HISTORY OF MIFFLIN COUNTY
From Franklin Ellis'
History of That Part of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys
Embraced in the Counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder. Philadelphia, 1886.
THE BOROUGH OF NEWTON HAMILTON.
588 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
THE site on which Newton Hamilton borough is situated is part of a tract of land which was warranted to Hugh Brown in 1762. At the time of his death the ownership of this land passed to Margaret Hamilton, in whose possession it was before 1783, as in that year she was assessed with sixty acres. The town was laid out under its present name about 1802.
On the 19th of January, 1802, Margaret Hamilton sold to Samuel McCurdy lots 28-29 "in the general plan of Newton Hamilton." They were fifty by one hundred and fifty feet, and were on the north side of Front Street. On the 18th of April, 1803, she sold lots Nos. 57-58 to James Irvin. These lots were on the south side of Second Street and were sixty by one hundred and thirty feet.
Mrs. Catharine Murfin, now living in the village, says she came, in 1826, with her parents, John McAneer and wife, to reside near the town. At that time there were seven log houses at the place, occupied by John Murray, Aquilla Burchfield (a wheelwright), John Shafer, John Mc Geehan and - Temple.
At this time the property unsold was in possession of the Moffit family - one-fourth owned by Richard Moffit, of Stark County, Ohio; one-fourth to James Moffit; and one-half to Lawrence Lavin, of New York. In February, 1828, Patrick Moffit bought one of the interests, and in October of the same year James Moffit bought the interest of Lawrence Lavin. Two of the Moffits lived in a plastered house by the spring, afterwards the site of the Sigler mansion. From this time lots were sold. The canal had been surveyed through the place. In 1828 Elijah Davis began a store. The next year John Postlethwait opened a tavern opposite Davis' store. It was for many years known as the Logan House, and was later kept by Henry Butler, and last by William Brothers. Robert Thompson & Co. opened a store in a building now owned by John Norton and occupied as a millinery-store. Richard A. McDowel, & Co. also had a store below Thompson's on a lot now vacant.
John Morrison now living in the village, came there in 1829, and from 1840 to 1884 was a justice of the peace. In 1830 a school was kept by Samuel Cross, in a house that stood on a lot now vacant, next to the old Sigler house.
On the 24th of March, 1838, the directors of Wayne township purchased of George Dull lots No. 57-58, the same lots that were bought by James Irvine in 1803. On these lots a stone school-house was built and used many years. June 9, 1852, the property was sold by Burr L. Buckley. A school-house was built on the present site before the stone house was abandoned. The school was not separated from the township until 1842, when the borough became an independent district, and Samuel H. Corbitt and John Purcell was chosen as the first school directors. About 1836, John Sigler purchased the property by the spring and built the tannery, which was conducted until about ten years ago.
The following names and occupations were taken from the assessment roll in 1836:
Burr L. Buckley, Casper Bucher and Robert Witherow, tailors; Thomas Baird and William Harvey, shingle-makers; Lewis Barnard, Samuel A. Corbett, Jacob Hesser, Nathan Jones, William McAnear, Robert A. Mc Dowell, Thomas J. Postlethwait, Jr., Jos. Postlethwait, Samuel D. Postlethwait and Alfred Walker, carpenters; John Coulter, Charles H. Knox, Joseph Laughlin and Benjamin Norton, carriage and wagon-makers; Alexander Cumming, Thomas Galbraith and George Guss, saddlers; Jonathan J. Cumming and John C. Purcell, gentlemen; Robert M. Davidson, boat-builder; James Galbraith, Winchester McCarthy, William Uttley and Walter Galbraith, teachers.
In 1845 the village contained eighty-nine taxables, of whom Samuel Morrison, John Bolsbach, James D. Morrison, James North, Joseph C. Seckler and Robert Thompson & Co. were merchants; John Sigler was a tanner; Samuel Drake and John Purcell were retired; the latter, about 1849, built the stores and dwelling near the depot, which, in 1869, were purchased by R. W. Kinsloe, who still continues business at the place.
Dr. A. J. Akinson and Dr. Charles Bower were practicing physician; Benjamin North carried on wagon making.
James Baird, Michael Cameron, James
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Gamble, William Hamilton and Jacob Norton were blacksmiths. Joseph Bower, John Briner, William Black, R. C. Craig, Joseph S. Morrison and John W. Smith were boatmen.
John Lowery and Riley J. Richards were cabinet-makers.
About 1850 John Smelker built a tannery above the town, which was operated until about 1877, when it was abandoned. In June, 1867, John B. Miller purchased the property now the Everett House and opened it as a hotel, and which is still kept by him.
The bridge which was erected across the river several years ago was swept away by the flood of October 8, 1880, and rebuilt by G. W. Keiffer, of Sunbury, who completed in February 11, 1881, at a cost of fourteen thousand eight hundred and ninety-five dollars.
INCORPORATION. - The borough of Newton Hamilton was erected by the act of Legislature approved April 12, 1843. The first election was held in March, 1844. John Morrison was elected burgess, and Robert A. McDowell, Benjamin Norton, John W. Smith, Samuel D. Postlethwait, James D. Morrison, Samuel Drake, Charles Knox and Joseph H. Morrison were chosen as the first Council.
The burgesses who have served since that time are as follows:
|1845. Joseph C. Seckler.||1867. J. M. Stevens.|
|1846. Joseph C. Seckler.||1868. L. L. Ellsworth.|
|1847. Jonathan J. Cunningham.||1869. L. L. Ellsworth.|
|1848. Jonathan J. Cunningham.||1870. John Van Zandt.|
|1849. John Purcell.||1871. Samuel Norton.|
|1850. John Purcell.||1872. ------|
|1851. John Purcell.||1873. John Thompson.|
|1852. Dr. A. J. Atkinson.||1874. R. M. Kinsloe.|
|1853. Frederick Bower.||1875. J. B. Miller.|
|1854. David Hester.||1876. J. B. Miller.|
|1855. Thomas J. Postlethwait.||1877. J. B. Miller.|
|1856. Robert Gamble.||1878. Joseph M. Van Zandt.|
|1857. Samuel Drake.||1879. J. L. Hill.|
|1858. Charles Coughling.||1880. Samuel Ewing.|
|1859. David Hunter.||1881. L. B. Postlethwait.|
|1860. J. J. Brilhart.||1882. S. H. Taylor.|
|1861. William Hosey.||1883. L. L. Martin.|
|1862. Joseph Postlethwait.||1884. L. L. Martin.|
|1866. Robert L. Gamble.||1885. O. S. Temple.|
John Morrison was a justice of the peace of the township before the erection of the borough, and was elected at the first borough election. Joseph Postlethwait and John Robb were also chosen as justices.
The following-named persons have served since that time:
|1845. J. J. Cunningham.||1864. John Morrison.|
|Robert Witherow.||1868. R. C. Craig.|
|1849. John Morrison.||1869. John Martin.|
|1850. James C. Giles.||1873. R. C. Craig.|
|1852. Samuel A. Corbett.||1874. John Morrison.|
|1854. John Morrison.||1878. R. C. Craig.|
|1856. Samuel Drake.||1879. W. Milton Doughman.|
|1857. J. M. Barton.||1880. John Morrison.|
|1858. John Robertson.||1884. W. Milton Doughman.|
|1859. John Morrison.||1885. Alexander Baker.|
The first post office was established at the place about 1836. Philip Strouse, who was then a clerk in R. Thompson & Co.'s store, was the first postmaster. He was succeeded by John W. Smith, Burr L. Buckley, Rhodes and Culbertson, Samuel North, Hamilton & Norton and B. E. Morrison, the present postmaster.
Newton Hamilton at present contains two churches (Presbyterian and Methodist), one hotel, depot, school-house, two physicians, two printing-offices, several stores (among which are those kept by R. M. Kinsloe & Son, John D. Miller and John Norton, two justices of the peace, (W. M. Doughman and Alex Baker), a warehouse for grain, kept by William Ewing, and several shops.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF NEWTON HAMILTON was organized in the spring of 1838. A part of the congregation of the McVeytown Presbyterian Church, living in and around Newton Hamilton, presented a petition to the Huntingdon Presbytery, April 10, 1838, asking to be organized as a separate congregation, which was granted, and the Revs. John Peebles and J. W. Woods were appointed to organize the church. At the fall session of the Presbytery in that year a call was presented by the Waynesburg and Newtown Hamilton congregation to the Rev. Benjamin Carroll, a licentiate from the Philadelphia Presbytery, to become their pastor. The call was accepted, and the last Thursday of the month of October he was installed as pastor. He served until October
590 JUNIATA AND SUSQUEHANNA VALLEYS IN PENNSYLVANIA.
1844, when his resignation was accepted. On the 8th of April, 1845, the Rev. Peter Hassinger was called, and accepted the pastorates of the churches of Newton Hamilton and McVeytown. He resigned in April, 1849, and was succeeded by the Rev. David Sterrett, who was installed the third Friday in January, 1850. He resigned in June, 1855, which resignation was accepted in October of that year. A call was extended to the Rev. Richard H. Morrow, but he had requested a dismissal to the Presbytery of Iowa and was at the time there. The Rev. David D. Clarke was called to the pastorate and installed as pastor in June, 1856. Since that time the following-named pastors have served the congregation: Rev. S. W. McCune, Stephen McCrea, N. F. Brown, Preston Barr and the present pastor, the Rev. Geo. W. Elliot. The first church was a frame building and was erected in 1838 on the site now occupied. The present building is of brick and was erected in 1868. The church has at present one hundred members.
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH. - The congregation at this place was organized about 1825. A frame building was erected on the farm of Joshua Morrison. The building of the canal in 1829 necessitated its removal a short distance. It was occupied until the erection of frame church building in the village of Newton Hamilton, in 1840, which was used until the erection of the new brick edifice in 1884. The church lot was purchased of John Van Zandt, October 23, 1840. Among the early pastors who served the congregation were Jacob and Thomas Larkin, Henry Tarrand and Amos Smith. Of later ones were John Moorhead, William Gwin, M. L. Smith, A. R. Miller, George Leidy, H. M. Ash, J. A. McKindless, A. E. Deavor, William Memminger and the present pastor, the Rev. A. G. Baldwin.
