Lawrence County, Pa History
This township, one of the original townships of Lawrence County, was, prior to the organization of the county, a part of Mahoning Township, which was erected from old Pymatuning Township, Mercer County, some time between the third Monday of November, 1805, and the third Monday of February, 1806. It has an area of about nineteen thousand acres, being one of the largest townships of the county. Its surface is comparatively level and the soil rich and productive.
The township is well watered by several streams, the largest being the Shenango River, along the east bank of which the bed of the old Erie extension of the Pennsylvania Canal is seen; along the west bank lies the track of the Erie & Pittsburg Railway, which is now part of the Pennsylvania system. The smaller streams are Deer Creek, a branch of the Shenango, Coffee Run a branch of the Mahoning, and numerous tributaries. On the Shenango and Deer Creek there is considerable water power, and in the early days the canal also furnished power.
The township contains the villages of New Bedford and Pulaski and a small settlement called Freedom, or Marr.
The mineral resources of the township have been but little developed.
Joshua Bentley came from Pittsburg in 1798, and settled 259 acres, the old homestead being now, or recently, owned by Samuel English. Mr. Bentley built a log-cabin, cleared a small piece of ground, and put in some grain, after which he went back to Pittsburg and married, and brought his wife back with him, in 1800. In 1801 he built a large log-house and moved into it, and during the same year his oldest child, John, was born.
At nearly the same time, William Cotton, George Davis, Isaac Phillips, George Walker, James McCready, Hugh McKean, John Mitchell, and others came, and settled in the same neighborhood.
Andrew Marquis came with his father Samuel Marquis, from Washington County, Pa., and settled in East Lackawannock Township, Mercer County, about 1800. He bought a farm east of Pulaski village, and came to it in 1814-15.
James McCready settled three miles southeast of Pulaski about the year of 1801.
John Somerville settled in the southern part of the township, on the west side of the Shenango, at an early date.
Nathaniel Porter, then eighteen years of age, came from Chester County, Pa., in August, 1796, with James McWilliams, who was returning with his family, having previously been one of a party that came out in 1793. McWilliams' place was in what is now Mahoning Township. The old Nathaniel Porter place originally included 290 acres of "population land." The first season he made improvements on the place, and then went back after his parents, brothers and sisters, whom he brought out in 1797.
About 1797-9 Robert Black came from Cannonsburg, Washington County, Pennsylvania, and settled the tract where the Deer Creek United Presbyterian Church now stands. His house stood very near the spot now occupied by the church. He "squatted" on the place, which was owned by a man named Bell, and built a blacksmith shop. He, one day while at work, fell in the fire and burned his arm so badly that it became necessary to amputate it.
John Mitchell and his daughter, Naomi Mitchell, afterwards Mrs. George McWilliams, settled probably 300 acres on the west side of the Shenango, about 1796, including the farms lately owned by the heirs of Samuel Satterfield and Robert McClenahan, one mile below Pulaski village.
James Neal came from Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, to Washington County, where he lived a short time, and from there he came, in 1797, to Pulaski Township, Lawrence County, and settled a 400-acre tract. Alexander Neal came in 1800, and finally became the owner of the place his uncle, James Neal, had settled.
Daniel Ault settled about 1797, on the farm afterwards owned by Richard Amon. About 1798 he built a small log grist-mill on Deer Creek, which was afterwards bought by Richard Amon and Frederick Shuce, who operated it a number of years. These gentlemen had come to the neighborhood about the year 1800. Mr. Ault, after selling out his first mill, built another log mill on the Shenango, just opposite where Pulaski village now stands. He still later built one on a small run flowing through the Piper farm, above Pulaski.
John Gealey came some time previous to 1812 and bought land of James Black, who had settled it, and thereon erected a stone house. The old house and farm, located a mile northeast of the town of New Bedford, on the road leading to Pulaski, afterwards became known as the Henry Grundy home.
James Walker was four years of age when brought by his father from Ireland in 1774. The family settled in Washington County, Pennsylvania, some time between 1774 and 1776. In 1792, James Walker was a member of several scouting parties against the Indians. In March, 1797, he settled on a 400-acre tract on the west side of the Shenango, in Pulaski Township. About 1802-3, Mr. Walker taught school off and on in the neighborhood until 1829, and became a man of prominence and influence in the community. He was four times elected Auditor of Mercer County. He drafted the constitution of the old Hopewell Presbyterian Church at New Bedford, and was an elder in the church for thirty-five years-was one of its first elders.
Robert Walker came some time after his brother, James, and located on the farm afterward owned by William McClung.
