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THE \ 


Astor, Lenox and Tllden 












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ILLUSTRATED. '°''''?. 

voluivie: I. 








R 1909 L 

Copyright 1907 



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1 ••• , •• • 


A history of Cambria County and its people is an essential 
part of the progress of civilization in our country for two hun- 
dred and twenty-five years. 

After its acquisition by William Penn it was at peace with 
the red man for a period of seventy years, followed by thirty 
years of cruel barbarism. 

In the beginning its pioneers were with Washington in the 
struggle for independence; its rank and file have marched with 
Dearborn, Taylor and Scott, Grant, Farragut and Shafter, and 
gallantly sustained our government. 

' Its 666 square miles of land were richly endowed with the 
tall white pine and hemlock, and the forests are filled with 
hard wood, and its mountains are veined with the best quality 
of bituminous coal. 

In the iron and steel industry it has created for itself an 
international reputation for excellent products, and in its fine 
arts its people have achieved a worthy place. In statesmanship 
and government, in the nation and state, the influence of its 
men has been wielded for the good. 

It is worthy to modestly enroll the achievements of her 
people among the annals of our country. 

In grateful aclmowledgment of the invaluable assistance 
given in the preparation of this history by James M. Swank, 
George T. Swank and Anderson H. Walters of the Johnstown 
Tribune, John McCormick and other friends, the author de- 
sires to express his sincere thanks. 



1. John J. Boyle: A Sculptor. 

2. Jacob Miller Campbell: A General and a Statesman. 

3. George Fritz: An Inventor and Engineer. 

4. John Fritz : An Inventor and Engineer. 

5. Lawrence Francis Flick, M. D. : The Master of Tuber- 


6. John Fulton: Geologist and Mining Engineer. 

7. Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin: A Pioneer Priest. 

8. John White Geary: A Major General and Governor of 

Kansas and Pennsylvania. 

9. Joseph Johns: A Friend of the Common Schools and 

Founder of Johnstown. 
10. William R. Jones: An Inventor, Engineer and Manager 

of Steel Works. 
IL George Shryock King: Founder of the Cambria Iron Co. 
12; Daniel Johnston Morrell: Iron and Steel Master; Author 

of and the Chairman of the Executive Committee of 

the Centennial Exhibition, and Commissioner to the 

Paris Exposition. 

13. Robert Samuel Murphy: Lieutenant Governor and Presi- 

dent of the Pennsylvania Senate. 

14. Robert Edwin Peary: The Arctic Explorer. 

15. Cyrus Long Pershing: A President Judge and Member 

of the War Assembly; the Democratic Candidate for 
Governor, Supreme Judge and Congress. 

16. Robert Lees Phythian: A Commodore in the United 

States Naw and a Superintendent of the Naval 

17. Charles M. Schwab: A Steel Master. 

18. Powell Stackhouse: President of the Cambria Steel Co. 

19. James Moore Swank: An Editor, Statistician and His- 




William Penn seeks to purchase title from the Susquehanna 
river — Penn secures the Dongan title — Penn's difficul- 
ties in England and in the province — Treaties with the 
Indians — French and Indian War — Charles Campbell 
procures a warrant for the land on the Conemaugh 
and Stonycreek rivers at Johnstown 1 


The Revolutionary War period — Meetings in Carpenter's 
Hall in Philadelphia — Companies of Captain Robert 
Cluggage, Captain Richard Brown, Captain Andrew 
Mann, and Captain Jacob Hendershot — The companies 
of rangers; Captain John Boyd and Captain Solomon 
Adams — Mason and Dixon line — The whiskey rebellion 
of 179^— The Forbes Road ." 10 


Organization of Counties — Cambria county taken from 
Somerset and Huntingdon — First townships in Cam- 
bria county 29 


Indian Tribes in the Conemaugh valley — First white 

visitors 46 


Pioneer settlers — Adams family — Prince Grallitzin — Cap- 
tain Michael M'Guire — Joseph Johns — He lays out the 
village of Conemaugh 67 

Indian trails — Old roads 91 



A Political Eeview — The politics of the county, state and 

nation from 1808 102 


The Judicial District — Jurisdiction of the courts, and legis- 
lation — Special acts, the judges and law^^ers — Inci- 
dents 143 


Anti-slavery Sentiment— The underground railroad— 
*' Abraham" and ''Patrick" shot at by a slave hunter 
— Arrest of Henry Willis and others for aiding the 
slaves 186 

First Settlements 193 


The Eivers, Creeks and Eivulets — Saw and grist mills, and 

rafting 211 

The City of Johnstown 240 

Land Titles 290 

The Eivers at Johnstown 311 

The Pennsvlvania Canal 330 

Old and New Portage Eailroads 347 

Newspapers and Periodicals 367 


Cambria Stee-t Company — Origin and early history of the 

present great corporation 400 



Fall of the Pennsylvania railroad platform 448 

The Great Flood of May 31, 1889 457 

The Medical Profession 509 

Old Families in the County 535 

Coal, coke, railroads and lumber -; . . . 573 

History of Cambria County. 






The King of England, Charles II, desiring to perpetuate 
the memory of his friend, Admiral William Penn, for his vic- 
tory over the Dutch fleet in 1665, looked with favor on the peti- 
tion of William Penn, his son, for permission and a grant of 
sufficient land in America to locate a colony thereon ; therefore, 
on March 4, 1681, at Westminster, the charter for Pennsylvania 
was granted. The boundary lines were given thus : 

"All that tract or parte of land in America, with all the 
Islands therein conteyned, as the same is bounded on the East 
by Delaware River, from twelve miles distance Northwards of 
New Castle Towne unto the three and fortieth degree of North- 
ern latitude if the said River doth extend soe farre Northwards : 
But if the said River shall not extend soe farre Northward, then 
by the said River soe farr as it doth extend, and from the head 
of the said River the Easterne bounds are to bee determined by 
a meridian line to bee drawn from the head of the said River 
unto the said three and fortieth degree, the said lands to extend 
Westwards, five degrees in longitude, to be computed from the 
said Eastern Bounds, and the said lands to bee liounded on the 
North by the Ijeginning of the three and fortieth degree of 
Northern latitude, and on the South, by a circle drawn at twelve 
miles distance from New Castle Northwards, and Westwards 
unto the beginning of the fortieth degree of Northern Latitude : 
and then by a straight line Westwards, to the limitt of Longi- 
tude above mentioned." 

Under this authority Penn immediately began to make his 
arrangements to take possession, and appointed William Mark- 
ham, his cousin, lieutenant governor, who arrived in New York 

Vol. I— 1 


iu June, 1681. Markham found Captain Anthony Brockliolls, 
deputy governor of New York, in charge of the Duke of York's 
colonies. Brockholls inspected the documents which Markham 
presented, and in acknowledging their validity gave him a let- 
ter to the settlers in Pennsylvania, requesting them to yield 
obedience to the new proprietor. On August 3, 1681, Markham 
organized a Council, which was the formal beginning of Penn's 
proprietorship, and began to buy lands from the Indians. 

Penn sailed in the ship "Welcome," and landed. at Upland, 
now Chester, about October 28, 1682, when he was about thirty- 
eight years of age. Markham had had the city of Philadelphia 
laid out before Penn's arrival, but it was under his instructions, 
inasmuch as two years later Penn wrote: "And thou Philadel- 
phia, named before thou wast born." 

In the summer of 1683 Penn began to negotiate with the 
Iroquois chiefs of New York, who were in control of the tribes 
on the Susquehanna river, for that river and the lands on both 
sides of it. In July he wrote to Brockholls commending two 
agents he was sending to treat with the sachems of the Mohawks, 
Senecas and their allied tribes, for a release of the Susquehanna 
lands. In his letter he declared his intention "is to treat 
* * * about some Susquehanash land on ye back of us, where 
I intend a colony forthwith, a place so out of the way that a 
small thing could not carry some people to it." It seems very 
clear that Penn's intentions were to secure at once the Sus- 
quehanna river to its source, and to the extreme point, or, 
as he expressed it so plainly, "a place so out of the way that a 
small thing could not carry some people to it." 

The agents, William Haige and James Graham, proceeded 
to Albany in August, and found that Brockholls had been super- 
seded by Colonel Thomas Dongan, who had arrived August 
25, 1683. Colonel Dongan is an important personage in the 
study of the history of Pennsylvania, in view of his term of 
service as governor of New York until 1688. He was a Roman 
Catholic, as was the Duke of York, and an enterprising, active 
and intelligent man, well qualified to manage the delicate rela- 
tions then existing, especially so with the Iroquois Indians. 

When Dongan heard of Penn's negotiations for the Sus- 
quehanna river it gave him much concern, and caused his jus- 
tices, who were his advisers, to become panicstricken. They 
feared that Penn would plant a strong settlement on the Sus- 
quehanna, and that the Iroquois Indians, instead of bringing 


tlieir furs to the Hudson river, would send them to what is now 
Philadelphia, l3y the way of the Susquehanna. 

On September 7, 1683, the justices had a conference witli 
such Indians as could be reached in their haste for action. These 
were two Cayugas and "a Susquehanna," who were closely 
interrogated as to the Sustjuehanna's geographical and trade 
relations with the New York settlements, especially Albany. 
These close questions caused the Indians to- be inquisitive. 
Their inquiries were: Why did the justices want to know? 
Were the white men coming to the Susquehanna? The chiefs 
were asked how this Avould suit them, assuming it to be correct, 
and they candidly replied "very well," as it- would be much 
easier and nearer to trade there than at Albany, "insomuch as 
they must bring everything thither on their backs." 

The situation was alarming, and the justices hastily advised 
Dongan to find some way to prevent Penn from acquiring the 
"Susquehanna Indian title." On the 18th, Colonel Dongan 
informed Haige and Graham that it was considered "very con- 
venient and necessary to putt a stopp to all proceedings in 
Mr. Penn's affairs with the Indians until his bounds and limits 
be adjusted," and furthermore "to suffer no manner of pro- 
ceedings in that business" until they should be advised. The 
Indians were influenced by Dongan and his friends not to sell 
to Penn, being told that they had no right to do that, but should 
sell to the New York parties. 

• , The situation was acute and prompt action was required; 
therefore, to control it, Dongan purchased from some of the 
chiefs, especially the Senecas, these lands and the river for 
himself. He seems to have been uncertain whether his position 
in this transaction was entirely honorable, although on October 
lOtli he wrote to Penn avowing his purchase, and in another 
letter of the 22d he stated the "Indians had confirmed the 
sale;" however, he added, that he and Penn would "not fall 
out" over it. 

Even this purchase did not clear the liaze, and Penn's 
efforts were causing much uneasiness in New York for fear of 
losing the Indian trade. It went so far that in 1691 the Pro- 
vincial Council of New York presented a petition to William 
III, earnestly requesting the dispossessing of Penn altogether. 
They represented that "The Susquehanna is situate in the mid- 
dle of the Sinnekes country," and that it had been given to 
the Duke of York manv vears before Penn bad received his 


charter. They further stated that Penn was endeavoring to 
buy it from the Indians in order to draw away trade to his 
province, and the King was assured this would do them great 
damage, because "All the Nations with whom Albany hath a 
trade live at the head of the Susquehanna river, ' ' and declared 
that ''the inhabitants at Albany" had "only seated themselves 
there and addicted their minds to the Indian language and the 
mysteries of the said trade with the purpose to manage it." 
They insistently urged that if Penn's title to Pennsylvania 
should be affirmed that it should extend no further on the Sus- 
quehanna than the falls thereof. The falls are probably at 
the mouth of the Conestoga creek, about fifteen miles north of 
the Maryland line. They preferred that Pennsylvania, New 
Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut be re-annexed to New York. 
The uneasiness which Penn's negotiations caused in 1683 
had now become malevolent; it was bitter and vindictive toward 
the Province and its rulers. Penn was the central object for 
the attacks of those who disliked his religious views, his demo- 
cratic system of government, despised his humane policy, or 
hated all of these. This was the beginning of Penn's trou- 
bles and the historical events relating to Barr, Carroll and 
Susquehanna townships in Cambria county. 

In 1684 Penn returned to England with the fixed purpose 
of making a short visit and of bringing his family to Penn- 
sylvania, but in the meanwhile James II had succeeded Charles 
II as King of England. Penn strove to use his influence for 
the persecuted dissenters, which included the Roman Catho- 
lics, and at first James assented, but political measures 
demanded the re-enactment of offending measures, however, 
and Penn continued to intercede for the oppressed people. This 
condition of affairs continued until the revolution of 1688. 

William and Mary ascended the throne February 13, 1689, in 
full faith in the doctrine of the Church of England, which rad- 
ically changed the situation. All the friends of the Stuarts 
were suspects. Penn was twice arrested on charges of trea- 
sonable correspondence with the ])anished James, and twice 
was he acquitted. He was accused of being "a cheat," also of 
being a Catholic, and under these strained conditions of aifairs 
he remained in seclusion for three years. In 1693 three lords 
presented his case to William with the assurance there was 
nothing against him, and Penn was given his liberty. 

However, his troubles were not confined to England, inas- 


much as in 1692 his executive authority over Pennsylvania was 
taken from him and given to Benjamin Fletcher, governor of 
New York, who was totally out of sympathy with the people of 
this province, bnt npon Penn's release in 1693 his powers were 

While Penn was abroad Thomas Dongan, formerly gov- 
ernor of New York, returned to England in 1691 and succeeded 
to the earldom of Limerick in 1698. 

Penn's proprietorship of Pennsylvania now being confirmed 
by William and Mary, he sought to acquire the ownership and 
control of the Susquehanna river, regarding it as essential to 
the prosperity of his province. It had been his first thought 
as early as 1683, and most likely prior to that date, as his cor- 
respondence with Markham shows, and his general knowledge 
of the Province had determined the value of that river. There- 
fore in 1695 he opened negotiations with Colonel Dongan for 
the purchase of the interest of the Seneca Indians in the Sus- 
quehanna river and its lands, which the latter had acquired 
in his name in 1683. They were concluded successfully on Jan- 
uary 12, 1696, by acquiring a lease thereof for one thousand 
years, in consideration of the payment of one hundred pounds 
and the annual rent of a "pepper corn" to be delivered on the 
"Feast Day of St. Michaell the Arch Angel," is demanded. 

Penn remained m England until September 9, 1699, when 
he and his family sailed for America to make it their home; 
however, this was not to be, as he returned to England in 
1701 for a visit, and the changed conditions prevented him from 
ever returning to Pennsylvania. The Province was governed 
through his deputies until his death in 1718, when his son and 
other heirs assumed control over Pennsylvania. 

The following is the text of the deed of Colonel Thomas 
Dongan to AVilliam Penn : 

Deed of Thos. Dongan to William Penn, * * * This 
indenture made the 12th day of January, Anno Dni, 1696, and 
in the eighth yeare of the reigne of our Sovereign, Lord Will- 
iam, the Third, King of Eng'd. between Thomas Dongan, late 
Govern 'r of New York, and now of London, Esqr. of the one 
part, and, 

William Penn, 
Govern 'r of the Province of Pensilvania in America, of the 
other part; * * * [^ consideration of the sume of one 
hundred Pounds * * * to him in hand paid by the said 
William Penn * * * he hath demised and granted * 



* to the said William Penn, * * * All that tract of Land 
Jyeng upon, on l)oth sides the River commonly called or known 
by the name of the Susquehanna Eiver and the Lakes adiacent, 
in or near the Province of Pensilvania, * * * bggjn-ipjg 
at the Mountain or head of the said river, and running as fare 
as and into the Bay of Chessapeake, with all Isles, Islands, 
mines, woods * * * which the said Thomas Dongan lately 
purchased of or had given him by the Sinneca Susquehannah 
Indians, and also all the lands * * * whatsoever lyeing 
on both sides the Susquehannah river * * * which he, 
the said Thomas Dongan did, at any time purchase or which 
were at am^ time given unto (him) by the said Indians. * * * 

To have and to hold, from the date hereof, for and unto 
the end and term of One Thousand years, paying * * * 
yearly and every year on the Feast day of St. Michaell the 
Arch Angel, the rent of a pepper Corn, if the same shall or 
lawfully (be) demanded to the intent and purpose, that by the 
force * * * of these presents and of the Statute for trans- 
ferring of uses, into possession, the said William Penn may be 
in the actuall possession of the premises, and may be thereby 
the better enabled to attempt and take a grant, release, * * 

* for his heirs and assigns forever. * * * 

Thomas Doistgaist, (LS.) 

It will be observed this' document is a lease for the Sus- 
quehanna lands and the river, but on the following day Don- 
gan conveyed all his right, title and interest therein to W^illiam 
Penn, in fee, for the consideration of one hundred pounds. 
The deed is dated January 13, 1696, and conveys "all the land 
and every of the Senneca Susquehannah Indians," and will 
warrant and forever defend it. 

There are two branches of the Susquehanna river which 
join at Sunbury. The northern branch extends into the state 
of New York. The Avestern branch runs along Union county, 
and passes through Lycoming, Clinton, along Center, and, 

through Clearfield counties into Cambria, at Cherry Tree. Its 
source is, of course, on the eastern slope of the Allegheny 
mountains, and becomes prominent near Carrolltown, then 
passes through Carroll township, along Barr and through Sus- 
quehanna townships into Clearfield county. 

The Susquehanna is the only stream which drains the east- 
ern slope and the territory east of the Allegheny mountains in 
our State, and being very crooked the distance from its source 
to Sunbury is about two hundred miles, fifteen of which lies in 
Cambria countv. 


The Dongan deed is not of record except as it appears in 
the colonial records, nor has it ever been found: however it 
was confirmed in 1700 by several of the tribes, and in 1722 the 
Conestoga Indians, then known as the Susquehanna Indians, 

Cambria County Territory. 

W. Scull Map of 1770. 
Savages at "Conemack." 

confirmed the lease and sale of 1696. It was subsequently af- 
firmed by treaty and by deeds. 

Notwithstanding the confirmation and the admissions of 
the Five Nations, the Delaware Indians claimed they had an 
interest in the Susquehanna lands, iand as the boundaries were 


indefinite in the former deeds, the Penns arranged for an- 
other conference with these several tribes, which took place 
October 11th, 1736, in Philadelphia, and another treaty was 
made. They gave tlie following deed: 

To All People to whom these presents may come, * * * 
we do and every of them doth give, grant, bargain, sell, release 
and confirm nnto the said proprietors, John Penn and Richard 
Penn, their heirs and assigns, * * * x\\ the said River 
Susqnehannah, with the lands lying on both sides thereof, to 
extend Eastward as far as the heads of the Branches or Springs 
which run into the said Susquehannah, and all the lands lying 
on the West side of the said River to the setting of the Sun, 
and to extend from the mouth of the said River Northward, 
up the same to the Hills or mountains called in the language 
of the .said Nations, the Tyannuntasacta, or endless hills, and 
by the Delaware Indians, the Kekkachtananin Hills, together, 
also, with all the Islands in the said River. * * * 

Dated October 11th, 1736. 







By his fr'd, Kaneck] 




















By his fr'd. 




























Alias, Tagachskaholoo. 



In the conference between Governor Keith and the Cones- 
toga Indians in 1722, the Indians claimed that forty years be- 
fore that, which would be 1682, William Penn had procured 
some person in New York to purchase the lands on the Susque- 
hanna river from the Five Nations, who pretended to have a 
right in them by having conquered the Indians formerly set- 
tled there. The Conestoga Indians said to Governor Keith 
''that William Penn took the parchment and laid it upon the 
ground, and saying to them it should be common amongst them, 
namely, the English and the Conestoga Indians." Keith re- 
plied: *'I am very glad to find that you remember so perfectly 


the wise and kind expressions of the great and good William 
Penn towards you; and I know that the purchase which he 
made of the lands on both sides of the Susquehanna is exactly 
true as you tell it, only I have heard further that when he was 
so good to tell your people, that notwithstanding that purchase 
the lands should still be in common between his people and 
them, you answered that very little land would serve you, and 
thereupon you fully confirmed his right, by your consent and 
good will, etc." 

The great object William Penn had in mind was the con- 
trol of the Susquehanna river throughout his province. There- 
fore, on September 13th, 1700, he purchased from Widagh and 
AndaggAgunkquagh, kings or sachems of the Susquehanna In- 
dians, all their right in the Susquehanna river, "and all the 
lands situate, lying and being on both sides of the said river, 
and next adjoining to the same, to the utmost confines of the 
lands which are or formerly were the right of the people or na- 
tion called the Susquehannagh Indians, or by what name soever 
they were called," and therein confirmed the deed of Thomas 
Dongan, now the Earl of Limerick, to William Penn, dated 
September 13th, 1696. This deed is recorded in the Department 
of Internal Affairs at Harrisburg, in Book F, volume 8, at 
page 242, 

A further purchase or confirmation of the Thomas Don- 
gan deed was made April 22, 1701, between William Penn and 
several branches of the Susquehanna, Shawona, Potowmack 
and Conestoga Indians, for the Susquehanna river and the 
lands on both sides of it. 

At a treaty held in Philadelphia, in July, 1727, between 
Governor Gordon and the deputies of the Five Nations, the 
latter said inasmuch as the former had at divers times sent for 
them they had therefore come to know his pleasure, and made 
an offer to sell the Susquehanna river lands. Gordon replied 
"that he was glad to see them, and that he takes their visit at 
this time very kindly, but that they were misinformed when 
they supposed he had sent for them ; that Governor Penn had, 
by means of the Colonel Dongan deed, already bought of the 
Five Nations the lands on the Susquehanna river." 

A conference between the provincial officials and the In- 
dians at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1753, was the beginning of 
the Indian troubles. At that time the latter were friendly but 
discontented, principally on account of the sale of August 25th, 








^ £ 

";: o 



1737, known as the ''Walking Purchase" deed, wherein the 
land conveyed was described to be "as far as a man can go 
in one day and an half." This purchase did not relate to the 
Susquehanna river or lands upon its shores, but applied to 
the Delaware river in its vicinity. 

In July, 1712, two hundred and thirty Indians of the Six 
Nations made a visit to Philadelphia and held a conference 
with Governor Thomas, complaining that the white men were 
not honestly dealing with them, but were settling on their hunt- 
ing grounds which had been reserved. Canassatego implored 
the governor to make the white men remove therefrom, par- 
ticularly those "who have settled on the Juniata, a branch of 
the Susquehanna." The chief said: "We have given the river 
Juniata for a hunting place to our cousins, the Delaware In- 
dians, and our brethren the Shawnese. We therefore desire 
you will immediatel.v by force remove all those that live on 
the river Juniata." 

The governor interrupted the chief by saying "that some 
magistrates were sent expressly to remove them, and he thought 
no person would presume to stay after that." The chief 
replied: "These persons who were sent do not do their duty; 
so far from removing the people they made surveys for them- 
selves, and they are in league with the trespassers." 

About August 11th, 1719, two hundred and eighty Indians, 
including Senecas, Mohicans, Tutelas, Delawares and Nanti- 
cokes again went to Philadelphia, against the advice of Con- 
rad Weiser, whom they regarded and who really was their 
friend. They renewed their complaints and insisted on the 
white man being removed from their hunting grounds. They 
did not complain of any trespassing east of the Susquehanna 
river, but as to the grounds of their cousins the Nanticokes and 
other Indians living on the waters of the Juniata, the white man 
must use more vigorous measures and formallv remove them. 
At the Carlisle conference of 1753 the Indians did not make 
any threats, but continued to press their complaints that the 
white man should forbear settling on the Indian lands over the 
"Allegheny hills," and on the Juniata river. 

The friendly relations heretofore existing between the 
provincial people and the Indians were being strained and the 
former deemed it wise to have another conference with the 
Six Nations, which comprised the Mohawks, Oneidas, Senecas, 
Tuscaroras, Onondagas and Cajaigas, and have a new treaty 


to cover all the lands then in dispute. In this view the parties 
met at Albany, in July, 1754, and after a conference the Six 
Nations gave a deed to Thomas and Eichard Penn for the con- 
sideration of four hundred pounds, lawful money of New 
York, for "all the lands lying within the said province of 
Pennsylvania, bounded and limited as follows : namely. Begin- 
ning at the Kittoch tinny or Blue hills on the west branch of 
the Susquehanna river, and thence hy the same, a mile above 
the mouth of a certain creek called I^ayarondinhagh (Penn's 
creek), thence northwest and by west as far as the said prov- 
ince of Pennsylvania extends to its western lines or boundaries ; 
thence along the said western line or boundary of the i3rovince ; 
thence by the said south line to the south side of the Kittoch- 
tinny hills ; thence by the south side of said hills to the place of 
beginning. ' ' 

When the Indians returned to their homes and meditated 
ui^on the fact that they had sold ail their lands west of the Al- 
legheny hills, dissatisfaction and discontent were supreme. 
They became exasperated, and sought an alliance with the 
French, who were endeavoring to hold all the lands west of 
the Allegheny mountains, and were then in and around Fort 
Buquesne, now Pittsburg. The French promised to redeem 
the lands which were claimed by the English under these sev- 
eral deeds. The intense feeling broke out the following year 
when the Indians and French attacked and defeated Greneral 
Braddock, who was mortally wounded and died within a few 

This was the beginning of the Indian wars in western Penn- 
sylvania. The Indians told Conrad Weiser that they did not 
understand the ^joints of the compass, and if the line was so 
run as to include the West Branch of the Susquehanna, they 
would never agree to it. 

In 1711 contention began between Louis XV of France 
and George II of England as to the territory west of the Al- 
legheny mountains. France claimed it on the explorations 
made by La Salle in the lower Mississippi valley as early as 
1679, wherein he had included a part of Ohio and of the Ohio 
river, and by that fact, sought to take i^ossession of all the land 
to the headwaters of the Ohio river, which would have included 
the territory in Cambria county. George II denied the claim, 
so in 1753 the French came to Pittsburg and, constructing Fort 
Duquesne, prepared to take possession. During this period 


(1755-63) the French took advantage of the discontent among 
the Indians, and most of them joined issue against the provin- 
cial authorities. The territory west of the Allegheny mount- 
ains was' now defenseless and made desolate by the Indian 

On July 9, 1755, the army sent out by George II, under 
General Braddock, was defeated at Braddock's field, and the 
commander, mortally wounded, died four days later. This 
regiment had been considered of sufficient strength to over- 
come the French, but it remained for General Forbes in 1758 
to capture Fort Duquesne and name it Fort Pitt. 

Notwithstanding the treaty and the delivery of the deed 
of 1754 for the land west of the Susquehanna river, the In- 
dians of the Six Nations continued to complain that they had 
not' been treated properly, and barbaric acts of cruelty were 
being committed by them throughout Western Pennsylvania 
and elsewhere. The Penns desired to have peace, and there- 
fore invited the Indians to Easton to consider the contentions. 
As a result of that conference (October 23, 1758) Thomas and 
Eichard Penn appointed Eichard Peters and Conrad Weiser 
their attorneys-in-fact, and directed them to release all their 
claim to the land "lying to the northward and westward of 
the Allegheny hill," providing that the Six Nations or their 
deputies would affirm the sale of all the other land mentioned 
in the deed of 1754, which included territory east of the Alle- 
gheny mountains. 

But the situation in Western Pennsylvania remained in- 
tolerable, notwithstanding the effort of the Penns to conciliate 
the several tribes of Indians. It was in 1771 that Samuel 
Adams was killed by them at Sandy Eun, a few miles from 
Johnstown, and other depredations being committed on the 
pioneers and their families, many of them took their depart- 
ure for the eastern part of the province. 

A general conference with the Indians of the Six Nations 
was called to meet at Fort Stanwix, New York, and there an- 
other treaty was made, of which the deed bears the date of 
November 5, 1768. The Indians who represented the Six Na- 
tions were: Tyanbasare, alias Abraham, sachem or chief of 
the Mohawks; Senughsis, for the Oneidas; Chenungbiata, for 
the Onondagas; Gaustarax, for the Senecas; Sequarisera, for 
the Tuscaroras; and Tagaaia, for the Cayugas. In considera- 
tion of ten thousand dollars they sold all their interest in the 


land "beginning at Owegy, in New York, and running sonth- 
west along the easterly side of the Snsquehanna river till it 
comes ojDposite the mouth of a creek called b}^ the Indians 
Awandac (Towanda) * * * thence to the head of a creek 
which runs into the west branch of the Susquehanna, which 
creek is called by the Indians Tiadaghton, and down the said 
creek on the south side thereof to the said west branch of the 
Susquehanna; then crossing the said river and running u]) the 
same on the south side thereof, to the fork of the same river 
which lies nearest to a place on the river Ohio, called the 
Kittanning, " * * * 

This deed includes all the land south of the Kittaiming 
trail in Western Pennsylvania, and was one of the largest 
purchases made by the Penns. "Canoe Place," or Cheriy Tree, 
is the northerly boundary line of this sale in this county. This 
is the purchase known in our coimty as the "Canoe," or the 
Cherry Tree sale. Tradition tells us that the land was meas- 
ured by the Indians agreeing that Penn should have all on the 
west branch of the Susquehanna river and west of it from a 
IDoint where there was not sufficient water to float a canoe. 
There is no good authority for this as it will appear in the 
Fort Stanwix deed that the Indians sold everything south of 
the Kittanning trail. 

Prior to this purchase the provincial authorities endeav- 
ored to keep the white man from making a settlement on the 
land west of the Allegheny mountains, but now, having full 
title to it, the council of the province directed that on and after 
April 3, 1769, the territory mentioned should be open to per- 
sons desiring to settle upon it, or to purchase it. On that 
day, the very first day it could lawfully be acquired, Charles 
Campbell took out a warrant for two hundred and forty-nine 
acres on the Little Conemaugh and the Stoneycreek rivers, 
which includes the First, Second, Third, Fourth and parts of 
the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth and Thirteenth wards of 
the citv of Johnstown. 









When the shot was fired at Lexington, on April 19, 1775, 
it has been stated that its moral effect for religions liberty and 
politi-cal freedom encircled the globe. 

When that took place the territory now within the limits 
of Cambria county was parts of Quemahoning and Franks- 
town townshi]3s of Bedford county. Fort Bedford was the 
county capital ; there the courts administered justice to the 
people of the county; there the pioneers sought safety from 
the attacks of Indians on their homes and families throughout 
the county. The next fort west was Fort Ligonier, in West/- 
moreland county. Bedford, was the common meeting place for 
the patriot and the pioneer of this locality. 

The inhabitants of the county were j)rincipally Scotch- 
Irish Presbyterians, but Germans of the Brethren denomination, 
Swiss and Irish, had also settled here. It was very natural 
that both i3atriots and tories should be represented, although 
there were few of the latter. Numbered with the patriots were 
Colonel George Woods, Judge Barnard Dougherty, Colonel 
David Espy, Samuel Davidson, Esq., Hon. John Cessna, Colonel 
Charles Cessna, Major Edward Coombs, Colonel Hugh Bar- 
clay, Captain Andrew Mann, Colonel Robert Galbreath, Cap- 
tain Robert Cluggage, James Martin, William Proctor, Colonel 
Thomas Smith, James Wells, John Malott, Robert Scott, and 
Captain James Francis Moore. 

When Samuel Adams and his party of ''Indians" threw 
the cargo of tea into the Boston harbor, it aroused the colon- 
ists, and a meeting was held in Philadelphia on July 15, 1774, for 
the purpose of expressing their discontent with the law of 
George III. George Woods, Esq., Barnard Dougherty and Sam- 
uel Davidson of Bedford county were present as delegates. The 


Carpenter's Hall convention of 1775 resolved that the colonies 
should raise an army to defend their principles and to Pennsyl- 
vania was allotted the quota of 4,300 men. To more effectu- 
ally carry it into efl'ect a committee of public safety was ap- 
pointed on June 30, 1775, which consisted of prominent patriots 
in the colony. Benjamin Franklin was president thereof; Will- 
iam Garrett, secretary, and Michael Hillegas, treasurer. Bar- 
nard Dougherty, of Bedford county, was a member of that 

Within ten days after the battle of Bunker Hill was fought 
(June 17, 1775) Captain Cluggage, of Bedford, had a company 
on the march to Boston to assist Prescott, Pepperell and War- 
ren, the heroes of that defeat. On its arrival at Carlisle it was 
assigned to the First Pennsylvania Eifle Battalion, commanded 
by Colonel William Thompson. The battalion started from 
Reading, j)assed through Faston and northern New Jersey, 
crossed the Hudson river a few miles north of West Point, and 
joined the Continental army in the trenches at Boston, August 
8, 1775. 

They were the first troops to arrive from the west side of 
the Hudson, and served in all the skirmishes in front of Bos- 
ton; but before the British evacuated that city Colonel Thomp- 
son's battalion was ordered to New York to aid in repelling the 
landing of the enemy. Colonel Thompson was promoted to 
brigadier-general, and Lieutenant Colonel Hand of Lancaster 
was advanced to the colonelcy. When the term of enlistment 
expired, June 30, 1776, most of the men re-enlisted for three 
years or during the war. It then became the First Regiment 
of the Continental Line, and was actively engaged in the bat- 
tles of Long Island, White Plains, Trenton, and Princeton, 
under Colonel Hand, who on April 1, 1777, was made a briga- 
dier-general to be succeeded by Lieutenant Colonel James 
Chambers of CHiambersburg. Under his command the regi- 
ment fought at Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, and every 
other battle and skirmishes until it retired, January 1, 1781. 
Thatcher's Military Journal says of this command: 

"Several companies of riflemen amounting, it is said, to 
more than fourteen hundred men, have arrived here from Penn- 
sylvania and Maryland, a distance of from five to seven hun- 
dred miles. They are remarkably stout and hardy men, many 
of them exceeding six feet in liight. They are dressed in white 
frocks or rifle shirts and round hats. These men are remark- 

Vol. 1—2 


able for the accuracy of their aim, strikins^ a mark with great 
certainty at two hniidred yards. At a reyiew of a company 
of them', presumed to be CoL Cresap's company of Maryland 
frontiersmen, one-half of whom were recruited in that part of ' 
Pennsylyania lying west of the Allegheny mountains, while on 
a quick adyance, fired their balls into objects of seyen inches in 
diameter, at a distance of two hundred yards. They are now 
stationed on our lines (Boston) and their shots haye freijuently 
proyed fatal to British officers and soldiers who exposed tliem- 
selyes, eyen at more than double of a common musket shot." 


Captain, Robert Cluggage. First Lieutenant, John Hol- 
liday, commissioned June 25, 1775. Second Lieutenant, Robert 
McKenzie, died Feb. 12, 1776; Benjamin Baird, from third lieu- 
tenant. Third Lieutenant, Benjamin Baird, Oct., 1775, pro- 
moted second lieutenant. 

Sergeants: James Holliday; Daniel Stoy, clis. at Long 
Island, July 1, 1776 ; resided in Somerset county, Pennsyl- . 
yania, in ISL'^; Querinus Meriner, Dayid Wright. 

. Corporals: AcQuilla White, William Lee, Joseph McKen- 
zie, Angus McDonald. 

Drummer: Timothy Sulliyan. 

Priyates: Adam Anderson, resided in Westmoreland 
county in 1818; Phillip Beechy, John Bowman; Thaddeus 
Bronghdon, dis. Feb. 10, 1776; Thomas Brown, George Bruner, 
John Cam])bell, Thomas Casey, Stephen Cessna, Patrick Clark, 
Phillip Conner, James Corrowan; Joshua Craig, resided in 
Cuml)erland county in 1820; John Crips, Alexander Crugren, 
Thomas Cunningham, James Curran; John Dayis, afterward 
, adjutant Flying Camp; Cornelius Dilling; William Donelin, 
re-enlisted Ist Pa.; Matthew Dougherty, Laurence Dowling. 
Daniel Francks, George Freeman, Amariah Garrett, Daniel 
Gemberland. Reuben Gillespy, Richard Hardister, Conrad Han- 
ning; Francis Jamison, re-enlisted 1st Pa.; Andrew Johnston, 
enlisted June 25, 1775. promoted lieutenant 1st Pa. ; Matthias 
Judy; John Kelly, — "Sept. 14, 1775, John Kelly, one of Capt. 
Cluggage 's men, shot one of Cajit. Chambers' men through the 
head for stal)l)ing him." — Wright's Journal. Peter King, 
James Knight, William Laird, Charles Lenning, Rol)ert Leon- 
ard; John Lesly, re-enlisted in 11th Pa.; Henry McCartney, 
dis. at Long Island, July, 1776, weayer, resided in Lycoming 
county in 1820; Daniel McClain, re-enlisted 1st Pa.; John Mc- 
Cune, John McDonald, Patrick McDonald, Thomas McFarlane, 
Thomas Magee, Daniel ^Mangaw, Michael Miller, Robert Piatt, 
John Pitts. Samuel Plumb, ]\rartin Reynolds, Daniel Rhoads; 
Philip Ritchie, re-enlisted 1st Pa.; Thomas Shehan, Francis 
Shires; Alexander Simonton. re-enlisted 1st Pa.; Emanuel 
Smith, Henry Smith; Daniel Stoy, promoted sergeant; John 
Stuart, Jonathen Taylor, James Turmoil, Andrew Tweed, 


James Vanzandt, Daniel Vanderslice, re-enlisted 1st Pa.; 
Thomas Vaughn, re-enlisted 1st Pa.; Solomon Walker, James 
Warlord. Thomas Ward, Alexander Wilson; George Whitman, 
enlisted Jmie, 1775; re-enlisted in 1st Pa.; Samuel Woodward. 

Captain Richard Brown's company was organized in Bed- 
ford during February and March, 1776, and was assigned to the 
First Battalion of the Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment, under 
Colonel Samuel ]\Iiles, that being a part of Brigadier General 
Lord Sterling's command. It fought in the disastrous battle 
of Long Island, New Yoik, on August 27, 1776, wliere many of 
them were killed, Avounded or captured, among the latter of 
whom were Colonel ]\[iles, Colonel Atlee and James Piper, of 
Bedford, lieutenant colonel, who died in captivity. 

In a letter from Colonel Daniel Brodhead, in reference to 
the defeat and retreat at Long Island, dated "Camp near Iving's 
Bridge, 5tli Sep'r. 1776," he says: 

''I understand that General Sullivan has taken the liberty 
to charge our brave and good Col. Miles, with the ill success of 
the Day, but give me leave to say, that if General Sullivan & 
the rest of the Gen 'Is on Long Island had been as vigilant & 
prudent as him, we might, & in all probability would have cut 
olT Clinton's brigade; our officers & men in general, consider- 
ing the confusion, behaved as well as men could do — a very few 
behaved ill, of which, when I am informed will write you." * * * 

"P. S. Tlie Great Gen'l Putnam could not, tho' requested, 
send out one Reg't to cover our retreat." 


The command was engaged in the capture of the Hessians 
at Trenton, December 26, 1776; at Princeton, January 3, 1777; 
and, remaining part of the ensuing winter in Philadelphia, 
moved down to Billingsport in March, 1777. 


Captains : Richard Brown, appointed from Bedford county, 
March 19, 1776; taken prisoner Aug. 27, 1776; James Francis 
Moore, from first lieutenant, Oct. 25, 1776. 

First Lieutenant : James F. Moore, appointed from Bed- 
ford county, March 19, 1776; joined the company Aug. 9, 1776; 
promoted captain Oct. 25, 1776. 

Second Lieutenants: James Barnet, resigned July 23, 
1776; Thomas Boyd, from third lieutenant of Capt. Shade's 
company, Aug. 9, 1776; taken at Fort Washington; resided in 
Indiana county, Pa., in 1817. 

Third Lieutenant : James Holmes, commissioned April 15, 
1776; resigned Dec. 31, 1776. 

Sergeants: Henry Steits; James Anderson, missing since 


Aug. 27, 1776, paroled December, 1776, resided in Bedford 
comity in 1813; Patrick Fitzgerald, Samuel Evans, Thomas 
Johnston, Jacob Hirsh. 

Drummer: William Lever, missing since Aug. 27, 1776. 

Fifer: Conrad Ludwick. 

Privates: Ephraim Allen, Richard Allen, Henry Arm- 
strong, Hugh Barkley, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; Hezekiah 
Biddle, missing since Aug, 27, 1776; George Biddleson, Thomas 
Bradley; William Bradley, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; Sol- 
omon Brown; Peter Carmichael, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; 
James Clark, George Clements, John Conrey, Michael Corwin; 
Samuel Crossan, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; James Dailey, 
Jeremiah Dawson; Peter Devlin, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; 
John Dougherty; Timothy Dreiskel, missing since Aug. 27, 
1776: Alexander Duke, James Evans; Samuel Fox, promoted 
sergeant: WilJiam Fitzgerald, dis. Oct. 18, 1776; Adam Growss, 
missing since Aug. 27, 1776; John Hagerty, John Harris; Jacob 
Hirsh, ])romoted sergeant; Alexander Henderson, Hugh Henry; 
Alexander Holmes, missing since Aug. 27, 1776 ; Robert Huston, 
missing since Aug. 27, 1776; Thomas Johnston, promoted ser- 
geant; Joshua Jones, James Kelly; James Lever, killed at Staten 
Island, July 26, 1776; Conrad Ludwick, Daniel Maguire; John 
Mallon, wounded by accident Aug. 12, 1776 ; Solomon Marshall, 
Daniel Mclntire; John McGregor, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; 
Michael McKittrick; Christy McMichael, missing since Aug. 
27, 1776; John Mier, Aug. 4, 1776; William Moore, missing 
since Aug. 27, 1776; George Morris; Jonathan Nesbit, missing 
since Aug. 27, 1776; Tobias Penrod, Job Riley; Richard Rob- 
erts, missing since Aug. 27, 1776; Jacob Rush, Miles Ryan; 
Nathaniel Scott, missing since Aug, 27, 1776; Samuel Skinner, 
Philil^ Shaver; John Smith, Jr., dis, Sept. 1, 1776; John Smith, 
Sr. ; Degory Sparks, missing since the battle, Aug. 27, 1776; 
Isaac Sparsell, Thomas Stanton; James Steed, dis. July 11, 
1776, returned Aug. 23, 1776, re-enlisted at Hancock, Md., in 
the 13tli Pa. ; Thomas Stockton ; Robert Stokes, missing since 
the battle, Aug. 27, 1776; Richard Tull, Isaac Vanasdale, Albert 
Vorris, Mark Welsh. 

The situation in the east was critical, and of this the Indians 
were taking advantage by committing all kinds of depredations 
among the pioneers and their families in the frontier counties. 
The pioneers became discouraged ; they were not strong enough 
to repel their enemies and, the government seeming unable to 
give them the protection to which they were entitled, many of 
them left and took up their homes in more settled communities. 

Under these conditions on July 15, 1776, congress author- 
ized the organization of the Eighth Regiment of the Pennsyl- 


vania Line for the defense of the frontier, especially at Presqne 
Isle, Le Boenf and Kittanning. The regiment consisted of seven 
companies from AVestmoreland connty and Captain Mann's 
compan}'^ from Bedford. 

The muster roll of this company cannot be found. How- 
ever, the men did good service at Kittanning and then marched 
in midwinter to New Jersey, where they joined Washington's 
army, many of them having died on the way from exposure and 
lack of medical supplies. The company participated in the bat- 
tles of Germantown and Brand^^wine, and was then ordered to 
march to Pittsburg, where it became a part of General Mc- 
intosh's command, and took an active part in the Indian war- 
fare. In 1779 it was a part of General Brodhead's expedition 
up the Allegheny river, helping to defeat the Indians and de- 
stroy their villages, but at the expiration of its term of service, 
the company was discharged at Pittsburg. Robert Aiken and 
Abraham Faith, who were living in Somerset county as late 
as 1825, were members of Captain Mann's company, as were 
also Joseph Hancock, who resided in AVayne county, Indiana, in 
1834 ; Jacob Justice in Bedford county, in 1820 ; Allen McComb 
in Indiana county, in 1810; James Mitchell iii Somerset county, 
in 1810, and Philip Wolf in Bedford county, in 1790. 


A Role of the officers and privates out of the 1st Battalion 
of Bedford County, Avho AEarched to Camp under the command 
of Ca]3t. Jacob Hendershot & Enroled 9th January & Discharged 
10th March & Allowed pay untill the 25th March, 1777. 

Captain: Jacob Hendershot. Lieutenant: Frederick 
Storts. Sergeant : Francis Shives. Corporal : William Steed. 

Privates: William Andrews, Abraham Clavinger, John 
Coombs. George Enslow, Adam Hersler, Jacob Hart, Evan Jen- 
kins, Nelson Jolly, Thomas Mitchell, John Peck, Richard Pitt- 
man, William Pittman, John Rush, John Slaughter, John Will- 

Officers who marched with the Company : Lieut. Col. John 
Graham: Major Edward Coombs, Major John Cessna; Captain 
Obadiah Stiilwell; Lieut. Moses Reed, Lieut. John Stillwell; 
Ensign Stillwell Troax. 

Lieutenant Levi Linn with Capt. Paxton; Private Corne- 
lius Troax with Capt. Paxton, and Private Joseph Troax, who 
died in the service, February 15, 1777, also with Capt. Paxton. 
. These officers marched with the company as volunteers and 
as privates, receiving the same pay and subsistence as they. 



Recruited in Bedford County. 

John Boyd, captain, late of the Third Pennsylvania regi- 
ment; Richard Johnston, lieutenant. 

Sergeants : Robert Atkins, Henry Dugan, Florence Grimes, 
David Beates, William Ward. 

Privates : William Alligane, Stephen Archer, Isaac Arthur, 
John Arthur, Moses Bernan, Abraham Bodle, Joshua Burton, 
Daniel Covert, John Conrad, Richard Corps, Jacob Crevistou, 
John Crossin, Ludwig Curtz, John Downey, Sr., John Downey, 
Jr , William Decker, Benjamin Prazier, Marshall Galloway, 
Daniel Glovert, James Grimes, John Grimes, James Hall, Sam- 
uel Haslett, George Jones, William Jones, Samuel Kennedy, 
Felix McKinney, Joseph Martin. Samuel Moore, Michael Nich- 
olas, James Paxton, Henry Simons, Solomon Sparks, John 
Thomas, William Tucker and John Whiteacre. 

Cai^tain Boyd's company were assigned to scout the for- 
ests and guard the settlements from surprise and attacks by 
hostile Indians. 

Captain Solomon Adams in 1781 had charge of a company 
of Rangers who were located somewhere in Brothers Valley, 
most likely in the vicinity of Johnstown, where he made his 
home. His company l^elonged to the Third Battalion of the 
Bedford County Militia, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel 
Barnard Dougherty, and of which John Woods was major. The 
battalion was divided into eight companies thus : First com- 
pany, commanded by Oliver Drake; second, by Christopher 
Bridgely; third, by George Hostadler; fourth, b}^ Samuel Moore; 
fifth, by Peter Ankeny ; sixth, by Solomon Adams ; seventh, by 
William McCall; eighth, by Philip Cable. These assignments 
bear date of "20th April, Ano dom. 1781." 

There was another company of Bedford township of which 
Solomon Adams was chosen captain. On September 29, 1781, 
the sub-lieutenant for Bedford county directed that an election 
be held to select officers, the result of which was : Solomon 
Adams, captain; Allen McComb, lieutenant, and William Clark, 
Jr., ensign. The judges of the election were Arthur McCaughey 
and James Fletcher; inspector, John McCaughey. 

In addition to Felix Skelly, mentioned elsewhere, there 
were in bSlO several Revolutionary War soldiers residing in 
Cambria county, namely: Ludwig Wissinger, aged 84; George 
Lucas, aged 90; Plinn Hayes, aged 88; John Plott, aged 85; 
Gottfried Settlemyer, aged 88; and Samuel Cole, aged 79. 


Richard Nagle also resided in Allegheny township, and in 1844 
a Martin Rager assisted in celebrating the Fonrth of July in 


In view of the importance of this line being the boundary 
line between the Free and Slave States, fretiuently cited prior 
to the Civil war, and occasionally at this time, it becomes a 
part of onr local history, inasmuch as the territory through 
which the line was run in this locality was Cumberland county. 

The contention arose between the successors of William 
Penn and Cecilius Calvert, Lord of Baltimore, over the boun- 
dary line between Pennsylvania and Maryland. In 1732 they 
agreed ujum the line to the western boundary line of what is 
now Franklin county. In 1760 the frontier border had so 
advanced that the dispute became important, and efforts were 
made to have it located by commissioners of the two provinces, 
but after a delay of three years Charles Mason and Jeremiah 
Dixon, eminent surveyors of London, were employed to run 
the line. They immediately came to this country and com- 
menced work, Imt it took almost two years to prepare the i)re- 
liminary work. In the spring of 1766 they began again, and 
by June 4th had reached the top of the Allegheny mountains, 
at the point where Bedford and Somerset counties join, on the 
border line with Maryland. 

On account of the Indian troubles nothing more was done 
until June, 1767, when these eminent surveyors started again, 
accompanied by a party of Indians from the Six Nations to |)ro- 
tect them from the hostile Delawares and Shawnees. The point 
where General Braddock crossed the Maryland line into what 
is now Somerset county was reached August 24th, 1767, but 
there the Iroquois escort left them. Mason and Dixon continued 
their survey to a point beyond the Monongahela river, when the 
actions of the Shawnees and Delawares became so vicious they 
were compelled to abandon the work and returned to Philadel- 
phia, where they were honorably discharged on December 26, 
1767, after four years' service. During that time the Penns 
paid them thirty-four thousand two hundred pounds for their 
share of the expenses. About 1782 the line was completed by 
other parties. 

The stone monuments used in marking this line ])ore the 
letter "P" on one side, and on the other "M," and Avere l)rought 
from England by Mason and Dixon. These stones were one 


foot square, with a height of four and a lialf feet, and the weight 
of each was five hundred pounds. 

In 1901 and 1903 the two states had the line re-surveyed, 
and finding many of the stone markers missing, a search was 
made. One was discovered doing duty as a door step ; another 
in a bake oven, and two in the foundation for a church. AA'^her- 
ever it was possible the old markers were put back, even if 
broken, and, laid in cement, were made as permanent as pos- 
sible. The new moTiuments are of marble. 

There have been two or three re-surveys of this famous 
line, but notwithstanding the great improvements in instru- 
ments and the progress of civilization from Indian warfare to 
peace, the line as originally run was found practically true at 
every point. 

THE "whiskey EEEELLION" OF 1794. 

The contention which caused this outbreak of the people 
of "Washington comity, and even extended mildly into Quema- 
honing township, was the excise tax on whiskey. 

The great Alexander Hamilton had suggested to congress 
the wisdom and justice of making a levy of four pence per gal- 
lon on all distilled liquors manufactured in the country, and 
on March 3, 1791, such an act was adopted. This tax was prop- 
erly acknowledged as a just law everywhere except in southern 
Pennsylvania, where all distillers became violent and refused 
to pay it. Their neighbors seem to have s^mipathized with 
them, and to some extent joined the force of resistance. 

At that time there were several distilleries in Quemahon- 
ing township, of which the owners were: Christian Hippie, 
Philip Kimmel, Sr., Christian Levenstone, William McDermott 
and Michael Mowry. 

The government and state administration used all the con- 
ciliatory efforts which were possible to prevent an outbreak, 
and were very lenient with the gffenders permitting the time 
to pass until 1794, when an army was sent to put it down. The 
resisting parties hoisted flags with such inscriptions as, "Death 
to Traitors," "Liberty and No Excise," "Equal Taxation and 
No Excise," and "No Asylum for Traitors and Cowards." 

President Washington and Governor Mifflin directed the 
enrollment of 5,200 soldiers from Pennsylvania, and 7,750 from 
New Jersey, Maiyland and Virginia. Washington appointed 
General Henry Lee, then governor of Virginia, commander-in- 












o ,p.a.Tl. 


chief of the army. General Lee was known as "Light-Horse 
Harry," of Revolutionary war fame, and was the father of 
General Robert E. Lee, the famons Southern hero of the re- 
cent Civil war. 

On October 19, 1794, President George Washington, Sec- 
retary Alexander Hamilton and General Henry Knox, Secre- 
tary of War, visited General Lee at Bedford, and remained 
two or three days before returning to Washington City. 

The right wing of the army left Carlisle on October 22d, 
and marching through Bedford and Quemahoning township ar- 
rived at Mount Pleasant, where it encamped on the 29th. This 
wing was composed of Pennsylvania troops, commanded by 
Governor Mifflin. The left wing moved from Fort Cumber- 
land on October 22d, and marching over the route taken by 
General Braddock in 1755, also i^assed through Quemahoning 
township and reached Uniontown, where General Lee and the 
right wing arrived and went into camp on October 31st. The 
dissenters, seeing the uselessness of further resistance, ceased 
their warfares, and Washington granted amnesty to all who 
had been concerned in it, excepting those who had committed 
crime and were then in actual custody. General Lee moved 
his headquarters to Pittsburg on November 17th, 1794, and the 
army was then disbanded. 


King George III desired to capture Fort Duquesne, which 
was then held by the French, and which General Braddock had 
attempted to do in 1755, when he met with death and disaster. 

In December, 1757, the King commissioned Colonel John 
E^orbes, "Brigadier General in America to command his Ma- 
jesty's forces in the southern provinces." General Forbes im- 
mediately began to organize an army for that purpose, and 
early in the summer of 1758 he had a force of 5,850 soldiers and 
one thousand wagoners. The place of rendezvous was at Rays- 
town (or Bedford, as it is known), which General Forbes did 
not reach until the middle of September. Prior to this Col- 
onel Boquet had taken about 2,000 Pennsylvanians and o]iened 
a road from Bedford to the Loyalhanna river, at Fort Ligonier. 
Excepting the military road of General Braddock in 1755, this 
was the first road used by wagons or artillery across the Al- 
legheny mountains, and passed through what was subsequently 
known as Brothers Valley to^vnship, and later as Quemahon- 


ing township. The Forbes road passed near to what is now 
Stoyestown, abont eighteen miles south of Johnstown. It was 
substantially laid on the Indian trail between Bedford and Lig- 
onier, and passed through Kickenepaling, on the Quemahon- 
ing creek. 

Colonel Boquet sent a reconnaissance of about eight hun- 
dred men, under Ma.i'or William Grant, to ascertain the situa- 
tion at Fort Duquesne before the arrival of Forbes. Grant's 
force was defeated, and he was captured by the French and 
Indians under the command of Colonel Aubrey.- General 
Forbes then moved his main army to Fort Duquesne, and on 
November 25th, 1758, entered it, finding that the enemy had 
evacuated and taken their departure down the Ohio river. 
Thereafter it was known as Fort Pitt, until the name was 
changed to Pittsburg. 

Forbes street, which passes the entrance to the Carnegie 
Institute, in Schenley Park, is the continuation of the Forbes 
road which we have described. Also, that Frankstown avenue 
which intersects with Penn avenue in the East End is the con- 
tinuation of the Frankstown road, or the Galbreath road, which 
passed through Munster, and more particularly referred to else- 

The war had now been active for more than a year. Our 
troops, which were not supplied with proper arms nor with 
sufficient ammunition, were being defeated, and, becoming dis- 
couraged, believed they were in a losing contest. But not so; 
they never did better service; for these things occurring on the 
battle line were arousing a spirit of independence throughout 
all the colonies, which could not have been made effective in 
any other manner. 

In May, 1776, the patriots of Pennsylvania were at work. 
Those who were prominent sent out a circular inviting the lead- 
ing men of the several counties in the province to meet in Phil- 
adelphia, to adopt such a form of government "as shall, in the 
opinion of the representatives of the j^eople, best conduce to 
the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular and 
America in general." In reply to this truly American doctrine, 
the delegates met in Carpenter's Hall, on June 18, 1776. The 
representatives from our county of Bedford were Colonel 
David Espy, Samuel Davidson, Esq., and Colonel John Piper. 
After due consideration they adopted this resolution-: "That 
the present government of this province is not competent to 


the exigencies of our affairs, and that it is necessary that a 
provincial convention be called by this conference for the ex- 
press purpose of forming a new government in this province 
on the authority of the people only." 

Wliile this conference was being held, another one of mnch 
more importance was in session in Independence Hall, in the' 
same city, a few squares away, formulating the Declaration of 
Independence which was given to the world on July 4, 1776. 
The delegates in this convention were Eobert Morris, Ben- 
jamin Eush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, 
James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson and George Ross. 



A history is the recorded events of the past, therefore, we 
will locate the territory within the limits of Cambria county, so 
that its geographical situation will be clear, and the events 
which follow may be applied clearly and definitely. 

The capital, or the county seat, for the transaction of the 
business relating to common affairs and the administration of 
justice, is Ebensburg, which was located at that place when the 
county was organized. The converging lines passing through 
Ebensburg are, one degree forty-five minutes and forty-four 
seconds (1 45' 44") west from Washington City, and forty de- 
gress thirty-four minutes and twenty seconds (40 34' 20") 
North Latitude. The county is on the western slope of the Al- 
legheny mountains; the eastern boundary line lies along the 
crest thereof, witli Bedford and. Blair counties adjoining. It 
is about thirty-seven miles in length, with Somerset on the 
south and Clearfield county on the north: the westerly line is 
about thirty-three miles in length along the Westmoreland and 
Indiana county lines; its northerly line is about twenty-five 
miles in length, and the southerly line about twenty-one miles. 
Its area is 666 square miles, or 426,240 acres. 

