History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania
History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania (Volume I)
A history of Cambria County and its people is an essential part of the progress of civilization in our country for two hundred and twenty-five years.
After its acquisition by William Penn it was at peace with the red man for a period of seventy years, followed by thirty years of cruel barbarism.
In the beginning its pioneers were with Washington in the struggle for independence; its rank and file have marched with Dearborn, Taylor and Scott, Grant, Farragut and Shafter, and gallantly sustained our government.
Its 666 square miles of land were richly endowed with the tall white pine and hemlock, and the forests are filled with hard wood, and its mountains are veined with the best quality of bituminous coal.
In the iron and steel industry it has created for itself an international reputation for excellent products, and in its fine arts its people have achieved a worthy place. In statesmanship and government, in the nation and state, the influence of its men has been wielded for the good.
It is worthy to modestly enroll the achievements of her people among the annals of our country.
In grateful acknowledgment of the invaluable assistance given in the preparation of this history by James M. Swank, George T. Swank and Anderson H. Walters of the Johnstown Tribune, John McCormick and other friends, the author de- sires to express his sincere thanks.
Table of Contents
William Penn seeks to purchase title from the Susquehanna river — Penn secures the Dongan title — Penn's difficulties in England and in the province — Treaties with the Indians — French and Indian War — Charles Campbell procures a warrant for the land on the Conemaugh and Stonycreek rivers at Johnstown... 1
The Revolutionary War period — Meetings in Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia — Companies of Captain Robert Cluggage, Captain Richard Brown, Captain Andrew Mann, and Captain Jacob Hendershot — The companies of rangers; Captain John Boyd and Captain Solomon Adams — Mason and Dixon line — The whiskey rebellion of 1794 — The Forbes Road... 10
Organization of Counties — Cambria county taken from Somerset and Huntingdon — First townships in Cambria county... 29
Indian Tribes in the Conemaugh valley — First white visitors... 46
Pioneer settlers — Adams family — Prince Gallitzin — Captain Michael M'Guire — Joseph Johns — He lays out the village of Conemaugh... 67
Indian trails — Old roads... 91
A Political Review — The politics of the county, state and nation from 1808... 102
The Judicial District — Jurisdiction of the courts, and legislation — Special acts, the judges and lawyers — Incidents... 143
Anti-slavery Sentiment — The underground railroad — "Abraham" and "Patrick" shot at by a slave hunter — Arrest of Henry Willis and others for aiding the slaves... 186
First Settlements... 193
The Rivers, Creeks and Rivulets — Saw and grist mills, and rafting... 211
The City of Johnstown... 240
Land Titles... 290
The Rivers at Johnstown... 311
The Pennsylvania Canal... 330
Old and New Portage Railroads... 347
Newspapers and Periodicals... 367
Cambria Street Company — Origin and early history of the present great corporation... 400
Fall of the Pennsylvania railroad platform... 448
The Great Flood of May 31, 1889... 457
The Medical Profession... 509
Old Families in the County... 535
Coal, coke, railroads and lumber... 573
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History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania (Volume III)
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When the shot was fired at Lexington, on April 19, 1775, it has been stated that its moral effect for religions liberty and political freedom encircled the globe.
When that took place the territory now within the limits of Cambria county was parts of Quemahoning and Frankstown townships of Bedford county. Fort Bedford was the county capital; there the courts administered justice to the people of the county; there the pioneers sought safety from the attacks of Indians on their homes and families throughout the county. The next fort west was Fort Ligonier, in Westmoreland county. Bedford, was the common meeting place for the patriot and the pioneer of this locality.
The inhabitants of the county were principally Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, but Germans of the Brethren denomination, Swiss and Irish, had also settled here. It was very natural that both patriots and tories should be represented, although there were few of the latter. Numbered with the patriots were Colonel George Woods, Judge Barnard Dougherty, Colonel David Espy, Samuel Davidson, Esq., Hon. John Cessna, Colonel Charles Cessna, Major Edward Coombs, Colonel Hugh Barclay, Captain Andrew Mann, Colonel Robert Galbreath, Captain Robert Cluggage, James Martin, William Proctor, Colonel Thomas Smith, James Wells, John Malott, Robert Scott, and Captain James Francis Moore.