Freedom, or Marr postoffice, was established about 1854, and the office kept up for seven or eight years with Cowden Murdock as the first and only postmaster.
John and Wallace McCloskey and William Sheriff were early settlers in the township, arriving about 1812.
James Stevenson, a native of Ireland and a soldier during the Revolution, located in the southwest corner of Mercer County in 1806, coming from Chester County, Pennsylvania, but remained only two years.
Richard Van Fleet, originally from New Jersey, and, afterward, a resident of Northumberland and Washington Counties, Pennsylvania, successively, came to the present limits of Mercer County in 1798 and in the latter part of 1799 settled on a farm, the south part of which lay in what is now Pulaski Township. On Christmas day, 1798, Mr. Van Fleet got a cabin raised, and then went back to Washington County and brought out his widowed sister, Mrs. Hannah Burwell, who kept house for him until some time in the year 1800; he was in that year married to Sarah Hogue, it being one of the first weddings in the neighborhood. They lived for eight or ten years within the bounds of what is now Mercer County, and then built a cabin on the south side of the farm, now in Lawrence County, near the Pulaski and Youngstown road.
Francis McFarland was one of a company of forty-five men who came out to locate claims and make improvements in 1793. He settled first in Mahoning Township, but about 1803 put another man on the place he had located upon, and removed to Pulaski Township. He had entered his farm here about 1796 and placed a man named Samuel Phipps upon it to hold it. Mr. McFarland was the only one of the company that came out in 1793, who finally settled in what is now Pulaski Township.
Alexander Thompson also was among the early settlers of the township.
The building of the Erie canal brought Samuel Mitchell to Pulaski township. He, with his wife's brother, George Foreman, was contractor for the building of Lock No. 1, and the completion of Lock No. 2, above the Western Reserve Harbor. George Foreman went back to his home in Kittanning, but Mr. Mitchell, who was the son of a Revolutionary soldier, and a native of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, was so favorably impressed with this section that he remained. He purchased a tract of over two hundred acres, which was about equally divided by the Shenango River. A two-story log house containing seven rooms had been built by the former owner, on the west bank of the Shenango River at a spot later called "Mitchell's Fording," and into this he moved with his family in 1833.
For some years after the country was settled, the only roads were old trails winding through the forest. The Mercer and Youngstown road, passing through New Bedford, was laid out about 1802, and in 1827 became a postal route. The New Bedford and New Castle road was cut out some time afterwards.
The date of building the first school-house in Pulaski is obscure, but it was some time previous to the War of 1812; it was built of round logs and stood near the site of the residence of James Judy, being either on his farm or on the James Donaldson place. James Neal was the first teacher of this school, and about 1811-12 also opened a select school in a log building put up for that purpose. He gave lessons in the languages, and continued the school till the latter part of August, 1813, when he closed it, and went into the army. After the war he resumed his school and taught for a time. James Walker taught school as early as 1802-3 in other parts of the township, and also at New Bedford.
The number of schools in Pulaski Township in 1908 was twelve, having an enrollment of 261. The number of months taught was seven, and twelve teachers were employed at a total cost of $4,182. The total expenditures for school purposes in 1908 were $5,319.13.
The school buildings of the township at the present time are all comfortable and commodious. The schools are well kept and prosperous, and the citizens have just cause for pride in them.
NEW BEDFORD UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
The Associate Presbyterian (now the New Bedford United Presbyterian) congregation at Deer Creek was first organized and a tent erected on the site of the present United Presbyterian congregation of Mahoning, about two miles northeast of Lowellville, Ohio, in Mahoning Township, now in Lawrence County, Pa. There is no record as to the time of organization or as to who preached the first sermon, but it is believed Rev. James Duncan preached to this congregation in 1800, or a little earlier. Hewed logs were arranged in front of their tent for seats. In winter meetings were held in private houses, as there were no schoolhouses or public buildings.
The first recorded meeting of the session bears date June 25, 1803. It met at the Mahoning tent, and Rev. Duncan was moderator, and the elders present were James McConnell, William Gealey, Robert Walker, William Houston and Samuel McBride. There were three cases before them at that time, and the inference is that the session was in working order some time before. Mr. McBride was clerk of session, and continued in that office some twenty-five years.
When the organization was effected it was done by the Presbytery of Chartiers, and continued under its care until 1808, at which date the Presbytery of Ohio was set off. The organization was effected at Mahoning tent on the first Tuesday of October, 1808, Rev. Duncan acting as moderator. The congregation continued in the Ohio Presbytery until 1859, a period of fifty-one years, when the United Presbytery of Mercer was formed, and the congregation became a part of that Presbytery, and so continues at the present time.