When William Penn laid out the city of Philadelphia and 
assumed control of the province of Pennsylvania in 1682, he 
created three counties, namely: Philadelphia, Bucks and Ches- 
ter. The latter included all the territory west of the other two, 
and of which Cambria was a part. Lancaster county was created 
in 1729; York in 1749, and Cumberland in 1750. It will be 
observed that civilization was moving westward, and in 1771 
Bedford county was organized, being taken from Cumberland, 

At the first session of the quarter session's court for Bed- 
ford county, on April 16th, 1771, almost its first official act was 
to create the township of Brothers Valley, the first township 
ever organized west of the Allegheny mountain. Its boundary 
lines were all the lands lying between the crest of the Allegheny 
mountain, the Youghiogheny river and the western foot of 


the Laurel Hill, extending from the Maryland line northward 
to the Conemangh river. It will be observed that it did not 
extend north of the Conemangh or of the Little Conemangh 
rivers. Elsewhere will be fonnd an accurate list of the resi- 
dents of Brothers Valley in 1772, with such property' as was 

During the April sessions of the Bedford court, 1775, it 
made the new township of Quemahoning from the township of 
Brothers Valley. The boundaries of Quemahoning were: "Be- 
ginning where the Great Eoad, which is laid out through the 
Glades crosses the Allegheny Mountain near Burd's Gap, and 
along the said road to where it crosses the Laurel Hill at 
Matthias Ditches Gap; then along the Laurel Hill by the line 
of Westmoreland county to the head of the Little Conemangh, 
and from thence along the dividing ridge between the waters 
of the Susquehanna and Little Conemangh to the Allegheny 
Mountain, and by the same mountain to the place of beginning." 

Huntingdon county was formed, in part, from Bedford 
county, September 20, 1787. The relevant boundar}^ lines of 
Huntingdon were ; * * * *' to the Gap at Jacob Stevens' Mill, 
a little below where Woolery's Mill formerly stood, in Morrison's 
Cove; thence in a straight line by the southerly side of Blair's 
Mill at the foot of the Allegheny Mountain; thence across the 
said mountain in a straight line, to and along the ridges dividing 
the waters of Conemangh from the waters of Clearfield and 
Chest Creek's to the line of Westmoreland county; thence 
by the same to the old Purchase Line, which was rrm from Kit- 
tanning to the west branch of the Susquehanna river; and down 
the same to the mouth of Moshannon Creek, and along the re- 
maining lines or boundaries which noAv divide the county of 
Bedford from the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland and 
Franklin, to the place of beginning." (2 Smith's Laws, 418.) 

The Assembly, by the act of April 17, 1795 (3 Smith, 229), 
authorized the organization of Somerset County, and described 
its limits, so far as being material, thus: "That all that part 
of Bedford County, lying and being to the westward of a line 
to be drawn along the top of the Allegheny mountain, from 
where the Maryland line crosseth the same to where the line 
of Huntingdon County crosseth the same mountain, shall be 
* * * called Somerset." This included the land up to the 
Huntingdon line, which is substantially all the territory south 
and southwest of the ridge dividing the waters of the Little 


Conemaugli and the Susquehanna rivers, and all Quemahoning 

The township of Canihria was created by the court of quar- 
ter sessions of Somerset county about 1798. The record has 
been lost, but it is certain that it was taken from Quemahon- 
ing township, and the assessments for 1798 show it was duly 
organized and included all the territory up to the Huntingdon 

At the December sessions for Somerset County, 1798, a 
petition from the citizens of Cambria township was presented, as 

"Humbly showeth that the present boundaries of said 
(Cambria) townsliip produce many difficulties and incon- 
veniences among which the following are conspicuous, viz : The 
inluibitants of that part of Cambria Township lying south of 
Conemaugli Eiver in attending township meetings and elections 
are obliged to cross a dangerous water and travel through a 
wilderness of gi-eat extent to Beulah, whereas the center of 
Quemahoning township is not so great, nor the communication so 
much interrupted by water. 

"The petitioners therefore pray that all that ])art of Cam- 
bria Townshi]) lying south of the following line, beginning at the 
Westmoreland County line where the river Conemaugli crosses 
it; thence up said river to the mouth of Stony Creek; thence up 
th'3 Little Conemaugli river following the South Fork to its 
source; thence due east to the line of Bedford County be an- 
nexed to Quemahoning Township, as being the most proper line 
of division between said townships, as well in point of con- 
venience to the inhabitants thereof, as it being the natural 
boundary and they will ever pray." 

The same is marked granted. 

Conemaugli township was organized by the court of (juarter 
sessions for Somerset county, at its session held in February, 
1801. The relevant portions of the boundaries were: "All 
those parts of Quemahoning township, * * * thence along 
the Westmoreland County line to the river Conemaugh; thence 
in a straight line to the junction of the north and south branches 
of the Little Conemaugh river; thence up the south branch 
thereof to the head spring thereof; thence due east to the Bed- 
ford County line." Thus it appears that all the territory north 
of the straight line from the Little Conemaugh to the South 
Fork, thence to the Bedford line and south of the Huntingdon 
line was Cambria township, when it was in Somerset county. 
In pursuance of the act of March 29, 1798 (3 Smith, 322), 


authorizing the commissioners of these counties to run new lines, 
James Harris, James Wells and James Hunter did so on Octo- 
ber 30, 1798, which is recorded in Somerset county thus : "A plot 
of a line extending from a white oak on the summit of the Alle- 
gheny Mountains along the ridge dividing the waters of the 
Siisquehanna and Allegheny Rivers until it meets a line drawn 
from the summit of Laurel Hill west of the Blacklick, along the 
ridge of said Hill, north eastward, separating that part of 
Somerset County from the Counties of Westmoreland and 
Hantingdon. " 

A drawing accompanying this report shows that the line 
along the ridge is about sixteen miles from the Bedford to the 
Westmoreland line, and less than ten miles along Westmoreland 
county to the Somerset line. It appears to be substantially the 
same as was made when Huntingdon county was formed. This 
division line is particularly noticeable along the Cambria and 
Clearfield railroad from Cresson to Kaylor's Station, touching it 
at many points on the ridge, beginning at the west leg of the "Y" 
at Cresson. The station at Kaylor's is almost on the dividing 
line. A drop of water falling on the northeasterly side of the 
track will flow' into the Atlantic, and falling on the other side it 
will find its way to the Gulf of Mexico. 

The court of quarter sessions for Bedford county, at the 
April sessions, 1775, created Frankstown township. This was 
twelve 3^ears before Huntingdon county was organized. It in- 
cluded all the territory in Cambria county north and northeast 
of the headwaters of the Little Conemaugh river and the Black- 
lick creek. The line was thus des.cril)ed in the order of the court : 
** Along the line dividing Bedford and Northumberland Counties 
from the West Branch of the Susquehanna to where the Little 
Juniata runs through Tusseys Mountains ; thence along the said 
mountain to the ridge dividing Morrison's Cove from Coyle's 
Cove; thence along Dunning 's Mountain to the dividing ridge 
between the waters of Dunnings Creek and the southwest branch 
of Frankstown Branch ; thence along the ridge to the Allegheny 
Mountain ; thence cross the same and by the line of Quemahoning 
Township to the line dividing Bedford and Westmoreland Coun- 
ties, and by the said line and along the limits of tliis count}'' to 
the place of beginning." These are the relevant courses for 
Frankstown township, and very clearly fix the division line along 
the Quemahoning township line. 

Thus we have shown that Cambria was organized by taking 



tlio townslii]! of Frankstown from Huntingdon county, and the 
townships of Cambria and Conemangh from Somerset, and 
probably a small part of the northwest corner of Bedford connty. 
It will be observed that the act authorizing the creation of Cam- 
bria connty specifies that it shall include certain portions of 
''Huntingdon and Somerset" comities, and does not mention 
Bedford, but the records in the Department of Internal Affairs 
at Harrisburg claim that a part of Bedford was included. 

The following is a list of the taxable inhabitants of 
Brothers Valley township, in Bedford county, in the year 
1772. Brothers Valley township included all of Cambria coun- 
ty, and was organized in April, 1771: 

Name. Acres. Improved. Horses. Cows. 

Henrj' Abrahams 100 12 2 3 

Frederick Ambrose : 200 8 2 2 

Samuel Adams 200 5 2 

Solomon Adams 200 3 1 1 

Richard Brown 300 6 1 4 

negro slave 1 

John Bridges 200 3 2 '1 

John Baxter 200 8 2 1 

Ludwick Boude 100 2 1 1 

Christopher Bennch 200 3 1 1 

Benjamin Briggs 300 2 2 1 

William Cracart 200 . 4 

James Clavpole 200 1 

Frederick Cefar 100 3 1 1 

James Campbell 200 12 1 1 

Abraham Cable, Esq. (See Colonial 

Records. Vol. 10, page 8) 200 10 2 4 

John Catta 200 4 2 1 

Michael Cefar 106 6 1 1 

Joseph Death 600 5 1 10 

Oliver Drake 100 2 1 2 

.Tames Dougherty 200 10 5 2 

William Dwyer 150 10 1 4 

John Dilliner 100 2 1 

Henrv Enslow 100 8 3 4 

John Enslow 100 6 1 2 

Robert Estep 100 3 1 

Adam Flick 100 1 1 1 

Jacob Fisher 200 12 2 3 

.John Ferguson 300 4 2 1 

Andrew Friend 50 10 3 2 

Augustine Friend 100 2 2 3 

Paul Froman 700 18 2 5 

negro slaves 2 

Michael Flick 200 4 1 , 

Charles Friend 200 10 2 

John Friggs 200 1 2 1 

John Fry 100 1 1 

John Glessner 200 8 2 3 

Joseph Greenwalt 100 7 2 2 

William Greathouse 200 10 2 3 

Thomas Green 100 6 2 8 

Walter Hite 200 8 2 2 

Michael Huff 300 6 3 3 

servants 1 

Richard Hoagland 350 71 2 3 

Andrew Hendricks 200 10 4 6 

, A'ol. I — 3 



Name. Acres. 

Benjamin Jennings 200 

William Johnston 200 

Solomon Kessinger 100 

Philip Kemble 300 

George Kimball 100 

Valentine Lout 100 

Daniel Lout lUO 

John Markley 200 

James McMullen 45 

William McClee 300 

John Miller . 300 

Joseph Ogle 200 

Adam Pollen 100 

Francis Pollen 200 

Benjamin Pursley 100 

John Pursley GO 

James Pursley 100 

John Peters 300 

Henry Rhodes, Sr 200 

Jacob Rhodes 100 

Gabriel Rhodes 200 

Henry Rhodes, Jr 400 

John Rhodes 100 

John Reed lOO 

John Rice 400 

Gottlieb Rose 100 

Hugh Robinson luO 

Frederick Sheat 200 

John Swiser 100 

John Sappinton 200 

Adam Small 300 

Bastion Shells 100 

James Spencer 240 

Nathaniel Skinner 100 

William St. Clair 100 

Henry Smith 200 

Solomon Shute 100 

William Tyshou 300 

Abraham Vaagiiau 100 

Thomas Urie 100 

Philip Wagaly 200 

Fredeick Weimer 200 

John Weimer 100 

Richard Wells 300 

George Wells 50 

Acquilla White 200 

John Winsel 100 

Peter Winard 100 

Thomas John Waller 100 

Samuel Wallis 300 


, Horses. 























10 . 






















































negro slave 1 






















5 ■ 











































Tile act of Assembly aiitliorizing the creation of Cambria 
comity, Marcli 26, 1804 (4 Smitli's Laws, 171), provided: 

Tliat so miicli of tlie counties of Huntingdon and Somerset, 
included in the following boundaries, to wit: 

Beginning at the Conemaugh River, at the south-east corner 
of Indiana County; 

thence a straight line to the Canoe Place on the west branch 
of Susquehanna; 

thence easterly along the line of Clearfield county to the. 


south-westerly corner of Center County, on the heads of Mu- 
shanon Creek; 

thence southerly along the Alleghany Mountain to Somer- 
set and Bedford Counties about seventeen miles, until a due 
west course from thence will strike the main branch of Paint 
Creek ; thence down said Creek the different courses to the mouth 
of Mill Creek; 

thence a due west line till it intersects the line of Somerset 
and Westmoreland Counties ; 

thence northerly along the said line to the place of be- 

be and the same is hereby erected into a separate county, 
to be henceforth called Cambria County; and the place of hold- 
ing the courts of justice for said county shall l)e fixed by the 
legislature at any ])lace not at a greater distance than seven 
miles from the center of said county, which may be most bene- 
ficial and convenient for said county. 

An act entitled, "An Act to establish and confirm the place 
for holding Courts of Justice, and to provide for erecting the 
public buildings for the use of Cambria County," was passed 
March 29, 1805 (4 Smith's Laws, 235), wherein John Horner, 
John J. Evans and Alexander Ogle were appointed trustees to 
organize the county and receive deeds from Rees Lloyd, John 
Lloyd and Stephen Lloyd, for certain described land and in-lots 
in the town of Ebensburg, in trust for the use of Cambria county, 
agreeable to the proposals heretofore made by these gentlemen. 

"An Act to organize the provisional county of Cambria." 
passed January 26, 1807 (4 Smith's Laws, 360), provided: 

"Sect. VIII. That the citizens, inhabitants of Cambria 
County, who are, or shall be qualified to elect, agreeably to the 
laws and constitution of this State, shall, at the general election 
to be held in the county aforesaid, on the second Tuesday in 
October next, (1807.) choose two fit persons for sheriffs, two 
for coroners, and three for commissioners in said county, * * 
and said officers when chosen as aforesaid, and duly qualified 
to enter on the duties of their respective offices. * * 

"Sect. IX. That the Courts * * shall be holden on the 
first Monday of March, June, September and December, and 
* * the President Judge of the Tenth District or Circuit, and 
the Judges to be appointed, * * shall have an exercise like 
powers, jurisdiction and authorities within and over the 


It will be observed that the provisional act authorizing the 
new county of Cambria was passed in 1804, but on April 4, 1805 
(4 Smith, 255), another act was passed directing "that the in- 


habitants of Cambria county shall elect with the inhabitants of 
Somerset county for members of Federal and State Legislature, 
and also for county officers, until said county shall be organized." 

There is no record to be found stating when these townships 
were created, or by whom, excepting that when the county came 
into official existence, in 1807, there were three townships in the 
new county, namely, Allegheny, Cambria and Conemaugh. 

Allegheny included that jiart coming from Frankstown 
township, Huntingdon county, and Cambria and Conemaugh 
from Somerset. It is presumed, and with much weight, that 
John Horner, Jolin J. Evans and Alexander Ogle, who were 
the commissioners or trustees to organize it, simply adopted the 
former lines of Cambria and Conemaugh townships as they 
had been created by the court, and named the new township 

We have been unable to find a map or plot of either of these 
townships prior to that of 1816. By referring to the map of 
Walter B. Pludson and John Morrison, made in 1817, it will be 
observed that Allegheny township included everything north 
and northeast of the ridge on the headwaters of the Little 
Conemaugh river and the Blacklick creek, or part of old Franks- 
town township. Conemaugh included that part south of the 
straight line from the Conemaugh river to the South Forks, 
thence following it, through the Cedar swamp, to the Bedford 
line. Cambria included all between Conemaugh and Allegheny 
townships. These were the original townships. 

Summerhill township was created in 1810, having been en- 
tirely taken from Cambria. Again referring to the 1817 map, 
it will be observed the Summerhill line began on the top of the 
mountain at the point of meeting of the Bedford and Huntingdon 
line, and, by various courses, left the old Galbreath road a 
short distance east of Munster, then taking a southerly course 
ran to the Indiana county line, at the crossing of the old road 

The Assembly passed an act dated March 19, 1816 (6 Smith, 
374), directing that maps be made of each county, which "shall 
be on a scale of two miles and a half to an inch, and shall ex- 
hibit the boundary lines of the county and of each township, 
the courses of the rivers and other principal streams, the posi- 
tion of the mountains, the lakes, and mineral and salt springs, 
the cities, towns, villages and remarkable buildings, the roads, 
noting particularly such as are turnpiked and the distances in 



miles, between the principal towns and remarkable places, and 
the maps so formed shall be sent as soon as convenient to the 
office of the surveyor general." 

Under this authority Walter B. Hudson and John Morrison 
made a very complete map of Cambria county, which, so far as 
is now known, was the first official and substantially accurate 
early map. It gives the longitude and latitude at Ebensburg, 

Cambria CountJ^ The Huison and Morrison Map of 1816, Showing Four 


the boundary lines of the four townships — ^Allegheny, Cambria, 
Conemaugh and Summerhill — ^^and the roads then open to travel. 
In their notes accompanying the map, the principal towns and 
villages were enumerated -thus : Ebensburg, inhabitants, 150 ; 
Munster, 80 ; and Johnstown, 60 ; and further : 

''The tract of country is covered with a thick heavy growth 


of excellent timber, and from its elevated situation (being almost 
as high as the summit of the Allegheny) partakes of the nature 
and appearance of mountain lands, but there are many fine 
tracts entirely clear of stone, and near Ebensburg where quarries 
of stone are opened they are easily worked and excellent for 
building being a soft granite of a grey color interspersed with 
glistening particles of a metallic appearance. 

"Fall grain is raised by the farmers, but not to so 
good purpose as east of the mountains, but potatoes, turnips, and 
all kinds of spring grain (except corn) do extremely well. This 
county is all considered excellent for grazing. 

"The principal timber is wild cherry, poplar, chestnut, ash, 
oak, sugar maple, cucumber, pine and hickory, but birch, 
hemlock and laurel abound in the marshy lands. The minerals 
are iron, stone coal and marl. 

"Conemaugh river is navigable for boats three or four 
months in the spring season; it has a fine channel free from 
obstructions. All the streams in the county have sufficient fall 
for Mills, etc. and do not fail so much in dry seasons as most of 
the western waters. Canal tracts have not (we believe) been 
sufficiently examined in this county. We should not despair of 
connecting the waters of Conemaugh and Juniata rivers. The 
Poplar run could be easily connected with Bobb's Creek, the 
heads of which do interlock with those of the Conemaugh & this 
will be much the shortest route from Harrisburg to Pittsburg. 
The Conemaugh could be easily connected with either the Clear- 
field or Chest creeks between Ebensburg and Munster, and even 
this route would be shorter and better than to connect with any 
of the higher branches of the Allegheny river." 

On January 1st, 1907, the county was apportioned for the 
convenience of the people into three classes of municipal cor- 
porations, namely: 1 city of the third class; 26 boroughs, and 
28 townships. 

The following is the list of boroughs and townships with 
the date of incorporation. It will be observed there have been 
several boroughs which are not now in existence; several on 
account of consolidating with other municipal districts, and one 
having been abandoned by reason of losing its population. 

In connection with this subject there are two maps to illus- 
trate the locations of the townships. The first one is the Hudson 
and Morrison map of 1816, the oldest authentic map of the 
county, which discloses the three original townships, and that 
of Summerhill, created in 1810. The second map is the same 
with all the townships substantially shown as they exist in 1906. 



As lias been heretofore noted, there were three original 
townships in the comity of Cambria, namely: Alleg-heny, Cam- 
bria and Conemangii established while the territory was a part 
of Somerset county. 

On January 1, 1907, there were twenty-eight townships 
within the county, created and organized as follows : 

1. Adams was created January 5, 1870, it having been 
taken from Richland township. It was named for the pioneers, 
Solomon and Samuel Adams. 

2. Allegheny was one of the original townships. The name 
was derived from the Allegheny mountains. 

3. Barr was created September 4, 1872, out of the townships 
of Blaeklick, Cambria and Susquehanna. It was named by Henry 
Scanlan, the surveyor, for the Barr family who had taken up 
much land in that vicinity, in the early days of the common- 

4. Blaeklick was formed October 10, 1850, out of the town- 
ships of Cambria, Carroll and Jackson. The name is derived 
from Blaeklick creek. 

5. Cambria was also one of the original townships. The 
name is derived from the Welsh settlement made there pfior to 

6. Carroll was formed January 1, 1840, having been taken 
from Susquehanna township. It was named for Archbishop 
John Carrollj of Baltimore, a cousin of Charles Carroll, of 
Carrol Iton. 

7. Chest was created December 10, 1853, it theretofore be- 
ing a part of White and Susquehanna townships. The name is 
derived from Chest creek. 

8. Clearfield was organized December 31, 1822, from Alle- 
gheny township. The name is derived from the Clearfield creek, 
whicii originated from the "Clear fields" on the mountain, and 
was so designated in the colonial days. 

9. Conemaugh, the third of the original townships. The 
name originated "from the Indian name of the river,— Caugh- 

10. Cresson, organized December 4, 1893, was taken from 
Washington township. It was named for the Philadeli>hia phil- 
anthropist, Elliott Cresson, who died a])out 1854. 

11. Croyle was created September 9, 1858, from Smnmer- 
hill township. It was named for Thomas Croyle. 

12. Dean was organized July 10, 1877, it having lieen taken 
from Clearfield township. It was named for the distinguished 
Judge John Dean, who was the common pleas judge at that 

13. East Taylor: The township of Taylor was created 



July 7, 1857. It was named for Judge George Taylor, also the 
common pleas judge. On June 2, 1884, it was divided into East 
and West Taylor townships. 

14. Elder was formed February 12, 1878, from Chest town- 
ship. It was named for John Elder. 

15. Gallitzin was established June 4, 1866, it having been 
taken from Allegheny township. It was named for the Parish 
Father, Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin. 

Ola Tov^^^»» 




— Three oriqinol TosA/nships 

— 18(6 ood (90b — 

16. Jackson was organized on January 3, 1828, ^ prior 
thereto it being parts of Cambria and Simimerhill township. It 
was named for Andrew Jackson, who was elected xjresident 
that year. 

17. Lower Yoder: Yoder township was created July 17, 
1858, from Conemaugh township. It was named for David 
Yoder, a farmer. On September 1, 1879, it was divided into 
Lower and I'^pper Yoder townships. 

18. Munster was organized December 9, 1854, from Alle- 


glieny, Cambria and Washington townships. The name came 
from the village of Mnnster, which was founded about 1802. It 
was an Irish settlement. 

19. Portage was formed March 4, 1878, from Summerhill 
and Washington townships. The name originated from the 
*' portage" between the Conemaugh and Juniata rivers, in con- 
nection with the Allegheny Portage railroad. 

20. Reade was established September 1, 1879, out of White 
township. It was named for George M. Reade, a lawyer of 

21. Richland was created April 2, 1833, it having been 
taken from Conemaugh township. It was a very large town- 
ship, and was named for the quality of the land therein. 

22. Stonycreek was formed January 4, 1876, from Cone- 
maugh township. The name was derived from the Stonycreek 
river, which was so named in the colonial days on account of 
the rocky bottom and large boulders in it, which still appear. 

23. Summerhill was formed February 7, 1810, from Cam- 
bria township. It was the first township organized after the 
county was established. The name was spelled ''Somerhill" 
in the early maps. It was probably named for Joseph Somers 
or David Summer, who were property holders. 

24. Susquehanna was created January 6, 1825, from Alle- 
gheny and Cambria townships. The name was derived from, 
a tribe of Indians of that name who had their habitation along 
the banks of the river in Cambria county, as early as 1682. 

25. Upper Yoder was formed September 1, 1879. See 
Lower Yoder. 

26. Washington was created in 1834. The petition for its 
creation was filed July 8, 1830. It was taken from Allegheny 
Cambria and Summerhill tov^^nships and named for the first 

27. West Taylor was formed June 2, 1884. See East Tay- 

28._ White was organized July 6, 1838, from Clearfield 
township. It was named for Judge Thomas White, the com- 
mon pleas judge. 


Prior to the general borough law of 1851, all the boroughs 
in Cambria county were created by a special act of the legisla- 
ture, and even after that date two were established in the same 
manner. Since the new constitution of 1873, however, they 
cannot be so created. On January 1st, 1907, there were twenty- 
six boroughs having municipal existence; they were organized 
as follows: 

1. Ashville, taken from Gallitzin township; incorporated 
by a decree of the court of quarter sessions of the peace on. 


March 9, 1887. It is recorded in docket 9, at page 20, The 
name was derived from the okl Ashland furnace, which was 
named in honor of "Ashland," the home of Henry Clay. 

2. Barnesboro, taken from Susquehanna township; incor- 
porated by the court March 5, 1893; recorded in docket 11, at 
page 93: named for Thomas Barnes, a coal operator. 

Camlnia, taken from Lower Yoder township by a decree of 
the court dated October 11, 1861, and recorded in docket 4, page 
254. Cambria borough consolidated with the city of Johnstown, 
December 18, 1889, becoming the Fifteenth and Sixteenth wards. 
It was named by James P. McConaughy, the founder. 

3. Carrolltown, taken from Carroll township. It was 
incorporated by an act of assembly dated March 30, 1858, P. L. 
191, and was created by the consolidation of the villages of 
Carrolltown and Campbelltown. See Carroll township for deri- 
vation of name. 

Conemaugh, taken from Conemaugh township. It was also 
created by an act of assembly dated January 12, 1831, P. L. 7. 
The name was changed to the borough of Johnstown by a sim- 
ilar act dated April 14, 1834, P. L. 294. It was named by Joseph 
Johns, the founder, for an old Indian town named Conemaugh. 
It included the first seven wards of the city of Johnstown at 
the time of the consolidation, December 18, 1889. 

Conemaugh, the second borough of that name, was taken^^ 
from Conemaugh township. It was created bv an act of assem- 
bly dated :\[arch 23, 1849, P. L. 235. This borough also con- 
solidated with the city of Johnstown, December 18, 1889, now the 
Ninth and Tenth wards thereof. 

4. Chest Springs, taken from Allegheny township by an 
act of assembly dated April 19, 1858, P. L. 339. The name is 
derived from Chest creek. 

Cooper sdale, taken from Taylor township by a decree of 
the court bearing date of October 7, 1869, during the existence 
of the district court while it was held in Johnstown; it is 
recorded in docket 1, at page 8. The borough was annexed to 
the city of Johnstown by ordinance dated March 28, 1898; and 
is the Twenty-iirst ward. The borough was named for James 

5. Cresson, taken from Cresson township by a decree of 
the court dated June 7, 1906, recorded in docket 17, at page 114. 
See Cresson township for name. 

6. Daisytown. taken from Conemaugh township by a decree 
of the court dated June 9, 1893; recorded in docket 10, at 
page 457. 

7. Dale, taken from Stony Creek township by a decree of 
the court dated March 9, 1891 ; recorded in docket 10, at page 44. 

8. East Conemaugh, taken from Taylor township by a 
decree of the court dated September 10, 1868; recorded in 
docket 5, at page 263. The name is derived from the name of 


the railroad statioii Conemaiigli ; also from the fact that it was 
east of another borough named Conemangh. 

9. Ebensbnrg, taken from Cambria township by an act 
of assembly dated Jannary 15, 1825, P. L. 354. It is the oldest 
borough in the county, and was named for Ebenezer, in Wales 

10. Ferndale, taken from Upper Yoder township In^ a 
decree of the court dated June 1, 1896; recorded in docket 12, 
at page 89. It was named by the Vickroy family on account of 
the luxuriant growth of ferns in that vicinity. 

11. Fi'anklin, taken from Conemangh township by a decree 
of the court dated March 9, 1868 ; recorded in docket 5, at page 
240. It was named for the American philosopher and the 
adopted citizen of Pennsylvania. 

12. Gallitzin, taken from Gallitzin township by a decree 
of the court dated December 3, 1873; recorded in docket 6, at 
page 154. The name was derived from Prince Gallitzin, other- 
wise Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin, the parish priest at Loretto. 

Grubbtown, taken from Upper Yoder township by a decree 
of the court dated August 8, 1882 ; recorded in docket 8, at page 
38. It consolidated with the city of Johnstown December 18, 
1889, and is now a part of the Eighth ward. It was named for 
William Pinaldo Grul)b. 

13. Hastings, taken from Elder township by a decree of 
the court dated Aj^ril 16, 1894 ; recorded in docket 11, at page 
94. It was named for Governor Daniel Hartman Hastings, 

Johnstown, for further data see Conemangh. The bor- 
oughs of Johnstown, Millville, Prospect, Cambria, Conemangh, 
Woodvale and Grul)btown consolidated, and became a city of 
the third class. The charter was executed by Governor Beaver, 
December 18, 1889. It was named for Joseph Johns, the founder. 

14. Lilly, taken from Washington township by a decree of 
the court dated June 11, 1883; recorded in docket 8, at page 
94. It was named for the Lilly family, 

15. Ijoretto, taken from Allegheny township by an act 
of assembly dated March 8, 1845, P. L. 124, and named for a 
village on the Adriatic sea. 

Millville, taken from Taylor townshi]:) by a decree of the 
court dated July 16, L858; recorded in docket 3, page 556. It 
became a part of the city of Johnstown, December 18, 1889, and 
comprises the Thirteenth and Fourteenth wards. The name 
is derived from the mills of the Cambria Iron Company, now 
the Camlu-ia Steel Company. 

Morrellville, taken from Lower Yoder township by a decree 
of the court dated October 8, 1890; recorded in docket 9, page 
419. It was annexed to the city of Johnstown by an ordinance 
dated October 19, 1897, and is now the Eighteenth, Xineteenth 
and Twentieth wards. It was named for Daniel Johnston 

16. Patton, taken from Carroll, Chest, Clearfield and El- 


der townships by a decree of the court dated September 4, 
1893 ; recorded in docket 10, page 458. It was named for John 
Patton, of Cnrwensville. 

17. Portage, taken from Portage township by a decree of 
the court dated October 7, 1890 ; recorded in docket 9, page 419. 
See Portage townshijD for derivation of name. 

Prospect, taken from Taylor township by a decree of the 
court dated December 9, 1863; recorded in docket 4, page 446. 
It consolidated with the cit}^ of Johnstown on December 18, 
1889, and is now the Twelfth ward. The name is derived from 
its elevated position overlooking Johnstown. 

18. Rosedale, taken from West Taylor township by a de- 
cree of the court dated December 17, 1894; recorded in docket 
11, at page 252, and named for Allen Rose. 

Roxbury, taken from Upper Yoder township by a decree 
of the court dated March 12, 1893; docket 11, page 95. It was 
annexed to the Eighth ward of the city of Johnstown by an or- 
dinance approved January 2, 1901. 

19. Sankertown, taken from Cresson township by a de- 
cree of the court dated June 11, 1906; recorded in docket 17, 
page 115. It was named for Joseph Sanker. 

20. Scalp Level, taken from Richland township b}^ a de- 
cree of the court dated November 16, 1898; recorded in docket 
13, at page 37. 

21. South Fork, taken from Croyle township by a decree 
of the court dated August 3, 1887; recorded in docket 9, page 
21. The name is derived from the south branch of the Little 
Conemaugh river. 

22. Spangler, taken from Susquehanna township by a de- 
cree of the court dated November 13, 1893; recorded in docket 
11, page 3. It was named for Colonel J. L. Spangler. 

23. Summerhill, taken from Summerhill township by a 
decree of the court dated September 6, 1892 ; recorded in docket 
10, page 272. 

Summitville, taken from Washington township by an act 
of assembly approved April 30, 1851, P. L. 825. The name was 
derived from the summit of the Allegheny Portage railroad. 
The borough has been abandoned; the charter was relinquished 
and annulled by a decree of the court dated June 5, 1882 ; re- 
corded in docket 8, page 36. 

24. Tunnelhill, taken from Gallitzin township by a decree 
of the court dated December 5, 1876 ; recorded in docket 6, page 
359. The name was derived from the two railroad tunnels 
there, but of which at present there are three. 

25. Westmont, taken from Upper Yoder township by a 
decree of the court dated June 13, 1892; recorded in docket 10, 
page 258. 

26. Wilmore, taken from Summerhill township by an act 
of assembly approved February 10, 1859, and jniblished among 


the laws of 1860, page 802. It was named for Bernard and 
John Wilmore, the founders. See plan of town laid out by 
William Hudson, June 4, 1831, in deed book, vol. 7, at page 12; 
also, vol. 12 at page 698. 

Woodvale, taken from Taylor township by a decree of the 
district court held in Johnstown, dated July 4, 1870 ; recorded 
in docket 1, page 68. It consolidated with the city of Johns- 
town, December 18, 1889, and is now the Eleventh ward. The 
name was derived from Murray's grove, a picnic ground lo- 
cated there until after the Civil war. 



Jolmstown seems to have been in the path of travel be- 
tween the East and the West at a very early period, and has 
held this advantage to the present day. It was the site of an 
Indian village, occupied principally by the Shawonese and Del- 
aware tribes, both of whom were vigorous and deceitful, and 
the territory between Bedford and Loyalhanna, including our 
own vicinity, was the scene of much inhuman conduct by 
marauding Indians. 

The first inhabitants of the vicinity were a tribe of Shaw- 
onese Indians, of whom Okewelah was the chief, and some Dela- 
ware and Asswikale red men, who continued to reside here until 
1755. As to their character and nativity we give such informa- 
tion as is obtainable at this day as to who they were, where 
they came from, what they did, and when they took their de- 

It will be observed that frequently a name is spelled dif- 
ferently in the same article — for instance, "Okowela" and 
''Okowelah;" but we have quoted as it was written by the 
men who recorded the interesting history of our town and 
State, which we reproduce. 

The best authorities j^ractically agree that the original 
gi'and division of the Xorth American Indians inhabiting what 
is at present the Southern tier of Pennsylvania counties, from 
the Ohio to the Delaware, called themselves the Lenni Lenape, 
or the original people. These were sub-divided into three prin- 
cipal parts — the Turtle, the Turkey, and the AVolf Tribes, and 
these tribes were again sub-divided into numerous classes, 
among them the Delawares, who were closely associated with 
the Shawonese; and these two classes far outnumbered all the 

In addition to the Lenapes there was, until 1712, another 
grand division called the ''Five Nations," consisting of the 
(3nondagas, the Cayugas, the Oneidas, the Senecas, and the 
Mohawks. In that year the Tuscaroras were expelled from 
their native place — Xorth Carolina and Virginia — came Xorth, 


and were taken care of and made a part of that grand division, 
the members of which thereafter called themselves the "Six 
Nations." The Lenapes, however, called them Mingoes, and 
the French designated them as the Iroqnois Tribe. The Six 
Nations principally inhabited the northern portion of Penn- 
sylvania and the present territory of New York, esjiecially the 
region about the lakes, althongh, as we have noted, many of 
them lived among the Delawares and the Shawonese. 

There were estimated to be forty-two distinct and sep- 
arate tribes of Indians in the Northern portion of North 
America, and thirteen in the Southern part. Along the south- 
ern line of Pennsylvania, in a direct course between Pittsburg 
and Philadelphia, most of the Indians were Shawonese and 
Delawares, although there were representatives of most every 
other tribe known. 

The Colonial Kecords, the Pennsylvania Archives, and 
''Day's Historical Collections of Pennsylvania" agree that the 
Shawonese Tribe were treacherous and ferocious, while there is 
a difference of o]union as to the Delawares being so classified. 
Some think they were as brutal and deceptive as any of the 
others. Anyhow as these two tribes occupied the present site 
of Johnstown in their day and generation, it is important to 
know something about them. 

The Delawares were natives of Pennsylvania, and, while 
they were guilty of many acts of cruelty toward the whites, 
yet it was probably a matter of self-defense, as their property 
had been taken from them; by purchase, some of it, it may be 
true. But unprincipled white men entered their reservations 
and committed all kinds of crimes, which provoked them to 
acts of violence. By some they were said to be cowards. The 
best authority to controvert this objectionable view of the Dela- 
wares is the contradiction of it by William Henry Harrison, 
the ninth President of the Union and the hero of Tippecanoe. 
He says: "They (the Delawares) are rarely cowards, but still 
more rarely are they deficient in sagacity or discernment to de- 
tect any attempts to impose upon them. I sincerely wish I 
could unite with the worthy German (Mr. Heckewelder) in re- 
moving this stigma r.pon the Delawares, A long and intimate 
knowledge of them in peace and in war, as enemies and friends, 
has left ui)on my mind the most favorable impressions of their 
character for bravery, generosity, and fidelity to their engage- 


The Sliawonese were originally from the South, where the 
Cherokees mostly inhabited, but, being a ferocious and treach- 
erous band, full of selfishness and self aggrandizement, they 
were driven out of that country and came to Pennsylvania. 
Bancroft says they arrived here in 1698, and other good au- 
thority makes it twenty years earlier. However, they came, 
and were taken care of by the Delaw^ares, but they soon caused 
trouble with their new-made friends, and by them were driven 
from the eastern part of Pennsylvania to the headwaters of 
the Susquehanna, of which the west branch has its source in 
Cambria County. 

Sherman Day notes the fact that in 1732, when the number 
of fighting Indians in Pennsylvania was about seven hundred, 
one-half of them were Sliawonese. Ever restless and quarrel- 
some themselves, and being encroached upon by the white man, 
they retired from one hunting ground to another until they 
joined the French at Pittsburg, in 1755, and finally drifted to 
the AVest. 

As early as 1742 the French, who then occupied the Ohio 
Valley, induced a large number of Shawouese to go with them. 
There is no doubt that the Shawonese Tribe occupied the site 
of the City of Johnstown in 1731, when Okowelah was their 
Chief, but it seems as if they were among those who joined the 
French. In 1758 it is said that Christian Frederick Post, a 
missionarj^, passed through the place, and reported it a deserted 
Indian village, with briars and underbrush growing thereon, 
but we doubt the correctness of this, as we believe it was an- 
other town farther north to which he referred, although the 
village was probably abandoned at that period. 

These red men of the forest were chiefs of tribes belong- 
ing to the Shawonese nation. Okowelah was the first chief of 
that tri])e who has a local history connected with the Cone- 
maugli, and while he was here it seems that he favored the 
French in their combat at arms with the English. 

The Shawonese were treacherous to the Delawares, as well 
as to Provincial authorities, who made repeated treaties with 
them, to which they almost always proved false. They were 
usually aiding the French, but, Indian like, they would some- 
times deceive them and help the English. 

By reason of their unfaithfulness and the violations of 
their many treaties, the reputation of the Delawares and the 
Shawonese for fidelity was at a low ebb with other tribes of 


Indians, particularly the Six Nations, as well as the white man. 
This is shown in the story of a conference held in Pittsburg in 
January, 1759, between the ISix Nations, Delawares, and 
Shawonese, The chiefs were Cannewaungh, Sagowinnie, Aw- 
inne Onas, Sonoyeyough, Onistogah, Tecanashategh, Occon- 
deuagh, Acquialinguish, (Janigatt, and Snake's Son, interpreter 
for the Shawonese. Jo Hickman acted as such for the Eng- 
lish. Before the conference the chiefs of the Six Nations called 
on Captain Ward and with apparent frankness informed him 
that they intended to express their minds and opinions freely, 
but that they were to be kept private from the Delawares and 
Shawonese, and proceeded thus: 

"Brother, the Delawares and Shawonese are not yet to be 
depended ujjon. They may tell whatever they know to the 
French. ' ' 

Another one said: 

"Brothers, to-morrow I will talk of this before the Dela- 
wares and Shawonese; you are not to mind what is said there, 
for it is outside of my lips, but what is now said be attentive to, 
for it comes from my heart." Then he gave five strings of 

The character of the Delawares and Shawonese is thus 
described by Colonel Henry Boquet, at a conference with the 
Oneidas, Onondagas, and other Indians at Fort Pitt, October 

"Brothers, the Delawares, Wyandots, and Shawonese are 
a false people, and they deceive you as they have always done ; 
if they are sincere why don't their Chiefs eome to speak to me. 
They have, in time of peace, killed our traders in their towns; 
they stole all their goods, they have attacked this fort, and 
when I came uj) last year they attacked me in the woods and 
killed some of our people." 

It has been generally understood that the earliest authen- 
tic information we have had of the white man being here, was 
the trip of Conrad Weiser, an Indian interpreter, in 1748. This 
is erroneous, as Jonah Davenport and James LeTort, both 
Indian traders, were here in 1731, and to get a fair knowledge 
of the situation as it appeared to them, and as they stated it to 
the provincial authorities at the time, we give the statement of 
Davenport, as he made it; and for the same purpose the re- 
ports, opinions, and facts as set forth by others at the time are 
given in full, which aiford conclusive evidence that Johnstown 

Vol. 1 — 4 


has a history directly connected with the aborigines of North 

"The Examination of Jonah Davenport, Indian Trader, 
Taken Before His Hon. the Lieut. Gov. of Pensa. (Patrick Gor- 
don) : 

"This Exam't says that he is lately come from Allegeney, 
where there are now Indian Settlements consisting of about 
three hundred Delawares, two hundred and sixty Shawanese, 
one hundred Asswekalaes, and some Mingoes. That last Spring 
was four years, as he remembers, a French Gentleman in ap- 
pearance, with five or six Attendants, came down the Eiver to 
a Settlement of the Delaware Indians on the Ohio River, which 
the Delawares call ]vithanning, with an Intention as this 
Exam't believes to enquire into the Numbers of English Trad- 
ers in those parts, and to sound the minds of the Indians ; That 
the said French Gentleman spoke the Shawanese Language, 
Avitli whom this Exam't has conversed, but that few of the 
Shawanese being then there nothing of moment passed; That 
in the Spring of the year 1730 the said Gentleman returned 
with about five Attendants and had some discourse with the 
Shawanese, which this Exam't afterwards learnt from some 
of those Indians was touching tlie English and French Inter- 
est and endeavoring to perswade them to unite themselves to 
the French, and at his going away took with him ten or twelve 
Shawanese to Montreal, as 'tis said, some of whom at their 
Return told this Examinant that they had been well received 
and civillv treated bv the French Governor, and that thev in- 
tended to goe and live among the French; That last Spring 
the same Person returned with the same number of Attendants, 
one of whom was called his Brother, who being a Gunsmith 
wrought for the Indians during his Stay amongst them; That 
the French made a considerable Present to the Shawanese in 
Powder. Lead, and some woolen Goods, which they returned 
by another large Present; That several Conferences were held 
between them, the Result of which, as this Exam't has been in- 
formed, was that ye Shawanese should remove themselves 
amongst the French, which this Examinant verily believes they 
soon intended to doe; That the said French Gentleman again 
took with him at going away, fifteen or sixteen of the said 
Shawanese who were not returned when this Exam't left Al- 
legeney. This Exam't likewise says that in his Dealing with 
the Mingoes, now called the Six Nations, he has frequently 
heard some of these people mention the extraordinary civility 
of the French to them, and that attemi)ts were made to induce 
them to break oif from the English interest. 

"Jonah Davenpoet. 

"PhiladeliMa, Oct. 29, 1731. 

•) J 


It is indorsed as follows : 

''Cap't. Sup. Sacramentum. 

'^ Predict: Jonah Davenport; Coram: P. Gordon." 

The statement of Jonah Davenport was also accompanied 
by another account of this trip by James LeTort, an Indian 
trader, taken before Lieutenant-Governor Gordon, to the same 
effect. In it he says: "This examinant says that he is lately 
come f]'om Allegeney, where there are several settlements of 
Delawares, Shawanese, Asswikalns, and Mingoe Indians to the 
number of four or five hundred (Indians.)" Attached to these 
reports is the following tabular account of these Indians on 
the Conemaugh in that year: 


Dist. — Conniimah — Delawares; 60 men. 

50 Kythenning River — Delawares mostly. 
Miles. Fam. Men. 

Connuraach-Delawares 20 60 f ^C^ptain Hill, a Alymaepy ; 

50 Kilhenning River-mostly Delawares 50 150 ^ KyKenhammo. Delaware; 

I Sypous, a Mingoe. 

16 Senangelstown — Delawares 16 50 Senangel. 

60 Leqneepees — Mingoes mostly and some Delaw — 4 Settled families, but a great 

resort of those people. 
On Connumach Creek there are thre.e Shawanese towns 45 200 Okowela. 
Asswikales 50 Families, lately from S. Caro- 
lina to Ptowmack, and from 
thence thither, making 100 men; 
Aqueloma, their Chief. 
Ohesson, upon Choniata, dist. ) ^, _. ^..^ ^^. ., , 

from Sasqueh 60 miles. \ Shawanese 20 60 Kissikahquelas. 

Assunepachlaupon Choniata. J 


dist. about 100 Miles by I ^^j^^^^^^ ^2, S6 

water, and 50 by land from , 


Achequelcma. Chief of the Asswikales, true to the English. 

Okowelah, a Shawanese Chief, suspecied to be a favourer of ye French interest. 

We have quoted this report as it was made by these In- 
dian interpreters and traders, because of its signification in 
locating the Indians at Johnstown and elsewhere on the Cone- 
maugh river — the tribes, their number, and their chiefs. In 
the twenty-six volumes of the Pennsylvania Archives and of 
the Colonial Eecords there is no other statement relating to 
any portion of the Province so distinctly and specifically made, 
all of which should make the people of Johnstown grateful to 
Jonah Davenport and James LeTort. 

James LeTort was a tru.stworthy person. A fort known 
as Fort LeTort was erected and named for him on the site 
where Carlisle, Cumberland county, is now located. 

This statement recorded three Shawonese towns on the 


Conemaugli river, and the one called "Connmnali," was lo- 
cated where Johnstown now stands. 

One of the other "three Shawonese towns" was probably 
at Kiskiminetas, below Saltsburg, as it is well known there was 
an Indian village there. At that time (1731) the Conemaugh 
river was known as such until it reached the La Belle, or the 
Allegheny river. 

In 1731 Okowelah was the Shawonese chief; Ackequel- 
oma, chief of the Asswikales ; and Captain Hill-a-Alymaepy, of 
the Delawares. It seems there were on the Conemaugh river 
twenty families belonging to the Delawares, with sixty men; 
forty-five families of the Shawonese, having two hundred 
braves, and fifty families belonging to the Asswikales, with 
one hundred men, making in all one hundred and fifteen fami- 
lies and three hundred and sixty men. If the ratio be the same 
as is now estimated, there should have been nearly six hundred 
Indians located along the Conemaugh. 

The information in reference to the Asswikales is very 
meager, as they were not numerous in this section of the coim- 
try. From the note accomijanying the statement, they had 
but recently come from South Carolina, and were probably a 
branch of the Cherokees or some other Southern tribe. 

We cannot locate "Ohesson upon the Choniata," but be- 
lieve it is near Lewistown; nor " Assunepachlaupon," which is 
evidently a typographical error by making it one word, as it 
should be "upon the Juniata." 

The first account of white men trading with the Indians 
west of the Allegheny mountains and being in the Province 
of Pennsylvania is about 1728. The statements made by Dav- 
enport and LeTort in 1731 came very near to that date. Al- 
though there were one or two other trails between these points, 
yet it seems they were not of sufficient imi3ortance to the offi- 
cials of the Province, nor to those who traveled them to make 
a note of the same. A slight exception must be made, how- 
ever, in the case of the route through the northern part of 
Cambria county, which was taken by Governor James Hamil- 
ton and William and Richard Peters, secretaries, on the 16th 
of April, 1752. This route turned to the north at the Clear 
Fields, on the top of the mountain, and passed through Cherry- 
tree and the Beaver Dams, near Hastings, toward Kittanning, 
It was as follows, quoting verhaiim from another ancient re- 


"From Philadel])liia to George Croglian's (100) 100 

"From George C'l'oghan's to Ancliqiiick, Three Springs . . 60 

"To furthermost Crossing Jnniata 20 

"To Frank's Town 20 

"To the Clear Fields 18 

"To the Head of Susquehanna, Chelisguagua Creek 25 

"To the Two Licks 25 

"To the Eound Holes 25 

"To the River Ohio or Allegheny 17 

' ' To the Logs Town (250) 30 

"To the Eusks-Kusks 30 

* ' To Tnskerawas 60 

' ' To Mnskinong 40 

' ' To ve Three Licks 30 

"To Hockockon 50 

"To the Lower Shawenese Town (270i/.) 60 

"To the first Pict Town on a Branch of Ohio 180 


> J 

The above account is taken from the report of Hugh Craw- 
ford and Andrew Montour, the 16th of April, 1752. 

Twightwees appears to have heen on the Ohio river, about 
four hundred and sixty miles below Pittsburg, and was so named 
because the English called the Miami tribe of Indians "Twight- 

At a meeting of the Provincial Council, held in Phila- 
delphia on March 21, 1757, Lord Loudon was ])resent and de- 
sired information in regard to frontier roads throughout the 
Province. Among others the following appears : 

"There are two usual Paths from the Ohio to Pennsylvania, 
One through Ray's Town, distant from Shippensburgh sixty- 
five miles, and the other thro' Frank's Town, situate at about 
thirty miles north of Ray's Town. A new Road w^as opened and 
cleared thro' Ray's Town over the Allegheny Hills for the use 
of General Bracldock, and is now a good one; thro' Frank's 
Town Col. (Jack) Armstrong marched to the Kittannin, and it 
is said to be a very bad Road, abounding with Morasses and 
broken Hills difficult of Passage. B}^ one or the other of these 
two Roads the Parties of Lulians have hitherto entered the 
Province, their Rendezvous having usually been either at Ray's 
Town or Frank's Town." 

In 1754 John Harris, the founder of Harrisburg, made a 
schedule of the two roads between his ferry and the Allegheny 
river. As it is the best proof, we give it in full as he made it: 


From my Ferry to Geo. Croghan's 5 miles. 

To the Kittitany Mounts 9 

To Geo. Cowen's House 6 

To Andrew Montour's 5 

To the Tuscororaw Hill 

To Thos. Mitchell's Sleep'g place 3 

To Tuscaroraw 14 

To the Cove Spring lu 

To the Shadow of Death 8 

To the Black Log 3 

Now the Road forks toward Ray's Town & Frank's Town, we 
continue Ray's Town Road to Allegheney. 

To the 3 Springs 10 

To the sidling Hill Gap 8 

To Juniata Hill 8 

To Juniata Creek at ye Crossing 8 

To the Snake's Spring 8 

To Ray's Town | Bedford] 4 

To the Shawana Cabbins 8 

To Allegheney Hill 6 

To Edmond's Swamp 8 

To Sioney Creek 6 

To Kickeney Paulin's House (Indian) 6 

To the clear Fields 7 

To the other side of the Laurel Hill 5 

To Loyal Haning [Ligonier] 6 

To the Big Bottom 8 

To the Chestnut Ridge 8 

To the partings of the roads 4 

Thence one road leads Lo Shanoppin's Town, the other to Kiss- 
comenettes, old town. • 

To the Big Lick 3 

To the Beaver Dams 6 

To James /Dunning's Sleeping place 8 

To Cock Eye's Cabin 8 

To the 4 Mile Run 11 

To Shanoppin's Town, on Allegheny River [six miles above the Ohio] . . 4 

To the Logs Town, down the river [fourteen miles below Pittsburg] ... 16 

Old Roads 246 miles. 

Now beginning at the Black Log, Frank's Town Road. 

To Aughwhick 6 miles. 

To Jack Armstrong's Narrows, so called from his being there murdered 8 

To the Standing Stone (about 14 ft. high 6 inch square) [Huntingdon] . 10 

At each of these last places we cross Juniata. 

To the next and last Crossing at Juniata 8 

To Water Street (branch of Juniata) 10 

To the big Lick 10 

To Frank's (Stephen's) Town [three miles below Hollidaysburg] 5 

To the Beaver Damms 10 

To Allegheny Hill 4 

To the Clear Fields 6 

To John Hartt's Sleep'g Place 12 

To the Head of Susquehannah 12 

To the Shawana Cabbins 12 

To P. Shaver's Sleeping Place, at two large licks 12 

To the 18-mile Run 12 

To the 10-mile Lick 6 

To Kiskemenette's Town on the Creek, runs into Allegheny Riv'r, 6 mil 

down (almost as large as Schuylkill) 10 

To the Chartieres Landing on Allegh'y 8 

To the Kittanning Town up the River 18 

To' Venango, higher up the Allegh'y 70 

Down the River from Chartiere's Land'g to Pine Creek 14 

To the Logs Town 17 

Logs Town lies due West from Harris's Ferry. 

Note. — ^John Harris told me that he verily believed that Logs Town was 


distant from his House clue West an hundred miles less than the within acco't 
mentions; the road he went having so many great crooks. 


It will be observed that the road forked at the "Black Log," 
about forty-six miles beyond Raystown, which is now Bedford. 
The southerly branch seems to reach the top of the Allegheny 
mountains at ''Edmonds' Swamp," six miles from the "Stony 
Creek" — which is believed to be near Stoyestown, as there was 
a blockhouse, or barracks, named Fort Stony Creek at that 
place — and then six miles to "Kickenny Paulin's House" 
(Indian), which is on the Quemahoning creek, Somerset county, 
as is well known. 

Clear Fields and Edmonds' Swamp are located in Shade 
Township, Somerset county. The Clear Fields are on what is 
known as the John Hamer place, near the top of the mountains, 
between Walker's Mill, on the Lambertsville Road, and Bucks- 
town. Edmonds' Swamp is drained by Oven Run, which empties 
into the Stonycreek river a short distance above Forbes' Cross- 
ing. It is on the Jesse Slick farm, lying between the Forbes Road 
and the Stoyestown Pike. The farm known as the William 
Buchanan place is but a few miles northwest of Buckstown and 
lies to the south of the Clear Fields and Edmonds' Swamp. It is 
about eighteen miles from Johnstown to the Swamp, and about 
twenty-one to the Clear Fields. The Indian tradition as to the 
bare spot known as the Clear Fields is that many years ago a 
storm swept over the mountains and at this place the whirlwind 
centered, tearing up all the trees by their roots, and for some 
unaccountable reason trees would never grow thereafter on that 
soil, nothing but short, scrubby underbrush existing thereon. 
The Swamp is close to the old fort known as Stonycreek, a few 
miles from Stoyestown. 

Mr. Weiser was a colonel in His Majesty's troops, as well 
as an Indian Commissioner and interpreter, and a friend of 
Thomas and Richard Penn, representing them as their attorney 
in fact, in the Indian treaty at Easton on October 23, 1758. Mr. 
Weiser died in 1761, leaving but one son — Samuel — to survive. 
He was a man of great intelligence, diplomacy, and courage, and 
had the entire contidence of the Indians. His character can be 
best given by the following letter: 

Mr. Richard Peters. 

"Sir: If the Governor won't meet the Indians this evening 
only to shake hands with them, and signify his Satisfaction to see 
them in town, and leave Business to other day when they are 


recovered from their fatigue, I will say that he does not act the 
part of a well-wisher to his Majesty's people & interest at this 
Critical time. You may let him know, so here is my hand to my 
saying so. I am, sir, a loyal subject, and a well-wisher to my 
Country. Conrad Weisee. 

"Philadelphia, Julv the 6th [1758], at half an hour after 

It seems that Weiser had arranged a meeting between the 
Indians and the provincial officers, but that Governor William 
Denny was inclined to postpone it to another time, in con- 
sequence of which this letter was written to Mr. Peters, the 

On his trip to the Ohio in 1748, he made the following 
notes in his journal. 

Aug. Miles. 

18, From the Black Log to within two miles of the Stand- 

ing Run 24 

19, Traveled twelve miles this dav 12 

20, Came to Frank's Town ' 26 

22, Crossed Allegheny Hill & came to the Clear Fields . . 16 

23, Came to Shawonese Cabbins 34 

24, Came to the ten mile Lick 32 

25, Crossed Kisky Monitas Creek & came to Ohio 26 

Note — The Black Log is 8 or 10 miles southeast of the 
Three Springs, and Frank's Town lies to ye north, so that 
there must be a deduction of at least twenty miles. 

In other notes he further adds: 

Aug'st 11, Set out from my house & came to James Galbreath 

that day, 30 miles. 
12th, Came to George Croghan's, 5 miles. 
13tli, To Eobert Dunning 's", 20 miles. 
14th, To the Tuscarrora Path, 30 miles. 
15th &: 16th, Lay by on Account of the men coming back Sick, & 

some other Affairs hindered us. 
17th, Crossed the Tuscarrora Hill & came to the Sleeping Place 

called the Black Log, 20 miles. 
18th, Had a great Pain in the afternoon; Came within two miles 

of the Standing stone, 24 miles, 
19th, AYe traveled but 12 miles: were obliged to dry our things 

in the afternoon. 
20th, Came to Frank's Town, but saw no Houses or Cabins; 

here we overtook the Goods, because four of George Cro- 

gan's Hands fell sick, 26 miles. 
21st, Lay by, it raining all Day. 


22d, Crossed Allegheny Hill and came to the Clear Fields, 16 

23d, Came to the Shawonese Cabbins, 34 miles. 

