History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties, Pennsylvania by J. Simpson Africa Philadelphia, PA: Louis H. Everts, 1883, pp. 228-237. Contributed by Mike Gifford.
CARBON, so named because of its abundant coal deposit, was erected into a township April 23, 1858. The territory which it includes was taken from the township of Tod, which it bounds to the north. Clay township lies east from it. Fulton and Bedford counties form its southwestern boundary, and Hopewell township bounds it on the northwest.
Topography. - The surface of the township is mountainous. In the eastern part three ranges of heights pursue a nearly parrallel course northeasterly and southwesterly. They are known as Sideling Hill, Wray's Hill, and Rocky Ridge. The northern part of the township is occupied by Broad Top Mountain, and is almost a wilderness.
Streams. - Sideling Hill Creek runs southwesterly between Wray's Hill and Sideling Hill. Trough Creek crosses the township in a northeasterly direction, along Wray's Hill and the eastern base of Rocky Ridge. Cook's Run rises on Broad Top Mountain, and runs southwesterly, to unite near Dudley with a small stream from the south and form Shoup's Run, which pursues a tortuous course through the southwestern part of the township, and debouches into Raystown Branch in Hopewell Township. Miller's Run, Sugar Camp Run, and another stream in the western part of the township unite with Shoup's Run in its course.
Highways. - The most important highways in the township are one that passes from New Grenada, in Fulton County, to Robertsdale and to Broad Top City, down the valley of Shoup's Run to Saxton, in Bedford County; another from Well's Tannery, in Fulton County, that passes northeasterly through Broad Top City and into Tod Township; and two road that lead southerly from Dudley and Coalmont respectively.
The Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad enters the township at its southwestern corner, and follows the valley of Shoup's Run to a point two miles above Dudley. The East Broad Top Railroad follows the valley of Trough Creek from the northeastern boundary of the township to Robertsdale. The coal-mines in the township are opened along the valleys of Shoup's Run and Trough Creek, where the railroads afford transportation for their products. The other portions of the township are very sparsely settled. There are two saw-mills remaining in the township, one on Sideling Hill Creek, and the other on Shoup's Run. Both are, like most of the saw-mills in this region, passing to decay.
The township has three boroughs, those of Coalmont, Broad Top City, and Dudley, and several villages, the largest of which are Robertsdale and Barnet. Its four post-offices are Coalmont, Dudley, Broad Top City, and Robertsdale.
Pioneers. - Anthony Cook, the founder of the Cook family in the southern part of Huntingdon County, first settled at what is now Broad Top City. The year of his coming cannot be learned with certainty, but he was one of the earliest settlers. He took up large tracts of land there, which afterwards became the property of his children. His wife was Sarah Elder; his sons were Isaac, Jesse, William, and John; and his daughters were Sarah (Mrs. Hudson) and Nancy (Mrs. J. W. Edwards). Of the sons, Jesse and William went West, Isaac and John lived and died on Broad Top.
Isaac Cook's children were Isaac, who married Rachel McClain, Margaret (Mrs. Benson), Nancy (Mrs. James McClain), and Sarah (Mrs. John Maston).
The children of Isaac, Jr. reside in Tod Township. They are Samuel Washington, James Allison, William McClain, O. E., and Solomon.
Of the descendants of John, only Mrs. Edward Horton and Mrs. Charles Horton remain in Huntingdon County.
Among the other pioneers of Carbon were Walter Clark, Philip Barnet and his sons Christian and Philip, Henry Miler, James Crawford, Henry Houpt, Henry Horton, Isaac Miles, William Houck, John White, and _____ Alloway. Most of these came from Maryland at a very early day, and but few of their descendants remain in the township. They were farmers, and when mining land rose in price they sold their farms and removed elsewhere.
Tradition says that a few came here during the Revolution, and that some of these were Tory refugees, who had been guilty of mixing ground glass with the flour that was purchased for the American Army at Valley Forge. This was then supposed by them to be far enough away from the "borders of civilization" to insure them safety from the vengeance of those whom they had sought to destroy.
There were in the township of Carbon about twenty farms, and the owners and occupants of these lived comfortably in the midst of surroundings that would now be considered hardly tolerable. They raised and manufactured nearly all the necessaries of life, and were able to indulge in many of what were then regarded as luxuries. Their superfluous produce was drawn to market on wagons or sleighs, often as far as Chambersburg or Hagerstown, and the articles of merchandise which they required were few. The so called refinements of modern times had not multiplied their wants beyond their ability to supply them, and what would now be regarded as privations were not then felt as such. They followed the "noiseless tenor of their way" livd on the results of their honest toil, were contented and happy.
Coal-Mines. - The Old Barnet Mine, at the village of Barnet, was opened in 1856 by Orbison, Dorris, Burroughs & Co., and was worked by them and their lessees during about twenty years, when operations ceased. In the spring of 1882 work was recommenced by the present lessees, P. Madigan & Sons. At first the Barnet vein was worked, but afterward a tunnel was driven to the Cook Vein, which is the one now operated. This vein has a thickness of two and one-half feet, and the heading extends three hundred yards. The capacity of the mine is forty tons daily. The lessees are the superintendents.
The Fisher Mine, on the railroad about one mile below Broad Top City, was opened previous to the building of the railroad. It was worked by Fisher & Miller from 1870 till 1880, when work was suspended in it during a year. In January 1881, the present lessees, Reed Brothers, came in possession. It is a drift, opening a quarter of a mile from the railroad, to which a tramway leads. The heading extends into the Barnet vein, which is here two and one-half to four feet in thickness, four hundred and fifty yards. Thirty hands are employed, and the daily output is sixty tons. W. Scott Reed is the superintendent.
