History of Independence 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


Independence is the last township formed on the south side of the county. It was erected October 19, 1848, from the southwestern portion of Hopewell. Raccoon and Service creeks flow through the township in many meanderings. The soil is good, and limestone, sandstone, and shales are abundant. The township is almost entirely destitute of workable coals, and the people obtain their supply of fuel either from the Pittsburg bed in Hanover and Hopewell, or from the Upper Freeport, further down Raccoon Creek. The population of the township as shown by the United States Census in 1890 was 932; by the same census it was in 1900, 610. The report of the Secretary of Internal Affairs for 1900 gives the following showing for the township: Taxables, z84; cleared land, 10,031 acres; timber land, 4613 acres; value of all real estate, $387,165; value of real estate exempt from taxation, $34,000; value of real estate taxable, $253,165.

In the eastern section of the township is the village of Independence and the post office bearing the patriotic name of "Seventy Six" accommodated the people here until the establishment of rural delivery in 1901, when it was discontinued. Its postmasters from the first were as follows:

William McCallister, Feb. 9. 1828; John Holmes, Oct. 20, 1831; James Sterling, Sept. 9, 1836; Daniel McCallister July 10, 1841; Aaron S. Bryan, Aug. 21, 1852; David Reid, March 7, 1854; William Orr, Jan. 28, 1862; W. F. Johnston, Feb. 17, 1865; William C. Shannon, June 5, 1865; Joseph Davis, Feb. n, 1867; John S. Todd, Sept. 6, 1872; G. W. Bruce, March 20, 1876; William C. Shannon. March 4, 1878; Alexander McConnell, July 25, 1879; discontinued April 4, 1901.

Duluth post office, discontinued at the same time as the office just mentioned, was served by the following: John M. McCoy, March 3, 1892; John Harper, September 9, 1893; Thomas A. Nichols, April 4, 1894; J. M. McCoy, January 13, 1896; Michael Springer, June 24, 1897.

New Bethlehem United Presbyterian Church was organized June 19, 1865, by Rev. J. M. Witherspoon at the Reardon schoolhouse, with the following as persons as charter members:

Mr. W. G. Miller, Mrs. Mary Miller. Mr. James Miller, Mrs. Sarah Miller, Mrs. Eliza Molester, Mr. John MeClester, Miss Anna E. Molester, Mr. Joseph Wallace, Mrs. Rachel Wallace Mr. James M. Wallach, Miss Nancy Wallare, Miss Rachel Wallace, Mr. James Alexander, Mrs. Nancy Alexander, Miss Maggie Alexander, Miss Fannie Alexander, Mrs. Mary McCartney, Mr. Joseph McConnell, Mrs. Rachel McConnell, Miss Nancy McConnell, Mrs Susanna Hartford, Mrs. Sarah McHenry, Miss Minerva McHenry, Mks Rachel McHenry, Mr. John Nevin, Mrs. M. A. Nevin, Miss M J Nevin, Mr. John E. Nevin, Mr. W. G. Nevin, Mr. George Shillito, Mrs. Louisa Alexander.

Two of the charter members became ministers of the gospel, namely, J. M. Wallace, now pastor of the Eighth United Presbyterian Church, Pittsburg, Pa., and W. G. Nevin, now a minister in the Presbyterian Church.

The first elders were John Nevin, George Shillito, James Miller, and John McClester.

The church building, erected in 1869, is a frame structure and cost about $2300, and a session house has been built at a cost of $200. In 1884, Joseph Wallace donated one acre adjoining the church for a parsonage, which was built at a cost of about $2000.

The first pastor of this church was the Rev. David French Mustard, who served from October, 1872, until January 12, 1875. He was followed by Rev. Alexander H. Orr, from his ordination, September 7, 1875, to September, 1880; Rev. J. A. Shrader, January, 1882-1888, and J. R. Wallace, 1894-1904-.

The present membership is 147.

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