To understand the
origin of this geographical division of the county, it is necessary to
refer again to the fact that in 1801 the southwest quarter of the
county was called Neshannock township, that in 1805 this extensive
territory was itself divided into four quarters, the northeast quarter
becoming Lackawannock, the northwest quarter Shenango township, while
the south quarters were included in that territory which subsequently
was annexed to Lawrence county.
township in 1805 contained all the territory of the present townships of
Lackawannock, East Lackawannock and Wilmington. In 1846 the south part
of Lackawannock was detached to form Wilmington township, and in 1849
occurred the division which produced Lackawannock and East Lackawannock.
and Young families seem to dispute the
honor of pioneer settlement in this township, though both came here from
Washington county in 1798, Nathaniel Cozadd and
James Young were the pioneers, and made
their homes in the northeastern part of the township. The civil
jurisdiction of the townships was not well defined at that time, and
boundaries were known only in a general way. This seems to account for
the fact that both these settlers are given in the list of taxables for
Salem township in 1801, while James Gilkey, who settled near Wilmington, was included in the list of Cool Spring. James
Gilkey gained his chief renown for growing a new kind of potato,
which was sometimes called by his name.
Blackston was founder of another pioneer family in this township.
Members of this family have been active citizens of the township to the
present time, and were also among the organizers of the Unity
Presbyterian church at Greenfield.
Greenfield is a
little village that grew up on the Middlesex-Mercer road. A schoolhouse
was erected here in 1834, several years later a store was opened, and
churches also appeared.
The building of
the Sharpsville Railroad to New Wilmington and the opening of the coal
mines gave much industrial activity to this township.
Century History of Mercer County,
1909, page 166