History of Monongahela Township, Greene County, Pa.
From: History of Greene County, Pennsylvania
By: Samuel P. Bates.
Nelson, Ruchforth & Co., Chicago. 1888.


As early as 1764, John Minor, a native of London County, Virginia, came to the neighborhood of where is now Mapletown, on Whiteley Creek, Monongahela Township, where he acquired, by tomahawk improvement, a tract for himself, and likewise one adjoinng, now owned by the heirs of Moak Minor, for his brother William, and another contiguous for his friend, Zachary Gapen. Mr. Evans, in his Tenth Centennial article, says, Minor "having built for himself a snug and cosy cabin and made other necessary improvements, went back to the land of Conococheaque the next year, and having married the sister of General Otho Williams, of Revolutionary renown, returned with his bride on horse back to the land of his adoption. Perched up behind her all that long and rugged war sat George, the little negro servant lad. Otho, his first, born babe, was rocked by George in a sugar trough, the rude cradle of the primitive life."

Minor was a man of thrift, and soon had the largest estate of any one along the river, and built the first flouring mill west of the Monongahela. It was located about one hundred yards above the present mill and was driven by the waters of the creek. He held a commission as Colonel from the Governor of Virginia, and under the direction of General Morgan superintended the erection of forts at various points where rangers were stationed to watch the movements of hostile parties and apprise the settlers. The boats which transported the expedition of Colonel George Rogers Clarke against the Indians in 1778 were built by Colonel Minor near the mouth of Drunkard Creek on the Monongahela. Whenever the Indians would make a raid, Minor would organize a force of daring militia and hotly pursue the savages, an enterprise requiring the greatest vigilance to prevent ambuscade by day and surprise by night. The cabins of both William and John were fortified, and in John's was kept the huge conch shell, still preserved, from which a furious blast was blown as a note of alarm in times of danger. John Minor was elected' to the Legislature in 1791 and immediately commenced to agitate the forming of a new county. His bill was twice defeated and lie himself lost his election once; but in 1796, having been triumphantly elected, his bill for the erection of Greene County was passed and became a law. Colonel Minor died in 1833 in his ninetieth year.

Monongahela is one of the two smallest townships in the county, but from the fact that it has a long stretch of frontage on the Monongahela River, it has a special importance. It is bounded on the north by Cumberland, on the east a distance of fifteen or more miles by the Monongahela River, on the south by Dunkard, and on the west by Drunkard, Greene and Cumberland. Drinkard Creek flows along its southern border, Whiteley Creek flows by a tortuous course through its central part, bending northward in its lower part, and emptying into the Monongahela within two or three miles of its northern boundary, and the Little Whiteley Creek forms its northern boundary. This township has, therefore, the best water facilities of any in the county, and is connected to Fayette County by the ferries of McKann, Matfield, Ross and Greensboro.

The village of Greensboro, the rival of Carmichaels in population and commercial importance, is situated on the Monongahela River at the head of slackwater No. 6. It is opposite New Geneva in Fayette County, the home of Albert Gallatin, and was laid out in 1781 by Elias Stone on a tract which had received the suggestive and appropriate title of "Delight." The original plat contained eighty six lots of half an acre each. The one hundred and six lots laid out by Dr. P. L. Kramer, and the site of the old glass works have since been added to it. It has a population at present variously estimated at from 800 to 1,000. It has three churches - Presbyterian, Methodist and Catholic.

Two manufactories of pottery are located here, the products of which are transported by barge down the river and find a market at towns along the Ohio and Mississippi, a cargo sometimes running as far as New Orleans. The Star Pottery works manufacture tile roofing. In 1807 glass works were established here which produced an excellent quality of window glass and were for a long time very prosperous. It is related that Albert Gallatin, the eminent statesman, who had purchased a plantation near New Geneva, while on his way on horse back to Washington, stopped over night at Tomlinson's in the mountains, and having his attention attracted by a party singing German hymns in an adjoining room, sought them out and found it was a little company of German glass blowers, on their way to Maysville, Kentucky, to establish their business. Mr. Gallatin spoke their language, and finally induced them to stop at New Geneva, where they finally established themselves, he taking a share in the stock of the company. It was this interest which was finally transferred to Greensboro and became the nucleons of the company mentioned above, and was the earliest manufactory in this section, the forerunner of the vast business at Pittsburg and vicinity.

