History of Big Beaver Township, Beaver County, Pa.
From: History of Beaver County Pennsylvania
and its Centennial Celebration
BY: Rev. Joseph H. Bausman, A. M.
Knickerbocker Press New York, 1904


In 1802 South Beaver township was divided by the court of Allegheny County into three townships, South Beaver, Little Beaver, and Big Beaver. When Lawrence County was formed in 1849, Beaver County contributed part of the territory of the new county, and several of her townships were cut in two by the county line resulting. Big Beaver was one of these, and the legislature of 1850 recognized the fact and confirmed the erection of the township as at present limited. Big Beaver township is bounded on the north by the township of Lawrence County, which was cut off from it and which bears the same name; on the east by Big Beaver Creek, on the south by Chippewa township, and on the west by Darlington township.

The surface of the township is hilly, with very rich bottoms interspersed. Good coal, limestone, and sandstone are plentiful. The streams are all small, rising in the highlands and flowing into the Big Beaver Creek on the east or into the Little Beaver, which runs along the western border of the township.

The population of the township as shown by the United States Census for 1890 was 1497; for 1900, 1380. The statistics for the latter year given in the report of the Secretary of Internal Affairs are as follows: Taxables, 454; number of acres of cleared land, 9564; of timber land, 1216; value of all real estate, $471,878; real estate exempt from taxation, $11,970; taxable, $459,908.

Hoytdale village and post office, in the extreme northeastern corner of Big Beaver township, were formerly known as Rock Point. The postmasters who had charge of the office while it was called Rock Point were as follows: J. D. Husted (never qualified) appointed December 13, '876; William W. Hamilton, December 20, 1876; Thomas M. McLucas, October 12, 1877; Lewis S. Hoyt, March 29, 1881. The name was changed to Hoytdaie, December 12, 1892, with Lewis S. Hoyt then still in charge. Michael McCool was appointed June 9, 1897.

Summit Cut post office was discontinued, April 20, 1892; William F. McCready, appointed December 15, 1890.


The village of this name is situated on the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway, at its junction with the Erie & Pittsburg Railway.

William Grimshaw, the author of a series of popular histories of the United States and of several European countries, was an early landowner in the region about Homewood; and in 1831, Joseph M. Smith purchased from him a tract of two hundred acres of land, upon a part of which the village now stands. Mr. Smith laid out the village in 1859, and the first dwellings built here were those of David Johnston, William Foster, Adam Carnet John C. Chapman, and Jonathan Grist.

The Methodist Episcopal Church in this place was organized about half a century ago by Rev. J. W. Claybaugh. The first stewards were W. H. Foster, David Knowles, Jonathan Grist, A. Hunter, R. S. Foster, J. W. Smith, Frederick Graham, and Clark Hunter. The same year a small frame church was built at a cost of $3000. Homewood was about forty years ago connected with the Enon Valley Circuit, and was supplied by the pastors of that circuit. Names of early ministers are Messrs. J. W. Claybaugh, M. Ingram, J. J. Jackson, J. W. Kessler, C. M. Westlake, and later came W. K. Brown, 1881; J. L. Deens, 1882; O. H. P. Graham, 1883-84; M. S. Kendig, 1885-88; William Medley, 1889-90; J. W. Garland, 1891-93; G. A. Sheets, 1894; D. M. Hollister. 1895; Z. M. Silbaugh, 1896; S. H. Greenlee, 1897; F. H. Callahan, 1898-99; W. H. McBride, 1900-01; Rev. J. J. Buell (1902) is the present pastor.

Homewood post office was established in 1862. Postmasters: William H. Foster, January 28, 1862; James C. Evans, November 7, 1866; John H. Witherspoon, March 18, 1869; Mrs. Mary Crum, September 21, 1885; Hugh M. Shipman, February 26, 1889; Samuel S. Overlander, July 24, 1893; and Lawrence J. Overlander, May 17, 1897.

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