2-l:tli, Found a dead man on the road who killed himself drinking 
too mnch whisky; the place being very ston}^ we could not 
dig a grave ; he smelled very strong ; we covered him with 
Stones and Wood and went on our journey; came to the 
10 mile Lick, 32 miles. 

25th, Crossed Kiskeminetoes Creek and came to Ohio that Day, 
26 miles. 

26th, Hired a Canoe ; paid 1,000 Black Wampum for the loan 
of it to Logstown. Our horses being all tired, we went by 
water and came that night to a Delaware town; the 
Indians used us very Kindly. 

The journal continues until September 29, 1748, when he 
returned to George Croghan's. This trip was made to distribute 
presents to the Indians, and many councils were had with them. 
On the 29th of August he arrived at Logstown and says: "This 
day news came to Town that tlie Six Nations were on the point 
of declaring War against the French, for the reason the French 
had Imprison 'd some of the Indian Deputies." 

Mr. Croghan made several trips between his cabin, which 
was five miles above Harrisburg, and the Ohio river, in and 
about 1750, He was an eminent frontiersman and a colonel 
among the provincial men. After the fall of Fort Duquesne he 
located in Pittsburg and procured control of a large quantity 
of land, of which Schenley Park is a part. George Croghan 
was ^an ancestor of Mary Schenley, of .London, who gave that 
beautiful place to the people of Pittsburg a few years ago. 

At a council held in Philadelphia on March 2, 1754, at 
which John Penn, Joseph Turner, and Richard Peters, members 
of the council, were present, a map of a road to the Ohio was 
considered, in the following manner : 

"And then Mr. Patton and Mr, Montour were examined, 
who did declare that the Courses and Distances from Carlisle 
to Shanoppin, an Indian Town on the River Ohio, near the 
mouth of ^lohongialo, are laid down in a map well they had 
presented to the Governor, and now produced to the Council 
with as much Care and Accuracy as in their Power, and that 
they believed them to be as near the Truth as it could be Known 
without actual Mensuration; and that the two following tables, 
taken from the map contain a just description of the Road as 
well by computation as by the Compass." 


The computed distance of tlie road by the Indian traders 
from Carlisle to Shanoppin's town: 

From Carlisle. 

From Carlisle to Major Montour's 10 

From Mont ours to Jacob Pvatt's 25 

From Pvatt's to George Croghan's, at Aucquick Old Town 15 

From Croghan's to the Three Springs 10 

From the Three Springs to Sideling Hill 7 

From Sideling Hill to Coutz's Harbour 8 

From Coutz's Harbour to the top of Ray's Hill 1 

From Ray's Hill to the 1 Crossing of Juniata 10 

From the 1 Crossing of Juniata to AUaguapy's Gap 6 

From AUaguapy's Gap to Ray's Town [Bedford] 5 

From Ray's Town to the Shawonese Cabbin 8 

From Shawonese Cabbins to top of Allegheny Mountains. . 8 

From Allegheny Mountains to Edmund's Swamp 8 

From Edmund's Swamp to Cowamahony Creek 6 

From Cowamahony to Kackanapaulins 5 

From KackanajDaulins to Loyal Hannin [Ligonier] 18 

From Loyal Hannin to Shanoppin's Town near [Pittsburg] 50 

The corners and distances by compass : 

K 20, W. 8 miles to Major Montour's. 

W. S. W. 20 miles to Jacob Pyatt's. 

X. 20, AV. 8 miles to George Crogan's, or Aucquick Old 

N. 70 W. 7 miles to the Three Springs. 

S. 70, W. 5 miles to Aucquick Gap. 

S. 70, W. 53/. miles to Coutz's Harbour. 

S. 80, W. 9 miles to Allaguapy Gap. 

West 3 miles to Ray's Gap. 

X. 15, W. the coui'se of the Gap. 

N. 63, W. 5 miles to the Shawonese Cabbins. 

N. 60, W. 5 miles to tlie top of Allegheny Mountains. 

X. 75. W. 41 2 niiles to Edmund's Swamp. 

X. 80. AV. 1 miles to Cowamahony Creek. 

X. 10, W. 31/, miles to Kackanapaulins House. 

X. 64. W. 12 miles to Loval Hannin Old Town. 

X. 20, W. 10 miles to the Forks of the Road. 

West 10 miles to . 

X. 80, W. 15 miles to Shanoppins Town. 

There is no doubt that Cowamahony Creek is the same as 
Quemahoning, as we know it. 

The computations made from a map prepared by Messrs. 
Patton and Montour are twofold — first, by the estimated dis- 
tances from point to point, as the best road would lead, to -pass 
around hills and gulches; and, secondly, by an air line — as the 


bird flies. It will be observed that the distance by the trail 
from the "top of the Allegheny Mountains to Kaekanapaulins " 
is nineteen miles, while by the air line it is only twelve ; and from 
''Kackanapanlins to Loyal Hannin" it is eighteen miles by the 
road, and in an air line it is north 64° west, twelve miles distant. 

These measurements are practically correct, and these 
gentlemen did a service of great value to themselves, their de- 
scendants, and their descendants' neighbors. 

When the same question was under consideration Mr. 
William West, a surveyor, presented the following to the Gov- 
ernor : 

'^Sir: Agreeably to your request I- herewith send you the 
Latitude of Shannoppin's Town as taken by Col. Fry, the 16th 
of June, 1752. I likewise send You the computed Miles from 
the Three Springs to Shanoppin's Town. I begin there as I 
take it to be near the same Meridian with the Big Cove, or rather 
a little to the eastward of it. You will observe that the Road is 
very crooked, for there being many Hills, we were obliged to 
make many Windings to come at proper Places to cross them. 

xlbout a mile from Shanoppin's 

Town Sun's Meridian Altitude 16th June 

1752 72 54° 


Zenith Distance 17 6 

Sun's Declination 23 21 

Latitude of Shanoppin's Town 40 27 


From the Three Springs to Sideling Hill 7 

To Juniata 19 

To Garrett Pendergrass' or Ray's Town 12 

To the Foot of Allegheny Hill." 15 

To Edmunds' Swamp the other side of Alleghenv 

Hill ". 12 

To KeKinny Paulins 10 

To Loyalhannin 20 

To Shanoppin's Town 50 


"I went to the Log's Town in company with Capt. Thomas 
McKee, Mr. John Carson, and three Indian traders, from whom 
I had the within com]-)uted distances, which in many places I 
think are estimated more miles than they would measure, and 
in some Places We traveled many Miles to make a few Westing, 


particularly from the Shawonese Cabbins to KeKinny Paul ins, 
which altho' it is computed near thirty miles I do not think 
make Ten miles Westing. 

"I am Your Honor's most humble servant, 

Wm. West/' 

Mr. Patten, also, says ''he rode in four days from Ohio the 
Frank's Town Road to Peter Shearer's, about four miles from 
Susquehanna River, in June, 1750, which, by the Traders com- 
putation, is one hundred and twenty-six miles." 

At a conference held near Fort Duquesne, on September 3, 
1758, Kickanepaulin, who had taken his departure from the 
vicinity of the Quemahoning, his former habitation, made the 
following speech in behalf of other Indians to Christian Fred- 
erick Post, a missionary, and a representative of the Provincial 
Grovernment. He said: 

"Brethren, it is good many days since we have seen and 
heard you; I now speak to you in behalf of all nations that have 
heard you heretofore. 

"Brethren, it is the first message which we have seen or 
heard from you ; we have not rightly heard you. 

"Brethren, you have told of that peace and friendship 
which we had formerly with you. Brethren, we tell you to be 
strong and always remember that friendship we formerly had 
with you. Brethren, we desire you would be strong, and let us 
have that good friendship and peace we had formerly. Brethren, 
we desire that you make haste, and let us soon hear of you again. 
[Gives a string of wampum.] 

"Brethren, hear what I have to say; look, Brethren, since 
we have seen and heard you, we who are present are part of all 
the several nations, which have heard you some days jigo, see 
that you are sorry that we have not that friendship we formerly 
had. Look, Brethren, we at Allegheny are likewise sorry we 
have not that friendship with you we formerly had. 

"Brethren, it is good that you have held that friendship we 
had formerly amongst our fathers and grandfathers. Brethren, 
we long for that peace and friendship we had formerly. 
Brethren, we will tell you we must not let that friendship quite 
drop which was formerly between us. Now, Brethren, it is 
three years since we dropped that peace and friendship which 
we had formerly with you. Now, Brethren, it's dropped and 
lies buried in the ground where you and I stand, in the middle 
between both. Now, Brethren, since I see you, you have digged 
up and revived that friendship which was buried in the ground. 
Now you have it, hold it fast. 

''Do be strong, Brethren, and exert yourselves, that that 
friendship may be well established between us. Brethren, if 


you will be strong, it is in your power to finish that peace and 
friendship well now. Brethren, we desire you to be strong and 
establish and make known to all the English of this peace and 
frlendshi}), that it over all may be well established, as you are 
of one nation and color in all the English governments. 

"Brethren, when you have finished and agreed everywhere 
together on this peace and friendship, then you would be pleased 
to send it to us at the Allegheny. Brethren, when you have set- 
tled this peace and friendship and finished it well, and you send 
it to me, I will send it to all the nations of my color. 

"When I receive your answer and we have looked that 
everything is well done, so that I can send it to all the nations 
of my color, they will all join to it and we will hold it fast. 
Brethren, when all the nations join to this friendship, then the 
day will begin to shine clear, and as, when we once have more 
of you and we join together, then the day will be still and no 
wind or storm will come over us to disturb us. Now, Brethren, 
you know our hearts and what we have to say. Be strong ; if you 
do so, everything will be well and what we have now told you, 
all the nations agree to join. 

"Now, Brethren, let the King of England know our minds 
as soon as possibly can." [Gives a belt of eight rows to seal the 

At a meeting of the Commissioners — Richard Peters, Isaac 
Morris, and Benjamin Franklin — and Conrad Weiser and An- 
drew Montour, interpreters, and the representatives of Indians 
of the Six Nations, Delawares, Shawonese, Twightwees, and 
Onendats, held at Carlisle, October 1, 1753, Scarrooj^ady said: 

"I have something further to say on behalf of the Shawo- 
nese, Brother Onas: At the beginning of the summer, when 
the news was brought to us of the approach of the French, the 
Shawonese made this speech to their Uncles, the Delawares, 
saying : 

" 'Uncles, you have often told us that we were a sensible 
and discreet people, but we lost all our sense and wits when we 
slipped out of your arms; however, we are now in another's 
arms again, and hope we will slip out no more. We remember 
and are returned to our former friendship, and hope it will 
always continue. In testimony whereof, we give you, our Uncle, 
a string of ten rows. ' 

"The Shawonese likewise at the same time sent a speech to 
the Six Nations, saying : 

" 'Our Brethren, the English, have treated us as people 
that had wit ; the French deceived us ; but we now turn our heads 
about and are looking perpetually to the country of the Six 
Nations and our brethren — the English — and desire you to make 
an apology for us. ' 


''And tliey gave eight strings of AVampmn. The Delawares 
and Six Nations do, therefore, give up three strings to Onas, 
and recommend the Shawonese to him as a people who have seen 
their error, and are their and our very good friends." [Gave 
eight strings.] 

On another occasion Xeuchecouna, Kekenatclieky, Sonatzio- 
wanah, and Sequeheton, chiefs of the Shawonese, met the Dela- 
wares and the Indians of the Six Nations, and said : 

"AVe, tlie Shawonese, have been misled, and have carried 
on a private correspondence with the French without letting you 
or our brethren, the English, know of it. AVe traveled secretly 
through the bushes to Canada, and the French promised us great 
things, but we find ourselves deceived. AVe are sorry that we 
had anything to do with them. AVe now find that we could not 
see, although the sun did shine. AVe earnestly desire you would 
intercede with our brethren — the English — for us who are left at 
Ohio, that we may be permitted to be restored to the chain of 
friendsliip and l)e looked upon as heretofore, the same flesh with 
them. ' ' 

"We let the President and Council of Philadelphia know 
that after the death of our chief man Olomipies, our grandchil- 
dren — the Shawonese — came to our own town to condole with 
us on the loss of our good King, your brother, and they wiped 
on our tears and comforted our minds, and as the Delawares are 
the same people with the Pennsylvanians, and born in one and 
the same country, we give some of the presents our grand- 
children gave us, to the President and Council of Philadelphia, 
because the death of their good friend and brother must have 
affected them as well as us." 

At the conclusion of the speeches made by Shawanasson and 
Achamanataimu, chiefs of the Delawares, they gave a beaver 
coat and a string of wampum. 

Wampum was Indian money, and its value is thus fixed by 
Samuel Weiser, a son of Conrad Weiser, in a report of his ex- 
penses made March 21, 1760 : 

"To 667 grains of Wampum made in two strings of several 
rows, made use of with the Indians at Fort Augusta, at 55 per 
hundred. Cost, £1 13s. 9d." 

At a meeting of the Council, held in Philadelphia, on De- 
cember 29, 1755, this subject was considered and it was agreed 
to enter the following statement on the minutes : 

"All our accounts agree in this, that the French, since the 
defeat of General Braddock, have gained over to their interests 
the Delawares, Shawonese, and many other Indian Nations for- 
merly in our Alliance, and on whom, thro' fear and their large 


promises of Kewards for Scalps and assurances of reinstating 
them in the Possession of the Lands they have sold to the Eng- 
lish, they have prevailed to take up arms against ns and to join 
heartily with them in the execution of the ground they have been 
long meditating of obtaining, the possession of all the country 
between the River Ohio and the River Susquehannah. ' 

J ? 

It was the Delawares and Shawonese who had pledged their 
allegiance to the English two years before this, at the Council 
held at Carlisle, but now a portion of them occupying Johnstown 
were helping the French. 

The opinion of Colonel Archibald Lochry, expressed in 
writing to Joseph Read, President of Council, is as follows : 

"Twelve Mile Run, Westmoreland Countv, 

July 4, 1781. 
"We have very distressing times Here this summer. The 
Enemy are almost constantly in our County Killing and Cap- 
tivating the Inhabitants. I see no way we can have of de- 
fending ourselves other than l)y offensive operations. General 
Clarke has requested our assistance to Enable him to carry an 
Expedition into the Indian Country. * * * The General's ob- 
jects are the Showneys, Delawares & Wiandotts Countrys in 
Order to bring them to a General Engagement and if Successful 
He makes no doubt of Reducing these three Nations." 

It appears that in 1784 the southwestern portion of Pennsyl- 
vania was free from the marauding Indians, inasmuch as on the 
14th of June, Christopher Hays, of Westmoreland county, wrote 
to John Dickinson, President of the State, as follows : 

"Although the Indians have been very troublesome to the 
Inhabitants in the Kentucke neighborhood this spring, we have 
had the happiness to live in the most perfect peace and security 
as yet, * * * as the northern Indians seem gradually disposed 
for peace & anxious for a treaty." 

Mr. George Dallas Albert, in his research of Provincial his- 
tory, in the "Frontier Forts," says that the pronunciation of 
Conemaugh, as made by the Indians, was Quin-nim-maugh- 
Koong, or Can-ne-maugh, and signified Otter Creek. Also, that 
Stonycreek is the English for the Indian name, Sinnehanne, or 
Achsin-hanne ; hanne signifies a stream of water. Sherman Day 
states that the first settlement of the Lenape Indians were the 
Assun-pink, or Stonycreek, Indians. Loyalhanna is corrupted 
from Laweel-hanne, meaning the middle stream ; and Kittanning 
from Kit-hanne, or Gicht-hanne, which signifies the main stream 
in that region of the country. 


It is a fact well known that Indians could not pronounce 
"r"; they could not say rum, but called it lum, and Quaker they 
called Quackel. 

The following is a list of Cherokee names and their signifi- 
cance, prepared under date of June 21, 1758: 

Weyesong, or the Cold. 

Heneley, or the Common-on-Instrument to play with. 

Hunnegurwisky, or the Bitter. 

Sky Huga, or Travelar. 

Xethsthouwewa, or Strieker. 

Turturwiskey, or the Forsaken. 

Xecourraggua, or the Killer. 

Kinnathshia, or the Company Keeper. 

Keththakisky, or the Messengar. 

Gugkonnosky, or the Drunker. 

Hannechcha, or the Comer Inn. 

Mr. Day records the fact that one summer day, when the 
children and women of the Shawonese and Delaware Tribes were 
together gathering fruit, a feud arose between them concerning 
the title to a large grasshopper caught by one child and claimed 
by another. This involved a question of boundary and territorial 
rights. When the warriors, who were at that time peaceably 
engaged together in a chase, returned, they took part with their 
respective women ; a sanguinary contest ensued, in which, after 
great slaughter, the Shawonese were defeated and were expelled 
from the valley. 

The following is a specimen slightly transposed of the lan- 
guage used by the Seneca Indians : 

THE lord's prayer. 

Gwa-nee', che-de-oh' gii-o'-ya-geh, ga-sa-nuh' 

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, 

ese' sa-nuk-ta' ga-oh ese' sne'-go-eh ne ya-weh' yo an-ja'-geh 
thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth 

ha' ne-de-o'-deh ga-o'ya-geh. Dun-da-gwa-e' wa-sa-gwus 
as it is in heaven. Forgive us our 

ong-wa-yeh'-his-heh' da-ya-ke'-a-wa-sa-gwus-seh' ho-yeh'his . 
debts as we forgive our debtors. 

Da ge-oh' ne' na geli' wen-nis'-heh-deh e' na-ha-do-wen-nis'-heh- 
Give us this day our daily 


geh o a'-qiia. Ila-sqiia'-ali e' sa-no' ha wa-ate keli', ua-gwa' 
bread. Lead us not into temptation, but 

da-gwa-ya-dan'-nake ne' wa-ate-keli' na-seli'-eli nees' 
deliver from us evil for thine is 

o-nuk'-ta na-kuli' na ga-hus-tes-heh, na-kuh' da-ga-a-sa-uh'. 
the kingdom, and the power and the glory. 


Joe Wipey, a friendly Delaware Indian, was cruelly mur- 
dered by two renegade white men — John Hinckston and James 
Cooper — while he was sitting in his canoe fishing in the Cone- 
maugh river, near the mouth of Hinckston run, now in the 
Fourteenth ward of the city of Johnstown. 

Wipey lived in a cabin a few miles west of Johnstown, 
making; frequent visits to Solomon and Samuel Adams and 
other pioneer families in this vicinity. His wanton death 
caused much consternation among the provincial people and 
the council offered a reward of five hundred pounds for the 
arrest of the two men. The murder occurred in May, 1774, 
when (xeneral Arthur St. Clair, then at Fort Ligonier, in- 
formed the governor, stating that it occurred "about eighteen 
miles from this place." 

Another friendly Indian known as "Kicky Huston." in this 
vicinity, had a wigwam on the hill known as " Kicky 's Ridge," 
in Adams township. It is the first ridge on the westerly side 
of the summit of the Alleghenv mountains on the Ashtola road, 
between which and the summit lays Horner's Dam. Kicky 
trapped beavers, and was a successful hunter for large game, 
such as deer and bear, keeping residents of Bedford supplied 
with that kind of food. Wipey and Kicky were the last of the 
Indian race in the southern part of Cambria county. 

About 1778 a number of marauding Indians in and around 
Hart's Sleeping Place, near Carrolltown, and along the Kit- 
tanning trail, were aiding the British troops, who then had 
possession of Kittanning. A party from the Juniata valley 
led by John Weston, started to go to Kittanning to procure 
assistance for a pillaging expedition in the valley; however, 
a friendly Cayuga Indian chief, called Captain Logan, 
who lived at Chinklaclamoose, on the site of the town 
of Clearfield, gave warning to the colonists. Captain 

Vol. 1—5 


Thomas Blair successfully led a party of colonists to inter- 
cept the movement, and on their return they encamped near 
the "Clearfields" for the night. In the morning two of the 
party — Moses Hicks and ]\Ir. Gersham — went out to get game 
for food, when they were captured by the Indians, taken to De- 
troit, and held as prisoners by the British until the war was 




The best proof that is now obtainable leads to the con- 
elusion that Samuel. Solomon, and Eachel Adams were the 
first white people to locate, improve and till the soil on land 
within the limits of Cambria county. It seems that the Adams 
family came from Berks county some time prior to 1774, and 
improved the Peter Snyder tract of land, which later became 
the Horner estate in the Seventh ward. The exact date cannot 
be fixed, l)ut it was not prior to April 3, 1769, as, by the act of 
the provincial authorities, no white man was permitted to lo- 
cate on land which had been reserved by treaty with the Indians 
for their exclusive use ; however, it was prior to 1771. 

It will be observed that Charles Campbell took out a war- 
rant on April 3, 1769. It is probable that the Adamses did 
the same then, or soon thereafter; at least, the deeds show that 
in 1771 Peter Snyder took out a warrant for the '^Solomon 
Adams Improvement" on "both sides of Solomon's Run" (in 
the Seventh ward). The records do not show that Solomon 
Adams took out a warrant: but that he occupied it and made 
improvements on it there is no doubt. 

During this period (1769-1774) the white man and the red 
man were in a war, which had practically been circumscribed 
to the territory between Bedford and Pittsburg, and especially 
in and around Bedford, Ligonier, and points between them. 
The near-by forts were at Bedford and Ligonier, and one was 
at Fort Palmer, a few miles south of Lockport and near Co- 
vodesville. When danger from the warlike Indian was appre- 
hended the Adamses would flee to one of these points. 

In 1777 the Tull family, who resided on the mountains six 
miles west of Bedford, consisting of father, mother, nine daugh- 
ters, and a son. were massacred, excei)ting the son, who was 
absent. The hill is yet known as the Tull Hill on account of the 
terri1)le vengeance of the Indians on this occasion. 

Sherman Day gives an account of the courageous action 
and death of •Samuel Adams as follows : 


''About December of the same year (1777) a mmiber of 
families caoie into the fort (Bedford) from the neig-hborhood 
of Johnstown. Amongst them were Samuel Adams, a man 
named Thornton, and one Bridges. After their alarm had some- 
what subsided they agreed to return for their property. A 
party started with packhorses, reached the place (now Johns- 
town), and, not seeing any Indians, collected their property 
and commenced their return. After proceeding some distance 
(about four and a half miles) a dog belonging to one of the 
l^arty showed signs of uneasiness and ran back. Bridges and 
Thornton desired the others to wait whilst they would go back 
for him. They went back, and proceeded but 200 or 300 yards, 
when a body of Indians, who had been lying in wait on each 
side of the way, but who had been afraid to fire on account of 
the numbers of wliites, suddenly rose up and surrounded them 
and took them prisoners. The others, not knowing what de- 
tained their companions, went back after them. When they ar- 
rived near the spot the Indians fired on them, but without do- 
ing any injury. The whites instantly turned and fled, except- 
ing Samuel Adams, who took a tree and began to fight in the 
Indian style. In a few minutes,- however, he was killed, but 
not without doing the same fearful service for his adversary. 
He and one of the Indians shot at and killed each other at the 
same moment. 

""When" the news reached the fort a party volunteered to 
visit the ground, and when they reached it, although the snow 
had fallen ankle deep, they readily found the bodies of Adams 
and the Indian ; the face of the latter having been covered by 
his companions with xVdams' hunting shirt." • 

Tlie place where this sanguinary duel took place between 
the pioneer and the Indian is on the farm of William Cole, in 
Richland township, four and a half miles from Johnstown. It 
is on Sandy Run, near the head of Solomon's Run. The path 
from the Adams place was up Solomon's Run and then along 
Sandy Run. The grave where Samuel Adams and the Indian 
were buried is but a few hundred yards from the home of Mr. 
Cole, at the angle of the Geistown and Elton, or the "Hollow" 

The facts of the manner and place of the death of Samuel 
Adams are fully sustained by tradition, by stories from persons 
who were companions of Adams, as well as the grave that held 
the bodies of the representative of the white man and the red 
race, side by side, who were combatants in a cause in which each 
believed he was in the right. 

The above, as has been noted, is the version, of Historian 


Day, and wliile'in the essentials it agrees with, yet in many points 
it differs from well authenticated local tradition concerning the 
same incidents. Probably the best of these local stories is that 
of Edwin A. Vickroy, a son of Thomas Vickroy, a surveyor, of 
Alum Bank, Bedford County. 

Thomas Vickroy was a neighbor of the Adamses, and, of 
course, knew them well, and Edwin A. Vickroy, also a surveyor, 
knew Archibald Adams, a son of Samuel Adams. From these 
gentlemen he procured his information, which was substantially 
this : 

That Samuel Adams, just previous to his death, lived on 
the place formerly owned by Louis von Lunen, but he did not own 
it, as in a contest with William Barr it had been lost. It is 
now mostly in the Seventeenth ward of the city. When the In- 
dians became troublesome he took his wife and children to Fort 
Bedford for safety and came back for his cattle. While collect- 
ing them the Indians observed his movements, and when he and 
his brother Solomon, John Bridges, and Thomas Cheney had 
stEirted with the cattle toward Bedford, the Indians went around 
them and ambushed at the crossing of Sandy Eun and fired on 
them. Solomon escaped and ran to Bedford and gave the alarm. 
The next day a party came over and found Samuel Adams and 
an Indian, both dead, and both were buried near where they fell. 

No tidings could be had of Bridges and Cheney for a long 
time, but they finally returned and told of the attack; that they 
began to fight Indian style, each man getting behind a tree, but 
that they were overpowered, and had been taken prisoners and 
conveyed to Canada. But Adams had killed an Indian and 
was himself dead, before they were taken away. Bridges re- 
sided on the place known as Samuel Biough's. 

Archibald Adams, the son of Samuel Adams, was born in 
1764, and died in what is now the Eighth ward of the city of 
Johnstown in 1859. A short time before his death he spent the 
day with Mr. Vickroy, and then said that he was about seven 
years of age when his father was killed, which would make his 
death about 1771. Sherman Day states that it was about 1777, 
but it seems that our authority is the better. We know that the 
Adamses had improved the John Horner farm prior to 1774, as 
it was warranted as the ' ' Adams Improvement. ' ' Jesse Proctor, 
the great-grandfather of I. E. Eoberts, of this city, married the 
widow of Samuel Adams. 

There is, as a matter of fact, no doubt of the death of Samuel 


Adams and of the Indian combatant substantially- in the manner 
set forth, nor of the time nor of the place, and that this historical 
event is so well authenticated ought to be a matter of satisfaction 
to the people of the county in which Samuel Adams was un- 
doubtedly the first settler, in the days when every man was a 
hero. This theory rests upon authority from the lips of persons 
who were companions of the Adamses, two of whom were John 
Grosenickel and Peter Goughnour. The late Isaac Hersh- 
berger, who was born in 1811 and resided until his death on his 
farm a short distance from where Samuel Adams died, knew 
John Grosenickel very well and heard him relate the Adams in- 
cident, along with other things occurring at that time, in 1777. 
Shortly before his death he stated that Grosenickel came from 
Lancaster county and settled on the farm now occupied by 
Samuel I. Hershberger, near Geistown, on the Bedford road. 
The log house occupied by Grosenickel and his family, which 
was erected before the death of Samuel Adams, is still stand- 
ing. It was used as a dwelling until 1895 and now does duty 
as a home for Mr. Hershberger 's chickens. When the trail 
between the Adams improvement and Geistown was opened, 
Grosenickel built another log house near the trail, which was 
used as a lodging place by many a weary traveler. The Adamses 
were also frequently entertained therein. This house is about 
three-fourths of a mile east of Geistown on the Bedford road, 
and was recently occupied by 'Squire McVicker. 

In the latter house John Grosenickel died about 1826. His 
youngest daughter, Salome Grosenickel, married Justus Varner, 
who later lived in Adams township, but both have been dead 
many years. A number of their children, however, are now 
residing in Richland and Adams townships. 

Hannah Grosenickel, a daughter of John Grosenickel, mar- 
ried John Miller, who was an uncle of Isaac Hershberger. They 
resided on a farm now occupied by Joseph S. Blougli, a mile 
and a half south of Geistown. Mr. Miller moved to the ' ' Miami ' ' 
country in Ohio, and afterward to Iowa, a good many years ago. 

Peter Goughnour, Daniel and Christian his brothers, lived 
above Solomon's Run. Isaac Hershberger was intimate with 
Peter Gouglmour, and in referring to the early days of pioneer- 
ing, told him that on one occasion, he, with some of his neigh- 
bors, went east to procure provisions and were unavoidably 
delayed, and when the party returned Goughnour 's family were 
living on nettles and potato stalks, which they cooked as greens. 



Tradition lias it that Rachel Adams was also killed by the 
Indians, and this is authenticated by the word of Peter Gough- 
nour and Thomas Vickro}^, the surveyor. These gentlemen fre- 
quently told Mr. Hershberger how Samuel, Solomon, and Eachel 
Adams started from their home to go to Bedford over the Geis- 
town trail; that they remained at Grosenickel's over night and 
started at an early hour next morning with some horses. After 
proceeding a few miles something occurred that required the 
brothers to return, and they left Rachel in charge of the horses 
for what they expected would be a brief absence. Before their 
return, however, the Indians appeared, captured the horses, 
and killed Rachel Adams. This occurred near Elton, in Adams 
township, at a small stream which has since been known as 
Eachel's Run, named by the woman's brothers, it is said, in 
commemoration of the horrible deed. In her memory also was 
named Rachel's Hill, a prominence a short distance east of 
Geistown on the Bedford road. 

In connection with the death of Samuel and Rachel Adams, 
tradition says that their brother Solomon was also killed by 
the red man, but there is no authentic, or reasonably authentic, 
information that such was the case. The probabilities are that 
it is not true, as we have record testimony in the colonial ar- 
chives that in 1787 Solomon Adams was appointed by the Pro- 
vincial Council as one of the Viewers to locate the Frankstown 
road, and acted in that capacity, as appears by his report when 
the duty was performed. 

The Hannastown massacre, in 1782, was the final atrocious 
act of the Indians. For a year or two afterward an occasional 
attack was made on the white settlers, but by 1784 there was 
practically peace as far west as Westmoreland county, and 
it is not probable that Solomon Adams was put to death by them 
after 1787. 

On Friday, April 6, 1787, at a meeting of the supreme ex- 
ecutive council in Philadelphia, wherein Benjamin Franklin was 
President, commissioners as follows were appointed. 

"Charles Campbell, of Westmoreland County, and James 
Harris, of Cumberland County, surveyors, and Solomon Adams, 
of Bedford County, were appointed Commissioners to lay out 
a highway between the navigable waters of Frankstown Branch 
of Juniata and the River Conemaugli, agreeably to Act of As- 
sembly dated 29th of March last." 


Within recent years proofs of the habitation of the Indian 
in this vicinity have been plowed from the ground and fonnd 
in trees. A few years ago Saninel I. Hershberger plowed np 
an Indian tomahawk, and frequently he has found arrow points 
made of stone, some broken and others whole. John B. Lehman 
found an arrow head on the farm of Moses B. Miller, in Rich- 
land. Isaac Hershberger cut a tree on his farm and found 
near the top of a flint arrow head imbedded therein. About 1863 
the late Wesley J. Rose found a skeleton in the lot now occu- 
pied by John Thomas, Esq., on Vine street, Johnstown, which 
the late Dr. John Lowman, the eminent surgeon and i^hysician, 
pronounced to be the perfect form of a matured Indian. 

Pastor Gallitzin, a pioneer, came from the Gallitzin family, 
of the Russian nobility, whose members had been prominent in 
war and diplomacy from the sixteenth century. 

Vasili, a prince of that house, surnamed the Great, born 
1643, died 1714, was the councilor and favorite of Sophia, 
the sister of Peter the Great, and regent during the latter 's 
minority. The design of Vasili was to marry Sophia and place 
himself on the Russian throne, but it miscarried, whereuf)on 
Peter placed Sophia in a convent, and banished Vasili to a 
spot on the Frozen ocean, where he died. 

Amalie, Princess Gallitzin (1746-1806), the mother of 
Father Gallitzin, was a daughter of the Prussian general. Count 
von Schmettau, and was noted for her literary culture and de- 
voutness to Catholicism. In 1768 she married Prince Dimitri 
Alexievitch Gallitzin, (1738-1803) a diplomat and the author 
of several books on geology. He had been sent as ambassador 
to the court of France in 1763, and to The Hague ten years later. 
The Prince and Princess separated, she withdrawing from a 
life of splendor in the courts of Europe retired to a charming 
residence between The Hague and Scheveningen, where she edu- 
cated her two children, a son and daughter. 

Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin was boi'n at The Hague, 
December 22, 1770. He was carefully educated and at seven- 
teen was confirmed in the church of his mother's choice, taking 
the name of Augustine to please her. The father, desiring to 
have his son enter the army and take up a military career, pro- 
cured for him an appointment as aide-de-camp to the Austrian 


General von Lillien, but difficulties arose which caused a re- 
consideration for his future, and the position was not accepted. 

The father had conceived a j^rofound admiration for John 
Adams, who represented the States at The Hague, which feel- 
ing was cordially reciprocated, and when the military career 
was cast aside for the present at least, the Prince desired his 
son to travel through the United States under the kindly at- 
tention and influence of Mr. Adams. The father gave him 
letters to Mr. Adams and others in the field of diplomacy at 
Washington, and the mother procured a letter of introduction 
from the Prince-Bishop of Hildesheim to Bishop Carroll, of 
Baltimore. It was the decision of the parents that Demetrius 
should lay aside his princely title and estate, and should travel 
in America under the name of Mr. Schmet, an abbreviation of 
''von Schmettau," his family name. 

When the time for his departure had come and his mother 
accompanied him to the pier, he recanted and implored her to 
let him stay. Her flashing eyes and indignant accusation of 
cowardice overcame him, and he fell backward into the ocean, 
but being an expert swinuner he recovered in time to sail for 
the new world. Demetrius arrived in Baltimore on October 
28, 1792, and presented his letter to Bishop Carroll, who took 
a kindly interest in the youthful traveler. His life was made 
so pleasant that he evinced no desire to form new acquaint- 
ances, nor is it known that he called ujDon Mk. Adams at AVash- 
ington, who was then vice-president. 

Probably a year or more after his arrivel he informed the 
Bishop that he had determined to renounce his ambition and 
that of his familv, and intended to enter the church for the 
benefit of the American mission. His family were informed 
of the new declaration, and they were astounded; beseeching 
letters came, imploring him not to do so, but he remained firm 
and entered the Society of St. Sulpice, and on March 18, 1795, 
was ordained a priest. Thus a child of fortune became a pio- 
neer in the forest of the Allegheny mountains. He was now 
known as Father Smith, and served as a missionary at Port 
Tobacco, on the Susquehanna, at Conewago, near Gettysburg, 
and in Cumberland and Huntingdon counties, until July, 1799, 
when he arrived at Loretto, the scene of his future home and 

Captain McGuire had donated a tract of land for church 
purposes at Lorettoj and Father Gallitzin l)egan to construct a 


log cliurcli, wliere on December 24, 1799, lie celebrated the in- 
itial mass in a building, which was the first one erected for that 
purpose between the Mississippi and the Susquehanna rivers. 
He devoted his services to the congregation at Loretto, and 
traveled the mountains administering spiritual comfort to 
those who were unable to attend his church. He created debts 
for the church and honored them with remittances received 
from his sister, until in 1808 he was informed that in conse- 
quence of adopting the Catholic faith and clerical profession 
he was excluded from any share in his father 's estate, and tliat 
his mother having died (1806) his sister was sole heiress. This 
decision of the Russian senate and council of state was ap- 
proved by the emperor and was therefore irrevocable. 

His sister, known as the Princess Marianne, or Mimi, 
could not bestow any part of the property on her brother, but 
she wrote him that she would faithfully divide the income, and 
led him to believe that it was her wish to do so. Her i)rom- 
ises were not fulfilled, although he received small remittances 
for a while, the princess ended all hope by marrying, late in 
life, the Prince de Salm, who squandered her foi-tune. These 
complications caused his financial em.barrassment, for debts 
not of his own, but m.ade for the use of the church and which he 
felt in honor bound to meet. It is estimated that he had spent 
between $150,000 and $170,000 from his own fortune. These 
sacrifices on his part were beyond the comprehension of the 
rougher element, and aroused suspicion in the minds of the 
wicked. Notwithstanding the financial difficulties, these sus- 
picious persons formed a conspiracy to ruin his reputation, even 
accusing him of forgery; but it fell harmless among those who 
knew him, and Bishop Carroll always remained his friend. In 
these difficulties with the border ruffians, who had been en- 
couraged by the suspicious members of the community, he showed 
much courage and fearlessness. On one occasion two of the in- 
tense sinners went to his church with the intention of attacking 
him there by an assault. He was informed of this, and when the 
congregation had assembled, coming before the altar in his 
vestments', he said: "I now proceed to offer up the Holy Sac- 
rifice of the Mass. Let no one dare to profane this church, or 
insult the Christ here present, by one word or movement. And 
I tell you this," as he advanced with vigor of speech, ''and I 
tell you this, if any man raises hand or foot to take me from the 


altar, or to interrupt my words this day, another day shall 
come when he will call for me and I will not be there." 

On July 18, 1807, one of the conspirators recanted and hu- 
miliatingly acknowledged his guilt, and imposed this penalty 
upon himself: "As to temporal punishment, I will, with cheer- 
fulness, submit to your reverence. I am willing to submit my 
bare back to flagellation publicly in the church, by your trustees, 
for I consider no punishment too good to be inflicted upon me, 
the most unworthy of sinners." 

In 1808, in the campaign between Snyder and Eoss for 
governor, he was enthusiastic for Eoss, the Federalist candi- 
date, and in a letter to Bishop Carroll, who was also a follow- 
er of Hamilton, he said: "I am ver\^ much afraid of the issue 
in the next election. Our Irishmen are ready to go mad for 
Snyder, and Charles Kenny, Esq., of Westchester, by his art- 
ful and virulent publications in the Aurora and in Dickson's 
Lancaster paper, keeps them uj) in a state of enthusiasm for 
Snyder and against sound, genuine principles. Under the 
signature of Tyrconnell he made an attack upon my political 
character and principles in order to prevent his countrymen of 
Cambria and' Huntingdon counties from listening to me. I 
yesterday sent my reply to be published in Hamilton's Federal 
Gazette of Lancaster." 

While he was in Huntingdon, in 1802, he filed his naturaliza- 
tion papers and was made a citizen under the name of August- 
ine Smith. Having adopted this name by the direction of his 
parents, and the purpose for which it was done having passed, 
he now desired to have his own name restored; therefore, on 
December 5, 1809, he presented a petition to the senate and 
house of representatives of Pennsylvania, praying that a law 
be enacted to establish his true name of Demetrius Augustine 
Gallitzin, which was accordingly done on February 12, 1810 
(5 Smith, 84). 

He was for some years vicar-general of the diocese of 
Philadelphia, Imt on October 28, 1823, Gallitzin wrote to Arch- 
bishop Marechall declining to accept the bishopric of Detroit, 
wherein he expressed his laudable purposes thus : 

"Several years ago I formed a plan for the good of religion, 
for the success of which I desire to employ all the means at my 
disposal when the remainder of my debts are paid. It is to form 
a diocese for the western part of Pennsylvania. What a conso- 
lation for me if I might, before I die, see this plan carried out, 


and Loretto made an Ej^tiscopal See, where the Bishop, by means 
of the lands attached to the bishopric, wliich are very fertile, 
would be independent, and where, with very little expense, conld 
be erected college, seminary and all that is required for an Epis- 
copal establishment. ' ' 

In writing to Bishop Carroll he expressed his views on the 
question of temperance thus : 

''I am so exceedingly fatigued after walking since last Mon- 
day' about fift}' miles through rocks and mire after sick peo]Dle 
{having lost my riding horse) that I am obliged to confine my- 
self to a ver}^ few words. From what little experience I have it 
appears to me that total abstinence from S])irituous liquors is 
the only sure way of breaking up the habit of that kind ; and as . 
I never keep any kind of liquor, nor drink anything but water or 
milk, I think if he seriously means to leave off the practice of 
drinking he will have a fine chance of curing himself effectively 
by living with me." 

Gallitzin was intensely patriotic, and would not submit to 
any halfway measures or things dishonorable. During the 
war of 1812 two members of Captain Richard McGruire's com- 
pany came home without leave of absence, probably worse ; they 
attended the service in the church at Loretto, and as the priest 
approached from his dwelling one of them went toward him with 
an offer of greeting to receive the expected welcome. He stopped 
and clasped his hands behind his back, and with his dark eyes 
expressing contempt, he bade them no welcome, but saying: "I 
never shake hands with one who deserts his post," passed on. 

Gallitzin was a versatile citizen ; beside being the priest, he 
was the trading man of the community for many miles from 
Loretto; he was the counsellor in all things, legal and otherwise; 
he had a limited knowledge of medicine, and gave his assistance 
wherever he could; he built a tannery and a hat manufactory, 
and aided the farmers. 

On February 9, 1800, he wrote thus to Bishop Carroll in- 
forming him of the favorable conditions at Loretto: "Our 
church, which was only begun in harvest, got finished fit for 
service the night before Christmas. It is about 44 feet long by 
25, built of white pine logs, with a very good shingle roof. I kept 
service in it at Christmas for the first time, to the very great 
satisfaction of the whole congregation, who seemed very much 
moved at a sight which they never beheld before. There is also 
a house built for me, 16 feet by 14, besides a little kitchen and a 
stable. I have now, thanks be to God, a little home of my own for 



the first time since I came to this country, and God grant that I 
may be able to keep it. * * The congregation consists at pres- 
ent of about forty families, but there is no end to the Catholics in 
all the settlements round about me ; what will become of them all 
if we do not receive a new supply of priests, I do not know; I try 
as much as I can to persuade them to settle around me. ' ' 

In 1827 Gallitzin not having satisfied all his creditors, 
he prepared a petition to his fellow Christians requesting relief, 
wherein he stated: Being the only son of a wealthy father he 
did not spare expense in order to get the above ends accomplished 
(establishing the Loretto church), but still spent far below his 
supposed ability. Lately, unexpectedly and without having had 
it in his power to foresee, or to even suspect such an event, he 
finds himself by a decree of his former government, deprived of 

The McGuire Residence at Loretto, Where Prince Gallitzin Said First Mass 

in Cambria County. 

the whole of his parent's estates, and with debts amounting to 
more than $5,000. * * This statement came to the hands of 
Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, the signer of the Declaration of 
Independence, who endorsed his approval of the project as fol- 
lows : 

'•I hereby recommend to all charitable persons to sub- 
scribe such sums as their inclination and ability will ])ermit to 
second the views detailed on the opposite page Ijy the Reverend 
Demetrius A. Gallitzin. 

''Ch. Carroll, of Carrollton. 

"13th Nov. 1827." 

Some of the subscribers were: Ch. Carroll of Carrollton, 
$100 ; Robert Oliver, $100 ; Baron de Maltitz, $100 ; Je Silvestre 
Rebello, $100; Cardinal Capellari, $200— the latter was subse- 
quently known to the world as Pope Gregory XVI ; and Matthew 
Carey,' $20. 


Father Gallitzin died May 6, 1840, in his sixty-ninth year. 
Seven years thereafter a vault was constructed in the church 
yard to which his remains were transferred, and a humble but 
substantial monument was erected to his memory. This was, 
however, replaced by a beautiful bronze figure of the Pioneer 
Priest, the gift of Charles M. Schwab, as a token of his esteem. 
It was dedicated October 10, 1899, in the presence of a large 
concourse, when Archbishoj:) Ireland and Governor William A. 
Stone made the principal addresses. There were many church 
dignitaries present, among them Sebastian Martinelli, Arch- 
bishop of EjDhesus, and the Apostolic Delegate to the United 
States of Pope Leo XIII; the Kt. Rev. A. A. Curtis, Vicar Gen- 
eral of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Mr. Justice John Dean, 
of the supreme court, in acknowledging the invitation to be 
present said: "No one reverences the Christian character of 
Father Gallitzin more than I; that character shines through all 
the early records of the county, deeds, wills and contracts. Much 
of his work passed under my eye as judge in that county. He 
was a Christian lawyer in this, that taking human nature as 
it existed, he sought to allay and prevent strife by wise, just 
and clear writings, as well as by Christian counsel." 

The first settler in Northern Cambria was Captain Michael 
McGuire, who, in 1788, brought his family from Taney town, 
Maryland, where they had resided. During the Revolution, Cap- 
tain McGuire had served in a Maryland company, but his first 
visit to Cambria county had been made on a hunting trip in 
1768, when he established his camp near the borough of Chest 
Springs, which appears on a map of 1793 and is designated 
"Captain McGuire 's Camp." AYitli his nearest neighbors at 
Blair's Hills on the eastern slope of the mountains, about 
twelve miles distant, he located the "McGuire Settlement" in 
the valley east of the borough of Loretto, now Allegheny town- 
ship, in this county, but at that time in Frankstown township, 
Huntingdon county. He died on his farm, November 17, 1793, 
in his seventy-sixth year, and was the first person interred in 
the Loretto Cemetery. 

Captain McGuire was a devout Catholic, and donated a 
very large tract of land for the use of the church and its schools 
to Bishop John Carroll, of Baltimore, a cousin of Charles 
Carroll, of Carrolltown, who was the last survivor of the sign- 


ers of the Declaration of Independence. This fact was the mov- 
ing cause which influenced Prince Gallitzin to locate at Loretto 
and establish a Catholic colony on the western slope of the 
monntains. The following letter from Bishop Carroll to Prince 
Gallitzin is pertinent: 

"Washington City, March 1, 1799. 
**Eev. and Dear Sir: 

"I fear you have been disappointed in not receiving an ear- 
lier answer to your letter, which covered a list of subscribers in 
Clearfield, Frankstown and Sinking Valley. I had come hither 
on immediately before the arrival of yours at Baltimore. 

"Your request is granted. I readily consent to your pro- 
posal to take charge of the congregations detailed in yours, and 
hope that you will have a house built on the land granted by 
Mr. (Michael) McGuire and already settled or cleared, or if 
more convenient, on your own, if you intend to keep it. * * * 
I meant to have offered you with your present congregations 
that of Emmitsburg and the mountain (Mount St. Mary's) 

united in one. ^,j t>- i ^ t> i^- ,, 

John, Bishop ot Baltimore." 

Captain Richard ]\rcGuire was also a pioneer of northern 
Cambria'. He was a son of the preceding, and was born in 
Frederick countv, Marvland. December 12, 1771, and died at 

* . » ' 7 7 

Loretto, January 13, 1855. He was seventeen when his father 
located the "McGuire Settlement" at Loretto, and on May 15, 
1800, he and Eleanor, daughter of John and Ann Byrne, were 

Captain Richard McGuire, like his father, was a farmer and 
a patriot; he organized a company at Loretto and commanded 
it in the War of 1812. 

Joseph Johns, the founder of Johnstown, was a native of 
Switzerland. He and a sister named Frainie Johns came to this 
country about 1768, when he was near nineteen years of age, 
and first located in Berks county, where he and Frainie Holly 
were married. His sister Frainie married Joseph Crisner, and 
they located on a farm in Elklick township, Somerset county, 
near Meyersdale. Their children were: Peter, Eli, Jonas, 
David, Joseph, Benjamin, Christian, Gabriel, John and Daniel. 
The name Frainie was originally spelled Frainie, but subse- 
quently changed to Frany, Franie, Vronie, and Fannie. 

Joseph Johns bought a farm near Berlin, Somerset county, 
which was afterward owned by Martin Myers, who was county 
surveyor at one time. In 1793, he sold it, and on the 13th of 


September, 1793, he bought from James McLenahan the Camp- 
bell tract of land, on which most of Johnstown is now situated, 
including the tirst four wards, excepting the upper part of the 
Fourth, and parts of the Ninth and Tenth and a part of the 
Thirteenth wards. At the same time he purchased the ''Henry 
Wise" tract, of which the Twelfth ward is a part. At that 
time it was a forest, and as late as 1828 that portion west of 
Market and Vine streets was in woods. 

In the fall of 1793, or the following spring, he erected a one- 
story log house on the Campljell survey, which consisted of two 
hundred and forty-nine acres, near the corner of Levergood and 
Vine streets. 

The land of Mr. Johns' final homestead near Davidsville 

"GJ-i'^ry"*''''''"''""' • ■•, >^ '::_^>-i^-S!!:m'''^''^z!lL''''''''2f^^ 

. li'A 

■ "^-^ "'•*''" "!■:,,.-.'. 

First House in Johnstown, Built by Joseph Johns, Probably in 1793. 

was surveyed on a warrant issued by the commonwealth to 
Jacob Barge for three hundred and sixty acres, and allowance, 
on March 14, 1776, the warrant being dated February 7, 1776, 
by Thomas Smith, deputy surveyor. 

The survey has the following certificate attached : 

"A Draught of a Tract of Land called the "Stock Farms," 
situate on the West side of Stony Greek, about a Quarter of a 
Mile Distant from it. on the East side of Adams' Path, where 
the same crosses the Maple Swamp adjoining lands of Clement 
Biddle & others in Quemahoning Township, in the County of 
Bedford, containing three hundred and Sixty acres &: the usual 
Allowance of six per cent, for roads, &c., surveyed tlie 14th 
Day of March, 1776. for Jacob Barge, in Pursuance of a warrant 
dated the Seventh Dav of Februarv, 1776, bv Thomas Smith, 
Deputy Surveyor. 
''To John Luhens, Esq., Surveyor General." 


Reuben Haines purchased the warrant, and on June 24, 
1776, the commonwealth granted a patent to him for the Barge 
survey. Haines sold it to Abraham Lidden on August 19, 1776 ; 
Lidden sold it to John Lehman, Jr., on Februaiy 12, 1799, and 
Lehman sold it to Jacob Stover on March 1, 1800, for £141 
and thirty cents. 

On December 12, 1804, Jacob Stover and Joseph Shantz, 
or Johns, entered into an article of agreement by which the 
former agreed to convey '^'all that tract of land whereon the 
said Jacob Stover now lives with his family, it being one hun- 
dred and eighty acres and allowance," for £700. 

The compact was skillfully drawn by Abraham Hildebrand, 
an eminent justice of the peace of this place and subsequently 
one of the associate judges of the county, and was witnessed 
by him and Daniel Wertz on April 5, 1805. John McClean 
made a survey of the same for Mr. Johns. 

On April 9, 1805, Jacob Stover and Catharine, his wife, 
executed and delivered a deed to Mr. Johns for this land.. 

On the 16th of October, 1807, Joseph Johns purchased 
another tract of land, containing eighty-eight acres and allow- 
ances, situated in Conemaugh township, Somerset county, from 
David and Barbary Yoder, for £59 10,9. The commonwealth 
issued a patent to David Yoder on February 27, 1806, for this 
piece, which was described as bounded by the land of "Widow 
Lehman," "the Stonycreek River," and "vacant Stony Hill." 
In the Yoder deed the name of Mr, Johns, the grantee, is spelled 

Joseph Johns also owned the Robert Morris farm, located 
on the Quemahoning, about three miles above its mouth, but 
he sold it to John Borntrager, on April 9, 1812, for 350 pounds, 
Mr. Joseph Reininger is now the owner. 

Robert Morris, although not a native, was one of the great 
American patriots. He was one of the signers of the Declara- 
tion of Inde])endence. He was the great financier for the coun- 
try during the Revolutionary War, but misfortune came in a 
financial way, and he spent his later years in a debtor's prison. 
He died in Philadelphia May 8, 1806. He deserved a better fate 
at the hands of his countrymen. 

The farm in question is known as the John McSweny, or 
Sweny, warrant, which was dated April 3, 1769, for "three 
hundred acres of land, called Kickenypawlings Old Town, situ- 
ate on the Quemahoning creek, where the old road from Bed- 

Vol. 1—6 


ford to Fort Pitt crosses said creek, now in Qnemalioning town- 
ship, in the county of Bedford." This seems to be good proof 
that tlie Indian village of Kickanepawlin was not at Johnstown. 

McSweny, or Sweny, sold to William Hunter, of Peters 
township, Cumberland county, on January 22, 1772; Hunter 
conveyed it to Thomas Smith, of Bedford Town, for £200, on May 
9, 1778, and on the 21st of April, 1779, Smith sold it to "Robert 
Morris, of the city of Philadelphia, merchant," for £765. 

In 1813, three years after Mr. Johns' death, he having died 
without a will, partition proceedings were commenced in the 
orphans' court for Somerset county, and under date of No- 
vember 3, 1813, Alexander Ogle, clerk of the Orphans' court, 
certified that Joseph Johns, "the eldest son and heir at law," 
was the highest bidder, and awarded to him the one-hundred- 
and-eighty-acre tract at $10.71 per acre, and the eighty-eight- 
acre parcel at seventy-six cents per acre. 

The adjoining owners on the eighty-eight-acre tract were 
John S. Miller, Tobias Yoder, the Stonycreek river, and land 
of Carl Von Lunen. 

Joseph Johns, the second, held both tracts of land until 
April 22, 1867, a few months after the death of his wife, and 
less than a year before his death, when he sold the two hundred 
and sixt^'-eight acres to his son — Jose^jh Johns, the third — for 
$2,800. ' ■ 

This deed is in manuscript in its entirety and is skillfully 
dra^m, plainly and neatly written by Peter Levy, Esq., who al- 
ways did his work in tliat jnanner. Mr. Levy was a justice of 
the peace at Davidsville, within a mile of the Johns' homestead, 
for many years, and was probably as well acquainted with the 
family as any person could be, and, being a gentleman of in- 
telligence and education, his judgment should have great weight 
on questions not conclusively settled. In this deed he describes 
the parties thereunto as follows: "Between Joseph Shautz 
(Johns), widower, of the first part, and Joseph Sliantz (Johns), 
his son, of the second part." 

This was within the past forty years, and at that time 
in the judgment of 'Squire Levy the correct way to spell the 
name in a legal document was "Shantz," while it was com- 
monly known and used by the grantor and his neighbors as 
"Johns," as the latter name is within parenthesis, incorporated 
for the purpose of explanation. 

Joseph Johns, the first, with his unmarried sister Frainie, 


came to this country in 1769, as will appear by the following 
registry made at Philadelphia, where they disembarked: ''List 
of foreigners imported in the ship Nancy. Captain William 
Keyes from London, Qnaliiied September 1, 1769, * * * 
Joseph Schantz." * * * Their descendants of the present 
do not know anything in reference to their ancestors in Switzer- 
land, nor do they have any information as to what part of 
Switzerland they hailed from, as the brother and sister are the 
only persons of that family who embarked from the Old World 
for the New, and they located in Berks connty. It is known, 
liowever, that Joseph Johns was born November 8, 1749. 

At the time of his death he resided on the Jacob Stover 
farm, on which place he was also bnried in a private graveyard 
located on a knoll, which can be seen from the Davidsville 
Road. His wife and some of his descendants rest by his side. 
The inscriptions on the tomb-stones of the husband and wife are 
simply this : 

Joseph Johns, Feaney Johxs, 

Died Died 

Jan. 18, 1810. Dec. 15, 1833. 

Aged 60 vrs. 2 Aged 76 v. 8 m. 
mon. 10 d. 18 d. 

The family of Joseph Johns, and all publications relating 
to his death, fix the date as of January 18, 1810, it even so ap- 
pears on the tombstone, but is an error. It should be 1813, 
when he was sixtv-three vears of age instead of sixtv. The 
evidence of this appears on the records in the Somerset court. 
For instance, on April 9, 1812, Joseph Johns and Franey his 
wife conveved to John Burntrager the Robert Morris farm called 
the "Quemahon," on the old road from "Bedford to Fort Pitt." 
Both signed this deed, which shows it was two years after the 
date usually given as the date of his demise. Furthermore, on 
March 9, 1813. letters of administration were granted to Chris- 
tian Miller and Peter Blougli for his estate, and on the same day 
they filed their bond for $2,000 with Abraham Morrison and 
Frederick Neff as sureties. Also, Franey Johns, the widow, 
was entitled to the letters, but on March 8, 1813, she executed 
a renunciation of her right in favor of these gentlemen. The 
custom was and is yet to probate wills or take out letters of ad- 
ministration soon after the death. 

Joseph Johns, the Third, when his attention was called to 
this fact, admitted it might be true as thev did not have a record 


of the date, and the gravestone was not erected for a great 
many years after his death and likely they were mistaken. 
The administrators' final account disclosed that the decedent 
has in his jDOSsession i3ersonal property to the value of $2,- 
125.531/0, in addition to his real estate. 

Frainie Johns, his wife, who was Frainie Holly, of Berks 
county, was bom March 27, 1757, and died December 15, 1833, 
aged seventy-six years eight months and eighteen days. Mr. 
and Mrs. Johns had two sons — David and Joseph — and three 
daughters — Barbara, Vronie, and Sarah. 

• David was born July 30, 1779, and died when he was sev- 
enteen 3^ears old, while his parents lived in Johnstown. 

