History of Greene 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 situated on the south side of the county, being bounded on the north by the Ohio River, on the south by Hanover township, on the east by Raccoon township, and on the west by the "Panhandle" of West Virginia. Previous to 1812 its territory was part of that of Hanover and Second Moon townships, from which it was formed in that year as one of the four new townships of the south side then erected.

The soil of this township is excellent and the drainage good. Big and Little Mill creeks are wholly within its limits, and Service Creek heads in it.

The report of the Secretary of Internal Affairs for 1900 shows in this township 434 taxables; 14,439 acres of cleared land; 2693 acres of timber land; value of all real estate, $596,472, of which amount $14,035 represents real estate exempt from taxation and $582,437 real estate taxable. The population of Greene, like that of some of the other townships of the county, shows a gradual decline during the last two or three decades, the United States Census for 1880 giving its population as 1249, that of 1890 as 1111, and that of 1900 as 1023. This decline, as before remarked, is due to changed conditions in the business of farming and to the gravitation of population towards the towns and cities. Nevertheless the character of the people, here is now, as it has always been, that of sturdy yeomen, knowing how to cultivate the soil, but careful as well to cultivate their minds and souls. How well they have always cared for their intellectual and spiritual culture is evidenced in the number of men and women who have gone out from among them into the higher walks of life.

The boroughs of Georgetown and Hookstown, taken from the territory of this township, will be found described in the chapter on the minor boroughs of the county (see Chapter XXIV).

Shippingport, as the name implies, is a river town. It is a thriving little village on the Ohio River, in the northern part of Greene township. A post office was established here about the year 1862. The first postmaster was William Elliott. He was followed by W. A. Brunton in 1873; Lizzie A. Hall, February 25, 1878; Thomas Swaney, October 29, 1885; Stephen Briceland, March 25, 1889; Mary J. Briceland, August 27, 1890; William J. Hanley, May 11, 1893, and Elmer L. Arbuckle, June 9, 1897.

In the southwestern part of the township is the Mill Creek Presbyterian Church, whose history has been so rich that we shall give it here somewhat at length.

Mill Creek Presbyterian Church. (The data for this sketch we have dawn in part from the History of Mill Creek Church read at its late celebration by the pastor, Rev. James R. Hosck.) This congregation is conceded to be the oldest of any denomination in Beaver County. Like all the first churches in this region no definite record is preserved of a formal organization, but it is certain that religious services were held here as early as 1784, though earlier still there were Presbyterian settlers in the immediate neighborhood. From the date just given, however, the beginning of the church is reckoned, and accordingly its one hundred and eighteenth anniversary was appropriately celebrated in 1902.

Mill Creek Church is named from Mill Creek, on a branch of which it is situated, about a mile and a half from Hookstown. The name occurs on the records of Redstone Presbytery first in April, 1785, in connection with a request for supplies. At a meeting of that body, October 19, 1785, Rev. Joseph Smith was appointed a supply, and he, with the Rev. Messrs. John McMillan, D.D., John Clark, John Brice, James Hughes, John McPherrin, Robert Finley, Robert Marshall, George Hill, William Swan, David Smith, Thomas Marquis, and Thomas Moore preached here at intervals for the next succeeding eight years. John Brice and James Hughes were licentiates, and in 1789 a call was presented to Brice, which was not accepted. Up to the organization of the Presbytery of Ohio in 1793, calls were made without success to Robert Finley, William Swan, and George Hill. Mill Creek became one of the churches of the new presbytery, being represented at its meeting in April, 1793, by Elder George McCullough. The first settled pastor was the Rev. George M. Scott, who, in the spring of 1799, accepted a rail for his services presented to the Presbytery of Ohio from the united congregations of Mill Creek and the Flats (now Fairview).

The bounds of this congregation were at first, of course, very large, including nearly all of what is now the south side of the county, and reaching over into part of what is now Washington County, and in addition to the Presbyterian churches since formed out of its membership, such as Bethlehem, Frankfort, Hookstown, and Pine Grove, Mill Creek has contributed to churches of other denominations formed within its original bounds, Associate, United Presbyterian, and Methodist, and also to the Presbyterian churches of eastern Ohio.

The session of this church, as nearly as can be ascertained, has had the following elders. Sometime prior to 1790 Joseph McCready, Sr. (died 1799), George McCullough (died 1812), Alexander McCullough (died October 20, 1831), and David Kerr (died 1824) were elected and ordained to that office. A few years later John Thompson (died 1830) and James Ewing (died 1831) were added. The McCulloughs and Thompsons were natives of Scotland. John McCullough, Thomas Harsha, and Joseph McCready, Jr. (died 1862) were chosen in 1810; John Harsha and Robert Ramsey in 1819; William Ewing, William McCullough, and John Mitchell in 1827; Nathaniel Douglass and James Moody in 1833; Samuel Reed, Matthew Glass, James McKinley, and Thomas Moore in 1848; William Moore and Israel Beabout in 1854; Robert W. Stewart, John T. Temple, and Eli Ramsey in 1864; Alexander G. Pugh in 1870; Robert G. Stewart and Samuel McHenry in 1873; James McKinley, Samuel M. Ramsey, and Jesse Mercer in 1882, and in 1896 Hampton R. Massay, William S. Swearingen, and James B. Buchanan.

