History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties, Pennsylvania by J. Simpson Africa Philadelphia, PA: Louis H. Everts, 1883, pp. 288-292. Revised and proofread by Judy Banja.
HOPEWELL was one of the six original townships of Huntingdon County at the time of its organization, in 1787. It then included the territory now embraced in the townships of Union, Tod, Cass, Penn, Carbon, and Lincoln. Union, which then included Tod, Cass, and Carbon, was formed from it in 1791; Penn, in 1846; and Lincoln, in 1866. It is now one of the smallest townships in the county.
As now constituted it is bounded on the north by Lincoln township, east by Lincoln, Tod, and Carbon townships, south by the county of Bedford, and west by Bedford and Blair Counties. It is the southwestern township in the county. It lies between Terrace and Tussey Mountains, and between these, running parallel with them, are several lesser ranges of mountains or hills, known respectively as Allegrippa Ridge, Pine Ridge, Backbone, Warrior Ridge, and Mulberry Ridge.
It is traversed by the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River, which runs in a northeasterly course along the base of Terrace Mountain. The principal affluent of this stream in Hopewell is Shy Beaver Creek, which rises near Cove Station and empties into Raystown Branch near the line between Hopewell and Lincoln townships.
The surface of the township is hilly generally, though there is some level land in the valleys along the above-named streams, and there, as well as on the hillsides, are excellent farms. The hilly regions are mostly utilized for farming, which is the principal business in the township. The mountainous parts of the township are covered with timber, mostly locust, chestnut, and the different varieties of oak.
The only manufactory in the township is the tannery of W. S. Enyeart & Bros. This is located in Puttstown village, near the southeast corner of the township. This was first established in 1857 by Messrs. Pepser and Putenbaugh. It had been a carding- and cloth-dressing mill, but was converted into a tannery by the above firm. The machinery was propelled by the water of Shoup's Run. The firm became Pepser & Enyeart, then Enyeart & Sons, then, in 1877, as at present. In 1880 the tannery was rebuilt, and in the spring of 1882 new machinery was introduced, propelled by a steam-engine of twenty horse-power; five hands are employed, and the tannery has a capacity of two thousand five hundred hides annually.
The only grist-mill now in Hopewell was erected in 1842 at Puttstown by Henry Putt. It was first a log mill, with one run of stones that were quarried on Broad Top Mountain. It was propelled then as now by water from Shoup's Run. In 1853 the old log mill was taken down and the present framed structure erected on its site by Levi Putt, a son of Henry. In this there are three run of burr stones.
At a very early day there was a rude grist-mill on the Raystown Branch, about two miles above the mouth of Shy Beaver Creek. It has long since gone to ruin, though the remains of the dam are still to be seen. Tradition says the last person who carried on this mill was a man named Walters.
In times past there were in this township many sawmills. On Shy Beaver Run four are remembered, and on Shoup's Run and Raystown Branch four others, besides several on smaller streams. Of these only two remain, one on Shy Beaver, owned by John B. Beaver, and the other on a smaller stream, by William Stone.
Of the iron ore which abounds in this township, one mine is worked by Robert H. Powel, of Philadelphia, who, in 1882, erected an extensive furnace a few miles away.
The village of Puttstown, in the southern corner of the township, was commenced by Jacob Putt, who erected the first house there in 1840. It has now a grist-mill, a tannery, and about thirty dwellings.
At Cove Station there is a post-office, a small railroad depot, and a few dwellings. In the northern part of the township is a small hamlet, where Shy Beaver post-office is located.
The Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad passes through the township in a northeasterly and southwesterly direction. On this is a flag station named Rough and Ready, about a mile and a half from the north line of the township, and Cove Station, near the southern boundary.
The original thoroughfare or highway through the township ran along the eastern base of Warrior's Ridge, but this ceased to be used some seventy years since. It was originally an Indian trail. Along this road the first settlements in the township were made. Subsequently the road through Woodcock Valley, between Warrior Ridge and Tussey Mountain, was constructed. (Tradition says that the valley was so named because the workmen on this road found many of these birds there.) The present road, or rather roads along Raystown Branch were not built till about 1839, though a poor excuse for a road had previously existed there.
Pioneers. - It is not now known who were the first settlers in what is now Hopewell, nor when they came. The original settlers, as before stated, came on the old Indian trail along the eastern base of Warrior's Ridge. Of these, the names of Skelly brothers, Michael and Felix, are known. They settled near Elk Gap, in Woodcock Valley, on land now owned by John B. Weaver. What was known as Elk Lick was near the house of the Skellys. This was much frequented by elk and deer at that early day, and even at the present time they often come here. Of these brothers, Michael was killed here and Felix was taken prisoner by the Indians.
Michael Diamond was also an early settler here. He erected the log house that is now occupied by J. B. Weaver, the oldest in the township. None of the descendants of these families are in this region.
George Elder and his sons George and William were among the pioneers here. They located in Woodcock Valley, about half a mile from what is now Cove Station. The wife of William was made a prisoner by the Indians at the same time Felix Skelly was captured. None of the descendants of the Elder family are here.
Jacob Weaver came in 1791 with his wife and five children from the vicinity of Hagerstown, Md. They followed the Indian trail, and brought their effects on the back of a cow. They located on the farm now owned by John B. Weaver, opposite Elk Gap. They had five sons and three daughters. Of the sons, two, Peter and John, went West; Henry, Christian, and Leonard remained and reared families. Of the sons of Henry, John B., sixty-three years of age, resides on the farm where his grandfather originally settled, and William lives on a part of the same farm. John B. has three children living in this vicinity, and William two. Six of the children of Leonard and two of the grandchildren of Christian reside in the township.
George Russell came in 1795 from Berks County, Pa., and located near Jacob Weaver in Woodcock Valley. He had three sons and three daughters. Many of the grandchildren of the sons reside in Hopewell.
Jeremiah and William Smart were early settlers on the Raystown Branch, but none of their descendants remain.
Frederick Sheckler also came from Maryland, and settled on the Raystown Branch near Puttstown. Some of his descendants in the female line are still here. Boston Heeter came from Maryland and settled on the Raystown Branch half a mile above the mouth of Shy Beaver Creek. George Buchanan settled early, midway between Puttstown and the mouth of the Shy Beaver, on Raystown Branch. Andrew McFurran settled just above Mr. Buchanan. James Lynch was an early settler at the head of what was known as "Rogue's Hollow," near the branch. None of the descendants of these men are in Hopewell.
Daniel Imler settled at an early time on the Shy Beaver, about a mile from its mouth. Jacob Kochenhower came early, and located near where Shy Beaver post-office now is.
DAVID B. WEAVER was born in Hopewell township, Huntingdon Co., Pa., in 1840. His mother was of the Berkstresser and Sheckler families, the first settlers along the Raystown branch of the Juniata River. He was brought up as a farmer. His father owned a farm at Weaver's Bridge. He gave up farming as an occupation in 1863, and went to the Broad Top Coal-Mines, in the capacity of weighmaster at the Crawford Colliery. In 1863 and 1864 he was engaged in mining coal for supplying fuel for the motive power of the Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad at the Prospect Colliery. In the spring of 1864 he went to Iowa, got an outfit, and crossed the plains to the gold-fields of Montana, arriving at Emigrant Gulch in the latter part of August the same year. He was one of a party of three men who first found gold in paying quantities in the Yellowstone Valley. This was on the 30th of August, 1864. He raised the first potatoes that were cultivated on the upper Yellowstone Valley, in the summer of 1865. Was engaged in gold-mining during the seasons of 1864, 1865, and 1866. In the fall of 1866 Mr. Weaver went to San Francisco. Was employed as a pumping engineer at Mt. Diablo Coal-Mines, California, from Dec. 3, 1866, until Jan. 1, 1868. Returned to Pennsylvania and married Miss Elizabeth Mountain, a granddaughter of Jane McGuire, whose narrow escape from capture by the Indians is chronicled in Jones' "History of the Juniata Valley" (when Francis Donnelly and son were killed by the Indians near Standing Stone Fort). Mr. Weaver went to Missouri in the spring of 1869, and returned on account of his father's death the next fall to the place where he now resides.
In 1875 he was elected a member (and took the oath of office on Jan. 3, 1876) of the board of county commissioners of Huntingdon County, this being the first full board under the present constitution of Pennsylvania. After serving out his term of office he retired to private life.
In January, 1883, Mr. Weaver purchased the "Morrison Mills," near Hawthorn, Fla., where he intends to reside.
Official List. - The officers of Hopewell township have been the following:
1789, Joseph Norris, William Hoake; 1790, Alexander Huston, Jacob Ganshorn; 1791, Wilkinson Lane, Solomon Sill; 1792, John Shaver, Martin Mixel; 1793, Henry Shultz, John Shaver; 1794, John Norris, Joshua Davis; 1795, David Swoope, Lewis Reigh; 1796, John Skelly, Joseph Norris, Sr.; 1797, Isaac Easton, Michael McAffee; 1798, Frederick Hester, John Freet; 1799, Thomas S. Wilson, William Elder; 1800, Jacob Grace, George Russell; 1801, William Smart, Joseph Fay; 1803, James Entrekin, John Pechel; 1804, John Keith, Valentine Fink; 1805. Isaac Bowers, Adam Keith, Jr.; 1806, John Craff, Joseph Kerry, Jr.; 1807, Sebastian Heeter, Michael Garner; 1808, Adam Aumer, John Bailey; 1809, John Bailey, Adam Amer; 1810, John Reihley, Frederick Heeter; 1811, William Eynart, Matthew Gardner; 1814, Nicholas Isenberg, James Thompson; 1815, William W. Harris, John Reed; 1816, George Buchanan, Joseph Norris; 1817, Daniel Summers, William Barrack; 1818, Jacob Grove, Evan Davis; 1819, Christian Shontz, Harry Weaver; 1820, William Houk, Jacob Barrick; 1822, Adam Snyder, Alexander McCall; 1823, Alexander McCall, Michael Stone; 1824, William Elder, Peter Pechtel; 1825, Henry Hannawalt, John Hoover; 1826, Abraham Kuntz, James Hight; 1827, Levi Wilson, Daniel Brumback; 1828, Michael Garner, Adam Snyder; 1829, John Shultz, Isaac Bowers; 1830, John Boyer, William Elder; 1831, Abraham Grubb; 1832, Jacob Fink, William Elder; 1833, Lloyd Houck, Thomas Enyeart; 1834, Christopher Moses, Joseph Kneely; 1835, David Schner, Leonard Weaver; 1836, George Prough, Isaac Peichtal; 1837, Jacob Fink, Frederick Heeter; 1838, Jacob Fink, Jacob Weaver; 1839, Jacob Weaver, Philip Holler; 1840, Jacob Hess, Daniel Shultz; 1841, David Shultz, Joseph Norris; 1842, John Russell, Thomas Norris; 1843, Henry Zimmerman, Francis Haller; 1844, Henry Shultz, Jefferson Simonton; 1845, John Garner, David Mountain; 1846, Daniel Shoats, Charles Magill; 1847, Leonard Weaver, Samuel Beaver; 1848, David Miller, John B. Weaver; 1849, David Miller, Robert McCall; 1850, John Brumbaugh, Abraham Brumbaugh; 1851, Jacob Summers, Martin Hysong; 1852, Samuel Beaver, Henry Putt; 1853, Edward Duncan, William Weaver; 1854, Samuel Schell, John I. Decker; 1855, J. Russell, Edward Duncan; 1856, John Donaldson, Henry Carbough; 1857, J. Moyer, G. Barkstresser; 1858, W. Brumbaugh, S. Grove; 1859, Henry Shultz. Jacob Weaver; 1860, Henry Shultz, Charles Buller; 1861, Daniel Brumbaugh, Jonah Reed; 1862, David Lynn, William Weaver; 1863, David Lynn, Nicholas Lynn; 1864, George Russell, John Beaver; 1865, David Lynn, Nicholas Lynn; 1866, David Lynn, Andrew Brumbaugh; 1867, Solomon Lynn, Charles Butler; 1868, William Morgan, John K. Russell; 1869, John B. Weaver, Adam Speck; 1870, Miles Putt, W. Weaver; 1872, W. Weaver, A. Russell; 1873, Andrew Garvey, William Fleck; 1874, T. N. Weaver, John B. Weaver; 1875, Levi Hanpt, Abraham Russell; 1876, A. Lloyd, Noah Smith; 1877, Abner Lloyd, J. B. Russell; 1878, Abner Lloyd, David Russell; 1879, Leonard Smith, Jacob Stone; 1880, John W. Russell, J. Wilson Weaver; 1881, Frederick Evans, Isaac Russell.
1788, William Dean; 1790, John Bishop; 1791, Jacob Shoup; 1792-93, Richard Plummer; 1794, Michael Gardner; 1795, Martin Maxwell; 1796, William Smart; 1797, Abraham Grubb; 1798, Joshua Davis; 1799, Michael McAfee; 1800, William Estep; 1801, John Keith; 1802-3, Fred. Hester; 1804-5, Andrew McFerren; 1806, Jacob Ditwyler; 1807, Henry Sommers; 1808, Joseph Fray; 1809, Richard Dowlin; 1810, William Elder; 1811, S. Hoover; 1812, Henry Shultz; 1813, John Dean; 1814, William Enyartson; 1815, Joseph Norris; 1816, George Russell; 1817, Benjamin Bailey; 1818, William W. Harris; 1819, Henry Hannawalt; 1820, Thomas Clark; 1821, George Buchanan; 1822, Amos Clark; 1823, William Barrick; 1824, Matthew Gardner; 1825, Michael Garner; 1826, Peter Pechtel; 1827, William Enyeart, Jr.; 1828, Abraham Vantries; 1829, John Keith; 1830, Lloyd Houck; 1831, Jacob Summers; 1832-33, Lloyd Houck; 1834, Samuel Watson; 1835, Caleb Swoops; 1836, Jacob Hess; 1837, William Dean; 1838, John Bowers; 1839, William Richardson; 1840, Eli Plummer; 1841-42, John B. Weaver; 1843, Eli Heeter; 1844-46, George Russell; 1847-48, Thomas Hall; 1849, Jacob Summers; 1850, David Mountain; 1851, J. W. Berkstresser; 1852-53, Samuel Beaver; 1854, William Johnston; 1855, Alexander Park; 1856, Jacob Russell; 1857, Jackson Beaver; 1858, J. Bundle; 1859, William Richardson; 1860, John Rothrock; 1861-62, David Shoup; 1863-64, John Fulton; 1865, W. S. Entrekin; 1866, John Fulton; 1867, George Berkstresser; 1868-71, George C. Hamilton; 1872, George Berkstresser; 1873-75, David Helsel; 1876-77, George Berkstresser; 1878-81, William Stone.
OVERSEERS OF THE POOR.
1789, William Shirley, Hugh Shelley; 1790, Adam Keigh, Michael Keigh; 1791, William Shirley, Levi Moore; 1793, Levi Moore, William Shirley; 1794, Levi Moore, William Shirley; 1795, Joseph Morris, Joshua Davis; 1796, Peter Harstock, Adam Keigh; 1797, Peter Hartsock, Adam Keith; 1798, Peter Hartsock, Adam Keith; 1799, Joseph Davis, Sr., Joseph Norris, Sr.; 1800, Joshua Davis, Joseph Norris; 1801, John Dean, Sr., Joseph Norris, Sr.; 1803, Adam Keith, John Norris; 1804, Adam Keith, Sr., Michael Keith; 1813, Robert Wray, Robert Wason; 1815, George Russell, Adam Duman; 1816,. Richard Dowland, Joseph Norris; 1817, Henry Hanawalt, George Brumbaugh; 1818, Daniel Shaffer, William Elder; 1819, William Derrick, Henry Hanawalt; 1820, Henry Hanawalt, John Norris; 1822, William Elder, R. Brown; 1823, George Russell, Peter Pechtel; 1824, Daniel Brumbagh, Christian Shontz; 1825, Jacob Barrick, Christian Shontz; 1826, Joseph Doland, John Hught; 1827, Henry Hannawalt, William Garrick; 1828, John Keith, John Garner; 1829, George Ruple, John Bowers; 1830, Jacob Barrick, John Bowers; 1831, William Barrack, Peter Pechtel; 1832, Jacob Grove, Abraham Bowers; 1834, Thomas Clark, Isaac Brumbaugh; 1835, Daniel Brumbaugh, Thomas Clark; 1836, Matthew Garner, George Brumbaugh; 1837, Jacob Stouffer, George Garner; 1838, Peter Peightel, Henry Sheeder; 1839, Henry Summers, Dewalt Fouse; 1840, --- ---; 1841, Dewalt Fouse, Edward Duncon; 1842, John Anderson, John Barkstresser; 1843, Felix Linn, David Miller; 1844, Eli Plummer, Thomas Norris; 1845, Jacob Fink, Jefferson Simonton; 1846, William Dean, Jacob Fink; 1847, Robert McCall, Leonard Weaver; 1848, Jeffries Simonton, John Plummer; 1849, Jeffries Simonton, John Shultz; 1850, John Shultz, Jacob Summers; 1851, Jacob Summers, Michael Star; 1852, John Weaver, Nicholas Lynn; 1863, John Brumbaugh, George Russell; 1854, Leonard Weaver, Samuel Johnston; 1855, Adam Fouse, D. Mountain; 1856, Samuel Schell, Samuel Johnston.
ASSESSMENT OF 1788.
Arranged according to present townships.
HOPEWELL (NOW PENN).
Anderson, Stewart, 50 a. propr. land, 2 h., 2 c.
HUNTINGDON (NOW PENN), 1788.
Ashbock, John, 300 a. manor., 4 h., 4 c., 1 still.
HOPEWELL (NOT CLASSIFIED).
Brown, William, 200 a. L., 2 h., 1 c.
Wilson, Hill, 100 a. L., 2 h., 2 c., 1 still.
Houck, William, 250 a. W., 2 h., 2 c. (Hock.)
John Cannon; 100 a., deed.
Johnston, Hugh, 50 a. L., 1 h., 1 c.
Lane, Samuel, 100 a. W., 1 h.
Cannum, William, 50 a. L., 2 h., 1 c.
Cline, John, 50 a. deed, 1 h., 1 c. (where John Donaldson lives).
Johnston, Joseph, 60 a. L., 2 h., 2 c.
HUNTINGDON (NOW JUNIATA), 1788.
Donnelson, Moses, 200 deed.
Crum, Nicklis, 50 a., held by L., 2 c., and 1 mill. (This mill was on
old site at Paradise.)
Covenhoven, John, 100 a. held by deed, 2 h., 2 c.
German Reformed Church. - This society was organized about the year 1829, with ten members and Rev. Christian Barnes as pastor. In that year a log church building was erected in Woodcock Valley, near where the Shy Beaver post-office now is. This building was twenty-four by twenty-eight feet, and was finished according to the primitive fashion of those times. Some of the seats were made of split chestnut staves, and others of peeled poles of the same timber. Only an axe and an auger were required in the manufacture of this furniture. In this temple the congregation worshiped till 1859. In that year it was taken down and the present stone structure erected on its site. This is thirty-five by forty-five feet, and its ordinary seating capacity is three hundred.
Mr. Barnes served the church as pastor till 1844, and was followed in succession by Revs. F. B. Rupley, Dewalt Fouse, Jacob Hessler, J. Witmar, John H. Sykes, Cyrus H. Reiter, and the present pastor, H. F. Long.
The present membership is seventy. Of the original members of this church but one, Nicholas Lynn, of Lincoln township, is now living.
Methodist Episcopal Church of Hopewell. - The first Methodist preaching in the township of Hopewell was about the year 1857. Among the earliest preachers who came here the names are remembered of Revs. Clever, Graham, Leckey, McKindless, Long, and White. Others whose names are forgotten occasionally held services here.
The first house of worship was a school-house at Rough and Ready Furnace, then the Weaver schoolhouse. Services were held here without the formation of a class or society till 1877, when a church organization was effected, of which the constituent members were Mrs. Elizabeth Myers and her daughters Margaret and Hannah, Mrs. Elizabeth Bussick, John Bullar, Mrs. Emeline Snow, and Thomas Keith. Mr. Keith was the first class-leader, and continues in that position.
In 1877 a framed church was erected in Woodcock Valley, half a mile north from Shy Beaver post-office. It is a plain edifice, thirty-eight by thirty feet, and its cost was one thousand dollars. The erection of this building was largely due to the efforts of Mr. Thomas Keith, who contributed freely in money and labor for the purpose of securing this place of worship.
The clergymen in charge of the circuit of which this society is a part have been Revs. --- Montgomery, J. F. Rogerson, and the present incumbent, George W. Baker.
The four public schools in Hopewell were in 1881 kept open during five months, and the number of pupils instructed was one hundred and seventy-three.
The population of the township in 1850 was 788; in 1860, 1005; in 1870, 412; and in 1880, 579.
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