Barbara Jolms, born January 22, 1782, married John Born- 
trager, then a farmer, in Conemaugh township, Somerset county, 
but they moved to Lagrange county, Indiana, many years ago. 
She died May 1, 1870, aged eighty-eight years three months and 
twelve davs. 

Vronie, or sometimes called Frainie, her mother's name, 
was born January 22, 1786, and married John Holly, a son of 
David Holly, of Conemaugh township, Somerset county. They 
subsequently moved to Canada, where Mr. Holly died. His 
widow then married a Mr, Nell. She died in Peru, Indiana, in 
October, 1869, in the eighty-third year of her age. 

Sarah, born January 27, 1794, in Johnstown, married Chris- 
tian Eash, a farmer, of Conemaugh townshi]3, Somerset county. 

Joseph Johns, second in descent, married Nancy Blough. 
daughter of Jolm Blough, a farmer of Quemahoning township. 
He was born January 19, 1792, and died December 5, 1868, aged 
seventy-six years ten months and sixteen days, and Nancy, his 
wife, was born August 26, 1799, and died February 14, 1867, 
aged sixty-seven years five months and eighteen days. They had 
three sons — Daniel, John, and Joseph — and four daughters — 
Catharine, Sara, Annie, and Christina. Daniel, the eldest son, 
was born August 20, 1819, and he and Polly Yoder, a daughter 
of Joseph Yoder, of Somerset county, were married October 26, 
1841, and have resided near Middleburg, Elkhart county, In- 
diana, for many years. They have three daughters — Maria, 
born May 28, 1843 ; Lizzie, born December 3, 1845, married to 
John Stahley in December, 1868, and Catharine, born October 4, 
1860, married to Joseph D. Miller in March, 1879. Both mar- 
ried daughters reside near Middleburg, EUdiart county, Indiana. 
Catharine Johns, born November 1, 1820, married Samuel 


Slirock, of Somerset county, on March 19, 1850, and died Novem- 
ber 12, 1896. They moved to. Lagrange county, Indiana, soon 
after their marriage. They had three sons — John, born August 
15, 1852, now residing in Battle Creek, Michigan; Josepli, born 
May 1, 1854, in Ligonier, Indiana, and Samuel, bom February 
21, 1856, in Cleveland, Ohio. 

John Johns, born January 20, 1824, on November 17, 1844, 
married Catharine Yoder, a daughter of Christian Yoder, of 
Brothers Valley, Somerset county, and they also, located in La- 
grange county, Indiana, where they now reside. They have two 
sons and tive daughters : Judith, born April 11, 1847, married to 
Martin Baer in February, 1872, resides in Wellman, Iowa; 
Rosina, born November 4, 1848, married to John C. Hershberger 
in 1871, lives at Inman, Kansas; Daniel J., bom September 8, 
1850, married to Nancy Yoder in May, 1875, lives at Goshen, In- 
diana; Lena, born November 13, 1853, married to Peter C. 
Schrock in 1870, resides in Lagrange county, Indiana ; Jacob J., 
born July 24, 1856, died December 30, 1894, was married to Ma- 
linda M. Mehl in November, 1876, who died August 17, 1890, and 
in February, 1891, he married Mary^ Sunthimer, who sur\dves 
him; Amanda, born June 30, 1860, married John E. Miller 
in July, 1882, and now lives at Shipshewana, Lagrange county, 
Indiana; and Catharine, born February 13, 1868, married to 
Elias A. Borntrager in May, 1885, resides at Middleburg, In- 

Sara Johns was born November 22, 1822, and on December 
29, 1850, married Joseph Thomas, of Conemaugh township, 
Somerset county, where they now reside. They had three sons 
and one daughter: Valentine, bom October 31, 1851; Aaron, 
born July 23, 1853 ; Christina, born September 7, 1857, and Sam- 
uel, her twin brother, who died April 21, 1890. They reside in 
Somerset county. 

Annie Johns, the sixth child, was born May 13, 1831, and 
died November 7, 1891. She and Samuel Yoder, a son of Dan- 
iel Yoder, of Cambria county, residing in that part now known 
as Upper Yoder, were married October 17, 1851, and have three 
sons : Joseph S., born February 3, 1853 ; Daniel S., born October 
3, 1856, and Samuel S., born February 3, 1860. 

Christina Johns, the seventh child, was born February 11, 
1834, and on December 5, 1852, she was married to Sem Kauf- 
man, Jr., of Conemaugh township, Somerset county, where the 
couple have always lived. They had fourteen children — ten boys 



and four girls: Joseph, born February 19, 1854 — died March 11, 
1854; Isaac, born June 28, 1855; Xoah, born March 17, 1858; 
Anna, born July 21, 1860; David, born August 24, 1862 — died 
October 9, 1862; Bennett, born February 13, 1864; Eleasannah, 
born March 9, 1866— died May 28, 1889 ; Lizzie, born Augiist 24, 
1868; Katie, born September 7, 1870; Sem, the third, born May 
18, 1873— died May 19, 1873; Daniel, born May 27, 1874; Amos, 
bom July 29, 1876 — died February 1, 1877; Menno, born May 2, 
1878— died April 16, 1879; and Austin, born May 27, 1883, and 
died on the same day. 

Joseph Johns, the third in descent, was born June 14, 1826, 

Joseph Johns, III. 

on the farm where he now resides, and where his grandfather lo- 
cated after he moved from Johnstown. He and Lydia Kaufman, 
a daughter of Mr. Sem Kaufman, lately deceased, of Conemaugh 
township, were married April 7, 1850. Mrs. Johns was born No- 
vember 18, 1832, and died November 9, 1896, aged sixty-three 
years eleven months and twenty-one days. They have had three 
sons — Sem K., Moses K., and David K., and three daughters — 
Lizzie, Barbara and Fannie. 

Sem K. Johns was born February 25, 1851, and now resides 
on a farm in Conemaugh township, Somerset county. 

Closes K. Johns was born July 22, 1852, and lives at Hills- 
boro, in Paint township, Somerset county. 


David K. Johns was born December 15, 1855, and died Octo- 
ber 29, 1872. 

Lizzie Johns was born December 13, 1858, and on November 
14, 1875, married Mr. Aaron Swank, a farmer, who for the past 
fourteen years has resided on the Johns homestead, and culti- 
vates it. 

Barbara Johns was bom June 21, 1861, and married Mr. 
Henry Rish, a merchant of Davidsville, Somerset county. 

Fannie Johns was born December 31, 1864, and on January 
22, 1882, she married Mr. Harry Custer, of Ingleside, Cambria 

Joseph Johns the founder, was among the pioneers who cul- 
tivated the land about Johnstown, probably being preceded only 
by Samuel and Solomon Adams, who located on Solomon's Run, 
in the Seventh ward of the City of Johnstown. He was a self- 
made man, arriving in Berks county with no friend or acquaint- 
ance, except his sister; no wealth, saving good health and a 
strong character for honesty, industry and frugality. He, as 
well as most of his descendants, was, and are, members of the 
Amish congregation. 

Joseph Johns, the third, has the family Bible of his grand- 
father, with the memoranda of the family records in his writing. 
It is a German Bible printed in 1776, by Christoph Sauer, of 
Germantown, who was the first publisher of the Bible, printed 
in German, in America. 

Mr. Johns, the elder was a Federalist, a follower of Alex- 
ander Hamilton, and his children and grandchildren were 
Whigs. Those living now are Republicans. 

There is some confusion in the orthography and pronuncia- 
tion of the family name. The early records seem to indicate 
that it may have been spelled, using the English letters, as 
Yontz. In some of the deeds signed by the founder the J's in 
Joseph and Johns are not made alike, arid it may be that the 
latter is intended for a Y, or probably an S, as it is conceded 
1)y his people that in the early days the name was pronounced 
Shonz. But for many years it has been and is now correctly 
spelled J-o-h-n-s. 

Joseph Johns, the elder, was five feet six inches in height 
and weighed one hundred and seventy-five pounds. He was 
small in stature, but large in l)one and sinew, and had great 
strength and endurance. His wife — Frainie Johns — was a large 
woman, and, in her later years, never so well contented as when 


knitting or preparing flax thread and making clothing. Mr. 
Jolms, the third, has two small balls of linen thread, one white 
and the other an indigo blue, which she spun from flax and 
colored over seventy-five years ago. It is very smooth and even, 
without knots- or defects, very strong, and has a delicate lustre 
notwithstanding its age. He has also a deerskin from a deer 
shot by his grandfather while he lived in Johnstown. It ex- 
hibits the holes where the bullet penetrated and passed out of 
the deer's body in the hind leg. The skin was tanned by his 
grandfather by what was known as the alum process, and is 
yet as soft and velvety as the finest chamois. He had three 
deerskins and gave one to his son Joseph, who gave it in turn 
to his son Joseph. The others are in other branches of the 

Joseph Johns, the first, was, like all the pioneers, an expert 
marksman, and while living in Johnstown shot many bears, deer, 
wolves, and much smaller game. On one occasion he shot what 
he believed was a wolf, but, after a closer examination, he was 
undecided, as it looked very much like a dog belonging to one 
of his neighbors. To clear up the doubt he went to the neigh- 
bor's house, and there found the dog in good health. When he 
lived at what is now the corner of Vine and Levergood streets, 
many articles of wearing apparel, such as coats, vests, and 
trousers, were made for himself and sons from skins which he 
tanned, having previously killed the original wearer. 

Joseph Johns, the second, was five feet seven inches in 
height — one inch taller than his father — and weighed about two 
hundred pounds. 

Joseph Johns, the third, is five feet seven and one-fourth 
inches tall, and ordinarily weighs one hundred and sixty-five 
pounds. In his eighty-first year he is in good health, with a 
strong constitution, a ruddy complexion, and an abundance of 
silvery hair. 

The most eventful incident in the lives of Joseph Johns, 
the second and his son — Joseph Johns, the third — was the brutal 
robbery committed at their home on Saturday night, May 15, 
1852. , 

About 9 o'clock that evening six men from the town where 
Joseph Johns, the founder, had dedicated to the public the 
squares, playgrounds, school lots and other popular places of 
resort and use, went to the farmhouse built by him and asked 
for something to eat, which was handed to them from a sliding 


window. Presently tliey threw their weight against the door 
and broke in, when a struggle took place, and the father and son 
were brutally beaten, the nose of the son being broken, which 
mark he carries to this day. 

Both of them were overpowered, hound hand and foot, and 
laid on the kitchen floor, after which the robbers went through 
the house and procured about $300 in money. The son succeed- 
ed in freeing himself, and started to Davidsville for assistance. 
Going to the hotel kept by Cyrus Shaffer, he made known what 
had just occurred at home. He, with his broken nose and bloody 
appearence, and a number of gentlemen, among them being 
Josiah and Samuel Waters, Daniel and John Border, John 
Seigh, Nelson and Leonard Fearl and John Inscho, at once 
started for the Johns homestead, but the burglars had departed 
and the elder Mr. Johns was lying on the bench, bleeding pro- 

Fac-similes Joseph Johns III. First one in German. 

fusely from the wounds inflicted in the struggle. A large bowie 
knife and some clubs had been left at the house. 

The rolibers were at this time unknown, but the next morn- 
ing the neighbors were on the alert and roads and fields were 
closely examined for marks in the mud on the road and in the 
freshly-plowed fields. A short distance below the farmhouse 
of Isaac Kaufman Josiah Waters found a footprint alongside 
the plank road, and, it being a peculiar one he examined it close- 
ly and said it was "Yell Zook's crooked foot." His associates 
came to the same conclusion, and they liastened to Johnstown 
and arrested Zook, who was taken to the Mansion House, on the 
corner of Main and Franklin streets, where the Dibert building 
now stands. Zook at once made a confession and said his com- 
panions in the crime were John Shaffer, known at that time as 
"Bully Shaffer," a boatman with a great reputation as a rough- 
and-tumble fighter; Daniel Ewing, and three others, named 
James W. Miller, Jacob Patton, and Andrew J. Young. 


Ewing was arrested at Coshun's coal bank, now in Cone- 
mangli township, Cambria county, by sending in a bloodhound 
and scaring him out. Shatfer was apprehended at Columbia, 
Pennsylvania, and the others, excepting Young, were soon in 
Somerset jail. Before the trial Ewing broke jail and was never 
heard of afterward. 

The trial took place in Somerset in August of that year 
before Judge Kimmell, when John R. Edie, Esq., subsequently 
a member of congress and a colonel in the regular army, was 
district attorney, Zook was not indicted, but betrayed his con- 
federates and went on the witness stand for the commonwealth, 
although it was he who planned the robbery and procured their 
help to carry it out. Shaffer, Miller and Patton were sentenced 
to seven years' imprisonment, but Shaffer was pardoned after 
a period of three years, and for many years afterward kept 
hotel at Duncansville^ Blair county. 

A portion of the $300 — about one-third — was the savings 
of Joseph Johns, the third, in five and ten-dollar gold pieces. 
It seems Shaffer did the dividing of the spoils in a house over 
the basin waste weir, between the corner of Clinton and Wash- 
ington streets and the Gautier Works, in Johnstown and, shak- 
ing some of the gold pieces, said, "these pennies are not much 
account," and put them in his pocket, thus defrauding his 
criminal associates, as he had Mr. Johns. 

Neither the grandfather, nor the son, ever sat for a portrait, 
daguerreotype, photograph, or any other kind of a picture of 
themselves. At the period when the elder Mr. Johns lived there 
was no opportunity for such things, except to have an oil port- 
rait, and such artists were scarce in the vicinity in which he re- 
sided; but it is most probable he would not have had a likeness 
if he could, on a question of principle, as his son — Joseph, the 
second — declined to do so because it tended to vanity, which 
these good people abhorred. The grandson absolutely declined 
to sit for a photograph, but he qualified his refusal by saying: 
"Some of the children have theirs, but I do not need it." How- 
ever in 1904 he reconsidered his former opinion. 



It is admitted that the best map of Western Pennsylvania 
during the colonial days is that of "W. Scnll," dedicated to 
Thomas and Richard Penn, without date, but generally said to 
have been made in 1770. 

It shows the Venango trail as beginning at Frankstown, 
thence to the top of the Allegheny mountains, most likely through 
the Burgeon Gap; crossing the Clearfield and Chest creeks, 
it passes through ''Hart's Sleeping Place," near CarroUtown, 
thence in a direct line to "Canoe Place," or Cherry Tree, from 
where the trail runs to the junction of the Allegheny river and 
French creek. Scull's map also describes the Bedford-Pitts- 
burg trail thus : Starting at Bedford and passing through the 
"Shawnese Cabbins," at the foot of the eastern slope of the 
mountains, thence to the summit. A short distance from the 
top of the mountains is "Edmonds' Swamp," then crossing the 
Stonycreek and the Quemahoning creeks and a direct line to Fort 
Ligonier, thence to Fort Pitt. The "Long Glade" and the 
"Great Glades" are a few miles south of the swamps. 

There is another map without date pulilished by the state, al- 
so dedicated to the Penns, which locates the Indian village at the 
junction of the Conemaugh and Stonycreek rivers, now Johns- 
town, and marks it thus: "Conemack, Old Town and Sauvages." 
Also, at a point opposite the mouth of the Loyalhanna river, 
which is now Saltsburg, is marked "Black Town Sauvages," 
and further down the Kiskiminetas river another Indian village 
is shown. On the Ohio river the villages are indicated thus : 
"Sewicklys, Old Town, Sauvages," and "Chartiers' Old Town, 

These records are important in view of the fact that when 
Joseph Johns laid out what is now the city of Johnstown, he 
named it "Conemaugh Old Town," or at least the person who 
prepared the document made it that way. It seems clear that 
the words "Old Town" were not a part of the name of the place, 
but were given by the early surveyors to explain that the village 


was an old Indian town, and in no sense to be a part of the 

The Pennsylvania Historical Society of Philadelphia has 
pnblished a map of the early days of the province, which discloses 
the Kittanning trail as beginning- at Frankstown, below Holli- 
daysburg, thence throngh Bnrgoon's Gap, at what is now known 
as Kittanning Point, to the top of the monntains. There it 
diverges, one going northwest direct to Cherry Tree and Kit- 
tanning, and the other one taking a southwesterly course follows 
the Little Conemangh river to Johnstown. 

These maps show other places mentioned in the several 
schedules of distances given by Weiser, Harris and others. 
For instance, Dunning's creek begins on the eastern slope and 
empties into the Eaystown branch of the Juniata, east of Bed- 
ford. The ''4 mile Eun," the "9 mile Eun," and the ''12 mile 
Eun" are streams which empty into the Loyalhanna river west 
of Fort Ligonier, crossed by the Pittsburg-Bedford trail. 

The Kittanning trail was the route over which Colonel 
John Armstrong conducted his expedition to destroy the French 
and Indian out post at Kittanning. 

In his elaborate report Colonel Armstrong states: "On 
Wednesday the 3d instant, (September, 1756), we joined our 
advance party at Beaver Dams, a few miles from Frankstown, 
on the north branch of the Juniata. We were there informed 
that some of our men having been out on a scout had discovered 
the tracks of two Indians, on this side (east) of the Allegheny 
mountains, arid but a few miles from camp. * * The next 
morning we decamjoed, and in two days came within fifty miles 
of Kittanning. It was then adjudged necessary to send some 
persons to reconnoiter the town and to get the best intelligence 
they could concerning the situation and the position of the 
enemy. Whereupon an officer with one of the pilots and two 
soldiers were sent off for that purpose. The day following we 
met them on their return, and they informed us that the roads 
were entirely clear of the enemy, and they had the greatest reas- 
on to believe they were not discovered. * * " 

It will appear that on September 4th the expedition halted 
in the vicinity of Canoe Place, or Cherry Tree, to await the in- 
formation desired. Eeceiving that, Colonel Armstrong continued 
his way and attacked the force at Kittanning, which he complete- 
ly routed, and destroyed the town. The French and Indians re- 
tiring to Fort Duquesne, now Pittsburg, removed the enemy 


from that portion of the colony. The loss to Armstrong's 
command was forty-nine; 17 killed; 13 womided and 19 missing, 
and a nnmber of prisoners held there by the Indians were re- 

The result was so important that the city of Philadelphia 
tendered him and his men a vote of thanks, and appropriated 
150 ponnds for a medal for the Colonel and to give relief to the 
widows and children of the soldiers lost. 

There were three Indian paths leading from the Allegheny 
river to Philadelphia, which passed through what was and is 
now Cambria county. The Quemahoning trail from Bedford to 
Ligonier crossing the Quemahoning creek at Kickenapaling's 
Indian village, now in Somerset county; the Conemaugh, follow- 
ing the river to Johnstown thence to Bedford, and the Kit- 
tanning trail from Kittanning to Frankstown. However, the 
first highway for teams and wagons was the military' road con- 
structed by Colonel Boquet in 1758, to take his army to Fort 
Duquesne, which passed near to Stoystown. 

The Bedford and Johnstown road is the oldest one in the 
county, and ends at the comer of Main and Bedfords streets, 
Johnstown. It was opened for travel so early that there are no 
records of it. It was the most direct route between these points, 
and may have been travelled as early as 1731, when it was 
simply a trail to the nearest block house at Bedford. It was 
used by Solomon and Samuel Adams and their sister Rachel 
between 1760 and 1770. At that time it came down Solomon's 
Run to Adam's mill, subsequently John Horner's mill, on the 
northerly side of the Von Lunen road, in the vSeventh ward. The 
old road passed Salix three miles to the south of that town. It 
has been changed in many places, but it is substantially the same 
road between these points that the pioneers and the Indians 
used as a path. It was upon this road that Samuel Adams was 
killed by the Indians in 1771, as noted elsewhere. 

The Kittanning Trail, or Burgoon's Gap Road, was one of 
the northerly pathways between Bedford and Kittanning, or 
Lake Erie, at a very early date, at least in 1754. It led from 
Frankstown to what is now known as Kittanning Point on the 
Pennsylvania railroad, where there are two gaps. The Kit- 
tanning trail was in the northeasterly gap and passed through 
Clearfield township, Hart's Sleeping Place, near Carrolltown, 
thence through Susquehanna township to Kittanning. This road 
was not in use in 1816, excepting through the Burgoon Gap, the 


southwesterly gap at Kittanning Point, tlienee passing Cad- 
walladers, and Elder's Mill, in Gallitzin township to Loretto. 
The Burgoon, or the Dry Gap road to Captain Michael McGuire 
was used prior to 1789, when the Galbreath road was opened, 
through Blair's Gap to Frankstown. 

On April 6, 1787, the executive council for the province of 
Pennsylvania appointed Charles Campbell, of "Westmoreland 
county, James Harris, of Cumberland county, surveyor, and 
Solomon Adams of Bedford county, Commissioners to lay out 
a highway between the navigable waters of the Frankstown 
branch of the Juniata and the river Conemaugh, agreeable to 
the act of assembly of March 29, 1787. Charles Campbell was 
the grandfather of Joseph H. Campbell, formerly a resident 'of 
Ebensburg. He is also the same person who took out the war- 
rant for the land on which Johnstown is now located. Solomon 
Adams is the same Mr. Adams who occupied the tract of land 
known as ''Adams Mill Site," in the Seventh ward of the city, 
and extending along Solomon's run, later acquired by John 

On September 25, 1788, the bid of Kobert Galbreath, of Bed- 
ford, was accepted. He otfered to make a good public road to 
lead "from Frankstown to the mouth of Loyalhanning creek," 
fifteen feet in width, except at places where digging or bridges 
were necessary, which were to be twelve feet, for three hun- 
dred and ninety-three pounds in specie, or about $1,906. Hugh 
Davidson and Andrew Henderson were his sureties for the faith- 
ful performance of the work. On January -l, 1790, Mr, Gal- 
breath made this report to the council: 

"Agreeably to a contract made with your honorable Board 
in September 1780, I have proceeded to open the road from 
Frankstown, in Huntingdon county to the mouth of the Black- 
lick, in Westmoreland county, &: having compleated the same as 
will appear by the enclosed certificates, take the liberty of re- 
questing a performance of the contract. 

"I also beg leave to inform the Honorable Board, that at 
the time I undertook this Business it was with a full conviction 
that the distance was no more than fortv three miles ao-reeablv 
to the Draughts made by the Commissioners appointed to lay 
out the road. Whereas the real distance measured after Com- 
pleating the Business (the chain carrier being previously sworn) 
is fifty four miles, & the Comm'rs in surveying the road after 
running several different courses laid down the draught in a 
straight line from the first to the last which will appear by a 
copy of the field notes obtained from Mr. Harris. 1 was con- 


seqiientlv obliged at a considerable expense to do what they have 
already been paid for in addition to the exyjense of clearing the 
Road eleven miles fnrther than I had any Idea of when I made 
the contract. Confident of the Jnstice of your Honorable Board 
I appeal to it on this occasion. Shonld any further Information 
on the subject be deemed necessary I would be happy in laying 
it before you or any Committee for the purpose." 

Thence follow the field notes, which appear in the first 
series of Archives, in volume 11, at page 656. The road was laid 
out in August, 1790, beginning at a buttonwood on the branch 
of the Juniata near Dan Titus, thence up near Blair's run; 
thence to a beech on the top of the Allegheny mountains ; thence 
to a branch of the Clearfield creek; thence to a beech at Robin- 
son's Improvements; thence to a beech over the north branch 
of the Conemaugh river above the Great Elk Lick; thence to a 
small branch of the Conemaugh river running southward 620 
to a chestnut ; thence across several small branches of the river 
to the top of the Laurel Hill, thence to the mouth of the Black- 
lick creek below Blairsville. There are recorded four certi- 
ficates from persons who had examined the road and approved, 
it, namely: Captain Michael McGuire, James Karr, Daniel Titus, 
and Joseph McCartney, who said ''One wagon I have seen that 
had come from Frankstown to the West side of Laurel Hill and 
heard no complaints." The certificate of Captain Michael Mc- 
Guire, dated November 30, 1789, is thus: "I do certify that I 
have travelled the new road opened by Robert Galbreath, Esq., 
from Frankstown to Conemaugh and found it sufficiently 
opened, and found the Digging and Bridging Compleatly finished 
where it was necessary, and Likewise Drove My Waggon with up- 
wards of Twenty Hundred over the Alleghany Mountains with 
Ease ; Nor Did I find any difficulty in any Parts of the Road so 
far as I had occasion to travel it." 

The Galbreath, or the Frankstown road, ran along the 
ridge almost to Munster, thence it took a southward course and 
passed Ebensburg about four miles to the south ; thence to and 
across the Laurel Hill. The popular Frankstown avenue in the 
city of Pittsburg is the westerly terminus of this road ; however, 
the part in Cambria county has long been abandoned. The ob- 
jection that it was too far south seemed to be sustained, as a 
report stated: "But from information of other as well as my 
own observation I am convinced that by continuing upon the 
dividing ridge which separates the waters of Connemach from 


those of the Clearfield and Chest, a good road may be had 
several miles shorter, and much easier made. * * Indeed these 
mountains (except some of the east side of the Allegheny) are 
no obstruction to the road; they are capable of a close settlement 
the whole way across, but the lands being already appropriated 
by such as do not choose to live on them. There is more than 
thirty miles without a house." This report is neither dated or 
signed. The exception seems to have been dismissed and a 
settlement made with Mr. Gralbreath. 

There is confusion in the name of the Frankstown road, 
as there were two highways of that name. The second one was 
authorized by the province, April 10, 1792, (3 Smith, 85), to 
lead from ''Frankstown to Conemaugh, (Johnstown) at the 
mouth of the Stoney creek, and from thence to the northwest 
side of the Chestnut ridge, at or near Thomas Trimbles." This 
road was, completed that year as it appears on the Howell map 
of 1792. It has been of great service and is as yet the direct 
route from Johnstown to Hollidaysburg. It was a prominent 
highway while the canal system was in operation. The road 
is thirty-three miles in length between these jDoints, and passes 
through the northerly joart of the Cedar swamp and below the 
old reservoir to Johnstown. 

The route, at least that part of it west of Johnstown, was 
probably changed by the act of assembly dated April 11, 1799, 
(3 Smith, 385), for the convenience of the people between 
"Frankstown and Ligonier Valley." The Hudson and Morrison 
ma]) of 1816 shows two roads from Johnstown leading to the 
west, one on each side of the Conemaugh river, which were prob- 
ably the continuation of the Frankstown road to Johnstown. 
Neither of them have been in use for very many years, but 
evidence still appears that they were one time. Mr. James L. 
Shields, now residing in Blairsville, travelled the road on the 
south side of the river before the canal was constructed, and 
before there was a bridge erected over either the Conemaugh or 
the Stony creek rivers below their junction at Johnstown. He 
was then about sixteen years of age, and crossed the Conemaugh 
river at the Point in a little rowboat which was conducted as a 
sort of a ferry. The westerly landing was about where the west 
abutment of the Pennsylvania railroad stone bridge is now lo- 

A petition was presented to the court of quarter sessions 
for Somerset county at the September term, 1798, for the ap- 


pointment of viewers to lay out a road rimiiiiig west from the 
Hmitington county line, near Beula. On December 17, 1798, 
(Road docket A, page 137), the report of John J. Evans, Simon 
James, Peter Galbreath, William Seamy, Ebenezer Hickling 
and Thomas W. James appears. They laid out a road "from 
the Huntingdon County line at the Dividing Ridge between that 
county and Somerset County where the new cut road from 
Frankstown to the town of Beula to the Westmoreland County 
line on the north end of Laurel Hill," passing through the 
** center of the town of Beula", 

At the December term, 1800, a petition was presented de- 
scribing the situation very clearly as follows: "That a road 
hath lately been laid out from the Town of Somerset to the Town 
of Beula passing by or near a place known by the name of 
Samuel Steel's saw mill. Also, that one other road from Somer- 
set to Beula aforesaid hath been laid out as 'tis presumed 
pursuant to order or orders hitherto issued by the said court, 
which l)oth roads we understand will at the present Sessions 
be presented for confirmation. In the laying out the two roads 
aforesaid the said petitioners agree there is great propriety as 
they swerve from each other so as that the one materially ac- 
commodates the neighborhood of Stoystown and the other in a 
less degree as tis at present surveyed accommodates Benn's 
Creek settlement, yet, under the impression that the road in- 
tended to accomodate Benn's Creek and its neighborhood more 
fully the petitioners pray the said Court to nominate and ap- 
point a sufficient number of suitable persons to review that part 
of the said road (meaning the AVestermost route to Beula) which 
lies between John Reed's saw mill and Somerset". The court 
appointed Daniel Miller, Andrew Neel, John Borntrager, Jacob 
Berkey, John McQuiller and John Rhoads to review and ex- 
amine the ground, and make such alterations as were necessary. 
The road was substantially laid out on what is now the Somer- 
set and Johnstown road. 

At the February term, 1801, of the court of common pleas 
for Somerset county, another petition was presented to change 
the route of another part of the Beula road as follows. "The 
petition of divers inhabitants in Somerset County humbly 
showeth that your petitioners on the west side of the Allegheny 
Mountains in said township of Cambria in said County humbly 
pray for a review of the road that leads from Frankstown to 
Beula from Thomas B. Durbin's house to a mile on the East 

Vol. I — 7 • 


side of the lattle Conemaugli on said road." Finding it to be 
three miles shorter than the other route, they consider it bet- 
ter. These petitioners were Thomas Braniff, Patrick Braniff, 
Michael Braniff, Arthur McGongh, Andrew Mikesil, A. Weis- 
ener, Tom Welch, William Dodson, Martin Mikesil, Sr., William 
Dickson, Martin Mikesil, Jr., Michael Diamond, Samuel Long- 
streth, Daniel Diamond, Sr., Daniel Diamond, Jr., Samuel White 
and Isaac Crum. 

An examination of the Hudson and Morrison map of 1816 
does not show that the Beula road was ever opened between 
Johnstown and Beula, and the only evidence of it is the fording 
just above the Franklin street bridge, which is called the "Beula 
fording" to this day. 

The Act of Assembly dated April 8, 1833 (P. L. 365), ap- 
pointed Charles Ogle, John Witt, John McMullen, John Bell, 
Jesse Griffith, Samuel Kimmeil, Peter Levy, Garret Keam and 
Peter Levergood to organize the Somerset and Conemaugh 
Turnpike Company to make a turnpike road from the borough 
of Somerset to the canal basin at Johnstown. This took the 
place of the old Beula road. The new pike came through Mor- 
ris street to the south end of the Franklin street bridge. The 
old Kernville covered bridge was erected at that point in 1836, 
and it was the first bridge across the Stonycreek river below 
Fox's fording bridge. The old Beula road followed the Stony- 
creek bank from Poplar street bridge to the Beula ford. The 
borough of Johnstown purchased the rights of the turnpike com- 
pany to Morris street, now Franklin, in the Fifth and Sixth 
wards in 1883. 

The Huntingdon, Cambria and Indiana turnpike was au- 
thorized March 10, 1810, but letters patent incorporating the 
company were not issued until February 15, 1815. This road 
is now known as the stone pike leading from Holliclaj'sburg 
through Ebensburg to Blairsville, thence to Pittsburg. 

In addition to this northern pike there were three other 
turnpikes crossing the mountains south of Johnstown. The 
first was the National Pike from Cumberland to Wheeling, au- 
thorized April 9, 1807, but not completed until 1821; the Bed- 
ford and Somerset pike by the act of March 9, 1814; the Bed- 
ford and Stoyestown pike, on March 8, 1815, and the Stoyestown 
and Greensburg pike the same day. On March 27, 1819, another 
road was authorized to be made between Ebensburg and In- 
diana. The old covered bridge at Blairsville, built in 1820, 



was at that time the finest one in the western part of the coun- 
try. It was destroyed by the Johnstown flood of May 31, 1889. 
The Northern pike was finished in 1821, and the Bedford and 
Stoystown pike in 1818. The first year the Northern pike was 
in operation the amount received from tolls was $5,838,25, and 
the expenses $4,267.60. There were six toll gates ten miles 
apart ; two, seven and a half miles and one only five miles dis- 
tant from another. The construction of the Northern turnpike 
reduced the charge for hauling pig metal from Huntingdon and 
Center counties to Pittsburg to twenty dollars and thirty dol- 
lars per ton, which before had been between fifty dollars and 
eighty dollars. 

The following are the details of the construction of the three 
princii)al pikes nearest to Johnstown, dated March 23, 1822: 




o ,_^ 


Bedford and Stoystown. 281/2 All $40,400 $104,000 $6,211.22 

Somerset and Bedford... 33 15 40,000 12,500 3,000.22 

Huntingdon, Cambria 
and Somerset 80 80 55,950 171,850 3,435.22 






National Pike 80 80 8,000 

The road from El^ensburg to Summerhill was the first road 
ordered to be opened by the court after its organization in the 
new county. It was presented to Judge Young, who had as his 
associate judges Abraham Hildebrand and George Roberts, on 
December 3, 1807 ; the return was made and ordered to be opened 
March 8, 1808. It led from Ebensburg to Croyle's mill, on the 
Little Conemaugh river, now known as Summerhill. Thomas 
Croyle established a mill there about 1801. A bridge was erect- 
ed across the river at a very early date, but it was washed away 
in the spring flood of 1824, and was immediately rebuilt. An- 
other road was opened from the mill to connect with the Franks- 
town road on the top of the hills on the south side of the river. 

The Phillipsburg road is the oldest county road extending 
north of Ebensburg. The proceedings were begun June 20th, 
1808, but the viewers did not make their return until Decem- 
ber 3, 1811. The petitioners represented that they ''suffer great 
injury for the want of a road from the town of Ebensburg to 
join that one beina: made bv the order of the Court of Centre 



county from Phillipsbiirg to the line of the connty of Clear- 
field, near the Great Forks of Clearfield creek. That the ground 
is such as to admit of a good wagon road being made at a mod- 
erate expense." The viewers were Samuel McMullen, Zephania 
Weakland, William O'Keefe, Luke McGuire, David Todd and 
John Glass. They recommended it to be kept up by the super- 
visors of Allegheny township, and to be thirty feet in width. It 
passed through Loretto and the improvements of Delozier, 
Meloy's, Samuel McMullen, A. Anderson and Nugent. 

On September 9, 1819, the Court appointed Peter Lever- 
good, Isaac Proctor, Samuel Hildebrand, Shepley Priestly, 
Leavy Koberts and Christian Good viewers to lay out a public 
road between Johnstown and Ebensburg. The Northern pike 
was then in the course of construction. On October 9 they re- 
Dorted that thev had laid out such a road to lead from "Johns- 
town to the Turnpike road at Bellewes Cabbins," to be thirty- 
five feet in width. This is substantially the road which now 
connects with the old stone pike at Munday's. It has been the 
principal road for driving between these points, and is the best 
road at this date. The distance is eighteen miles, and many 
interesting tales are told of fast driving in the early days of 
sleighing, or in less than two hours when it was favorable. 
On one occasion within recent years, a Johnstown mer- 
chant desiring to get a writ of execution ahead of one which 
had been sent by mail on the morning train, employed J. C. 
Pender to drive him in a two horse l)uggy under contract to 
reach Lbensburg before the railroad train, which he did in one 
hour and ten minutes, and secured the first fieri facias and got 
his money, too. 

After the completion of the Old Portage railroad the fav- 
ored route from Johnstown was by railroad to Jefferson, now 
Wilmore. then driving to Ebensburg. However, since the com- 
pletion of the Ebensburg branch in 1861, the best manner of 
traveling is by the Pennsylvania railroad via Cresson. 

Prior to 1821, the only road between Ebensburg and Johns- 
town was via Croyle's road and bridge, now Summerhill, thence 
to the Frankstown road into the town. 

On October 25, 1818, a road was laid out from the Som- 
erset county line at Garrett Reams' to the south end of Frank- 
lin street — at that time at the Kernville bridge, ^^^lat is now 
known as Franklin street through the Fifth and Sixth wards 
was named and known as Morris street. In 1821, Januarv 2. 


another road to lead from the Somerset county line, at or 
near Henry Miltenberger's to Johnstown was opened. 

On June 3, 1817, the court appointed Adam Cover, Will- 
iam Spencer and A. Murphy viewers to meet viewers on the 
part of Somerset county to locate a bridge across the Stony- 
creek at or near Fox's Fording, which was near the Red bridge, 
or what is now known as Kring's. This was the first bridge 
across the Stonycreek river. In traveling between Somerset 
and Beula or Ebensburg, the Stonycreek river was crossed at 
the Beula fording at the Franklin street bridge when fordable, 
but when the water was high it was necessary to cross at Fox's 

On the same day another board of viewers were appointed 
to locate a bridge across the Little Conemaugh at or near Johns- 
town. It is probably located a little north of the Walnut street 
bridge, but it was the first erected in the town. There were but 
two. other bridges in the county — one at Croyle's and the other 
at Fox's fording prior to 1816. The order to locate a county 
bridge at Fox's fording, dated June 3, 1817, authorized the 
second bridge at that place. It was so selected on account of 
it being the most economical place for a bridge. 




On National affairs, Cambria was substantially a Demo- 
cratic county until 1893, when it became Republican. 

The system of our government is a subject of much inter- 
est to all classes; therefore, it is necessary to a proper under- 
standing of county politics, to acquire correct knowledge of the 
national parties and their leaders. The political organizations 
in the townships are a part of the great system which controls 
the federal government. 

When the federal government was formed in 1789 there 
was but one party of any strength- — the Federal party — of which 
Washington, Hamilton, Jay, Adams, Marshall, Roger Sher- 
man, Richard Heniy Lee, Pinckney, and Fisher Ames were the 
leaders. They continued in control until 1800, when a disagree- 
ment with John Adams caused the election of Thomas Jeffer- 
son. The differences had been smoldering for a long time, and 
being so far apart it was certain to cause the division. The 
Federalists advocated a central government, a protective tar- 
iff, a national currency, and many other policies which now 
prevail in the Republican party, or, in other words, it is bet- 
ter to have one nation than to have forty-six single states, each 
antagonistic to the other. 

When Jefferson succeeded to the Presidency in 1801, he or- 
ganized among the farmers and planters what was known as 
the Republican-Democratic party as against the industrial es- 
tablishments, or the workmen of the shops and mills. 

For a time, the Federalist was a northern party, and the 
Republican-Democratic, a southern one. So far as national 
politics were concerned, the former died about 1817, and locally 
throughout the north about 1823. 

The party of Thomas Jefferson continued in control of 
the general government, with three exceptions — John Quincy 
Adams, Harrison-Tyler, and Taylor-Fillmore administrations — 
until the election of Mr. Lincoln; since that event, with one ex- 
ception, 1893 to 1897 — the presidency and congress have been 


under Republican rule. It is true, Cleveland was president 
from 1885 to 1889, but the senate was Republican, and at times 
the Democrats had control of the lower house of congress, but 
the latter never had full control except under Cleveland's sec- 
ond term. 

Jelferson was opposed to a war with England, and thereby 
he was humiliated by both England and France, especially by 
the former in the impressment of American seamen. Jeffer- 
son induced congress to pass the embargo act, which did more 
harm to America than to England. Notwithstanding these con- 
ditions, Madison, a follower of Jefferson, was elected president 
in 1808. 

The first presidential election in Cambria county was lield 
on Monday, November 7, 1808, and the election in 1812 was 
on Friday, October 30; as late as 1836, it was held on Friday, 
November 4, and in 1840 it was held on Friday, October 30, "be- 
ing the fifth Friday preceding the first Wednesday of Decem- 

A reference to the table of votes cast for this office shows 
that there were but 62 votes for Madison, and 7 for Pinckney, 
in the five polling places in the county; one at the house of 
Cornelius McGuire, in Allegheny township; one at the resi- 
dence of John Braniff; one in the court house at Ebensburg 
for Cambria township ; one at the dwelling of Mary Beatty, in 
Johnstown; and one at the house of John Grossnickle, near 
Geistown, for Conemaugh township. 










— — 













— . 


' ' 

— 1 











— ! 

— s 











— , 












3 \ 










































































Townships 1808 1812 1816 1820 1824 1828 1832 

Allegheny 19 3 21 21 23 .. 10 10 .. 1 47 21 63 16 

Cambria 27 2 40 3 46 .. 22 37 1 2 53 27 83 27 

Clearfield 7 . . . . 12 2 25 3 

Conemaugh 16 2 13 18 1 23 8 23 4 .. 80 23 113 36 

Jackson 9 7 41 2 

Summerhill 15 8 5 . . 7 ID . . . . 95 13 119 10 

Susquehanna 18 1 25 2 

Totals 62 7 89 50 75 23 47 87 5 3 314 94 469 96 

< ■=. — < -t Z 7? :? y. '^ '? "^ 

§ 32 = ^ < %. 'i^S-S- i 

? §' i" ? M 2 =^ ^ "' S; 3 i 



— o 

r^ -=. 





Districts 1836 1840 1844 1848 1852 1856 

Allegheny 57 40 76 106 126 86 129 99 163 117 344 29 

Blacklick 29 41 40 51 

Cambria 56 105 158 77 100 212 124 243 75 171 62 176 

Carroll 26 45 54 42 59 68 121 89 287 31 

Chest 84 5 

Clearfield 20 17 8 49 67 16 85 25 111 35 166 25 

Conemaugh 94' 198 258 194 150 198 229 282 173 206 337 372 

Conemaugh Bor 110 35 202 40 

Ebensburg Bor. , 59 91 80 82 

Jackson 32 32 48 53 45 43 75 60 60 72 47 105 

Johnstown Bor 91 85 123 109 170 127 205 296 

Loretto Bor 21 15 40 2 

Munster 133 14 

Richland 44 24- 70 57 42 97 53 109 75 133 91 160 

Summerhill 57 55 49 132 123 72 143 78 286 97 232 174 

Summitville Bor 56 

Susquehanna 25 34 25 14 23 44 33 44 80 58 76 53 

Washington 65 49 56 181 271 59 301 68 461 112 481 21 

White 37 12 31 42 32 48 41 62 24 29 

Totals 450 554 811 920 1123 996 1386 1233 2035 1461 2987 1665 



The voters in the borough of Conemangh, subsequently 
clianged to Johnstown, voted in the township of Conemaugh 
from 1831 to 1814. The poll being in the borough. 






























































































' 1872 ■ 



Adams. . . . 








55 1 












, , 







Blacklick . 













Cambria Bor. . . . 











Cambria Bor 2. 

> . < * 



Cambria . . 













Carroll . . . 

58 1 


























Chest Spgs 

. Bor 



• * • 














. . . 











Clearfielfl . 


24 1 













• < • < 











































. . . . 

• . ■ 




















Dean .... 



East Conemaugh 



, , 

























West Wa 

rd . 
















Franklin B 

3r. . . 










Gallitzin Bor. . . . 






Gallitzin . 













Jackson . . 














1st . 
















2d . 
















3d . 
















4th . 
















5th . 












6th . 









Loretto . . . 











,. 8 






Millville . . . 


Millville, 2d . . . 





Munster . . 













Portage . . . 


Prospect Bor. . . 











Reade .... 



Richland . 





1 OO 










. . . 




















e . . 














* Abandoned June 5, 1882. 



Susquehanna . . 84 56 65 87 106 109 65 76 74 97 71 85 

Taylor 138 38 1 ... 116 52 142 64 26 90 127 65 152 60 

Tunnel Hill Bor 1 41 

Washington 72 319 1 ... 27 176 63 217 151 50 45 271 33 228 

White 88 15 1 . . . 74 44 156 60 14 112 112 53 33 41 

Wilmore Bor... 48 28 41 24 51 27 36 17 22 20 29 38 

Woodvale Bor 38 11 54 30 75 35 

Yoder 93 72 3 49 61 43 104 44 77 14 75 34 109 47 

>Yoder, Lower 48 17 64 55 99 56 

Totals 2277 1643 124 110 2244 3036 2935 3558 2841 2547 2989 4257 3962 4555 


o s 

9 S 

Districts in 1904. 

1 City. 

24 Boroughs. 

28 Townships. 

102 Election Districts. 








































a S 


3 3 

o. a. 

< ^ 

ru pa 





M £, 







1884 1888 1892 1896 1900 

Adams 123 93 110 103 135 116 160 92 177 90 

Adams, Dunlo 106 42 175 58 

Adams, Gramlingtown 

Allegheny 35 226 36 193 38 177 31 184 53 197 

Ashville Borough 13 34 16 48 26 24 26 27 

Barnesborq (Bor.) 139 43 195 55 

Barnesboro', South 

Barr 63 107 79 113 74 117 81 104 101 117 

Barr, South 

Blacklick 81 34 81 42 65 45 107 50 191 77 

Blacklick, No. 2 

Cambria Bor., 1st W. 9 157 3 182 , 

21 248 ... • 

175 65 



61 179 
32 43 





42 189 
204 38 

50 197 42 215 43 209 49 
226 52 235 66 215 106 249 

14 119 

16 75 

20 37 

22 211 

14 126 




16 121 
12 76 



40 130 

27 75 

22 24 

36 184 

33 78 35 85 37 

Cambria Bor., 2d W. 17 189 

Cambria 173 

Carroll 41 

Cari'oll, Northeast 

Carroll, East 

Carroll, West 

Carrolltown Bor 13 94 

Chest 20 84 

Chest Springs Bor... 14 30 

Clearfield 28 208 

Conemaugh Bor, 1st. . 78 239 86 278 
Conemaugh Bor, 2d.. 80 205 105 240 

Conemaugh 54 

Conemaugh, Upper 

Coopersdale Bor 76 


Croyle 158 158 118 162 

Croyle, No. 2 

Croyle, No. 3 

Daisytown Borough 32 

Dale Borough ] 22 102 175 

Dean H 27 24 43 22 41 41 

East Conemaugh Bor. 86 57 149 64 185 90 248 

E. Conemaugh B., 2d 

East Taylor 90 29 96 33 71 26 57 2 53 6 

East Taylor, No. 2 52 12 49 15 

Ebensburg, East Wd. 64 19 68 22 77 24 92 19 106 22 







51 149 

31 57 

23 17 

61 137 

84 13 103 

20 121 







86 151 108 210 

76 105 121 175 125 71 
32 82 

37 42 

84 185 
27 56 

85 326 

































66 82 
22 123 



36 98 
174 112 








67 84 

117 232 

59 62 

53 132 72 

117 129 
92 57 

Ebensburg, West Wd. 58 

Elder 15 

Ferndale Borough 

Franklin Borough ... 71 
Gallitzin Borough ... 54 

Gallitzln 41 

Grubbtown Borough . 42 

Hastings Borough 

Jackson 135 

Jackson, Vintondale 

Jackson, Nanty Glo 

Johnstown, 1st Wd.. 266 122 317 151 295 115 

Johnstown, 2d 150 66 

Johnstown, 3d 71 114 

Johnstown, 4th 102 59 138 

Johnstown, 5th 151 101 199 100 234 

Johnstown, 6th 184 103 261 122 304 172 

Johnstown, 6th, No. 2 

Johnstown, 7th 72 

Johnstown, 7th, No. 2 

Johnstown, 8th 91 43 

Johnstown, 8th, Rox'y 

110 80 

61 121 

35 4 

100 44 

135 230 

74 67 


















148 125 

142 62 

42 13 







178 86 109 
98 139 41 
74 111 





365 123 
180 42 











94 127 167 163 207 261 179 292 223 

98 47 136 41 

















17 88 
68 195 113 
87 67 112 

248 131 308 

Johnstown, 9th 89 289 124 263 

Johnstown, lOfh 58 206 70 202 

Johnstown, 11 th 52 70 77 80 

Johnstown, 12th 55 140 94 139 

Johnstown, 13th 136 82 183 70 

Johnstown, 14th 56 118 76 110 

Johnstown, 15th 4 102 17 111 

Johnstown, 16th 20 269 55 279 

Johnstown, 17th 212 145 251 135 

Johnstown, 18th 

Johnstown, 19th 

Johnstown, 20th 

Johnstown, 21st 

Lilly Borough 22 

Loretto Borough .... 11 

Morrellville Bor., 1 

Morrellville, 2d 

Morrellville, 3d 

Lower Yoder 159 101 299 185 40 115 101 140 

Munster 13 105 17 88 15 89 19 70 

Millville Bor., 1st Wd. 180 

Millville, 2d 59 

Patton Borough 

Patton Bor., 2d Wd 

Portage Borough 

Portage 82 86 109 103 

Portage South 

Prospect Borough . . 35 65 33 76 

Reade 192 46 231 91 187 49 123 32 

Reade, North 

Reade, South 115 46 115 46 

Reade, West 72 46 117 26 

Richland 129 79 133 77 152 82 180 65 

Roxbury Borough 78 30 

Rosedale Borough 59 3 

Scalp Level Borough 

South Fork Borough 184 50 220 64 129 48 

South Fork Bor.,2dW 150 27 

Spangler Borough 63 85 

Stony Creek 90 76 162 104 121 63 199 43 

Summerhill Borough 48 54 40 60 

Summerhill 59 57 71 44 60 50 73 62 

Summerhill, South 

Susquehanna 112 93 121 99 153 109 89 32 

Susquehanna, Soutla 71 88 

Susquehanna, West 










































































90 40 
139 130 




197 214 

... 165 

45 112 

61 85 

85 156 













29 139 



42 183 

15 47 

58 1/2 

21 ... 



41 242 

26 284 

111 151 

43 239 












































Tunnclhill Borough.. 9 42 20 95 18 75 21 92 19 87 2-5 71 ... 

Upper Yoder 92 18 131 49 192 57 119 23 101 16 124 14 5 

Washington 36 207 26 127 32 145 40 142 48 129 67 Ho ... 

Washington, No. 2 28 96 20 79 ■■ ••• 

Westmont Borough 28 9 67 4 79 6 152 19 6 

West Taylor HI 49 113 50 112 43 130 28 128 46 78 8 4 

West Taylor, No. 2. 

89 28 6 

White ' 32 36 54 62 47 42 66 48 87 41 79 25 

Wilmore Borough ... 39 31 40 28 27 80 38 29 30 22 34 18 
Woodvale Borough... 65 60 114 121 

Totals . ...4253 5517 6020 8838 10476 13106 646 

4817 5948 6259 6560 7168 7223 

Plurality ' 564 431 239 2278 3308 5883 

We give tlie table of votes for every presidential election, 
as a study of it is of great valne to the historical student. It 
clearly discloses the gradual progress of the county, and the 
shifting of the ])0])ulation. For instance, in 1852 there were 
383 votes cast in Summerhill township, while in 1860 there 
were but 140; in Washington township there were 573 votes 
in 1852, and 192 in 1860. It recalls the issues of the campaigns 
and the men who led the parties, and substantially when each 
district was formed; not precisely, however, as that is ac- 
curately given in another chapter. In 1808 the twenty electoral 
votes of Pennsylvania, out of 175 in the country were cast for 
James Madison and George Clinton. 

On June 12, 1812, war was declared against England, and 
Madison was re-elected. After three years of warfare, a treaty 
of peace was made which decided nothing of value, and left 
both countries as they were when it began. The twenty-five 
electoral votes of the state were given to James Madison and 
Elbridge Gerry, out of 217 in the country. 

The Federal i:iarty was very feeble in 1816, and in the fol- 
lowing year, ceased to have a national organization, although 
in local affairs it continued in spots until 1825, or thereabouts. 
James Monroe received 188 electoral votes to 34 for Rufus 
King, the Fedei-alist, and in 1820 he received all of them with 
one exception. In the latter year there was but one electoral 
ticket in Pennsylvania, having 24 votes. John Todd of Bed- 
ford was the elector for this district. This period in our po- 
litical history was known as the "era of good feeling." Under 
James Monroe's administration five states were admitted to the 
Union: Mississip])i in 1817; Illinois in 1818; Ala1)aina in 1819; 
Maine in 1820. and Missouri in 1821. 

Pennsylvania voted for James Monroe and Daniel D. Tomp- 
kins in l)oth years. With three exceptions, Pennsylvania his 


always voted for the successful candidates. In 1832, it voted 
for William AVilkins for vice-president but Martin Van Buren 
vr-dti elected: in 1884 and 1892 it voted for James G. Blaine and 
Benjamin Harrison, and both M^ere defeated. The total elec- 
toral vote in 1816 and 1820 was 217 and 235, respectively. 

James ]\lonroe had adopted and carried into practice many 
of the principles of the Federal party, especially those of in- 
ternal im]Drovements. In 1821 he built the National turnpike 
from Cumberland to AVheeling, which passes through Somer- 
set county. These acts of Monroe revived the spirits of the 
old Federalists, therefore there were four candidates for ]n'esi- 
dent in 1824: John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Wm. H. Craw- 
ford, and Andrew Jackson. "^ 

Jackson, the Republican-Democratic candidate, had a plur- 
ality but not a majority of the electoral votes, and the election 
was thrown into the lower house, where Adams received the 
votes of thirteen states; Jackson of seven, and Crawford of 
four. Henry Clay was made secretary of state, which caused 
the unfounded charge of a "corru})t bargain," which was suf- 
ficient to prevent him from ever being president. The twenty- 
four electoral votes of Pennsylvania were cast for Andrew 

The cry of the "corrupt bargain" and the Jacksonian pol- 
icy of "to the victors belong the spoils" swept the country in 
1828, and Andrew Jackson's admirable decision of charac- 
ter in managing the South Carolina nullifiers increased his 
vote in 1832. 

Cambria was overwhelmingly for Jackson in 1832. Not- 
withstanding the fact that Henry Clay was the exponent of 
the protective polic}', Pennsylvania never gave him her elec- 
toral vote; even in 1832, when he was a candidate, there was 
not a Clay ticket in Cambria county or the state. The 96 op- 
ponents of Jackson in Cambria voted for William Wirt and 
Amos Fllmaker, the Anti-Masonic candidates. The Whig party 
was organized in 1830. Pennsylvania had 28 electoral votes 
out of 261 in the nation in 1832. 

Martin Van Buren was a ])rotege of Andrew Jackson, and 
won over William H. Harrison in 1836 on Jackson's reputa- 
tion, especially on his attitude on the United States Bank ques- 
tion. In the following year occurred the most distressing i)anic 
the country ever had. 

Cambria, for the first time, was carried for the anti-Demo- 


cratic candidate in 1836, when William H. Harrison and Fran- 
cis Granger liad a majority of 104. Pennsylvania had 30 elec- 
toral votes in 1832-36 and '40. 

General William Henry Harrison was again nominated in 
1840. John Tyler took the place of Francis Granger for vice- 
president on the Harrison ticket. The Jackson policy on the 
bank qnestion was not satisfactory to the country, nor were its 
free trade principles acceptable, and Harrison and Tyler were 
elected by 240 to 00 electoral votes. William Henry Harrison 
died within a month after his inauguration and John Tyler 
succeeded to the office. He reversed the policies upon which 
the ticket was elected, adopted the free trade principles of 
the Virginia class of statesmen, and wrecked the Whig party. 
Cambria county did not cast its vote for Harrison this time. 

The campaign in Cambria county was vigorous. The Al- 
learhenv Portage railroad was in the control of the State Dem- 
ocracy. The Democratic county convention met in Ebensburg 
on June 30, and nominated a full ticket. K. P. Linton was chair- 
man of the committee. At that time each borough and town- 
ship was entitled to two delegates. The friends of Van Buren 
called a meeting in the court house for that evening at early 
candle-light. The members of the standing county committee 
were : Robert P. Linton, Charles Litzinger, William Todd, Jacob 
Luther, John Anderson, John McGough, Hugh Dugan, Jesse 
Patterson, John Singer, Christian Horner, James Murray, Will- 
iam Pryce, Patrick Shiels, David Summerville, Peter McGuire, 
John Lucket, John Pringle, Jacob Horner, Charles Wilson, and 
George Kring. 

While slavery was a vexed question for many years it be- 
gan to show itself prominently in the campaign of 1844. The 
advocates of slavery switched the question to the annexation 
of Texas, and with it James K. Polk and George M. Dallas 
won over Henry Clay and T. Frelinglmysen. Clay had been a 
candidate in 1824, 1832, as well as this year. The refusal of 
the Democratic party to nominate Van Buren in '44, caused 
trouble in New York state, but it was not sufficient that year 
to elect Clay. James G. Birney, the anti-slavery candidate, 
reduced the Whig vote there and Polk succeeded in getting the 
electoral vote. Pennsylvania had only 26 votes in the electoral 
college in '44, having proportionately lost its population through 
the free trade ijollcios of Jackson, Van Buren and Tyler. 

In 1848 General Zachary Taylor, the hero of the Mexican 


War, was nominated for president by the Whig party, and 
Lewis Cass b}'- the Democrats. The anti-slavery advocates in 
New York, with the Van Buren barn-burners, reduced the Cass 
vote and gave the state to Taylor, who was a Louisiana slave- 
holder. Cambria county had at this time 2,619 votes, out of 
which Cass only had a majority of 153. The state had 26 elec- 
toral votes. President Taylor died in 1850, and Millard Fill- 
more, of New York, succeeded him. 