Of the ministers who have served this church there is a long and honored roll. George M. Scott, as already mentioned, was the first pastor of Mill Creek Church. His great grandfather was a member of the Scottish parliament, before the union of Scotland with England. His grandfather, John Scott, and his wife, Jane Mitchel Scott, emigrated to America in 1720, and located in Bucks County, this State, on land upon which the first log college of Pennsylvania was built. His father, John Scott, was a ruling elder in the church of Mt. Bethel, in the Moravian settlement about ten miles from Bethlehem, Pa. George M. Scott was born near Crooked Billet Tavern in Bucks County, November 14, 1759. He graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1793, and studied divinity and taught in Princeton College for the next ensuing three years. In April, 1796, he put himself under the care of the Presbytery of New Brunswick, and May 30, 1797, was licensed by the same presbytery to preach. His diary, now in the possession of Margaret S. Sturgeon, his grandniece, has this entry concerning this event:

May 30. - This day presbytery met to license Mr. Sloan and myself. Int he evening I preached a discourse from Rev. ii., 5, after which presbytery proceeded to license us to preach the Gospel.

Oh Lord strengthen an unworthy worm of the dust for this important calling. Grant me thy spirit to enable me for every duty to which thou hast called me. Keep me from the fear of man which bringeth a snare, and above all keep me from sin, that I may honor thy name while here upon earth, and at last be admitted into thy presence where there is fulness of joy and rivers of pleasure for evermore.

November 7, 1798, he was ordained by the presbytery as an evangelist, and the following spring, as has been stated, he accepted the call to Mill Creek and the Flats. This was in April. On July 1, 1799, he made the following entry in his diary:

Set off this day on our way to Mill Creek. near the Ohio river, with our moving. A great number of our friends and neighbors accompanied us part of the way.

This shows how serious a matter a journey west of the Ohio was considered in those days.

July 2d. This morning I found that I had left a bundle of money sent by Alexander Miller to Thomas Miller. Went back for it, which detained us till afternoon. Forded the Lehi, and passed through Allentown.

July 17th. Crossed the Monongahela river, where I parted with the wagon for a while and went, accompanied by Moses Scott. to see my father's cousin, Wm. Scott and my uncle James Scott. I met the wagon again at the Black Horse tavern. Continued on our journey through Canonsburg, and put up with a Mr. Boyce, about two miles out of town.

July 18th. This day arrived at Robert Lyle's where we remained till the next morning, when we continued on our way through Burgettstown, 0r West Boston, where we fed, passed on and put up with Mr. Dungan.

July 20th. Arrived at Mill Creek and took lodging with Mr. Eaton. July 2 1st. Preached at

Mill Creek meeting house to a large audience.

He was installed September 14th, following, and continued his labors with the people of the united charges until the spring of 1826, when he resigned from the Flats. He continued with Mill Creek for full time until December 26, 1837, when, on account of age and infirmities, he was, at his own request, released from the pastoral relation. For the most of the following year, however, he supplied the pulpit, thus rounding out nearly forty years of ministerial labor in the Mill Creek congregation. His last sermon was preached from Matthew v., 6, " Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." On the following Sabbath, August 15, 1847, he fell asleep, at the advanced age of 88 years. Mr. Scott was a faithful preacher and pastor, and as an educator did much for the church and the community in which he lived. His log college sent a number of men into the ministry, several of whom became eminent, as Rev. Samuel McFarren, John W. Scott, D.D., LL.D., his son, father of the first wife and grandfather of the second wife of the late ex-President Benjamin Harrison, and W. H. McGuffey, LL.D., the well known educator. Mr. Scott was also a zealous evangelist to the Indians, making frequent trips to their wilderness abodes.

After the death of Mr. Scott several candidates were heard, and in the spring of 1839 a Mr. Polk became stated supply. In the fall of the same year a call was made out for him, but he was not installed. Having supplied the pulpit a year as pastor elect, he left the field. In 1840 a call was extended to the Rev. John B. McCoy, who, after a pastorate of a little over a year, died October 18, 1841. The salary named in his call was $400, but a few days before his death it was raised to $500.

Mr. David Robinson then supplied the pulpit for a few weeks, and in the following December accepted a call at a salary of $500. He was ordained and installed in April, 1842, and remained until October, 1854.

Rev. R. S. Morton accepted a call in connection with Hookstown in April, 1855, and was installed June 12th, of the same year. His salary in the united charge was $600, with $60 for house rent. He resigned in the spring of 1865 to accept a chaplaincy in the army.

Mr. Samuel Graham, a licentiate of the Clarion Presbytery, next accepted a call for all time, and was ordained and installed November 20, 1865; salary, $650 with $50 for house rent. This pastoral relation was dissolved October 3, 1866.

