History of East Huntingdon township, Westmoreland County, Pa.
From: History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
By: John N. Boucher
Published By: The Lewis Publishing Company
New York, Chicago, 1906

EAST HUNTINGDON TOWNSHIP.

East Huntingdon township was formed by a division of the original Huntingdon township, and was taken from South Huntingdon township in 1798. Efforts had been made to have this township formed in 1794. It is bounded on the north by Hempfield township: on the east by Mt. Pleasant township on them south by Fayette county, and on the west by South Huntingdon township. The township is almost entirely underlaid with a rich and productive seam of bituminous coal.

The first settlers in the township were Scotch-Irish who Caine from the eastern part of Pennsylvania. Among them were John Vance, a magistrate for many years: William and Franklin Vance, and the Fosters, Barbs, Cochrans, McClains and McCormicks. After these first settlers, that is about 1800, came many Germans belonging to the Mennonite church, who also came from the eastern part of the state., They were thrifty farmers and brought with them good supplies Of live stock and farming implements. They purchased much of the land that had formerly been owned by the Scotch-Irish pioneers, and opened up many new tracts which had not yet been purchased from the state. These settled largely between Stonerville and the Fayette county line. It is estimated that the members of this one denomination owned twenty five thousand acres of land near and surrounding Stonerville. Among their leading men were such names as Overholt, Funk, Stauffer, Welty, Dillinger, Strohm, Ruth, Shupe, Sherrick Loucks, Mumaw, Stoner, Fretts, Fox, etc., many of whose descendants are vet residents of this community. The Lutheran and Reformed settlers were located mostly in the northwestern part of the township. Among them were Mark Leighty, Henry Lowe, Henry Null, Joseph Suter, Nicholas Swope. and also the Altmans, fines, Harhaughs, Ruffs, Snyders, Hunkers, etc.

One of the oldest families in the township is the Stauffer family, and it has given its name to Stauffer's run, a stream which flows from near Stcnerville and empties into Jacob's creek near Scottdale. Abraham Stauffer came from Bucks county, and settled near Scottdale. He died July 9, 151.

Another early family were the Sterretts, who resided near Scottdale. They were related to Daniel Boone, the first settler of Kentucky. Boone once came to this region and passed several days visiting his relatives, the Sterretts, in their cabin home in the southwestern part of the county.

The early schools of this township were similar to those of all other localities in the county. One of the first schoolhouses was built in 1802, on the Gaut farm, and the school was taught by a German named Leightv. Other early teachers were John Selby and Peter Showalter. The township took early action with regard to the free school system. They held an election at the house of Peter Pool, on September 19. 1834, at which they elected Jacob Tinsman, Jacob Overholt, Solomon Litter, Peter Pool, Gasper Tarr and Henry Fretts as directors. These directors met at the house of Christian Fox, on October 6, 1834. After they had organized they appointed Jacob Tinsman as a delegate to meet other delegates in Greensburg on the first Tuesday of November in order that a general system of education might be established in the county. A vote of the citizens wads taken at the house of Peter Pool, on May. 21, 1836, to decide whether school tax should he levied or not. seventy four of them voting against tax, and two voting for tax. Nevertheless, the schools were kept open from 1834 until 1837, and directors were elected each year. Another election was then ordered to determine whether the schools should be continued or not. This election was also held at the house of Peter Pool, on the first Tuesday of May, 1837, at which fifty six voted for no schools and thirty four voted for schools, but the law required that in order to defeat the system a majority of the citizens in the district must vote against it, and fifty six not being by any means a majority of all in the district, the system was adopted by a minority vote. Shortly after this the school directors divided the township into districts and began to erect school houses, and the township has since advanced to one of the leading townships in the county in educational matters.

The Lutheran and Zion's Reformed Church is located about four miles southwest of Mt. Pleasant, and was organized in 1789, but it kept no records that are accessible prior to 1822. The first structure was a log house, and a brick house on the opposite side of the road was built on land of Jacob Leighty in 1862. It has since been improved, and is even yet a comfortable building. This church was organized by Rev. John William Webber. They were afterwards ministered to by Revs. Veinel, Alight, Keafauver, S. K. Levan, C. C. Russell. I. A. Peters, A. J. Heller, D. P. Lady and others. Rev. Weinel took charge in 1817, and continued pastor until 1825. They were often preached to also by Rev. N. P. Hacked, of Greensburg.

The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1817, in a log structure erected the same year, and it was the only meeting house of this denomination in all that section of the country. The present brick structure was built during the Civil war, on the site of the old church, and is near Scottdale.

The Presbyterian Church at Scottdaie was organized in 1874 by Rey. John McMillan. The Trinity Reformed Church was organized July 20, 1873, by Rev. J. B. Leasure. The United Brethren Church was organized in 1874, when they built a neat frame structure, which has since been razed to the ground and supplanted by a very beautiful edifice with a parsonage under the same roof. The Baptist Church of Scottdale was organized April 17, 1875, with Rev. T. Hugus as pastor. The United Presbyterian Church was the first church organized in the new town of Scottdale.

In the town of Stonerville the Mennonites and the Church of God have each old places of worship, and although they have not held their own with other churches in members they are, nevertheless, a most respectable and religious element in the community.

This township has thirty two schools, with an enrollment of 1916 pupils.

SCOTTDALE.

