THIS township, like all the southeastern section of the county, was largely settled by pioneers from Maryland
and Virginia, with the belief that all the territory west of the Alleghany Mountains was under the jurisdiction
of the latter State. It was a claim with a very indefinite boundary, stretching away to the northwest, even to
the frozen ocean. As the limits of Pennsylvania were for a long time undefined, most of the territory embraced
in this township was acquired and titles perfected under Virginia courts as it was held under jurisdiction of Ohio
County - one of the counties of Virginia from 1768 till the boundary line known as Mason and Dixon's line was finally
settled in 1785. It was natural, therefore, that the inhabitants should cling to the State authority which had
been regarded in the early days as possessing rightful authority.
The territory embraced in the limits of Gilmore Township is bounded on the north by Jackson Township, on the east,by
Wayne, on the south by Mason and Dixon's line which separates it from West Virginia, and on the west by Springhill.
Dunkard Creek, celebrated in the history of the border controversy and in the early Indian warfare, has its sources
in the highlands to the north and west of this township, and here too, across the watershed, several of the tributaries
of Wheeling Creek rise. Tom's Run and its numerous tributaries drain the north and eastern portions, and Fordyce
Run, Block house Run, Wildman's Run, and Fish Creek water all parts of its broad territory. The surface being in
every part heavily rolling, the waters are pure and sparkling, copious springs gushing forth on every hilltop and
along every valley. The soil is fertile even to the summits of the highest hills, and heavy crops of corn and the
smaller grains reward the toil of the husbandman. It is well adapted to sheep culture, and flocks of the finest
breeds gladden all the hills. Many herds of fine dairy cows are also kept, and blooded stock for beet; the short
horn Durham seemingly the favorite. In many parts of the township special attention is given to the raising of
swine, a cross between the Berkshire and Poland China being the favorite. It is not uncommon to see as many as
fifty hogs in a single field. In no part of the county are the inhabitants more sober and industrious than in Gilmore.
Among the earliest inhabitants we notice the names of the Roberts, the Fordyces, the Dyes, the Whites and Hannans.
The only village of importance is Jolleytown. At an early day Titus Jolley acquired the tract where the village
is now located. Perceiving that this seemed to be a suitable point for business on account of the water power and
the centering of roads here, in 1835 having surveyed and staked off the plot of the town he issued the following
conditions of sale: " The conditions of this present sale are as follows: the highest bidder is to be the
buyer. Any person buying a lot shall have a credit of six months by giving his note with approved security. Any
person buying and not complying shall forfeit and pay twenty five cents on each dollar to the amount of what he
buys, and the subscriber reserves the right to one bid on each lot if necessary, and further the subscriber cloth
agree to make a good and lawful deed at the expiration of six months, or whenever said money is paid. Due attendance
by me. Sept. 9, 1835.
" N. D. All rails and buildings excepted."
In close proximity to Jolleytown is one of the stone monuments which mark Mason and Dioxin's line. Gilmore has
six schools and an average attendance of 194 pupils. The following are the names of the present board of School
Directors: E L. Wade, President; T. M. Hennen, Secretary; J. O. Kennedy, Joseph Roberts, G. W. Shough, M. J. Clovis.
In our time, when curiously invented machinery turns out everything that a human being can crave for his comfort,
or that can gratify his desires, it is interesting to turn back and regard the manner in which the early settlers
supplied their wants. Dr. Smith, in his secular history of this section, gives us a vivid picture. of the building
the cabin and supplying it with furniture.
"On an appointed day," he says, "a company of choppers met, felled trees, cut them off at proper
lengths; a man with a team hauled them to the place; this, while a carpenter was in search of a straight grained
tree, for making clapboards for the roof. The boards were split four feet long, with a large prow, and as wide
as the timber would allow; they were used without shaving. Some were employed in getting puncheons for the floor
of the cabin. This was done by splitting trees about eighteen inches in diameter, and hewing the faces of them
with a broad axe. They were half the length of the floor they were intended to make. These were the usual preparations
for the first day. The second day the neighbors collected around and finished the house. The third day's work generally
consisted in the furnitureing the house - supplying it with a clapboard table, made of a split slab, and supported
by four round legs, set in augur holes. Some three legged stools were made in the same manner. Some pins stuck
in the logs at the back of the house, supported some clapboards which served for shelves for the table furniture,
consisting of a few pewter dishes, plates and spoons; but mostly of wooden bowls, trenchers and noggins. If these
last were scarce, gourds and hard shelled squashes made up the deficiency. The iron pots, knives and forks, were
brought from the east side of the mountains, along with salt and iron, on pack horses."