History of Borough 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


This township is quite centrally located on the north side of the Ohio River, having that river on the south, Brighton township on the north and west, and the borough of Beaver on the east. It is one of the smallest townships in the county. Its population by the United States Census for 1900 was 612. The report of the Secretary of Internal Affairs for the same year shows it as containing 284 taxables, 552 acres of cleared land, 5o acres of timber land, and a total value of real estate amounting to $307,879, divided into real estate exempt from taxation, $12,000; and real estate taxable, $295,879.

The township was formed at the November Sessions of the court in 1804 from the territory of South Beaver township. It was decreed by the court that the bounds of the new township should be "the bounds of the borough of Beaver as established by law." The steps by which the township has been reduced to its present limits will be seen in the chapter on the borough of Beaver, where the various changes which have taken place in the boundaries of that borough are described.


This is a small village in Borough township about two miles below the county seat, on the north bank of the Ohio River. The village was laid out in 1835 by J. J. Noss. He is said to have built the first brick house in the place.

The post office at Vanport has been held by the following persons: Thomas B. Boggs, January 16, 1882; Miller Flocker, February 1, 1882; Baker Reed, September 9, 1885; N. P. Kerr, April 27, 1889; Lizzie A. Murta, July 24, 1893; Emma L. Bevington, May 22, 1895; Anna McCullough, May 27, 1899.

The ferry across the Ohio River at this point was established in the beginning of the last century. In his Sketches of a Tour to the Western Country, F. Coming thus alludes to it: "A ferry two miles below Beaver is a handsome situation, beyond which the banks are high on both sides, and the river does not exceed one hundred and fifty yards wide." He saw it in 1807.

An unsuccessful attempt was made to establish a Baptist church in this place. In 1858 G. T. Dinsmore visited Beaver and preached in the court house. During the week he held meetings in a schoolhouse at Vanport and baptized five converts. Others soon followed, and a church was constituted. A frame building was erected, which was dedicated February 24, 1861, and services were held in it for some time with varying regularity and success, but the congregation were unable to hold the ground and the building was finally, in 1890, disposed of by sale to the Presbyterians, who in that year organized a church in Vanport. The movers in this enterprise were John Weaver, Hiram Noss, and James Porter, the latter of Bridgewater. Mr. Dinsmore remained but a brief time, and was succeeded by Rev. John Davis, who was the last pastor.

A similar effort on the part of members of the United Brethren body also failed. Among those who composed the short lived congregation were William Neville, John Taylor, David Engle, John R. McKenzie, William McKenzie, E. White, Clark Rogers, and Joshua Larkins.

Dravo Chapel of the Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1869, the organization dating a few years earlier. The chapel cost $3000, and was dedicated November 21, 1869, Rev. Sylvester Burt preaching the sermon. The first trustees were George Dobbs, John Moore, A. Russell, Lucius Conrad, Samuel Johnston, Amos Doutt, and Enoch Fowler. The services of the congregation have been largely maintained by the generous aid of the Hon. John F. Dravo, for whom the chapel was named, and who as a local minister of the Methodist Church preached there regularly until 1900, and still does so occasionally.

The Presbyterian Church at Vanport. - In February and March of 1888 union meetings were held in the Dravo Chapel at Vanport. As a result of these services thirty five members were added to the roll of the Presbyterian Church of Beaver, whose pastor, the Rev. John K. KcKallip, with officers and members of that church, had been active in the work. The session of the Beaver Church felt that they should provide stated religious services for the Vanport membership on. their own ground, and accordingly, the vacant church building of the Baptists having been secured, Mr. McKallip began on May 27, 1888, to conduct public worship there every alternate Sabbath. A Sunday school was also organized under the auspices of the session, July 7, 1889, with ruling elder Darius Singleton as superintendent. These efforts were so successful as to encourage the people to undertake the organization of a Presbyterian church. Accordingly a petition with ninety one signatures attached, asking for such an organization, was presented to the Presbytery of Allegheny, December 10, 1889. The petition was granted, and the new church was organized by a committee of Presbytery, January 28, 189o, with sixty two members. Messrs. John S. Reed, John McCullough, Thomas E. Conway, and I. F. Springer were elected, ordained, and installed ruling elders. The church was immediately favored with a large increase of membership, there being within a month thirty three additions, all but one on confession of faith. Following are the names of the persons dismissed by the session of the church at Beaver, January 26, 1890, to unite with the Vanport Church, fifty four in all:

Mrs. Elizabeth Blair, Mr. Matthew Brookmyer, Mrs. Annie Brookmyer, Miss Ida A. Brookmyer, Mr. Edmund H. Douds, Mrs. Minerva Douds, Mr. Elihu Eckler, Mrs. Sophia E. Eckler, Mr. Frank L. Eckler, Mr. Alfred S. Eckler, Miss Rebecca E. McCullough, Miss Annie L. McCullough, Mrs. Emma Quillen, Mr. John S. Reed, Mrs. Drusilla Reed, Mr. Bernard Reed, Mr. Leon Reed, Miss Zoe Reed, Miss Maggie R. Reed, Mr. Samuel M. Reynolds, Mrs. Priscilla J. Gourley, Mr. George W. Grim, Miss Frances G. Johnson, Mrs. Eva Edwards, Mr. James P. Edwards, Miss Eliza A. Edwards, Miss Jennie V. Edwards, Mr. Samuel H. Maginnis, Mrs. Maggie Maginnis, Miss Minnie T. Maginnis, Mr. Isaac Minor, Mrs. Rosanna Minor, Mr. John Myers, Mrs. Susie Myers. Mrs. Minda R. Myers, Mr. John McCullough, Mrs. Sarah J. McCullough, Mrs. Mary Reynolds, Mr. Henry Sebring, Mrs. Margaret Sebring, Mr. George S. Sebring, Miss Caroline Sebring, Mr. Isaac F. Springer, Mrs. Viola L. Springer, Mrs. Eliza Stone, Mr. Thomas W. Stone, Mrs. Minnie L. Stone, Mr. Charles C. Stone, Mr. Samuel L. Stone, Miss Catherine A. Stone, Miss Eva May Stone, Mrs. Lizzie Stone, Mrs. James C. Withrow, Mrs. Etta D. Withrow.

Through the generosity of John M. Buchanan, Esq., and D. Singleton, of Beaver, the Baptist church building was bought for this new church, and regular services were begun. October 21, 1890, Allen Krichbaum was ordained and installed pastor of the church. He was dismissed at his own request in May, 1893 and July 3, 1894, T. Pliny Potts was ordained and installed. Mr. Potts served the church until April 8, 1902, and in 1903 Mr. M. M. Rogers was installed pastor.

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