A successful pastorate followed, viz., that of Rev. John L. Fulton, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who was called from the United Presbyterian Church. He accepted the call and immediately began his labors, though he was not installed until December 11, 1868. His salary was $1000. He remained for five years.

Rev. David McFie, of Edinburgh, Scotland, was the next to serve the church, acting as stated supply for about one year from the spring of 1873. Presbyterial supplies were given until 1876, when Stephen A. Hunter, a licentiate of the Pittsburg Presbytery, was made stated supply, and remained for the greater part of a year.

William H. Hunter, a brother of the preceding, followed as stated supply, and after a few months a call to become the regular pastor of Mill Creek and Mt. Olivet, at a salary of $800, was made for him and accepted, and Mr. Hunter was installed. He remained in the field until 1885. During his pastorate the present church building was erected.

In 1888 James B. Lyle, a member of the senior class of the Western Theological Seminars, was called to the two churches at a salary of $1000. During his stay the first and only parsonage that the church has ever had was erected. Mr. Lyle was pastor for about two years and six months.

In April of 1891 Rev. Brainerd T. DeWitt was called for all his time to Mill Creek at a salary of $800 and the free use of the parsonage. He was installed September 18, 1891, and remained until April, 1893.

Early in the following year the present pastor, Rev. James R. Hosick, then a student in the Western Theological Seminary, came to the field. After three months service as a stated supply, the churches of Mill Creek and Hookstown united in extending to him a call at a salary of $1000 and free use of the manse. This call was accepted, and September 25, 1894, Mr. Hosick was ordained and installed. During this pastorate the membership has increased from 140 to 260, and the Sunday school has attained the largest enrollment in the history of the church.

This church has been remarkable for the number and character of the revivals which have taken place in it, especially in the earlier years of its history. Even before there had been a settled pastor the people had met for prayer, and had witnessed great awakenings. The brave frontiersmen came to these meetings armed to resist the attacks of the savages who were lurking about them. The first house of worship was a log cabin, 18 x 20 feet, located on the spot now occupied by the old burying ground, and this building was constructed so as to afford security from surprise. It was without doors or windows, being lighted from the roof, and the entrance was by an underground passage.

From the membership of this church there have entered the ministry the following: Revs. Joseph S. Christmas, D.D., John W. Scott, D.D., LL.D., Samuel Moody, Robert Rutherford, William Harsha, John Y. Caihoon, Aaron M. Buchanan, D.D., Marion Moore, Samuel McFarren, Samuel H. Jeffrey, Robert Bunting, D.D., Captain Murray, David Carson, D.D., and A. B. Allis0n.

We have spoken of the first house of worship of this people, of which little more is known than we have stated. This gave place to a double log house 30 x 60 feet. On each of the longer sides of this building there was a recess of ten feet. The purpose of these recesses was to support the ends of the logs, the size of the structure requiring two lengths of logs. The pulpit, put in later, was in one of the recesses. In the recess opposite the pulpit was a door, and there was a door in each end of the building. The change in the building shows that the constant threat of danger from the Indians no longer existed. This building was in use when Mr. Scott began his labors in 1799. About twelve years later, pews, stoves, and a pulpit were put in; none of these conveniences having previously been enjoyed.

In 1832 this building was replaced by a brick structure 50 x 60 feet, with a gallery. The building committee was Robert McFarren, Joseph McCready, Robert Ramsey, David Gordon, and Hezekiah Wallace Robert Taylor contracted for the brick work at $1050, and James Carothers for the carpenter work at $1200. On account of insufficient foundations this building gave way, and in 1869 another brick, 48 x 70, was built at an aggregate cost of $8191. The building committee consisted of J. K. Buchanan, George Stewart, and Henry Cowan.

The walls of this building began to spread, and in 1884 it was taken down and the present frame structure erected at a cost of $4000. Its dimensions are 38 x 70, with a seating capacity of about four hundred.

Tomlinson's Run United Presbyterian Church. - This church was organized in a barn near its present location March 18, 1834, by the Rev. James Ramsay. Its first session was composed of J. Dobbins, James Calhoun, William Kevan, A. Miller, and David Nickle. Some of the first members were C. Dobbins and wife, Samuel Allison and wife, John Dobbins, Joseph Blair and wife, Samuel Miller and wife, John McDonald and wife, James Nickle and wife, M. Andrews and wife, William Leatham and wife, Johnston Calhoun and wife, Henry Wilson, and Miss Wilson. This church has had three buildings, erected respectively at a cost of $500, $1600, and $3000. Its present membership is 114. The first pastor was the Rev. James McCarrell, who served the church from November 28, 1837, until January 3, 1854. Following him came M. Ormond, 1859-1867; A. I. Young, 1867-1872; J. P. Davis, 1872-1874; S. C. Reid, 1879-1882; W. H. Lytle, 1884- 1887; S. B. Stewart, 1889-1892; J. T. McKittrick, 1899-1900; S. Y. Sankey, 1904.

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