The Clay, Calhoun-Webster compromise of 1850 was in- 
tended to quiet the slave question, but it really opened it wider 
than ever. The most unfortunate event was the speech of Dan- 
iel Webster, made in the senate on March 7, 1850, by which he 
lost the confidence of the North. Its idol now lay shattered. He 
had agreed to the enforcement of the fugitive slave law. The 
Whig party was dying: Winfield Scott could not get the vote 
in the South. Franklin Pierce received a large vote, having 
254 electoral votes out of 296. Scott lost Cambria county by 
574 votes. 

Senator Douglas introduced and congress passed in 1854 
the Kansas-Nebraska bill, which embodied the policy that slav- 
ery could be established in any state or territory. It repealed 
the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which had made provision 
for the admission of Maine and Missouri into the Union. That 
Act of Congress was the beginning of the Civil war which ended 
at Apf)omattox in April, 1865. Kansas was the preliminary 
battle-field, and John Brown was there solidifying the anti- 
slavery vote. 

The Whig party had disappeared and ended its mission. 
The Kepublican party was founded in Pittsburg in 1855, but 
was not organized until June, 1856, when at Philadelphia it 
nominated John C. Fremont and William L. Dayton. The vote 
for Fremont was surprisingly large, but not sufficient to de- 
feat Buchanan. It was practically the beginning of the end 
of a thirty-five year warfare on slavery, which closed with the 
defeat of the Confederacy. James Buchanan and J. C. Breck- 
inridge were elected. Cambria county gave them a majority of 

Slavery had divided the National Democratic party, and 
in Cambria county it was as badly split. The regular Demo- 
cratic county convention met July 9. 1860, and nominated a full 
ticket, with George Nelson Smith, of Johnstown; for the As- 


seinbly. But it was not done without a bolt by tlie Breckinridge 
adherents. The Douglas men controlled the convention. 

On July 23, the Republicans nominated a complete ticket 
with Alexander C. MuUin, of Ebensburg, for the Assembly. 

On August 28 the Breckinridge Democrats met at Ebens- 
burg and also nominated a complete ticket, with Michael Dan 
Magehan for the General Assembly. All the parties held meet- 
ings throughout the county. Howard Roberts, then of Ebens- 
burg, was the chairman of the Republican county committee. 
Among his leading workers were Colonel J. M. Campbell, James 
M. Swank, D. J. Morrell, A. A. Barker, William M. Jones, Jolin 
M. King, John Roberts, James D. Hamilton, of Wilmore, Hugh 
Gallagher of Allegheny, Samuel Reed, of Blaeklick, David 
Watt, of Gallitzin, Jason Pringle, of Summerhill, and Edwin 
A. Vickroy, of Yoder. Samuel McKeever, of Johnstown, was 
captain of the "wide awakes." 

Augustine Durbin was the chairman of the Breckinridge 
committee, and his leading assistants were S. B. McCormick, 
W. Weimer and William P. Patton, of Johnstown; Richard 
White and James McGough, of Allegheny; James Burk, of 
Summerhill; Peter McGough and Thomas Short, of Washing- 
ton; Francis Bearer and Thomas Powers, of Susquehanna; 
W. William Hudson and F. K. Herlinger, of Croyle; Simon 
Dunmyer, of Jackson, and Jacob Dunmyer, of Richland. Their 
headquarters were at Ebensburg, and their adherents, who were 
plentiful, were: John A. Blair, Charles Murray, Joseph Mc- 
Donald, John Thomas, Michael Dan Magehan, John Buck, Jere- 
miah McGonigal, of Hemlock (now Lilly), Isaac B. Wike, James 
Myers, Augustine McConnell and James Riffle, of the Summit, 
Jordan Marbourg, A, J. Hite, Lewis Plitt, John Hannan. 

The leaders of the Douglas-Democratic i3arty were Philip 
and Thomas Collins, Robert L. Johnston, Phil S. Moon, John 
Rhey, Michael Hasson, John Fenlon, R. A. McCoy, Rees and 
John Lloyd and Chrysostom Noon, of Ebensburg; John P. Lin- 
ton, W. H. Rose, Harry A. Boggs, who had been a Breckinridge 
adherent, and succeeded John Buck as postmaster at Johnstown. 
George Nelson Smith was a delegate to the Charleston conven- 
tion for Douglas, and subsequently voted for him at Baltimore; 
and Michael Bracken of Gallitzin. 

It was the most bitter political contest ever held in Cam- 
bria county; it was a trial of strength between factions, with 
an element of slavery or anti-slavery in each. On one occasion, 


there was a struggle between the Douglas and the Breckinridge 
Democrats for the possession of the court house to hold a polit- 
ical meeting. Judge Taylor was holding court, and as soon 
as he had directed the court cryer to adjourn, and before he 
had left the bench, Philip Collins arose and nominated Thomas 
Collins as president of the meeting. Immediately some one 
nominated John A. Blair for the Breckinridge partisans. Col- 
lins was declared president and endeavored to take the seat 
loefore Judge Taylor could adjust his papers on the bench. 
Blair resisted, and his followers sent word to other friends 
about the hotels to come to their assistance, and they obeyed 
the summons. It was in the old court room, with the wooden 
rail around the bench. Discussion gave way to physical 
strength ; the rail was torn down, the stove upset, and chairs and 
seats generally broken. It is said that Tom Collins presided 
at that meeting such as it was. 

The Douglas-Breckinridge advocates in the state had made 
a fusion on the electoral vote, each to have a certain propor- 
tion of the vote in case of success ; this arrangement was known 
as the "Reading ticket." In accordance therewith, a fine pole 
was raised at Gideon Martz's, at Pensacola, on the Wilmore 
plankroad, with a Douglas-Breckinridge flag floating from the 
tiptop. It was a great success for a short time. That night 
two men, said to be Captain Thomas Davis and Milton Jones, 
cut it down by boring it with an auger, inasmuch as quietness 
was necessary. The pole falling on a pig pen, started the ani- 
mals to squeal, which noise brought out the residents. The 
flag was procured and torn lengthwise. The portion with the 
name of Douglas was stretched to the breeze and the Breckin- 
ridge portion was fouled in the mud at the foot of the tree. 

The election was then held on the second Tuesday of Octo- 
ber, and resulted in the election of the entire Republican county 
ticket. The vote is a study to the student of history, disclosing 
the fact that about one-third of the Democratic voters were fol- 
lov/ers of Breckinridge. Comparing the vote with that of 1856, 
it will be observed that many anti-slavery Democrats voted the 
Republican ticket. 

The vote in the county was : 

Assemblv: Mullin, Rep., 1,542; KSmith, Douglas Dem., 
1,172; Magellan, Breckinridge Dem., 900; Potts, New County, 

Vol. 1—8 


Register and Recorder: Lytle, Rep., 1,459; Griffin, Dong- 
las Dem., 1,429; Gregg, B. Dem., 1,117; Canan, Ind., 692. 

Commissioner: Cooper, Rep., 2,302; Ferguson, Douglas 
Dem., 1,479; Gill, B. Dem., 831. 

Auditor: Nelson, Rep., 2,181; Cliristy, Douglas Dem., 
1,527; Stalb, B. Dem., 832. 

Poor House Director: Douglas, Rep., 2,361; Hopple, Dem., 

By referring to the table of tlie presidential vote it will, 
be observed that there were four candidates in 1860, and that 
Cambria for the second time had cast a majority vote against 
the combined opposition, excepting that Foster for governor 
had 406 votes over Curtin. 

Michael Dan Magehan left the Whig party with John Fen- 
Ion, R. L. Johnston and others shortly after the Know-Nothing 
issue raised in 1854. Judge Johnston has stated that he was 
undecided to which party he would become attached until 1856, 
when he joined the Democratic ranks. 

Abraham Lincoln had a majority of 89,159 in the state over 
the fusion, or what was termed the ''Reading ticket." The 
Reading ticket was a fusion of the Douglas-Breckinridge 
electors. Each party had a certain number of followers on the 
electoral ticket, with the understanding if Pennsylvania should 
decide the issue that its entire vote should be cast for the candi- 
date who could win. Mr. Lincoln had a plurality over Douglas 
of 251,265; over John Bell, 255,254, and a majority of 61,618 
over all. In the electoral college Lincoln received 180 votes; 
John C. Breckinridge, 72 ; John Bell, 39, and Stephen A. Doug- 
las, 12, making 303 electoral votes in the country. 

During the interregnum between the election and the in- 
auguration of Mr. Lincoln, several of the southern states, led 
by South Carolina, seceded and formed the Confederacy. On 
April 12, 1861, about 4 o'clock in the morning, the Confederates 
fired the first shot ujwn the little garrison in Fort Sumter. 

President Lincoln was re-elected in 1864, over Major-Gen- 
eral George B. McClellan on the Democratic ticket. The plat- 
form of the latter contained a plank that decreed the war a fail- 
ure, and advocated a compromise. Mr. Lincoln received 212 elec- 
toral votes to 21 for General McClellan. There were 81 electoral 
votes missing because the southern states were for the time 
being out of the Union. 

The vote cast liy the troops in the field is only important to 



establish the fact of the politics of each soldier who was then 
defending the Union. It shows conclusively that party politics 
were ignored. The soldiers voted in 1861, bnt there was much 
opi^osition to it by the Democratic party, on the ground that 
it was unconstitutional. Therefore, it appears that the vote 
for 1862 and 1863 was not counted. But in the meanwhile the 
vexed question of constitutionality had been determined by the 
court, and in 1864 the soldiers voted and their votes were re- 
turned and counted with the county and state vote. 

The Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry Eegiment was in 
Camp Curtin at Harrisburg, on the day of the election, Octo- 
ber 8, 1861, and voted thus: 

^ HH k— ( 

c :r 

^ ^ 

r^ O 

Captain, Regiment and Company. 

^ H^ 




^ ^ 



« C 


"^ o 


John Suter, 54th, A 

T. H. Lapsley, 54th, E 

P. Graham, 54th, E 

W. B. Bonacker, 54th, I 

James Carroll, 55th, A 

M. O'Connell, 55th, E 

At Point of Rocks, Md. — 
Co. F., 28th Penn. Vols 

At Camp Tennally, D. C- 
Co. A, 11th Pa. Reserves... 
Co. H, 12th Pa. Reserves... 

At Camp Harlan, D. C. — 
Co. G, 4th Pa. Reserves 


■ 7 

2 11 
1 8 
4 8 

7 9 

9 13 
13 ]5 10 17 12 15 
17 13 15 10 21 


1 10 





6 18 7 20 


It will be observed that there was not a Republican vote in 
Captain O'Connell's company, and not a Democratic vote in 
Company H, Twelfth Reserves, while the others were about the 
same as if each soldier had voted at home. 

The Pennsylvania soldier vote in field and camp, October 11, 
1861, was as follows: 


1 10 10 

8 ... 







3 10 







5 ... 







9 ... 













41 20 19 18 25 20 16 3 22 18 23 22 21 19 

3 ... 3 ... 3 ... 3 3 3 3 

17 3 28 9 24 8 6 15 7 9 26 24 6 4 

.136 99 115 89 113 102 67 34 99 84 137 125 74 69 




Location and Company. 



? ^ W 







Fortress Monroe, Va., Co. F, 3d Pa. Artillery, 152'1 Pa. Vols 2 

Yellow House, Va., Weldon Railroad 3 ... 

Clary sville Hospital, Maryland ^ 

Camp Carroll, Md., Co. F., 194th Pa. Infantry ^ 

Camp near Nashville, Tenn 1 

Camp Parole, Annapolis, Md 1 

Douglass Hospital, D. C 1 

Navy Yard Hospital, Annapolis, Md 1 

Camp Fry, Washington City, D. C 2 

Camp on the field. Army of James River, Co. K, 106th Pa. Vols 14 

Fort Brady, Va., Co. A, 20Gth Pa. Infantry 2 

Camp near Petersburg, Va., Co. F, 198th Pa. Infantry 51 

Cuyler Hospital, Philadelphia 3 

Mower Hospital, Philadelphia 1 7 1 

Old Court House, Va 1 

Lieut. Snodgrass' Headquarters, Co. D, 149th Pa. Infantry 1 2 1 

Camp near Petersburg, Va 1 2 ... 

Camp near Point of Rocks, Md., Co. B, 211th Pa. Infantry 1 . . . 1 

Sickel's Barracks Hospital, Alexandria, Va 1 ■ • • 

Fort Delaware, Del .' 1 • • • 

Judiciary Hospital, Washington City, D. C 1 • ■ • 1 

Baptist Church Hospital, Alexandria, Va 1 . . • 

Camp Biddle, Pa 8 

Camp Cadwallader, Philadelphia, 187th Pa. Infantry 3 7 

United States Steamer "Express" 2 4 

Near Winchester, Va., Co. F, 49th Pa. Infantry 1 

General Hospital, York, Pa 1 

Bermuda Hundreds, Va., 206th Pa. Infantry 5 

Bolivar Heights, W. Va., Co. M, 12th Pa. Cavalry 5 10 

Bolivar Heights, W. Va 10 3 

Rectortown, Va., Co. D, 5th Pa. Heavy Artillery 22 22 

Huddington Hospital, Philadelphia ' ... . 

Fort Steadman, near Petersburg, Va 1 

Capt. Wishart's Headquarters, Army of James River, Co. H, 208th 1 . . 

Thoroughfare Gap, Va., 202d Pa. Infantry 1 

City Point, Va., Co. G, 21st Pa. Infantry 2 18 2 

Cedar Creek, near Strasburg, Va., Co. A, 54th Pa. Infantry 1 14 1 

Camp near Hatcher's Run, Va., Co. C, 209th Pa. Infantry 49 ... 

Chattanooga, Tenn . 1 ... 

Cedar Creek, Va., 54th Pa. Infantry 9 ... 

Cedar Creek. Va., Co. D, 54th Pa. Infantry 8 ... 

Fort Blois. Va 1 ... 

Camp near Petersburg, Va., Co. D, 53d Pa. Infantry 1 

Fort Duchesne. Va., Co. E, 11th Pa. Infantry 1 ... 

Camp near Winchester, Va., Co. E, 49th Pa. Infantry 1 ... 

Cedar Creek, Va., 54th Pa. Infantry 9 ... 

2 7 
2 4 



5 9 

9 3 

21 28 






Totals 53 281 52 276 

It will be noted that in the last year of the war the propor- 
tion of votes east was more than five to one in favor of the 
Eepuhlican candidates. 


The leading question to be determined in the Grant and 
Seymour campaign of 1868 was the reconstruction of the south- 
ern states. The Eepublican party insisted that they should not 
be clothed with their former rights until they would recognize 
the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments to the 
Constitution. The plank in the Democratic platform was am- 
biguous on this question. It declared "amnesty for all past 
political offenses, and the regulation of the elective franchise 
in the states by their citizens." Ulysses S. Grant and Schuyler 
Colfax were elected by 214 to 80 electoral votes, 23 votes not 
participating, their constituents being still disfranchised. 
Pennsylvania gave 26 votes. 

The general issues in the Grant-Greeley campaign of 1872 
were the same as in 1868; however, discontented Republicans 
and a portion of the Democratic party nominated Horace 
Greeley. U. S. Grant and Henry Wilson received 286 electoral 
votes out of 352, of which Pennsylvania gave 29, and a plurality 
of 137,728. 

In 1873 a severe financial panic came upon the country. 
The following year the Democratic party carried the XLIVth 
Congress for the first time since 1856, and Pennsylvania politics 
went the same way. 

In 1876 the country was in distress, principally on account 
of the financial conditions. The Republicans had declared that 
specie payments should be resumed on January 1, 1879, and 
the Democrats were opposed, with a battle cry of reform in the 
tariff and civic affairs. The campaign closed with 185 electoral 
votes for Rutherford B. Hayes and 184 for Samuel J. Tilden. 
The Republicans contested the vote of Florida, Louisiana, and 
South Carolina and one vote of Oregon, but the electoral com- 
mission by a vote of eight to seven sustained the Hayes vote. 
Pennsylvania gave Hayes 29 votes. 

Samuel J. Tilden declined a renomination in 1880. The 
Democratic party began its campaign on the alleged ''great 
fraud" of 1876, which became futile on the exposure of the 
cipher telegrams between the Democratic managers. Near the 
close of the campaign the tariff became the live question, and 
General Hancock declined to consider it and averred that it 
was a "local issue." 

James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur received 214 
electoral votes out of 369, 29 of which were from Pennsylvania. 
General Garfield was assassinated July 2, 1881, and died at 


Elberon, New Jersey, September 19, when Chester A. Arthur 

In 1882 the . Democrats carried congress, and Grover 
Cleveland had over 192,000 majority in New York for governor. 
It was attempted to make the contest in 1884 on the taritf ques- 
tion, but it failed, and to the shame of the country the camj^aign 
became personal to the candidates. Grover Cleveland is 
claimed to have carried New York by 1,149 out of a total vote 
of over 1,200,000, which gave him 219 electoral votes out of 401. 
During Cleveland's administration the senate was controlled 
by the Republicans, and the house by the Democrats. 

The issue in 1888 was solely on the tariff question, and 
Benjamin Harrison was elected by 233 electoral votes out of 
401. Pennsylvania gave 30 votes in '84 and '88. 

Senator M. S. Quay was the chairman of the Republican 
national committee in 1888. The Republicans controlled both 
houses of congress, and admitted four new states — Idaho, with 
three electoral votes; North Dakota, three; South Dakota, four, 
and Wyoming, three, making a total of 444, thus weakening the 
vote of the solid south. 

In 1892 the same presidential candidates led their re- 
spective parties as in the last campaign. The country was 
generally veiy prosperous, but discontent prevailed in some of 
the western states, where General James B. Weaver was nom- 
inated by the People's party, and received over 1,000,000 votes, 
thus giving Mr. Cleveland 277 electoral votes out of 444. The 
Democrats also succeeded in carrying both the senate and the 
house, for the first time in thirty-five j^ears, Pennsylvania gave 
32 electoral votes in 1892, 1896 and 1900 to the Republican can- 
didates for president and vice-president. Grover Cleveland car- 
ried Cambria county by 239 plurality in 1892. Since that elec- 
tion the county has been substantially and strongly Republican, 
excepting for factional ditferences in electing county officers on 
the Democratic ticket. The Democrats passed the Wilson tariif 

A severe financial panic came in May, 1893, as a result of 
the election of 1892, and caused much distress. TI13 depression 
continued until 1897. The paramount issue was placing the 
coimtry on a gold basis; and secondarily, the tariff question. 
William McKinley and Garrett A. Hobart received 271 electoral 
votes out of 447 in the nation. The Republican party repealed 


the AVilson tariff act and adopted the Dingley protective bill, 
July 24, 1897. 

The Spanish- American war began April 21, 1898, and prac- 
tically closed July 3, 1898, when Admiral Sampson destroyed 
Cervera's fleet at Santiago, 

William McKinley and William J. Bryan again led tlieir 
parties in 1900. The issues were empirism and the tariff. The 
Democratic party endeavored to condemn the Eepublicans for 
taking the Philippine Islands as a result of the war with Spain. 
Little stress was laid on the tariff question, inasmuch as the 
country was exceedingly prosperous. William McKinley and 
Theodore Roosevelt received 292 electoral votes out of 447. Mr. 
McKinley was shot at Buffalo, September 6, 1901, and died there 
on the 14th, when Mr. Eoosevelt succeeded him. 

The general prosperity continued, and the opposition to 
the policies of the Republican party was feeble. At no time in 
the campaign of 1904 was it substantial. Theodore Roosevelt 
and Charles W. Fairbanks received 336 out of 476 electoral 
votes, and a popular plurality of 2,547,656, which was the 
largest ever cast. Pennsylvania, having 34 electoral votes, 
gave Roosevelt a plurality of 505,519. The entire vote was 
1,236,738, as follows: Theodore Roosevelt, 840,949; Alton B. 
Parker, 335,430; Silas C. Swallow, Prohibitionist, 33,717; Eu- 
gene V. Debs, Socialist, 21,863; Charles E. Corregan, Socialist 
Labor, 2,211; and Parker, Independent, 2,568. 


The first constitution of Pennsylvania was that of Septem- 
ber 28, 1776, under which Benjamin Franklin was the chairman 
of the committee of safety. The next one was that of 1790. 
The president of the latter convention was General Thomas 
Miflflin, of Philadelphia, a Revolutionary soldier of great courage 
and distinction, who was that year elected the first governor 
over General Arthur St., Clair, of W^estmoreland county. Gov- 
ernor Miffin was re-elected in 1793 and 1796. 

Judge Thomas McKean, who had been chief justice of the 
supreme court, was elected in 1799 over James Ross, the Fed- 
eralist. Governor McKean was re-elected in 1802 and 1805. 
He was the nominee of the Jefferson Democracy, then known 
as the Republican-Democratic party. It was under Judge Mc- 
Kean 's administration that the policy of "to the victors belong 
the spoils" was inaugurated in the state. In a letter to Jeffer- 


son in 1801 lie said: *'I am sorry that I did not displace ten 
or eleven more, for it is not right to put a dagger in the hands 
of an assassin." 

The first vote in Cambria county for governor \\'as taken in 
1808. Simon Snyder was a Jefferson Democrat. The candidate 
of the Federal party was Senator James Ross. Governor Snyder 
received 67,975 votes to 39,575 for Ross. The Federal party 
was declining in the state, and Ross only carried the counties of 
Delaware, Chester, Bucks, Lancaster, Luzerne and Adams. 
The vote in Cambria was as follows : 

Snyder. Ross. 

'Allegheny township 47 51 

Cambria township 96 31 

Conemaugh township 37 37 

180 119 

It will be observed that Ross carried Allegheny township 
through the vigorous efforts of Father Gallitzin, who was an 
an ardent Federalist and a pastor who believed in maintaining 
his political views at the polls. 

Governor Snyder was renominated in 1811. The Federal 
vote was divided between Judge William Tilghman, Richard Fol- 
well and others. In Cambria county Snyder had 220 and Tilgh- 
man 34. 

The war with England was nearing the end, Snyder had 
conducted a 'patriotic and satisfactoiy administration, and was 
therefore nominated for a third term in 1814. The first nom- 
ination made by a political convention in the state was for 
Snyder, and took place at Lancaster, March 7, 1808. The oppo- 
sition was divided between George Latimore and Isaac Wayne. 
In Cambria county Snyder had 145 votes; Latimore, 29, and 
Wavne, 22. 

* 7 

Governor Findlay, elected in 1817, was a Jeiferson Demo- 
crat. The old Federalists supported Joseph Heister. Findlay 
only had a majority of 7,059. The election was contested, but 
Findlay was sustained. Cambria gave Findlay 205 and 
Heister 150. 

Findlay and Heister were renominated in 1820 to lead their 
respective parties, the former at Lewistown and the latter at 
Carlisle. The indiscriminate chartering of banks with the flood 
of i)aper currency caused financial difficulties, and Heister was 
elected by a majority of 1,605. This was the first time the Fed- 


eralists succeeded in carrying Cambria county— Heister 207; 
Findlay, 191. 

Governor Slmlze was the candidate of tlie Democratic 
]iarty in 1823, and the name has continued till this day. The 
opposition candidate was Andrew Gregg, but the party had no 
substantial title, simply an opposition force. Simlze had over 
25,000 majority. For the second time, Cambria was against the 
Democratic candidate; Gregg had 269 and Shulze 252. 

Governor Shulze was renominated in 1826, and had no or- 
ganized opposition in the state, receiving 72,000 votes. He had 
392 in Cambria to 38 scattering votes. It was under his admin- 
istration that the Pennsylvania canal and the old Portage rail- 
road system was commenced. 

George Wolf was nominated by the Jackson Democracy in 
]829. The AVhigs were then organized, and nominated Joseph 
Ritner. Cambria for the third time gave its vote against the 
Democratic party ; thus : Eitner, 434 ; Wolf, 210 ; however, Gov- 
ernor Wolf was re-elected. It was under Governor Wolf's 
leadership and that of Thaddeus Stevens in the house that the 
common school system was adopted. 

Wolf was an enthusiastic follower of Jackson, and was re- 
nominated in 1832. The Whigs and the Anti-Masonic parties 
renominated Ritner. Wolf was elected. The vote in Cambria 
was : Wolf, 598 ; Ritner, 340. 

Wolf was renominated for a third term March 7, 1835, at 
Lewistown. The storm arising from the Anti-Masonic senti- 
ment and the adoption of the common school system caused a 
disagreement in the Democratic party, and on the following day 
the dissenters nominated Henry A. Muhlenberg, and passed a 
resolution in favor of Martin VanBuren for president. The 
Whigs and their allies renominated Ritner, who was elected, 
the vote being Ritner, 94,023; AYolf, 65,801; Muhlenberg, 40,586. 
Cambria again voted for the Whig candidate, thus: Ritner, 
694; Wolf, 610, and Muhlenberg, 38. The Whigs and Anti- 
Masons elected 71 out of 100 members of the Assembly. The 
same parties made a combination with the Muhlenberg senators 
and had 19 out of 33 in the senate. Since 1790 this was the 
second defeat for the Democracy for governor, and the first 
time that the opposition had control of both houses and the 

In October, 1838, the amendments to the constitution were 
adopted by a vote of 113,971 to 112,759. Governor Ritner was 


renominated by the AVliigs, and David Eittenliouse Porter, who 
was nominated by the Democratic party, was elected by a ma- 
jority of 5,504, the vote being 127,825 to 122,321. In Cambria 
county Porter had 844 and Eitner 762. The vote was close and 
was not settled for several weeks. The excitement throughout 
the state was intense. The Democrats had a small majority in 
the house, while the Whigs controlled the senate. This situation 
produced a dual house and the famous "Buckshot war." 

Grovernor Porter was re-elected in 1841 over John Banks, 
the Whig candidate. His vote in the state was 136,504 to 113,- 
473 for Banks. F. J. Lemoyne, the Abolition candidate, re- 
ceived 763 votes. In Cambria county. Porter received 844 
votes and Banks 810. 

In 1844 the Democratic party nominated Francis Rawn 
Shunk, and the Whigs, Joseph Markle, of Westmoreland county. 
The former received 160,322 votes in the state, and Markle 
156,040. In Cambria county the former had 1,129 to 969 for 
the latter. 

On Friday, November 1, 1844, the day of the presidential 
election, a vote was taken to ascertain whether the state should 
dispose of its public works, which consisted of the canals and 
the Allegheny Portage railroad. The proposition was defeated, 
and the vote in Cambria county was even — 955 in favor and the 
same number against it. 

Governor Shunk, the Democratic nommee, was re-elected 
over James Irvin, the Whig candidate, in 1847, by almost 18,000 
plurality. In Cambria county Shunk had 1,139 votes, and 
Irvin 974. 

Governor Shunk resigned on the 9th of July, 1848. There 
is an interesting story in the political situation of that iDeriod. 
The governor, being veiy ill with a pulmonary disease, was not 
expected to live, and died within a few days thereafter. The 
law was then as it is now — if the vacancy should occur within 
ninety days of the next election his successor should serve an- 
other full year. In this case the gubernatorial election would 
be delayed until October, 1849. If 'the vacancy occurred prior 
to the ninety days' lunitation, the election would take place in 
October, 1848. The Democratic managers decided that the 
election must be held in the presidential year of 1848, believing 
that Lewis Cass would carry the state, and they would thereby 
procure another Democratic governor. The Rev. Theodore 
Witt, of Harrisburg, the governor's pastor, ijrevailed upon him 


to resign on Sunday, July 9tli, which was the last day it could 
be done in order to secure the object the Democrats desired. 
The election took place October 9, 1848, and Morris L. Long- 
streth, the Democratic candidate, was defeated by William F. 
Johnston, and Zachary Taylor carried the state for president 
over Lewis Cass by almost 14,000 plurality. If the election had 
gone over until the following year, the Democratic candidate 
would in all probability have been elected, as the dying AMiig 
party could not have made an energetic campaign. The hero 
of the Mexican war overturned all the calculations of the polit- 
ical managers. 

In 1848, AVilliam Freame Johnston succeeded Shunk as 
governor by virtue of succession, he being the speaker of the 
senate. He was nominated by the Wliigs for the regular term, 
and Morris L. Longstreth was his Democratic opponent. John- 
ston was elected, and was the third governor elected against 
Democratic opposition since 1790. In Cambria county John- 
ston had 1,151 votes, and Longstreth 1,421. The vote in the 
state was: Johnston, 168,522; Longstreth, 168,225; a plurality 
of 297. E. B. Gazzan, the Free Soil candidate, only polled 48 
votes in the state. 

The Democratic party nominated Senator William Bigler 
in 1851, and the Whigs renominated William F. Johnston, both 
of whom had formerly represented the Cambria senatorial dis- 
trict. The paramount issue in this campaign was that of 
slavery, caused by the compromise of 1850, which re-affirmed the 
Fugitive Slave Law. It caused a division of the anti-slavery 
vote, and Bigler, of Clearfield, was elected. His vote in Cam- 
bria was 1,765, to 1,230 for Johnston. 

Governor Bigler was renominated in 1854, and the Whigs 
nominated Judge James Pollock, of the Northumberland- 
Lj^coming judicial district. The Whig, Free Soil and Know- 
Nothing vote swept the state. In Cambria county Bigler had 
1,739 votes to 1,627 for Pollock. The latter declined a renomina- 
tion in 1857. 

There were three candidates for governor in 1857 — Senator 
Packer, of the Democrats; David Wilmot, of the Republican 
party; and Isaac Hazlehurst, of the Native American j^arty. 
Packer was elected by 14,000 over both. In Cambria county 
Packer had 2,379 ; Wilmot, 1,042 ; and Hazlehurst, 165. 

The ebb-tide of slavery -was now rapidly approaching. In 
1860 the Eepublican party nominated Andrew G. Curtin, of 


Bellefonte, and the Democrats named Henry D. Foster, of 
Greensburg, a former congressman for the Cambria district. 
Curtin was elected by a majority of 32,000. The vote in Cam- 
bria county was : Curtin, 2,177 ; Foster, 2,583, 

Governor Curtin was renominated in 1863, and Judge 
George W. Woodward was the candidate of the Democratic 
party; the former was elected. His vote in Cambria countv 
was 2,164, to 3,000 for Woodward. 

General John W. Geary, a former resident of Cambria 
county, was the Republican nominee in 1866, and Heister 
Clymer that of the Democratic party. Geary was elected by 
over 17,000 majority. His vote in Cambria was 2,643, to 3,295 
for Clymer. 

Governor Geary was renominated in 1869, and Asa Packer 
was nominated by the Democrats; the former was elected; his 
vote in Cambria county was 2,539, to 3,189 for Packer. 

Cyrus L. Pershing, of Johnstown, was the Democratic can- 
didate for the supreme court at this election, receiving 3,220 
votes, to 2,418 for Henry W. Williams in the county; the latter 
was elected. 

General John Frederic Hartranft was the nominee of the 
Republicans and Senator Charles R. Buckalew of the Demo- 
crats in 1872, when the former was elected ; his vote in Cambria 
county was 2,823, to 3,530 for Buckalew. 

Delegates for Cambria county district to the proposed con- 
stitutional convention were elected at this time; A. C. Finney, 
2,756; John G. Hall, 3,269, and George A. Achenbach, 3,270, were 
chosen, and sei^i^ed in the convention of 1873. 

On December 16, 1873, a special election was held to vote 
upon the new constitution. It was adopted; the vote in Cambria 
county was : in favor, 1,972 ; against, 1,813. 

General Hartranft was re-nominated in 1875. Cyrus L. 
Pershing, formerly of Johnstown, but then president judge of 
the courts of Schuylkill county, was nominated at Erie, by the 
Democratic party. Governor Hartranft was re-elected; the vote 
in Cambria county was, Hartranft 2,325, to 3,399 for Judge 

The leading issue in 1878 was the resumption of specie pay- 
ments on January 1, 1879. Henry Martyn Hoyt was nominated 
by the Re])ublicans, Andrew Dill l)y the Democrats, and Samuel 
R. Mason by the Greenback party. Many gold Democrats 
voted for Hoyt, who was elected. The vote in Cambria was: 


Hoyt, 3,342; Dill, 2,196; Mason, 1,081. Governor Hoyt was the 
first governor to serve a fnll term of four years nnder the new 
constitution, and was ineligible for re-election to succeed 

The Eepublicau party was not united in 1882, owing to 
differences in the political management of the party. The reg- 
ulars nominated James Addams Beaver ; the Democrats, Robert 
E. Pattison; the Independent Republicans, John Stewart, and 
the Greenback-Labor partj^, Thomas 'Armstrong. Stewart 
polled 43,743 votes, which elected Pattison by* a plurality of 
40,202. In Cambria the vote was: Beaver, 3,279; Pattison, 
4,247; Stewart, 188; and Armstrong, 551. 

General Beaver was renominated in 1886, Chauncy For- 
ward Black was named by the Democrats, and Charles Wolfe 
l)y the Prohibition party. General Beaver was elected by a 
plurality of 42,651. In Cambria county he had 3,865 votes; 
Black, 4,966, and Wolfe, 345. 

Senator George Wallace Delamater, of Meadville, was nom- 
inated by the Republican party in 1890, and Governor Pattison 
was renominated by the Democrats, after the lapse of the term 
of Governor Beaver. The Republicans were dissatisfied with 
the political situation, and a sufficient number voted for Patti- 
son to elect him. His plurality was over 16,000. In Cambria 
the vote was Delamater 4,092, and Pattison 5,834. 

Adjutant-General Daniel Hartman Hastings, who had rep- 
resented Governor Beaver in the work at Johnstown in main- 
taining order, removing the debris, and protecting the public 
health, subsequent to the flood of May 31, 1889, was nominated 
for governor by the Republican party in 1894, and William M. 
Singerly by the Democratic. The panic of 1893 caused a ma- 
terial change in the political situation in Cambria county. The 
entire Republican county ticket was elected that year for the 
first time since 1808, and since that year it has been substan- 
tially an anti-Democratic county. Hastings had 6,813 and 
Singerly 5,120 in the county, and a plurality of 241,397 in the 


The political conditions in the state were complicated in 
1898. A successor to Senator M. S. Quay was to be chosen; 
ambition and jealousy were alert. The Republicans nominated 
William A. Stone for governor; the Democrats, George A. 
Jenks, of Brookville, and the Prohibitionists, Silas C. Swallow. 
Stone was elected by a large plurality, 117,906, but was a 


minority official. The vote in Cambria county was: Stone, 
5,7G5; Jeuks, 6,490; and Swallow, 1,966. Swallow had 132,931 
votes in the state. 

Attorney-General John P. Elkiu, of Indiana, carried Cam- 
bria comity for the liei^ublican nomination for governor in 
1902, but Judge Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker received the 
nomination. Kobert E. Pattison was named by the Democrats 
for a third term, but Samuel W. Pennypacker was elected by a 
plurality of 112,350. In Cambria the vote was: Penny23acker, 
8,909; Pattison; 8,492, and Swallow, 380. Swallow had 23,327 
votes in the state. 


Since January 1, 1851, all judges of Pennsylvania have 
been elected for ten year periods by a direct vote of the people, 
the same as other officials. Prior to that year, they were ap- 
pointed by the governor, as judges of the federal government 
have been and are now appointed by the president. 

The first elective judge candidates in 1851 in the judicial 
district of which Cambria formed a part, were George Taylor, 
of Huntingdon, and Thomas P. Cami^bell, of Huntingdon; the 
former a Whig, and the latter a Democrat, who removed to 
Daven]3ort, Iowa, in 1865, and died there February 6, 1881. The 
election took place the same day as the Bigier-Johnston contest 
for governor in 1851, resulting thus : 

Blair. Cambria. Huntingdon. Total 

Taylor, Whig 2,296 1,220 2,382 5,898 

Campbell, Democrat 1,647 1,719 2,028 5,394 

In 1861 Judge Taj^lor had no opposition for another ten- 
year term on the bench, excepting 19 votes, thus: 

For. Against. 

Blair . 3^636 

Cambria 2,474 17 

Huntingdon 2,636 2 

The opposition votes in Cambria were all cast in Loretto. 
Judge Taylor also received a soldiers' vote of 136, the 54th and 
55th Pegiments being in Camp Curtin at Harrisburg, and Com- 
pany A of the 11th iieserves and Company H of the 12th being 
at Camp Tenally, D. C. 

In 1871 there were three candidates. Judge Taylor running 
as an independent. The vote in Cambria county was: Thad- 
deus Banks, Democrat, 2,818; John Dean, Republican, 2,208; 


George Taylor, Independent, 390. Judge Dean was elected in 
the district. 

There was no organized opposition to the re-election of 
Judge Dean in 1881, his name appearing on both the Republican 
and Democratic tickets. He received 5,984 votes, w^ith 250 cast 
for Colonel John P. Linton. 


At an extra session of the legislature in August, 1883, an 
act designating the judicial districts was passed, August 7, 
1883 (pamphlet laws, 1885, page 325), making Cambria county 
the Forty-seventh judicial district, and authorizing Judge Dean 
to continue to preside over the courts of Blair county. 

On November 6, 1883, Robert L. Johnston, Democrat, was 
elected president judge of the courts of Cambria county, re- 
ceiving 4,144 votes to 3,688 for G-eorge M. Reade, the Repub- 
lican candidate. Judge Johnston served until his death, which 
occurred October 28, 1890, when Governor Beaver appointed 
Augustine Vinton Barker to serve as such until the first Mon- 
day of January, 1892. 

It being necessary to elect tlie successor of Judge John- 
ston at the November election in 1891, caused a new beginning 
of the ten years' term of service, which would otherwise have 
been in 1893. Judge A. V. Barker was elected to succeed him- 
self, receiving 6,532 votes to 5,565 for Colonel John P. Lin- 
ton, the Democratic candidate, the former being the regular 
Republican nominee. 

The candidates in 1901 were Judge A. V. Barker, Repub- 
lican, of Ebensburg, and Francis J. O'Connor, Democrat, of 
Johnstown. The latter received 8,990 votes on the Democratic 
ticket and 33 on the LTnion ticket, making an aggregate vote 
of 9,023; Judge Barker received 8,952 votes, which gave F. J, 
O'Connor a pluralit}^ of 71. Judge O'Connor entered upon 
his ten-year term on the first Monday of January, 1902. 


We give the vote for each congressman in uambria, but 
the first named was the one elected in the district. The elec- 
tions for congressmen up to 1874 were held in October, in even 
years, subsequently, in November^ in even years. The term be- 
gins March 4 in odd years, for a two year term. 

The year and number given is the beginning of the term 
and the number of the congress, beginning March 4, 1789, We 


also give the counties which composed the district, and the date 
of the apportionment : also the speaker of the House. 

Act of 2 April, 1802, 3 Smith, 502. This district consisted 
of Westmoreland, Somerset, and Armstrong counties, with 18 
districts in the state. Cambria county was not organized until 

1809. XL William Findley, E-D., 153; Robert Philson, 
145. Speaker, Joseph B. Varnum, Dem., Mass. 

1811. XII. William Findley, R-D., 181 ; John Kirkpatrick, 
Fed., 82. Speaker, Henry Clav, Fed., Ky. 

Act of 20 March, 1812, 5 Smith, 330.— Eighth district— Bed- 
ford, Cambria and Somerset; 23 Congressmen: 

1813. XIII. William Piper, R-D., 162; Samuel Riddle, Fed., 
114. Speakers, Henry Clay and Langdon Cheves, Dem., S. C. 

1815. XIV. William>iper, R-D., 100; Dr. John Ander- 
son, Fed., 101. Speaker, Henry Clay. 

1817. XV. Alexander Ogle, D", 339 ; John Fletcher, Fed., 
11. Speaker, Plenry Clay. 

1819. XVI. Robert Philson, D., 157; John A. Burd, 161. 
Speakers. Henry Clay and Jolm W. Taylor, Dem., N. Y. 

1821.' XVIL John Todd, D., 305'; Robert Philson, D., 96. 
Speakers, Philip P. Barbour, Dem., Va. 

Act of 2 April, 1822, 7 Smith, Q6Q. Thirteenth district, com- 
posed of Bedford, Cambria and Somerset. 26 Congressmen: 

1823. XVIII. John Todd, D., 96; no opposition. Speaker, 
Henry Clay. Alexander Thomas served the unexpired term of 

1825. XIX. Alexander Thomas, 358; no opposition. 
Chauncev Forward served the unexpired term. Speaker, Jolm 
W. Taylor, Dem., N. Y. 

1827. XX. Chauncev Forward, D., 114; William Piper, 
Fed., 191. Speaker, Andrew Stevenson, Dem., Va. 

1829. XXL Chauncey Forward, D., 177; William Piper, 
Whig, 377. Same Speaker. 

1831. XXII. George Burd, W., 273; David Mann, D., 356. 
Same Speaker. 

Act of 9 June, 1832, P. L. 560.— 28 Congressmen. Eigh- 
teenth district, — Bedford, Cambria and Somerset: 

1833. XXIIL GeorgeBurd, AY, 617; David Mann, D., 267. 
Speakers, Andrew Stevenson, D., and John Bell, W., Tenn 

1835. XXIV. Job Mann. D., 601; Charles Ogle, W., 413. 
Speaker, James K. Polk, I)., Tenn. 

We also give the full vote in the district: October, 1834: 

Mann. Ogle. 

Bedford County 2,102 920 

Cambria County 501 413 

Somerset County 831 i qh 

3^534' 2^ 


1837. XXV. Charles Ogle, W., 565; Job Mann, D., 452. 
Polk, Speaker. 

1839. XXVI. Charles Ogle, W., 756; Job Mann, D., 854. 
Speaker, R. M. T. Hnnter D., Va. 

1841. XXVII. Charles Ogle, W., 697; Joseph Imhoff, D., 
868. Speaker. John White, Deni., Ky. 

1841. XXVII. Henry Black, W., 517; William Philson, D. 
587. AVhite, Speaker. 

1841. XXVII. James M. Russell, ^Y., 349; WilUam Phil- 
son, D., 505. White. Speaker. 

Act of 25 March, 1843, P. L., 115.— 24 Congressmen in the 
State. Nineteenth district, — Bedford, Cambria and Westmore- 

1843. XXVIII. Henry D. Foster, D., 1095 ; no opposition. 
Speaker, John W. Jones, Dem., Va. 

1845. XXIX. Henry D. Foster, D., 1144 ; Jacob D. Mathiot, 
W., 922. Speaker, John W. Davis, Dem., Indiana. 

1847. XXX. Job Mann, D., 876; Joseph H. Knhn, W., 549. 
Speaker, Robert C. Winthrop, Whig, Mass. 

1849. XXXI. Job Mann, D., 1440; Peter Levergood, W., 
1118. Speaker, Howell Cobb, Dem., Ga. 

1851. XXXII. Joseph H. Kuhn, W., 891 ; Joseph McDon- 
ald, D., 792 : JoJm Snodgrass, D., 727. Speaker, S. Linn Boyd, 
Dem., Kv. 

Act 'of 1 ^Idx, 1852, P. L., 492.-25 Congressmen. Eigh- 
teenth District. Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon and Somerset: 

1853. XXXIII. John McCullough, D., 1108; Emanuel 
Shaffer, W., 1910. Speaker: Boyd. 

1855. XXXIV. John R. Edie, W., 1645; Jacob Cresswell, 
D., 1560. Speaker, Nathaniel P. Banks, W., Mass. 

1857. XXXV. John R. Edie, Rep., 1474; Cyrus L. Persh- 
ing, D., 2823. Speaker, James L. Orr, Dem., S. C. 

1859. XXXVI. Samuel S. Blair, Rep., 1700; Cyrus L. 
Pershing, D., 2273. Speaker, William Pennington, Rep., N. J. 

1861. XXXVII. Samuel S. Blair, R., 2263 ; Archibald Mc- 
Allister, D.. 2452. Speaker, Galusha A. Grow, Rep., Penna. 

Act of 10 April, 1862, P. L., 405.— 24 Congressmen. Sev- 
enteenth District, — Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon, and Mifihn: 

1863. XXXVIII. Archibald McAllister, D., 2855; Samuel 
S. Blair, R., 1418. Speaker, Schuyler Colfax, Rep., Indiana. 

1865. XXXIX. A. A. Barker, R., 1888 ; R. L. Johnston, D., 
2688. Same Speaker. 

1867. XL. D. J. Morrell R., 2791; R. L. Johnston, D., 
3146. Same Speaker. 

1869. XLI. D. J. Morrell, R., 2917; John P. Linton, D., 
3512. Speaker, James G. Blaine, Rep., Maine. 

1871. XLIL R. Milton Speer, D., 2843 ; D. J. Morrell, R., 
2943. Same Speaker. 

Vol. I — 9 


Act of 28 April, 1873, P. L., 79.-27 Congressmen. Sev- 
enteenth District,— Bedford, Blair, Cambria and Somerset: 

1873. XLlll. K. Milton Speer, D., 3523; A. A. Barker, R., 
27G8. Same Speaker. 

1875. XLIV. John Reilly, D., 3733; Samuel S. Blair, R., 
1928. Speaker, Michael C. Kerr, Dem., Ind.— Samuel J. Ran- 
dall, Dem., unexpired term, Pa. 

1877. XLY. J. M. Campbell, R., 2973; John Reilly, D., 
4335. Randall. Speaker. 

1879. XL VI. Alexander H. Coif roth, D., 3246; J. M. 
Campbell, R., 2415, Speaker: Randall. 

1881. XL VII. J. M. Campbell, R., 4090; A. H. Coffroth, 
D., 4455. Speaker. John \Y. Keifer, Rep., Ohio. 

1883. XLVIli. J. M. Campbell, R., 3738; A. H. Coffroth, 
D., 4265. Speaker, John G. Carlisle, Dem., Ky. 

1885. XLIX. J. M. Campbell, R., 4429; Americus Enfield, 
D., 4956. Speaker. John G. Carlisle, Dem., Ky. 

1887. L. Edward Scull, R., 3848; Humphrey D. Tate, D., 
4778. Speaker, John G. Carlisle. 

1889. LI. Edward Scull, R., 5475 ; Thomas H. Greevy, D., 
6017. Speaker, Thomas B. Reed, Me., Rep. 

1891. LII. Edward Scull, R., 4191 ; Thomas H. Greevy, D., 
5590. Speaker, Charles F. Crisp, Dem., Ga. 

1893. LIII. Josiah D. Hicks, R., 6050; Lucian D. Wood- 
ruff, D., 6282. Speaker, Charles F. Crisp, Dem., Ga. 

1895. LIV. Josiah D. Hicks, R., 6977 ; Thomas J. Burke, 
D., 5076. Speaker, Thomas B. Reed, Me., Rep. 

1897. LV. Josiah D. Hicks, R., 5641; R. C. McNamarra, 
D., 6717; Joseph E. Thropp, Ind., 1822. Speaker, Thomas B. 
Reed, Me., Rep. 

1899. LVI. Joseph E. Thropp, R., 5914; James M. Wal- 
ters, D., 7069. Speaker, David B. Henderson, Iowa, Rep. 

1901. LVII. Alvin Evans, R., 10,209 ; James M. Walters, 
D., 7,291. Speaker, David B. Henderson, Iowa, Rep. 

Act of 11 July, 1901, P. L., 653, changed the district to 
Cambria, Bedford and Blair, and designated it the Nineteenth 
district : 

1903. LVIIL Alvin Evans, R., 9314; Robert E. Cress- 
well, D., 8187. Speaker, Joseph G. Cannon, Ills., Rep. 

1905. LIX. John M. Reynolds, R., 10,312; Joseph E. 
Thropp, D., 8681. Speaker, Joseph G. Cannon, Ills., Rep. 

1907. LX. John M. Reynolds, R., 8152 ; Joseph E. Thropp, 
D., 4979: Warren Worth Bailey, Bryan party, 2019; John W. 
Blake, Ind., 350. Speaker, Joseph G. Cannon, Ills., Rep. 


At the time Cambria county was organized, the senatorial 
district was composed of Bedford, Cambria and Somerset coun- 
ties, under the apportionment of March 21, 1808, 4 Smith, 496. 


The senate consisted of 31 members on a ratio of 4,500. One 
member from each district. The name first given is the person 
who was elected and served for the district, disregarding the 
vote in Cambria. 

1809. Jacob Blocker ; Alexander Ogle, D., 117 ; Josiah Espy, 

1813. John Todd, 259; Jacob Saylor, 43. 

Act of March 8, 1815, 6 Smith, 268. Under this act the dis- 
trict was the same, and known as the XlVth district, with a 
ratio of 5,250 ; 31 members in senate : 

1817. William Piper, 174; John A. Burd, 182. 

1821. David Mann, 177; AVilliam Reynolds, 96. 

Act of March 25, 1822, 7 Smith, 515. The district was com- 
posed of Venango, Warren, Armstrong, Indiana, Jefferson and 
Cambria, and known as the XXIVth district. The senate con- 
sisted of 33 members : 

1825. Eben Smith Kellev; Hugh Brady, 459; Alexander 
McCalmont, 152. Kelley died. October 13, 1829, Joseph M., 
Fox succeeded; his term expired 1830. 

Act of April 20, 1829, 10 Smith, 359. The district con- 
sisted of Huntingdon, jMifflin, Juniata and Cambria counties, 
and was known as the XVIIth district. The ratio was 7,700, 
with 33 senators : 

1829. Thomas Jackson, term expired 1832 ; Joseph M. Fox, 
349; William Houston, 148; David Lawson, 157. 

1833. George McCulloch, 591; John Williamson, 348. 

Act of June 16. 1836, P. L., 794. This district was composed 
of Indiana, Armstrong, Cambria, and Clearfield counties, and 
designated as the XXIIId district. The ratio was 9,256, with. 
33 senators : 

1837. Meek Kelly, term expired 1838; Alexander Irvin, 
term expired 1839. 

1839. Irvin resigned: Anson V. Parsons elected, term ex- 
pired 1839. 

1839. Findlev Patterson, D., 770 ; term expired 1841 ; Will- 
iam Todd, W., 768; David Leech, 514. 

1841. AVilliam Bigler, D., 901 ; Samuel Hutchinson, W., 723. 

Act of April ]4, 1843, P. L., 251. Under this act the dis- 
trict consisted of Cambria, Clearfield, Armstrong, and Indiana. 
It was designated as the XXth district; the ratio was 11,746; 
33 senators * 

1844. William Bigler. D., 1130; Robert Craig, W., 937. 

1847. William F. Johnston, W,, 940; Thomas C. McDowell, 
D., 1125. Senator Johnston was elected speaker, and succeeded 
Governor Shunk on the death of the latter. 

1849. Augustus Drum, D., 1123; Robert L. Johnston, W., 

Act of May 1, 1850, P. L., 777. The district was composed 


of Blair, Cambria and Hiintiugdon counties. It was designated 
as the XVth district, witli a ratio of 14,743. Senators, 33 : 

1850. Kobert A. McMurtrie, W., 929; Thomas C. McDowell, 

D., 1426. 

1853. John Cresswell, Jr., D., 1367; A. M. White, W., 767; 

Martin Bell. 630. 

1856. John Cresswell, Jr., D., 2768 ; Alexander C. McMul- 

len, W., 1544. 

Act of May 20, 1857, P. L., 619. The district was changed 
to the XXth district, containing Cambria, Clearfield and Blair 
counties. Ivatio, 17,011, with 33 senators. 

1859. Louis AV. Hall, R., 1391; Augustin Durbin, D., 2070. 

1862. William A. Wallace, D., 2680; Louis W. Hall, R., 


Act of May 5, 1864, P. L., 258. Under this act it was the 
XXlId districtli consisting of Cambria, Indiana and Jefferson 
counties. Senators, 33. 

L864. Thomas St. Clair, R. 

1865. Harry White, R., 1973; Kennedy L. Blood, D., 2710/ 

1868. Harry White, R., 2826; William K. Piper, D., 726. 

Act of May 6, 1871, P. L., 252, changed it to the XVIIIth 
Senatorial district, composed of Clinton, Cambria, Clearfield 
and Elk counties; 33 members: 

1871. AVilliam A. Wallace, D., 3051 ; Jesse Merrill, R., 2439. 

The apportionment of May 19, 1874, P. L. 197, changed it 
to the XXXYth district of Blair and Cambria counties. 50 
members : 

1875. John A. Lemon, R., 2548 ; Samuel Henshev, D., 3291. 

1876. John A. Lemon, R., 3098 ; W. Fisk Conrad, D., 4119. 
1880. Harry A. Boggs, R., 4161; Herman Baumer, D., 


1884. Harry A. Boggs, R., 4365; C. Blvthe Jones, D., 4958. 

1888. John A. Lemon, R., 5583; A. V. Dively, D., 5906. 

1896. J. C. Stinemau, R., 8424; Francis P. Martin, D., 

1900. J. C. Stineman, R., 9806 ; Harrv E. Stahl, D., 7330. 

1904. J. C. Stineman, R., 10,191 ; Thomas H. Greevv, D., 

The Act of February 17, 1906, P. L. 31, continued the 
XXXVth district, but made Cambria a separate senatorial dis- 
trict. 50 senators. 


, . Members from the county of Cambria, and from the dis- 
trict of which it was a part since 1808. The first two nained 
persons were elected in the district and served, excepting from 
1843 to 1849, inclusive, and from 1857 to 1873, inclusive, dur- 
ing which periods there was but one member. 


xlct of March 21, 1808, 1 Smith, 496. The district consisted 
of Cambria and Somerset counties. The ratio was 1500, with 
95 members in the House : 

1808. Alexander Ogle, D., 162; James Hanna, 198; John 
Wells, 142; Charles Boyle, 72. 

1809. James Hanna, 31; Daniel Stov, 79; Peter Kimmell, 
175; Lewis Mitchell, 127. 

1810. James Hanna.. F. ; Daniel Stoy, F.; Alexander Ogle, 
D., 178; James Meloy, D., 195. 

1811. James Hanna, F. ; Alexander Ogle, D., 180; James 
Meloy, 182 ; John AYells, 61 ; Daniel Stoy, F., 7. 

1812. James Hanna, F., 125 ; Alexander Ogle, D. ; James 
Meloy, D., 186. 

1813. Daniel Stoy, F. ; James Mitchell, 193; Isaac Hus- 
band, 172. 

1814. Joseph Reed, D., 129; Thomas King, 29; Isaac Proc- 
tor, 140. 

Act of March 8, 1815, 6 Smith, 269. The district was Cam- 
bria and Somerset counties. The House consisted of 97 mem- 
bers instead of 95. Ratio, 1750: 

1815. Henry Black, F., 31; Thomas King, 26; Joseph 
Reed, 151; Daniel Stoy, F., 52. 

1816. Henry Black, F., 158 ; James Hanna, F., 178 ; Jacob 
Ankeny, D., 147. 

1817. Ilenrv Black, F., 58; James Hanna, F., 292; John 
Wells, 182. 

1818. Philip Noon, D., 301; John Hindman, F., 132. 

1819. John Hindman, F., 201; Alexander Ogle, D., 97; 
Philip Noon, D., 378; Peter Levergood, F., 203. 

1820. Chauncey Forward, D., 43; John Mosteller, 187; 
Philip Noon, D., 359; John Harman, 59; William Fulford, 48. 

1821. Chauncey Forward, D., 171; Alexander Ogle, Jr., 
D., 161. 

Act of March 25, 1822, 7 Smith, 515. The district con- 
tinued as Cambria and Somerset counties. The ratio was 2100 
with 100 members in the House : 

1822. Chauncey Forward, D., 201; John Kurtz, F., 348; 
Benjamin R. McConnell, 411. 

1823. Peter Levergood, F., 488 ; Alexander Ogle, D., 182 ; 
John Kurtz, F., 340. 

1824. William Philson, D., 133; John Gephart, 186; Peter 
Levergood, F., 340; Alexander Ogle, D., 96. 

1825. William Philson, D., 287; Jolm Gej^hart, Jr., 301; 
Moses Canan, F., 598. 

1826. John Matthews. F., 402; John Gephart, Jr., 322. 

1827. Jolm Matthews, F., 532; George Pile, F., 342; Irwin 
Horrell, 201. 

1828. George Pile, F., 230; John Gephart, Jr., D., 102; 
John Rush, D., 398: Joshua F. Cox, D., 235. 


Act of April 20, 1829. 10 Smith, 359. The same: 

1829. John Matthews, F., 637; Samuel Statler, D., 383 j 
Joshua F. Cox, D., 110. 

1830. Peter Levergood, Whig, 363 ; John Gephart, D., 82 ; 
Samuel Statler, D., 365 : Michael Dan Magehan, W hig, 251. 

1831. John Gephart, D., 317 ; Daniel AVeyand, D., 364; John 
Matthews, Whig, 537 ; Peter Levergood. Whig, 315. 

1832. Norman M. Bruce, D., 257; Bernard Conley, Jr., D., 
255 ; John :^ratthews, W., 682 ; Daniel Wevand, D., 543. 

1833. Bernard Conley, Jr., D., 230; Peter Will, D., 216; 
Henrv Fox. W.. 448; William Philson, D., 444. 

1834. Joseph Imhoff, D., 556; Joshua F. Cox, D., 349; 
Moses Canan. W., 538; David Lavan, D., 446. 

1835. Joshua F. Cox, D., 707; John Gephart, D., 633; Eob- 
ert P. Linton, D., 699; David Lavan, D., 574. 

Act of June 16, 1836, P. L. 794. The district still continued 
as Cambria and Somerset counties, with two members there- 
from. The ratio was 3057; 100 members: 

1836. Cleorae Mowerv, W., 561; Joseph Chamberlain, W., 
585; William A.^Smith. D'., 435; Jacob G. Miller, D., 444. 

1837. Joseph Chamberlain, W., 532; Jonas Keim, W., 510; 
John Kean, D., 602 ; Joseph Cummins, W., 582. 

1838. Jonas Keim, W., 837; Joshua F. Cox, D., 761; Solo- 
mon Baer. D.. 834; John Williams, 781. 

1839. ' Jonas Keim, W., 470; Frederick Neff, D., 713; Wil- 
liam Todd, 768 ; Michael Dan Magehan, W. 569. 

