History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties, Pennsylvania by J. Simpson Africa Philadelphia, PA: Louis H. Everts, 1883, pp. 307-317. Contributed by Mike Gifford & Ken Boonie. Revised and proofread by Judy Banja.
THE township of Logan embraces the lower part of Shaver's Creek Valley, its southwestern boundary being in the main the Little Juniata River, which separates it from Porter township. Northwest is Franklin township, the summit of Tussey Mountain forming the boundary line. The opposite boundary of the valley is Warrior's Ridge, a high and broken tract of land, lying in the southeastern part of Logan and the northwestern part of Oneida townships. Above Logan is the township of West, from which it was but a few years ago set off. The width of the township is about four miles, and its length one-half greater. Not more than two-thirds of the area is tillable; but the soil is usually fertile, and the township contains a number of very fine farms, and its improvements rank with those of other leading townships in the county. Flowing from the northeast, and bisecting Logan near its centre, is Shaver's Creek, the only stream of any size in the township. It is sluggish and not noted for good water-powers. The name was derived from a very early settler by the name of Shaver who lived near its mouth. There is a tradition that he was murdered one evening while he was putting his horse in the pasture-lot, and from the fact that he was beheaded, but not scalped, it was believed that the crime was perpetrated by a white man. It is said that the most liberal reward failed to secure the least clue by which the author of this cruel deed might become known. Shaver was buried on the right bank of the creek, below the present railroad bridge at Petersburg, where was afterwards established one of the earliest graveyards in the valley.
Early Settlers and Old Surveys. - One of the few warrants of 1755 located in Huntingdon County was granted March 8th to Barnaby Barnes for two hundred acres of land "at a place called the Two Springs, and to include the same about two miles from Peter Shaver's, on the north side of Juniata." In 1768 this tract became the property of William Smith, D.D., founder of the town of Huntingdon. It embraces the Myton farm, and extends along the river from a point less than half a mile below Petersburg to the Oneida township line. It was patented to Dr. Smith in 1787, and called "Smithfield."
Mention has already been made of Samuel Anderson in connection with the Bridenbaugh farm. It appears from the records of the land office that John Lytle had obtained an office title, or had made application for one that would conflict with the claim of the heirs of Peter Shaver. Accordingly, on June 25, 1765, "Samuel Anderson, on behalf of John Shaver and Peter Shaver, the minor children of Peter Shaver, late of the county of Cumberland, Indian trader, deceased, enters a caveat against the acceptance of a survey or patent being granted to John Lytle or any other person for a tract of land at the mouth of Shaver's Creek, about four miles above the Standing Stone, whereon sd. Peter, the father, made an improvement about the year 1754, the said Samuel Anderson alleging the right or claim of improvement is vested in the said children until they have a hearing in the office." On the 9th November, 1784, Samuel Anderson obtained a warrant for this land, in which Jacob Neff, Hugh Mears, and John Reed, deceased, are mentioned as adjoining owners. The application is dated 19th July, 1784, and Thomas Mitchell, Oliver Wallis, and John Walker, the witnesses, made oath that the improvement was made in 1754.
The tract upon which a part of the borough of Petersburg is located was applied for by Andrew Anderson, April 9, 1768. A survey was made on Dec. 11, 1860, but altered before return to the land office.
Next above Samuel Anderson's, or Shaver's, on the Juniata, is a tract warranted June 3, 1762, to Jacob Hiltzheimer. The warrant calls to adjoin "the improvement made by Peter Shaver." The next tract, extending to the mouth of the Little Juniata and up that stream for nearly a mile, as well as the one lying immediately north of these two tracts, was warranted in 1762. The fertile lands along the valley of the creek and along the Warrior's Ridge were taken by office titles or improvements from 1760 to 1768.
Old records show that Charles Elliott had made an improvement in 1762; some of the McKnitts, Thomas Armstrong, and William Wilson in 1763; Daniel McFaul in 1766. Adam Torrence, who owned the Crawford farm, had resided in the county in 1755.
Samuel Anderson, referred to above, in a deposition taken Jan. 12, 1790, stated that he had been an inhabitant of this locality since 1767. In 1772 he resided on his land at the mouth of Shaver's Creek, and at April and July sessions of the court of Bedford County he served as a grand juror.
Michael Maguire, in a statement made in 1845, said that his father came to this locality about seventy-two years ago, which would place the date about 1773. The Spencer family came about the same year. The Wilson family settled some time about 1770 or 1773.
William Johnston, Robert Erwin, and William McNitt took out warrants for lands April 25, 1763, and were then or soon afterwards became settlers.
"Alexander McNut's (McKnitt ?) land" is mentioned in several orders of survey granted in 1766.
He was followed by the Andersons, Maguires, Donnellys, and others, who took up the choicest tracts of land a number of years before the Revolution. Samuel Anderson was one of the most prominent of these settlers, and in the struggle for independence was a very active man in preparing defense against the savage allies of the British. He lived on the tract of land on the opposite side of Shaver's Creek from Petersburg, which later became known as the Bridenbaugh farm, and was instrumental in building a small fort in that locality which bore his name. It was of the nature of a block-house, and was never assailed, although doubtless a comfort to the settlers, who could more readily take refuge there than at Standing Stone. It is not improbable that the fort was intended more as a rendezvous for the settlers when they gathered to go to Standing Stone, when an incursion was feared, than as a means of protracted defense against assault. Anderson lived here until the close of the war, but of his subsequent history nothing is known in the township.
