rees first visited Presque Isle in 1794. Having waited through the Indian problems, finally feeling safe to proceed west,


“I went into District No. 1, now Erie County, and made surveys on the 390 warrants… in the Triangle except one or two for which no lands could be found. Among the surveys made on the warrants above mentioned, was that on the warrant in the name of John McCullough. Before I had completed I was frequently alarmed by hearing of the Indians killing persons on the Allegheny River, in consequence of which as soon as the surveys were completed, I removed from the country and went to Franklin, where I was informed that there were a number of Indians belonging to the Six Nations as going to LeBoeuf, to order the troops off that ground. I immediately returned to LeBoeuf. The Indians had left that place one day before I arrived there. I was told by Major Denny, then commanding at that place, that the Indians had brought Gen. Chapin, the Indian agent, with them to LeBoeuf; that they were very much displeased, and told him not to build a garrison at Presqu’ Isle. There were no improvements made, nor any persons living on any tract of land within my district during the year 1794.”[17]


          On August 20, 1794, General Anthony Wayne crushed the Indian uprising at Fallen Timber at the western end of Lake Erie. That made the area supposedly safe for travel for the settlers.

          In the spring of the following year, 1795, Rees returned to the district with surveyors and others who wanted to ‘take up’ land. Rees erected a tent upon the shore of the bay, where he sold and surveyed real estate for the Pennsylvania Population Company.[18]


“In the year 1795, I went into the country and took a number of men with me. We kept in a body, as there appeared to be great danger, and continued so far that season. There was no work done of any consequence, nor was any person, to my knowledge, residing upon any tract within my district. In the course of the summer, the commissioners came on to lay out the town of Erie, with a company of men to guard them. There were two persons killed within one mile of Presqu’ isle, and others in different parts of the country;[19] such were the fears that though some did occasionally venture out to view the lands, many would not. We all laid under the protection of the troops.

          I sold, as agent for the Pennsylvania Population Company, during that season, 79,900 acres of land[20], of which 7,150 were a gratuity. The above quantity of land was applied for and sold to two hundred persons. That fall we left the country.”[21]


          In his 1924 History of Erie County, John Reed notes in his population list[22] that Mrs. Thomas Rees arrived in Erie in September of 1795. The Mrs. Rees Reed was referring to may have been Mrs. Mary Reed Rees, wife of Thomas Rees, Jr., not Mrs. Ann Rees. However, John Reed also lists a Mary Reed separately with Charles John Reed, Rufus S. Reed, and George W. Reed, so Ann Pearson Rees could have arrived as early as 1795. In his journal, Deacon Hinds Chamberlin described the early settlers vividly. He did not mention the Thomas Rees family specifically.


“On our return to Presqu’ Isle from Leboeuf, we found there Col. Seth Reed and his family. They had just arrived. We stopped and helped him build some huts; set up crotches, laid poles across, and covered them with the bark of the cucumber tree. At first the Colonel had no floors; afterward he indulged in the luxury of floors by laying down strips of bark. James Baggs and Giles Sisson came on with Col. Reed. I remained for a considerable time in his employ. It was not long until eight or ten other families came in.[23]


          Captain Martin Strong said that Thomas Rees, Esq. and Col. Seth Reed and his wife, Hannah, and family were living in the Triangle in tents and booths of bark in 1795 when he journeyed north from LeBoeuf.[24]

          During the summer of 1795, Louis Phillipe, then the Duke of Orleans, his brother, and an attendant visited Rees at his tent. “It was one of the pleasing reminiscences of the Squire [Rees] to tell of his entertainment of Louis Phillipe in his tent on the bank of Lake Erie[25]. Later, when Louis Phillipe sat on the throne of France during a conversation with General Cass, the American minister at his court, the king told the details of his trip through the American wilderness, including his route through Erie. The king showed Cass a map of his route which had been drawn by Gen. Washington at Mt. Vernon[26]. After a two day stay, Thomas Rees sent the men on their way accompanied by a friendly Indian guide as far as Canandaiqua [27]

          Another visitor to Presque Isle in August of 1795 was Judah Colt, accompanied by Augusta Porter, looking to buy land. They purchased more than 800 acres from Thomas Rees.