Mr. Gallatin was born in Geneva, Switzerland, January 29, 1761, was instructor of French in Harvard University in 1782, married a beautiful young woman in Richmond, Va., in 1783, in 1785 bought his plantation at New Geneva, where he lived several years in a log cabin; but eventually built a quaint stone castle on a commanding eminence which he named Friendship Hill. Here lie was visited by LaFayette in 1824. On the death of his wife she was buried here and her grave never marked, which caused among busy bodies unfavorable comments. But on one occasion while out hunting he paused near her grave and was lost in deep meditation. Finally he said, "There lies one of the best and purest women ever God made. I would have erected a monument to her memory, only she requested me not to do so, preferring that her grave should not be so marked. She said I would know where she was laid, and as to the rest of the world, it was of little importance." The stone edifice where he lived still remains, though much changed. He attained eminence as a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature, member of Congress, the first representative of Greene County, as Secretary of the United States Treasury, and as Minister Plenipotentiary to Russia, to Ghent and to London. In 1816 he was made Minister to France, and in the meantime was sent on extraordinary missions to the Netherlands in 1817, and to England in 1818. In 1826 lie was appointed envoy extraordinary to England. Hem died August 12, 1849, at New York. He was probably the most eminent of the adopted citizens with whose services the nation has been favored.

Monongahela Township from the earliest times has been noted for the prosperity which has marked its progress. Its home markets have been good and the facility with which from every part it could reach transportation practically brought the markets beyond the bounds of the county to its own doors. Near the center of the township on Whiteley Creek is located the pleasant little village of Mapletown, named probably from the ancestors of Robert and Thomas Maple. The intelligence and culture of the people is marked. The earliest school report under the present system gives the township seven schools and 250 pupils, and Greensboro with two schools and 101 pupils. The report of 1859 says "There are a few active and zealous friends of education in this township who evince a deep interest in the schools by frequent visitations." The present school board is constituted as follows: W. H. Cummins, President; N. M. Hartley, Secretary; Silas Rose, William Ramsey, Stephen Maple, Lee Gabler; of Greensboro: W. L. Hamilton, President; C. A. Wolverton, Secretary; David Garrison, James Hamilton, John C. Blake, James Atchison.

As Monongahela was among the earliest portions of the county settled, it doubtless suffered as much from Indian depredations as any other section. If the record of these midnight massacres and burnings could be veritably gathered up and set in order it would form one of the most thrilling pages in American history. But having given accounts of these in connection with the early history of many of the other townships of the county we propose to omit all mention of Indian horrors in this, and show instead the other side of the picture. Which may serve as a key to the blood thirsty disposition of the savage. Mr. Evans in his Eighth Centennial article gives several very striking incidents under the title of "White Savages," and from this are given below copious extracts.

"Genuine settlers were seeking homes for themselves and posterity. Feeling that in a certain sense they were intruders upon the territory and hunting grounds of the red man, they chose to court his friendship and cultivate a spirit of amity with him. But in their train followed a class of desperate and despicable outlaws - cormorants upon the peace and well being of the settlements - who preyed upon the Indians as upon wolves and bears, and improved every opportunity to commit gross insults, rapine, and murder upon them. Deceived by these bad men, and maddened to frenzy by their frequent and brutal atrocities, these uncultivated children of the forest would give unrestrained vent to rankling vengeance, and would visit indiscriminately tortures the most fiendish and murders the most appalling that savage genius could invent. I shudder for civilization when I chronicle the revolting crimes perpetrated in its name. But the truth of history demands the shocking revelation, that no uncertain light may be shed on the pathway of succeeding generations.

"Between the years 1765 and 1774 there was comparative peace and harmony between the frontiersman and the neighboring tribes. They were dwelling together in unity, and a social intimacy was being cultivated by the chiefs and encouraged by the whites. Indian and white man mingled and commingled with perfect freedom and confiding security. But this period of good feeling was from time to time interrupted, and eventually altogether destroyed by the dastardly and reckless piracies of the wicked outlaws above described.

"A fiend in human shape, John Ryan by name, killed at different times three friendly and influential Indians. One of these was Owish togah, the 'Captain Peter' of our region, to whom many of our forefathers owed a debt of gratitude for his hospitalities and friendly warnings, and judicious advice. Though sadly consternated at the damnable perfidy of these monster crimes, retaliation was not attempted. Gov. Dunmore, of Virginia, offered a reward for the apprehension of the murderer, which caused him to leave the country, and the Indians smothered their just indignation and forebore redress.