Bartholomew Maguire settled in the western part of Logan, at the base of Tussey's Mountain, some time before 1770. He had a daughter named Jane, who had a narrow escape from the Indians, as will be further on related, and a son Michael, who lived to become one of the oldest men in the township, dying a number of years ago. He was a man of a wonderfully retentive memory, and had a vivid recollection of the early events of the country. His youngest son, James, is a citizen of Iowa. Jane Maguire married into the Dowling family, and removed to the Raystown Branch, where some of her children yet live. A neighbor of Bartholomew Maguire was Felix Donnelly, who lived in the neighborhood of Barree Iron-Works. One of his sons was named Francis. These families had a very thrilling adventure with the Indians, which resulted fatally to the two Donnellys. In consequence of the presence of Indians the Maguires and Donnellys made preparations to go to Standing Stone to fort early in the summer of 1777. Accordingly, on the 19th of June that year, Felix Donnelly and his son Francis, and Bartholomew Maguire and his daughter Jane, with some of their goods and cattle, left their homes for Standing Stone. Nothing disturbed their progress until they had passed down the river to a point near the Big Spring, above Huntingdon. Jane Maguire was in the advance driving the cows, the men following on the horses. Suddenly the Indians fired from an ambuscade, killing young Francis Donnelly. As he was falling his father caught him for the purpose of keeping him on the horse, and thus prevent his being scalped. Maguire urged Donnelly to flee for his life, but the old man refused to leave his son, when Maguire came back, and the two men carried the dead boy between them on the horse. The Indians fired another volley, one of the bullets striking Felix Donnelly, and another grazing Maguire, carrying off a lock of his hair. Both the Donnellys now fell to the ground, and Maguire rode forward with all haste, going by the girl and the cows. The Indians, after scalping the Donnellys, rushed after Jane, evidently with the intention of making her a prisoner. One of them, more fleet than the others, overtook her, and, with a yell of delight, grasped her by her dress. Fortunately the string of her short gown tore, leaving that garment in the hands of the Indian, while the girl, now freed from the grasp of the savage, in her haste to escape, caught hold of the tail of one of the cows, which, taking fright, ran with terrific speed down the road towards the fort; overtaking Mr. Maguire, who had by this time sufficiently recovered himself to aim his rifle at the pursuing Indian. Upon seeing this the savage took shelter behind a rock, and both the Maguires succeeded in reaching the fort in safety. Meantime some men on the opposite side of the river, at Cryder's mill, who had heard the firing and the yells of the savages, had set off in a canoe for the purpose of engaging the savages. But before they could do so the Indian had succeeded in reaching the top of the bluff, where he joined his companions and disappeared. The whites fearing an ambush, returned to the mill, where they were soon after joined by a scouting party from the fort; but failing to discover the trail of the savages, pursuit was abandoned. The bodies of Felix and Francis Donnelly were taken to Huntingdon and interred upon a spot which is now the centre of the town.
The following year the fort at Anderson's was built, and in the summer of 1779 was the scene of a ludicrous fright. A half-witted boy who had been sent for the cows in the woods near by soon returned, white with fear, saying that the Indians were coming down the river in full force. The fort was quickly prepared for their reception, and as they did not appear, a part of the garrison marched up the hill to see where the enemy was. After looking in vain for some time, nothing but three mild-eyed cows were seen coming down the path. The occupants of the fort now having recovered from their consternation, indulged in a mock court-martial, in which the boy was sentenced to be shot. The poor fellow could not understand that he was only the butt of their sport, and was almost frightened to death before he realized the imposition practiced on him.
The mouth of Shaver's Creek was the scene of the abduction by the Indians of Mrs. Moses Donaldson and her two children, related in the history of Porter, and in the township occurred the last massacre by the savages in the county. This happened in the latter part of August, 1781, at a time when no hostile Indians were supposed to be about. At the period mentioned Peter Crum was operating the Minor mill, at the place where are now Barree Iron-Works, under a lease. He had gone to the mill early in the morning to set it a-going, and was returning home for his breakfast, carrying his rifle over his shoulder and a string of fish in the other hand. When about a mile below the mill, at the old Jackson farm, he heard the crack of a rifle, and looking up the hill saw two Indians. He dropped his fish and opened the pan of his rifle, but having been shot in the hand, the blood had moistened the priming so much that he could not use his gun. Seeing this the Indians rushed upon him and dealt him a blow behind, followed by others until his head was beaten in. When he was found, several hours later, Crum was lying upon his face, his rifle by his side, and an Indian war-club, clotted with blood, lying across his body. The Indians eluded the scouts which immediately set in pursuit of them and escaped, carrying the scalp of Crum as a trophy to the British garrison at Detroit, probably the last one carried from the Juniata Valley. [Vide Jones' Juniata Valley.]
Among the pioneers who retained a permanent settlement in the township was James Porter, an Irishman, who bought a tract of land from James McClay about the period of the Revolution, living and dying on the farm now owned by his grandson, James Porter. He reared sons named William, Joseph, John, and James, and several of his daughters married Robert Gillis, of Washington County, and David Anderson, who removed to Indiana County. William, the oldest son, moved to Ohio; Joseph to Washington County; John died in Jackson township; James married Susan Borst, and lived on the homestead until his death, about 1861, leaving a family of nine children, viz.: William, died in Illinois; Jacob, living in Oneida; James, on the homestead; George B., in Petersburg; and Samuel, near the homestead. The daughters were married to William Stewart, of Logan, Jesse Henry, and Daniel Longanecker. William and Samuel, brothers of James Porter, the elder, were also pioneers in Logan.
After the Revolution came George Wilson, also an Irishman, and located on the James Walls place, dying there. His son Robert moved to Centre County; David to Clearfield County; James died in the township without issue; George, the youngest, died in Logan, on the old Armstrong place, in 1873. He was married to Jane Reed, and was the father of George W. Wilson, occupying the homestead. A daughter married W. L. Armstrong. The daughters of George Wilson, Sr., were married to members of the Stewart, Porter, and McClellan families. William Armstrong came to Logan as early as 1769. He was the grandfather of Robert Armstrong, of the township of Logan.
On what are now known as the Miller and Oaks farms James Reed was the pioneer. He died in 1834, aged eighty-two years, and his wife, Jenny, in 1826. He was the father of sons named Robert, William, John, James, and Joseph, and several daughters. On a neighboring farm was Thomas Johnston, who had sons named William, John, and Thomas. This family has become extinct in the township. Farther up the valley lived William Nelson, an Irishman, who had been with Braddock in his campaign in 1755. In 1765 he settled on the John C. Wilson place, on Nelson's Run. He was a scout during the Revolution. He died in 1804, and was buried at Manor Hill. His sons were John and William. The former was born in Logan in 1774, and married Margaret, a daughter of Nicholas Graffius, in 1802, moving to Mercer County the same year. His son John is yet a resident of the township. William, the other son, born in 1777, married Elizabeth Thompson, and lived on the homestead until his death in 1853.