The same firm is opening a mine on the Benedict property, about one-fourth of a mile below the borough of Dudley. The Barnet vein, which here has a thickness of four feet, has been reached through a tunnel of four hundred yards, and preparations for shipping coal are in progress. The daily capacity of this mine will be three hundred tons. This work is under W. Scott Reed's superintendence.
The Clift Mine, about one-half mile above Prospect Mine, was opened in 1858 by the Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad Company, and was operated by that company during three years. It was then abandoned, and was not again worked till March, 1882, when it was leased by W. H. Sweet & Co., by whom it is now operated. Like all mines in this part of Carbon it is a drift, and the heading extends about one-fourth of a mile. Eighteen hands are employed at this mine, and the daily output is fifty tons. The drift opens within a few yards of the railroad. What is known as the Barnet vein is worked. Operations are superintended by Mr. Sweet in person.
The following is a brief biography of Mr. Sweet, senior member of the firm of W. H. Sweet &. Co.:
William H. Sweet was born in Brownsville, Fayette Co., PA on October 10, 1847. His father, John Sweet, was an Englishman by birth and a miner by occupation, having worked for several years in the bituminous coal-fields of England previous to his coming to America and engaging in the bituminous coal-fields of Fayette County, where the subject of this sketch was born. Like a large majority of miners, Mr. Sweet's earnings were barely sufficient for the support of his large family, and William, at the tender age of seven years, was compelled to go into the mines to assist in laborious task better fitted to stronger arms. Here young Sweet learned the first lessons of coal-mining, which in after-years has been of great benefit to him in the prosecution of his business as a miner and coal operator. To add to his already heavy burden, at the age of nine years his father died, leaving him as the main support of his widowed mother and her family.
As his boyhood arms waxed stronger and stronger his mind began to develop, and his young ambition to become a man among men has been freely realized. For the last twenty years he has been a resident of Dudley and vicinity, in Huntingdon County, and in 1878 he commenced mining and operating in coal on his own account.
He is also engaged in the mercantile business in connection with his mines. In the early part of 1880 he associated himself in the mining and mercantile business Mr. George W. R. Swoope, of Huntingdon, under the firm-name of W. H. Sweet & Co., who are still doing business at Dudley, on the line of Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad.
In October 1881, work was commenced by Mr. Sweet on "Defiance Tunnel" on Six-Mile Run, just over the line in Bradford County, which resulted in January 18, 1883 in striking one of the richest veins of coal known in the Broad Top coal-fields.
To Mr. Sweet, more than any other, is due the tribute of success in the vicinity of Dudley. From the wilderness of wood and brush he caused to be presented cleared fields, dotted here and there with more than twenty homes of happiness and comfort. His progressive spirit extends to all the section of country around his mines, and in the furtherance of education he has given unstinted aid, and that without ostentation or vanity, knowing full well its value. He is truly a self-made man, and all that such a one should reap in the harvest of universal regard will doubtless be his.
July 4, 1870, Mr. Sweet married Miss Sarah A., daughter of Mr. Jonathan Barnet, one of the pioneers of Huntingdon County. Their children are Jesse Alvin, born March 22, 1871; Elsie Jane, November 2, 1872; Mary Ellen, March 30, 1874; James Herbert, August 25, 1876; and Cloyd Edgar, March 7, 1879.
The Ocean Mine, about one-half mile east from Dudley, was opened in 1879, by W. H. Sweet & Co., in the Barnet vein. It is a drift, the opening of which is near the railroad, so that cars are loaded as the coal is taken from the mine. The heading extends two thousand feet. The average thickness of the vein here is thirty-two inches, Fifty-eight hands are employed, and the daily capacity is one hundred and twenty-five tons.
Prospect Mine, on the railroad, one mile above Coalmont, was opened in 1857 by the Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad Company, and was first operated by R. B. Wigton as lessee. The first superintendent was John Whitney. It was subsequently operated by the railroad company, but in 1863, Robert Hare Powel purchased the mine, and operated it for a short time, then abandoned it. In 1881 he recommenced operations here, and the mine has been steadily worked since that time.
This, like the other mines in Carbon Township, is a drift, and is in the lower seam, which has a thickness of from three to four feet. A heading into this seam has been driven nearly half a mile, and the coal is brought out in cars drawn by mules. Twenty-five hands are employed in this mine, and the daily output is forty tons. The superintendent is John Palmer.
Another drift was opened by Mr. Powel near the first, but forty or fifty feet higher, and located in the upper or Barnet vein. This vein has a thickness here of four to six feet, and this is considered the best coal property in the region. This drift extends about half a mile. It is not at present worked, but is intended, in connection with the Prospect drift, to furnish coke for the extensive furnace of Mr. Powel, at Saxton. The coal will be conveyed in cars from the mouth of the drift over a tramway and down an inclined plane to the railroad, where it will be dumped in railroad cars or taken over a side track to the coke-ovens.
Coke-Ovens. - Near the mouth of this drift Mr. Powell has erected a set of coke-ovens. This set consists of one hundred and five ovens, each of which is eighteen feet in length by six feet height and eighteen inches wide. They are of the Belgian pattern, built of fire-brick from Mr. Powel's brick yard in Clearfield County. The length of the set is three hundred and forty feet. Each oven is charged with coal from above, through two apertures in the arehed roof, from cars which pass over a track from the platform a short distance from the mouth of the drift.
On one side of the set of ovens is platform to receive the coke that is pushed from the ovens, and alongside of this runs a branch railroad track at such a grade below the platform that the coke can be conveniently loaded into cars. On the other side of the set, or rather at the other ends of the ovens, is a track eighteen feet in width on which runs a "pusher" or machine for forcing the coke from the ovens. This pusher is worked by an engine of thirty horsepower, which moves along the track from oven to oven and forces out the contents of each in about one minute. This, if done by a man, would require four hours. The capacity of these ovens is one hundred tons of coke per day. Forty-eight hours are required for converting each charge of coal to coke, and alternate ovens are charged and emptied each day, so that when in full operation the ovens are not allowed to cool, but are at once charged on being emptied.
At these ovens twenty-five men are employed, though many more would be
required but for the convenient location and excellent arrangement of the
ovens and the improved labor-saving machinery used. Charles Bradley is the
superintendent of these ovens.
Cook Vein Colliery. - In 1859, George Mears came to what is now Broad Top City and opened a mine then known as the Broad Top Colliery. This was abandoned about six years since. He opened several other mines, one of which, Carbon Colliery, is still worked. He died in 1879, and was succeeded in the business by his sons, J. F., George A., C. A. H., and Havery J. F. Mears, who operate under the firm-name of Mears Brothers. This firm in 1880 reopened the Cook Vein Colliery within the limits of Broad Top City borough. This colliery was first opened in 1860 by Blair & Port, and was abandoned when the heading reached a roll in the vein. It is a drift, as its name indicates, in the Cook vein, which here has a thickness of five feet of coal, besides the intervening stratum of slate. The heading extends six hundred yards in this vein. Sixty men are employed, and the daily output is one hundred and seventy-five tons. Harvey J. F. Mears is superintendent.
Carbon Colliery, also within the borough of Broad Top City, was opened in 1872, by the elder Mears, and it is still operated by his sons. The mouth of the drift is seven hundred yards from the railroad, which is reached by a tramway and a self-acting plane. This mine is nearly worked out, and will soon be abandoned.
Mears Brothers are opening a new mine one thousand yards west from the opening of the Carbon Colliery. A tunnel has been driven twenty-five yards, and the mine will soon be in operation. The Cook Vein will be worked. H. J. F. Mears is the superintendent of this work. The following is a brief sketch of J. F. Mears, of the firm of Mears Brothers, coal operators.
Dr. George Mears, the father of the subject of this sketch, was at one time engaged in the coal business in Luzerne district, and about the year 1857 he went to Broad Top, where he was identified with the coal operations of that region, in connection with the mercantile business, for many years, and up to the time of his death, which occurred in July of 1879. He was a man of great integrity, genial disposition, mild and pleasant address, and was highly respected by all who knew him.
Jacob Fisher Mears, the eldest of six sons, was born April 29, 1844; his educational advantages were limited. At the age of fifteen years he began to doing various kinds of work about the coal-mines of Broad Top. When he was eighteen years of age he took charge of the books, and superintended the work about the mines. After his father's death he became sole proprietor of the Carbon and Cook Vein Collieries, also the mercantile business. In 1881 he have his brothers an interest in the business.
On April 25, 1869 Mr. Mears married Miss Malissa A., daughter of Paul Ammerman, Esq., of Broad Top City. They have four children, daughters - Maud F., Ada M., Clara D., and Bertha Virginia. Mr. Mears is a gentleman possessed of rare business qualities, strict integrity, and great force of character; is social and generous, and commands the respect of every one.
The firm of Mears Brothers continues to do an extensive business in mining and shipping coal, and in general merchandise.
Mooredale Mine was first opened one mile above Dudley, by Paul Ammerman, and worked by him till 1862, when a dip below the water-level was reached, and the mine was abandoned. In 1876, Reakert, Brother & Co. leased the mine, and drove a tunnel through the strata about one hundred yards, till the vein (the Fulton, here called the Cook) was reached again. In 1877 they commenced the shipment of coal, and the mine has been steadily worked since that time. The heading extends fourteen hundred yards, and the seam has an average thickness of four feet. It is divided by a stratum of rock from ten to eighteen inches in thickness, making the aggregate thickness between five and six feet. The mouth of the drift is fifty yards from the railroad. Twenty hands are employed, and the daily production is sixty tons. David E. Conrad is the superintendent.
Robertsdale Collieries. - These collieries, which are owned and operated by the Rockhill Iron and Coal Company, are at Robertsdale, on Trough Creek, in the eastern part of the township of Carbon. They consist of three drifts and a shaft. The first drift was opened about fifty years since, and was operated only to a limited extent.
In 1873 the Rockhill Iron and Coal Company, which had purchased a large
tract of land here, commenced operations in this and two other drifts. The
East Broad Top Railroad was at the same time completed to this place,
affording an outlet for the coal mined. These mines have been worked since
that time without a suspension. Two hundred fifty hands are employed in
these mines, and the average monthly output of coal is twelve thousand
tons. The company contemplate sinking another shaft, and otherwise
increasing its facilities for mining coal here to the amount of
twenty-five thousand tons per month. James Finley is the superintendent,
and Henry R. Shearer the company's clerk here.
Villages. - ROBERTSDALE is a village that exists only by reason of the existence of the mines. The houses of which it consists are all owned by the Rockhill Iron and Coal Company, and occupied by their employees. These houses are seventy in number, and are capable of accommodating one hundred and forty families. The population of the village is seven hundred. There is one store here, kept for the accommodation of the miners, and only such shops as their wants necessitate. There are here four church organizations, though there is no church edifice.* These churches are of the Roman Catholic, Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Church of God denominations. None of these have resident pastors. Of the miners residing here a majority are Welsh, though English, Scotch, Irish, French, and Americans are among them.
* A Presbyterian Church has since been erected and dedicated.
MINERSVILLE is located near the Prospect and Clift Mines. It consists of about twenty houses erected by Mr. Powel for the miners and employees of the mines. Here, also, Mr. Powel has a store, and a shop for the repair of mining cars and tools.