"On the south branch of the Monongahela a most wanton and unprovoked massacre was committed on some peaceable Indians on a friendly visit there, by Henry Judah and Nicholas Harpold. The former was arrested for the crime, but the excited and inconsiderate populace rescued him, and ha was permitted to go unsung. Bald Eagle was a chieftain of great celebrity, who was known and highly esteemed by all the well disposed settlers along the Monongahela. He was on familiar and confidential terms with the inmates of every cabin. His visits were frequent, and his presence always welcome. Yet this universal favorite was inhumanly murdered by the three dastardly wretches, Jacob Scott, William Hacker and Elijah Runner. They met him all alone in his canoe somewhere near the mouth of the Cheat, and committed the cowardly deed. Not content with the horrible crime of cold blooded murder, they proceeded to add insult to injury by thrusting a johnny cake in his mouth, propping him up in the stern of his canoe and setting him afloat on the river. In this condition he was discovered by a Mrs. Province, about the mouth of Big Whiteley Creek, who had his remains brought ashore and decently buried. Soon after the death of Bald Eagle, one William White waylaid and assassinated a peaceable Indian, for which he was apprehended and committed to Winchester jail for trial. But the prejudiced and infuriated populace forced the prison doors, knocked off his shackles and set him at liberty.

"About the close of the year of 1772, I think, a most atrocious butchery occurred on a branch of Dunkard Creek. A semi civilized Indian family, by name of Jacob, lived there by hunting and cultivating a patch of Indian corn. He would frequently supply the settlers along the creek with meat and skins. But his peaceful wigwam was invaded, and his whole household slain, with the exception of two children, who escaped, half frozen and nearly starved, to tell the story of their wrongs to the kindred tribes beyond the Ohio. The miscreants who perpetrated this deed are now unknown. About this time also Bulltown, an Indian village consisting of five families, on the Little Kanawha, was ruthlessly invaded by five demons, among whom were White and Hacker, before mentioned. All the villagers, men, women and children, on the frivolous pretext of a mere suspicion, were put to death, and their bodies sunk in the river. In the spring of 1774, Capt. Craesop and a party of land sharks first waylaid and murdered a couple of peaceable Indians crossing the Ohio in a canoe, and afterward fired upon a harmless encampment of Indians at the mouth of Captina Creek, killing and wounding several.

"But perhaps of all the black catalogue of unprovoked crimes, the affair a few days later, at the mouth of Yellow Creek, was the most infamous. Here the family of Logan, who up to that time was known as 'the white man's friend,' was killed. One Daniel Greathouse led a party of bushwhackers to the scene, ostensibly to protect a family named Baker, who resided at the mouth of the creek, and subsisted chiefly from the miserable occupation of selling the Indians rum. Secreting his men, he crossed the creek in the guise of friendship to the Indian camp. Being advised by a friendly squaw that the Indians were getting in liquor and were somewhat exasperated on account of the trouble at the mouth of Captina, he returned to Baker's and told whim if any of the Indians, should come over, to give them all the rum they wanted. The hypocritical scheme succeeded. Lured by his treacherous representations, a party of Indians with two females crossed over to Baker's, and when sufficiently intoxicated were set upon by Greathouse and his minions, and the whole party slaughtered. Another party ventured over, and shared a like fate. By this time, suspecting foul play, a large detachment attempted to cross, but they too were fired upon from the deadly ambuscade, and many of them slain and the rest driven back. The perpetration of this act of fiendish perfidy was fittingly closed by the savage ceremony of scalping all the victims. These were a few specimens of the treatment the Indians, when disposed to be peaceable, received at the hands of the whites. The soul sickens in contemplation of these revolting scenes! The blood curdles to believe mankind guilty of such nameless horrors! What marvel that speedy retribution was visited upon the settlements? What marvel that swift destruction overtook them at noonday? What marvel that the terrible war whoop of the blood thirsty savage pervaded the whole land; that the tomahawk and the scalping knife on every hand were reeking with the blood of the innocent; that fire and rapine and general desolation ruled the hour?

"From this time forth Logan was transformed into an avenging demon. His name became a terror. At his beck settlements disappeared as with a besom of destruction.' The soil of Greene County drank the blood of almost numberless victims to his power. Well could reeking scalps, vacant hearths and smouldering ruins attest his boast: 'I have sought revenge. I have killed many. I have fully glutted my vengeance.'"

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