three townships of Washington, Plaingrove and Scott formerly existed as
one-Slippery Rock Township, in Mercer County. When, in 1849, that county
was divided and a portion of it assigned to the new county of Lawrence the
township was called North Slippery Rock on account of the adjoining
township in Beaver County, also set off as a part of Lawrence County,
being called Slippery Rock. North Slippery Rock was cut in two April 13,
1854, and two townships formed from it, viz.: Washington and Scott.
Washington included the northern portion of the old township and Scott the
southern, and North Slippery Rock Township ceased to exist. February 14,
1855, the eastern portions of both Washington and Scott were taken off and
a new township erected, called Plain Grove (now often written Plaingrove).
On the 15th of February, 1859, the shape of the several townships was
finally settled by enlarging Washing ton on the east by the addition of a
strip three-fourths of a mile in width from Plaingrove, and another strip
on the south half a mile in width taken from Scott. This left Washington
Township as it is at present, containing about 10,800 acres, or six teen
and seven-eighths square miles.
township presents a surface little broken by hills or cut up by streams,
and contains abundance of fine farming lands It is exclusively
agricultural in its character and is in a highly improved condition
bearing witness to the energy and industry of its inhabitants, from the
first who entered the wilderness as pioneers to the present generation.
Creek flows across the northwest corner of the township, and just as it
enters Wilmington Township receives the mingled waters of several smaller
streams or "runs" which have their sources in Washington Township.
the southern part of the township Hettenbaugh Run, or East Brook, has its
principal source at a fine spring on the Michael
Jordan farm, and is also fed from numerous other springs in the
vicinity. It flows in a southerly course until it gets into Scott
portion of the village of Volant is in the northwest corner of the
township, on the small strip which lies west of the Neshannock Creek. The
Western New York and Pennsylvania Railway is built along the west bank of
the creek and has about half a mile of track in the township.
underlies the township to some extent, but is not worked within its
limits. A fine quality is mined just across the line, in Scott Township,
and the vein very probably reaches far into Washington.
ore, of the blue quality, abounds along Neshannock Creek, but at present
is not worked in the township. It is so hard and contains comparatively so
small a percentage of iron that it is not manufactured as extensively as
the softer ores, although furnaces formerly were in operation for working
it, one at Neshannock Falls, in Wilmington Township, having run fox some
ten or twelve years, getting its supply of ore along the creek.
the first white settler in the township was George
Hettenbaugh, originally from Germany, who came in 1797 and settled
on the farm later owned by George and Michael
Jordan. He was accompanied by two sons, Michael
and George. Hettenbaugh Run takes its name from this family, who
settled at its source. The same year the Hettenbaughs settled a number of
families came to the township and located in the immediate neighborhood.
Anderson came to America from Ireland about 1789-90. Some time
during the year 1797 he came to what is now Washington Township and
settled the farm now owned by his descendants, the Tottens.
James and John Smith came the same year (1797) from the Chartiers
Valley. James Sharp and family came about the
same time and settled in the same neighborhood, as did also Mr.
McLaughlin, who located on the farm later owned by Jonathan
Bonny. Dennis McConnell was also of that period, coming perhaps a
little later. Joseph Campbell came with the
first settlers and settled near the Henry Jordan
farm. He became quite prominent in after years.
Michaels came in early and made some improvements on a place, but
owing to the fact that he had no title to the land he was obliged to leave
it. A few years after, or in the spring of 1802, Robert
Mason located on the same farm.
Jordan, Sr., came to the township with his wife and eight children
in the fall of 1802 from York County, Pennsylvania, and bought for one
dollar and seventy-five cents per acre 200 acres of land, one hundred of
which his son Henry lately owned. In January,
1803, Michael Jordan, who latterly lived on a
part of the old Hettenbaugh farm, was born.