“In the spring of 1796 a considerable number of people came out into the country, and numbers went to the farms that they had purchased from the Population Company. The settlements during this year were very small.”[28]


          In the spring of 1796, Rees resigned both the state deputy surveyor and the Pennsylvania Population Company positions. John Cochran succeeded him as Deputy Surveyor[29]. In March of 1796, the Pennsylvania Population Company hired Judah Colt as their new agent. The shenanigans and shady dealings of the Pennsylvania Population Company have been well documented. Rees had trouble collecting his surveying fees from the Company and finally took at least 30,000 acres of land in exchange for services rendered[30].

          In the fall of 1796, General Wayne took ill with gout while enroute from Detroit back to Chester, Pennsylvania. His entourage stopped at the Garrison in Erie where Dr. J. C. Wallace was summoned to come to Erie from Fort Lafayette.  By the time Wallace arrived in Franklin, the General had died on December 15, 1796. The doctor came on into Erie and then chose it to be his home.

          On March 31, 1797, in a political move, Governor Mifflin appointed Rees as a life-long Justice of the Peace[31]. He officiated the first wedding in Erie County between Charles J. Reed and Rachel Miller on December 27, 1797.[32] The Pennsylvania Population Company needed “friendly Justices”[33] to support its cases against “advance setters”[34] during the land wars at the end of the late 1700’s and into the early 1800’s. Rees’ deposition taken in 1806 was used as evidence in the lawsuits against the settlers.[35]. Many of the homesteaders lost their case and their land[36] and then caused Judah Colt many problems at Colt’s Station and North East[37]. However, some of them relocated in Harbor Creek where they became Rees’ neighbors.[38]

          Between 1796 and 1802 Rees “served the state as the commissioner for the sale of property in the Triangle[39]. At the same time in 1797, Rees and his crew built the road to his property. In 1798, he set up a sawmill on Four-Mile Creek, the fourth saw mill in the county[40].

          In 1799, acting as State Deputy Surveyor, Rees and his assistant, Enoch Williams (Williams Road in North East), resurveyed the Erie Reserve Tract and laid out three tiers of lots. Rees and Williams also remeasured the land Rees had obtained in Harbor Creek [41]. Rees’ total reserve totaled to over 1,000 acres.

          By 1801, Rees’ family had definitely arrived in town. McNair’s 1801 census shows Thomas Rees in Erie. The one male, less than 45 would have been Rees. The  three females, were listed one over age 45 (Thomas’ mother, Sarah Rees, aged 67), and two under forty five, one his wife, Ann Pearson Rees, and another unknown woman, perhaps Ann’s mother, Mary Pearson. Four “Free” colored were also counted among his household[42].


Thomas Rees in Harbor Creek


          In 1802, when he was 39 years old, Thomas Rees “removed to his property in Harbor Creek and laid out his farms”[43]. In 1803, when Erie County was organized Thomas Rees was one of the three founding trustees of the new political entity. In 1803, the name Rees appears among the signatures including the Reeds of a group petitioning the Church of England for a pastor[44]. This could have been either Thomas Rees or Thomas Rees, Jr. Records show that during the 1820’s, Thomas Rees was a member of and involved in the development of the Methodist Church in Wesleyville.

          In 1806, Rees returned to military with the Erie ‘light infantry’ as a First Lieutenant. This group enlisted when the War of 1812 broke out and Rees spent the winter of 1812-13 in Buffalo[45]. In 1808 Thomas Rees of Harbor Creek won the political contest for Erie Coroner with 274 votes[46]. In 1813, Rees was a founder of Wayne Lodge #112 F & AM and served as the lodge’s “warden”[47].

