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

PERRY TOWNSHIP.

THIS township is situated in the southern part of the county. Its I surface is broken, and along the streams precipitous, the rocky strata that underlies the soil being exposed to view, piled in massive layers one above another,, often overhanging the foliage below, along which the road winds in seeming dangerous proximity to the cliff. But notwithstanding the immensity of the hills, the soil is fertile and produces abundant crops of corn, wheat, rye, oats, potatoes, and roots on which sheep and cattle are fed. The broken and untillable portions are covered with heavy growths of fine timber, thus covering up the deformities of nature and making every part picturesque and beautiful. The township is well watered by Drinkard Creek and its numerous tributaries. There are portions of the territory which have never been improved, being still covered by forest; but the greater portion is under a good state of cultivation, and fine breeds of sheep, cattle, horses and swine are everywhere noticeable. The township is bounded on the north by Whiteley, on the east by Drunkard, on the south by Mason and Dixon's line, and west by Wayne.

At the southeast corner of the township, on the right bank of Drinkard Creek, bordered by towering hills, is the pleasant village of Mount Morris. It is regularly laid out, and has an air of prosperity, though its growth has for some time been impeded by a number of causes which now fortunately seem to be passing away, and an era of prosperity appears to be opening before it. The village has always been noted for the intelligence and public spirit of its people, and here was established one of the earliest graded schools in the county. Secretary Black's report in 1854 gives this township eight schools with 220 pupils, and Mount Morris one school with seventy five pupils. The 'report of 1887 gives the township ten schools with 336 pupils, and Mount Morris two schools and ninety two pupils, thus showing a marked increase. The report of 1859 says: Mount Morris has one school. The directors of this district manifest a determination and active zeal in the work of educational reform worthy the noble cause in which they are engaged. This school stands number one." The directors of the township for the current year are: Perry Fox, President; Z. T. Shultz, Secretary; G. W. Headley, David Fox, Isaac Cowell, J. K. Headley; and of Mount Morris, Dr. M. N. Reamer, President; D. L. Donley, Secretary; J. H. Barrack, Dr. Hatfield, John W. Maxim, M. C. Monroe.

About the year 1765, Jeremiah Glassgow, who had been the companion of John Minor in settling at Redstone, hoping to better his condition, crossed the Monongahela and traveled through the forests and thickets which cumbered all the valley of this placid stream, until he came to the neighborhood of Mount Morris, in what is now Perry Township. On the goodly lands which here border Dunkard Creek he selected as pleased his fancy, and toilsomely blazed his tract. At winter time lie returned to his former home in Maryland. On returning in the spring he found that a giant of the forest by the name of Scott had, in his absence, taken possession of his tract, and would not be persuaded to give it cup to the rightful, or rather original, claimant. Who was the rightful owner was yet to be determined, not by the Marquis of Queensbury rules, but by those of the backwoodsman. It was accordingly agreed that the two should fight for possession, and he who proved himself the better man should have it. Accordingly Glasgow chose his friend John Minor, who had accompanied him from Redstone and had taken lands at Mapletown, as his second, or best friend, and the contestants stripped for the trial. Glassgow was much the smaller man, though well built. In the first encounters Glassgow was worsted; but practicing wily tactics, in which he seems to have been skilled, he grappled with his antagonist and threw him heavily to the ground. The giant was soon up, but no sooner up than he was again tripped and came heavily to the ground. This was repeatedly practiced until the big man found himself so bruised and exhausted that he could not shake off his assailant. Glasgow was now easily able to give him all the punishment he desired, and when he called for a cessation of the battle, the two arose, shook hands and agreed that the land belonged to Glasgow. Thus in true Horatian and Curatian style was the dispute settled, and Glassgow held the ground which his blood had moistened. Disputes like these were not unusual in those early days of settlement, and we may learn by this example how the land was originally acquired.

Glassgow was undoubtedly one of the earliest settlers who came to stay and cultivate his lands, in the county, and it was the grit displayed in this contest which enabled him to face all the difficulties and dangers which were the lot of the pioneers after the defeat of Braddock. As the great war path of the natives passed through this township, the inhabitants were exposed to their cruelties.

"The great Catawba war path," says Mr. Evans, "entered Fayette County from the south at the mouth of Grassy Run, thence northward to Ashcroft, on Mrs. Evans Wilson's land, by Rev. William Brownfield's, through Uniontown, through Col. Samuel Evans' highlands, past Pearse's fort, a little west of Mt. Braddock house, to Opossum Run, down it to the Youghiogheny, crossing where Braddock's army crossed, thence by the Pennsville Baptist Church, thence by Tintsmon's mill on Jacob's Creek, thence on through Westmoreland and Armstrong counties, and on up the Alleghany to its source, and over on the headwaters of the Susquehanna into western New York, the grand realm of the mighty Six Nations.

"The warrior branch of this vast trail left the Ohio River at the mouth of Fish Creek, up which it followed to its very source. It then crossed over on to the waters of Dunkard Creek, and followed this water course to its confluence with the Monongahela, making an intersection with the Catawba line in Springhill Township, Fayette County. But the warrior branch was not absorbed, but kept on by Crow's mill, and bearing towards the mouth of Redstone Creek, joined the old Redstone trail near Grace Church, on the national pike." Mason and Dixon were stopped in their survey in November, 1767, at a point in Wayne Township, where these two paths cross.

Return to [ PA History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ]


--
All pages copyright 2003-2012. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy