Lawrence County, Pa Places



Wurtemburg

Wayne Township

The first settler on the land where Wurtemburg now stands was probably Ananias Allen, who came about 1796-7, and built of logs a grist-mill on nearly the same spot where a more modern grist-mill, in after years, was erected. This was a famous mill in its day, and had customers from as far as New Castle, before there was a mill at that place. In this mill the first meetings of the Slippery Rock Presbyterian congregation were held. Allen built the first house on the ground where the town now stands.

Jacob Liebendorfer and his family came from Butler County in 1829, and for a time lived in a log house, which had been erected by an early settler named Smith.

In 1831 a grist-mill was built by Jacob Liebendorfer and his son, Michael. After the father died, Robert Mehard united with Michael Liebendorfer in its management, and finally became sole proprietor, after they had remodeled and improved the mill to a considerable extent. Mr. Mehard afterwards sold out to George and Harrison Fiddler, who in turn disposed of it to William Mellen and Phillip Freichtag. The next proprietors, McCray & Hutchison, also operated a saw-mill in connection.

A saw-mill and linseed oil-mill were built by Jacob and Daniel Liebendorfer, Frederick Rapp and Peter Nose, about the same time the grist-mill was built-1831. The mill race supplying them gave way, and the mills were abandoned after running about twenty years.

The saw-mill, adjoining the grist-mill, was built by Robert Mehard.

Peter Noss had a distillery at one time, and a cooper shop in connection.

A salt well was put down to a distance of about five hundred feet by Matheny & Hemphill, in 1821, and was worked for nine years, producing about two barrels of salt per day. On account of oil and the scarcity of water, the well was finally abandoned. Just before the Civil War the oil excitement ran high, and this well was worked by a company who tried for oil. The oil they lost, principally because the flow of water was too strong.

The post-office at Wurtemburg was established about 1845, and derived its name from the fact that the Germans who settled here were from Wurtemburg, Germany. The first postmaster of whom we find any mention was Frederick Rapp, who was the second to fill that office; after him came Ebert and Brown. Up to this time it was kept on the north side of the creek, but was afterwards moved to the south side, and kept in the store of Fleming & Freichtag. James Liebendorfer next had it, on the north side, then Morrison & Fisher on the south side.

The first store on the south side of the creek was opened by three Hyde brothers, John, Joseph and Thomas. The first store on the north side was opened by a man named Vincent, who only kept it a year or two. A man named Coulter had the second one, and Frederick Rapp the third, and the latter also built the brick hotel, kept by Benjamin Wilson in after years.

The first blacksmith shop was probably started by Jacob Weis.

J. N. Kirker has conducted a flour and feed store here since 1902. James H. Newton is proprietor of the largest general store, which was established in 1900. E. G. French operates a stone quarry just on the edge of the town. It has been operated by him since 1900 and still the vein is not exhausted, although at the present time he is working it heavily, employing as many as fourteen men.

A two-story brick school building was erected in 1872, on the north side. The village of Wurtemburg is an independent school district, and had an attendance in its two schools in 1908 of ninety-four pupils. Two teachers are employed and in that year were paid $650. The total expenditure for school purposes was $828.57.

CHURCHES.

Methodist Church

The METHODISTS held meetings at intervals for some twenty years, part of the time in the schoolhouse, prior to erecting a church. In the summer of 1876 the present frame building, called the "Centennial Methodist Episcopal Church," was built.

Here, Rev. J. S. Ross preached three years and was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Writer.

The bridge still spanning Slippery Rock Creek was built either in 1829 or 1830 by James Mehard, then living in Harmony, Butler County. He afterwards came to Wurtemburg and bought the place where his son, Joseph, afterwards lived.

Wurtemburg has always been regarded as a progressive place, its transition from conditions of pioneer days having been rapid, and its improvements of a permanent character.


Source:  Twentieth Century History of New Castle and Lawrence County, 1908, pages 361-363


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