          In 1816, Thomas and Anna Rees’ only child, Ann Rees, was born.[48]

          In 1821, Thomas Rees, “Harbor Creek” was elected to the position of County Auditor, beating P.S.V. Hamot by 211 votes. In 1822, Rees was a candidate for County Commissioner. In 1823, the cemetery at Gospel Hill was opened to bury two young girls who had drowned in Six-Mile Creek.[49] Rees was reelected County Auditor over Amos Wilmot in 1824 [50]. On May 5, 1825, Rees’ signature appears in the Township Road Book having delineated what is now called Shannon Road and Clark Road.[51]

          In 1830, Rees’ sister’s daughter, Helen Ewing, came to live with the Rees’. In 1830, Rees signed for the development of Prindle Road, showing that he was still active in township affairs.[52]

          On March 31, 1833, Sarah Rees, Thomas’ mother and Helen’s grandmother, who had been living with him in Erie since at least 1801, died at age 99 and was buried in Gospel Hill Cemetery.[53]

          The same year, 1833, Rees was appointed to the parsonage committee for the Wesleyville Methodist Church and was holding Sunday School classes at his home on “Rees Hill.[54] On May 8, 1833, one day before his 70th birthday, he applied for a veteran’s pension, giving his age as 69 years.

          On January 11, 1836, Ann Rees, the daughter of Thomas and Ann Pearson Rees died at age 21 years, 8 months, 44 days[55]. In 1840, Rees’ wife and Ann’s mother, “Anna”, died on June 20th  at age 71[56].

          In 1842, Helen Ewing, the niece Rees had adopted, married William A. Brown of Erie[57]. Thomas Rees died in May of 1848, when he was 85 years old.[58] His only heir was Helen Ewing Brown. The executor of the estate was W.A. Brown, Helen’s husband[59].


The William Browns


          The William A. Brown’s cut a big swath in Erie in the mid 1800’s. William A. Brown was the son of Robert, a surveyor, and Jane Brown who had come to Erie County in 1795, settling in Mill Creek near the head of Elk Creek[60]. Robert Brown was active in politics, serving as County Commissioner in 1817 to 1820[61]. The Brown’s ran the old stone hotel called the “American House” in Erie until 1829 when they sold the hotel to Joseph Moorhead. Brown also manned the tollgate for the Waterford Turnpike where it left the city.[62]

          William A. Brown was born in Erie County on March 20, 1803[63]. William A. Brown attended Greenwood’s first school in 1812, and in the Erie Academy in 1817. He ran a general store in Erie when he was 20, then went into partnership with his sister Sarah’s husband, Atty. George A. Elliott. Elliott had come to Erie and lived with the Brown’s for three years. He served as Prosecuting Attorney in 1819.

          William A. Brown then “worked a farm for many years”[64]. W.A. Brown served as a “township trustee” in 1834 when Harbor Creek was officially incorporated.[65] Apparently, when he was appointed, W. A. Brown was helping to run aging Thomas Rees’ farm.

          From 1853 to 1857, W. A. Brown was a director of the Erie City Bank[66]. He was secretary of the Erie Cemetery in 1850; his brother-in-law, George Elliott, was the President[67]., The Brown’s were active in the Episcopal Church. Brown served as City Councilor and served in the state legislature[68].

          After inheriting the Rees property, William A. and Helen Ewing Brown sold many pieces except the homestead. Samuel and Mary Ann Pearson Rice Brown owned the corner piece on northeast corner of present day Reese and Station Roads.[69] Mary Ann, possibly Thomas Rees’ niece by marriage was Helen’s relative through the Pearson connection. Eventually Phillip B. Raeder and his wife, Christina Schwingel Raeder, purchased the big house from Mrs. W.A. Brown after having rented it for twelve years[70].


The John Rice’s


          Even the father of the township, Thomas Rees, lived in the shadow of his mother-in-law! In 1820, H. Baldwin and wife (Henry Baldwin of Pittsburgh[71]) conveyed a large piece of property on the southwest corner of Cooper and Station Roads to Mary Pearson[72]. The Baldwin name appears in the Township Road Book on the description of Station Road.[73] Mary Pearson, the mother of Ann PEARSON Rees, in turn, deeded the land to Ann Rees, “her daughter,” in the 1830’s[74]. This mother of Ann Pearson would have been born about 1750. The Mary Pearson who married John Rice might have been Ann Pearson Rees’ sister.

          Throughout the Township Road Book, the name J. Rice appears along Reese Road. In 1833, his piece was the center section of the north side of Reese Road, 76 perches from the chestnut tree on Station Road across from the Gospel Hill School. A slight bend occurs in Reese Road there to the next minor turn, which was 74 perches from Rice’s line to a sugar sapling. In 1833, according to the road book, this was all woodland. On the 1865 map, Rice’s driveway strikes north of Reese Road, approximately where Freeman Road is, halfway down the hill.

          John Rice who married Mary Pearson was an able township citizen. He served as Road Commissioner for Harbor Creek Township in 1853 and 1854 and as pathmaster in 1870[75]. A ‘Parson Rice’ “who was especially well acquainted and trusted in the Gospel Hill neighborhood” was one of the most active and efficient conductors on the underground railroad in Erie County”.[76] A fictional story about the underground railroad published in 1886 described an “old pastor, Parson Rice, who resided at Wattsburg[77].Whether this is John Rice, Thomas Rees’ in-law, is not certain. Certainly J. Rice lived at Gospel Hill in the 1860’s.

          Mary Ann Pearson Rice, the only daughter of John and Mary Pearson Rice had been born on September 21, 1824[78], and according to one account [79]was raised in the house on the northeast corner of Reese [sic] and Station Road. That property was listed as owned by S. Brown on the 1865 map. On January 27, 1857, Mary Rice married Samuel H. Brown, son of George and Margaret Brewster Brown, a bricklayer who had come to Millcreek in 1803 [80].


The Sam Brown’s


          Samuel H. Brown, born on March 24, 1816, had learned bricklaying from his father. On March 19, 1858, he and Mary Ann Pearson Rice Brown, daughter of Mary Pearson and John Rice, gave birth to their only son, Rees R. Brown[81]. Rees Brown was probably named in memory of his great uncle, Thomas Rees. Samuel H. Brown and Mary Ann Brown were members of the Simpson M.E. Church. He was listed as a Republican in 1884. Rees Brown went to Iron City College where he graduated in 1877 as a bookkeeper. In 1880 he went into the boot and shoe business with John Gensheimer in Erie, owning Gensheimer and Brown[82]

          During the Civil War, Gensheimer had been in the tailoring business on the corner of Seventh and State Streets and provide fabric for uniforms for Company A of the Eighty-third regiment[83]. From 1872 to 1878, Gensheimer served as the Commissioner for the Erie Water Board.

          Samuel H. Brown was the executor of Helen Ewing Brown’s estate. In 1876 the corner piece of property was in the name of S. Brown. Mary Rice Brown died in 1904. The property went to her son, Rees R. Brown. Because of the name association of Rees Brown with Thomas Rees, old locals knew that Rees R. Brown was somehow related to Thomas but didn’t know the connection.

          Rees Brown and his wife, Margaret (Peggy) Brown, were also members of the Simpson M.E. Church. Occasionally they hosted Marie Stoltz and her sister, Louisa, to ‘English’ tea, complete with silver tea service and beautiful china[84] at the house on the corner of Reese and Station Roads.

          Local residents assumed that the old homestead on the corner of Reese and Station Roads was the original homestead[85]. Rees R. Brown, an alcoholic[86], died in 1923. His widow, Margaret E. Brown, and daughter, Jeanette, sold the remnants of the Rees estate to Katherine McDonnell and the Mack’s in 1929 and moved to California.[87].

          The old black “Brown” house[88] and its barn were torn down in the 1960’s and replaced with red ranch house now stands on the site. The barn foundation was under the area where the swimming pool of the red ranch house was located. It would have been this barn where “cross-burning” were alleged to have taken place by Ku Klux Klan members, a neighborhood legend which may have merit because of the history of the black community there.[89]



