History of West Brownsville, Pa.
From: A History of Washington County, Pennsylvania
By: Earle R. Forrest
Published By The S. J. Clark Publishing Company, Chicago 1926

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WEST BROWNSVILLE.

On the Monongahela River, just where the National Pike crosses into Fayette County, is the old town of West Brownsville, one of the oldest points of settlement in the county. This is a historic section, and dates back to the days of William Peters, known among the whites as “Indian Peters,” who was granted a certificate for the land in 1769. Much has already been said of this man and his association with West Brownsville.

This town is noted as the birthplace of Hon. James G. Blame, Washington County’s most distinguished native son. He became a United States Senator from Maine, was Secretary of State and in 1884 was the republican candidate for President of the United States, being defeated by Grover Cleveland.

Neal Gillespie, an ancestor of James G. Blame, purchased this land from “Indian Peters’” widow and son in 1784, and the land finally descended to Ephraim L. Blame, father of James G. Blame. He resided on the site of the present town, and the house in which his distinguished son was born stood until about 1896. A hamlet of a few houses was located at the place until 1831, when Ephrian L. Blame laid out the town of West Brownsville. Other additions have been made since then until now a town of considerable importance exists there. The old section is a picturesque place and has not changed much since the early days of the old National Pike. The present borough was incorporated in August, 1849, and the first meeting of council was held October 23, with Joseph L. Taylor as the first burgess.

The village at this place was known in early times as Krepps’ Ferry, from the ferry conducted there by John Krepps as early as 1794. Krepps’ Knob, a high hill just back of the town, is still a noted landmark. In the days before national prohibition the town was famous as the home of Sam Thompson’s original Monongahela rye whisky. The old wooden bridge, which spanned the Monongahela at this point from 1833 to 1910 was one of the most picturesque on the old National Pike.

The principal industries are the shops of the Pennsylvania railroad and the coal mines of the adjoining territory. There was formerly a glass factory located there, but it was dismantled a number of years ago. The schools at the present time are in charge of O. C. Mundell, principal, and eight teachers. The assessed property valuation is, $57,706. There are a total of 429 pupils.

St. John’s Episcopal Church began with a Sunday school in 1850, and in 1860 the parish was organized. Owing to the outbreak of the Civil war it was impossible to complete a church until 1870.

The Church of Christ was located at this place for a number of years, but the members gradually died and moved to other sections until only a few were in that section. The building was purchased about ten years ago by another congregation, and resulted in considerable litigation in court between the Church of Christ of Lover and the Church of Christ at Vanceville, both of which claimed the proceeds of the sale. The latter was finally awarded the money, it having established its claim.

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