The last record of the meeting of session at Mahoning tent is dated June 14, 1806. About the year 1807-8 the question began to be agitated as to the advisability of removing the meetings of the congregation to some place four or five miles north of the Mahoning tent. The controversy was sharp and bitter, and so determined that the congregation was disrupted. Those who were opposed to the removal continued their organization at the tent, called the Rev. Galloway, of the Associate Reformed Church, for their pastor, and continued a congregation of that body until the union of the Associate and Associate Reformed churches in 1858, and is now a flourishing United Presbyterian congregation.
The congregation of Deer Creek chose for their future place of meetings and cemetery a spot which is situated in Pulaski Township, Lawrence County, Pa., half a mile north of New Bedford and about four miles north of Mahoning Church. The village of New Bedford was not laid out until several years subsequently. Rev. James Duncan, who was the second Associate minister licensed to preach in the United States, was pastor of the church. For a few years the congregation prospered under his care, and many were added to its membership. His time was divided equally between Poland, Liberty and Deer Creek, and the three congregations had one united session, part of the elders being in each congregation. But in a few years Mr. Duncan began to promulgate doctrine not taught or received by the Associate Presbyterian Church. Charges were preferred against him in Presbytery for teaching erroneous doctrines, and, after a protracted and vexatious litigation, both in Presbytery and Synod, he was pronounced guilty and his license recalled.
In 1810 the congregation at Deer Creek built a hewed-log house, with shingled roof, 30x35 feet in dimensions, each family providing the number of logs assigned them. A lofty pulpit was erected, which was reached by a flight of steps, and, when done, was occupied by the preacher and singing clerk.
About 1815 Deer Creek and its sister branches were declared vacancies for the first time. In 1811 the name of Alexander Reed, and, in 1812, that of George Thompson, had been added to the session-roll, but in 1816 both left the church, and subsequently the congregation had many lonely Sabbaths. The Rev. Alexander Murray, of the church in New Castle, often visited and refreshed the congregation with his sermons and counsel. In 1819 a call was given to Rev. Robert Douglass, and accepted by him. He was ordained and installed pastor of Deer Creek, Poland and Liberty in 1820. He became very popular and his congregation increased with such rapidity that the house was soon too small to contain the people.
In 1822 a new frame church, 40x50 feet in dimensions, was erected, but before its completion the beloved pastor was called to his final rest, the date of his death being the 24th of December, 1823. He was buried in the cemetery at Poland Center.
In 1820 David Wilson and James Shields were elected ruling elders of Deer Creek Church. This was the first election of such officers placed upon the church records. In 1825 Rev. David Goodwillie accepted a call from Deer Creek, Poland and Liberty, and was ordained and installed in April, 1826. He was very popular with his people and during his pastorate of seven and a half years there were added to the congregation 100 new members. Encouraged by prosperity, the congregation in 1832 petitioned the Presbytery to grant them all of Mr. Goodwillie's time, and to dissolve the existing relations between Deer Creek, and Poland and Liberty, but the two last named joined issue and counter-petitioned for all of Rev. Goodwillie's time for themselves. The Presbytery referred the matter to Mr. Goodwillie, who finally chose to serve Poland and Liberty, and Deer Creek was left vacant for the third time.
In 1827 Thomas Robinson and James McConnell were elected ruling elders of Deer Creek, and their names added to the roll of the United Session. The first roll of members and families of the Deer Creek congregation, recorded in 1827, showed the number of families to be seventy-eight, with 160 communicants.
In 1834 a call was made to Rev. James P. Ramsey, and accepted; he was ordained and installed July 1, 1835. He was so popular with his congregation that he remained with them for twenty-one years. During his pastorate many exciting controversies arose, among which was the slavery question, which shook the church to its very foundations. Rev. Mr. Ramsey was not an abolitionist at first, and was opposed to meddling with the subject, either in the church or in the social gatherings.
About this time Rev. Wright (of the Presbyterian Church) sent a notice that he would lecture in Deer Creek on a certain day on the subject of American slavery, an appointment unsolicited on the part of the congregation. The day arrived, the congregation assembled, including Rev. Ramsey and wife, but when they reached the church found it locked and guarded. The antislavery portion of the congregation took in the situation at once and, without stopping to parley, returned to their respective homes. The proceeding opened a door which could not be closed, and when, on the next Sabbath, Mr. Ramsey took decided anti-slavery ground, many of those who had previously sympathized with the pro-slavery element came over to his support. The determined pro-slavery men, however, soon withdrew from the congregation, organized an Associate Reformed congregation, built a church and called it Beulah, two miles north of Deer Creek, and made a call upon Rev. Thomas Mehard, and their organization was continued up to the time of the Union in 1858. After the "secession" of the pro-slavery element from the church the congregation remaining had no more trouble on the subject, but the departure of so many families weakened them seriously.
In 1869 the congregation built a new meeting-house, 43x50 feet in dimensions, which was the third one erected at Deer Creek. A Sabbath school was organized by Rev. Ramsey and the session, but the health of the pastor caused it to be discontinued.
On account of his failing health, Rev. Mr. Ramsey petitioned the presbytery to release him from pastoral duties, which petition was granted August 19, 1855, and Mr. Ramsey removed from Deer Creek to New Wilmington, where he engaged in the mercantile business. He was much respected and beloved by his congregation. He died in 1862 and was buried at Deer Creek, where also repose the remains of his son, William, who died in the Union army during the rebellion, at Hilton Head, South Carolina.
In 1857, by a unanimous vote of the congregation, a call was presented to Rev. Josiah Alexander, who accepted, and entered upon his duties April 1 of that year. When he assumed charge of this congregation there were on the roll the names of sixty-seven families and 128 communicants. These members increased rapidly until the house was full. A monthly prayer-meeting was organized which was well attended for years. The Sabbath-school was reorganized, and soon increased to 180 members. A Sabbath-school temperance society was also organized with 137 members and pledged to total abstinence from all intoxicating liquors.
In 1858 the union of the Associate and Associate Reformed Churches was perfected. This union worked unfavorably upon Deer Creek Church. There was an Associate Reformed Church at Middlesex, five miles north, and another at Mahoning, four miles south of Deer Creek, and many of the members of the latter drew off to one or the other of these, until Deer Creek was sadly diminished in numbers. Other matters produced bitterness and divided interests, and the church was exceedingly troubled; but, notwithstanding all these drawbacks, the membership gradually increased until it numbered some 200.
The church had an organized aid society during the war, mostly managed by the female members, which made monthly contributions in aid of the sick and wounded.
In 1867 the use of tokens at communion seasons was discontinued. In 1874 the church was repaired and re-furnished at a cost of several thousand dollars. After Mr. Alexander began his labors in the congregation there were added to its numbers, up to 1877, as follows: By profession, 130; by certificate, 119. In the same period of twenty years there left the church, by dismission, 120.
The pastorate of Rev. Josiah Alexander continued until June 10, 1877. After his resignation Rev. Alexander remained for a year or two on his farm near New Bedford, and then removed to New Wilmington, where he died a short time afterward. His body was brought back to New Bedford and laid to rest in Deer Creek Cemetery, where a neat marble stone, erected by the family and the congregation, marks his last resting place. Almost exactly a year afterward Rev. H. S. Boyd was installed as pastor, June 11, 1878, and served until January 11, 1888. During his pastorate the congregation was removed to the village of New Bedford. A new church building was erected and dedicated July 12, 1883. The name of the congregation was shortly afterward changed to New Bedford United Presbyterian Church. For almost four years after Rev. Boyd's resignation the congregation was vacant. On June 10, 1892, Rev. J. P. Davis was installed as pastor and remained about three years. The first of July, 1896, Rev. John Gealey came as Stated Supply, and, a year afterward, after completing his course in the Seminary, was installed as pastor and is still serving in that capacity. The present membership of the congregation is 170, with 129 in the Sabbath School and thirty-three in the Young People's Society. The officers of the congregation are: Session, W. S. Lowry, W. J. Sharpe, J. Al. Cooper, D. C. McBride, A. A. Anderson and Hiram Anderson; board of trustees, J. A. Walker, W. F. Cowden, Trude Smith, Ed. R. Lowry and F. W. Shields; superintendent of Sabbath school, Clare B. Shields; president of the Ladies' Missionary Society, Mary M. Walker; president of the Young People's Society, John W. Gealey; chairman of the congregation, Newell Allison.
THE SISTERS-OF-MARY ORPHAN FARM
is located on land originally donated by William Murrin to Bishop O'Connor, of Pittsburg, in 1855. The Franciscan Brothers of Pittsburg at first had charge of it, and in 1856 the larger part of the present brick building was erected. The Brothers at first kept a boarding school but on account of the location, being so far from Pittsburg, it did not pay well, and Bishop O'Connor, about the year 1860, sold the land to Bishop Rapp, of Cleveland, for $3,000, and the "Sisters of Charity" conducted it on for three years. They established an orphan school for boys, while in charge, but the land was in poor condition, and their success was not such as anticipated. In May, 1864, the "Sisters of Mary" took charge and the same year organized the orphan school for girls. The school and convent were placed in a flourishing condition. All the buildings on the farm are substantial and commodious. The frame building erected for a church stood originally on the north side of the road, in the cemetery, but was removed, about 1874, to the place where it now stands. The lower story is used for a school-room for the orphans, and the upper story as a school-room for the novices or young sisters.