The Raeder Family


          Phillip Raeder was a native of Bavaria and had come to Erie with his father and his brothers and sisters in 1852. He married Christina Schwingel [Schwengel] on April 19, 1866. Christian Schwingel, Christina’s father, had come here from Buffalo and bought out Mr. Woelmer, the pioneer in the oilcloth industry[90]. Christina was born in 1835 in Buffalo and came with her parents when they moved to Erie. The oil cloth business was one of the few ‘cash crops’ in Erie, and after Mr. Schwingel’s death in 1864, his wealth was distributed among his children. Her $6,000 inheritance allowed Phillip and Christina to purchase the Reece [sic][91] place in 1888. The Raeder’s had rented the farm for twelve years[92]. John Miller[93] had the purchase occurring in the year 1867, but the farm is shown under the W.A. Brown name on both the 1865 and 1876 maps. Nelson’s 1896 biography of Phillip B. Raeder seems more accurate and logical.

          The Raeder’s raised four children: Louisa, Carl, George, and William. Louisa married William H. Frazier of Harbor Creek after they met while Bill Frazier helped build the big barn on the west side of Hannon Road for Raeder’s[94]. Bill Frazier was of Scottish ancestry. His grandfather had “come over on a cod fish boat on a working visa, then ran away from the boat.” The William H. Frazier’s lived on Clark Road in Judge Henry Clark’s old house early in the marriage, having four children: Earl, Carl, Marie, and Louisa. William Frazier served as Township Supervisor in 1923.[95]

          After Phillip B. Raeder died in on August 10, 1907, the Frazier’s moved to Hannon Road to live with “Grandmother Raeder”. Upon Christina’s death the farm was split between the four Raeder children. George was given the piece along Reese Road, ‘Uncle Willie’ got the north piece on the west side of Hannon Road, ‘Carl’ got the north piece on the east side of Hannon Road, and Louisa got the house and the south piece on the east side of the road. Marie married Carl Stoltz; Louisa married Ed Knipper. In a unique arrangement, the girls and their husbands shared the house and barns living compatibly together over fifty years.

Go to Rees' Pieces Part Two




[1] Everts, Ensign, and Everts, Combination Atlas Map of Erie County, Pa. (1876), Map of Harbor Creek Township

[2] Miller, John, A Twentieth Century History of Erie County, Pennsylvania, (1909), Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., Vol. 1, .

[3] Marie Frazier Stoltz, Personal Communication, April 11, 1994

[4] Gordon, Stephen, 1992, How to Complete the Ohio Historic Inventory, Ohio Historic Preservation Office, Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio, p. 125

[5] Jack, Walter, Jan. 11, 1959, Erie, PA Times-News.

[6] Marie Frazier Stoltz, Personal Communication, April 11, 1994

[7] Ibid

[8] Miller, 1909, Vol. II, p. 97

[9] Whitman, Benjamin, Nelson’s Biographical Dictionary of Erie County, (Erie: S.B. Nelson, 1896), Vol 1, p.  

[10] Nelson’s, 1896, Vol. 2, p. 803

[11] 1884, History of Erie County, p. 221

[12] Daughters of the American Revolution,  p. 64-65.

[13] Ibid. Pension S-7377.

[14] Nelson’s Biographical Dictionary and Historical Reference Book of Erie County, Vol. 1, p. 199.

[15] Ibid

[16] Reed, 1924, p. 263, Deposition of Thomas Rees, Esq.

[17] Ibid

[18] 1884, p. 871

[19] These would have been Mr. Rutledge and his son, on May 22, 1795. Reed, V. I, p. 268

[20] At $1 per acres: Capt. Strong in Reed, V. I., p. 268

[21] Ibid

[22] Reed, John Elmer, History of Erie County, Vol. I: 1924, p. 233

[23] Ibid, p. 266

[24] Reed, V. I., p. 268

[25] Nelson’s, 1896,  572

[26] Reed, p. 269

[27] Stoffa-Wieczorek, Judith, Thomas Rees and Some Early Settlers: Fall 1991, Journal of Erie Studies, Vol. 20, #2, pp. 3-19: Reed, p. 269

[28] Reed, p. 233

[29] Reed, p. 270

[30] Stoffa-Wieczorek, p. 9: Munger, p. 143

[31] Reed, p. 271

[32] Miller, V. I, p. 93

[33] Reed, V. I, p. 231

[34] Sanford, 1894, p. 77

[35] Sanford, 1894, p. 77-78

[36] 1884, p. 222

[37] 1884, p. 222

[38] 1876, p. 110

[39] 1884, p. 219

[40] Reed, V. I, p. 323

[41] 1884, p. 943

[42] 1801 Census, Town of Erie

[43] 1884, p. 255

[44] 1876, p. 20

[45] 1884,  p. 315

[46] 1884, p. 342

[47] Gospel Hill Cemetery gravestone

[48] Gospel Hill Cemetery gravestone

[49] 1885, p.,

[50] 1884, p. 345, 349; 1896, p. 218-219

[51] Harbor Creek Township Road Book, p. 23, 25

[52] Ibid, p. 37

[53]  Gospel Hill Cemetery gravestone; There must be something in that spring water – Marie Stoltz is 105 in 1999!

[54] 1884 History of Erie County

[55] Gospel Hill Cemetery: DAR records describe the grave of “Ann Rees, who died Jan. 11, 1837 aged 7 years, 8 months. Too young to have been a daughter of Thomas Rees, Esq., but was she a granddaughter, and if so was the obliterated stone a marker to a deceased son?” p. 65 This gravestone is Rees’ daughter and the reader of the stone for DAR missed the correct dates.

[56] The tombstone reads as quoted. The DAR record quotes the tombstone as reading June 16, 1840,      in the 72nd year of her age, p. 65

[57] 1884 History of Erie County

[58] Ibid Gospel Hill Cemetery

[59] Nelson’s ,1896 History of Erie County

[60] Ibid

[61] Reed V. I

[62] Reed, V. I, p. 330

[63] Nelson’s, 1896

[64] 1885, p. 696

[65] Nelson’s , 1896, 469.

[66] Miller, V. I, p. 731

[67] 1885 History of Erie County

[68] Ibid.

[69] 1876 Atlas

[70] 1885, p. 803

[71] Ibid.

[72] Stoffa-Wieczorek, Judith, Thomas Rees and Some Early Settlers: Fall 1991, Journal of Erie Studies, Vol. 20, #2, pp. 3-19; Harbor Creek Township Road Book, p. 31

[73] Harbor Creek Township Road Book, #16, p. 31

[74] Stoffa-Wieczorek, p. 31

[75] Harbor Creek Township Road Book, S-24 in the “new book”

[76] Miller, 1909, Vol. I, p. 314

[77] Johnson, H.U., 1885, Romances and Realities of the Underground Railroad, The Home Magazine, Erie, PA, Vol. VI., No. 8, p. 232

[78] 1885, p. 871

[79] Stoltz, Marie, Pers. Comm., April 111, 1994

[80] 1885, p.871; The history of the various Brown families in Erie County cause great confusion to the researchers. Stoffa-Wieczorek stated that Samuel H. Brown was the son of William A. Brown and Helen Ewing Brown, Rees’ only heir. p. 16.  A. The William Brown’s had no children. B. If that had been the case, Samuel H. Brown would have inherited the Rees estate. It appears that his wife was a niece by Rees’ marriage to Ann Pearson, but neither of the Samuel Brown’s would have been direct heirs.

[81] 1885, p. 871

[82] Ibid

[83] Miller, Vol. I, p. 673

[84] Marie Stoltz, Pers. Comm., March 9, 1994

[85] Brown, Gladys Renner, Pers. Comm., April, 1994

[86] Stoltz, Marie, Pers. Comm., April 11, 1994

[87] Anna Chambers Finegan, Pers. Comm., May 13, 1994

[88] Brown, Gladys Renner, Pers. Comm., April, 1994  (No relation to the Sam or Bill Brown’s)

[89] Marie Stoltz, Pers. Comm., March 9, 1994

[90] Miller, 1909, p. 714

[91] Nelson’s, 1896, p. 808

[92] 1884, p. 803

[93] Miller, 1909, p. 97

[94] Marie Stoltz, Pers. Comm., March 9, 1994

[95] American Agriculturist Farm Directory, 1918

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