History of New Sewickley 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 lies in the eastern part of the county, and is bounded on the north by Marion and North Sewickley townships, on the west by Daugherty and Rochester townships, on the south by Economy township, all these in Beaver County, and on the east by Jackson and Cranberry townships in Butler County. It is the largest township east of the Beaver, and was formed in 1801 out of the territory of Sewickley township.

Its streams are small. Brush Creek enters it from the east, near the center of the county line, and, flowing diagonally across it, leaves the township in its northwestern corner. Crow's Run drains the southern portion of the township, and empties into the Ohio River near Conway Station. The soil of this township is very good, and has been well cultivated by a class of thrifty German farmers. Good coal is found in some parts of the township, and there is abundance of limestone and sandstone. Extensive quarries of the Mahoning sandstone have been operated by the Park Brothers on Crow's Run. This is here a fine building stone, and vast quantities of it have been shipped to Pittsburg and other places. The surface of this township is generally very hilly

The highest of the hills is "Big Knob," near the center of the township. It is about 1450 feet above sea level, and rises 300 feet above the other high points around it Geologically this knob is very interesting. A few feet below its dome shaped summit it is capped with a massive stratum of sandstone, which has evidently been the means of preventing its being worn down by the same eroding agencies which have reduced the surrounding hills.

In 1900 New Sewickley township had 605 taxables; 16,268 acres of cleared land; 3011 acres of timber lath; the value of all its real estate was $806,727; its real estate exempt from taxation was $11,750; and its real estate taxable, $794,977.

By the United States Census for 1890 its population was 1922 and by that for 1900 1592.

Unionville is a small village in this township. The post office in this place is called Brush Creek. It was established in 1855, discontinued June 17, 1871; re-established, May 17, 1872; discontinued April 14, 1897; and re-established July 21, 1873. The following persons have served the people here:

Robert Porter, January 30, 1855; Abraham Hunter, Dec. 13, 1855; George Rauscher, Feb. 14, 1866; P. H. Baker, July 2, 1869; Samuel Burns, July 21, 1873; John Snyder, July 25, 1879; Henderson J. Neely, Sept. 17, 1894; Charles W. Bentel May, 18, 1897; John A. Auld, Nov. 25, 1901.

Unionville Methodist Episcopal Church. - This congregation sprung from a society which was first organized in what was then New Sewickley, but now Daugherty township. Services were first held in the house of Allen Tucker, by the ministers who labored in the field about fifty years ago. The first of these were Rev. William Kerr and Rev. Charles Thom; and the first members were Allen Tucker and Martha Tucker, his wife; George and Grace Champion; John Ferguson and his wife; and Adam Johnston and wife. Soon afterwards the place of meeting was changed to the house of Samuel Burns in New Sewickley township; and still later, a log house, called Myser's meetinghouse, was built at a point about a mile south of Unionville. The charge was at this time connected with the New Brighton circuit. About the year 1842 a frame church was built, which was burned down, March 4, 1883. The present building, also a frame structure, was almost immediately begun, the cornerstone being laid, July 7, 1887. The cost of this building was about $2500. It was dedicated, November 25, 1883, by Rev. Thomas N. Boyle, D.D., then presiding elder of the Allegheny district.

The charge has been served by the pastors of the Freedom circuit, and the Unionville and Concord circuit. Rev. A. S. Hunter was the last regular pastor, and the church is now supplied by Rev. Alexander Steele.

Oakland United Presbyterian Church. - This church was organized, August 17, 1870, with twenty seven members. In 1872 a frame house of worship was erected at a cost of about $2000. The congregation has had but two pastors, Rev. J. C. Evans and Rev. J. Patterson. Its present membership is thirty four. This church has never been incorporated.

The Knob Baptist Church. - This church was first organized in Butler County, Pa., November 12, 1887, as the Mount Zion Baptist Church, where it was recognized as a regular Baptist church, May 20, 1884. There the congregation worshiped for about two years, when its organization was transferred to Beaver County and the name changed to the present one. The house of worship was built in the year 1885, and was dedicated May 16, 1886, The cost of the building was $1200.

The charter members of this church were as follows: James Fezell, Sarah Fezell, Charity Cookson, Jane Cookson, Susan Cookson, Jane Daniels, Rachel Henry, Margaret Cochrane, Mrs. Carroll, Catherine Cotton, James B. Collins, and J. T. Fezell. The deacons are Thomas H. Daniels and C. F. Fezell.

The first pastor of the church was E. M. Probert, May, 1886-Oct. 1888; followed by A. J. Adams, Nov., 1888-Jan., 1890; Aaron Wilson, supply from April, 1890 to Nov., 1890; John Burk, Nov., 1890 until his death in August, 1892; Aaron Wilson, supply from April, 1893 to Sept., 1893; D. C. White, Sept., 1893-Dec. 1897; J. Williams, supply from June 1898 to Sept., 1898; ____ Barnhart, Sept., 1898-Feb., 1899; J. Williams, supply from June, 1899 to Nov., 1899; J. M. Patterson, supply from Nov., 1899 to Sept., 1900; E. T. Haddock, Sept., 1900 to July, 1901; G. M. Owens, supply from Oct., 1901 to March, 1902; F. Crawford, began to supply the church in July, 1902.

The membership is thirty eight.

Oak Grove Lutheran Church stands in the valley of Brush Creek, about midway between Freedom and Zelienople. The early history of this church is the story of an effort, long continued, to have the services of the Lutheran Church held in the English language. Among the early steps to this end were the services held in Bonzo's schoolhouse about, a mile from the present place of worship. These services were conducted at intervals by Rev. Mr. Bassler of Zelienople, who was one of the original organizers of the Pittsburg Synod of the General Council. The first regular services were conducted by Rev. M. L. Kunkleman. It was during this period, while the services were still being regularly held in the schoolhouse named, that the first officers of the congregation were elected. The election was held, March 13, 1873. From this time there was a strong desire to secure a church building. Through the persevering efforts of the members, a few of whom remain and are still the devoted adherents of the church, a frame building was erected and dedicated during the pastorate of Mr. Kunkleman in 1874, thus crowning the strivings of ten to fifteen years. The present membership is 160. From the first Oak Grove has had a vital connection with Zelienople. The two congregations have until quite recently received the services of one pastor. August 1, 1902, the two parishes were separated. Oak Grove Church belongs to the Pittsburg Synod of the General Council, and is now in a flourishing condition.

Following is a list of its regular pastors: M. L. Kunkleman, 1874-1878; J. A. Kribbs, 1878-80; V. B. Christy, 1880-92; R. R. Durst, 1892-96; L. O. Benze, 1896-1902; E. H. Daugherty, 1902-.

House of Mercy, Lutheran Church. - After the establishment of the Rehoboth Church, and in his devotion to the people whom he had gathered in, Dr. Passavant was obliged to travel through what is known as "Crow's Run." The needs of that locality impressed him deeply, and he determined to supply the community with preaching services. Asking one of the deacons of the Baden Church to accompany him, they called upon a gentleman, who entered into the spirit which prompted the Doctor and promised that a place suitable for preaching should be provided. An appointment was made, the day arrived, and on a level spot by the side of the hill where now stands the church, seats had been roughly constructed, and there services were held. Another appointment was made, and at that second service, under the open sky, the Doctor preached from the text, Hebrews xii., 1-2. The work thus begun slowly prospered, and on the second Sunday in October, 1878, the corner stone of the "House of Mercy" was laid with appropriate ceremonies.

The charitable work of Dr. Passavant assuming such great proportions, and the strain upon his advancing years becoming too severe, he called to his assistance in 1879, his son, the Rev. W. A. Passavant, Jr., who, though actually only assistant, was nominally pastor of the charge until 1885. The parish was then without a pastor for a period of two years, when the present pastor, the Rev. R. Morris Smith, assumed charge on the first day of July, 1887.

United Evangelical Protestant St. John's Congregation. - Incorporated August 7, 1888. In 1835 about thirty Germans, who had immigrated from the old country during the previous years, in connection with a few of the older settlers, resolved to build a church for their own use. One acre of land was bought from Mr. F. Burry, upon which the church, a log structure, was built in the fall of 1835, and from this transaction the church derived the by name "Burry's Church."

Rev. E. F. Winter was called as the first pastor in January, 1876, during whose pastorate the congregation made rapid progress. In 1839 the first pipe organ was bought for $572. In 1850 the congregation had grown to 150 paying members, which number increased from year to year, so that the log church became too small. In August, 1857, the members resolved to build a new brick church at an expense of about $3000, which resolution was effected, and the new church dedicated, May 29, 1859. This church is standing today.

Rev. E. F. Winter's pastorate lasted from January, 1836, till January, 1880, when old age compelled him to resign. After him were in office: Rev. F. L. Dietrich, from November, 1880, till December, 1885; Rev. The. Kurz, from March, 1886, till September, 1886; Rev. M. F. Dumstrey, from April, 1887, till October, 1891.

Under Rev. Dumstrey's pastorate the congregation built, in 1887, a convenient parsonage, upon a piece of land bought from Mr. Phil. Steinbach, at a total expense of $2435.89, and valuable improvements were made in the interior of the church. Unfortunately this parsonage burned completely down in the fall of 1888, but with the help of $1400 insurance money and the energy of the members, a new parsonage was erected in the spring of 1889. On November 30, 1891, Rev. C. Borchers entered the pastorate, which he is still holding. Since his services the, Sunday school bought a valuable library in 1896, and a large church bell in June, 1900. July 27, 1896, a severe storm blew off a part of the church roof and caused considerable damage to the interior, which necessitated a general renovation at an expense of over $800; and, August 30, 1901, the barn near the parsonage was struck by lightning and burned down; but the energy of the members was not broken, even thing was reconstructed in a short time, and the property of the congregation, including a beautiful cemetery, stands now as a memorial of God's blessing and the energy of a German community.

Following the demands of the time the services of the congregation and the instructions in the Sunday school are now conducted in German and English.

The congregation has at present as paying members 158 heads of families and 28 single persons; while the Sunday school numbers over 200 scholars and 26 officers and teachers.

Knob post office, in this township, was discontinued, January 30, 1872, and re-established, April, 9 1872. Its postmasters have been as follows:

John McCormack, October 16, 1871; Robert Snead, April 9, 1872; James A. Campbell, April 2,1873; Andrew McCullough, September 1, 1879; Mary J. Powell, November 5, 1880; James B. Peirsol, February 12, 1883; Henry G. Altstadt, July 16, 1892.

Lot post office was established June 24, 1881. The postmasters, with the dates of their appointment, have been as follows:

John Robinson, June 24, 1881; Maggie Cochran, October 18, 1890; Annie J. Robinson, April 9, 1891; Charles Schweinsberg, April 23, 1892; Lewis J. Freshcorn, May 10, 1894; Justin E. Boggs, May 3, 1895; Simon Otto, February 20, 1896; Daniel St. Clair, February 25, 1899; George H. Kirchner, October 10, 1902.

Park Quarries post office was established in 1890. Following are the postmasters: John H. Park, September 24, 1890; Thomas E. McCumpsey, October 31, 1900; William H. Park, May 23, 1902.

Sunflower post office, established July 28, 1900, has still its first postmaster, Charles A. Schlimmer.

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