JUNIATA VALLEY CAMP-MEETING ASSOCIATION. - The grounds of this society are near the borough of Newton Hamilton, and on the line of the Pennsylvania Railroad. A stock company was organized in 1872, with a capital of sixteen thousand five hundred dollars, and which was incorporated April 23d, in that year. The grounds embrace thirty-six acres, well timbered with chestnut and maple. They were tastefully laid out and convenient buildings were erected upon twelve acres of the grounds. Meetings are held upon the ground ten days in August of each year, and by the directors quarterly. The present officers are K. M. King, of Huntingdon County, president; J. K. Rhodes, of Lewistown, secretary; D. E. Robinson, treasurer.
NEWSPAPERS. - The Newton Hamilton Watchman, a four-column, eight-page paper, owned and edited by B. E. Morrison, was established by him in 1879. The first number was issued December 25 in that year, with the title Flea Bite. It was in size five by eight, in two columns, four pages. The name was changed to the Watchman March 13, 1880. On June 19, 1880, it was enlarged to four columns quarto. On the 8th of January, 1881, it was enlarged to eight pages, its present size.
The Newtown Hamilton Standard was established November 20, 1885, by H. C. Kinsloe as proprietor, and H. C. Kinsloe and W. M. Doughman, editors.
AUGHWICK LODGE, NO. 472, I. O. O. F., was chartered in 1852, and was instituted in the upper part of Samuel Corbet's; house (now Miller's Hotel). Later the society purchased the property, and held their meetings there until 1867, when the property was sold to John B. Miller. Meetings were held in the second story of John Norton's store building until the completion of Odd-Fellows' Hall, in 1869, which is built of brick and three stories in height. About 1877 the hall was sold to R. C. Craig, and the society still continues its meetings in the third story. The society now numbers forty-five active members.
ROBERT M. KINSLOE.
Robert M. Kinsloe is descended from Irish ancestors, his grandfather having been Patrick Kinsloe, who married Dorothy West born October 23, 1759. Their children were West[ley?],
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born September 28, 1777; James, April 15th, 1779; Francis W., August 10, 1781; Mary, May 14, 1784; Margaret, October 15, 1786; Catharine April 4, 1789; Ann, February 15, 1792; Dorothy, July 25, 1794; Thomas, May 6, 1796. James, who was born in Juniata County, removed in 1814 to Lewistown, where his death occurred. He was the landlord of the popular hotel of the place, as also farmer, school-teacher and justice of the peace. He was married to Elizabeth Martin, whose birth occurred September 7, 1790. Their children are Amanda, born February 19, 1817, wife of John C. Sigler; Robert Martin, September 1, 1819; William A., March 1, 1821; Elizabeth A., September 6, 1824, - of whom Amanda and Robert M. are the survivors. The latter and the subject of this biographical sketch was born near Lewistown in Mifflin County, and in youth became a resident of the latter borough, where he remained until 1839. After limited opportunities at the common schools, he, in 1835, entered the general dry-goods store of Lewis T. Watson as clerk, and later removed to the Freedom Iron-Works, acting there in the same capacity for Messrs. Rawle & Hall until 1841. He then entered the service of Messrs. Watson & Jacobs, continuing thus employed until 1845, when he effected an engagement with E. Locke & Co., at Locke's Mills, in the same county. Two years later he purchased the interest of his employers and conducted the business until 1852, when, on selling, he became the owner, by purchase, of the store and property of General James Potter, at Reedsville. This business he carried on successfully until 1869, when, on selling, he removed to Newton Hamilton and embarked in general merchandising, the purchase and sale of lumber, grain and other produce. In connection with this he has several farms, over which he exercise the management. Mr. Kinsloe was, on the 11th day of May, 1841,
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married to Sibella M., daughter of John H. Bell. Their children are Emma E., wife of J. F. Mann, born March 22, 1842; Floketta, April 20, 1844, who died November 4, 1844; Mary R., wife of Richard Morrison, July 30, 1846; Sibella J., September 20, 1848; Laura A., March 19, 1850, who died April 23, 1850; Henry Clay, September 13, 1852, married to Elizabeth Daughman; Adaline, February 15, 1855, who died August 12 1855; James F. M., May 25, 1856, whose death occurred January 20, 1857. Mrs. Kinsloe died December 12, 1858, and he was again married, January 5, 1860, to Mary E., daughter of Robert and Mary Welsh, of Shippensburg, Pa., who died October 3, 1862, when he was a third time married, January 3, 1865, to Anna E., daughter of Henry and Mary Wharton, of Wayne township, Mifflin County. Mr. Kinsloe has been for years one of the leading business men of Mifflin County, and was formerly secretary and treasurer of the Mifflin and Centre County Railroad. As a member of the Masonic fraternity he is connected with Lewistown Lodge, No. 203, of F. and A. M. He has, since 1842, been associated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he was for many years steward, and now holds his membership with the church at Newton Hamilton. In politics he is a Prohibitionist, having formerly voted the Whig and Republican tickets. He is not, however, active in politics, nor an aspirant for office.
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