William Wilson came a little later, but was also one of the settlers who helped to build Anderson's Fort. A number of his descendants yet live in the township, very aged men. In about 1796, John Wall became a citizen of Logan, and remained in the township until his death in 1848, aged eighty-one years. He had sons named John, Jacob, Joseph, Andrew, David, Eli, and James. But few of their descendants remain, Jonathan, a son of John, being about the only one to perpetuate the name in the township.
The Cresswell Family. - 1. ROBERT CRESSWELL emigrated from the County Down, Ireland, and settled in Kishacoquillas Valley, Mifflin Co. He sold his farm there to Rev. James Johnston, who became, about 1784, pastor of the East Kishacoquillas Presbyterian congregation, and continued in the service of that church until his death in 1820. Robert Cresswell doubtless moved to what is now Huntingdon County with his sons, as his remains rest in the Ewing graveyard in Barree township. His children were:
7. Edward Potter.
8. A daughter, who married Silas Anderson and moved to Ohio.
9. A daughter, who married --- Denyne.
III. MATTHEW married a daughter of Patrick Leonard. One of his sons, Jacob (10), was a prominent citizen of the county. He served as deputy surveyor from 1837 to 1839, and afterwards for some time taught school in Huntingdon, where, in 1841, the writer hereof was one of his pupils. Subsequently he was appointed agent for the trustees of the Savage estate and moved to Savage Forge, in Tod township, from which, after a residence of some years, he took his family to Cassville, where he died March 11, 1868, aged about sixty-three years. He married first a Miss Wilson, of Sinking Valley, by which union he had two daughters. The surviving daughter is the wife of James W. Hughes, a member of the House of Representatives from Bedford County. His second wife, a daughter of Stephen Davis, with several of her children, now resides in Tyrone.
V. ROBERT married Mary, a daughter of Nicholas Graffius, [For the Graffius family, see Porter township.] who had settled on Shaver's Creek. He and his brother Matthew bought and made their homes on the tract on Warrior's Ridge now known as the Schuck farm. After a residence here of some years, where most, if not all, his children were born, Robert pushed with his family into the wilderness of Clearfield County, and settled on the bank of the Susquehanna above Anderson's Creek, at a spot designated by the watermen as the "Pewees' Nest," where he died Aug. 24, 1807. His children were:
Robert's wife survived him many years. She returned to Barree township and died there about 1832.
XI. JOHN CRESSWELL, b. in what is now West township, Dec. 28, 1794, died at Petersburg, June 23, 1881. He learned the trade of chair-making, and carried on the business in Alexandria up to about the year 1832. He served many years as a justice of the peace, and in 1822 was elected county commissioner. Afterward he became a contractor on the Wabash Canal, in the State of Indiana. In January, 1839, he was appointed by Governor Porter prothonotary, and served until a successor was chosen at the following October election. Subsequently he was appointed collector of tolls on the canal at Huntingdon, to which he moved his family and remained there several years. In 1847 he commenced the mercantile business at Manor Hill. In 1853, Petersburg became his residence, where, with his son George M., under the firm-name of John Cresswell & Son, he continued until his death to take an interest in the mercantile and grain trade. In his earlier years he took an active interest in military affairs, and from service in the militia received the appellation "colonel," a designation by which he was universally known. In religion he was a Presbyterian, and for many years was a prominent and useful member of his congregation. Politically he was always a Democrat, and cast his first presidential vote for James Monroe, in 1816, and the last for Winfield S. Hancock, in 1880. He was a member of Mount Moriah Lodge, No. 178, A. Y. M., at Huntingdon, and although the lodge was disbanded during anti-Masonic times, he never ceased his interest in the work of the craft.
He married, first, Margaret, daughter of Jacob Mytinger, in Alexandria, Aug. 27, 1816, who died March 29, 1832; and, second, Marilla Burr, Oct. 29, 1835, who died childless Oct. 23, 1878. The children by the first marriage were:
19. Robert, b. June 24, 1817, a member of the firm of Breed, Cresswell & Washburn, of Philadelphia, and for many years a dry-goods merchant there.
20. John, Jr., b. Jan. 16, 1819, for a long time a resident of Hollidaysburg, and a practicing attorney-at-law there. He served two terms in the State Senate, and was Speaker thereof in 1859. He married a Miss Armitage, of Huntingdon, and d. in Hollidaysburg, Jan. 27, 1882.
21. Elizabeth, b. Dec. 10, 1820, unmarried, resides with her brother George M., in Petersburg.
22. Mary, b. Oct. 12, 1822, unmarried, resides with her brother Robert, in Philadelphia.
23. George Mytinger, b. Oct. 1, 1824.
24. Silas Anderson, b. Aug. 1, 1826, m. Abigail Wakefield, Jan. 23, 1853. T heir surviving children are Ella and Henry M. He is a member of the firm of Cresswell & Porter, engaged in merchandising and as grain dealers at Petersburg.
24. [sic] Henrietta M., b. June 22, 1828, wife of Dr. J. H. Shumaker, principal of the Chambersburg Academy.
25. Matthew, b. Sept. 25, 1830, is in the wholesale dry-goods trade in Philadelphia, senior member of the firm of M. Cresswell & Co.
XII. NICHOLAS, b. Oct. 23, 1796, learned the trade of a potter with John Glazier, in Huntingdon, m. Mary Ann Gemmill, and died at his residence in Alexandria, Aug. 27, 1876.