TOWN OF NEW BEDFORD
The town of New Bedford was laid out by Daniel Inbody, June 25, 1818, on land which had been owned by Dr. Nathaniel Bedford, after whom the town was named. Another reason for the name is advanced; three strong springs flowed from the ground at the spot where the public watering trough is located, and bore a resemblance to the famed Bedford Springs in that they were strongly mineral.
The first settlers on the ground where the town stands were James and Thomas Black. In the year 1796 James, Thomas and Andrew Black came from Adams County, Pa., and James and Thomas settled a 400-acre tract, including that on which the town now stands. Andrew settled land on Deer Creek, northeast of town. Jacob Van Meter a brother-in-law of the Blacks, who came originally from Virginia, settled in Pulaski Township in 1800, and settled 200 acres of the 400-acre tract which the Blacks had taken. Mr. Van Meter lived on his place until his death in 1854.
James and Thomas Black built the first house erected on the site of New Bedford, and made other improvements in 1796, and in 1797 went back and brought their mother and three sisters.
The second house in the neighborhood, built on what afterward was known as the Robert McCullough farm, was a hewed log structure and a fine building for that time.
Daniel Inbody arrived soon after the Blacks, and, on the 25th of June, 1818, laid out the town. The lots were surveyed by James McCready, and the following were the original lot owners in New Bedford: Josiah Cotton, J. Beggs, Elizabeth Winters, John C. Little, William Bell, Daniel Inbody, Joseph Jackson, Owen McGeary, John Gaily, Henry Potter, John McCready, William Porter, John Hill, Darby Doran, Michael Doran, D. Armstrong, Alexander Ragan, James Waugh,, Joseph Randalls, James Mitcheltree, Thomas Mitcheltree, Thomas Irwin, J. H. Anderson, Thomas McDonald, Timothy Swan, A. McFarland, C. Martines, Barney Harris and James Williamson. The original town consisted of eighty-nine lots.
A postoffice was established at New Bedford about 1827, with Dr. John McCready as first postmaster.
Daniel Inbody established a pottery and, it is thought, kept the first tavern in the place.
John Pollock opened a tavern in a brick house, and this is said by some to have been the first one in the place; that Mr. Inbody did not conduct a regular tavern, but merely accommodated transients who had no other place to stay.
About 1810-11 a well was being dug on the place owned by John Inbody, when a sad accident happened. John and Jacob Inbody were Daniel Inbody's sons, Jacob being a deaf mute. These two men and two hired men, who worked in the pottery beloning to Inbody, were digging the well, and all four were smothered by the damp.
A tannery was started by John Lynn very soon after the town was laid out, probably in 1819, and was run for some years.
Thomas Black built a distillery in the early days which ceased operation before the town was laid out; it was located near the spot afterwards occupied by the tannery, and was the first distillery built in this part of the country.
Dr. John McCready was the first physician in the place, Dr. Gage the second, and Dr. John Cowden, who came to the town in 1829, was the third. Dr. John Ferrel, Dr. A. R. McClure and Dr. James Love were also early physicians here.
James Waugh opened the first store in the township, half a mile east of the Deer Creek bridge, on the New Bedford and Pulaski road. Waugh afterwards removed to New Bedford and opened the first store at that place, about the year 1819. He bought one of the original lots and built first a house, then a store upon it. He kept store in a part of his house at first.
A man named McDowell opened the second store in New Bedford and kept it about three years, then moved away.
Archibald Douglass kept a tavern in the place early, in the building later refitted for hotel purposes, and known as the "Fountain Hotel."
A man named Guthrie had a carding machine at the place before the town was established. William Leyda built a steam grist mill about 1851-52 and operated it for some time. William Porter, Esq., and Josiah Cotton started the first blacksmith shops, at about the same time.
John and William Porter probably opened the first wagon shop in the place. Previous to this, a man named Alexander Magahey had a wagon shop near the State line, west of where the town afterwards stood, and made the first wagons that were manufactured in the country.
The first tailor shop was kept by a man named Moore, whose brother came with him and followed the trade of a blacksmith. Richard Hoagland came in next after them and opened a tailor shop.
The first saddle and harness shop was opened and conducted for some time by Samuel Rogers. A man named Kelso worked at the coopering business shortly after New Bedford was laid out. John Leyda and his sons, William and James, built a saw-mill about 1847-48, a few years before they erected the grist-mill. A bentwood factory was started by them while they were running their saw-mill. It afterwards became the property of other parties, and was carried on in the old grist-mill for some time, then in a frame building, which was erected for that purpose, by John Duff and Cassius Zedaker.
The New Bedford Creamery Company was established in 1895, its project being a high grade of fancy butter. Frank Moeschberger is manager thereof.
A school was taught, about 1802-3, in the old log building erected by the Hopewell Presbyterian congregation. James Walker taught this school, and afterwards kept it in his house, which stood on the Pulaski road, northeast of town. George Monteith was also one of the early teachers before the town was laid out. Afterwards a log schoolhouse was built near the spot now occupied by the church, and James Hawthorne was the first teacher. This house was used until 1834, when the free-school law went into effect, and new schoolhouses were built. A frame two-story schoolhouse was built in the extreme western part of the town. The schools now are in a prosperous condition and are well attended and maintained.
New Bedford was incorporated a borough by act of Legislature, April 23, 1852, and January 1, 1861, the borough organization was discontinued.
Hopewell Presbyterian Church.- Hopewell Church antedates that at Deer Field, the exact date being unknown. It was not later than 1800, and possibly organized as early as 1798. In the old Hopewell graveyard, which was laid out in 1800, the first burial was in 1810, being that of a young lady who was accidentally shot. This church was one of the first organized in the bounds of the old Presbytery of Erie.
The first pastor was Rev. William Wick, who was ordained and installed by the Presbytery of Erie, September 3, 1800, in connection with Neshannock. Mr. Wick was pastor until his death, which occurred March 29, 1815. The first elders of this church were probably James Walker, William Porter and John Monteith. At any rate, Mr. Walker was one of the first and helped organize the church.
The second pastor was Rev. William Wood, who commenced his pastorate March 11, 1816, in connection with Neshannock. He was released June 25, 1829, and was succeeded by Rev. William Nesbit, who was ordained and installed October 7, 1829. Mr. Nesbit was released October 6, 1840. The fourth pastor was Rev. Henry Webber, who was installed April 11, 1849, and released June 29, 1853. Rev. William Nesbit was again installed in May, 1854, and released April 6, 1858. Rev. James P. Fulton was next installed May 28, 1867.
The Free Presbyterian Church was formed from a portion of the Hopewell congregation in 1844, owing to differences, on the subject of slavery. Rev. John Knox, who must have been supplying Hopewell at the time, joined the Free Church and was its first pastor. This congregation built themselves a church, the same building afterwards used as the town hall.
The history of the Methodist Episcopal Church of New Bedford is difficult of ascertainment from the fact that it has been so frequently changed from one charge to another. The following pastors have served the charge: Nathan Morris, D. W. Wampler, J. K. Mendenhall, J. L. Mecklin, R. A. Buzza, S. E. Winger, Washington Hollister, W. A. Merriam, S. L. Mills, H. H. Blair, M. B. Riley, J. M. Drake, A. O. Stone, Rev. Lackey, Rev. King, A. C. Locke and R. W. Skinner. The membership of the church is sixty-four and the Sabbath-school fifty. In 1884, the congregation built a new church, across the street from the old building where they held the services formerly. The official members of the church are as follows: Samuel Cover, W. H. Bentley, S. E. Cover, Frank Moeschberger, Robert Lawson, Charles Stuver, Dr. Tobey, Thomas Vaughn and Andrew Onstott.
VILLAGE OF PULASKI
The first settler on the land where Pulaski now stands was probably Daniel Ault, who first located on Deer Creek, West of town. He built a grist-mill on the west side of the Shenango, about 1800, and afterwards built one on the ruin north of town. The old mill stood opposite the latter and a little farther down the stream, and the old dam also was built by him. There was also a saw-mill at the east end of the dam, possibly built by John Piper after the grist-mill was erected.
In the neighborhood of 1835 a carding-mill was built by a Mr. Brenneman, on the west side of the Shenango, just above the old grist-mill. It was operated a number of years and finally removed. A saw-mill, which later burned, stood just above it, probably built by Hunter & Watson.
The Erie extension of the Pennsylvania Canal was completed to Pulaski about 1836, the village having been previously laid out, during the year 1832 by William Byers and John Piper. Union Street was the dividing line of their property, Byers having all south of it, and Piper that which was on the north. The first dwelling erected on the new town plot was a log house built by John Crawford.
