History of Allegheny, Pa.
From: A History of Butler County, Pennsylvania
Published By R. C. Brown & Co., Publishers 1895


CHAPTER LXIX.
ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP.


ORGANIZATION - POPULATION - PIONEERS - EARLY BUSINESS VENTURES - A HUNTING REMINISCENCE - SCHOOLS - TEACHERS AND JUSTICES OF THE PEACE - CHURCHES AND CEMETERIES - VILLAGES.

THIS township, which is situated in the northeastern corner of the county. was organized in 1854. Its territory was taken from that of Venango and Parker townships. Its area being broken and uneven and not so well adapted to farming as that of other townships in the county, it was for many years sparsely settled. The discovery of oil, however, drew attention to it and resulted in rapid improvement and a large increase in population. It now contains a number of excellent farms, many fine residences and a well-to-do and prosperous people.

The population of the township in 1800, or six years after it organization. WaS 881 in 1870, 890; in 1880, 2,287, and in 1890, 1,224. The influx of oil operators from 1877 to 1880 contributed to the large population given by the enumerators in the latter year. The number of children of school age, reported in June, 1803, was 311,-or 151 males and 160 females. The school revenue amounted to $4,076.20. of which the State appropriated $1,242.30. The assessed value of' property in January, 1894, was $252,000; the county tax, $1,011.96 and the State tax, eighteen dollars and twenty cents.

PIONEERS.

The pioneers were John Lowrie, who settled on 800 acres at Poplar Bottom in 1797, descendants of whom held the property until 1845 ; John Crawford, Sr., who claimed 800 acres of land adjoining the Lowrie tract, came in 1797, and John and George Crawford who had each 100 acres. James Crawford, one of the sons of John Crawford, Sr., died here in 1802 Samuel Porterfield was the owner of 400 acres when the county was organized, while William Porterfield, who married a daughter of John Lowrie, was not then credited with the ownership of real or personal property. It is said that James Anderson was here in 1797 or 1798; but his name does not appear among the taxpayers of 1803. Charles Pollock and James Pollock, a single man, brothers of John Pollock, came from Ireland about 1797. Alexander Grunt followed John Lowrie from Scotland. built a cabin and grew up with the country. George Parker moved into Allegheny township about the same time and, in 1803, had three cows, one horse and 400 acres of land. He located on the site of Six Points. John Rosenberry settled here in 1707, made a clearing, sowed some wheat, returned to the east, and again made his way, with a young wife, into the wilderness. Alexander Brown and perhaps Ebenezer and John Brown, were here as early as Rosenberry, occupyuig lands east of the Rosenberry tract in 1803. William Jack, an Irishman and a soldier of the Revolution, came in 1798 and selected lands where the site of Byrom Centre was surveyed in 1879.

In 1798 came Samuel Graham, a son of a soldier of the Revolution, and himself afterward a soldier anda victim of the War of 1812. In 1803 he had 200 acres in this township. Archibald Fowler, father of George Fowler, had 384 acres here when the county was organized.

John Redick, Sr., entered 400 acres in 1709, after his migration from Westnoreland county. John Allen entered 200 acres about that time, upon which his son, John, was born in 1799. Samuel Coulter, who had 300 acres, with a cabin and small clearing, sold the land to Benjamin Law and moved to Ohio, where he died. Levi Gibson came in 1799, started a still house and made whisky for his neighbors. In 1803 he possessed 400 acres, four cows, one horse and the little distillery. John Truby had 400 acres on which he built a mill in 1805. Shortly after the organization of the county, John Turner located near the Armstrong county hne, and society in the wilderness began to assume shape.

EARLY BUSINESS VENTURES.

The first store was opened by John Lowrie at Poplar Bottom in 1811, or six years after John Truby's little mill was built on Bear creek. This was sold to Dumars, and later to Pierce & Black. There Walter Lowrie, who became United States Senator, was reared. The Lowrie saw and grist mill was an early enterprise, though inferior in extent and equipment to the Rodger's mill, which was established soon after. Samuel Anderson erected a mill in 1834, which in later years was known as the Sedwick mill. In 1846 Pierce & Black built on the site of the old Truby concern of 1805, and that building has passed through several hands, it being at one time called Adams' mill, and for the last seven years Homer's mill.

George and James Bovard established Maple Furnace in 1844. In 1847 they sold to Henry Graft, who, in 1854, sold to M. S. Adams, the operator until 1865, when competition and scarcity of ore suggested a "closing down.'' The Maple Furnace store was carried on from 1844 to 1868. From 1846 to 1852 the Kensington furnace was operated by Church, Carruthers & Crawford. This little furnace closed on account of' the scarcity of ore.

A HUNTING REMINSCENCE.

In the fall of the year .1800 James Crawford, Sr., John Parker and Thomas Allen set out on a hunting expedition, and reached the point on Robert Adams' farm, at the confluence of Allen's run and the North Branch of Bear creek. Here they determined to fire the brush, and, moving back, saw the flames, which they intended would expose the animals of the chase, sweeping toward them over the land now known as the George Gibson and William Fleming farms. In a little while they were surrounded by fire, which was eating up the leaves and brush and threatening themselves. Taking refuge in a tree as a last security, the flames soa.n attacked them, leaping up, as it were, to claim their victims. The burned men fell to the ground and rushed back from the wave of fire to ease their pain in the waters of the creek. Crawford was taken to his cabin by his corn. panions and was cared for by his - young wife-Abigail Coulter-until death relieved him January 18, 1801. Parker died in liter years of the burns there received. Allen lived for many years after. The son of Crawford, born just before the fatal hunt, married in 1824 and occupied the old farm near the Lowrie homestead, which was entered by his father in 1797.

SCHOOLS, TEACHERS AND JUSTICES.

The schools in the northern section of Parker township and along the line of Venango county, were so convenient to the settlements in this township as to obviate the necessity of establishing schools within its boundaries. Subsequent to 1803, however, the old-time teachers came here and, until the establishment of the common school system, such men as John Allen, D. C. Cunningham, William Elder, Robert Cunningham and Mr. Cook taught here at intervals. To-day there are six school districts and educational matters are prosperous.

The justices of the peace, elected from 1854 to 1894, are as follows; James Black, 1854-1855; John Allen, 1855; Henry Kohlmeyer, 1861; Robert Jamison, 1865; Simon Snyder, 1866; M. S. Adams, 1868-1880; P. F. Porterfield, 18721877; James S. Craig, 1882; John Thomas, 1885; A. A. Kohlmeyer, 1886, and E. E. Morgan, 1804.

CHURCHES AND CEMETERIES.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Maple Furnace was organized in 1854, by M. S. Adams, who was instrumental in having a church building erected,. It is in the Eau Claire circuit. The men working round the furnace were the members. The principal members now are Robert Adams, Thomas McKimmey, Alexander Thompson and Andrew Homer. The great sandstone rocks make a grand showing round the church, standing out like mausoleums. -

Grant Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1876, by Rev. Mr. Peters. The class erected a house of worship in 1877 on John Rosenberry's lands. Rev. Mr. Torrey, of Farmington, is the present pastor.

Mount Olive Evangelical Church was organized by Rev. A. S. Miller, march 20, 1869, and in 1870 a house of worship was erected near Six Points, on a lot purchased from James Crawford, at a cost of $3,000. This was really the re-organized Mt. Pisgah church of Venango township, of which eleven members, James Griffin, Henry Kohlmeyer, Joseph Kellerman, James Kahie, D. Gates, the Munkarns, Michael Kelly and S. Meals, joined the new organization, the officers being Samuel Halderman and W. P. Grant, elders, and George Kohlmeyer and Samuel Merkel, deacons. The Evangelical preachers were Revs. Isaiah Delo, Reese, Smith, Zimmer and other ministers of the district. The only members now are James Blair and wife and Mrs. Kohlmeyer. No services are held. The people of Six Points re-roofed this church and used it for literary purposes.

The Allegheny Presbyterian Church was organized May 20, 1875, by Revs. James Coulter and Samuel Williams, and Elder James Crawford. The elders then installed were John R. Allen, S. Perry Eakin, A. R. Carnahan and C. C. Cooper. J. C. Kiskaddon and J. P. Milford were added to the session. Mr. Coulter preached here until 1880, when Rev. Samuel A. Hughes was called as stated supply. He remained until 1882, after which the pulpit was supplied. On September 24, 1883, Rev. William J. Hazlett was installed pastor, and served until the fall of 1893, since which time the pulpit has been vacant. The Scrubgrass Presbyterian church, across the line in Venango county, was organized in 1802 or 1803; and was for years the place of worship for the Presbyterians of the northern part of this township.

The Allegheny Church Cemetery, near James Milford's farm, was recognized by law January 11, 1876, when a charter was granted to J. P. Milford, S. P. Eakin, J. R. Allen, D. S. Allen and Henry Jamison to establish and maintain a cemetery in Allegheny township. From a report made in November, 1876, it is learned that two acres of the present enclosure were purchased from John Rosenberry at $100 per acre, the owner donating fifty dollars per acre of the purchase money to Allegheny church. Three-quarters of an acre more were purchased from Rosenberry for sixty-five dollars. Two acres were purchased from Mrs. Martha Allen at seventy-five dollars per acre, the owner donating twenty-five dollars per acre of the purchase money to Allegheny church, and the balance, two acres, were purchased from Mrs. Allen at fifty-five dollars per acre, making six and three-fourth aci-es within the enclosure, all intended for a cemetery excepting a piece sixteen by thirteen rods, where the church now' stands.

VILLAGES.

The village of Maple Furnace was founded in 1844, by George and James Bovard, and it may be said was abandoned in 1865, when the furnace fires were put out, though the Adams store was carried on until 1868. The grist mill of 1846, below the furnace, is still grinding. P. Bullman's house now stands on the site of the furnace, and the mounds of slag, evidences of a past industry, are overgrown with grass.

Kensington Furnace, in the northeastern corner of the township, dates back to 1846. In 1852 the industry ceased and the forest grew up on its site. In 1846 John Milford located a few miles directly south of the old furnace. The school house is converted into a Union Sabbath school on Sundays.

The Six Points postoffice was established in February, 1866, with James McMahon postmaster. David Vance succeeded him ; then Addison Cross then J. C. Kiskaddon, who served until 1882, when E. C. Parks was appointed. Mrs. M. A. Parks was appointed in 1886, and Mrs. Mary Boozel in 1898.

Sandy Point was founded in 1878, on Adam Brittain's farm. Its founding followed the oil developments of 1877. Flynn Brothers' and J. H. Thomas' general stores were the only mercantile houses there. The postoffice of Alexander McQuistion is the only business interest remaining.

Byrom Centre was surveyed in 1879, on the Kohlmeyer farm, or the old Jack tract, purchased in 1836, by H. Kohlmeyer, from E. Robinson, who had bought it from Samuel Halderman, who purchased it from the Jacks. J. D. Schell's store and four cottages now make up the town.

Register City, a part of Sandy Point, was a village of great expectations in the fall of 1819. In September fifteen houses were erected, including an opera house, and a Methodist house of worship. The town is now a reminiscence, the church building having been taken down and converted into Charles Crawford's dwelling.

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