History of Beaver County, Pennsylvania

In presenting the history of Beaver county to its patrons, a few statements are here submitted, that may enable the reader to judge more intelligently of the work as a whole.

1. Those who were the prime movers in the settlement of the county having all paid the final debt of mortality, and in rare instances, only, left any record of the acts of their lifetime, great difficulty was experienced in obtaining such information as would justly celebrate their merits. The neglect to preserve the early newspapers, the great conservators of local history and public morals, has been keenly felt. True, the kind generosity of Daniel Reisinger, of Beaver, has put at the command of the general historian of the work, the broken files of the Beaver Argus from 1827, through the period of the Civil War. For the courtesy thus shown, the value of which will be manifested in the following pages, the publishers are authorized to extend to Mr. Reisinger, with their hearty endorsement, the earnest thanks of the general historian.

2. The history of the county, embracing the subject matter from Chapter I to XXV, inclusive, except Chapter II, was prepared by Prof. J. Fraise Richard, aided in some of the work by his son. Levy S. Richard. Chapter II was prepared by Maj. Thomas Henry, of Fallston. The intention has been to preserve, as far as possible, the facts of local history, and to give, whenever possible, the names of the leaders in all general movements, with the dates of the transactions, which will make the work valuable for reference purposes.

3. The biographical sketches were prepared chiefly from notes collected by the solicitors, and a copy of each biography was mailed to the subject, or his immediate representative, for correction, before printing. They have been arranged alphabetically under the respective divisions of the county, in the latter part of the volume. This arrangement has been adopted as the best means of affording convenience of reference, and relieving the narrative portion of tedious digression. The large number of these sketches has necessitated as brief treatment as the circumstances would warrant, and no pains have been spared to make accurate this department, which will increase in value and interest with the lapse of years.

4. The publishers are desired to acknowledge the favors and kind cooperation of the following: The press of the county, the county officials and their assistants; Hon. Daniel Agnew, whose recollection of the early members of the bar, as well as of other important matters fast fading out, was invaluable; Hons. M.S. Quay, W.S. Shallenberger, and Oscar L. Jackson, all of whom rendered special aid; Dr. John C. Levis, Rev. W.G. Taylor, Frank S. Reader, John M. Buchanan, Jacob Weyand, Michael Weyand, Samuel B. Wilson, Robert Harsha, Ira F. Mansfield and John M. Scott, who gave special aid by furnishing valuable books, papers and memoranda ; Dr. W.H. Egle, State librarian; the pastors and leading officials of various churches in the county; the recording and presiding officers of various societies, and, in a word, to ail who have, in any manner, contributed to the furtherance of the enterprise.

 

Table of Contents

Introductory... 11-50
CHAPTER I. Physical Features... 60-66
CHAPTER II. Early Struggles of the Ohio and Big Beaver Regions... 67-80
CHAPTER III. Pioneers and Pioneer Settlements... 83-118
CHAPTER IV. Organization and Administration... 121-143
CHAPTER V. Internal Affairs... 143-154
CHAPTER VI. -Bench and Bar... 155-193
CHAPTER VII. - Medical... 194-217
CHAPTER VIII. Educational and Religious... 218-233
CHAPTER IX. Popular Agitations and Philanthropic Reforms... 233-257
CHAPTER X. The Industries of the County... 258-267
CHAPTER XI. The Press... 268-284
CHAPTER XII. Military... 285-294
CHAPTER XIII. Military (Continued)... 295-373
CHAPTER XIV. Beaver Borough... 374-403
CHAPTER XV. Beaver Falls Borough... 404-442
CHAPTER XVI - New Brighton Borough... 443-168
CHAPTER XVII. - Fallston Borough... 471-475
CHAPTER XVIII. - Rochester Borough... 476-502
CHAPTER XIX. Bridgewater Borough... 503-513
CHAPTER XX. Phillipsburg Borough... 514-525
CHAPTER XXI. - Boroughs of Freedom, St. Clair and Baden... 526-533
CHAPTER XXII. Boroughs of Darlington and Glasgow... 534-549
CHAPTER XXIII. South Side Townships... 550-578
CHAPTER XXIV. - West Side Townships... 579-592
CHAPTER XXV. East Side Townships... 593-608
CHAPTER XXVI. Biographies... 609-745
CHAPTER XXVII. Biographies... 745-823
CHAPTER XXVIII. Biographies... 824-908

MISCELLANEOUS.
Attorneys Admitted, 1804... 160
Phillipsburgh Soldiers' Orphan School.. 516 and 898
Beaver Natural History Museum... 580

 

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The region which is now known as Pennsylvania was, prior to the coming of Europeans, a vast forest, inhabited by its native Indians. The uncertain traditions which these people have preserved of themselves have often been recorded, and their sad history since the advent of the white man, who practically assumed that they had no rights which Christians were bound to respect, is well known.

Early in the seventeenth century the region watered by the Delaware river was visited by Dutch traders. Such was their success that posts were established and trade was kept up during some years. They did not seek to establish colonies for the cultivation of the soil, but limited themselves to the profitable exchange of commodities with the natives.

They were followed by the Swedes, who established settlements along the river, and brought hither the habits of industry and thrift in which they had been reared at home. Between the Swedes and the Dutch arose conflicts of authority and hostilities which finally resulted in the subjugation of the former. The Dutch were in turn dispossessed by the diplomacy and arms of the aggressive English, who became masters of the territory along the Delaware in 1664.

William Penn became a trustee, and finally a part owner, of West New Jersey, which was colonized by Quakers in 1675. To his father, Admiral Penn, was due, at his death, the sum of sixteen thousand pounds, for services rendered the English government. The son petitioned to Charles II. to grant him, in liquidation of this debt, a tract of land in America, lying north of Maryland, bounded east by the Delaware river, on the west limited as Maryland, and northward to extend as far as plantable.