POWELTON lies farther up the mountain, above the opening of these mines, and at the edge of a plateau, and is owned by Mr. Powel, after whom it is named. It consists wholly of miners' houses, of which there are between thirty and forty. A school-house has been erected there by Mr. Powel for the miners' children. The following brief sketch of Mr. Powel's life is herewith given:
The man to whom Powelton owes its name and development is Robert Hare Powel, son of John Hare and Julia de Veaux Powel, who was born on the 16th of October, 1826, at his father's residence, Powelton, West Philadelphia. During his early life he was often taken to Europe by his parents, and was principally educated in France and England. In 1848 he left his house and drove from Philadelphia to Trough Creek Valley, Huntingdon Co., to examine and direct the estate owned by his father. Upon this property he resided from 1848 to 1855, and in the interim was married to Amy Smedley Bradley, daughter of John Bradley of Chester County. During his sojourn on the above property, Mr. Powel devoted himself to agricultural pursuits, and especially in rearing improved livestock, with which he had great success. He displayed them at various State exhibitions and received many premiums for their superiority, as shown by the records of the State Agricultural Society. The sheep and cattle were sent abroad in various directions, and it is thought much of the improvement now discernible in the breed of animals in Central Pennsylvania has resulted from his exertions. While occupied as a farmer he acted as a farmer, and was willing to assume the hardships of his position; often he, with his assistants, drove his own cattle and sheep to the Philadelphia market, and when he had completed the duties of his errand went to his home, corner of Nineteenth and Walnut Streets, and was always affectionately received by a kind father, who has long since passed away. In 1854 or thereabouts the Broad Top Railroad was projected. He then conceived the idea of entering into coal operations. With a view to this end he exchanged a portion of his land in Trough Creek Valley (which had then been given him by his father) for the coal estate of Henry Miller, on Shoup's Run. The balance of his farm property he disposed of to Messrs. Isaac Cook and John Griffith. With the funds realized from these sales he entered into the coal business.
Much exertion was required in the introduction of this new fuel, none of it having previously reached tide-water. Carrying out his old motto, "that no one should be ashamed of an honorable occupation," he bought a horse and phaeton, and with the aid of two or three peach baskets, drove from city to city, determined to impress upon the manufacturers the utility of his product. At last he accomplished his end by inducing C. L. Bailey & Brother of Harrisburg to by one car-load, and persuading at the same time C. E. Pennock & Co. and Brooks & Brother to send their cars to his works to obtain samples of this fuel.
For several years he carried on successfully the sale of Broad Top coal. In 1861 the Tyrone and Clearfield Railroad was completed, and Mr. Powel became conscious that it was important for him, occupying as he then did the position of the largest semi-bituminous coal shipper in the State, to secure mineral lands along that road. This he did by the purchase of several hundred acres at a point which was subsequently named "Powelton." About 1870 he secured the control of a large body of land in Clearfield County. This he highly improved, and introduced the first underground engine in that region. This estate is now operated under the firm-name of Robert Hare Powel & Co., which, beside himself, is composed of his brother-in-law, John C. Bradley, and his son, Robert Hare Powel, Jr. Shortly before the purchase in Clearfield County, Mr. Powel bought a property on the Youghiogheny River, the coal from which passes over the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and is shipped from Baltimore. It may be stated in this connection that the traffic of Robert Hare Powel & Co. during the past year has reached almost eight hundred thousand tons, and would have exceeded that amount had it not been for the threatened strike during the early portion of the year.
Shortly after the introduction of Clearfield coal, Mr. Powel discovered that the demand for his Broad Top output gradually diminished; then he saw the necessity of guarding his interests in that region, and to do so purchased at various times a large extent of ore territory on and adjacent to Tussey Mountain, Huntingdon and Bedford Counties. Seeing clearly the future value of this estate, in connection with his Broad Top lands, he invested, year after year, much of his earnings in securing the necessary quantity of mineral to justify the erection of a blast furnace.
In 1879, entertaining the idea that he had acquired all that was essential for the success of this enterprise, he commenced its construction and the development of the iron ores.
On the fifty-sixth anniversary of his birthday, Powelton Furnace (which was built with the most improved appliances) was put into blast amid the congratulations of several hundred people who had voluntarily assembled to witness the sight. Since that time this furnace has been remarkably successful, and is now producing from sixty-five to seventy tons of coke metal per day, of a quality unsurpassed by and produced in this country. This furnace is now managed by E. J. Bird, an English gentleman of great distinction, who was years ago commissioned by Queen Victoria and the Spanish government to erect furnaces within their respective realms.
De Veaux Powel, the second son of Mr. Powel, controls the executive department of this establishment, and displays an ability which warrants its future success, when his father shall no longer be here to guide his head or hand.
Mr. Powel, since the age of twenty years, has devoted himself to the development of industrial enterprises.
The furnace plant and its connections, it is stated, will give employment to about eight hundred men. When this is taken into consideration, with the hundreds who are engaged in the development of his coal interests, an adequate conception may be formed of his efforts in the development of minerals and in the sustenance of the poorer class. It is asserted by one who has been in the employ of Mr. Powel for many years that he has contributed to the support annually of five thousand people for the past twenty-five years. This assertion was made before the furnace plant was constructed, which must necessarily largely augment this number. Mr. Powel has been admirably successful in the management of his men, who manifest great respect for him. For many years not one strike has originated at his colleries, but the men connected therewith have on almost every occasion, during such difficulty continued to work for him until compelled by outside pressure to abandon their posts.
Mr. Powel has five children. His eldest bears the name of his mother, Julia de Veaux, and is married to S. W. M. Peters, the son of Richard Peters, grandson of Judge Peters of Philadelphia; his eldest son has his own name; his second daughter is named after his sister and wife, Amy Ida Powel; De Veaux Powel is the next in age, and is the namesake of his great-grandfather, General De Veaux, who came to this country, settled in South Carolina, and ultimately moved to the banks of the Hudson River, where he built for himself an elegant mansion.
Mr. Powel's youngest son is now about eighteen years of age, and is at present studying chemistry and mining engineering in order to fit himselft for his future position in the coal business. This young man has the name of Henry Baring, which was given him to perpetuate the name and memory of his uncle, as well as of the late Lord Ashburton, who married a relative of the family.
Mr. Powel possesses great force of character, and is loved by his friends and respected by his enemies, as well as being a living example of the fact that a perfectly successful business can be conducted on strictly honorable principles.
CRAWFORD, which took its name from the old settler who owned the land there, is on the opposite side of Shoup's Run from Minersville, and farther down the stream. It consists of some fifteen houses, a portion of which are the original log buildings, and many of these are passing rapidly to decay.
BARNET, so named after the former owner of the land here, is a mining village, which commenced at the time operations were begun in the old Barnet mine, near Dudley. During the prosperous times between 1860 and 1870 this village grew till it came to contain about forty houses. Of these many were vacant during the financial depression between 1870 and 1880. In addition to the dwelling-houses now here there is one store.
COOKSTON, a hamlet of fifteen miners' houses, is a mile above Dudley. It was named from Jesse Cook, an owner of coal land here.
The population of the township in 1860 was 1,511; in 1870 (including Broad Top City), 1,883; and in 1880, exclusive of the boroughs, 1,393.
Besides the borough schools the township has nine public schools ,which
were kept during five months in 1881. The number of pupils instructed in
these schools during that year was four hundred and sixteen.
Cemeteries. - There are cemeteries in Carbon at Coalmont, Barnet, Dudley, and Broad Top City. None of these are incorporated; they are simply cemeteries by dedication.
Civil List. [presented here in table format, not in the format shown in Africa's book].
Boroughs in Carbon. - BOROUGH OF COALMONT. - In 1842 no house stood within the present limits of the borough of Coalmont. A camp-meeting ground at that time occupied a portion of the borough. The land was owned by John Berkstresser and David E. Brode. The house was built in the summer of 1843 by Mr. Brode. It was a log house, and it now constitutes a part of the residence of Andrew H. Hickes, near Shoup's Run. No other house was built till 1854, when another log dwelling was erected by John J. Hamilton, and two frame houses by John and Thomas White. Work on the Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad, which was then commenced, brought thither many workman and settlers, who came to labor on the railroad and in the mines which then were opened. Between 1854 and 1858 most of the houses in the village were erected. The time of greatest prosperity here was from 1862-1865. At that time a New York company was constructing a branch railroad and opening new mines here, and these operations made business very brisk. The village then had three hotels and three mercantile establishments, all of which did a thriving business.
The hotels were built and kept, one by Ezekial White, one by Thomas
Fagan, and one, the largest of the three, was built by William P. Schell,
and first kept by Frank Reamer. The stores were first kept by Evans
Brothers & Co., Ezekial White, and Berkstresser and Moore. Samuel G.
Miller was the first blacksmith who carried on a shop here, and Ezekial
White was the pioneer shoemaker. A saw-mill was erected in 1856 by John
Hamilton. The machinery for this mill was a few years later removed to a
locality in Fulton County. The people who came here were miners or those
engaged in business that was subservient to the mining interest, and the
borough was prosperous in proportion to the activity and extent of mining
operations here. From 1864 to 1874 the place maintained its status without
much change. The population during that period was about four hundred. The
financial crash that followed was disastrous in its effects on this
borough, and in 1876-1877 nearly one-half of the houses were without in
habitants. Although the borough has to some extent recovered from this
depression, it has not reached its former prosperous condition. No hotel
is now kept here, and only one store and a grocery. The population in 1880
was one hundred and seventy-one.
Incorporation. - On the 10th of August, 1864, a petition was presented to the judges of the Court of Quarter Sessions, praying for the incorporation of the village of Coalmont as a borough, in accordance with the acts of Assembly in such cases made and provided. The petition set forth, among other statements, that the number of inhabitants within the limits of the proposed borough was three hundred and twenty-one. It was signed by Levi Evans and twenty-six other freeholders in the village.
On the 15th of the same month a remonstrance against such incorporation was filed, signed by J. Brooks and eight other citizens and freeholders of the village. It set forth that a borough government would necessitate increased burdens of taxation, which the inhabitants were illy able to sustain.
The grand jury reported favorably on this petition, and on the 22nd of November, 1864, the court by a decree constituted the village of Coalmont a borough, and a separate election and school district.
The boundaries were described as follows:
"Beginning at a post on the northeast corner of the proposed borough, on the Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad; thence south seventy-three degrees west eighty-six perches to a post at the head of the curve; thence west forty perches to a post at Red Rock; thence north sixty-seven degrees west fifteen perches to a post; thence north twenty-six degrees west sixty-four perches to a white-oak; thence south sixty degrees west thirty-three perches to a poplar; thence south twenty-three degrees east one hundred and twenty-eight perches to stones; thence north eighty-three degrees east eighteen perches to a pink-oak; thence north twenty-six degrees east sixty perches to a red-oak; thence north sixty degrees east eighty-two perches to a white-oak; thence north thirty degrees west twenty-four perches to the place of beginning."
Civil List. - The burgesses have been as follows:
1865, J. S. Berkstresser; 1866, - - ; 1867, Jacob Haffly; 1868, Paul Woner; 1869, Samuel Brooks; 1870, Samuel Brooks; 1871, - - ; 1872, Samuel Brooks; 1873, G. Reisterer; 1874, J. A. Hickes; 1875, Thomas Thompson; 1876, L. Hughes; 1877, G. Reisterer; 1878, John A. Hickes; 1879, G. Reisterer; 1880, Silas Hess; 1881, Silas Hess.
1865, John H. Benford, Thomas Richards, John Roland, L. G. Dom, Jacob Hafflins; 1866, - - ; 1867, Richard Owen, Thomas Richards, John H. Benford, L. Hughes, Owen Fagan; 1868, G. A. Heaton, Richard Owens, John Richard, John Cypher, Davids Elsrode; 1869, Henry S. Isenberg, A. Estep, Andrew Hicks, C. F. Bradly, Richard Owen; 1870, - - ; 1871, J. J. Wighaman, Thomas Thompson, G. A. Heaton, H. S. Isenberg; 1872, J. A. Hickes, G. W. Stuller, James Collins; 1873, J. A. Hickes, G. A. Heaton, G. W. Stuller, Thomas Thompson, Richard Owens; 1874, G. A. Heaton, George Wighaman, J. W. Lytle, L. Hughes, Thomas Wilson; 1875, J. G. Reister, George Wighaman, R. Owens, J. N. Barnett; 1876, George B. Kelly, J. G. Reister, G. W. Taylor, John Hamilton, W. H. Barnett; 1877, Silas Hess, A. Hickes, J. G. Reister, L. Hughes, George Wighaman; 1878, Samuel Brooks, Silas Hess, J. W. Barnet, Abraham Brode, Thomas Wilson; 1879, Samuel Brooks, J. G. Reister, J. W. Barnet, W. S. Hamilton, Amos Hess; 1880, J. F. Reed, W. Keith, J. G. Reister, W. S. Hamilton, Amos Hess, J. W. Lytle; 1881, J. F. Reice, James Thompson, J. Hess, J. G. Reister, Samuel Hess.
1865, James Edwards; 1866, John H. Herbert; 1867, John H. Herbert; 1868, G. Wighaman, H. S. Isenberg (high); 1869, George Wighaman; 1870, George Megahan; 1871, George Megahan; 1872, G. Wighaman; 1873, G. Wighaman; 1874, J. J. Wighaman; 1875, George Wighaman, F. P. Hamilton (high); 1876, Thomas Wilson, G. W. Taylor (high); 1877, James Thompson; 1878, L. W. Flanagan; 1879, Henry C. Estep; 1880, George Struble; 1881, Henry Brode, F. P. Hamilton (high).
1865, Charles T. Bradley, Dr. C. W. Moore, Thomas Hill, Levi Evans, A. Estep, Thomas Thompson; 1866, John Roller, David Elsrode; 1867, John H. Benford, Richard Owen; 1868, Arthur Estep, Charles H. Reed, G. Reisterer; 1869, J. H. Benford, David Elsrode, George A. Heaton; 1870, - -; 1871, - - ; 1872, George Hamilton, R. Reister, F. Flegal; 1873, Richard Owens, Paul Wonn, Samuel Brooks, C. A. Heaton; 1874, Samuel Sutherland, J. M. Barrett; 1875, J. M. Shanefelter, Richard Owens, Andrew Hickes; 1876, A. H. Hickes, R. H. Crum, H. C. Estep, J. F. Reed; 1877, J. W. Barnett, L. F. Flanagan, T. Wilson; 1878, J. A. Hickes, James Thompson; 1879, G. Reister, J. F. Reed, Silas Hess, George Struble, W. S. Hamilton; 1880, J. F. Hamilton, George Gillespie; 1881, James Thompson, H. Brode.
Methodist Episcopal Church. - By reason of the death and removal of the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Coalmont who were active in early times, the history of the denomination here prior to 1860 cannot be learned.
At that time a society existed here, and regular services were held. The denomination was prosperous till the time of the panic, about 1874, when, by reason of the removal of many of the active members, and the financial embarrassments of that period, it declined, and during several years no services were held here.
In the autumn of 1881 the society was reorganized with ten members, and worship has been regularly attended since that time. The Methodists never erected a house of worship here. Formerly school-houses were used for that purpose, but Odd Fellows Hall has been the place of meeting in more recent years.
The clergymen in charge of the circuit of which this society is a part are Revs. Piper and Lloyd.
Church of God in Coalmont. - A society of this denomination, sometimes called from their Winebrennarians, has existed in Liberty township, Bedford County for many years. In August, 1879, a society was organized in the borough of Coalmont, the constituent members of which were Daniel Abbott, elder; John A. Hickes, deacon; Samuel Graffius, W. S. Hamilton, George Donaldson, Mrs. Samuel Donaldson, Mrs. Samuel Graffius, Mrs. Johan A. Hickes, Mrs. Amos Davison, Miss Emma Creppinger, and Miss Belle Kriger.
The society has from its organization worshiped in Odd Fellows' Hall. The pastors have been Revs. S. B. Howard, Simon Flegal, and the present incumbent of the position, D. C. Jackson.
The public school in Coalmont was kept five months in 1881, and was attended by forty-nine scholars.
Coalmont Lodge, No. 561, I.O.O.F. - This lodge was instituted March 6, 1860, with the following charter members: Addison Moore, N.G.; Paul Wonn, V.G.; Levi Evans, S.; Jacob S. Berkstresser, Asst. S.; James Dunn, T.; William Graham, Andrew Patrick, Ezekial White, Gervas Reisterer, John L. William, Michael McCabe, John Hamilton, Nathan White, Samuel G. Miller, Silas White, Edmund A. Jockler, John A. Osborn, Charles A. McCalip, Henry Nicodemus, and Joseph S. Reed.
The lodge first met in what was known as the Hamilton building, near Shoup's Run. In 1862 a brick building called Odd Fellows' Hall was erected on Schell Street. This building has a basement of stone and two stories of brick. In the upper story is the lodge-room, and the floor above the basement is used for church and Sunday-school purposes.
The present officers are John Sweet, N.G.; John Morgan, V.G.; John A. Hickes, T.; John S. Haffly, S.; and E. E. Poorman, Asst. S.
BOROUGH OF DUDLEY. - In 1859 what is now Dudley borough commenced as a village. At that time the land on which it stands belonged to L. T. Wattson, Orbison, Dorris & Co., and the Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad Company. The completion of the railroad to this point gave to mining an impetus which resulted in the springing up of a village here. It was named Dudley, after a place of that name in England. It reached its greatest growth about 1864, after which time it slightly diminished in population until 1882, when an increase commenced.
