History of Darlington 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


Darlington township was erected, October 15, 1847, from Little Beaver. It lies in the extreme northwestern corner of the county, and is bounded on the north by Little Beaver township in Lawrence County, on the east by Big Beaver, and on the south by South Beaver township in this county. Middleton and Unity townships in Ohio bound it on the west. There are no streams rising within its limits, but the north fork of the Little Beaver bends in and out again on its eastern line, makes an angle through its southeastern corner, and then flows along its southern border to the State line. The surface of Darlington township is rolling, and its soil is equal in fertility to any in the county. Its population in 1900 was 1285. In that year it had 441 taxables, 12,053 acres of cleared land, and 1498 acres of timber land; and the total value of its real estate was $588,010, including $1550 of real estate exempt from taxation, and $586,460 taxable.

When Lawrence County was erected in /849 out parts of Beaver and Mercer counties, the line separating Beaver County from the new county, in passing through several of the townships of Beaver County, so divided the township of Little Beaver in that county as to leave in it a very small portion, a mere strip of said township, which contained only about a dozen taxable inhabitants. This strip of Little Beaver township adjoined the line of Darlington township on the north, and on a petition of sundry inhabitants of the latter township, the Court of Quarter Sessions of Beaver County, on the 3oth of November, 1849, made a decree extending the line of Darlington township up to the line of Lawrence County, so as to bring the said strip within the limits of Darlington township.


The geological features of this township are peculiarly interesting and important.2 In many portions of it are found large blocks of granite lying perched upon the highest hilltops, as well as in the valleys. Granite does not belong to the rocks of this region, there being none nearer than several hundred miles to the north. Therefore these perched blocks or erratics, as they are called by geologists, must have been carried by some agency to the point where they now lie. It is believed that in ages past, when this whole region was submerged to a depth of probably thirteen hundred feet, these huge intruders on our soil were transported here on the bosom of vast icebergs upon which they had fallen, and which, breaking away from the glaciers of the Canadian highlands, gradually melted as they passed into the warmer waters of the south, dropping the rocks which were imbedded in them upon the surface where we find them. These granite blocks are found only in the valley of the Big Beaver and that portion of Beaver County west from it. They have never been seen in the geological district east of it, nor south of the Ohio River in Pennsylvania. They are of all sizes, ranging from six inches in diameter up to several feet. One was seen in Darlington township ten feet long, eight feet across, and six feet high.


Three miles below Darlington borough, on the property of Hon. Ira F. Mansfield, is a great bed of cannel coal, varying in thickness from seven to twelve feet. A few remarks upon this once important product will be in place here.

The coal beds of Beaver County number eight, of variable thickness and quality. The two most generally mined are numbers six and seven, varying in thickness from three to five feet. The coal has a bright resinous luster, is of somewhat columnar structure and very friable. It contains numerous bands of bright crystaline coal and mineral charcoal, showing very little iron pyrites. The coal swells very little during coking, yielding a good coherent coke and gray ash with slight reddish tinge. The analysis of our average bituminous coals shows about seventy per cent. of volatile matter. These make an excellent fuel coal, and have found a ready market with railroads, furnaces, and the Lake trade.

The number four, or cannel, coal can be persistently traced on a level of its own across the entire county, but only at Cannelton does the vein have thickness and quality to warrant the mining. The cannel coal was first opened here in 1838, and has been continuously mined and shipped to all the gas companies in the United States and Canada. An analysis reverses the per cents from bituminous and shows that cannel coal is of a more woody nature than bituminous, and was formed from less decomposed vegetation in situ in open lagoons under water. In the making of gas. by a small admixture of cannel with a cheap grade of bituminous coals, the same quantity of gas was secured as from high priced coals, and a gas that would carry long distances without condensing and burn with a white, even light, showing no core of red in the center of the flame. The cannel coal rests upon a bed of fine shale. in which are splendidly preserved remains of animal and plant life. Many of the fossil plants are perfect, showing leaves, flowers, and fruits, and of animals both the male and female have been found. Hon. Ira F Mansfield has made here for the Geological Survey of Pennsylvania one of the finest collections of fossils that has ever been secured at any single locality in this country, and of the several hundred new species of fossil plants and animals found at this place more than twenty have been named for him The first indubitable mushroom ever discovered in any of the coal measures is one of the treasures of this collection.


Edwin K. Morse - 1848-53. Mr. Morse came from Poland Ohio, and was the first to extend the trade in cannel coal, hauling the same to the new line of the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway until the completion of the Darlington Cannel Coal Railway, in which he was a large stockholder. His shipments were largely to Pittsburg and Philadelphia.

Freeman Butts - 1858-76. This gentleman was a resident of Syracuse, N. Y., who purchased the Sterling and Carson lands, operating the No. 6 and 7 veins of bituminous coals. During the Civil War he filled a four years' contract for two hundred tons per day, and in later years he shipped largely to the Lake trade.

Henrici & Lenz - 1852-80. These were representatives of the Harmony Society, who, being compelled to take the Darlington Cannel Coal Railway, leased the cannel mine and, with their own bituminous mine, were large shippers to the east and the Lake trade. P. L. Grim was the general manager. Their coal and railroad investments in Darlington township were, however, unsuccessful, involving a loss to the Society of over $400,000.

Ira F. Mansfield - 1865-1904. Returning from the Civil War in 1865, Mr. Mansfield purchased the cannel coal mines at Cannelton, and has been ever since active in the business of mining. Some of his early trade was with oil companies, who by cooking the cannel coal in retorts, secured from one to two barrels of oil from each ton of coal. Gradually the market was extended to gas companies in Canada and New England States, and for over twenty two years the output averaged one hundred tons a day. For several years Mr. Mansfield also operated the Beaver, Block, and Economy mines.

Sterling Mining Company - 1885-1904. This company was organized by W. H. Warner of Niles, Ohio, and operated the bituminous veins from the Mansfield and Dufflands. They have been quite successful, having a railroad and furnace trade.

Goff-Kirby Coal Company - 1890-1904. Members of this firm reside in Cleveland. The company operate veins 4 and 6 under lands of Messrs. Butts, Duff, and Mansfield. They ship largely to Cleveland, and by Lake to Canada and western cities.

In addition to those named above, there have been some small firms, which operated for a time, but failed; and there are also in the township many farm mines for local wagon trade.

Cannelton is a village at the Mansfield mines referred to above, lying near the Little Beaver Creek. Its post office was established in 1880, and has been served by the following persons. Samuel Henry, March 2, 1880; Robert A. Craighead, January 17, 1884; George S. Veon, January 19, 1885; Ira F. Mansfield, September 7, 1885; John Grim, March 7, 1888; John W. Inman, June 20, 1888; James Dryden, October 19, 1891; Samuel M. Dryden, January 31, Igor.

Near this place, on the Little Beaver, Tanacharison, the Half King had a hunting cabin. When Washington came to Logstown in 1753 he had a runner sent after him to bring him from this camp for a conference at Logstown. About his camping place many Indian relics have been found. Hon. I. F. Mansfield, of Cannelton and Beaver, has a fine collection that was gathered here. Colonel Bouquet, in his expedition against the Ohio Indians, encamped near here (just across the State line), October 7, 1764. A small elevation in the neighborhood, which was occupied by part of his force still retains the name of "Bouquet's Knob."

Near Cannelton is the Roman Catholic Church of St. Rose. - The first Catholic families who came to this neighborhood were drawn hither by the opportunities for employment afforded by the then active industry of cannel coal mining. They were at first under the necessity of going to New Castle or Beaver for religious privileges. Later, Rev. James Reid, pastor of the church at Beaver, served the people here, coming once a month to visit them, and saying mass in the homes of John Quigley, Samuel Myers, Michael Gishbaugher, and others. The number of Catholic families in the neighborhood had by 1861 increased to such an extent that Father Reid decided to erect a small church building for their worship. Accordingly, on a lot which had been donated for the purpose by Samuel Wescott of Jersey City, a primitive structure was built, the work being done inside of three days. This rude structure was used for several years by Father Reid. On account of failing health he was compelled to give up his mission work, and was succeeded in the charge by Rev. James Canevin of New Castle, and, later, Rev. J. M. Mitchell of New Brighton assumed it. This was in 1864. The Rev. J. C. Brigham then became pastor of the churches at New Brighton and Cannelton, February 2, 1866, and the latter continuing to increase in membership, it was evident that a new building would have to be erected. For this purpose the Harmony Society, in 1871, donated a lot 250 by too feet, and that year the present building - 57 by 25 feet, was finished. It was dedicated, October 21, 1871, Bishop Domenec officiating at the services. The old building was removed to a point opposite, and was devoted to the uses of a parochial school. In 1873 a pastoral residence was erected on the church lot. The hard times following the panic of 1873 caused the closing of the school, which has never been reopened. Father Bigham was succeeded in February, 1877, by Father McMahon, who was the first resident priest which the charge had had. He was succeeded in May by Rev. S. P. Herman, and he in the early part of the winter by Rev. Thos. Devlin.

On the Fergus Johnson farm there was an old mill and tilt hammer forge, built about 1815, which supplied the farmers in all that region with scythes and sickles.

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