Daniels came from New Jersey about 1805-6 and located southwest of
the Jordans. Samuel Brown, father of Solomon
Brown, came from Lancaster County some time between 1805 and 1810
and settled in Beaver County.
the year 1828 Robert Donley came to the
township from Westmoreland County and settled on the farm later owned by John
Donley. He was originally from Ireland, and though arriving at such
a late day was the first white settler on the 100-acre tract which he
bought and located upon in the northeast part of the present township of
Martin came from Ireland and settled in Washington Township about
1818-20, purchasing 200 acres of land of a Mr.
first settler on the Samuel Collins place was
Robert Collins, who bought the land of Thomas
Astley and Enoch Marvin in 1837 and
made the first improvements on it.
Grim came from the foot of Laurel Hill, in Fayette County, first to
Washington County, where he staid three or four years, and afterwards to
Washington Township, Lawrence County, in the month of July, 1814, or 1815.
S0LDIERS.-Henrv Jordan, Sr.,
settled in 1802, had served during the Revolution, and was the only one
among the settlers of the township who took part in that struggle, as far
as we have been able to ascertain, although it is possible there were
THE SOLDIERS OF 1812 the number is greater. Henry
Jordan enlisted in the fall of 1812 for six months, and went with Captain
John Junkin's company, the "Mercer Blues," to Fort Meigs, or
rather through by way of Mansfield and other points to Sandusky and the
Maumee River, or "Miami of the Lakes," where he helped build Fort
Meigs. Mr. Jordan was the last surviving member of the original "Mercer
Blues." Mr. Jordan's time expired some time during the spring of 1813,
and he was afterwards out three times to Erie. His three brothers, John,
Nathaniel and George, were also out at Erie, and
John Jordan died at Black Rock in the winter of 1813. Samuel
Anderson, a son of Alexander Anderson,
was out in 1813 to Erie.
OF THE REBELLI0N.-In the four years from 1861 to 1865
Washington Town ship was also well represented and sent many of her sons
to the front. The Regiment represented principally by Lawrence County men
was the One Hundredth or "Roundhead" Regiment, commanded by Colonel
Daniel Leasure, of New Castle, and a large number from Washington
Township joined this regiment. Other regiments had representatives from
this township, but to a small extent.
post-office was established some time about 1840-45, with William
Hoover as the first postmaster. It was kept for a while in the mill
which stood on the west side of Neshannock Creek. James
Rice afterwards opened a store and had the post-office removed to
it, and acted as post master. When the new town of Lockeville
was laid out, in 1872, the office was removed to that point, and kept by William
Graham in the store belonging to Graham
Brothers, near the railway station.
Seceder Church was organized, and a frame building erected on the Martin
farm about 1835-6. Rev. Mr. Boyd was probably
the first preacher who had charge of the society. The church lot and
cemetery were both taken from the farm of William
Martin, and included an acre of ground. The cemetery is still in
use and well cared for. Meetings have not been held for many years, and
there is now no church building in the township, the one built having long
since passed out of existence.
in the pioneer days were built by voluntary subscriptions and the schools
carried on by the same means. A schoolhouse was built in the fall of 1803
on the Jordan farm, of logs. The first
teacher was Joseph Campbell, one of the
earlier settlers of the township. The school consisted of from twenty-five
to forty pupils, many of whom came a distance of several miles to attend.
This was the first schoolhouse and the first school within the present
limits of the township. Mr. Jordan donated
the land it stood on. The next building for school purposes was erected on
land donated by Kinzie Daniels about 1807-8. John
Mitchell was the first teacher. A third schoolhouse was put up not
long afterwards on the Robert Mason farm.
three buildings were the first ones erected in the township, and were in
use for a number of years.
are now five substantial school buildings in the township, some of them
frame structures and the others built of brick. They are comfortable and
neat, well-equipped throughout, and the school work has been maintained at
a high standard by competent instructors. There are five teachers, who in
1908 were paid $1,520, and there is an enrollment of 102 in the schools.
Source: Twentieth Century History of New Castle and Lawrence County, 1908, pages 352-354