1840. John Hanna, W., 374: Joshua F. Cox, D., 393; 
Michael Dan Magehan, W., 1117; Solomon Baer, D., 894. 

1841. John Eover, W., 917; John Hanna, W., 874. 

1842. John Linton, W., 922; Tobias Musser, Ind., 491; 
Jonathan Knepper, Ind., 474; John Will, 388. 

Act of April 14, 1843, P. L. 251, Under this act Cambria 
county was made a separate district, with one member. The 
ratio was 3876, with 100 members in the House. 

1843. John Linton, W., 817; David Somerville, D., 691; 
John Francis, Ind., 113. 

1844. Michael Dan Magehan, W., 872; Joseph McDonald, 
D., 804 ; George Murray, Ind., 404. 

1845. Michael Dan Magehan, W., 1016; George Murray, 
D., 828. 

1846. Michael Hasson, D., 600 ; Michael Dan Magehan, W\, 
559; John Bell, Ind., 306. 

1847. John Kean, D., 1116; George W. Kern, W., 975. 

1848. John Fenlon, W., 1307; John Kean, D., 1202. 

1849. William A. Smith, D., 1282; John Fenlon, W., 1202. 

Act of May 15, 1850, P. L. 777. This act changed the dis- 
trict to Bedford and Cambria counties, with two members of 
the House. The ratio was 4865 with 100 members. 

Fulton county was organized April 19, 1850, and was at- 


taclied to Bedford and Cambria district. It formerly formed 
a part of Bedford county. 

1850. John Cessna, D., 1404; elected speaker; John Lin- 
ton, W., 1387; AVilliam A. Smith, D., 931; Samuel J. Castner, 
W., 944. 

1851. John Kean, D., 1753; William P. Schell, D., 1706; 
John Linton, W., 1198; Aaron Barnhart, W., 1121. 

1852. Thomas Collins, D., 1767; William P. Schell, D., 
1791; Daniel Litzinger, W., 1280; J. E. Satterfield, W., 1137. 

1853. Thomas Collins, D., 1526; W. T. Dougherty, D., 
1581; Abraham Kopelin, W., 1250; J. H. AVilkinson, W., 1180. 

1854. George S. King, W., 1760; WiUiam T. Dougherty, 
D., 2506; William A. Smith, D., 1511; Peter Schell, W., 436. 

1855. George Nelson Smith, D., 2076 ; Joseph Bernard, D., 
2084; R. S. Alexander, W., 1422; William W. Kirk, W., 1425. 

1856. George Nelson Smith, D., 2778; William C. Reamer, 
D., 2778; William W. Sellers, Rep., 1548; John Pringle, Rep., 

Act of 20 May, 1857, P. L. 622, made Cambria a separate 
district with one member. There were 100 members, with a 
ratio of 5796. 

1857. George Nelson Smith, D., 2035; William Palmer, R., 

1858. Thomas H. Porter, D., 2091; Richard J. Proudfoot, 
R., 1779. 

1859. Richard J. Proudfoot, R., 1849; Daniel Litzinger, 
D., 1590. 

1860. A. C. Mullen, R., 1542; George Nelson Smith, D., 
1172; James Potts, D., 1107; Michael Dan Magehan, I)., 900. 

1861. Cvrus L. Pershing, D., 2369; Abraham Kopelin, R., 

1862. Cvrus L. Pershing, D., 2750; James Cooper, R., 

1863. Cyrus L. Pershing, D., 3024; James Carroll, R., 2106. 
Act of 5 Mav, 1864, P. L. 260, made no change in Cambria. 

1864. Cyrus L. Pershing, D., 2688 ; Evan Roberts, R., 1863. 

1865. Cvrus L. Pershing, D., 2739; James Conrad, R., 

1866. John P. Linton, D., 3375 ; John J. Glass, R., 2565. 

1867. John P. Linton, D., 3031; Samuel Singleton, R., 

1868. John Porter, D., 3504 ; James Morley, R., 2854. 

1869. John Porter, D., 3172; F. M. Flanagan, R., 2434. 

1870. W. Horace Rose, D., 2909; Henry D. Woodruff, 
Ind. D., 2707. Removal issue. 

Act of 6 Mav, 1871, P. L. 252, did not change the situation. 

1871. Samuel Henrv, R., 2912; W. Horace Rose, D., 2545. 

1872. Samuel Henrv, R., 3426; John Hannan, D., 2952. 

1873. Samuel Henrv, R., 3171; Henry Scanlon, D., 2825. 



The apportionment of 19 May, 1874, P. L. 197, continued 
the district as separate, and gave Cambria two members. 201 
members in the house. 

1874. John Hannan, D., 3293; John Buck, D., 3097; 
Thomas H. Lapsley, R., 2491 ; John C. Gates, R., 2393. 

1876. James J. Thomas, D., 4243; John Downey, 3985; 
John H. Brown, R., 3240 ; W. H. Sloan, R., 3154. 

1878. L. D. Woodruff, D., 3228; John Fenlon, D., 3136; 
Alexander Kennedy, R., 2197 ; D. M. Kratzer, R., 1801. 

1880. L. D. Woodruff, D., 4551; John Fenlon, D., 4307; 
S. A. Criste, 4130; John W. Seigh, G.-R., 4078. 

1882. Nathaniel Home, D., 4384; Joseph McDonald, D., 
4298 ; Samuel P. Morrell, R., 3602 ; W. W. McAteer, R., 3346. 

1884. Nathaniel Home, D., 5009; John C. Gates, R., 4868; 
William H. Sechler, D., 4791 ; James Cooper, R., 4169. 

1886. John S. Rhey, D., 4909; Daniel McLaughlin, D., 
4365; Emanuel James, R., 4066; Joseph Masters, R., 3833. 

1888. John S. Rhey, D., 5848; John M. Rose, R., 5762; 
Daniel McLaughlin, D., 5645 ; David K. Wilhelm, R., 5611. 

1890. Edward T. McNeelis, D., 5447; Michael Fitzharris, 
D., 5224; Samuel D. Patterson, R., 4506. 

1892. J. C. Stineman, R., 6224; James J. Thomas, D., 
6169 ; Slater W. Allen, D., 6112 ; John C. Gates, R., 5994. 

1894. Samuel D. Patterson, R., 6870; J. C. Stineman, R., 
6836; John B. Denny, D., 5145; John Ricketts, D., 4958. 

1896. S. D. Patterson, R., 8549; William P. Reese, R., 
8485; Thomas J. Itell, D., 6796; C. F. Frazer, D., 6662. 

1898. Thomas T. Sheridan, D., 6568; W. C. Lingle, D., 
6379; Harry L. Rodgers, R., 6144; J. Swan Taylor, R., 6067. 

1900. Thomas Davis, R., 9830; James M. Shumaker, R., 
9770; Thomas T. Sheridan, D.. 7719; W. C. Lingle, D., 7517. 

1902. Thomas Davis, R., 9098; E. E. Hohmann, R., 8798; 
Harry Somerville, D., 8403; Thomas J. Itell, D., 8321. 

1904. Edmund James, R. 10,661; E. E. Hohmann, R., 
10,543; John P. Bracken, D., 7878; W. C. Hubbard, D., 7481. 

The apportionment of 15th February, 1906, P. L. 24, gave 
Cambria three members — one from the city of Johnstown, and 
two from the other parts of the county. There are 207 mem- 
bers in the house. 

1906. First District, City of Johnstown : F. P. Barnhart, 
Rep., 2757; T. J. Itell, Dem., 1865; W. C. Wilson, Pro., 272; 
Charles H. Stroup, Lincoln, 233. 

Second District, two from the county: Alvine Sherbine, 
Rep., 4873; Edmund James, Rep., 4730; A. C. Strittmatter, 
Dem., 3905; W. C. Hubbard, Dem., 3340; David Irvine, W. C.- 
Lin., 2106; Edward Fisher, W. C.-Lin., 1657. 



It will be observed that the act creating Cambria county- 
directed that two persons be elected to the office of sheriff. This 
was an old Colonial practice and applied to every county, but 
only one was commissioned. The two having the highest votes 
^submitted their names to the governor, who had the discretion 
to select one of the two. This custom prevailed until the con- 
stitution of 1838, which provided that one person should be 
elected for sheriff, and one for coroner. 

The first named was commissioned or elected. 

1807. James Meloy. 

1810. Philip Noon, R. D., 109; William R. Williams, 
Fed., 107. ^ 

1813. James Meloy, R. D., 156; Michael Skelly, Fed., 101. 

1816. John Murray, R-D., 198; John Keepers, Fed., 177. 

1819. Owen McDonald, R-D., 188; Samuel McAnulty, 
Fed., 157. 

1822. Jolin Murray, R-D., 251; Henry J. Mcauire, Fed., 

' 1825. John McGough, R-D., 375 ; John Mathews, 292. 

1828. Fleetwood Benson, D., 306; William Pryer, 202. 

1831. Robert P. Linton, D., 452; John Anderson, Whig, 

1834. William Rainey, D., 422. There were nine candi- 
dates—Daniel Huber, W., 410; Francis Christy, 267; William 
Scott, 140; William Todd, 68; Paul Benshoff, 23; Thomas 
Priestly, 10; Richard Lewis, 8; Charles Litzinger, 8; 158 re- 
turned for a scattering vote. 

1837. Robert P. ^Linton, D., 638. There were sixteen can- 
didates, in addition to the scattered vote: Daniel Huber, W., 
487; Paul Benshoff, 57; Hiram Craver, 56; William Benson, 
18 ; Charles Litzinger, 18 ; William Todd, 18 ; Christian Horner, 
15; John Lucket, 14; Thomas D. McGough, 12; Jacob Luther, 
10; Fleetwood Benson, 10; Charles Dillon, 8; Thomas Priestly, 
7 ; John Williams and John Fels, 5 each. 

1840. William Todd, D., 834; David Davis, W., 727. 

1843. James Murray, D., 620; David Davis, W., 582; Au- 
gustine Durbin, Ind., 451. 

1846. Jesse Patterson, D., 1055 ; Henry Glass, W., 426. 

1849. John Brawley, D., 1444; Robert B. Gogeby, W., 


1852. Augustine Durbin, D., 2048; Alexander McVicker, 

W., 1062. 

1855. John Roberts, D., 2107; Joseph Campbell, W., 1399. 

1858. Robert P. Linton, 2176; James Myers, 1754. 

1861. John Buck, D., 2242; James D. Hamilton, R., 1339. 

1864. James Myers, D., 2670; George Eugelbach, R., 1593. 


1867. John A. Blair, D., 3031; Samuel Singleton, K., 1971. 

1870. William B. Bonacker, D., 3545; Francis Graver, 
E., 2112. 

1873. Herman Bamner, D., 2978: John T. Harris, R., 

1876. John Evan, D., 3692; Thomas Davis, E., 3481. 

1879. Thomas Griffith, E., 3072; Michael J. Nagle, . D., 

1882. Demetrius A. Luther, D., 3975; D. H. Kinkead, 
E., 3923. 

1885. Joseph A. Grav, D., 3740; J. C. Stineman, E., 3469. 

1888. J. C. Stineman, E., 6111; John J. Kinney, D., 5421. 

1891. J. M. Shumaker, E., 6235; Joseph A. Gray, D., 5664. 

1894. D. W. Coulter, E., 6909; Eobert H. Nixon, D., 5236. 

1897. Geo. M. Wertz, E., 6831 ; Herman Baumer, D., 6594. 

1900. Elmer E. Davis, E., 9638; John H. Waters, D., 7973. 

1903. Samuel Lenhart, D., 8898; John L. Sechler, E., 8283. 

1906. Webster Griffith, E., 8189; W. H. Strauss, D., 7159. 


AVlien the county was organized, the prothonotary of the 
courts was appointed by the governor, but under the constitu- 
tion of 1838 the office became elective. In addition to his 
duties as they exist at present, he was also register of wills, 
recorder of deeds and clerk of the orphans' court, which so 

continued until 1854. 

1808. Edward V. James. 

1809. James C. McGuire. 
1821. Cornelius McDonald. 
1823. Philip Noon. 

1833. Adam Bausman. 

1836. David T. Storm, W., removed by Gov. Porter. 

1839. William A. Smith, D., appointed by Gov. Porter. 

1839. William A. Smith, D., 753; Edward Shoemaker, 
W., 528. 

1842. William A. Smith, D., 734; George J. Eodgers, 
W., 647. 

1845. Joseph McDonald, D., 863; John Linton, W., 732; 
George Burgoon, 190; Michael Hav, 96. 

1848. William Kittell, D., * 1552 ; Edwin A. Vickroy, 
W. 998. 

' 1851. Eobert L. Johnston, W., 1569; William Kittell, 
D., 1381. 

1854. Milton Eoberts, W., 1818; Geo. C. K. Zahm, D., 1411. 

1856. Joseiili McDonald, D., 2756; Howard J. Eoberts, 
E., 1556. 

1859. Joseph McDonald, D., 1906; Howard J. Eoberts, 
E., 1683. 


1862. Joseph McDonald, D., 2738; William K. Carr, 
R., 1531. 

1865. Geo. C. K. Zalim, D., 2764; Edward F. Lytle, R., 1909. 
1868. Josiah K. Hite, D., 3650 ; J. M. Christy, R., 2753. 
1871. Josiah K. Hite, D., 3186 ; Charles C. Teeter, 2175. 
1874. Bernard McColgan, D., 3005; D. H. Kinkead, R., 


1877. Charles F. O'Donnell, D., 2475; William A. McDer- 
mitt, R., 1051 ; Emery West, G., 1252 ; Nathaniel Home, Ind., 583. 

1880. John C. Gates, R., 4356; Charles A. Langbein, D., 

1883. Harry A. Shoemaker, D., 4064; Jolm C. Gates, R.. 

1886. Harry A. Shoemaker, D., 5031 ; Clark H. Langhry, 
R., 3838. 

1889. James C. Darby, D., 4546; Charles E. Troxell, R., 

1892. James C. Darby, D., 6255; Abraham A. Stutzman,. 
R., 6012. 

1895. Samnel W. Davis, R., 5915; William S. O'Brien, D., 

1898. Samnel W. Davis, R., 6660; H. A. Shoemaker, D., 

1901. Charles E. Troxell, R., 9215 ; R. L. Boner, D., 8409. 

1904. Charles E. Troxell, R., 11005; John T. Long, D.,, 
7667 ; H. 0. Winslow, Pro., 593. 



1854. William C. Barbour, W., 1692; James J. Will, D., 

1857. Michael Hasson, D., 1802; George C. K. Zahm, 

D-R., 1715. 

1860. Edward S. Lytle, R., 1459; James Griffin, D., 1429; 
Albert M. Gregg, B-D., 1117 ; Robert H. Canan, Ind., 692. 

1863. James Griffin, D., 3014 ; Robert Litzinger. R., 2138. 

1866. James Griffin, D., 3288 ; William A. McDermitt, R., 

2640. _ . ^ 

1869. George W. Oatman, D., 3088 ; Samuel W. Davis, R., 


^ 1872. James M. Singer, D., 3495; S. A. Kephart, R., 2905. 

1875. James M. Singer, D., 3180; B. P. Anderson, R., 2649. 

1878. John G. Lake, D., 2963; Israel W. Watterman, R., 
2240; W. W. Saupp, G., 1364; William A. Noel, Ind., 45. 

1880. John H. Brown, R., appointed vice John G. Lake, 


1880 John H. Brown, R., 4652 ; Michael Sweeney, D., 3959. 

1883. John H. Brown, R., 3933 ; Hugh McMonigal, D., 3848. 

1886. Celestine J. Blair, D., 4864 ; John H. Brown, R., 400L 


1889. Celestine J. Blair. D., 4538; D. H. Kinkead, R., 4186 

1892. Daniel McG-ougli, D., 6237; Samuel AV. Davis, R. 


1895. F. B. Jones, R., 5870; Daniel A. McGough, D., 4997 

1898. F. B. Jones, R., 6683; Dr. George E. Conrad, D. 


1901. William H. Stranss, D., 9418; Charles C. Linton, R. 


1904. Arthur Griffith, R., 10179 ; Wm. H. Strauss, D., 8899 

Alex. McDo^Yell, Pro., 466. 


AYliere a judicial district consisted of more than one county, 
■each of them was entitled to have two associate judges to sit 
with the president judge, who until 1851 were appointed by 
the governor. For Cambria county they were: 

1807. Abraham Hildebrand and George Roberts. 

1826. George Roberts and John Murray. 

1838. John Murray and Richard Lewis. 

1843. John Murray and Philip Noon. Judge Lewis was 
appointed by Governor Ritner, and Governor Porter desired to 
appoint Judge Xoon, but Lewis refused to resign, when he was 

1851. Harrison Kinkead, D., 1610 ; Evan Roberts, W., 1451 ; 
George W. Easly, D., 1417 ; Michael Levy, ^Y., 1294. Judge Rob- 
erts resigned September 3, 1855, and Governor Pollock ap- 
pointed Moses Canan to fill the unexpired term. 

1855. Harrison Kinkead and Moses Canan. 

1856. George W. Easly, D., 2742; Richard Jones, Jr., D., 
2710 ; Stephen Llovd, Rep., 1537 ; Moses Canan, Rep., 1590. 

1861. George ^Y. Easly, D., 2304; Henry C. Devine, D., 
2239; Isaac Evans, Rep., 1279; James Purse, Rep., 1272. 

1866. George W. Easlv, D., 3307 ; James Murrav, D., 3281 ; 
John Williams, R., 2605; Charles B. Ellis, R., 2485. 

1871. Rees J. Lloyd, D., 3057; John Flanagan, D., 3051; 
Daniel J. Jones, R., 2367; David Hamilton, R., 2287. 

1876. John Flanagan, D., 4283; John D. Thomas, D., 4135; 
Richard Jones, R., 3020; Irvin Rutleclge, R., 2950. 

1881. Joseph Masters, R., 3840 ; John Flanagan, D., 3433 ; 
Richard Elder, R., 3165; James Myers, D., 3120. 

The December court, 1886, was the last one to sit where as- 
sociate judges sat. 

J. Frank Condon was appointed court reporter on June 8, 
1880, by Judge Dean, and died at Altoona, April 25, 1901. Mr. 
■Condon was succeeded by F. C. Sharbaugh, of Ebensburg. 



Prior to the act of 1850, the prosecuting officer for the counter 
was the attorney general for the state, who appointed a deputy 
attorney general in each county, or wherever he deemed it neces- 
saiy; after that date the office of district attorney was made 
elective. The following are the attorney generals and their 
deputies : 

1808. Joseph M. McKean. 

1809-1810. Walter Franklin. "William R. Smith. 

1811. Richard Rush. 

1812 to 1816. Jared Ingersoll. William R. Smith. 

1817 and 1818. Amos Elhnaker. Moses Canan. 

1819 and 1820. Thomas Sergeant. Henrv Shippen. 

1821, '22 and '23. Thomas Elder. William R. Smith. 

1823-1826. Frederick Smith. Carpenter. 

1828-29. Amos Ellmaker. 

1829. Philip S. Markley. 

1830-32. Samuel Douglass. Carpenter. 

1833. Ellis Lewis. Michael Dan Magellan. 

1834-35. George M. Dallas. L. G. Pearce and" 


1836-37. James Todd. Michael Dan Magellan. 

1838. William B. Reed. Moses Canan. 

1839-44. Ovid F. Johnson. Thomas C. McDowell. 

1845. John K. Kane. Michael Hasson. 

1846. John M. Reed. Michael Hasson. 
1847- '48. Benjamin Champneys. Michael Hasson. 
1849-1850. Cornelius Darrah. Edward Hutchinson and 

T. H. Heyer. 


This office became elective in 1850. 

1850. Edward Hutchinson, Jr., W., 1175 ; Michael Hasson, 
D., 1081. 

1853. T. L. Hever, D., 1675 ; Geo. M. Reade, W., 1046. 

1856. T. L. Heyer, D., 2755 ; Charles W. Wlngard, R., 1500, 

1859. Philip S. Noon, D., 1838; Joseph H. Campbell, R., 

1862. Philip S. Noon, D., 2773; John H. Fisher, R., 1455. 

1865. John F. Barnes, D., 2715 ; Samuel Singleton, R., 1946. 

1868. Francis P. Tiernev, D., 3293 ; Joseph McDonald, 3037. 

1871. William H. Sechler, D., 3107; Thomas W. Dick, R., 


1874. W. Horace Rose, D., 3480; E. G. Kerr, R., 2082. 
1877. W. Horace Rose, D., 3192; James C. Easly, D., 


1880. William H. Sechler, D., 4460 ; no opposition. 


1S(S3. Harrv (1, "Rose, T).. 4281; no opposition. 

1886. Harry G. Eose, 5070 ^ T. F. Zimmerman, E., 3907. 

1889. John Fenlon, appointed vice Harrj^ G. Eose, de- 

1889. Francis J. O'Connor, D., 4619; Henry Wilson Storey, 
E., 4061. 

1892. Eobert S. Mnrpliv, E., 6334; Francis J. O'Connor, 
D., 6032. 

1895. Eobert S. Mnrphy, E., 5924; James M. Walters, D., 

1898. M. B. Stephens, E., 7039 ; Francis P. Martin, D., 6450. 

1901. M. B. Stephens, E., 9580; Horace E. Eose, D., 8228. 

1904. J. W. Leech, E., 10951; Edward T. McNeelis, D., 



The first legislative act of the colony of Pennsylvania in 
establishing courts was that of 22 May, 1722 (1 Smith, 131). 
At that time the territory now in Cambria was a part of Chester 
comity, and the courts convened "on the third day of the week 
called Tuesday" in February, May, August and November, and 
the court of quarter sessions of the peace was to continue for 
two days. 

In 1722 the supreme court was established, to consist of 
three judges, of whom David Lloyd was the chief justice. By the 
Act of 8th of April, 1826 (9 Smith, 179), it was increased to five 
members, and by the constitution of 1873 it was again increased 
to seven justices. The Western District was established at Pitts- 
burg in 1806, to continue for one week. 

Our county court was held in Lancaster from 1729 to 1749, 
in Carlisle, Cumberland county, the .county capital, until Bed- 
ford was created in 1771, and then followed Somerset in 1795. 

The Act of 13 April, 1791 (3 Smith, 29), created the Fourth 
Circuit Court District, consisting of Bedford, Cumberland, 
Franklin, Huntingdon and Mifflin counties. Our county court 
was then in Bedford. 

The Tenth Judicial District was created by the Act of 24 
February, 1806 (4 Smith, 270), and was composed of Armstrong, 
Cambria, Indiana, Somerset and Westmoreland counties, with 
Judge Young of Greensburg, as president judge, at a salary of 
$1,600 per annum. There were also two associate judges for 
each county. 

The Act of 14 April, 1834, P. L., 344, authorized any two of 
these judges "to hear and determine all causes, matters and 
things cognizable therein." Our records show that the associate 
judges frequently held court in the absence of the president 
judge,, when they tried civil and criminal causes, charging the 
jury and entering judgment. 

Under the last mentioned act the return days for our court 
of common pleas were "on the Mondays following the fourth 


Monday in March, June, September and December" and con- 
tinued for one week. The special Act of February 27, 1873, P. L. 
169, provides for other return days than those mentioned. 

The Twenty-fourth Judicial District was created by the Act 
of 5 April, 1849, P. L. 368, composed of Blair, Cambria and 
Huntingdon counties. Our court convened on the first Mondays 
of January, April, July and October ; however, the Act of 1 May, 
1852, P. L. 508, changed the regular terms to the first Mondays 
of March, June, September and December and to continue for 
two weeks. This act has never been changed. 

The constitution of 1873 provided that when any county had 
a population of 40,000 or over it should be entitled to its own 
court and judge, and the office of associate judge should be 
abolished. The census of 1880 gave Cambria over that number, 
whereupon the. Assembly authorized and created the Forty- 
seventh Judicial District, by the Act of 7 August, 1883, pub- 
lished in the laws of 1885, P. L. 323. 


At the time Bedford county was formed we were a part of it, 
as has been noted. On March 11, 1771, Lieutenant Governor John 
Penn appointed the following named persons as justices of the 
court of general quarter sessions of the peace and of the county 
court of common i^leas for the county, and a commission was ac- 
cordingly bestowed upon each of them. 

There were fifteen in the entire county, namely: John 
Frazer, Barnard Dougherty, Arthur St. Clair, William Creaf ord, 
James Milligan, Thomas Gist, Dorsey Pentacost, Alexander Mc- 
Kee, AYilliam Proctor, Junior, John Hanna, William Lochry, 
John Wilson, Robert Cluggage, William McConnell and George 
Woods. A dedimus potestatem was directed to John Frazer, 
Barnard Dougherty and Arthur St. Clair, which means in sub- 
stance they should administer the oaths of office and allegiance 
to the Proprietors of Pennsylvania. 

At that period all the territory west of the mountains was 
in Bedford county, and these judges must have been located at 
various places therein for the convenience of the people. Judge 
Hanna was the first judge of Westmoreland, and held court at 
Hannastown ; William Lochry was a resident of that portion of 
the county also. 

The first court in Bedford county was held 16 April, 1771, 
and the judges present and sitting were : William Proctor, Rob- 


ert Cliigo-ag-e, Robert (John) Hanna, George (John) Wilson, 
William Lochrv and AVilliam McConnell. 

This was the .indicia! system nntil after the Declaration of 
Independence and nntil the adoption of the constitution of 1790. 
Under that instrument Governor Mifflin appointed James :\rar- 
tin, Barnard Dougherty and George Woods, who served alter- 
nately as the president judge. This system was, however, 
changed by the Act of 13 xVpril, 1791, when in the following Au- 
gust the governor appointed Thomas Smith of Bedford, presi- 
dent judge of the fourth district, which included Bedford, Cum- 
berland, Franklin, Huntingdon and Mifflin counties, and four as- 
sociates for Bedford county, namely: George Woods, first asso- 
ciate; James Martin, second; Hugh Barclay, third, and Peter 
Hopkins fourth. Judge Smith served until 31 January, 1794, 
when he was appointed an associate judge of the supreme court, 
and James Riddle of Chambersburg succeeded him in Bedford 
county, who continued to preside until November, 1804, when 
he was succeeded by Thomas Cooper. 

On March 1, 1806, Jonathan H. W^alker succeeded Coo})er. 
Judge Walker was the father of Robert J. W^alker, Secretary of 
the Treasury of the United States under President Polk, and 
was the author of the Walker tariff bill of 1846, which only 
passed with the deciding vote of Vice President Dallas of Penn- 

The county of Somerset was taken from Bedford county 
by the Act of 17 April, 1795, and the first term of court was held 
in Somerset on Christmas day of that year. The president 
judge was Alexander Addison, of the fifth judicial district, 
wi'th James Wells, Abraham Cable and Ebenezer Griffith as his 
associates. Judge Addison was the author of "Addison's Re- 
port for the County Courts of the Fifth District and the High 
Court of Errors and Appeals." The fifth district or circuit con- 
sisted of Westmoreland, Fayette, Washington and xVllegheny 
counties. Judge Riddle and Judge Cooper succeeded Addison, 
who were respectively, the judges of the fourth district, until 
12 May, 1806, when Judge Young became the president judge of 
our district. Judge Addison served twelve years as president 
judge. He was eminent in his profession, an accomplished 
scholar and his integrity was beyond reproach, but on January 
1, 1803, through political rancor he was impeached. x\fter his 
death on November 24, 1807, when it was too late to remove the 

Vol. I — 10 


stigma that had been cast upon his character, it was the prevail- 
ing opinion that a great wrong had been done him. 

Judge Young was the first judge for Cambria. He was born 
in Glasgow, Scotland, July 12, 1762, died in Greensburg, Octo- 
ber 6, 1840, and is interred in the St. Clair cemetery in that 
town. His father was a merchant of Glasgow, and at the time 
of his death his son John was a clerk for the father of Sir Wal- 
ter Scott. 

Judge Young arrived in Philadelphia about 1779, and en- 
tered the office of a Mr. Duponceau, and subsequently that of 
Judge Wilson as a student of the law, until he was admitted 
to the Philadelphia bar January 8, 1786. He came to Greens- 
burg in 1789, and very successfully began the practice of his 
profession. In 1786 he married Maria Barclay, of Philadelphia; 
they were the parents of three sons and five daughters. His 
second marriage was with Statira Barclay, a cousin of his 
deceased wife, by whom he had a son and a daughter. 

In 1792 and 179-3 he served a short period in the military 
service for western Pennsylvania. Governor McKean appoint- 
ed him judge of the Tenth Judicial District, which included 
Cambria county, March 1, 1806, and he served therein for thirty- 
one years, until he resigned at the age of sixty-nine. He was 
engaged in the famous contention between the secular and the 
regular clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, for the land upon 
which the monastery is located at Beatty's Station, His oppos- 
ing counsellor was H. H. Brackenridge, Esq., the father of 
Judge Brackenridge, of our supreme court. He had been edu- 
cated for the ministry, and in this" contention he could read with 
accuracy and to the satisfaction of the court the bulls of the 
Popes and the decrees of Councils, which were written in Latin. 

Between him and John B. Alexander, Esq., a member of his 
bar, a difficulty arose which resulted in the latter presenting ar- 
ticles of impeachment. This came to naught, as his character 
for integrity and excellence was firmly established. His court- 
eous treatment of Mr. Alexander after he had failed to degrade 
him, disclosed this. Judge Young was a follower of Emanuel 

Judge Young was about six feet in height, of delicate mould, 
and of a dignified bearing, stooping slightly in his walk. He 
usually dressed in plain black, with the conventional swallow- 
tailed coat and ruffled shirt, and worse his hair in a queue. His 
forehead was high and smooth; his face well formed, and his 


nose long and straight. He owned slaves at one time, but gave 
them their freedom and sufficient monej' to start them on their 
own account. "When he retired, the bar entertained him at a 
banquet, when he closed his remarks thus: 

**I conclude with the best wishes for all my fellow-creat- 
ures, independent of external distinction. We are all the chil- 
dren of one common Father, who causes the sun of His love and 
the rays of His wisdom to shine upon all." 

Judge White, of Indiana, was the second common pleas 
judge for Cambria county, which was a part of the Tenth Ju- 
dicial District composed of Armstrong, Cambria, Indiana, Som- 
erset and Westmoreland counties. Westmoreland then had a 
two weeks' term of court, the others having only one. Gov- 
ernor Joseph Eitner made the appointment for life, and gave 
him a commission dated December 13, 1836. He studied law 
with William Eawle, an eminent lawyer of Philadelphia, and 
began practice in Indiana in 1821, when he was about twenty- 
one years old. He presided over our courts with dignity and 
ability for ten years. At the time of his appointment president 
judges were commissioned for life or during good behavior, 
but the constitution of 1838 changed it to a period of ten years. 

The appointment of his successor caused more contention, 
discussion and turmoil in reference to our judges than any act 
or thing which had theretofore occurred. Francis Rawn Shtmk 
was the Democratic Governor, and was disposed to reappoint 
Judge AAHiite, especially so as the friends of the latter had pre- 
sented a petition containing the names of about twenty thousand 
of his constituents, irrespective of party politics, requesting 
it. But the political managers took a hand and said it would 
never do to appoint a Whig. Judge Jeremiah S. Black strongly 
recommended Shunk to make the appointment, and when he 
took his departure he believed he would do so, but on the same 
day a Democratic congressman on his way to Washington called 
on the governor and objected to it which prevented the appoint- 
ment being made. 

Judge White's term expired February 27, 1847, and on 
that day Governor Shunk sent in the name of Jeremiah M. Bur- 
rell, of Greensburg, to Irhe senate for confirmation. William F. 
Johnston, a Whig senator from the Cambria district, then re- 
siding at Kittanning, was the speaker of the senate, and whose 
party controlled the senate by one vote. Judge Burrell's ap- 
pointment was promptly rejected. On March 15, 1847, the 


governor nomiuated Samuel A. Giliiiore for the succession and 
renewed liis recommendation for the senate to confirm it, but it 
was also promptly refused, by a vote of fourteen to twelve. The 
governor made the third trial, and named Wilson McCand- 
less of Pittsburg as Judge White's successor, and again re- 
quested the senate to approve it, which was also declined by a 
tie vote of thirteen to thirteen. The senate adjourned, and 
there was no president judge for the Tenth Judicial District. 

The public welfare was being seriously affected for the 
lack of a presiding judge. Governor Sliunk assumed the respon- 
sibility and ajDpointed his first choice — J. M. Burrell — to fill the 
vacancy p/o hac vice, with his commission bearing date of 
March 27, 1847. On Monday, May 24, 1847, Judge Burrell as- 
sumed the duties of his office, and presided over the courts in 
Greensburg, and in regular order in the other courts of the 

The complications heretofore had been political but now 
confusion was supreme, and had shifted to the people, who in- 
quired if the appointment was valid, or whether they had any 
courts. Edgar Cowan, the eminent lawyer of Greensburg, 
doubted its constitutionality, and brought an action of quo 
ivarranto to test the validity of the appointment, which was 
decided by the supreme court on a technical objection raised by 
Judge Burrell, sustaining him, which is reported in 7 Pa., 34. 
The technical objection in^oduced more complications and con- 
fusion than had theretofore existed. The Democratic politi- 
cians were alarmed, and the Whigs were complacent, but they 
believed the duty rested on them to relieve the situation. While 
the General Assembly was in session in the winter of 1847-48, 
Senator Johnston was still the speaker of the senate. During 
the session he casually met a young man named John C. Knox, 
of Wellsboro, Tioga county, who was on his way to the west 
to locate and begin the practice of law. His brilliancy cap- 
tured the speaker, who advised him that if he could get Gov- 
ernor Shunk to appoint him president judge of the Tenth Ju- 
dicial District that he would undertake to have the appoint- 
ment confirmed by the senate, which he had no doubt could be 
procured. AVithin a few days the appointment of John C-alvin 
Knox came to the senate from Governor Shunk, when it was 
promptly confirmed. His commission was dated April 11, 1848, 
when Judge Burrell resigned, and he served until Judge Taylor 
succeeded him on the first Monday of December, 1851. 


Judge McCandless, who served many years on the bench, 
always referred to or spoke of Judge White as "My illustrious 
predecessor." Chief Justice Black frequently said that "Judge 
White was the ablest and most satisfactory common pleas judge 
I ever tried a case before." The refusal of Governor Shunk 
to reappoint Judge White and its results did more than any 
other thing to take the appointment of president judges from 
the chief executive and make it an elective office, which was done 
by the Act of April 15, 1851, P. L., 648. 

Judge Jeremiah Murry Burrell was born near Murrys- 
ville, in Westmoreland county, his mother being a daughter of 
General Murry, one of the founders of Murrysville. He com- 
pleted his education at Jefferson College, then located at Canons- 
burg. He was a student of the law in the office of Judge Rich- 
ard Coulter, who was subsequently an associate justice of the 
supreme court, and was admitted to practice law Jul}" 14, 1835. 

He had an inclination for politics, and purchasing the 
"Greensburg Argus" about 1839, he made it a political organ 
which gained a national reputation of sufficient force to meet 
the approval of the opponents of Horace Greeley's anti-slavery 
ideas, and other public interests. In 1844 he was an efficient 
speaker and writer for Colonel Polk, the Democratic candidate 
for the presidency. In a contest for the leadership of the Gen- 
eral Assembly with Thomas Burnside, Jr., a son of Judge Burn- 
side, and a son-in-law of Simon Cameron, he succeeded. He 
was then recognized as an able partisan and a most eminent 
orator. Notwithstanding his eminent abilities and integrity, 
the manner of his appointment rankled in his bosom as well 
as that of the party which appointed him, and after serving 
less than a year he resigned the position of president judge of 
our district. 

Judge John Calvin Knox served acceptably as president 
judge of the courts of Cambria county from April 11, 1848, 
until April 4, 1849, when he was succeeded by Judge Taylor. 
Judge Knox was a stranger in the Tenth District, which is 
the prinicipal reason for his appointment and confirmation. In 
addition to the manner in which Senator Johnston suggested 
his name, there is another side incident connected with his ju- 
dicial service which is of some value and has never been pub- 
lished, which now may be properly done, as age mellows many 
things into virtues, 

Armstrong county was a part of the Tenth District, and 


the late John S. Ehey, of Ebensbiirg, was then a young lawyer 
residing in Kittanning, who had been appointed deputy attor- 
ney general to prosecute criminal actions in the district. While 
residing in that county he was elected to the General Assembly, 
where bv that eminent bodv he was chosen speaker of the house 
in 1852. When Judge Knox made his first visit to Kittanning 
he met Mr. Rhey, and with due modesty and candor said he 
feared to assume the duties which the office of president judge im- 
posed as his practice of the law was limited. He had never tried 
a case and felt that he was not equipped for the distinguished 
position. Mr, lihey appreciated the condition of public affairs 
in the district, and with his short acquaintance looked with 
favor on helping the young judge, and thus counselled him: 
''Never mind; go on the bench and made no excuses; do the 
best you can and we will help you. Do not talk about it." He 
did as he was advised, and performed his duties very well for 
the brief period he was in the district. 

The judicial districts were reapportioned in 1851, and on 
the same day that Judge Taylor was elected for the Cambria, 
Blair and Huntingdon courts, Judge Knox was elected in the 
Venango, Jefferson, Clarion and Forrest district, then the 
XVIIIth District, defeating Judge Buffington, who had been com- 
missioned by Governor Johnston. Judge Knox served with 
distinction, and in 1853 Governor Bigler appointed him as- 
sociate judge of the supreme court to succeed the eminent Chief 
Justice John Bannister Gibson. He was elected to succeed him- 
self, and served there until January 19, 1858, when he assumed 
the office of attorney general in the cabinet of Governor Will- 
iam Fisher Packer. At the close of his official term as attorney 
general he located in Philadelphia, where he practiced his pro- 
fession until he became afflicted with softening of the brain, and 
died in the Norristown Hospital. 

Judge George Taylor was born at Oxford, Chester county, 
Pennsylvania, November 20, 1812, and died in Hollidaysburg 
while holding court November 14, 1871. He was the fourth child 
of Matthew and Rebecca Anderson-Taylor. He did not attend 
school after his thirteenth year. He removed to Huntingdon, 
and became a clerk in the prothonotary's office, while David R. 
Porter was the the official. In 1834 he entered the office of An- 
drew P. Wilson as a student of the law, and was admitted to 
the bar on April 12, 1836. He prosecuted the Flanagans for the 
Betsy Holder homicide. He formed a partnership with Jolm 


G. Miles in the practice of tlie law. In 1843 lie was elected 
treasurer of Hnnting-don comity. While treasurer he retired 
from the firm of Miles & Taylor and began to prepare for the 
Presbyterian ministry. He mastered the Greek language and 
could read the Testament in its original tongue. In 1835 he 
was editor of a Democratic weekly newspaper. 

The Act of April 5, 1819, created the XXIVtli Judicial Dis- 
trict, composed of Blair, Cambria and Huntingdon counties, 
and he was unanimously recommended for president judge, and 
in the same month Governor Johnston, the Whig governor, 
gave him his first commission. He succeeded Judge Knox in 
Cambria county, and occupied the bench for the first time on 
July 2, 1849. He was nominated and elected as a Whig in 1851 
for a full term of ten years, and was re-elected in 1861. In his 
twenty-two years' service he never failed to hold the regular 
terms of court. Judge Taylor was an excellent common pleas 

Justice John Dean was born at Williamsburg, Blair county, 
February 15. 1835, and died in'Hollidaysburg, May 29, 1905. 
He was the son of Matthew Dean. His grandfather was John 
Dean, and his great-grandfather was Matthew Dean, one of the 
early settlers in central Pennsylvania. 

Judge Dean was educated in the common schools at the 
Williamsburg Academy and Washington College. He taught 
school in W'illiamsburg and Hollidaysburg, when he entered 
the law office of James M. Bell and D. H. Hofius as a student 
of the law. He was admitted to practice in 1855. In 1857 he 
was elected superintendent of the county schools, and in 1859 
formed a partnership with Samuel Steel Blair, which continued 
until '64. In '67 he was appointed district attorney for Blair 
county to succeed John H. Keatle}^, and was elected for the 
next term. In 1871 he was elected president judge of the 
X^lVth Judicial District consisting of Blair, Cambria and 
Huntingdon counties. His Democratic opponent was Thaddejus 
Banks, and George Taylor as an Independent candidate. In 
1881 he was unanimously elected for the succeeding t^rni. The 
apportionment of 1883 made Blair county a separate district, 
where he completed the second term of service. In 1891, 
he was again re-elected over H. T. Ames, of Williams])ort, an 
Independent candidate. In 1892 he was nominated by the Re- 
publican convention and was elected to the supreme court 'of 
his native state, and entered upon his duties on tlie first Mon- 



day of January, 1898. He was next to the chief jnstiee in the 
date of his commission at the time of his death. Judge Dean 
did not accept a railroad pass during his judicial career. He 
was regarded as one of the strong judges of the state. 

Judge Robert Lipton Johnston, elected as the Democratic 
nominee to succeed Judge Dean, was the first judge for Cam- 

R. L. Johnston. 

bria county when it was made a separate judicial district in 
1883, and designated the XLVIIth District. He was born in 
Franklin township, Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, on Jan- 
uary 7, 1815; died at Ebensburg, October 28, 1890. 

Judge Johnston was educated in private schools. In 1839 
he removed from Indiana to Ebensburg, and became a student 
of the law in the office of Michael Dan Magellan. He was ad- 


mitted to practice on March 31, 1811. In 1815 lie was elected 
connty treasurer on the Whig ticket, and in 1819, he was its 
candidate for the state senate against Augustus Drum. In 1851 
he was elected on the same ticket for prothonotary, clerk of the 
oyer and terminer, quarter sessions and orphans' courts, and 
register and recorder, all of which were filled by the same of- 
ficial. In 1851 he was elected the first superintendent of public 
schools, and served until October, 1855, when he resigned. There- 
after he successfully practiced his profession until he was elected 
president judge. 

In 1854 he left the Whig party on the issues raised by the 
Know-Nothings, and held aloof for twp years before he decided 
to cast his lot with the Democratic party. He was a Douglas- 
Democrat in the contest of 1860, and a War Democrat during 
tlie strife. In 1864 and in 1866 he was a candidate for congress. 
He headed the McClellan electoral ticket for president in 1864, 
when Morton McMichael led it for Lincoln. He was an able 
law5''er and an upright judge, and died suddenly while president 

Augustine Vinton Barker was appointed president judge by 
Governor Beaver to succeed Judge Johnston, on November 13, 
1890. He was born at Lovell, in Oxford county, Maine, June 
20, 1849; he was a son of Abraham Andrews and Elizabeth Lit- 
tell Barker, who removed to Cambria county in 1854. 

Judge Barker graduated at Dartmouth College in 1872, with 
the degree of B. A., and in 1875 he was honored with that of 
M. A. from the same institution. When he completed his edu- 
cation he entered the office of Judge E. W. Evans, of Chicago, 
as a student of the law, and later entered the office of Shoemaker 
& Sechler, in Ebensburg. from which he was admitted to practice 
at the Cambria bar, on August 4, 1874. He was selected solicitor 
for the county commissioners in 1881. On November 9, 1891, 
he was elected ]>resident judge for a term of ten years as the 
Republican nominee, to date from the first Monday of January, 
1892. He was an industrious and able lawyer and judge. He 
was always a student. ELis decisions were rarely criticised or 
. reversed by the appellate courts. Since his retirement he has 
successfully practiced his profession at Ebensburg. 

In his fourteenth year he enlisted with his father and 
brother in Captain Daniel 0. Evans' Company K, Fourth Penn- 
sylvania Militia, under the command of Colonel Eobert Lit- 
zinger, in the department commanded by General Nelson A. 


Miles during General Lee's Gettysburg invasion. He served 
from June 15 to August 8, 1863. 

Judge Francis Josepli O'Connor was elected in 1901 to suc- 
ceed Judge Barker. He is a son of James and Elizabeth Croyle 
O'Connor; born August 11, 18(30, on the homestead farm, near 
Forwardstown, in the county of Somerset, Pennsylvania. He 
was educated in the public and private schools. He graduated 
from the law department of the University of Michigan, at Ann 
Arbor, in the clnss of 1881, with the degree of LL. B. He was 
admitted to practice law in Somerset county on May 8, 1881, and 
on November 9, 188G, he removed to Johnstown, when he be- 
came a member of the Cambria bar. 

Prior to his graduation he taught school for a number of 
terms in liis native county. In November, 1889, he was elected 
district attorney for Cambria county, as the nominee of the 
Democratic party, and served one term. In 1894 he was chosen 
city solicitor for the city of Johnstown, and served for three 
3^ears. In 1896, he was the choice of his party in the county for 
the nomination for congress, but withdrew his name from the 
conference in favor of Major R. C. McNamara. He was the 
unanimous nominee of his party for president judge of the 
XLVIIth Judicial Distiict at the November election in 1901, and 
was elected. He is now serving as the ninth president judge of 
Cambria county. 


Since 1850 several efforts have been made to have Johns- 
town created the county capital, ot to make a new county to be 
called Conemaugh. Thus far all attempts have failed. To give 
the people of the southern part of the county relief in the trans- 
action of legal affairs, the General Assembly passed the Act of 
April 13, 1869, creating the district court with the courthouse 
in Johnstown. The district included the boroughs of Johnstown, 
Conemaugh, Millville, Cambria, Prospect, Franklin and East 
Conemaugh, and the townships of Yoder, Richland, Taylor and 

In criminal affairs its jurisdiction was limited to cases 
triable in the court of quarter sessions, and it could not try the 
higher felonies which are heard in the court of oyer and term- 
iner. In civil matters it was limited to claims not to exceed 
two hundred dollars ; however, its jurisdiction was enlarged by 
the Act of April 1, ]873, so that all criminal prosecutions, ex- 


cepting treason and homicide, and in civil affairs the same power 
as am' court of common pleas were given it. 

Judge Taylor and Associate Judges George W. Easly and 
James Murray constituted the court, but by the Act enlarging 
the jurisdiction that part was repealed and the judges were to 
be elected by the electors of the district. 

The July term was approaching when the Union Hall on 
the northwest corner of Washington and Franklin streets was 
leased for the new county offices and court house at $800 per 
annum. Pending the remodeling Colonel Linton's office was 
Sheriff' Blair's headquarters, and Daniel McLaughlin's office 
was used as the office of the prothonotary. The lease for the 
Union Hall had not been executed when the opposition sought to 
have it set aside in order to lease what was known as Fron- 
heiser's Hall, on the southeast corner of Railroad and Clinton 
streets. Of course this caused much trouble, and on May 6, a 
protest was filed against the latter by James Potts, W. Horace 
Eose, John F. Barnes, Cyrus Elder, A. Kopelin, Daniel Mc- 
Laughlin and C. L. Pershing, as not being a fit place for the 
court, and the U^nion Plall was finally chosen. 

The court was organized Monday, July 5, 1869, by Judge 
Taylor, and his associates named. Joseph McDonald was deputy 
prothonotary, and Patrick Markey, court crier. There was much 
enthusiasm in the opening ceremonies; Judge Potts made the 
principal address and Judge Taylor responded. The members 
of the bar who were admitted to practice therein were James 
Potts, Abraham Kopelin, Cyrus L. Pershing, Daniel McLaugh- 
lin, Cyrus Elder, John P. Linton, John F. Barnes, R. L. Johns- 
ton, John Fenlon, George M. Reade, John S. Rhey, William 
Kittell, W^ H. Sechler, F. A. Shoemaker, W. Horace Rose, John 
H. Fisher, Jacob Zimmerman, S. B. AlcCormick, Harry White, 
Isaac Higus, George F. Baer, now president of the Reading 
railroad, F. P. Tierney. George W. Oatman, John E. Scanlan, 
Joseph McDonald, T. W. Dick, James C. Easly, and H. C. Camp- 
bell of Punxsutawney. The sheriff was John A. Blair, and his 
deputy, James Null. Captain J. K. Hite was the prothonotary, 
and F. P. Tierney the district attorney. 

The first court continued for three days. But trouble was 
brewing. In the April term, 1870, the grand juiy declared the 
lock-up on the public square which was used as a county prison, 
a public nuisance and indicted the following named gentlemen 
for maintaining it: Burgess. Joseph S. Strayer, and Council- 


men Daniel J. Morrell, J. M. Campbell, James Morley, H. A. 
Boggs, Eichard Jelly, David Hopkins, John P. Linton, Charles 
Zimmerman, Sr., James King, Airwine Metz, T. R. Kimmell, 
Jonathan Horner, Alexander Kennedy, James H. Hoover, 
Joseph Layton, Daniel N. Jones, George W. McGarry and Henry 
Barnes. Of course they were not called to trial. 

A bill was presented in the General Assembly for 1870 auth- 
orizing the removal of the county offices from Ebensburg to 
Johnstown, but it was defeated. Tlie project then became a 
political issue, but non-partisan; it was a test of strength be- 
tween the people of the south of the county against the north 
who desired to retain the county capital at Ebensburg. On 
June 4 a very large meeting to start the campaign was held on 
what was termed ''Court House Square," now the city park. 
The officers were: President, William Flattery, Esq.; vice- 
presidents, Hugh Bradley, C. B. Ellis, Thomas Davis, Captain 
Patrick Graham. R. B. Gageby, Jacob Fronheiser, Jacob Fend, 
Jolm Thomas, James Robb, George McLain, David Dibert, 
Henry Shaffer, John Devlin, Charles 0. Luther, Henry Freid- 
hoff, William Cushon. Morris Lewis, John Smith, A. M. Gregg, 
Patrick Minahan, Thomas McKeirnan and Henry Gore, also 
Daniel Good and Thomas McCabe, of East Conemaugh, James 
B. Pyatt and l^eter Pubritz of Franklin, James Cooper and 
John Lamison of Coopersdale, Daniel Burthold and A. A. Par- 
sons of Taylor township. John Cushon and John P. Shaffer of 
Conemaugh township, David Hamilton and James Burns of 
Yoder township, George Orris and Christian Weaver of Rich- 
land township, George Eichensehr and Alexander Murphy of 
Adams township and Thomas Davis and Henry Adams of Jack- 
son townshi]). The secretaries were H. D. Woodruif and George 
T. Swank. An executive committee was appointed to conduct 
the campaign consisting of Lewis Plitt, William Fhittery, B. F. 
Speedy. H. A. Boggs, Charles B. Ellis, and Charles Unver- 
zaght. The Tribune and the Democrat made it the leading issue. 
A convention was held in Johnstown on June 25, with delegates 
from every ward and townshi]) in the new district. The perma- 
nent organization was Daniel ^IcLaughlin, president; George 
McLain, and Thomas McCabe, vice-presidents ; and F. M. George 
and John F. Barnes, secretaries. The resolutions presented by 
the committee on such were adopted, the vital grievance being: 
"Whereas, the time has arrived when the varied interests of the 
people of the County of Cambria demand as an act of exact 


justice tlie removal of the County Seat from Ebensburg to 
Jolmstown, the great business and commercial centre of the 
Comity, ' ' and requesting tlie candidate for Assembly who would 
be nominated, to pledge himself to use every effort to pass a 
law to that effect. General James Potts was nominated, but on 
the 10th of August he withdrew and Captain Henry D. Wood- 
ruff, of the Democrat, became the nominee for Assembly on the 
Kemoval ticket. 

On August 8 the Democratic convention met in ElDcnsburg 
and nominated an "Anti-Removal" ticket. The candidates be- 
fore the convention were William Horace Rose, James Griffin 
and Nathaniel Home of Johnstown, Robert H. Brown of Cres- 
son and John Porter of Lilly. On the sixth ballot Mr. Rose 
was nominated. William B. Bonacker of Johnstown was nom- 
inated for sheriff. The campaign was opened and conducted 
solely on the question of removal of the court house, and politics 
were disregarded. Meetings were held throughout the district. 
The Anti-Removal party agitated the building of a new prison 
in Ebensburg which was considered a good move to block the 
Removal people. This event brought the campaign poet to the 
fore with the following, which was sung to the tune of "Captain 
Jinks of the Horse-Marines:" 

" Old Bob and Phil may talk and cant, 

And Tom and Frank may rave and rant; 
But that big jail — Oh no, you shan't; 
We'll raze it with our army. 

"You know that Bill will not report; 
He only pledged himself to sport; 
But we are going to bring that Court, 
With our Removal Army." 

Lewis Plitt and others procured an injunction against Will- 
iam Callan. the contractor for the new jail, and the commis- 
sioners and treasurer, to prevent them expending any money 
on the new penitentiary, as it was termed by the Antis. The 
defendants not having filed an answer Judge Potts moved for 
judgment pro confesso, which brought the matter to an issue. 
An attachment was issued for the defendants for contempt of 
court, but they all ap.peared and disclaimed any thought of con- 
temi)t. which ended that proceeding and the new jail was com- 
pleted. Tlie election took place on October 11, when Mr. Rose 
received 2,929 votes and Captain Woodruff, 2,707. The vote in 
Johnstovm was thus: First ward, for removal, 233 against 
31; Second, 106 to 15 for it; Tliird ward, 111 to 21 for it-* Fourth 


ward, 150 to 18 for it; Fifth ward, 166 to 32 for it; Sixth ward, 
107 to 12 for it. 

The vote in Ebensbiirg was thus: East ward. Rose 118; 
Woodruff, none ; West ward, Rose 153 ; Woodruff, none. Cap- 
tain Bonaclver was elected slierift', and Daniel J. Morrell was 
defeated for congress by 11 votes. 

Shortly after the election, F. Carroll Brewster, the attorney 
general for the state, moved for quo ivarranto proceechng against 
George Taylor to show cause why he exercised the duties of 
president judge of the district court, and on February 9, 1871, 
judgment was entered against Judge Taylor and he was ousted. 
This was a serious blow and was considered to have actually 
abolished the district court. 

For almost a year tranquility prevailed, when suddenly 
Governor Geary appointed James Potts, president judge, 
David Hamilton and William Flattery associate judges, and 
George T. Swank prothonotary and clerk of the quarter sessions 
court, for the district court to be holden in Johnstown. The 
old contest was renewed with vigor. On September 20, 1871, 
a convention was held in Johnstown over which Captain Wood- 
rutf presided. Thomas McCabe of East Conemaugh and John 
W. James of Johnstown were vice-presidents, and W. A. Krise 
of Coopersdale, and John Roberts of Franklin were the secre- 
taries. The appointees were nominated. Notwithstanding 
there were but ten days until the election, an opposition ticket 
was placed in the field, consisting of Cyrus Long Pershing for 
president judge; George W. Easly and Jacob Singer for asso- 
ciate judges, and Robert H. Canan for prothonotary. It was 
a brilliant dash, and was made more interesting because Judge 
Taylor, Judge Dean and Thaddeus Banks were contesting for 
the prize of president judge of the XXlVth judicial district. 
The result was as follows: Judge Potts received 1,117 votes; 
Pershing, 924; Hamilton, 1,181; Flattery, 1,262; Singer, 1,009; 
Easly, 938; Swank, 1,470, and Canan, 910. Judge Dean suc- 
ceeded in the XXlVth district. On the same day Samuel Henry 
of Ebensburg was elected to the Assembly over W. Horace Rose 
by a vote of 2,912 to 2,505. I'he result Oi this election was the 
passage of the Act enlarging the jurisdiction of the district 
court, reference to which has been made previously. 

The Taylor quo warranto had done its work so well that on 
March 28, 1872, at the suggestion of Captain J. K. Hite, who 
was prothonotary in Ebensburg, another writ was issued against 


George T. Swank to show cause why he exercised the rights and 
duties of the office to which lie had been elected. The court 
sustained the claimant, and the supreme court affirmed it, where- 
upon Mr. Swank was likewise ousted. It was not a difficult 
matter for an attorney or suitor to know what was going on in 
the jury room after the jury retired. On this occasion an im- 
portant case was being tried, and the jury having gone to their 
room had agreed upon a verdict against the client of Colonel 
Kopelin which of course came to his knowledge. He had also 
received private information that Mr. Swank had been ousted 
by the suj^reme court, therefore, Colonel Kopelin immediately 
moved to have the jury discharged, inasmuch as there had been 
no legal clerk of the court during the trial. The jury filed in 
to record their verdict. Judge Potts received it on the ground 
that the court had ''no official notice of the removal of Mr. 
Swank." The opinion of Mr. Justice Agnew was considered 
so broad that it virtually ended the district court, which re- 
mained suspended from July, 1872, until after the amended Act 
of April, 1873. Samuel Henry Avas friendly to the Removal cause, 
and through his influence the bill became a law. 