William M. Stitt came to the village July 21, 1833, and opened the second tailor shop in Pulaski, the first one having been started by John Porter. When Mr. Stitt came to the town it contained only eight dwellings, they being owned by James Dawson, John Crawford, Andrew McWilliams, William Watson, John Hunter, Samuel and Andrew Tannehill, Marcus Best and D. C. Matthews. James Hooper had a general store there at the time. A number of buildings were erected in the fall of that year.
Andrew McWilliams and William Watson had kept a store-the first one in the place-and the one opened by D. C. Matthews was the second. William Dickey and John P. Wright also had a store afterwards, and William and Amos J. Waugh another. James F. Scott came to the village in 1839, and, in company with Hugh Bell, opened a general store.
David A. McKee came to the town in the spring of 1837 from Shenango Township, and, after 1842, conducted a harness shop. He learned his trade in the shop of Caldwell & Morrison, which had been established by A. E. Caldwell, and was the first in the village. McKee's shop was the second in town. The first blacksmith shop was opened by B. T. Harris in the spring of 1833. John Hunter came next, and made edged tools. Allen B. Wallace came to the village about 1837-38.
The first hotel in the place was probably kept by James Byers, in a building standing at the northwest corner of Union Street and the Mercer Road. At one time there were five or six taverns in town, and every one of them had a bar in connection. The first physician in Pulaski was Dr. William Wood, who came in the spring of 1833. Henry King had a shoe-shop early, possibly the first one in the place. David and John Carnahan and a Mr. Somerville opened the first wagon shops. The grist-mill, later owned by Hull & Swogger, was built by McWilliams & Wright, about 1840-44. The covered wooden bridge across the Shenango at Pulaski was built by a man named Bingham, in the fall of 1833, and was afterwards rebuilt.
A planing mill was built on the bank of the canal by Scott & Wallace, in 1863, the only one ever in the place, and a saw-mill was run in connection.
John H. Porter, Esq., came to Pulaski in 1842, and in 1843 established a foundry. He erected a new foundry building in 1854, and he began work in it in 1855. It was a very flourishing business enterprise and was afterwards successfully operated by his son, N. M. Porter.
About 1872 four brothers, named Reno, united and formed a partnership under the style of Reno Brothers, for the manufacture of "Reno's French Umber Filler." The basis of this popular paint is a peculiar mineral mined in Lawrence County. These men established a mill on the Erie & Pittsburg Railway, 45 by 60 feet in size, with a capacity of about two tons daily, and built up a trade in many parts of the country.
A postal route was established between Mercer and Youngstown in 1827, and passed through New Wilmington, Pulaski and New Bedford, the latter and New Wilmington then being the only towns laid out. The first postmaster at Pulaski was Andrew Tannehill, the office being established about 1832.
About 1803-4 a log schoolhouse was built on the James McCready place. One of the first teachers was John Byers, who taught in 1806-7, and probably before. He was a son of William Byers, who laid out the south part of the town and was the first sheriff of Mercer County, appointed November 9, 1803.
The second schoolhouse in the neighborhood, a log structure, stood on what later was the Frank Wilson farm, nearly a mile east of Pulaski, and John Bellows was the teacher.
The third schoolhouse was also built of logs, and stood on the hill east of the town.
A two-story frame schoolhouse was built in the summer of 1876, at a cost of $1,500, and unexcelled educational advantages was afforded the children of the village.
Charles E. Terrill has been postmaster at Pulaski for the past six years. El. Ayers is engaged in the manufacture of galvanized iron top churns, which he ships to Pittsburg, from which point they are distributed. Pulaski Roller Mills-David W. Swogger, proprietor-were purchased by their present owner in 1903. The mills have a capacity of seventy-five barrels of flour per day. Reno Brothers Paint Company was founded in the early seventies, and for almost forty years has made a specialty of the manufacture of Reno's French Umber Filler. The president of the concern is D. S Kennedy, and the secretary and treasurer, J. W. Benner, both of whom are residents of Pittsburg. Charles E. Hull, of Pulaski, is the manager.
Pulaski Presbyterian Church.- A meeting of the Presbyterians of Pulaski and vicinity was held May 25, 1837, at the house of V. M. Best, with a view of establishing a church in the village. William Wilson was appointed to make application to the Presbytery. The request was granted, and Rev. William Nesbit was appointed to organize the church. In the fall of the same year the organization was completed, with a membership of thirty-seven, the members being from the congregations of the Neshannock and Hopewell Presbyterian churches. The first meeting was held in the schoolhouse, and the second in the grove east of where the church now stands. The first elders were Patrick Wilson, Alexander Cotton and John P. Wright.