Incorporation. - In the summer of 1876 William Brown and thirty-nine other freeholders of the village petitioned the court for a borough charter. The application was approved by the grand jury, and on the 13th of November in that year the court decreed that the town be incorporated as a borough, and constituted a separate election and school district. The boundaries are as follows
The area thus included is 173.35 acres.
The burgesses have been William Brown in 1876; John Palmer in 1878; William Stinson in 1879; Michael Gorman in 1880; Ephraim Mears in 1881; and William Brown in 1882.
The borough contains thirty-five dwellings, and has two hotels, three stores, two millnery establishments, a tin shop, two blacksmith shops, and a railroad depot. It is the passenger terminus of the Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad. Its population in 1880 was two hundred and three. Its public school was sustained during six months in the year 1881, and the whole number of pupils was forty-five.
Churches in Dudley. - Up to 1855 no church organization existed in the vicinity of Dudley. In that year John Palmer came here and first opened a Sunday school in a school-house at Crawford. From this house religious services were excluded by the school directors, and afterwards services were held in the railroad depot at Dudley. The efforts thus put forth bore fruit, and in 1866 Mr. Palmer and John Whitehead resolved to inaugurate measures for the erection of a church. To aid in this undertaking the coal operators in this vicinity contributed coal, which Huntingdon and Broad Top and the Pennsylvania Railroad Companies carried to Philadelphia free of charge. Of these operators Wood & Bacon contributed one hundred tons; Dr. George Mears, twenty tons; Reakert & Brothers, twenty tons; Newton Sheets & Co., twenty tons; Orbison, Dorris & Burroughs, twenty tons, and other whose names are not recalled, till the amount reached two hundred and fifty tons. In addition to these donations, L. T. Watson contributed the site for the church and three lots, which sold for one hundred dollars; R. B. Wigton, fifty dollars; and R. H. Powel, one hundred dollars in cash. Thus the church was built, and was dedicated as a non-sectarian house of worship. As such is has since been used by different denominations with unbroken harmony. The Methodist Protestant and Methodist Episcopal denominations, both of which have church organizations here, have principally occupied it.
The Union Sunday School, which was organized by Mr. Palmer twenty-seven years since in an orchard, is continued in this church, and its organization has never been suspended. Of this school Mr. Palmer was the superintendent during twenty-three years. The present superintendent is William H. Sweet.
Catholic Church. - The first Catholic services in the vicinity of Dudley were held in 1855 by Rev. Father Hayden, from Stonerstown. Mass was first celebrated in a log house on Dudley Hill. Father Hayden was succeeded by Rev. P. M. Doyle, who became a resident pastor here in 1856. He erected a small church building in Barnet. Rev. Peter Hughes succeeded him in 1857. He enlarged the church, and continued his ministrations during a year and a half. Father Doyle returned in the autumn of 1858, and remained till the autumn of 1861, when Father Hughes returned, and remained until 1867. During a portion of this time Rev. Francis O'Shea was his assistant. After them came Rev. William A. Nolan in the spring of 1867. His pastorate continue until the summer of 1870, when he was succeeded by Rev. P. B. O'Halloran, who remained two months, and was followed by Rev. P. G. Herman, who remained till the end of 1870. The next pastor Rev. William A. Nolan again. He continued this time till December 1871. During this period the church building was destroyed by fire. Worship was then held in the Barnet school-house till another church edifice was erected on the site of the one that burned. This building cost eight thousand dollars. Rev. Richard Brown succeeded Father Nolan early in 1876. During this period the financial depression set in, and its influence was distinctly felt by the church. Rev. James B. Tahaney succeeded Father Brown, and remained from February till August, 1876. In this interval the church was a second time burned, and with it the parochial residence. Rev. J. F. Gallagher came next, and continued until February, 1879, when Rev. John J. Bullion came, and remained till 1880, and was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. J. F. Tobin.
Measures have been taken for the erection of a new church, which will probably be completed during the present year (1882).
A Welsh Baptist Church formerly existed in Dudley, but it has become extinct.
1877, William Brown; 1878, John Rolmer; 1879, M. B. Brenneman; 1880, Michael Gorman; 1881, Ephraim Mears.
1877, J. Shultz, John Palmer, J. S. Hoffley, James Reagan, Patrick McGowen; 1878, William Stinson, John Morgan, Patrick McGowan, Garner Edwards, James Reagan, E. F. Gould; 1879, D. F. Horton, E. F. Gould, John Sweet, M. Corroll; 1880, F. Stinson, William Leary, E. F. Gould, P. Harrington, I. Leary, James Hooper; 1881, E. F. Gould, J. S. Hoffley, John Lewis, John Morgan, William Maher, William Leary.
1877, J. Fogerty, P. Harrington, Matthew Powell, Luke Hillgrove, John Palmer, J. S. Haffly; 1878, James Reagan, M. B. Brenneman, E. F. Gould; 1879, John Morgan, Michael Gorman; 1880, E. F. Gould, William Mahn; 1881, W. H. Sweet, A. J. Wright.
1877, William Harr, Samuel Stinson; 1878, Samuel Wise; 1879-81, P. Harringston.
BOROUGH OF BROAD TOP CITY. - In 1854 the Broad Top Railroad Improvement Company purchased the farm of Miles Cook, and on it laid out a part of the village of Broad Top City. Jesse Cook, whose land joined this on the north, also laid out a portion of the village at the same time. At this time the company erected a saw-mill and commenced the erection of a hotel, which was completed in 1855. From this time the growth of the village kept even pace with the development of the coal interest, and it reached its height about the year 1861. During eight years from that time it neither increased or diminished in size, but after 1869 business became less active here as the coal interest declined. The population however, never diminished to any great extent. In 1868 the village was incorporated as a borough by a decree of the court, which prescribed its boundaries thus: "Beginning at a red-oak, thence south eleven degrees west one hundred and sixty perches to stones; thence south fifty-nine degrees west one hundred and fourteen perches to stones; thence north fifteen degrees west three hundred perches to a sugar-tree; thence north fifty-five degrees east one hundred and sixteen perches to a locust-tree; thence south fifty degrees east two hundred and forty-four perches to the place of beginning."
The chief burgesses have been Paul Ammerman, 1869; E. J. Jones, 1873; Amon Houck, 1875; Ephraim Mears, 1876; Jacob Mountain, 1877; William S. Pearson, 1878; Amon Houck, 1879; George A. Mears, 1880; S. H. Houck, 1881; and W. J. Ammerman, 1882.
The borough contains fifty-eight dwellings and four hundred inhabitants. It has two hotels, one of which has been much patronized as a summer resort, the mountain scenery and healthful surroundings of the place attracting hither many who desire to escape form the dust and heat of the crowded cities. There are also two stores, a millnery store and a confectionary establishment, a blacksmith's shop, a gunsmith's shop, a wagon shop, a cabinet shop, two churches, and a public school, in which sessions were held during six months of 1881, and seventy pupils were instructed.
Of the Methodist Episcopal Church no definite information could be obtained by reason of inaccessibility of the records.
First Baptist Church of Broad Top City. - The first preaching by a Baptist clergyman in Broad Top City was on the 28th of October, 1861, when Rev. William H. Purdy visited the place and preached in the school-house. At that time Paul Ammerman and his wife were the only Baptists here. Mr. Purdy afterwards labored here successfully, and on the 22nd of March, 1862, a church was organized under the above title. Of this society Isaac Trout was chosen deacon; Paul Ammerman, treasurer; W. J. Ammerman, clerk; and George Evans, sexton. In addition to these, Mrs. Paul Ammerman and David Persing were constituent members.
The society worshiped in the school-house till the completion of their present church edifice, which was dedicated November 10, 1863. It is a wooden strucuture, with a seating capacity of three hundred, and the cost was fifteen hundred dollars.
The pastors have been Revs. William B. Purdy, till 1864; then T. C. Gessford, till 1866; J. D. Thomas, till 1869; J. W. Evans, till 1875; and the present pastor, D. J. R. Strayer.
Broad Top City Lodge, No. 579, I.O.O.F. - This lodge was organized December 25, 1865, with the following charter members: S. G. Miller, N.G.; Henry Cook, V.G.; J. B. Gussinger, Sec; J. W. Ammerman, Asst. Sec.; John Mitchel, Treas.; W. J. Ammerman, Ephraim Mears, Charles K. Orton, Samuel Pheasant, R. Trout, E. White, William Alloway, James L. Miller, L. E. Edwards, O. W. Taylor, W. S. Mears, J. Mountain, Thomas Lobb, Thomas M. Lewis, and Zopher P. Horton.
At first the lodge held its meetings in the hotel, but after six months removed to a building which it had purchased, and where its meetings are still held. The lodge not only has no debt but has a fund of two thousand three hundred dollars invested. The present membership is fifty-one. The officers are William Preeces, N.G.; A. J. Blair, V.G.; W. J. Ammerman, Sec; S . A. Blair, Asst. Sec.; and A. Houck, Treas.
The Noble Grands have been S. G. Miller, H. Cook, John Mitchell, W. J. Ammerman, J. N. Sheets, J. Mountain, J. F. Mears, J. W. Ammerman, C. R. Horton, W. T. Pierson, F. Cook, J. D. Lewis, E. Mears, W. B. Carrigan, W. Evans, F. Prosser, James Williams, T. M. Lewis, J. Brown, E. Brown, G. N. Wilkins, D. C. Megahan, B. F. Garret, J. F. Griffith, M. J. McGee, A. Schult, J. G. Hughes, A. Houck, and J. A. Crewitt.
1868-70, P. Ammerman; 1881, I. H. Houck.
1868, J. W. Ammerman, Henry Cook, J. F. Mears, Joseph Peck, Thomas Cook, Amon Houck, W. J. Pierson, Samuel Wilkins, Casper Reecy; 1869, E. J. Jones, Sr., Amon Houck, C. K. Horton, W. T. Pearson, Casper Reecy; 1870, T. Cook, J. F. Mears, J. Mountain, C. K. Horton, J. G. Mills; 1881, Thomas Heath, W. J. Ammerman, J. F. Beers, Joshua Edwards, C. Reecy, Thomas Wagoner.
1868, Henry Cook; 1869, C. K. Horton, O. W. Taylor (high); 1870-71, S. H. Houck; 1872, - -; 1873-74, W. B. Carrigan; 1875, J. D. Lewis; 1876, J. Hoffman; 1877, W. S. Chilcoat; 1878, W. J. Ammerman; 1879, Jacob Mills; 1880, D. K. Fleck; 1881, James Williams.
1868, Michael Leader, Edward Pool, James Edwards, Evan J. Jones, I. N. Sheets, Jacob Mountain; 1869, Joshua Edwards, J. W. Ammerman, E. J. Jones, Sr., J. M. Sheele, S. G. Miller, Thomas Cook; 1870, Thomas Cook, P. Ammerman; 1871, - -; 1872, - -; 1873, O. W. Taylor; 1874, P. Ammerman, A. Ceath, H. Cook; 1875, B. F. Gehrett, G. A. Mears, S. G. Miller, J. Mountain, S. H. Houck; 1876, J. Hoffman, T. M. Lewis, S. H. Houck; 1877, W. T. Pierson, Jacob Mountain; 1878, C. Horton, S. H. Houck, G. A. Mears; 1879, John D. Lewis, John Lebhart; 1880, Felix Tool, J. F. Mears; 1881, J. Mountain, Joseph Brown.
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