On April 9, 1873, Governor Hartranft reappointed George 
T. Swank clerk of the district court, who reassumed the duties 
attached to the position. On May 13, the county commissioners 
leased for a court house Parke's Opera House, and the second 
floor of the Benton buikling. which adjoined it on the west. The 
0])position endeavored to have the Union Hall, Fronheiser's 
Hall, or the Episcopal church selected for the court house, but 
for the time being were unsuccessful. George W. Cope and 
Henry H. Kuhn were admitted to practice law in March, and 
Oliver J. i^oung and John H. Brown in September, 1873. 

On May 12, 1873, another writ of quo warranto was issued 
commanding Judge Potts to show cause why he assumed and 
exercised the power of president judge of the district court. On 
the return day Henry 1). Foster of Greensburg and John Scott 
of Huntingdon ap]>eared for Judge Potts and moved for a con- 
tinuance. It was granted on the condition that he would not 
exercise an\' duty of the court, excepting to convene and adjourn 
the court imtil the final decision was made. This condition 
existed until October, when Judge Potts was removed. Not- 
withstanding the Union Hall had not been leased for the use of 
the court. Judge Potts moved thither on July 7, 1873, and opened 
court a]i(l was about to adjourn under the condition imposed, 


wlien Colonel Linton moved for the trial or the discharge of a 
client who had been indicted for a serious offense. Judge Potts 
directed the crier to adjourn the court until the first Monday 
of October. While this was going on in the Union 
Hall, another court had been convened in Parke's Opera 
House, which was attended by Sheritf Bonacker, Treas- 
urer John Cox, Associate Judge David Hamilton, and 
George T. Swank, clerk of the court. The attorneys 
present were Colonel Kopelin, K, L. Johnston, W. H. 
Sechler, W. Horace Eose, Daniel McLaughlin, Jacob Zimmer- 
man, and H. H. Kuhn. Subsequently Colonel Linton appeared. 
Judge Hamilton directed Crier Markey to open the court, which 
he did in his inimitable way. The commission issued by Gov- 
ernor Hartranft appointing Mr. Swank clerk, etc., was read and 
recorded. Colonel Kopelin and Colonel Linton then made the 
same motion in this court as Linton had made before Judge 
Potts sitting in the Union Hall. The motion was filed, and Judge 
Hamilton adjourned it until the first Monday of October. Mr. 
Swank did not personally act as clerk of the court, he continuing 
as editor and publisher of the Tribune. Captain Kuhn was his 
deputy until the latter part of 1872, when John H. Brown suc- 
ceeded and served until his term expired. 

On Septembe]" 19, 1873, a petition requesting the electors 
to choose two delegates — one Republican and one Democrat- — to 
meet in convention to nominate a candidate for clerk of the 
court, was addressed to ' ' The Voters residing within the limits 
of the District Court." It was numerously signed, beginning 
with Gale Heslop and Casper Burgraff and ending with George 
F. Randolph and D. J. Morrell. The convention met in Parke's 
Opera House on September 27. The delegates were: Adams 
to^vnship : Lewis W. Shank and Hiram Shaffer ; Cambria 
borough: Michael Sweeny and Henry Gore; Conemaugh town- 
ship: John Cushon and D. I. Horner; Second ward of Cone- 
maugh borough: Martin Rist and William Cushon; Coopersdale 
borough : W. A. Krise and John D. Adams ; Franldin borough : 
John Furlong and J. F. Devlin; Millville borough: Michael 
Maloy ; Taylor township : J. B. Bowser and J. B. Clark ; Jolms- 
town, First ward: John Kitchens and Hugh Bradley; Second 
ward; J. F. Barnes and Jacob Mildren; Third ward, Casper 
Burgraff and William Doubt; Fourth ward: Oscar Graff e; Fifth 
ward: A. Wigand and S. T. Robb; Sixth ward: Hugh Maloy and 
S. B. McCormick; Prospect borough: Thomas Dunford and 

Vol. I— 11 


John Smith. There were no delegates from the First ward 
of Conemaugh, East Conemaugh or Woodvale boroughs, nor 
from the townships of Upper and Lower Yoder and Eichland. 
The officers of the convention were John Cushon, president; 
Michael Sweeny and Heniy Gore, vice-presidents, of whom the 
latter declined to accept the honor, and Jacob Mildren was 
chosen. J. B. Adams and W. X. Krise were the secretaries. 
Lncian D. Woodruff was nominated by acclamation for clerk of 
the court. Notwithstanding the unanimity in the proceedings 
it was only on the surface, and deep down there was hot blood 
among the iDoliticians, and every voter was in that class. The 
election was to take place October 14, and on the 3d Samuel 
Masters announced that he would be an indei^endent candidate 
for that office. It was a lively dash. Mr. Masters was elected 
by a vote of 1,443 to 1,294. At the same election Herman Baumer 
was elected sheriff over John T. Harris by a vote of 2,828 to 
2,550, and Samuel Henry, a Republican was re-elected to the 
Assembly for the third successive .time. The latter and the 
sheriff were of course county nominees. 

The first Monday of October, 1873, was the time for the 
beginning of the regular term. On that day some of the court 
officials met in the Union Hall, and the others in Parke's Opera 
House. Judge Potts went to Pittsburg that morning, and at 
10 o'clock Associate Judge Flattery took his seat in the Union 
Hall court and directed J. D. Hamilton, the court crier, to open 
the court. The order was obeyed. Those present were : Robert 
Barclay, a juror; Colonel Kopelin, an attorney; J. D. Barkley, 
a spectator, and two reporters. Judge Flattery announced the 
absence of Judge Potts, and that nothing could be done, and ad- 
journed court until the first Monday of January. The Parke's 
Opera House court did not even have an associate judge, and 
it seems there were only two persons present — George T. Swank, 
the clerk, and Patrick Markey, the crier, who opened and ad- 
journed the court. At the July term Judge Hamilton had at- 
tended both courts but at this time he was absent. 

The supreme court ousted Judge Potts, but on October 31 
he was reappointed by Governor Hartranft, who at the same 
time reappointed Judge David Hamilton, and selected Robert 
B. Gageby as the other associate judge in place of Judge Flat- 
tery, who had gone over to the opposition but is recorded as 
having resigned. 

Tn the meanwhile the new constitution had been adopted, 


which, when it would take effect, would aholish the district court 
of Johnstown. In view of this it was concluded better to have 
one court than two ; therefore, on the first Monday of January 
tenn. 1874, Judge Potts and dissociate Judges Hamilton and 
Gagehy opened the term in Parke's Opera House, where the 
clerk had held his office during the turmoil, and where it con- 
tinued until it went out of existence. On May 20, 1874, Colonel 
Kopelin died. 

On October 21, 1874, a petition numerously signed by the 
leading citizens, among whom were D. J. Morrell, James Mc- 
Millen, C. T. Frazer, W. B. Bonacker. E. A. Vickroy, John M. 
King, A. Montgomery, John P. Linton, Cyrus Elder, John H. 
and Pearson Fisher, requested Judge Potts and Associate 
Judges Hamilton and Gageby to be candidates for re-election, 
and on the same day their acceptance was announced. 

On the 29th a card was posted announcing that John F. 
Barnes would be a candidate for president judge, and Mahlon 
W. Keim and John Benshoff for associate judges of this court. 
This was the condition of affairs four days before the election, 
and neither candidates on the respective tickets had been nom- 
inated by a political party or a convention. It was a lively 
campaign, but a sort of a go-as-you-please-contest, and the po- 
litical stilettoes were keen and pointed. The result was : Potts, 
1,015, and Barnes, 1,247: Gageby, 1,219, and Keim, 1,167, to 
1,140 for Benshoff and 1,025 for Hamilton. Judge Barnes pre- 
sided until the October term had been completed, when the dis- 
trict court was abolished. 

The records were removed to Ebensburg and filed in the 
ofifice of the prothonotary, and thus ended a court of record 
of a brief existence but of more turbulence than was ever known. 

"Among the departed great men of Pennsylvania whose 
services to the commonwealth deserve to be gratefully remem- 
bered the faithful historian will place Judge Cyrus L. Persliing, 
who died on June 29, 1903, at his home in Pottsville, Schuylkill 
county. Pennsylvanians should be proud of the fact that this 
modest but distinguished citizen lived all his days within the 
borders of the Keystone State. Presbyterians should be proud 
of the career of this conspicuous and worthy adherent of their 
faith and doctrine. 

' ' The Pershing family is one of the oldest in Western Penn- 
sylvania. It is of Huguenot origin, Judge Pershing's great- 
grandfather, Frederick Pershing, having emigrated to this coun- 


try from Alsace, then a part of France, landing at Baltimore on 
October 2, 1749. In 1773 the emigrant purchased a tract of 269 
acres of land upon the head waters of Nine Mile Run in what is 
now Unit}' township, AVestmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and in 
1774 he moved his family from Frederick county, Maryland, 
to the new home. With his sons he engaged in farming and he 
also built 'Pershing's mill.' One of his grandsons, Christo- 
pher, son of Christian, was the father of the future judge. Judge 
Pershing's mother, Filizabeth Long, was also descended from a 
pionee]- family in AVestmoreland county, her grandfather, Jacob 
Long, a I^enusylvania German, having moved from Lancaster 
county to Westmoreland county about the beginning of the last 
century, Jacob Long's grandfather, Oswald Long, and his 
father, Diebold Long, emigrated from Wurtemburg in 1730. 

' ' Cyrus Long Pershing was born at Youngstown, Westmore- 
land county, on February 3, 1825. He was therefore in his sev- 
enty-ninth year at the time of his death. In 1830 his father 
moved his family to Johnstown, dying in 1836. Cyrus was the 
oldest of three brothers. A good mother was equal to her re- 
sponsibilities. That her boys should receive the best education 
that was possible was her firm determination. They were early 
sent to 'subscription schools.' When thirteen years old Cyrus 
became a clerk in a store in Johnstown. Here he learned from 
the farmers to speak Pennsylvania Dutch fluently. In 1841 he 
was employed as a clerk at the weighlock of the Pennsylvania 
canal at Johnstown. Subsequently he filled other clerical posi- 
tions in connection with the canal. In all these positions as op- 
l^ortunity would permit he was an industrious student of the edu- 
cational textbooks of the day. In 1839 he began the study of 
Latin with the Eev. Shadrach Howell Terry, the first pastor 
of the Presbyterian church at Johnstown, and afterwards he 
began with Mr. Terry the study of Greek. Mr. Terry died in 
1841 and was succeeded by the Rev. Samuel Swan. In 1842 
Cyrus L. Pershing recited Greek to Mr. Swan that he might be 
prepared to enter the freshman class of Jefferson college, at 
Canonsburg, which he entered in November of that year. From 
this time until June 14, 1848, when he was graduated, he con- 
tinued his college studies in the winter and his clerical duties in 
the summer, with the exception of a few months in 1846, when 
he taught one of the public schools in Johnstown. 

"During the winter following his graduation Mr. Pershing 
taught a classical school at Johnstown, which was well attended 


and was very successful. In 1849, having resolved to study 
law, he accepted an invitation from Jeremiah S. Black, of Somer- 
set, afterwards the distinguished jurist, to enter his office as a 
student. In Noveml)er, 1850, he was admitted to the Somerset 
bar, and immediately afterwards, on November 26, 1850, he was 
admitted to the bar of Cambria county. He opened an office 
in Johnstown and at once entered upon a large and profitable 
practice in the court of Cambria county. This practice he con- 
tinued to enjoy as long as he remained a citizen of Johnstown. 
He also established outside of Cambria county an excellent repu- 
tation as a pains-taking lawyer who knew the law, and this 
reputation paved the way for new clients and for honors which 
soon came to him. Judge Black was so impressed by the native 
ability of his student and the readiness with which he mastered 
legal principles and the details of legal practice that he offered 
him a partnership immediately after his admission to the bar, 
but this arrangement was not consummated because of Judge 
Black's elevation to the supreme bench of Pennsylvania in 1851. 

''Soon after his admission to the bar Mr. Pershing was mar- 
ried to Miss Mary Letitia Boyer, youngest daughter of the Hon. 
John Royer, a pioneer iron manufacturer in the Juniata valley 
and a Whig member of the legislature from Huntingdon county 
and afterwards from Cambria county. The marriage took place 
at Johnstown on September 23, 1851. The Royer family is an 
old Pennsylvania family, of Huguenot extraction. Five sons 
and two daughters were born to Mr. and Mrs. Pershing, all of 
whom, with their mother, are still living. 

"All lawj^ers in country towns in the old days were expected 
to be politicians, even if thev did not have political ambition 
of their own. Most of them, however, were ambitious of political 
preferment. Cyrus L. Pershing was a politician from boyhood. 
He knew the history of his country and of political parties as 
few other boys knew it. He early developed literary talent as 
a writer for the local newspapers, and what he wrote for publi- 
cation often related to the political issues of the day. He be- 
came a member of a local debating society and soon developed 
considerable ability as a public speaker. Even before he was 
admitted to the bar he was in demand as a speaker at neighbor- 
hood meetings of the Democratic party, to which party he faith- 
fully adhered from the beginning to the end of his active career. 
When yet a boy he began to keep a diary of miscellaneous occur- 
rences and also a scrap-book of election returns and political 


events. This habit of methodically preserving facts which he 
deemed worthy of preservation strengthened a naturally re- 
tentive memory and nourished his literary and historical tastes. 
Running through his public speeches and addresses while he 
lived in Johnstown there was always a liistorical vein. In 1848, 
before his admission to the bar, he was the orator of the day at 
a banquet given at Johnstown to the Cambria county soldiers 
who had returned from the Mexican war. Few men who have 
ever lived in Pennsylvania have known the history of the State, 
and especially its political history, as Cyrus L. Pershing knew 
it. He was familiar w^ith the careers of its notable men — poli- 
ticians, law^^ers, clergymen, college professors, and others, and 
he had a personal acquaintance with most of them. 

"After his admission to the bar Mr. Pershing's advance- 
ment in the councils and leadership of his party was so rapid 
that in 1856 and again in 1858 he was the Democratic candidate 
for congress in the district of which Cambria county formed a 
part. He was defeated in both years, as the district was largely 
Republican in sentiment, but in each year he greatly reduced the 
normal anti-Democratic majority. In the fall of 1861 he was 
elected a member of the state legislature from Cambria county, 
and he was re-elected in 1862, 1863, 1864 and 1865, serving in 
this office for an unusually long continuous period. His service 
in the legislature ended with the session of 1866. The author 
of a i3ublislied sketch of Mr. Pershing in 1869 says: 'During 
the whole of Mr. Pershing's service at Harrisburg he was a 
member of the committee of ways and means, the ju- 
diciary, and other important general and special com- 
mittees. At the session of 1863, the only one in which 
the Democrats had a majority, Mr. Pershing was chairman of 
the committee on federal relations, and at the succeeding session 
was the Democratic nominee for speaker of the house. He was 
an acknowledged leader and enjoyed to a rare degree the con- 
fidence and personal esteem of his fellow-members without dis- 
tinction of party.' 

"It will be observed that Mr. Pershing's services in the 
Pennsylvania legislature covered almost the entire period of the 
Civil war. He was himself a War Democrat and believed in a 
vigorous prosecution of the war. In addition to what is said of 
Mr. Pershing's legislative career in the extract above quoted 
it can l)e stated as a part of the history of that great struggle 
that Governor Curtin was in the habit of privately consulting 


with j\lr. Pershing as the Democratic leader in emergencies 
whicli were constantly arising. The governor could rely on his 
loyalty, his wisdom, and his influence over his fellow-members. 

"Honors now come to Cyrus L. Pershing m rapid succes- 
sion. In 1866 he was a delegate from his congressional district 
to the National Union Convention which met at Philadelphia in 
August of that year. In 1868 he was a presidential elector on the 
Democratic ticket. In 1869 he was the Democratic candidate for 
judge of the supreme court of Pennsylvania, but was defeated 
by a small majority. In 187:2, owing to divisions in the Demo- 
cratic party of Schuylkill county, he was asked to become a 
compromise candidate for president judge of the courts of that 
county. He was then in his forty-eighth year. He had never 
been in Schuylkill county, and was, of course, a stranger to 
most of its people, even to many members of the bar who had 
urged him to accept the nomination. However, he consented to 
become a candidate and was elected by a large majority for the 
constitutional term of ten years. In December, 1872, he held 
his first court at Pottsville and in the spring of 1873 he moved 
his family to Pottsville. In 1882 he was elected for another 
term of ten years, and in 1892 for still another term. But fail- 
ing health prevented him from serving the whole of the third 
term. He resigned in August, 1899, having presided with great 
acceptance over the courts of Schuylkill county for twenty-seven 
consecutive years. From 1899 until his death in 1903 he rested 
from his labors, but his interest in public affairs and in the 
welfare of his immediate neighborhood never ceased, and his 
wonderful memory never failed until he was stricken with his 
last illness. 

"In 1875, while presiding over the courts of Schuylkill 
county, Judge Pershing was nominated for governor of Penn- 
sylvania by the Democratic state convention of that year, his 
opponent being General John F. Hartranft, who had been 
elected to the governorship in 1872 and was now a candidate 
for a second tenii. (Jwing to his position on the bench Judge 
Pershing could not "take the stump." So great, however, was 
his personal popularity that he was defeated by a small ma- 
jority of less than 12,000 for General Hartranft. Outside of 
Philadelphia Judge Pershing led his distinguished opponent by 
a large majority. 

"During Judge Pershing's first term as president judge of 


SchuyJkill county, or from 1876 to 1878 inclusive, the infamous 
criminal organization known as the Mollie Maguires was com- 
pletely broken up and many of its members were hung, largely 
as the result of a series of trials over which Judge Pershing 
presided. This organization had terrorized the anthracite 
region for several years, and its agents had committed many 
murders to establish its lawless authority over the coal-mining 
industry. At the risk of his life Judge Pershing did not hesitate 
to sentence to death the convicted participants in these murders 
who were tried before him. From the beginning to the end of 
these trials he displayed a degree of both physical and moral 
courage that had never been excelled on the bench. The trials 
attracted national attention. The law-abiding citizens of Schuyl- 
kill county, without respect to party, have never ceased to ex- 
press their great obligations to Judge Pershing for the courage- 
ous part he took in ridding the county of the Mollie Maguire 
terror. He had been thoroughly tested and found to be pure 

''Judge Pershing became a member of the First Presbyte- 
rian church of Johnstown when still a young man. He became a 
teacher in its Sunday school and was afterwards and for many 
years its superintendent. He was a ruling elder in the church 
when scarcely thirty years old, and he continued in the eldership 
during his residence in Johnstown. After his removal to Potts- 
ville he was chosen to the same office in the Second Presbyterian 
church of that place, and for many years he taught the Bible 
class in its Sunday school. He was a member of the Union 
Presbyterian Convention which met in Philadelphia in Novem- 
ber, 1867, and a member of the General Assembly of the Presby- 
terian church which met at Cliicago in 1877, at Saratoga in 1884, 
at Philadelphia in 1888, and at Washington City in 1893. 

"Judge Pershing was always a loyal friend of his alma 
mater, Jefferson College, and of the united colleges, Washington 
and Jefferson. From March, 1865, until June, 1877, when he 
resigned, he was a trustee of AVashington and Jefferson College. 
At the laying of the cornerstone of the front part of the main 
college building, on October 21, 1873, Judge Pershing delivered 
an address. In 1900 the trustees of the college conferred upon 
him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, an honor that he 
richly deserved." 


Judge James Potts was born in Butler, Pennsylvania, 
August 31, 1809, died in Oil City, August 6, 1891, and was 
buried in Grand View cemetery at Johnstown. 

James Potts was the son of John Potts, a native of the north 
of Ireland. His mother's maiden name was Jane Karns, also 
of Irish, or, more properly, of Scotch-Irish, extraction. Both 
families were not only among the first settlers of Western Penn- 
sylvania, but thej^ were also long prominent in the social, busi- 
ness and political affairs of that part of our State. John Potts, 
the father of James Potts, was a merchant and was one of the 
pioneer settlers of the town of Butler. He was an active and 
influential politician, representing Butler county in the legis- 
lature at a very early day, and also held the offices of county 
treasurer and county commissioner. Two of his sons, Greorge 
and James, were also politicians from their boyhood, yet while 
the father was a Jeffersonian his sons were Democrats all their 
days. The Karns family was divided in its political allegiance. 
Two members of a later generation, William and Samuel D. 
Karns, who were brothers, were prominent in the councils of 
the Democratic and Whig parties respectively forty and fifty 
years ago. 

At the age of seventeen James Potts entered Jefferson 
College and almost completed a four years course, for some un- 
avoidable reason, however, he did not graduate. 

' ' On the 2d day of October, 1838, James Potts and his cousin, 
Margaret Jane Karns, were married at Pittsburg, by the Rev. 
James Prestly. Mrs. Potts' father's name was James Elliott 
Karns. During the following winter the canal commissioners 
under the administration of Governor David R. Porter appointed 
James Potts, who had first been Captain Potts and was now 
Major Potts, collector of tolls at Johnstown, on the main line 
of the public improvements of the State, succeeding Frederick 
Sharretts, a Whig. Soon after his appointment Major Potts 
visited Johnstown for the first time, and in March, 1839, when 
less than thirty years old, he entered upon his new duties and 
set up housekeeping in the official residence of the collector, at- 
tached to the collector's office on Canal street, now Washington 
"street. Major Potts continued as collector of tolls for five years, 
or until 1844, when he was succeeded by A. W. Wasson, of Erie, 
who was in turn succeeded a few years later bv Hon. Obed 


Edson, of AVarren. During a large part of Major Potts' term 
as collector lie liacl as his clerks George Nelson Smith, Camp- 
hell Sheridan, and Cyiiis L. Pershing, all Tvell known to the old 
citizens of Johnstown. 

''"Wlien Major Potts surrendered the collector's office to his 
successor he opened an office on Clinton street for the practice 
of law so far as this could be done without his having pre^^ously 
been admitted to the bar. He had not completed his legal stud- 
ies when he came to Johnstown, but when the whirligig of pol- 
itics threw him on his own resources he resolved not only to 
make JohnstoAvn his permanent home but to relv upon the prac- 
tice of law for a livelihood. To comply with the court regula- 
tions before applying for admission to the bar he nominally 
became a student with Hon. Moses Canan, then the only lawyer 
in Johnstown, and on the 7th of October, 1846, he was formally 
admitted as a member of the Cambria county bar. He at once 
entered upon an active and lucrative practice, in which he con- 
tinued until advancing years and declining health caused him 
to virtually retire from further pleas with judges and ji^nes 
and further Imffetino* with younger men. On June 11, 1850, 
when on a visit to his old home in Butler, he was admitted a 
member of the Butler county bar. For about three years, be- 
ginning with 1850, he was the senior member of the law firm of 
Potts &: Kopelin. Abram Kopelin had studied law with Major 
Potts, and was a bright and promising student. He afterwards 
became one of the most distinguished members of the Cambria 
countv bar. ]\rajor Potts never had any other law partner. 

"As early as 1850 an active agitation had commenced in the 
southern part of Cambria county in favor of the establishment 
of a new county, with Johnstown as the county-seat, and in 1851, 
after the election of George S. King to the legislature, this 
movement, in which Air. King earnestly sympathized, took shape 
in the preparation of a bill which provided for the organization 
of the new county. The measure failed before the legislature, 
but the agitation was again fiercely renewed in 1860, when Major 
Potts, who had from the first been one of its principal pro- 
moters, became the candidate for the legislature of what was 
known as the New County party. He was defeated after a most 
animated canvass, which has probably never been sur[>assed in 
intensity in Cambria county. Then the war came, but a few 
years after it closed the new-county movement was again re- 
newed with great energy, this time, however, taking the form of 


a proposition to remove the coimty-seat from Ebensburg to 
Johnstown. In 1870 Captain H. D. Woodruff, of Johns- 
to\vii, ran as a candidate for the legislature on this issue, 
but was defeated by a small majority. It had previously been 
proposed to establish at Johnstown a district court which should 
include within its jurisdiction Johnstown and some neighboring 
towns and townships. This scheme was so far successful that 
in 1869 it was approved in an act of the legislature and the court 
was duly established, the judges of the Cambria county courts 
officiating as judges of the district court. Subsequent legis- 
lation provided for the election of all district court officers by 
the citizens of the district, but before an election could be held 
the offices were filled by appointment of the governor, Major 
Potts being appointed president judge by Governor Geary in 
1871. He was subsequently elected to this position. Several 
sessions of the new court were held with Judge Potts on the 
bench. But the court, which had at first been eagerly desired, 
soon fell into disfavor, because by the terms creating it it par- 
took too much of the character of a police court. There was 
much legislation concerning it and much litigation. In 1873 
Judge Potts was defeated as a candidate for re-election to the 
judgeship by John F. Barnes. 

"Soon after coming to Johnstown Major Potts took an in- 
terest in its military affairs. There had existed for a number 
of years a volunteer infantry compau}^ called the Conemaugh 
Guards, of which Joseph Chamberlain, John K. Shryock, and 
John Linton were successively captains. About 1811 a rival 
company was organized, called the Washington Artillerists, of 
which Peter Levergood, Jr., was elected captain. He was suc- 
ceeded by George W. Easly, and about 1842 Collector Potts was 
elected captain, a position which he held for many years. The 
name of the company had in the meantime been changed to the 
A¥ashington (jrays. The Grays were often on dress parade, 
and with the Conemaugh Guards they participated in many en- 
campments. Those were stirring times for a countiy town. 
;^^ajor Potts was a good drill officer. At the beginning of the 
Rebellion he took delight in drilling Johnstown volunteers for 
the Union army and in showing in many other ways his interest 
in military affairs. He played the drum on the 3d day of June, 
1825, upon the occasion of Lafayette's reception by the people 
of the town of Butler, and the fifer whom he accompanied 
with his drum was a Eevolutionary soldier named Peter Mc- 


Kinney, who had ])layed the fife at the battle of Bunker Hill, 
in 1775, just fifty years before. In our old friend we have had 
a link tjo connect the present generation with Revolutionary 

''When he came to Johnstown in 1839 his official position 
and his natural tastes combined to make him active in local 
politics, while his wide acquaintance with the leading members 
■of his party made him also to some extent a factor in State 
politics. He had opiiiions of his own about men and measures 
and expressed them freely. He was long a regular attendant at 
the county conventions of his party. He was a Tariff Demo- 
crat and the friend of Simon Cameron. He was a ready po- 
litical writer and liked to take part in newspaper controversies. 
For a few months along about 1846 he was one of the recognized 
editors of an independent Democratic paper published in Johns- 
town called the Courier; but a year or two before this, during 
the interregnum between his retirement from the collector's 
office and his entrance upon the active practice of law, he edited 
for one winter the Democratic organ at Harrisburg, the Argus. 
The Courier opposed Governor Shunk's renomination in 1847. 
The paper probably died in that year. In both the cases in 
which Major Potts assumed editorial duties he was influenced 
by his strong partisanship and his thoroughly unselfish devotion 
"to his political friends. 

"When the flood came on that last day of May, 1889, Judge 
Potts and his family were overwhelmed by the mighty rush of 
waters : their home on the corner of Walnut and Locust streets 
was destroyed in an instant; his oldest daughter, Jane, was 
lost, although her body was afterwards found; and the judge 
and his remaining children were swept down toward the now 
historic stone bridge, where they were rescued. In a day or 
two the judge and his family found a refuge with friends in 
Westmoreland county and afterwards with friends in Blair 
<?ounty; thence going before the summer was over to Oil City, 
where a new home was secured, and where, away from the few 
old friends who survived the flood, away from the stricken town 
he had loved so well, worn by disease and broken in spirit, an 
old man in every sense, he died. 

Judge John F. Barnes is a native of Johnstown. He was 
elected district attorney of the county, and was president judge 
of the District Court. When the court was abandoned he became 
a merchant, and is now residing at Waterford, Pennsvlvania. 



During- the early Colonial period it appears the judges of 
the supreme court and other judges were paid by a system of 
fees, especially so wlien the judges of the supreme court sat in 
the court of quarter sessions their fees were double those in: 
other courts. 

When the courts were reorganized under the constitution 
of 1790, the Act of April 13, 1791, 3 Smith, 35, provided that 
when the judges of the supreme court and the president judges 
of the court of common pleas shall sit as judges of high court 
of errors and appeals, they shall be entitled to six dollars for 
each day they shall attend. 

Also, that the chief justice of the supreme court should re- 
ceive one thousand pounds per annum, and thirty shillings per 
day while on the circuit for traveling expenses; the associate 
judges to get six hundred pounds and thirty shillings for travel- 
ing expenses. The president judges received five hundred 
j)Ounds, which was subsequently increased in the sum of two 
hundred and sixty-six and 66-100 dollars. 

The Act of April 4, 1796, 3 Smith, 271, fixed the salaries of 
the associate judges of the supreme court, and the president 
judges of the court of common pleas at four hundred dollars 
per annum, which shall, as it provides, continue for "two years 
and no longer." 

In 1843 the president judges were receiving an annual salary 
of sixteen hundred dollars, and the associate judges one hundred 
and twenty dollars. The Act of April 17, 1843, P. L. 324, directed 
that judges of the supreme court thereafter appointed should 
receive an annual salary of eighteen hundred dollars, and the 
associate judges sixteen hundred dollars, each, with an ad- 
ditional sum of three dollars per day while they were traveling- 
on the circuit for traveling expenses ; Governor Porter refused 
to approve the bill but it became the law without his approval. 

It appears by the Act of July 19, 1839, P. L. 630, the sal- 
aries of all the judges had been increased in the sum of four 
hundred dollars, which would make them $2,200 and $2,000, re- 

In the several acts relating to salaries or penalties, where 
]30unds, shillings and pence are used, the English pound ster- 
ling of $4.86 is not meant, but the value in Pennsylvania cur- 
rencv. The values in all the Colonies were much depreciated. 


and little uniformity prevailed; for instance, in tlie New Eng- 
land colonies and Virginia a pound was $3.33 1/3; in New York 
and North Carolina, $2.50; in Georgia, $1; in New Jersey, Penn- 
sylvania, Delaware and Maryland it was $2.66 2/3. In Penn- 
sylvania a shilling was thirteen and one-third cents; a sixpence 
or a fip was six and two-third cents. As late as 1850 Judge 
Coulter, in CJiapman'y. Calder, 14 Pa., 358, held that forty shil- 
lings, or two pounds, was equal to five dollars and thirty-three 
cents in Pennsylvania currency, and payment could not be de- 
manded in specie of the sterling value. 

The common pleas judges who received five hundred pounds 
onl)' got about $1,331.66 for their annual services, and other 
officials were recompensed at the like rate. The Colonial stand- 
ards were in use for a long time after the Revolutionary war; 
in Pennsylvania at least, until 1791. 

In 1779 the values of fines, penalties and fees due officers 
were regulated by the price of wheat. This was found to be 
inconvenient, and was repealed June 21, 1781, 2 Smith, 5, and 
the unit of measurement was based upon gold and silver. 

The Act of May 2, 1871, P. L. 247, authorized the payment 
of twelve dollars per day to the judge for holding court in other 
districts than his own. 

The Act of June 4, 1883, P. L. 74, fixed the salaries of all the 
common pleas judges, excepting in Philadelphia, Allegheny and 
Dauphin counties, at four thousand dollars per annum, provid- 
ing, however, that when a district has over 90,000 population it 
shall be five thousand dollars. The Act of April 14, 1903, P. 
L. 175, increased this amount to six thousand dollars, and where 
there is but one judge he is entitled to another thousand dol- 
lars. In districts having less than 90,000 it is fixed at five thou- 
sand dollars. 

Members of (;ambria County Bar, January 1, 1907. 

Name Kesidence Date of Admission 

^^\ H. Rose Johnstown 6 March. 1860. 

F. A. Shoemaker. . . . Ebensburg 5 June, 1860. 

J. C. Easlv Carrol Itown 13 Februarv, 1866. 

T. W. Dick Ebensburg 1 November, 1868. 

Jacob Ziumierman. . .Johnstown 7 June, 1869. 

Ellis G. Kerr Johnstown 3 December, 1872. 

John H. Brown Johnstown 2 September, 1873. 

A. V. P>arker. ...... .Ebensburg 4 August, 1874. 

James M. Walters. . ..lohnstown 5 Januarv, 1881. 

H. ^V. Storey Johnstown 14 March, 1881. 


Name Eesidenee Date of Admission 

M. D. Kittell Ebensburg 6 Jmie, 1881. 

Kobert S. Murphy. . .Johnstown 7 June, 1883. 

H. H. Myers Ebensburg- 8 January, 1884. 

John M. Rose Johnstown 16 June, 1881. 

F. J. O'Connor Johnstown 9 November, 1885. 

D. E. Dufton Johnstown 16 March, 1886. 

Horace E. Eose Johnstown 5 April, 1886. 

J. B. O'Connor Johnstown 5 April, 1887. 

F. P. Martin Johnstown 26 Septemijer. 1887. 

M. B. Ste])hens Johnstown 19 March. 1888. 

E. T. McNeelis Johnstown 5 September, 1889. 

E. E. Cresswell Johnstown 6 January, 1890. 

S. Lemon Eeed Ebensburg 7 July, 1890. 

William Williams. . . Johnstown 12 January, 1891. 

W. P. Eeese Johnstown 22 January, 1891. 

H. S. Endsley Johnstown 23 March, 1892. 

J. F. McKenrick. . . . Ebensburg 5 September. 1892. 

Harvov Eoland Ebensburg 11 November, 1892. 

AYilliam Davis Ebensburg 10 April, 1893. 

Mathiot Eeade Ebensburg 10 April, 1893. 

Charles C. Greer. . . .Johnstown 4 September, 1893. 

Peter J. Little Ebensburg 4 September. 1893. 

Daniel L. Parsons. . .Johnstown 5 March, 1894. 

Eeuel Somerville. . . .Patton 5 March, 1894. 

Thomas J. Itell Johnstown : ... .20 August, 1894. 

John W^. Kephart. . . Ebensburg 21 January, 1895. 

J. W. Leech Ebensburg 7 Fel)i-uary, 1896. 

F. C. Sharbaugh. . . .Ebensburg 7 February, 1896. 

Charles C. Linton. . .Johnstown 7 June, 1897. 

Harry Doerr Johnstown 7 June, 1897. 

John H. Stephens. . .Johnstown 7 June, 1897. 

Forest Eose Johnstown 3 July, 1899. 

Percy Allen Eose. . . Johnstown 3 July, 1899. 

F. D". Barker .Ebensburg 3 July. 3899. 

Bruce H. Campbell. .Johnstown 3 July, 1899. 

W. David Lloyd Johnstown 4 December, 1899. 

J. Wallace Paul Johnstown 4 Deceral>er, 1899. 

John C. Davies Johnstown 5 March, 1900. 

George C. Keira Johnstown 5 March. 1900. 

H. B. Mainhart Johnstown. . ., 5 March, 1900. 

Herman E. Baumer. Johnstown 7 March, 1900. 

F. J. Hartman .Ebensburg 14 January, 1901. 

Philip N. Shettig Ebensburg 14 January, 1901. 

D. P. Weimer Johnstown 8 July, 1901. 

Emory H. Davis Ebensburg 6 January, 1902. 

John E. Evans Ebensburg 6 January, 1902. 

Charles M. Moses. . . Johnstown 2 Febi'uary. 1904. 

Walter Jones Ebensburg .25 October, 1904. 


Name Eesidence Date of Admission 

Alvin Slierbiue Johnstown 25 October, 1904. 

Karl F. Stremel Johnstown 2 January, 1905. 

Charles Hasson Ebenshurg- 13 December, 1905. 

R. Edgar Leahey. . . .Johnstown Jo December, 1905. 

Frank P. Barnhart. .Johnstown 13 December, 1905. 

George E. Wolfe. . . . Johnstown 13 December, 1905. 

Tillman l\. Savior. . Johnstown 3 September, 1906. 

Wm. F. Dill . . ". Ebensbnrg 3 September, 1906. 

Charles S. Evans. . . Ebensbnrg 10 December, 1906. 

William A. McGnire .Ebensbnrg 10 December, 1906. 

Morgan W. Evans. . .Ebensbnrg 10 December, 1906. 

Albert W. Stenger. . .Johnstown 10 December, 1906. 


Prior to the constitution of 1873 the theory prevailed that 
the legislature was supreme, could legislate upon all subjects and 
cure all kinds of ills or errors, judicial or otherwise. It granted 
divorces ; changed the names of individuals ; cured defects in 
title to real estate, and directed judges to act in accordance with 
the idea of the person who had sufficient influence to have the 
bill passed. It was the one great evil cured by the new con- 
stitution. The effect is shown in the number of pages in the 
pamphlet laws before ajid after that date; that of 1866 contained 
1,366 pages, and that of 1873, 1,213 pages, and the first one after 
it was 1874, with 550 pages, and the largest since that date is 
that of 1901, with 1,013 pages. 

It absolutely prevented a uniformity of the laws. For in- 
stance, the Act of 1 March, 1871, P. L. 151, authorized the 
borough of Franklin to levy a borough tax of fifteen mills for 
borough purposes, while on the next page (152) another special 
law authorized the borough of East Conemaugh to levy ten 
mills for the same purpose. The Little Conemaugh river divides 
the two boroughs. 

An effort to control the court was that of 1 April, 1837, P. 
L. 128, where the president judge of Fayette county had re- 
fused to open a judgment which the defendant complained was 
unjust, and in place of taking an appeal the defendant had 
su.ffieient influence with the General Assembly to enact a law 
directing the judge to open it and to try the fact in dispute by 
a juiy; and provided further, that if the judge should refuse 
to do this, a judge of Allegheny county was authorized to hold 
a special court in Uniontown to give the relief desired. 

The Act of May 12, 1871, P. L. 804, authorized the appoint- 


ment of a justice of the peace in Cambria to be commissioned a 
notary pnblic: provided, they should not have jurisdiction in 
cases arising on paper by them protested. 

The hunbering business in Cambria was an important 
factor in the sixties and early seventies, and much complaint 
was made by owners of mountain land against persons who were 
felling the trees and hauling the logs to the streams to be floated 
to market; therefore, on May 15, 1871, P. L. 868, a special act 
was passed authorizing the trespass and even to making roads 
over the lands of others, which was equivalent to eminent do- 
main. It also provided a method for assessing the damages. 

The special Act of Ai>ril 3, 1869, P. L. 695, extended the 
jurisdiction of justices of the peace in what was then the bor- 
oughs of Johnstown, Conemaugh, Cambria, Millville, Prospect, 
East Conemaugh and Franklin, and the township of Yoder, now 
Lower and Upper; Taylor, now East and West Taylor; Jack- 
son, Richland, and Conemaugh, now including Stony creek, 
granting that they should try certain of the lessor misdemean- 
ors by a jury of six, and sentence the defendant to a term in 
jail. They were also authorized to entertain jurisdiction in 
cases of surety of the peace, and for non-compliance with the 
judgment of the justice he could commit the prisoner to the 
county jail for not less than ten days nor more than six months. 


Patrick and Bernard Flanagan were tried before Judge 
White for the murder of Betsy Holder, which occurred July 31, 
1842, to October term, 1842, and both were convicted. John S. 
Rhey, Michael Hasson and J. F. Cox were of counsel for the 
defendants and George Taylor, Thomas C. McDowell and John 
G. Miles for the commonwealth. 

While there was no doubt in the minds of the court, the 
jury and the witnesses for the commonwealth, tliat they were 
guilty, yet there was a strong sentiment in the county in their 
favor. Judge White refused a new trial, and an appeal was 
taken to the supreme court, reported in 7 W. & S., 415, wherein 
Judge White was afhrmed. Pending the appeal the friends 
of tiie condemned men presented a bill in the legislature, which 
became a law 5 April, 1843, P. L. 168, directing that if the de- 
fendants presented a motion to set aside the sentence of the 
court and grant a new trial, and if the judge should be satisfied 
it should be granted, then he is authorized to make the rule 

Vol. 1—12 


absolute. It further provi fieri that if the jnclge sitting did not 
desire to hear the motion or try the case, then it should be 
heard before the judge of the fourth judicial district. The 
judges refused to act under this alleged authority. 

In the next Assembly another bill was passed, dated 4 
April, 1844, P. L. 187, directing a justice of the supreme court 
to hold a special court of oyer and terminer in Cambria 
county on the fourth Thursday of April, 1844, to hear the 
motion to set aside the sentence of the court and grant a new 
trial, and if a new trial was granted that it should be held in 
Huntingdon county, and furthermore, that the state should pay 
all the expenses of the trial since April 5, 1843, provided: it 
should not exceed $500. On April 25, 1844, P. L. 397, another 
bill was passed amending the former extending the time for 
hearing to any day prior to July 4, 1844. 

On April 15, 1844, Chief Justice Gibson and all the associate 
judges excepting Mr. Justice Huston, who was ill, sent a com- 
munication to Governor Porter, who submitted it to the As- 
sembly, wherein they said the proposed procedure was invalid; 
that the legislature could not form a court of oyer and terminer 
by excluding the president judge and including a justice of the 
supreme court. It was in accordance with these views that the 
amended act was passed, which eliminated the objectionable 
features and did not create a new court of over and terminer, 
but directed the supreme justice to sit with the two associate 
judges of Cambria and hear the motion. Mr. Justice Eodgers 
came to Ebensburg heard the argument and decided it adversely 
to the defendants. The friends of the condemned had one more 
move, which took jjlace a few days before the day of execution. 
They were assisted in their escape, and the Flanagans were 
never heard of after that occasion. In the March term, 1845, 
Sheriff James S. Murray was indicted for permitting a voluntary 
escape of the convicted men, but was acquitted for the lack of 

Michael Smith, of Johnstown, who was convicted of the 
murder of John Minehan, also escaped from the county jail 
in the night a few days before the date set for his execution. 
No trustworthy tidings were ever known of his whereabouts. 
Smith was known as "Peg Leg," as he had lost a limb, and 
notwithstanding this marked defect he was able to elude all 
the searches and effort for his rearrest. 

In all the original deeds given by Joseph Johns for lots 


in the city of Johnstown, which were four rods in width and 
sixteen rods in length, he reserved a ground rent of one dollar 
per year, payable in specie. Most if not all of these reserva- 
tions were settled by contract; however, to protect the holder 
an Act was passed April 27, 1855, P. L. 369, providing that 
where no claim was made for such ground rent or annuity for 
a period of twenty-one years by the owner, a release or ex- 
tinguishment thereof should be presumed, and such charge 
should thereafter be irrecoverable. 

The action of David Gillis against the Pennsylvania Kail- 
road Company for the platform accident in 1866, was tried in 
€ambria, and Judge Taylor granted a nonsuit, when an appeal 
was taken to the supreme court. The appeal should have been 
heard in Pittsburg in the usual order, but for some reason a 
special Act was passed April 6, 1868, P. L., directing that it 
be heard at Harrisburg at the next sitting of the court. Abram 
Kopelin, E. L. Johnston and Daniel McLaughlin represented 
the plaintiff, and C. L. Pershing and John Scott the defendant. 
On July 2, 1868, Chief Justice Sharswood rendered an opinion 
of the court affirming Judge Taylor, 59 Pa., 141. 

A special act was passed April 10, 1867, P. L. 1130, where- 
in any person who had been injured in the platform accident, 
which occurred at Johnstown September 14, 1866, and who 
believed a fair trial could not be had in Cambria, the cause 
should be removed to Center county for trial; however, this 
act was repealed at the next session. 

As late as 1825 it was the custom in the courts of Cambria 
for the jury to sign their names on the back of the indictment 
to their verdicts of either conviction or acquittal. 

The usual plea for defendant in a criminal action was non 
cul et de hoc, etc., entered on the indictment, when the attorney 
general would plead similiter. In 1808, the form of the action 
which is now practiced as the "Commonwealth vs. John Doe, 
was ''Respublica vs. John Doe." 

Under the Act of February 24, 1806, 4 Smith, 270, the courts 
were to meet four times a year; the common pleas to continue 
for one week, and the court of quarter sessions for ''four days 
only. ' ' 

Under the Act of March 19, 1810, 5 Smith, 125, no attorney 
was allowed, nor was the court permitted to cite or use a British 
decision wliich liad been rendered prior to July 4, 1776. 

In "The Mountaineer" for May 4, 1840, William A. Smith, 


prothonotary. published a notice that James Thompson, presi- 
dent jndge of the district conrt composed of Erie, Crawford 
and Venango comities, would hold a special court in Ebens- 
burg, on June 29, 1840, to tr>^ the Spier vs. O'Neil and the 
Adams vs. Easton ef al, cases, which was required by an Act 
of Assembly to be published for sixty days. In the notice he 
adds the rules of the court for Cambria county require that in 
''all cases at issue a jury shall be sworn." 


The following named streams in Cambria county and lead- 
ing into it have been declared public highways for floating 
rafts, boats, crafts and other purposes, to wit: 

Reaver creek. Section 6. Act of 25 March, 1850, P. L. 281. 

Beaver Dam creek. Section 6, Act of 25 March, 1850, P. L. 

Blacklick creek, Act of 7 March, 1829, 10 Smith, 286. Also, 
14 April, 1828, 10 Smith, 219. 

Burned Dam run, Act of 15 April, 1863, P. L. 485. 

Clearfield creek. Act of 26 March, 1814, 6 Smith, 187. 

Conemaugh river, Section 5, Act of March 29, 1787, 2 
Smith, 411. 

Killbuck creek. Section 6 Act of 25 March, 1850, P. L. 281. 

Kiskiminitas river, Section 1, Act of 9 March, 1771, 1 Smith, 

Kiskiminitas river. Section 5, Act of March 29, 1787, 2 
Smith, 411. 

North Beaver Eun dam. Section 6, Act of 25 March, 1850, 
P. L. 281. 

Slate Lick run. Section 6, Act of 25 March, 1850, P. L. 281. 

Stony Creek river. Act of 6 March, 1820. 7 Smith, 255. 

AVest branch of the Susquehanna river. Section 1, Act of 
9 March, 1771, 1 Smith, 324. Also, section 24, Act of 3 May, 
1832. P. L. 431. Also, an Act relating to square timber taken 
adrift, Act of 11 February, 1873, P. L. 33. 


AYlien the Cambria Guards elected officers in the old court 
house at Ebensburg, prior to their departure for Mexico, in 
1846, T. C. McDowell and C. H. Heyer, both members of the 
bar, were candidates for second lieutenant. Heyer was elected, 
and McDowell in a speech pledged himself to go with the com- 
pany as a private. He did go as far as Pittsburg with the 
company, but he was still piqued at his defeat, and returned 
home before the company was mustered into the service. 


Shortly afterwards he was nominated as the Democratic candi- 
date for state senator, the district consisting of Cambria, Clear- 
field, Indiana and Armstrong counties. William F. Johnston, 
of the latter county, was the A¥hig candidate. Soldiers in the 
field had the right to vote, and papers were forwarded to the 
proper officers in Mexico for that purpose. The Whigs indus- 
triously used McDowell's failure to be mustered in, and the 
soldier vote was practically solid against him, which overcame 
the large Democratic majority in the district, elected Johnston, 
and made the senate AVhig by one vote. The members of the 
Cambria Guards refused to vote at all. 

Johnston was elected speaker of the senate, and on the 
resignation of Governor Shunk on July 9th, 1848, became gov- 
ernor. He was not sworn in until July 26th, 1848, there being 
in interregnum in the meantime. The controlling power in 
politics in the state was the Portage railroad and the Canal 
system and the elevation of Johnston to the gubernatorial 
chair, of course, changed the politics and personnel of the 
management of these public improvements and made possible 
the election of Johnston as governor, and of the Whig electoral 
ticket in the fall of 1848. The change in the electoral ticket of 
Pennsylvania, brought about by the chain of events narrated 
above, beginning at Ebensburg, was sufficient to elect Zachary 
Taylor president of the United States instead of Lewis Cass. 
Taylor had 163 electoral votes and Cass 127. Pennsylvania 
had 26 electors and had they voted for Cass instead of Taylor, 
the former would have had a majority of 16. 

In view of the fact that Judge Jeremiah Sullivan Black 
was the most eminent and distinguished member of the Cambria 
county bar, and that he was a native of Somerset county, born 
two years after Cambria was organized, we give his judgment 
on the right of expatriation, which is the foundation of our laws 
of naturalization of citizens. 

President Buchanan requested the opinion which Judge 
Black gave as his attorney general, and for purity of diction, 
soundness of legal principles and strength of character it has 
no superior. 

The principle of the right of any person to -absolve himself 
from his allegiance was a mooted question for all time, until 
an Act of Congress, passed July 27, 1868, declared the denial 
of it to be inconsistent with the fundamental principles of our 
government. It was the Ernst opinion which convinced con- 


gress of the correctness of the principle. The document dis- 
closes the natural gifts of the author as being definite, concise 
and the positiveness of his judgment, without a surplus word. 
We quote: 

Attorney General's Office, July 4, 1859. 

Christian Ernst is a native of Hanover, and emigrated to 
this country in 1851, when he was about nineteen years of age. 
Last February he was naturalized, and in March, after procur- 
ing a regular passport, he went back to Hanover on a temporary 
visit. He had been in the village where he was born about 
three weeks, when he was arrested, carried to the nearest mili- 
tary station, forced into the Hanoverian army, and there he is 
at the present time unable to return home to his family and 
business, but compelled against his will to perform military 

This is a case which makes it necessary for the government 
of the United States to interfere promptly and decisively. * * 
What you will do must of course depend upon the law of our 
own country as conti'olled and modified by the law of nations. 
* * The natural right of every free person, * * to throw 
off his natural allegiance, * * is incontestible. I know that 
the common law of England denies it; and that some of our 
courts, misled by British authority, have expressed (though 
not very decisively) the same opinion. But all this is very far 
from settling the question. The municipal code of England is 
not one of the sources from which we derive our knowledge 
of international law. We take it from natural reason and justice, 
from writers of known wisdom, and from the practice of civil- 
ized nations. All these are opposed to the doctrine of per- 
petual allegiance. It is too injurious to the general interests 
of mankind to be tolerated Justice denies that men should 
either be confined to their native soil or driven away from it 
against their will. * * 

In practice, no nation on earth walks or ever did walk by 
the rule of the common law. * * 

There is no government in Euroj^e or America which prac- 
tically denies the right. Here in the United States, the thought 
of giving it up cannot be entertained for a moment. * * if 
we repudiate it now, or spare one atom of the power which may 
be necessary to redeem it, we shall be guilty of perfidy so gross 
that no American can witness it without a feelmg of intolerable 
shame. * * 

In regard to the protection of our citizens in their rights at 
home and abroad,, we have no law which divides them into 
classes, or makes any difference whatever between them. * * 

There have been and are now persons of very high reputa- 
tion who hold that a naturalized citizen ought to be protected 


by the government of his adopted country everywhere except in 
the country of his birth. * * This cannot be true. It has no 
foundation to rest upon (and its advocates do not pretend that 
it has any), except the dogma which denies altogether the right 
of expatriation without the consent of his native sovereign— and 
that is untenable, as I thinlv I have already shown. * * 

No government would allow one of its subjects to divide his 
allegiance between it and another sovereign ; for they all know 
that no man can serve two masters. * * But a law which op- 
erates on the interests and rights of other states or people must 
be made and executed according the law of nations. * * 

If Hanover would make a legislative decree forbidding her 
people to emigrate or expatriate themselves upon pain of death, 
that would not take away the right of expatriation, and any at- 
tempt to execute such a law upon one who has already become 
an American citizen, would and ought to be met by very prompt 
reclamation. * * 

* * Assuming that it was violated (municipal law of 
Hanover) by Mr. Ernst when he came away, the question will 
then arise whether the unlawfulness of his emigration makes his 
act of naturalization void as against the King of Hanover. I 
answer, no, certainly not. * * 

In my opinion, the Hanoverian government cannot justify 
the arrest of Mr. Ernst by showing that he emigrated contrary 
to the laws of that country, unless it can also be proved that the 
original right of expatriation depends on the consent of the nat- 
ural sovereign. This last proposition I am sure no man can 

I am, very respectfully, yours, etc., 

rm T-» • T i^ J . S. Black. 

The President. 



At a meeting of the Judges, members of the Bar and Officers 
of the Courts of Cambria County, held at the Court House in 
Ebensburg on the 30th day of July, 1835, for the purpose of pay- 
ing a Tribute of Respect to the memory of the late Chief Justice 
Marshall. On motion, The Honorable George Roberts was ap- 
pointed President of the meeting. The Honoraljle John Murray 
and William Rainey Esquires, Vice Presidents, and Adam Bans- 
man Esq., Secretary. 

On motion of Mr. Canan, Resolved, That a coinmittee of 
five persons be appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the 
views of this meeting. Wlierefore the President appointed 
Moses Canan, MichaelDan Magehan, John Myers, Perez J. Av- 
ery and Jonathan H. Smith said committee. The couunittee 
having retired for a short time, the Chairman reported the fol- 
lowing Preamble and Resolutions, which were unanimously 


Wlien great and good men die; AMien those who have per- 
formed important services to their country dei3art from amongst 
us, the loss is general, and the Nation feels it, In such cases cus- 
tom has sanctioned the public expression of sorrow, and a prop- 
er respect for the worth}" dead requires it. It is the duty of all 
to venerate their memory, and to cherish the recollections of 
their good deeds as examples for imitation. 

In the late decease of the venerable John Marshall, Chief 
Justice of the United States, the whole community has sustained 
a loss which will be long and deeply felt, By the Courts and by 
the Members of the Bar, his death will be peculiarly regretted. 
He was the great Patriarch of the law, the guide, the director 
and the example of the Bench and the Bar. His virtues and his 
talents have cast a bright Hale around his character; his decis- 
ions have shed a splendor upon our judicial proceedings, and 
given our Supreme Court a high and exalted character through- 
out the civilized nations of the world. 

For the purpose of expressing our great respect for the 
venerated dead, and to do honour to the memory of departed 
worth, this meeting unanimously agrees to the following reso- 
lutions : 

Resolved, That in common with our Fellow Citizens we de- 
plore the death of Chief Justice Marshall, a worthy man, an em- 
inent jurist and an upright and talented Judge. 

Resolved, That the death of this great man, full of years' 
and of honours, has created a blank in society which will not 
soon be filled. 

Resolved, That in the life of Judge Marshall we behold 
much to admire. In youth he was a defender of his Country's 
rights, and fought for her independence and Glory; in middle 
age he was an eloquent and able advocate ; in his riper years an 
upright Judge and most learned expounder of our laws and Con- 
stitution; at all times, and in every situation a man of great 
purity of mind and sterling integrity. One who sustained 
through a long life a character pure and spotless and preserved 
the Ermine of Justice unstained and endefiled. 

Resolved, That we approve of the plan suggested by the 
members of the Philadelphia Bar, of erecting a Monument to the 
memoiy of Judge Marshall by the voluntary contributions of 
the Members. of the Bar throughout the United States; And that 
a Committee of three persons be appointed by this meeting to 
correspond with similar Committees in other parts of the United 
States : Whereupon Moses Canan, Michael Dan Magellan and 
John Myers Esquires were appointed said Committee. 

Resolved, That as a testimonial of respect for the deceased 

we will wear crape on the left arm for the space of thirty days. 

Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be signed 

by the Officers thereof, and published in the Ebensburg "Sky" 

and the Johnstown "Democrat," and that the same, with the ap- 


probation of the Court be entered on the Docket of the Court of 
Common Pleas of Cambria County. 

George Roberts, 

John Murray, 
William Rainey, 
A. Bausman, Secty. 


HAM'^ AND '^ Patrick'^ shot by a slave hunter — arrest of 


The particular cause for producing Abolitionists was the 
provision of the federal constitution and the laws thereunder, 
declaring that a slave escaping from one state to another should 
be reclaimed and delivered to the owner, and that the United 
States marshal could call upon and force any citizen to assist 
him in his duty. 