Revs. William Wood, Absalom McCready and Robert Sample were stated supplies until June, 1845, when Rev. Henry Webber was installed as the first regular pastor. He had been with them since November 30, 1844, and continued his pastorate almost eight years.
The second pastor was Rev. David Waggoner, who was installed in the fall of 1853, and had charge until 1864, then Rev. R. T. Price supplied for about eighteen months. Rev. J. P. Fulton was installed as third regular pastor May 12, 1866, and continued until October 5, 1869. Rev. T. B. Anderson came in the spring of 1871, and Rev. A. C. Campbell in the spring of 1874, remaining until April, 1876.
Rev. Seth R. Gordon was the next pastor in order, and was followed successively by Revs. James P. Irwin, K. C. Hayes, J. M. Mealy, J. L. Godfrey, C. J. Jordan, George T. Scott, A. R. Shultz, J. C. Ambrose and F. A. Shape, who is the present incumbent. The names of the church officers are as follows: S. M. Porter, Sabbath-school superintendent; J. C. Marquis, S. M. Porter, William Cotton and Julius Wallace, elders. The present church membership is 170, and that of the Sabbath-school is 100. Since the spring of 1874, Pulaski Presbyterian Church has been a sole charge; prior to that time it was united with the Hopewell charge. The Sabbath-school was organized in the fall of 1843 or 1844.
A frame church building was begun in the fall of 1840, and finished in the spring of 1841, the lot on which it was built having been donated by William Byers for church and school purposes when he laid out his part of the town. The first sermon in the church was that preached by Rev. Absalom McCready, early in May, 1841, on the death of President W. H. Harrison.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1854 or 1855, their first meetings being held in the schoolhouse. Their first pastor was Rev. Robert Caruthers. A frame church was built in the fall of 1856, and was dedicated some time during that winter.
Among the subsequent pastors to serve this charge were Revs. H. H. Moore, Boyle, R. M. Bear, S. Gregg, Shattuck, J. F. Perry, J. Crum, J. C. Colton, J. S. Card, J. K. Mendenhall, E. L. Beardsley, H. Henderson, H. C. Smith and A. M. Lockwood. A Sabbath-school was organized during Rev. J. F. Perry's pastorate.
Christian Church.-This society held its first meetings in Pulaski in the fall of 1864, using the schoolhouse, the Methodist Episcopal Church and other places. It was for some time in connection with the congregation at Edenburg, in Mahoning Township. In 1870-71 it was organized as a separate congregation by Rev. Henry Camp. The first regular pastor was Rev. Orange Higgins. After him came Revs. S. B. Teegarden, Thomas Hillock, Henry Camp and William F. Cowden. After Rev. Hillock took charge, services were held in the brick block erected in Pulaski by Henry Kyle in 1870, there being a hall upstairs. About the year 1875 a Sabbath-school was organized, with James Mitcheltree as superintendent.
Revolutionary War.-James Stevenson, who was located in what is now Pulaski Township for a brief period, served in the Revolutionary army, and was taken prisoner by the British at Philadelphia, and held nine months. He is the only veteran of that war of whom we have any knowledge who settled in the township, although descendants of some of the veterans became residents here.
War of 1812.-Andrew Marquis served in Capt. Matthew Dawson's company, and went to Sandusky and Fort Meigs with General Harrison's army. Joshua Bentley went to Sandusky, and afterwards to Erie. James, Jr., David and John McCready, John Somerville, Matthew Black, William Lockhart and William Sheriff's father were also in the service. James and Alexander Neal were at Erie, the former twice and the latter three times. John McFarland (son of Francis McFarland) was out twice to Erie. John Gealey also went to Erie. James Walker served in Capt. Alexander Thompson's company at Erie, and helped haul Commodore Perry's fleet over the bar.
Militia Companies.-The "Shenango Marksmen," a rifle company, was organized some time after the War of 1812 and held its drills at the settlement where Pulaski now stands. Its officers were, at different times, William Sheriff, Ebenezer Byers, William Allen, Samuel Byers and others, the organization having been maintained about thirty years. Its first uniform was a yellow hunting shirt with a white fringe, red sash, and a citizen's hat having a white plume with a red top. It was a volunteer company, and was one of four companies composing a battalion which held its reviews at Mercer.
During the rebellion of 1861-65 the township furnished a considerable number of troops for the Union army. It was represented in several regiments, but principally in the famous Round Head (100th) Regiment, and quite a number laid down their lives in battling for the cause.
Source: History of New Castle and Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1908,