XIII. ROBERT, b. April 5, 1798, d. unmarried in Petersburg, Sept. 29, 1867.
XIV. ELIZABETH, b. Nov. 22, 1799, m. James Ewing, and died in Barree township, Sept. 18, 1877.
XV. MARTHA, b. Jan. 16, 1802, d. in youth, in Clearfield County.
XVI. ABRAHAM, b. Oct. 21, 1803, m. Margaret Hope, d. in Petersburg, Feb. 11, 1871.
XVII. MARY, b. March 1, 1805, m. Jacob Bolinger, and resides in Hollidaysburg.
XVIII. CATHARINE, b. Feb. 11, 1807, widow of Thomas Stewart; resides in Barree township.
XXIII. GEORGE MYTINGER, b. in Alexandria, Oct. 1, 1824, received his education in the common schools of his native borough and at the Huntingdon Academy. His first employment was as a clerk in his father's office as collector of tolls at Huntingdon. In 1844 he clerked for the house of James M. Bolton & Co., in Philadelphia; next in the store of John Wesley Myton, at Ennisville; then in a store at Guysport. In 1846 he opened a store at McAlevy's Fort; April 1, 1847, sold out to his father, and entered the store of A. & N. Cresswell, his uncles, at Petersburg, where he remained until the fall of 1848. Then followed five years' experience boating on the Pennsylvania Canal, at the end of which he became the junior partner of the firm of John Cresswell & Son, at Petersburg, which continued until the death of the father in 1881. In 1874 the store was sold to Cresswell & Miller. In 1868, in connection with his father, purchased the Neff mills on the Little Juniata, and in 1878 he became the owner of the "Juniata Forge property," including the forge and flouring-mill below Petersburg, and about two thousand acres of woodland in Logan and Oneida townships. He rented out the Neff mills and forge, and is now running the Petersburg flouring- and sawmills. As his father was so he is, in religion a Presbyterian, and in politics a Democrat. He does not covet political preferment, and, except in serving his immediate neighbors as school director or burgess, he was but once a candidate for office. In 1876 he was the Democratic nominee for senator for the district composed of Huntingdon and Franklin, and in his own neighborhood ran largely ahead of the other candidates on the same ticket. He married, May 31, 1853, Martha W., daughter of Joseph and Margaret (Kyler) Forrest, who was born in Barree township in 1830, and died Sept. 30, 1873. Their children were:
26. Henrietta, b. May 9, 1854, d. July 12, 1854.
27. Joseph Forrest, b. Aug. 25, 1855, m. May 16, 1882. Fanny M. Wakefield is a member of the firm of Cresswell & Miller, running the Neff flouring-mill.
28. Margaret Mytinger, b. April 28, 1858, d. Oct. 28, 1860.
29. Bertha, b. Dec. 25, 1860.
30. George Mytinger, b. July 22, 1863, d. Oct. 1, 1869.
31. Anna Gibson, b. June 14, 1866.
32. John, b. Oct. 10, 1868.
The Stryker family came from Hunterdon County, N.J. In 1816, John Stryker settled at Masseysburg, in Barree township, where he had purchased a small farm. To this he added by purchase until he was a large land-owner. He died in 1855, and was buried in the Neff cemetery at Petersburg. His family consisted of John T. Stryker, who died in Tyrone township; Peter, the second son, died in Porter, opposite Alexandria, in 1857; Samuel, the third son, immigrated to California; Mahlon T., the fourth, lived and died in West in 1873. The fourth son, Joseph W., graduated at Union College, N.Y., and is at present a citizen of Washington. For seven years he was the American consul at Pernambuco. William W., another son, is a citizen of Logan, living near Petersburg. The daughters married, - Eliza, Adam Lightner, of West; Adam Lefford, of Mifflin County, Lewis Lightner, of Illinois, and Elijah Perry, of Missouri. The Neffs are of Swiss descent, and those in America are the offspring of three brothers, two of whom settled in Philadelphia, the other in Lancaster County. From the latter have descended the Neffs of this part of the State. About 1794, John, Jacob, and Henry, brothers, came from Lancaster to Logan to live; but the latter soon returned to his old home. Their mother, Christiana, came with them, and died in 1806, at the age of seventy-three years. She and nearly all her numerous descendants who have deceased were buried in the Neff burying-ground west of Petersburg. John Neff, the oldest of the two brothers, lived on the present William Stryker farm until his death in 1810. His wife Fanny died in 1815. Of their family, John, the oldest son, was married to Margaret Mong, and their children were Mary, the wife of William McClure, of Logan; Isaac M., living in Logan; Samuel, who died in the township; Margaret Ann, single; Eliza and John, deceased; Benjamin L. and Henry A., living in Logan. John Neff was a very active business man, building the mills and other improvements west of Petersburg. He died in 1862 at the age of seventy-seven years, and his widow yet resides in the township at the age of eighty-seven years.
Jacob K., the second son, died at Petersburg in 1829, at the age of forty years. He was the father of sons named John A., living in Philadelphia; Edwin, living in Detroit; and Dr. Henry K., who died in the borough of Huntingdon.
The third son, Andrew, married Elizabeth Grove, and lived in Porter until his death in 1833, at the age of forty-five; his wife died in 1866, aged sixty-nine years. His family consisted of Benjamin, living on the homestead; Andrew G., living in the southern part of Porter; Henry G., in the same township; and Jacob, living on the homestead. One of the daughters, Eliza, is the wife of Samuel Hatfield, of Porter; and Mary is the wife of Dr. Martin Orlady, of McConnellstown.
The fourth son, Daniel, was married to Elizabeth Hewitt, and lived in Porter until his death in 1849, at the age of sixty-two years. His widow died eight years later, at the same age. They were the parents of Henry Neff, of Neff's Mills; John Neff, of the same place; William and David, living on the homestead; and a daughter became the wife of Abraham Harnish, of Morris.
Isaac, the fifth son, was born in 1795 and died in 1859. He was the father of Edward Neff, of Warrior's Mark; William and Isaac, living in Cleveland; and of daughters who married John McMullen and John Martin.
A sixth son, Henry, died at Alexandria. He was the father of Elvira Neff, of Tyrone, and of Mrs. Perry Moore, of Morris.
The only daughter of John Neff, Sr., married for her first husband Henry Swoope; and for her second, Jacob Harncame, of Logan.
Jacob Neff, Sr., was born in 1763, and died in Logan in 1834. Barbara, his wife, died in 1822. Their children were Jacob, who lived on part of the homestead which is now occupied by his son Benjamin; Rudolph, another son, resides in Altoona; and a daughter married Capt. Martin, of Harrisburg.
A second son of Jacob Neff, Daniel, married to Mary M. Burket, lived in West township. They were the parents of David and John Neff, and of daughters who married Thompson Stryker, William Ake, Lee Wilson, and David Ross. The daughters of Jacob Neff; Sr., were Mary, Nancy, Barbara, and Susan. The latter was the wife of Isaac Neff, Sr., of Logan; Barbara was the wife of Christian Hoover, of Logan; Mary, of Christian Stoner, of Sinking Valley; and Nancy, of Daniel Neff, of Lancaster County, but who lived and died in Logan. These were the parents of Andrew Neff, of Logan, and of Benjamin K., who died at Baden, Germany.