^A^ien the clause as it was finally adopted in the constitution 
was agreed upon, it was the concensus of opinion that slavery 
would become extinct by 1808, inasmuch as it was not profitable •,. 
but '\^^litney's invention of the cotton-gin changed this situation 
and i^roperty in human beings became valuable, hence the Civil 
war. It was this clause which prevented Mr. Lincoln from being 
an Abolitionist; however, he was intensely anti-slavery, and 
sought to jarevent its spread and confine it to the southern 
states. It was the same cause which made William Lloyd Gar- 
rison the leading Abolitionist. He believed and averred that it 
was unrighteous for one race of people for their personal profit 
to make slaves of another class. This sentiment arose prior to 
the Missouri Compromise, and only ended at Appomattox in 

During this period there was much contention over slaves 
escaping north of the Ohio river and Mason and Dixon's line. 
Much litigation occurred in the northern states, and many phys- 
ical combats took place in reclaiming these runaway slaves. 
This conflict produced a class of citizens who would not assist in 
preventing but who would not go as far as Garrison. They ab- 
solutely declined to interfere in their capture, and quietly aided 
in their escape. This was done through the mythical "under- 
ground railroad" system in the border states. 

One of the favored routes from Maryland and Virginia 
was through Bedford, Pennsylvania, thence over the mountains 
by way of Geistown to Johnstown; thence to Cherry Tree, or 
Ebensburg, where other agents helped the fugitive to reach 


Canada, or located him in some secluded place. Another favorite 
route was from Bedford to Hollidaysburg, thence to Ebensburg 
over the mountain. It is not difficult to understand why aid 
was given them, as it would be done today under the same cir- 
cumstances. Few persons of the present generation fully ap- 
preciate the evils of slavery as it existed in our country; there- 
fore we will recall a few cases which show its extent and tragic 

It is probable that the most tragic case is the one known as 
the Garner case, which occurred in 1856. Simon Garner, his 
wife and son Robert, were the slaves of Mr. Marshall, of Ken- 
tucky. Margaret Garner was the wife of Robert Garner, and 
she and her four children belonged to a Mr. Graves of that 
state, thus the husband and family were separated. They es- 
caped across the Ohio and took refuge in Cincinnati. The 
slave hunter followed and secured warrants for their arrest. 
A\"hen the deputy marshal endeavored to serve it, he found the 
house barricaded wherein they had taken refuge. A desperate 
fight followed, but the fugitives were overpowered and taken. 
Margaret, however, had determined that neither she nor her 
children should ever again be in slavery if she could prevent it. 
During the conflict she realized that they were going to be cap- 
tured, and, retiring to where her children were, she killed one 
of them, cut the throats of two others, and severely bruised the 
baby in her endeavor to save them from slavery. 

Many ardent Abolitionists resided in Cincinnati, but, as in 
other places, there were some who would not go as far in assist- 
ing the slaves as others. In the Garner case this class thought 
it would save the fugitives if they should be arrested in Cincin- 
nati and tried for homicide; therefore, Margaret was indicted 
for murder, and her husband Robert and her father-in-law Si- 
mon were charged with being accessories to the awful deed, 
Their friends weakened and allowed the slaves to be taken by 
the owners. "With the intent of seeking death on the voyage 
down the Ohio, Margaret jumped overboard with her babe 
clasped in her arms. Sad to relate, she was rescued, and when 
informed that the child had been drowned, she expressed grati- 
fication that her baby would never be a slave. 

In contradistinction to the former case is the Christiana af- 
fair which occurred in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1851. Ed- 
ward Gorsuch of Maryland, and his son, with a deputy marshal 
and a number of friends, attempted to capture a fugitive slave 


who had taken refuge in a house in the village of Christiana. 
Two shots fired at the house aroused the neighbors and some 
colored men, who appeared with arms. Among those assembled 
were two Quakers, Castner Hanway and Elijah Lewis, who tried 
to persuade both parties to disperse, but to' this plea the deputy 
marshal ordered them to join and assist him as provided by the 
law ; they declined and urged him to leave. Gorsueh and his son 
then fired on the colored men, who returned the attack and killed 
both, all the others seeking safety in flight. Hanway and Lewis 
were indicted for treason, and tried before Judge Grier, in Lan- 
caster, and Thaddeus Stevens was of counsel for the defend- 
ants. The accusation and iDroof were considered preposterous 
by Judge Grier, who charged the jury to acquit them. Thus end- 
ed the Christiana at¥air. Judge Grier subsequently became an 
lionored justice of the supreme court of the United States. 

It was under these conditions that the '* underground rail- 
road" prospered. The leading citizens of our county who gave 
their assistance in this way were: John Cuslion, Henry Willis, 
William Barnett, John Myers, Wallace Fortune, Isaac Weath- 
erington, Frederick Kaylor and Mr. and Mrs. James Heslop, of 
Johnstown; William Slick, Sr., who resided on a farm near 
Geistown; A. A. Barker, of Ebensburg; Dr. George Gamble of 
Cherry Tree ; and George Atchison, who lived near Burnside, on 
the Susquehanna river. 

A citizen of Indiana county who took a prominent part in 
ihe emancipation of the slaves, was Albert Hazlett, a lieutenant 
of the little band which attacked the arsenal at Harper's Ferry, 
Virginia, under the leadership of John Brown, the martyr, on 
the night of October 16, 1859. In the diary kept by John Brown, 
l3eginning March 10, 1859, he has this entry: ''March 16th. 
Wrote A. Hazlett, Indiana P. 0., Indiana county. Pa." 

In a letter from Brown to John Henry Kagi, his adjutant, 
mailed at Chambersburg about July 12, 1859, he says: "Write 
Carpenter and Hazlett that we are all well, right, and 
ready as soon as we can get our boarding house fixed, when 
we will write them to come on and by what route. I will pay 
Hazlett the money he advanced to Anderson for expenses trav- 
eling. " 

Colonel Lee captured Hazlett and Anderson, who were the 
last men in the arsenal, all the others having been killed or cap- 

Many escapes were made through our county, but the most 


prominent was that of the shooting of ** Abraham" and "Pat- 
ricia" near Geistown, on the 10th of February, 1837. Tliese 
slaves were young men witli no otlier names than are here given, 
and were tlie personal property of Cok)nel and Dr. John Sheard, 
of Morgan county, Virginia. The colored boys had reached a 
point not far from Geistown when the hunters, coming in sight 
of the runawavs, shot Abraiiam in the knee and Patrick in the 
right shoulder. Of course they were captured, and taken to the 
farm house of William Slick, Sr., who was an agent of the Un- 
derground Railroad, where medical aid and such kindness were, 
extended as could only come from a family which was in sym- 
pathy with the slave. AViiliam Slick, Jr., born August 28, 1823,, 
a son of the former, and now an esteemed resident of Johnstown, 
recalls the atfair and his youthful efforts to give assistance to 
the wounded slaves. 

Abraham and Patrick were brought to Johnstown under 
arrest in charge of Samuel J. Smith, constable. The warrant 
was issued by Christian Horner, a justice of the peace residing 
near Geistown, in Conemaugh township, and charged the defend- 
ants with being fugitive slaves. The warrant was issued Feb- 
ruary 10, 1837, as follows : 

"Whereas, it appears by the oaths of Jolm Compston and Ed- 
ward Maxwell that "Abraham" & "Patrick," two colored boys, 
was held to labor service to Col. John Sheard of Morgan coun- 
ty, in the State of Virginia, and that the said Abraham & Pat- 
rick, two colored boys, hath escaped from the labor & service 
of the said Colonel John Sheard. YOU are therefore com- 
manded to assist and seize the bodies of the said Abraham & 
Patrick, if they be found in your county and bring them forth- 
with before a judge of the Court of Common Pleas of your 
proper county, so that the truth of the matter may be inquired 
into and the said Abraham & Patrick may be dealt with as the 
Constitution of the United States and the laws of this Common- 
wealth directs." 

Not long after their arrival in Johnstown the local agents- 
of the Underground Kailroad became interested, as the boys' 
gunshot wounds were serious, and procured for them the best 
medical attention and lodging which they could. The officers 
desired to take them away at once, but the agents insisted that 
such haste would be inhuman, as careful nursing was necessary 
for their recovery. Under this plea the fugitives were kept for 
several days in a ])uilding on Clinton street, and in the mean- 
time arrangements were being made to take them farther north.. 


They were supposed to bo carefully guarded, but one night they 
disaj)peared. No one knew how, nor where they were, at least 
the officers did not know. 

Maxwell and Compston made diligent search, and for some 
reason Maxwell appeared before Samuel Douglass, a justice of 
the peace, in Johnstown, on February 13th, and charged two 
citizens with the shooting thus: "doth say that on Friday, the 
101 h day of February, * * * a certain * * * acknowledged 
that he did shoot a Blaclanan by the name of Abraham, in the 
knee & and from all information that this deponent hath re- 
ceived he has just reason to believe that a certain * * * ({[({ 
shoot one other Black man by the name of Patrick, in the back, 
both being mortally wounded, "being slaves of Dr. John Sheard 
of the State of Virginia, and that ^ * * * was also con- 
cerned in aiding and assisting in the same, etc." 

One of these defendants was arrested, and an indictment 
l>resented to the grand jury of Cambria county, charging him 
with shooting Patrick in the back, with a rifle, with the intent to 
kill. The witnesses before the grand jury were Edward Max- 
well, C. Horner, Esq., "William Sleek or Slick, Justice Varner, 
and Amelia Heltzel. The foreman of the jury, M, Leavey, re- 
turned "not a true bill." 

On the 27tli of February, Mr. Smith, the constable, made 
an information before Samuel Douglass, Esq., as follows: 
'"'That he held under arrest two black men as slaves belonging 
to John Sheard of the State of Virginia for eight or ten days 
past, and the said Black men made their escape from the cus- 
tody of the said S. J. Smith, constable, on Friday night, the 21th 
day of February, instant, and that he doth suspect Henry AVillis, 
Esq., William Barnett, John Myers, Esq., Wallace Fortune, 
Isaac Weathcrington, John Cushon, and Frederick Kaylor of 
aiding and assisting the said Black men away from his cus- 

The defendants were brought before Justice Douglass, and 
a hearing was held on March 3d, when he entered this judg- 
ment: "Xo ground for prosecution. Suit dismissed." The 
truth was, that as soon as the wounded bovs were able to travel, 
their friends had filled the bed of a wagon with hay, on which 
they were laid and covered with the same light material, and the 
driver started north through Hinckston's run road. Under these 
terrible conditions was the -freedom for the fugitives acquired. 

After the re]^eal of the Missouri Compromise, which was 


substantially done in the famous compromise of 1850, an inci- 
dent occurred in Johnstown which discloses strong conviction 
and decision of character, with a beautiful sentiment expressed 
by Mrs. James Pleslop, who as well as her husband was an 
Abolitionist. An escaping slave had reached this town and had 
been secreted in Oushon's coal bank, under Green Hill, by John 
Cushon and other agents of the Underground Railroad. Soon 
thereafter, while Mr. and Mrs. Heslop were sitting in their room 
on the second floor, a knock was heard at the front door. It 
was about dusk, and Mr. Heslop, going to the door, became en- 
gaged in conversation with the visitor, which, continued for 
some time. Mrs. Heslop, being acquainted vdth. the escape, 
divined the matter to which the conversation related. Going to 
the top of the stairs she heard the visitor pleading with her 
husband to tell him where the fugitive was, and offering him 
twenty-five dollars for the information. Still Mr. Heslop de- 
nied any knowledge of the affair. Hearing the offer increased 
to sevent}^ dollars, she descended the stairway, quietly walked to 
the door and closed it. In referring to it to a friend she mildly 
said: ''I was afraid James might be tempted." 

As late as the winter of 1859-60, A. A. Barker, of Ebens- 
burg, assisted a slave to escape who had been brought to him 
from Bedford via Hollidaysburg. He was kept in the house over 
night, and before daylight has his ''pung" or sled with one seat 
ready to take him to George Atkinson's, in Clearfield county. 
The slave was concealed under a buffalo robe- A few miles be- 
yond Ebensburg, Mr. Barker met one of his own teamsters, who 
inquired what he had under the robe, and being a friend, he told 
him a "colored man." The driver replied *'I will take a look 
at him," and. pulled the robe, which so alarmed the slave that he 
jumped into the underbrush and disappeared. The snow was 
ver^^ deep, and they soon tracked him and convinced him he 
was among friends, when he returned. He was again bundled 
in the robes and was safely delivered to Mr. Atkinson, who helped 
him to Canada. 

On another occasion, much earlier, Mr. Barker assisted a 
family of colored persons to escape, and some time after he 
received a very grateful letter from one of the girls, who sent 
him her picture, which he always cherished, and before his death 
he gave it to his son. Judge Barker. 

About 1852 a number of boys were fishing in the Cone- 
maugii river near the mouth of Laurel run. This party was 


large; some of them were James M. Duncan, John W. Douglass, 
David R. Brj-^an, Walter Magill and James Glass. While they 
were so engaged they observed William McLain (to them 
'*Mose" McLain) and "Pade" Cams riding down the towpath 
as rapidly as their horses could go in company with four colored 
men, each on horseback. Mr. McLain was the director of the 
squad, and stopped to inquire the shortest way to Dick Bacon 's 
cabin, a negro who lived on the mountain above where the Laurel 
run dam is now located. After being informed, Mose said there 
would likely be some one after them very soon, and wanted to 
gain time, and advised the boys to hold the "slave hunter" as 
long as possible, so he could get into the woods. In a few min- 
utes thereafter the hunters appeared, also on horseback, and 
the ci'owd of boys began to stone them, when they turned and 
went back to Johnstown. The men living in the vicinity of 
Cambria Furnace were intensely against the fugitive slave law, 
and with the story told by Mr. McLain they got their guns and 
every weapon within their reach, and prepared to stop the slave 
hunters at their place. The latter did not return after the ston- 
ing, and Mose got his friends to Bacon's, where they were 
maintained for some time, and then sent on north. 



Solomon and Samuel Adams were the first settlers in the 
county, locating their grist mill on Solomon's Run, now the 
Seventh ward of Johnstown, prior to 1770. They were soon fol- 
lowed by Captain Michael McGuire, who in 1789 settled at Lor- 
etto. Between 1797 and 1808 there were five villages founded, 
the first being Beula in 1797; Johnstown and Loretto in 1800; 
Ebensburg in 1807; and Munster in 1808. The people appear 
to have clustered around these localities, and as late as 1816 
there were no other villages. We follow with the details of 
these resi^ective communities. 


The people of Johnstown, and indeed all those residing in 
the Conemaugh valley and down the river to where the 
Kiskiminetas empties into the Allegheny river near Freeport, 
are indebted to Mr. John F. Meginness, of Williamsport, pub- 
lisher of the notes of the '^Journal of Samuel Maclay, while 
surveying the West Branch of the Susquehanna, The Sinnema- 
honing and the Allegheny Rivers, in 1790." 

Samuel Maclay was born in Lurgan township, Franklin 
county, June 17, 1741, subsequently locating in Buffalo valley, 
in what is now known as Mifflin county. He was a brother of the 
Hon. William Maclay, who was the first United States Senator 
from Pennsylvania. Maclay was the ancestor of the late Will- 
iam Maclay of this city, father of Mrs. R. R. Murphy and Mrs. 
John Tittle. 

Samuel Maclay held various public offices in the Colony 
of Pennsylvania ; he was a member of the Vth Congress, and 
was Speaker of the State Senate, where in 1803 he presided at 
the impeachment trial of Judge Addison; he was also elected 
United States Senator, December 14, 1802. He died October 
5, 1811 ; his grave is within sight of the turnpike, a short 
distance west of Lewisburg. 

On April 9, 1790, Samuel Maclay, Timothy Matlack and 
John Adium were commissioned by the Supreme Executive 
Council of Pennsylvania to examine the headwaters of the 

Vol. 1—13 


Susquehanna, explore the streams of the then new purchase 
from the Indians, and to discover if possible a route for a road 
to connect the waters of the Allegheny with the "West Branch 
of the Susquehanna. 

On Monday, April 26, 1790, Mr. Maclay started from home 
to meet the other commissioners. On May 19th they were at 
Watsontown, then called Warrior Kun. On June 14tli they 
began to survey the west branch of the Sinnemahoning, about 
ten miles below Driftwood. 

We quote from the Journal : 

''Thursday, August 19th, 1790.— Got Keady Early in the 
moniing started up the Kishcaminitas Eiver. Saw two white 
men on the Eiver in a canoe. Continued to make all the speed 
we could untill night and then took up our camp on the west 
side, or rather south-west side of Eiver at the foot of a Eocky 
hill near the mouth of a small spring. 

''Friday. — August 20th. — Continued our Jorney up the 
Eiver and arrived at the mouth of Loyalhannon at one oclock; 
and as we had had several days of showery weather and con- 
tinued moistness in the air, our Cloathes of every kind were 
Damp and Disagreeable, and as the afternoon was a fine one 
we agreed to let the men rest and Dry their Cloathe's, and ours. 
We had this day been attempting to procure some fresh Pro- 
visions on our way up, from the Inhabitants along the Eiver, 
and had been unsucksesf ul ; we therefore sent off two of our 
men in order to procure either Butter or meat of any kind. 
They Eeturned with (out) Sucksess." 

The Loyalhannon to which he refers is the Loyalhanna, 
which rises in the Laurelhill, above Fort Ligonier, and flows 
in a northwesterly direction through Westmoreland county and 
em])ties into the Conemaugh river at Saltsburg, and forms the 
Kiskiminetas river. From Saltsburg to Johnstown the river 
is properly called the Conemaugh; sometimes it is designated 
as the Big Conemaugh, to distinguish it from the Little Cone- 
maugh, which meets the Stonycreek at the point in this city. 
The distance from Johnstown to Saltsburg by the way of the 
river is about forty-nine miles, and to Blairville about thirty- 
three miles. The Journal continues: 

''Saturday, AugMst 21st.— As all our attempts yesterdav 
to procure ])rovisions had been fruitless, we were obliged to 
stay this day in order to get a sup]Dly of Both flour and meat; 
we were Luckay enough this morning to get the half of a Yeal 
from one S^imuel Hoy, who lives a little way below the mouth 
of Loyalhanning, and sent off a man and horse to Denison's 


mill which is eight miles up Loyalhamiing creek, in order to 
procure some flour ; the man is not yet returned. 

"A little after Dark the man sent to the mill returned and 
brought us a small supply of flour and a few pounds of Butter. 
AVe have to acknowledge our obligations to Col'o Will'm Perrey, 
who furnished us with a horse and sent his son to mill for us 
for the flour. He lived just above the mouth of Loyalhanning. 

"Sunday, August 2'2d. — The morning cloudy but so much 
time already Elapsed we must make every possable Exertion 
to get through our Bussness ; we proceeded up the Kiver above 
10 miles and encamped for the day." 

The place where they camped must have been about where 
the Black Lick empties into the Conemaugh, near Social Hall, 
a few miles below Blairsville. The Journal: 

"Monday, August 23d. — Proceeded up the Eiver; met with 
great difficulty; on account of the low water were obliged to 
drag our canoes over the Ripples and were able to get only 
about 8 miles. This day Encamped above an old Indian field 
on the southwest of the Kiver; this field is Remarkable for the 
Great number of Bones we found in it." 

The field referred to is about a mile east of Blairsville. 

"Tuesday, August 24. Pursued our Jorney up the River, 
and with all the Exerscions we could make it was 1 o'clock be- 
fore we had Got 3 i/^ miles, & the men were quite Exhausted 
with the Jyabour of Dragging the Canoes up the Ripples. We 
came on shore to Dine and before we had done, a rain came on 
which induced us to pitch our tents for the night. We employed 
the afternoon in trying to procure i^ack horses to carry our 
Baggasre to Frankstown and ha]^pily succeeded. 

"Wednesday, August 25th. — This morning we were 
Busseyley employed in adjusting the Loads for the horses. As 
soon as this was done we took our packs on our Backs, and 
started at 11 o'clock and made the Best of our way up the 
River. We had got but a little when we were overtaken by a 
smart shower at a place where we had no shelter of any kind. 
We proceeded up through the narrows where the River Cuts 
the Chestnut Ridge; these narrows are five miles in Length and 
the hill(s) come Down close to the water edge, so that we were 
obliged often to wade the river, and had Exceeding Bad walk- 
ing as there was scarcely any Beech and the Rocks and Laurel 
come close to high Avater mark. We had Likewise several heavy 
shower (s) so that Between the wading the River and the Rain 
we w^ere. wet Indeed. About sunset we came to a house where 
one David Ingard lives, and took up our Quarters for the Night 
having Traveled about eight or nine miles." 

The narrow gap was the "Packsaddle" west of Bolivar. 


"Thursday, August 26tli. — We set off early in the morn- 
ing and proceded up the River. Had much better walking this 
day and a fine clear day. we kept close to it, and arrived at 
the mouth of Stony Creek [Johnstown] a little before sunset, 
and went up the Stoney Creek half a mile to where one Daniel 
LaVere Lives, who Received us with an oppen Countenance. 
We this day came through the narrows formed by the Laurel 
Hill and found it in Gineral Good walking; we this day walked 
19 or 20 miles. 

"By appointment our Pack horses were to meet us at the 
mouth of Stoney Greek, but we found they had been unable 
to Reach the place ; we therf or took up our Quarters with Daniel 
LaVere for the night. As we were in a part of the country 
were none of us had ever Been we were obliged to hire a man 
and send off for one Clark to conduct us the nearest and best 
way from the Mouth of Stoney Greek to the mouth of Poplar 
run on the Frankstown Branch, through the Alegina mountain. 
We did in the evening after we had taken up our Quarters. As 
this messenger has to walk 18 miles to where Clark Lives, we 
can hardly Expect him to Return before the 28. 

"Friday, August 27th. — Gersham Hicks came to us this 
morning and in informed us that the horses and Baggage were 
comming; that they had been unable to Reach the fork Last 
night, the Road had been so Bad. After some time the horses 
came but on the way had Lost one of our Tents, for this tent 
two of our people were sent back who are not yet Returned. In 
the afternoon they Returned but could not find the tent altho 
they went back as far as the place they had Lodged the night 
Before; but they heard that a man and a Boy from the Jer- 
seys had passed along the road between the time that our 
people returned to seek the tent, and as those people were in 
want of Cloathes as its said, no clout they played us a Jersey 

"Saturday, August 28th. — We continued in our camp wait- 
ing the Return of young Levoy whom we had sent for Clark. 
He returned after sunset and with him a Daniel Clark, the 
man who had been Recomended was gon a hunting, and this 
man was the only person he could get to come who had any 
knowledge of the country through which we had to pass. This 
day we spent in Baking Bread and preparing for Crossing the 
Alegina, mendin Mokossins &c. 

""Sunday, August 29th (1790).— Agreeable to the Resolu- 
tion of the Last night we prepared this morning to survey the 
Conemaugh, as Mr. D. Clark had refused to conduct us over 
the Mountains without we would Engage to ]^ay him 10 shillings 
for every day that we would be from home. This we all agreed 
was unreasonable as he himself confessed that he was not fully 
acquainted with the country through which we must pass. We 
therefor paid for the day he had spent in comming and for 


another to go home in, 10 shillings, and prepared to go np 
through the narrows, and survey the creek, and sent our Bag- 
gage Round by a Better way with order to mett us Monday 
Night at the forks of Connemaugh; and as it was Expected 
they would be able to gain the forks much sooner than us, we 
set out first and proceeded up the creek as far as we could that 
day. Had bad walking and at night could scarcely find a spot 
to encamp on, for the Land' which came to the waters edge 
for some miles together. We at length found a spot in the 
Laurel Large enough for us to lie on and took up our quarters. 
Not long after Night rain came on and we were unprovided 
with any kind of shelter. This not only kept me uneasy for the 
moment but in pain in consequence as I was but verry imper- 
fectly Recovered from my former attack of the Rheumatism, 
brought on in the same manner; and there I was in a country 
unsettled, without either canoe or horse. 

"Monday, August 30th. (1790). Dryed my Cloathes with 
all the care I could, and took my Bundle on my Back, and so 
did my companions and we proceeded up the Creek with our 
survey and Gained the first forks of the Cr By i/o past 1 
O'clock; there eat our Dinner and proceeded on untill night 
and encamped on the upper end of a Rock Bottom about two 
miles below the forks where the pack horses were to meet us. 
As we had given order to the pack horse men in case that we 
Did not Reach the forks on Monday night that Hicks should be 
dispatched down the Creek on Tuesday morning to meet us 
with Provisions, as we had taken only two Day(s) Provisions, 
we in order that they might know we were comming fired a 
Gun Twist after dark, but had no answer. 

"Tuesday, August 31st. (1790). After Breakfast we went 
on with our survey and Reached the forks V2 after 10 oclock 
but found our people had not reached the place. We then en- 
quired into the state of our provisions, and found that the 
whole we then had with us was not more than one scanty meal. 
We then judged it advisable to make the best speed we could 
to Frankstown and not wait Longer for the packhorses as we 
were certain either some mistake or misfortune had happened, 
or they would have been there before us. We accordingly set 
off at a N. E. course and surveyed 8 miles before Dark, but to 
oar surprise we had not yet reached the State Road. The 
evening was Cloudy and we encamped by the side of a .Laurel 
Tliicket near a small Branch of the Connemaugh. 

"Wednesday, September 1st, (1790) The evening before 
we had divided our Provisions into Equal Shares, and though 
we had walked the whole day, yet each man's portion when we 
had it was so small ; and not knowing how far we must travel be- 
fore we could meet with any supply, none of us ventured to eat 
any supper. This morning every man cooked his own Choco- 
late Avith the utmost care and attention, and in General eat with 


the Chocolate about one-half of our Bread ; and so we set out and 
in about IVo hours we came to the State Eoad about Eight miles 
N. ^y. of Blair's mill. 

"After traveling about -4 miles on this Road we eat the 
Remainder of our Provisions and Reached Mr Blair's mill a Ijit- 
tle after 12 ocloek, where we were Rece'd with Great kindness 
by Mr Blair's family, who gave us our dinner, as neither Mr 
Blair nor his wife were at home. In the Evening Mrs Blair 
came home ; and to my surprise Soon informed me that she knew 
something of me and my connections. Upon enquiring she is 
the daughter of a Mr Sims, who was a friend and acquaintance 
of Mr R. Plunketts in Ireland, and came to this country the 
same year that Mr Plunket came to the country ; and is a verrj- 
decent, well Breed woman, and was very oblidging and attentive 
to us. In the Evening we sent one of our men over to Patrick 
Cassidy's with a Note, Requesting him to come to us in the morn- 
ing. ' ' 

In Dr. Eagle's ''History of Pennsylvania" he refers to 
John Blair, Jr., the person above mentioned, and for whom Blair 
county was named, and states that his home was some four 
miles west of Hollidaysburg, on the Huntingdon, Cambria and 
Indiana turnpike, formerly known as the "Northern Pike." 
This would be a short distance above Duncansville. 

"Thursday, September 2d. (1790) After Breakfast Mr 
Cassidy came and informed us that he was unacquainted with 
the Ground between this and Connemaugh further than the head 
of the Poplar Run, but he was of the opinion that the Poplar 
Run Gap was a much Better Gap than the one in which the Road 
is now made; and informed us that if we pleased he would Go 
with and Likewise procure some other person who knew the 
country all the way, to go with him and us in order to view the 
Poplar Run as far as the forks of Connemaugh. He likewise 
promised to assist us in getting horses to carrey our Baggage 
down as far as Water Street, and his assistance in Procuring 
us some fresh Provisions, 

"Frida}^, September 3d. (1790) After Breakfast we Rec'd 
a note from Mr Cassidy that he had the promise of two horses 
and two sheep for one of which we sent one of our people. Not 
until 4 oclock this day did we hear anything from our Pack 
horses. Then they came in. They had mistaken the forks of 
Connemaugh where they were to wait for us and stopped at the 
first, insted of going on to the second, and by that mistake have 
Lost us 2 days. Some time after night our man Returned with 
a Mutton. 

"Saturday, September 4th. (1790) This morning we sent 
off a part of our Baggage to Mr Cassidy's by a son of McCunes 
who brought us the mutton. Mr Adlum was this morning Im- 


ployed in protracting onr works from the month of Stoney 
creek. After Breakfast and after I had finished coppying my 
note(s) I took 2 hands, and Began at the 50 mile Tree above Mr 
Blair's and snrveved the Road to Patrick Cassidvs, and from 
thence to the month of Poplar Enn, which Bussness was some 
time Delayed By the Rain, which fell this Day. Mr Adlnm 
finished his work and Joined us in the afternoon. We Likewise 
Got a horse fom Mr Cassidy and Grot another Load of onr Bag- 
gage brought over this clay from our camp at Mr Blair's, but 
Gersham Hicks with the Remainder was still Behind at the 

"Sunday, September 5th. (1790). AVe Dispatched Seymor 
with a horse this morning to ]\lr Blair's to bring forward Hicks 
and the Remainder of onr Baggage; and took the necessary 
measures in order to Explore the Ground up through the Pop- 
lar Gap, and thence to the forks of Connemaugh. The man we 
sent is not yet Returned. In the mean time we had verrey dif- 
feiant accounts of the Ground through the Poplar Gap. Pat- 
rick Cassidy told us that he had been at the head of the Poplar 
run and five miles further towards the forks of Connemaugh; 
that so far it was Excelent Ground for a Road; much Better 
than the road through the other Gap, and insinuated that undue 
means had been exercised or the State Road would have been 
taken through the Poplar Gap. This representation was Corob- 
erated by one William Pringle who undertook to show us an 
Exceeding Good way for a road up tbrough the Poplar Gap. 
To this a young man, a hunter, of the name of Shirley Replyd, 
that he knew the Poplar Gap weil; that he had a hunting camp 
on it near the head; that there was no place there that would 
admit of a Road; that if Pringle could find a Road there, then 
he Shirley would Give them bis head for a foot ball. But he 
informed "us that there might be a Road had to Conemaugh by 
Beginning at the East end of a Ridge that is south of the Pop- 
lar run and keeping that Ridge up to the Blue Knob a mountain 
so called in those parts, and from thence by keeping the divid- 
ing Ridge, but this way was objected to by Cassidy and others as 
Going quite too far out of the way. Shirley further informed 
us that Pringle, who was to be onr Guide, had some time before 
uudertaken to conduct a Company over to Conemaugh «fc had 
Lost himself and with Difficulty found the way home. From all 
these circumstances, and acct taken together we were Deter- 
mined to see the Ground and set out with our party and sur- 
veyed about 2Vi miles uii the Poplar run through Low swampy 
Ground Inclined to be stoney. 

"Monday, September 6th. (1790). Continued our survey 
up the poplar run through stoney swampy Bottoms, much cut 
into GuHevs bv the water for about 2 miles; then took over a 
hill and struck the run again. Found the Ground much the same 
u]i the second forks, where Pringle told us we must take the 


mountain which we did and found it much too steep to answer 
for a road. However we continued our survey until! we came 
in sight of a. cove in the hill. I then in order to save time pro- 
posed to leave the compass and walk up to the top of the hill 
in order to obtain a view of the hills around us as by this time I 
had abundant Testimony that we could place no Dependance up- 
on the Information of our Gides. AVhen we had Reached the 
top of the first Rise or Spur of the mountain I planely saw that 
admitting the Ground to have been good to the Bottom of the 
hill there was no Possability of making a Road and therefore 
under these circumstances Gave it as my opinion that to prose- 
cute the Bussness farther would be misspending our time and 
wasting the Publick Monev; Cassidv still Persisted that there 
could be a tine Road made there, and Colonel Matlack said he 
had wished to have Discussed this matter among ourselves, as 
Commissioners and not other persons, and concluded with Ex- 
pressing a Desire of seeing the top of the hill but added that 
he would not bear an imputation of wasting the publick money. 
I Replyd that for my own part I had seen sufficient to tix my 
opinion ; if he or any other person had not, that an hour or two 
would' be Sufticient for the purpose, that under these considera- 
tions I had no objections to going on to the top of the hill. 

''Mr Adlum Lickewise thought it best to Proceed with the 
survey to the top of the hill ; and we proceeded accordingly but 
before we had gone a half mile further we plainly saw that 
our Gides were utterly at a Loss, and in a short time Cassidy 
himself Declared that there could not be a road made there, 
and Longe Before we had Reached the Top of the mountain, we 
were all willing to return back the best way we could find 
through the Laurel. We got clown a little below the forks of the 
run and took up our Quarters, heartily tired of Road hunting. 
Cassidy and Pringle would not stay with (us) all night, though 
they were invited. 

"Tuesday, September 7th. (1790) We returned to Cas- 
sidvs and got there a little before 11 o'clock. Were oblidged to 
wait some time in order to procure horses to bring forward our 
Baggage and had to send one of our people to Mr Blair's mill 
to get a fresh supply of flour. This detained Mr Adlum all 
night at Cassidys. After Dinner I took two men to Carrey 
Chain, and began the survev of the Frankstown Branch at the 
mouth of Poplar run, and Proceed Down as far as Franks old 
to^m When night came on, and not meeting with any of our 
people, Colonel ]\[atlack and I went to Lowery's and staid all 
night. When I left surveying I had sent the chain carriers up 
to one Tituses to see whether any of our people had come there. 
On their way they met with X. St Clair who Mr Adlum had 
sent with our Blankets and part of the Baggage; but the night 
was so dark that they could not find the road to Lowerys. They 
therefore took up camp on the Branch." 


The following is the mileage and the estimated expenses for 
the eonstrnction of a highway consisting of canals and roads, 
from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, made by Messrs. Maclay, Ad- 
him and Matlack . * * * 

"From Huntingdon, on Juniata, to mouth of Poplar run. . . 42 

Portage to the Canoe Place on Conemaugh 18 

Down Conemaugh to Old Town (Johnstown) at the mouth 

of Stonycreek 18 

Down Conemaugh and Kishkiminetas to Allesrheny river.. f)9 
Down Allegheny river to Pittsburg on the Ohio 29 


Canal or lock naviaration to Poplar Eun (if found neces- 

saiy, which will ^irobably not be the case) £7,000 

Portage of 18 miles to Conemaugh at 20 pounds per mile 3fi0 
Conemaugh and Kishkiminetas to Allegheny 7,150" 


(This article was prepared by James M. Swank in 1869, 
from notes made by the pioneer, Peter Goughnour.) 

Peter Goughnour, who was born in Maryland in 1773. and 
died in Conemaugh township in 1855, left a statement of his earlv 
recollections of what was in old times called ''the Conemaugh 
country," which statement is now before us. It is much to be 
ree:retted that there is not in existence an authentic history of 
the earlv settlers and settlements of the Conemaugh country, 
and with n view to till a portion of this blank in our annals we 
will compile from Mr. Goughnour 's statement such facts and in- 
cidents as we think worthy of preservation. 

Mr. Goughnour states that the first white settlers in the 
Conemaugh country were two brothers, Samuel and Solomon 
Adams. At the time of their settlement, about 1770, the Indians 
werA quite numerous, who hunted and tished on the banks and 
in the waters of the Conemaugh and Stony Creek. Samuel Ad- 
ams lived about two miles south of the confluence of the two 
streams, on Sam's Eun, from which it derived its name. Solo- 
mon's cabin was located about midway between the jnnction and 
his brother's cabin. Solomon's Eun took its name from him. 
Samuel Adams and an Indian warrior killed each other with 
their knives while fighting around a white oak tree on Sandy 
Eun, about five miles east of the junction. Their bodies were 
buried in one srrave, under the tree. 

l\t"r. Goughnour settled in what is now Conemaugh town- 
shin in 1798. Cambria county was then a wilderness, and not 
known to a-eosTraphers. At the date of Mr. Goughnour 's settle- 
ment the Indians had departed from their Conemaugh huntinfr 
grounds, but he states that he found monuments of stone erected 
over Indian graves, flint arrows, elk-horns and other relics of 


their presence. Some few monuments are still standing on the 
banks of the Stony Creek above Jolmstowii. 

Jacob Stntzman, who died in 1816, occupied in 1794 the Cone- 
mangh bottom, now the site of Johnstown, and 'to which the In- 
dians had given the name of Old Town. Mr. Stutzman was the 
first white man who ever occupied the bottom. A son of his was 
killed by an ox-team which was scared by a rattlesnake. The 
bodv of the bov was buried on the left bank of the Stonv Creek, 
where Water street in Kernville is now located. 

Joseph Johns, or Yahns, a professor in the Amish com- 
munion, and an industrious and honest man, laid out Cone- 
maugh bottom into town lots about 1800. Those who assisted 
him to lay out the town and who became its first citizens were 
Peter Goughnour, Joseph Francis, Ludwig Wissinger and a few 
others. They named it Conemaugh-town, but it was generally 
called Johnstown. Mr. Johns died at an advanced age in Cone- 
maugli township, Somerset county. 

Dr. Anderson and William Hartley opened the first store in 
the new town, and Isaac Proctor the second. The necessaries 
of life at that time rated very high. Coffee was 50 cents per 
pound; pepper, allsjoice and ginger, 50 cents per pound; shad, 
50 cents each; salt, $5.00 per bushel; Wheat, $2.00 per bushel. 
All other articles rated accordingly. Wages were from 40 to 
50 cents per day. 

There were at that time no roads through the wilderness 
to older settlements, and nothing but canoes for navigating the 
streams. Beasts of burden were rare, but wild beasts of the for- 
est were quite numerous. Panthers, wolves, bears, etc., howled 
at night around the cabins of the settlers. Nevertheless, the set- 
tlers, in Mr. Goughnour 's language, "had fine times hunting 
and fishing," as the forest was alive with game and the clear 
and placid streams filled with finny beauties which pious old 
Isaak Walton would have delighted to capture. 

The bottoms in the vicinity of Conemaugh-town were cov- 
ered with luxuriant verdure, and presented a wild and romantic 
appearance. The hills were grand beyond description, with 
their glorious old forests, amid which the woodman's axe had 
never rang. Peavines, wild sunflowers, and other unnamed rep- 
resentatives of the vegetable world twined around and waved 
between the giant oaks, and spruce and hickories. AA'liat a par- 
adise was that "Conemaugh country" to its first settlers, some 
seventy years ago ! 

Still these pioneers had their troubles, and those forests 
and bottoms had their drawbacks. Growing among tlie tall grass 
was a noxious weed, resembling garlic in taste and appearance, 
and called "ramps" by the settlers, which, when eaten by the 
cows was sure to sicken them and put a stop to the supply of 
milk and butter. The grass, from some cause not stated, did 


not make good hay, and as the enltivation of corn, oats, rye, etc., 
was exceedingly limited, the result was that in the winter time 
the cattle found Jordan a hard road to travel. The settlers, in 
order to prevent their cattle from starving, were forced to cut 
down trees so that they could browse upon the buds and young 
branches. The women were required to clean land and do rough 
farm work, such as harrowing, harvesting, hoeing corn, etc. 
They were also accustomed to perform other hard labor inci- 
dent to a pioneer life. 

Large quantities of maple sugar and molasses were in a 
few years manufactured by the settlers of the Conemaugh coun- 
try, and packed to neighboring settlements. Venison also be- 
came an article of export. In exchange for these commodities 
the Conemaughites received necessaries which they could not 
produce themselves. Bedford was the principal market for the 

In the course of time the population of Conemaugh-town 
increased, as well as the number of farms in its vicinity. A log 
inn for the entertainment of travelers was erected in the village. 
A road was opened through the wilderness to Frankstown, be- 
low Hollidaysburg, upon which pig metal was hauled to Cone- 
maugh-town, and shipped in the spring of the year in flat-bot- 
tomed boats to Pittsburg. Conemaugh-town now became a place 
of some business, and it was found necessary to erect another 

In 1808 the village was overflowed by a sudden rise in the 
Conemaugh and Stony Creek, and the inhabitants were com- 
pelled to fly to the hills for refuge. The village was again sub- 
merged in 1816. The event was termed ''the punken flood," 
owing to the fact that it swept away the whole pumjikin crop of 
that vear. Much damage was done bv the flood. Fences were 
swept away, saw-logs and lumber disappeared forever, and 
many horses and cattle were drowned. The settlers suifered 
severely from this dispensation of Providence. 

About 1812 the village boasted a grist-mill and a small 
forge on Stony Creek. In 1816 the first keel boat was built by 
Isaac Proctor on the right bank of Stony Creek, near where 
the Union Graveyard is now located. Rafts were also construct- 
ed at the same place. 

While laborers were digging the race for another forge, on 
Conemaugh, old fire-brands, jiieces of blankets, and earthen 
smoke-pipe and other Indian relics were discovered at a depth 
of 12 feet beloAV the surface of the earth. 

Notwithstanding the improvements mentioned, the village 
was still small when, in 1827, the Commonwealth commenced the 
construction of the Public Works. Since that time it has stead- 
ily prospered and gradually become a i^lace of some note and 
business importance. 



Morgan John Khys was born December 8, 1760, at Graddfa, 
Glamorganshire, Sonth Wales, and died in Somerset, December 
7, 1804. He was ordained a minister in the Baptist chnrch in 
1787, and became an eminent divine and patriot. When sixteen 
years of age he was imprisoned at Carmathen for two years, and 
was twice in the. pillory for his advanced political views. 

Coming to America in October, 1794, he made his home in 
Philadelphia for two years, when he purchased a tract of land 
in Somerset county from Dr. Benjamin Rush, founded the vil- 
lage of Beula, on the south branch of the Blacklick creek, three 
miles west of Ebensburg, and had the township of Cambria cre- 
ated, giving to it the name which means "The Land of Free- 
dom. ' ' 

The plot of the village was on a very large scale, being sub- 
stantially laid out after the plan of the cit}' of Philadelphia, with 
its wide streets, squares, cross streets and alleys. At that time 
there was quite a movement to make the new county of Cambria, 
and Rev. Rhys desired to make Beula the new county capital. 
A number of his fellow countrymen having come with him to 
make their new homo, some sixty log houses were constructed 
in the business center of the embryonic town, which later con- 
tained hotels, stores, church, mill, school and a library of about 
six hundred volumes, for a population of three hundred souls. 
The lorice of the lots ranged from ten to fifty dollars in state cur- 
rency, and the deeds made by Morgan John Rhys spell the word 
''Beula" without the letter "h." 

The struggle between Ebensburg and Beula for the county 
capital was vigorous, but immediately upon the selection of the 
former the decline of the latter began. The fact that neither the 
Frankstown road, the Northern turnpike, nor the Clay pike 
passed through Beula, gave it an unfortunate location besides. 
With these obstacles it could not hope to succeed, and soon be- 
came what it has been for many years — a deserted village, the 
onty reminder of which remains to us this day being the station 
of the Cambria and Clearfield division of the Pennsylvania road 
called ''Beulah." 

Some of the persons who located at Beula with Morgan 
John Rhys were John J. Evans, William Rees, Simon James, 
Miles Phillips, William Williams (South), Thomas Griffith, 
John Thomas, John Roberts (Pembryn), John Roberts (shoe- 


maker), David Bees, Robert Williams, George Turner, Thomas 
Griffith (farmer), James Evans, and Griffith Rowlands. The 
bachelors were David Edwards, Thomas Lewis and David Da- 

After 1808 the village was substantially abandoned; how- 
ever a few families engaged in farming continued to reside in 
that vicinity. Thomas W. Jones, a surveyor and the justice of 
the peace, died there March 14, 1808, aged thirty-six years ; Eliz- 
abeth Jenkins on September 20, 1828, aged fifty-one; Elias Row- 
land, on July 24, 1858, aged ninety-three, and Catherine, his wife, 
on April 24, 1840, aged sixty-seven; William Roberts on Janu- 
ary 7, 1822, aged fifty-one years. 


The Rev. Rees Lloyd was the founder of Ebensburg. John 
Lloyd, his grandson, who is in his eightieth year, states there 
are two traditions in the family in reference to the origin of the 
name. One is that it was named for his Uncle Ebenezer, and the 
other is fi'om the good old hymn "Here I'll raise mine Ebe- 
nezer." Rees Lloyd was born May 1, 1759, in the parish of 
lilanboidy, AVales. He was ordained a minister in the Non- 
conformist church in 1780, and was called to the pulpit at 
El)enezer, near Pont-y Pool, which may be the origin of the 
name. In 1795 he disembarked at Philadelphia with his wife 
Rachel and family. In the following year he located on the land 
where he founded the county seat. It seems that he purchased 
the land from William Jenkins on an article of agreement, in- 
asmuch as Lloyd's deed was given by his heirs and executed in 
Washington City on September 30, 1805. It was known as the 
Benjamin Rush tract, and contained lOS^Xj acres, and cost $400. 
It was described as being on the headwaters of the Blacklick 
ci'eek, in Bedford and Somerset counties. At that time there 
was much confusion as to the line between Somerset and Hunt- 
ingdon, but not as to Bedford at that place: Mr. Lloyd did pur- 
chase a tract of land called "Mere" from Benjamin Rush, 
August 8, 1804, containing over 401 acres, for $578.83, but it 
was the Thomas Martin warrant. In 1808 he sold several lots 
to Nathaniel W. Semple, who replotted them, but the deed avers 
they were a part of the William Jenkins land. Mr. Lloyd died 
May 21, 1838, at Paddy's Run, Butler countj^, Ohio, where he 
had resided since 1817 when he left Ebensburg. 

He organized the Congregational churcli at Ebensburg in 


April, 1797, which was the first house of worship in what is now 
Cambria coimty, and named it ' ' Ebenezer Chapel. ' ' It was soon 
followed by the churches of Morgan John Rhys at Beula, and 
that of Demetrins Angnstine Gallitzin at Loretto. Some of 
Mr. Lloyd's early neighbors were: Thomas Phillips, Theophilus 
Rees. William Griffith, Daniel Griffith, David Thomas, George 
Roberts, John Jenkins, Johu Tobias, William Jenkins, Evan 
Roberts, James Nicholson, John Jones, Evan Jones, Thomas 
W. Jones, Esq., and Isaac Griffith. Many descendants of these 
families reside in that vicinity and in the town. 

In the chapter on the organization of the connty, reference 
is made to the gronnd donated to the pnblic for the nse of 
connty buildings. The strife between Ebensburg and Beula for* 
the location of the county capital was conducted with energy. 
The plot of the town was probably made in 1807, as it was ac- 
knowledged on Jnlv 17 of that year. It consisted of two liun- 
dred lots, each being four rods in width and sixteen rods in 
depth. In addition there were subsequently laid out north of 
Horner street thirty-six lots or parcels containing from one 
to two and one-quarter acres. 

As stated, Ebensburg was the first borough incorporated 
in the county, bearing date of July 15, 1825. The first organ-- 
ization was : Richard Lewis, burgess; Philip Noon, John Murray, 
Moses Canan, Owen McDonald and Silas Moore, members of 
council, which met at the house of Mr. McDonald on March 21 
of that vear. John Llovd was treasurer. In the following 
borough election there were thirty-four votes cast by Richard 
Lewis, Moses Canan, David H. Roberts, James Rhey, Philip 
Noon, Silas Moore, David Davis (carpenter), Rowland Humph- 
reys, Johnston Moore, Rees Morgan, John Williams, James 
Murray, Thomas Ownes, John R. Evans, John Walsh, Jeremiah 
Ivory, William David, John Dougherty, Robert Roberts, Stew- 
art Steele. David Harris, Griffith Rowland, David Jones, Henry 
Davis, Evan Davis, John Ivory, John Rodgers, John Lloyd, 
Robert Young, John Thomas, Peter Mooney, Samuel Wesey, 
John Evans (Smith), and John Carrel. All other elections were 
held in Cambria township until 1852, when the first presidential 
vote is given for the borough as 59 for Pierce and 91 for Scott. 

The first firemen were Jeremiah Ivory and Owen McDon- 
ald, who were appointed by the council March 28, 1826. In 
1846 it purchased a hand engine for the Friendship Fire Com- 
pany, and in 1872 the present Dauntless Fire Company was or- 


ganizecl. The completion of the old stone or northern pike in 
1820 made Ebensburg prosperous, as it was a favorite stopping 
place for the stages and the Conestoga wagons. This continued 
until the opening of the old Portage railroad, but as it, with the 
canal system, could only be operated in the warm season, the 
winters in Ebensburg were made lively. 

The borough was divided into two wards by the Act of May 
1, 1861, in which Center street was the division line. The Act 
of April 11, 1868, authorized three members of Council from 
each ward. 

The term of service for the burgess was one year until 1893, 
when it was extended to a three year period. The several offi- 
cials were: Richard Lewis, 1825; James Ehey, '26; Moses Ca- 
nan, '27 ; Stewart Steele, '28 ; John Lloyd, '28 ; Richard Lewis, 
'29; Moses Canan, '30; Arnold Downey, '31; John Williams, 
'32; James Murray, '33; Michael Dan Magehan, '34; David H. 
Roberts, '35; Richard Lewis, '36; Michael Dan Magehan, '37; 
Richard Lewis, '38; Johnston Moore, '39 to '41; David H. Rob- 
erts, '41 ; Michael Dan Magehan, '42 ; Charles Litzinger, '43 ; A. 
McVicker, '44; Wesley Bateman, '45; Richard Jones, Jr., '46; 
Robert L. Johnston, '47; Ezekiel Hughes, '48; Michael Hasson, 
'49; John Williams, '50; David H. Roberts, '51; George C. K. 
Zahm, '52; Wesley Bateman, '53; Samuel D. Pryce, '54; John 
Thompson, '55 ; James Myers, '56 to 58 ; David H. Roberts, '58 ; 
John D. Hughes, '59; Andrew Lewis, '60; David J. Evans, '61; 
George Huntley, '62 ; James Myers, '63 ; A. A. Barker, '64 ; C. 
T. Roberts, '65; J. Alexander Moore, '66; T. Blair Moore, '67 
to '69; Abel Lloyd, '69; Samuel W. Davis, '70; T. W. Dick, '71; 
George A. Berry, '72; F. H. Barker, '73; D. H. Kinkead, '74; 
George Huntley, '75; Samuel W. Davis, '76; Thomas J. Davis, 
'77; John E. Scanlan, '78; Edward J. Humphreys, '79 to '82; C. 
T. Roberts, '82; F. H. Barker, '83; J. S. Davis, '84; F. H. Bar- 
ker, '85; T. Mason Richards, '87 to '89; George C. K. Zahm, '89; 
Evan E. Evans, '90; James T. Young, '91 to '93; Festus Lloyd, 
'93; T. Mason Richards, '94 to '97; F. H. Barker, 1900; Ed- 
mund James, '03, and Alexander J. Waters, 1906. 

The following gentlemen have been Postmasters at Ebens- 
burgh, with the date of their appointments. The letter "h" was 
dropped from the name September 28, 1893 : John Lloyd, Octo- 
ber 1, 1807; John R. Lloyd, 'January 1, 1808; John Lloyd, June 
17, 1818; Rees S. Lloyd, September 13, 1838; Rees J. Lloyd, 
February 24, 1843; Milton Roberts, April 21, 1849; Frederick 


Kittell, February 19, 1853 ; Michael C. McCagiie, Jmie 27, 1853 ; 
Harriet M. McCagne, Februar}^ 20, 1860; Matliias S. Harr, April 
18, 1861 ; John Thompson, May 6, 1861 ; Edward J. Mills, Sep- 
tember 13, 1866; Rees J. Lloyd, August 17, 1867; James T. Hut- 
chinson, March 27, 1869; John Thompson, June 27, 1871; Ed- 
mund James, April 23, 1878 ; James G. Hasson, October 8, 1885 ; 
Florentine H. Barker, August 29, 1889. Philip G. Fenlon, Sep- 
tember 28, 1893; Festus Lloyd, February 25, 1898; John G. 
Lloyd, January 22, 1907. 

The Hudson and Morrison map of 1816 gives the popula- 
tion of Ebensburg as 150; Munster, 80 and Jolmstown, 60. The 
Act authorizing the organization of the county directed that 
the county capital should be within seven miles of the center 
of that territory. Beula was about three miles southwest of 
Ebensburg, which brought it within the limitation. The precise 
location of the latter is forty degrees thirty-four minutes and 
twenty seconds north latitude, and one degree forty-five minutes 
and forty-four seconds longitude, west from Washington City. 
The altitude above sea level at the main entrance to the court 
house is 2138 feet. 

It will be observed the center of population was about the 
county capital, as these foui villages were within t^n miles 
of each other from the most distant point. As late as 1816 
Loretto was the most northerly settlement. However, Mc- 
Geehan's grist mill on the Chest creek was a few miles to the 
north. Elder's and Storm's mills were on the Clearfield creek, 
a few miles east of Loretto, but about the same latitude. Will- 
iam O'Keefe, the deputy surveyor general, resided just east of 
Ebensburg at this time. Messrs. Hudson and Morrison stated 
in their return of the survey that ''The Conemaugh could be 
easily connected with either the Clearfield or Chest creeks 
between Ebensburg and Munster, and even this route would 
be shorter and better than to connect with anv of the hio-her 
branches of the Allegheny river," 

After the opening of the Old Portage railroad the mountain 
was a favorite place for visitors during the summer season. 
The Mountain House at Duncansville was moved to Cresson 
about 185-1; the Fountain Inn was located in the forest on the 
old Northern pike a few miles east of the Summit. The Summit 
has always retained its advantage but is limited as to its 
popularity. After the opening of the 'uranch railroad Ebens- 
burg became a desirable place to live, and since the closing 


of the Mountain House at Cresson it is the leading summer 
resort of this vicinity. 


Tliis pretty village is the second oldest settlement in the 
county. As we have noted elsewhere, Captain Michael McGuire 
located there in 1788, when it was a part of Huntingdon county, 
and died there November 17, 1793. It was known as the ''Mc- 
Guire Settlement" until in 1799 Father Gallitzin established 
a Catholic mission there and named it Loretto, for the famous 
Loreto on the Adriatic coast, Italy, which seems to have been 
spelled with one "t. " On the occasion of the centenary cele- 
bration of the parish on October 10, 1899, the Kev. Ferdinand 
Kittell published a souvenir of Loretto, prepared with skill 
and carefulness. It is a volume of 405 pages, with much detail 
of family and church history, which included a chapter on 
Captain Micliael McGuire, by William A. McGuire, Esq., a 
lineal descendant. 

Loretto was originally in Frankstown township, Hunting- 
don county, but after the organization of Cambria it was a 
village in Allegheny township. In 1816 it was plotted into 
town lots by Father Gallitzin, as he acknowledged the map 
"to be his act and deed." It consisted of one hundred and 
forty-four lots in three tiers, divided by two streets sixty feet in 
width, and three cross streets of equal width. The central row 
of forty-eight lots are one hundred and sixty feet in depth, 
and the others two hundred feet. 

Loretto is about seven miles in an easterly direction from 
Ebensburg, and was incorporated as the borough of Loretto 
by the Act of March 8, 1845. 

Among the early settlers with Captain Micliael McGuire 
and his wife Rachel Brown, were Cornelius McGuire, William 
Dodson, Michael Eager, John Storm, John Douglass, William 
Meloy, Luke McGuire who married Margaret O'Hara, Richard 
Xagle, Richard Ashcraft, James Alcorn, John Trux and John 

The souvenir of Loretto contains the names of all the 
families, and those of the children, with dates of birth and 
death from November 17, 1793, to October 10, 1899, which 
renders it very valuable for genealogical purposes. 

The surnames are: Adams, Bradley, Brown, Burgoon, 
Burke, Byrne, Christy, Conrad, Coons or Knhns, Dimond, 

Vol. 1—14 


Doiiglierty, Eckenrode, Flick, Glass, Hertzog, Litzinger, Mc- 
Connell, McCoy, McDermitt, McGough, McGuire, McMullen, 
Miller, Myers, Nagie, Noel, O'Neill, Parish, Skelly or O'Skelly, 
Smith, Hoover or Huber, Kane, Kean or Cain, Kaylor, Kelly, 
Little, Stevens, Storm, Sweeney, Weakland and Will. There 
were twenty-five families by the names of Bradley and McGnire ; 
Dougherty, twenty-two; Eckenrode, twenty- three ; Glass, twen- 
ty; McConnell, twenty; Myers and Noel, each, twenty-three; 
and Will, twenty. The aggregate number of families repre- 
sented is 2143. 


The Village of Munster is about five miles east of Ebens- 
burg, and was iDlotted for a town by Edward V. James in 1808. 
It is said to have been a rival for the county capital, but there 
is no evidence of that fact. It was an Irish settlement. The 
town plot was extensive, but it never prospered. The lots were 
sixty-six feet in frontage and about one hundred and eighty 
feet in depth, and sold for $16 specie. 

It is near the headwaters of the Little Conemaugh river, 
and one of the streets was named Conemaugh. It was located 
on the first road made in the county — the Frankstown, or the 
old Galbreath road, which is noted elsewhere. It had the ad- 
vantage over Ebensburg, Buela and Loretto at that time, as 
neither of these localities had a good road east or west. About 
twenty years after the town was plotted there was an effort 
to make a new township to be named Donegal, but it caused so 
much friction the court declined to create it. Some of the free- 
holders were John O'Gara, Hugh McWilliamson, Hugh Gara, 
Moses Noon, ^Michael Burns, William Manly, Edward Smith, 
John Nickson, Patrick Dawson, Dennis Lynch, John Rhey, John 
Miller, Philip Noon, John D. Kerney, Jacob Glass, John Curren, 
Peter Storm, Bartholomew Kearney, