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


SPRINGHILL TOWNSHIP is located in the extreme southwest corner of Greene County and consequently of the State of Pennsylvania. At its southwest extremity is that corner bound of the State that was so long sought and contended over by the authorities of Virginia and Pennsylvania, and was finally discovered by erecting an observatory and finding by repeated astronomical observations the true longitude of the place. This method was adopted upon the recommendation of Thomas Jefferson, then Governor of Virginia. Mason and Dixon had attempted to find it by reducing the distance over mountains and down the valleys to horizontal measurement after having found the length of a degree of longitude at the parallel of their line. The two methods, however, substantially agreed.

The surface of this township is seamed by the Pennsylvania fork of Fish Creek and its tributaries, which drain every part and afford ample power for mill purposes and for its numerous flocks and herds. The soil is fertile and the yields of grain are abundant. Though the country is very broken, and the hills rise almost to the proportions of mountains, springs of pure water are found even to their very summits, and there is scarcely a foot of sterile land throughout all its borders. Cattle, sheep and hogs are the most profitable products, though dairying is carried on to some extent. Quantities of hay from its rich bottom lands and timber from the hills are shipped away and afford a good income.

This township was not organized until 1860, and was taken from Aleppo and a part of Gilmore townships. It is almost the only township in the county that has a regular outline, being in the form of a parallelogram. It is bounded on the north by Aleppo, on the east by Gilmore, on the south by Mason and Dixon's line which separates from West Virginia, and on the west by the State line which separates it from the Pan Handle of West Virginia. New Freeport is the most considerable village in the township, and is a place of business and rapidly growing. Isaac J. Hupp, son of Everhart Hupp, one of the earliest settlers on Ten Mile Creek, came to this place in 1854, when there were only three houses here, one of which he occupied, and kept a hotel. William Elder had a small store. Judge Thompson resided at Wheeling, and was accustomed to pass through here on his way to Morgantown on his circuit. His was the only buggy seen in these parts for many years. He was accustomed to stop over night at Hupp's. William P. Hoskinson came after an interval and succeeded Elder in mercantile business. James Berdine, Jackson Barker, Edward Fence, James Styles and Solomon White have from time to time been engaged in business here. Peter Bradley & Co. are still engaged in business here. This valley was once a sugar camp, the sugar maple being very prolific. A Baptist church edifice was built here in 1856, and the church was ministered to by Rev. G. W. Archer. A new edifice is to take the place of the old one this season. The Rev. Joseph Clark, an Englishman, preceded Archer in minitrations to this church, and Rev. Morgan Tilton succeeded. Deep Valley, a few miles below on Fish Creek, has a postoffice, and is a place of considerable business, the steam mills located there giving it an air of importance.

The quiet hills and valleys along this stream at an early day were the favorite tramping grounds of the whites as well as the Indians.

Sometime in the year 1780 John, Frederick and Martin Crow, sons of Jacob, who had settled at Crow's Mill, together with one Dickson, went out on the waters of Fish Creek and established a camp for the purpose of hunting elk. Going out by twos or singly they separated during the day and returned at evening. Fred and Martin came in late, and Fred having shot a duck, and observing a bright fire in the camp, thought to surprise his comrades by throwing the duck into their midst. At the instant, they were fired on by savages concealed near by. Martin had his ear shot away, and Frederick was shot through the shoulder. Dropping forward, his comrade supposed him killed, and, fled for safety. Thinking the way was now clear, Fred pulled some sassafras leaves and was chewing them in order to make a decoction to apply to his wound, when, looking up, he saw an Indian levelling his gunk at him. As if by instinct he fell to the ground just at the instant that the bullet passed harmless over him. Both guns being empty, Fred escaped across the creek and the savage did not follow. In the meantime John, hearing the firing, ran up to ascertain the cause, and was pierced by seven bullets aimed at his heart by the lurking red skins, and so accurate was the aim that they entered his body so as not to make a wound larger than a man's hand. The wounded Fred signaled long for his comrades to come to his assistance, using the call of a wolf which had been agreed on; but, fearful of Indian treachery, they dared not for a long time to come. Returning cautiously they found Fred, whom they supposed to have been dead, still alive. Organizing a party to search for John, his body was found where it had fallen, scalped and mutilated in true Indian fashion. The body was buried at the foot of a beech tree, which was duly marked and lettered, and was visible for many years; but was finally girdled and destroyed.

Springhill was among the latest of the townships settled, and even now there are large tracts of forest which have never been cleared away. This township has eleven schools with an average attendance of 378 pupils. The following are the school directors: John Sellers, President; Peter Bradley, Secretary; John Minor, Lindsay Caseman, Wilson Miller, Owen Chancy.

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