The town of Scottdale owes its existence to the building of the South West Pennsylvania railroad, in 1873. At that time the site of the present borough was productive farm land. The town was laid out by the late Peter S. Loucks and Jacob S. Loucks, and their sister Catharine. The place was named in honor of Colonel Thomas A. Scott, one of the early presidents of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. The projectors of the town evidently did not expect it to grow and flourish as it has done, for Peter S. Loucks laid out but fourteen lots, and his brother Jacob but ten. The first lots were sold in the fall of 1872 at about one hundred and fifty dollars each, and were seventy two by one hundred fifty feet. Originally there was a flouring mill and a distillery located at this place, at which time it was known as Fountain Mills.

The present population of Scottdale borough is fairly estimated at 6,000, and with the surrounding community, this would probably be increased to 10,000. The newspapers of the borough are the Scottdale News, Scottdale Independent and the Observer. The first paper in Scóttdale was the Tribune, founded by I. N. Newcomer, January, 1880.

The first school building in the borough was a one roomed brick house, which was built by the directors of East Huntingdon township in 1860, and used by them for school purposes until the borough was incorporated. The rapid growth of the town required more school room, and the contract was let March 8, 1878, for a four roomed brick building, the contract price being $5,200. In the summer of 1889 a contract was let for a ten roomed brick school building, which still is occupied. In May. 1896, a contract was let for an eight roomed building to stand on the school lot at the head of Pittsburgh street. This cost $14,000.

Scottdale became an incorporated borough, February, 1874. The post office of Fountain Mills was located here, and this was the grain market for a large territory for many years. The banking business of the borough at present is represented by the Broadway National Bank, First National Bank, Scottdale Savings and Trust Company, and the Seottdale Bank.

Concerning the iron industry it may be said that among the large plants of the place is the Cast Iron Pipe Works, which is claimed to be the largest in America. They are a Dart of the American Tubing Company, hence no detailed account can be obtained from their local manager.

The Tin Plate Works of the American Sheet and Tin Plate Company, which operates at a number of points in Westmoreland county, have a large plant at Scottdale. It is at present equipped with nine sheet mills, and has an annual production capacity of twenty five thousand gross tons. The number of men employed in these works is four hundred.

The Pocket Knife Factory is another important industry. What was known as the F. A. Black Company was incorporated November 22, 1904, with $100,000 capital. The officers are: F. A. Black, president; A. B. Loucks, vice president; J. R. Loucks, secretary and treasurer. This concern occupies a brick building having twenty thousand square feet of floor surface. One hundred persons are employed in the various departments.

The Scottdaie Foundry and Machine Company is an extensive factory. It was established in 1880 bye Hill & Kenny as a foundry, and machine shop, employing about twenty five men, and did a business of forty thousand dollars per annum. In 1884 Mr. Hill withdrew and A. K. Stauffer was taken as a partner, the firm being known as Kenny & Company. The works were greatly enlarged, and they engaged in building steam engines. In 1890 they were doing an annual business of $125,000. In 1891 the plant was destroyed by fire, and at once a new stock company was formed with A. K. Stauffer as president; E. L. Rutherford, vice president and secretary; Walter L. Stauffer, treasurer. Among the other directors are E. A. Humphrey, Worth Kilpatrick, Robert Skemp, B. F. Stauft, John Dick and J. R. Smith.

A large brass foundry, with which W. F. Stauffer is connected, is cne of the latest industries of the place.

The United States Casket Company, chartered 1904, with $100,000 capital, began operations January, 1905. The plant is operated by electric power. Twenty seven men are employed, making twenty caskets per day, or about seven thousand annually. These goods are sold to undertakers direct in Western Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio. They make only wooden and copper lined caskets, with trimmings for the same. The officers of this company are: Albert H. Kelley, president; Wesley Kelley, first vice president; John Marshall, second vice president; William Ferguson, superintendent. Other industrial plants of the borough are the Litho-Marble Works, and planing and flouring mills. The borough has a good system of waterworks, electric and gas plants, constructed about 1889.

The Peterson Businesss College was established in 1903 by P. O. Peterson. The first class, numbering forty five, was graduated June, 1904.

The First Presbyterian Church of Scottdaie was organized May 15, 1874. Their present beautiful cream colored pressed brick church edifice was dedicated in 1898. The Baptist Church was organized by Rev. David Williams, April 17, 1875, with thirteen members. They dedicated their first church in 1876, and remodeled it in the autumn of 1893. In 1884 the Scottdaie Methodist Episcopal Church was organized with one hundred and fifty members. At a cost of $42,000 in 1891, they dedicated a church which is one of the finest edifices in Westmoreland county. It stands on the site of the old building, and is provided with a fine toned pipe organ. The present membership is about seven hundred. Rev. C. L. E. Cartwright has been the pastor for the past six years. The United Brethren's present church was erected in 1889, and has one of the three pipe organs of the borough. This building is a massive modern red brick structure. This church was organized in 1870. The First Episcopal Church met in 1892 in a church building on the Fayette side of the creek. One of the projectors of the church was Major Knapp. The first regulars rector was J. H. Hargrave. The United Presbyterian Church was organized in connection with the branch at Mt. Pleasant. in 1873. In 1882 they erected a building on Mulberry street. The Mennonite congregation at this point is part of the once numerous body that worshipped at Alverton and Pennsyille. and was organized here in 1893. They used the German language almost exclusively in their worship until the last twenty five years. The Trinity Reformed Church of Scottdale was organized July, 1873. The corner stone of the church was laid November 9. 1873, by Rey. J. M. Feitzell. The first pastor was Rev. L. B. Leasure. This congregation is among the most flourishing of the borough. The other denominations here represented are the Roman Catholic, Lutheran Protestant Episcopal Christian, African Methodist Episcopal. and Polish Catholic.

The borough of Scottdale has nineteen schools, with an enrollment of 940 pupils.


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