This town has the distinction of being the third oldest incorporated municipality in the county, the other two
being Canonsburg and Washington. Its borough charter dates from March 27, 1823. Galbraith Stewart, one of the first
settlers, moved to the site of the town in 1795, and erected one of the first houses and a blacksmith shop. It
was an important point in the western section of the county, and at an early date there were three taverns. A postoffice
was opened in 1805.
This was long the home of William McKeever, hatter by trade, whose sons, Matthew and Thomas, were personal friends
of John Brown and were instrumental in the Underground Railway, as related in another chapter. This was also the
home of Andrew Ralston, inventor of the first threshing machine, the history of which is found in another chapter.
That section was at one time the home of Col. David Williamson, noted Indian fighter, whose descendants still reside
there. Its early connection with the founding of the Christian church by the Campbells has also been given. Avery
Holmes. the famous Methodist preacher, was born there. and nearby was Plantation Penty and Doddridge's Fort, described
in previous chapters. Joseph Ritner, once governor of Pennsylvania, lived near the town, and the ancestors of Mark
Twain once settled there. John W. Garrett, founder and first president of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad. was
During the Civil war this town sent many of its sons to the Union army, a large number of whom enlisted in Company
A, One Hundredth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and many of whom were killed in battle and died in the service.
When the country needed soldiers again to defend the flag in the World w'ar, forty-four of the young men from this
town answered the nations call. Thirty-nine saw service overseas and two, C. R. Jones and P. U. Ferrell, died in
Dr. John Riddle preached the first sermon at West Middletown about 1802, and in 1810 the United Presbyterian Church
was organized. The first church, erected in 1818, stood until 1860, when the present edifice was built. It is said
that during the days of the Underground Railway escaping slaves were frequently concealed in the old church. in
the historic graveyard surrounding the church are buried many soldiers who fell on Southern battlefields. Rev.
E. L. Eagleson is the present pastor.
The Christian Church is closely associated with the Campbells in the founding of this denomination. The congregation
at West Middletown was formed at Pleasant Hill Seminary in 1837. They met in private houses until 1848, when a
meeting house was erected and occupied until 1861, when the Methodist Episcopal church was purchased.