At Petersburg among the early settlers were Dr. Peter Shoenberger and his parents. The latter died at this place, and are buried in the old Shaver graveyard. The family removed from the township about forty years ago. His settlement took place about 1794. George Rung came at a later day, and carried on a tannery until within a few years of his death, in 1842. He was born in Lancaster County in 1777. His children were Henry, who died in 1833, at the age of twenty-eight years; Mary was the wife of Samuel Metz, of Logan; Anna married John Mytinger, of Water Street; William removed to Illinois; John, married to Mary Lightner, lived on the lower part of the Johnston farm until his death, in 1877, leaving no representatives of the family in the township.
John Dopp settled on a part of the Smith tract below Huntingdon in 1790, coming from Hagerstown. The flood of 1810 forced him to leave that place, and he died in Smithfield in 1813. He reared three sons and two daughters, - Henry, who kept a public-house at Huntingdon; Jacob, who went to sea, where he lost his life; and John, who was a soldier in the war of 1812. The latter was the father of Jacob Dopp, of Petersburg, and grandfather of John T. Dopp, of the same place.
Valentine Wingert, a Pennsylvania Dutchman, whose wife's maiden name was Todd, - a very intellectual woman, - early settled at Petersburg, living in the plastered building near the public spring. He died about 1850. Eveline, his youngest daughter, became the wife of Gen. Charles Albright. Of his sons, Samuel became an attorney at Pittsburgh and Charles a paymaster in the United States army.
Samuel Renner was one of the first settlers in what is now the upper end of the borough of Huntingdon, clearing up a farm there, which until quite recently was known by the family name. He died in 1828. He was the father of John Renner, of Blair County; Jacob, who died at Altoona in June, 1881; Isaac, who died at Lock Haven; and Abraham, living at Petersburg. One of the daughters, Mary, became the wife of E. M. Jones, of Altoona, who was for many years a clerk at Juniata Forge, at Petersburg.
James Murphy, a son of Francis Murphy, of Chester County, became a citizen of Petersburg in 1814, and continued a resident until his death in 1876, at the age of seventy-nine years. He was the father of John P. and Alexander Murphy.
An account of other early settlers of the valley may be found in the sketches of West and Barree townships, in another part of this book. In 1880 the population of Logan, exclusive of Petersburg, was six hundred and eleven; including the borough, nine hundred and ninety-two.
Civil Organization. - On the 10th of April, 1878, Henry Wilson, William Ewing, and Thomas Bell, commissioners to inquire into the expediency of dividing West township, reported that they had met at the residence of Elijah Gillam, in West, on Monday, March 18, 1878, and made a draft of the proposed division, the line being as follows:
"Beginning at a post on the line between Oneida and west townships, eight hundred and seventy perches from the Barree township line, and twelve hundred and twenty-one perches from the Juniata River; thence north forty-three degrees west seven miles, one hundred and nine perches to a small pitch-pine on the summit of Tussey Mountain, on the line of Franklin township."
The court then ordered an election to ascertain whether the voters approved the proposed division with the foregoing bounds, and on the 10th of June, 1878, returns were made that one hundred and eight voters were for the division and ten against. On the 15th of June of the same year, the court confirmed the action bearing on the division, and ordered that the north part retain the name of West, and that the south part be called by the name of Logan.
The following have been the principal officers since the organization of the township: 1879, Constable, John S. Nelson; Supervisor of Roads, George P. Wakefield; Auditors, Henry Graffius, John T. Dopp, K. J. Myton; 1880, Supervisors, Henry A. Neff, James G. Stewart; Auditor, George B. Porter; 1881, Supervisors, Michael Sprankle, George P. Wakefield; Auditor, John T. Dopp.
General Industries. - The power of Shaver's Creek being limited to a few mill-seats, and that of the Juniata not being available along its whole course, but few manufacturing interests have been established in Logan. On the former stream a waterpower was improved in 1810 by Thomas Johnston, who built saw- and grist-mills. The property has been altered at different times and had a number of owners, among them being William Johnston, John Byers, Judge Thomas F. Stewart, and the present James G. Stewart. It is regarded as a good country mill. The tannery at this point has not lately been carried on. It was established by Judge Stewart. The old Rung tannery at Petersburg, which had a good reputation years gone by, was discontinued a quarter of a century ago.
Juniata Forge was built at Petersburg a few years before 1800 by Dr. Peter Shoenberger, occupying the site where are yet the ruins of an old forge. Shaver's Creek alone at first supplied the power, but in course of time the waters of the Juniata were also utilized, affording a power of large capacity. From the first the products of the forge achieved an excellent reputation among iron-workers, and the revenues derived from its operation in the beginning of this century laid the foundation of the great wealth of the Shoenberger family. After Dr. Shoenberger's retirement his sons, George and John H., carried on the forge on an extended scale, and about 1846, Edward Shoenberger, a third son, had charge of the forge and established a rolling-mill in connection. The flood of 1847 inflicted great damage, and the latter enterprise was soon after abandoned. About 1861, John R. Hunter and John N. Swoope purchased the Shoenberger interests in Logan for forty thousand dollars, and operated the forge until the depression in the trade following the panic of 1873 made it unprofitable. It has since been allowed to remain idle.
The Petersburg Flouring-mill is operated by the same power. It commenced running in the spring of 1866, with Hunter & Swoope as owners, and was carried on by them until the firm was dissolved by the death of Mr. Hunter, in 1878. Since that time the owner of the property has been George M. Cresswell. The mill is capacitated to grind sixty barrels of flour per day. At the same place is a saw-mill and machinery for grinding fire-clay.
The "Juniata Mills" are a mile above Petersburg, near the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the power is supplied by the Little Juniata. The improvements were first made by John Neff about 1800, and consisted of a saw-mill only. Six years later a grist-mill was built which, in an enlarged condition, is yet in use. The mill is supplied with modern machinery, and has a good capacity and a fine reputation for its products. Besides John Neff, the property had as owners Harncame & Neff, John Cresswell & Son, and, since 1881, George M. Cresswell.
The Petersburg Foundry was built in 1849 by McCullough & Orlady, and was carried on for them a number of years by Elias Maise. It is at present the property of John Slack. The products are ordinary farm machinery and general repair work. The motor is steam, furnished by a ten horse-power engine.
PETERSBURG. - The only village in the township is situated on the Juniata, at the mouth of Shaver's Creek, and on the left bank of that stream. It was laid out on the 21st of May, 1795, by Dr. Peter Shoenberger, from whom it took its name. The original plan embraced four streets, each forty feet wide, running parallel with the creek, and bearing the names of Hill, King, Washington, and Columbia, the second crossing the public square. This was one hundred and six by one hundred and fifty-six feet in extent, and contained a fine spring. The principal cross street was named St. Peter, and was also forty feet wide. There were one hundred and twenty-three lots, each having a frontage of sixty feet, and being one hundred and fifty feet deep. Lots were reserved for school and church purposes, as follows: No. 109 for a German Church, No. 110 for a Presbyterian Church, No. 111 for a German school-house, and No. 112 for an English school-house. Not being located on one of the principal thoroughfares, Petersburg had a slow growth until after the building of the canal, when it began to assume importance as a business point. Several large warehouses were here built, and a grain and lumber trade of large proportions transacted. It was no unusual thing to see long lines of teams from the country many miles around waiting for a chance to unload, and the wheat shipped by canal aggregated hundreds of thousands of bushels annually. After the building of the railroad the canal business decreased, and in 1875 the canal was wholly abandoned. Petersburg Station is one of the most important of its class on the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1880 its entire business amounted to $26,101.81, of which $5,505.88 was for passenger traffic. In the month of October, 1880, the ticket sales amounted to $719.38. Since the 1st of April, 1875, John T. Dopp has been the agent of the company at this place, and prior to that time John R. Hunter filled that position.
The buildings erected at Petersburg within the last decade are of a substantial character, and the borough contained in 1881 half a dozen stores, two hotels, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran Churches, a fine school building, and about four hundred inhabitants. In accordance with the custom of ambitious villages in this State, Petersburg was early invested with corporate privileges. It became a borough by an act of the General Assembly, passed April 7, 1830. The bounds of the borough were made to include the original plan of the village, and George Rung's tan-yard and house outside the bounds of the village proper. The first election was ordered to be held at the house of Joseph Jones, on the second Tuesday of May, 1830, and George Rung and James Dearmont were appointed to superintend it. A burgess and seven councilmen were to be elected, and were to constitute a body corporate, to be known by the style of "The Burgess and Council of the Borough of Petersburg." Taxation was limited to one-half per cent. of the valuation, unless some object of general utility demanded a larger assessment, which might be made by the consent of a majority of the freeholders of the borough. Provision was also made for a Court of Appeal, to be composed of the burgess, president of the Council, and treasurer, or any two of them, who were to act upon proper notice to that effect.
The first records of the borough indicate that a meeting of the Council was held June 4, 1831, and that the officers were as follows: Chief Burgess, George Rung; Councilmen, James Dearmont, William Jones, George Gray, Samuel Thompson, Benjamin Armitage, Jacob Straithoof, and Thomas Telfer; Clerk, John McKim; Treasurer, Jacob Longanecker; Collector, Valentine Wingert; Street Commissioner, Henry Rung; Constables, James Murphy and Joseph Jones.
The borough meetings were held in the schoolhouse, and rules for the government of the village were drawn up by James Dearmont, George Rung, and Dr. Thomas Telfer.
In 1832 a health committee of four persons was appointed, whose business it was "to go around every two weeks together, or any two of them, and examine the cellars and all other places which shall be considered injurious to health in this borough, and see that they are kept in proper order, and make a return of such as are not put in order." So far as can be learned the order was well observed, and no returns were made, the sanitary condition of the village being improved from the time of its becoming a borough, thus attaining the chief object of the incorporation.
On the 7th of April, 1874, the school board of West township, having as members John H. Neff, R. M. Hewitt, Jackson Wilson, H. Orlady, and John D. Johnston, and the Borough Council, composed of George M. Cresswell, Theodore Reiner, H. Orlady, R. M. Hewitt, K. J. Myton, and George G. Hamer, entered into an agreement to build a brick house for school and Council purposes. The former board appropriated two thousand five hundred dollars, the latter eighteen hundred dollars. The house contains four spacious rooms in its two stories, one of which is devoted to the use of the borough, the other three being used for school purposes. It was built by Abraham Renner in the summer and fall of 1874, and has been inclosed with a substantial iron fence. The borough owns no fire apparatus, and has not suffered from any conflagrations. In 1880 the tax levy was five mills on the dollar, and the amount expended for borough purposes was one hundred and eighty-eight dollars and thirty-nine cents. The streets generally are in good repair, and the sidewalks passable.
In 1881 the officers of the borough of Petersburg were Abraham Piper, burgess; David Barrick, James Nale, John M. Balick, Thomas Brininger, Baltser Rumberger, John A. Whittaker, and Jesse March, councilmen; John P. Murphy, clerk; Henry Shively, collector and treasurer; Samuel Haven, constable and street commissioner; Calvin Bell, John P. Murphy, and H. C. McCarthy, assessors; J. P. Murphy, John Whittaker, and John H. Hoffman, auditors.
Since 1830 the following have been the burgesses and town clerks:
The justices of the peace for this borough since 1860 have been Joseph Johnston, John P. Murphy, Jacob Bruner, and William Withington, the latter being elected in 1880.
Petersburg Business Interests. - The first store in the village was kept by Peter Shoenberger, in the log house which is still standing on the public square, and this house was subsequently occupied by Joseph Adams, William McCormick, and others for mercantile purposes. The next business stand was in what is now the Petersburg House, and was kept by David McMurtrie as early as 1805. William Walker was the next in trade there, and was the last to occupy it for that purpose. James De Armit and William Steel established another business stand farther up the village, and William Patton and Joseph M. Stevens were at the lower end of the village, John R. Hunter occupying the stand at a later day. In 1833, Abraham and Nicholas Cresswell began trading at Petersburg, having a stand near the present Methodist Church. In 1844 they moved to the building which is yet known as the Cresswell stand, and where business has been carried on continuously since. In 1838 their larger grain warehouse was built, and ten years later Nicholas Cresswell retired from the firm. In 1853, Abraham was succeeded by Col. John Cresswell and his son, George M., who were extensively engaged in business until 1874, when Silas Cresswell and George B. Porter followed them as merchants, and are yet in trade, George M. Cresswell being from that time on engaged in the milling business. The Cresswells have enjoyed a wide and honorable reputation as business men, and have been identified with the best interests of Petersburg for nearly half a century. Below the Cresswell warehouse Stevens & Patton erected a similar building, which has been occupied for the last dozen years by John Ross, an extensive dealer in farm produce and general commission merchandise, dealing also in lumber and coal. The upper warehouse was built by the Wingart family, and after being occupied by Samuel D. Myton, J. C. Walker, and others, is now used by William W. Stryker for the "Petersburg Co-operative Store," which has been successfully maintained the past few years. In addition, Rumberger & Brother are general merchants in the Myton block, and George W. Confer at the old Patton stand. John A. Hewitt is the proprietor of a hardware-store established, as the first in that trade, by John A. Oaks, and Jesse Marsh has a drug-store which has had a number of owners.
In the old log building was also kept the first public-house, Peter Shoenberger being the proprietor. The present Petersburg House was opened about eighty years ago by David McMurtrie, in connection with a store he had there. Later another inn was opened on the site of the Col. Cresswell mansion, the building from its form being known as the "Barracks." There Samuel Lemon was an early keeper, followed by Henry De Armit. The latter subsequently had a public-house in the Orlady residence, from 1826 to 1835, and in 1846 Jacob Dopp opened the first temperance house in what is now the Jesse Marsh residence. About 1830, John Scullin was the keeper of the Petersburg House, and later landlords were Joseph Forest, Thomas Newell, John Moore, John McMonegal, John Houk, and (since 1867) Abraham Graffius. It is one of the oldest and most popular public-houses in the county. The present Merchants' House was opened to the public by Henry Hefright, and is now kept by William Durst.
Valentine Wingart was the first postmaster at Petersburg, which was long known by the name of Shaver's Creek. The office was kept in the small plastered building opposite the Myton block. Other postmasters were W. C. McCormick, Abraham Cresswell, Joseph M. Stevens, John Cresswell, Henry Shively, J. C. Walker, and since June, 1880, William W. Stryker. Petersburg office has four mails from the East and one from the West daily, and is the distributing office for Alexandria and the offices in the Shaver's Creek Valley.
The pioneer blacksmith was Jacob Eberly, who also made mill-irons and other work, which was carried to the West by the settlers. Jacob Dopp was the smith for thirty-five years, often having in his employment a number of men and doing the forge smithing. Others of that trade were John Miller, John Morrison, Robert McGill, and as wheelwrights Nicholas Hewitt, Peter Vandevender, and Henry Woods. Those trades were carried on in 1881 by Samuel Wharton and William McFadden. Among other mechanics were William Jones, glove-maker; Valentine and Edmund Wingart, hatters; Matthew McCord, James Miller, John Brumbaugh, Herman Reel, and others, saddlers; and James Murphy, shoemaker from 1816 till 1876; Abraham Renner, cabinetmaker.
The first physician at Petersburg was Dr. Peter Sevine, who came about 1798 and was in practice until about 1816. The next practitioner was Dr. John Metz, who lived for a time in the village, then on the old Jackson farm in the township. He died in 1874, at the age of eighty-eight years. Dr. Magill, an Irishman, came about the time of the building of the canal and remained a few years. There being a great deal of sickness about that time Dr. Thomas Telfer also located in the borough, but died shortly after. Then came, about 1832, Dr. Hamilton, whose residence was not continued beyond a few years. Dr. John McCullough came about this time, and was here in practice until he was elected to Congress in 1858. After serving his term he took up his residence at Huntingdon, where he died. In the latter years of his practice at Petersburg he had as an associate Dr. Henry Orlady, who came to the borough in June, 1848, and has been in practice there ever since. He was born in the Kishacoquillas Valley in 1816, and graduated from the University of New York in 1844. His associate in the profession at Petersburg is Dr. H. C. McCarthy, also a native of the above valley, who graduated from Jefferson Medical College in June, 1874, and has been in practice at Petersburg since that period. Dr. Sidney Davis was born at Milton in 1852, and after attending Cornell University read medicine with his father, Dr. U. Q. Davis. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1877, and from Philadelphia Hospital in 1879, and since July of that year has been a practitioner at Petersburg.
Oak Hall Lodge, No. 783, I.O.O.F., was instituted at Petersburg, Jan. 3, 1872, with charter members as follows: W. A. Keister, S. A. Cresswell, Robert Graffius, Theodore Renner, Henry Graffius, John A. Wilson, George McMahan, F. E. Weaver, C. F. Kirkpatrick, J. A. Hamer, Joseph Gilliland, Hugh Johnston, John M. Johnston, A. M. Oaks, D. B. Miller, James Little, and James Gilliland. The average number of members has been thirty, who meet statedly in a hall built in 1871. The officers in 1881 were S. A. Cresswell, N.G:; James McCafferty, V.G.; James G. Stewart, Sec.; W. W. Stryker, Asst. Sec.; John Graffius, Treas. Since the organization of the lodge the following have been the Noble Grands: W. A. Keister, John A. Wilson, John M. Oaks, Theodore Renner, James G. Stewart, John S. Wright, W. W. Stryker, J. P. Henry, C. W. McClure, John Graffius, C. F. Kirkpatrick, James McCafferty, Samuel Stair, J. C. Stevens, and S. A. Cresswell.
Juniata Grange, No. 352, P. of H. - This body was organized at Petersburg, Sept. 7, 1874, with thirty-two members, and the following officers: William W. Stryker, M.; Henry Graffius, O.; George P. Wakefield, T.; and G. W. Wilson, Sec. The Master, overseer, and treasurer have been continued to the present. The secretary was succeeded in 1879 by J. C. Hamilton, who has since served in that capacity. The grange had in 1881 forty-four members, and was in a flourishing condition. Since 1876 Granges Nos. 352 and 353 (the latter being in West township) have successfully maintained a co-operative store at Petersburg, which is at present under the management of William W. Stryker. The nominal value of the store stock has been fixed at five dollars. Members are paid an annual interest on the amounts invested, and receive a pro rata dividend on their purchases if any moneys remain to be divided.
Educational and Religious. - The members of the township school board since Logan became a separate body have been the following:
1879, H. C. McCarthy, William Denny, B. K. Neff, James A. Wilson, David Sheasley, Samuel K. Thompson; 1880, John S. Wright, David Sheasley; 1881, William Miller, James Herring, James A. Wilson.
In 1880 there were eight schools in the township, each maintained five months. The sessions were attended by 162 male and 108 female pupils, the average attendance being 173. The cost of instruction was 93 cents per month for each pupil. Nearly $2000 was raised for building purposes.
Petersburg Methodist Episcopal Church. - The early adherents of the Methodist Church at Petersburg numbered among others John Walker, Valentine Wingart, and Samuel Gill. In 1839 the membership of the class did not exceed fifteen, and Henry Shively was the class-leader. At that time the meetings were held in the upper story of a frame house owned by Calvin Wingart, which yet stands opposite the present post-office. The material for this house was given to the society by Mrs. Peter Shoenberger, and for putting it up Mr. Wingart had the use of the lower story. In 1846 the present church building was erected, which was the first in the borough. It is a plain brick, forty-two by fifty feet, and has been made more comfortable by recent repairs. In 1881 the board of trustees consisted of Henry Shively, William Miller, Samuel Havens, David Barrick, J. T. Dopp, S. S. Thompson, Jacob Bruner, D. S. Longwell, and Jacob Herncame. The ministerial supply was from the Huntingdon and Manor Hill Circuits until Petersburg Circuit was formed, in 1864, to embrace this church and Barree Ridges. The preachers in charge since that time have been the following:
1864-65, Rev. A. W. Gibson; 1866-67, Rev. James Brads; 1868-69, Rev. John Moorehead; 1870-72, Rev. M. L. Smith; 1873-74, Rev. J. A. Ross; 1875-76, Rev. W. A. Chippinger; 1877-79, Rev. J. Patton Moore; 1880-81, Rev. J. A. McKindless.
From the church at Petersburg have gone as ministers John Wesley Olewine, W. W. Hicks (missionary to China), and John W. Hoover. John Walker was for many years a local preacher. The members at Petersburg in 1881 numbered about eighty, and formed classes, which were under the leadership of Henry Shively, Mitchell Anderson, and Edward Bryan.
The Sabbath-school was organized in 1841, when the Rev. Jonathan Monroe was the preacher in charge. Henry Shively was the first superintendent, and John T. Dopp is the present. The school has a membership of sixty. Joseph M. Stevens was for many years the superintendent of the same school.
Petersburg Presbyterian Church. - For the convenience of Presbyterian members residing in Logan, a house of worship was erected in 1854 in the borough of Petersburg, in which meetings were statedly held by the Bethel congregation until the Petersburg congregation was formed in 1876. The members composing this body formerly belonged to the Alexandria and Bethel (now Cottage) congregations, and were from the Graffius, Cresswell, Nelson, Rudy, Stewart, Porter, Sheasley, Weyer, McClure, Steel, Bailey, Rung, Wharton, Wilson, and other families, numbering in all fifty-three persons. Michael Weyer, David Sheasley, Samuel R. Wharton, and William W. McFadden were elected ruling elders, and all but the first named yet serve the congregation in that capacity. The membership in 1881 was seventy-eight, who were under the pastoral direction of the Rev. Foster N. Brown, who assumed that relation in 1880. Prior to that time the congregation was supplied by the Revs. John C. Wilhelm and Samuel T. Wilson, D.D., the former being instrumental in organizing the congregation.
The church was erected by a committee composed of Abraham and John Cresswell and Adam Lightner. It is a plain brick, fifty by fifty-six feet, and cost two thousand five hundred dollars. The trustees in 1881 were Samuel Steel, John A. Hewitt, and William Denny.
Zion's Evangelical Lutheran Church. - A few members of the Water Street Lutheran Church, living in Logan, desiring a more convenient house of worship, united in 1868 to build a meeting-house at Petersburg. Among the most active in this enterprise were John Rung, Jacob Fisher, Abraham Piper, and George P. Wakefield. The church was dedicated, June 10, 1869, by the pastor of the Water Street charge, the Rev. A. H. Aughe, and after the consecration a congregation was formed of about fifteen members. In 1881 there were fifty-five persons belonging, with Jacob Fisher and George P. Wakefield as elders, and Samuel Stair and Samuel L. Stryker as deacons. The church has always been a part of the Water Street charge, and has had the following ministers: the Rev. Aughe, till 1870; the Rev. J. J. Kerr, until April, 1872, when he was succeeded by the Rev. J. B. Crist; next, in 1873, came the Rev. S. S. McHenry, followed in 1876 by the Rev. G. S. Battersby. Since April, 1881, the Rev. A. A. Kerlin has been the pastor. A Sabbath-school was established in 1871, which is in a flourishing condition under the superintendence of William Benton.
The church building is a frame, having accommodations for five hundred persons, and was erected at a cost of about two thousand dollars.
In the southern part of the township was formerly a congregation of Mennonites, having among others the Neffs as members. Worship was first held at the houses of some of the members, but about 1835 a log meeting-house was built in Porter township, about half a mile from Neff's Mills. This subsequently was displaced by the brick building which yet stands in that locality. It was abandoned as a place of worship about 1868, nearly all the old members having deceased. The last preacher was the Rev. J. Snyder, who was a bishop of the Mennonite Church, and who died in Logan, Nov. 13, 1865, at the age of seventy-two years. He was interred in the Neff Cemetery, half a mile west from Petersburg.
Cedar Grove Cemetery was incorporated by an act of the General Assembly, approved April 21, 1852. The incorporators were John McCullough, Thomas F. Stewart, William Reed, John Rung, Abraham Cresswell, Herman Reel, Samuel S. Thompson, and Joseph M. Stevens. These were also the first trustees, Joseph M. Stevens being the president and Abraham Cresswell the secretary and treasurer. The grounds originally comprised about two acres, but were enlarged Aug. 30, 1862, and at other periods, to the present dimensions. By legislative enactment they are limited to six acres. In the cemetery area number of fine headstones and some stately monuments. In 1881 the trustees were George M. Cresswell, president; John P. Murphy, secretary; John Graffius, treasurer; S. S. Thompson, and James Wilson.
Near the mouth of Shaver's Creek is a burial-ground of half an acre, which contains the graves of some of the earliest settlers. The Reed burial-ground, a mile above Petersburg, although but little used, is in a fair state of preservation. Here also are the graves of some of the worthy pioneers of Lower Shaver's Creek Valley; their tombstones being the only evidences that people of their name were once living factors in this section of country.
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