This township is of small area, surrounding the borough of Rochester. It was formed from New Sewickley township
by an Act of the Legislature, approved April 14, 1840 (see page 885). It borders on the Ohio and Big Beaver rivers,
and all the streams passing through it are small, rising in the hills, and descending with a rapid fall to the
In 1900 it had 337 taxables, 2302 acres of cleared land; and the total value of all its real estate was $591,220,
of which $32,970 was exempt from taxation, and $558,250 wads taxable. Its population by the United States Census
of 1900 was 1661.
Previously within this township, but now just within the borough limits of Freedom, on the bank of the Ohio River,
is the old residence of General Abner Lacock, who was so long a leading citizen of the county. In the great flood
of 1832 a large part of the valuable library in this house belonging to that gentleman was destroyed, together
with many papers of importance, including autograph letters from Madison, Monroe, Jackson, John C. Calhoun, and
other prominent men of the nation. This house was built about 1812, and was occupied by Abner P. Lacock, the youngest
son of General Lacock, all his life. Abner P. Lacock died here, April 20, 1888. This property has been bought by
the United States Government from the Lacock heirs, the Ohio River Dam No. 5 being in course of construction at
this point. The old homestead is now temporarily occupied by engineers for office purposes, and will ultimately
be torn down and replaced by fine buildings with electric power plant, etc., for the operation of the dam.
A large part of the great plant of the National Glass Company, described in the chapter on Rochester borough, is
within this township. Here, about half way between Rochester and Freedom, the Rochester Tumbler Company bored for
gas sometime before 1878 and got a good well, the gas from which is used for the manufacture of tumblers. The well
also produced from seven to eight barrels of a dark green oil per week.
The plant of the H. C. Fry Glass Company at North Rochester, also described under Rochester borough, is within
the limits of this township.
The Free Methodist Church in Pleasant Valley, now Rochester township, was organized January 5, 1890, in Bogg's
schoolhouse, New Sewickley township, by Rev. S. Portman, then pastor of the Rochester Free Methodist Church. At
the close of a six weeks' revival meeting fifteen persons united with the church, who elected Frederick Brandt
as their class leader. At the same meeting it was also decided to build a house of worship, and a committee on
location was appointed, consisting of the following persons: Abner Majors, William Grossman, Thomas Nannah, John
Nonan, Jackson Boggs, Frederick Brandt. January n, 189o, this committee reported to a meeting of the society held
at the home of Frederick Brandt, recommending that the church be built on the ground donated by William Grossman,
at the crossing of Rochester, Harmony, and Freedom roads. The report was accepted, and the following persons were
at the same meeting elected trustees: Frederick Brandt, John Brandt, Thomas Hannah, James Brewer, John Nonan. The
trustees, with other persons, also formed the building committee. The supervision of the work was given to John
Musser, carpenter. Among others interested in the work were Camillus Miller, Richard Cable, Mr. McPherson, and
The church was dedicated, June 22, 1890, by Rev. W. B. Umstead, of the Ohio conference. Following is a list of
the ministers who have served the church in the pastorate to the present time: S. Portman, S. Sager, S. Wellington,
L. P. Lewis, J. P. Broadhead, A. T. Sager, Miss Mary J. Elliott with Lydia Pearce, L. C. Andre, J. W. Howard, and
D. G. Shirer.
[Also see History of Burough of Rochester and Churches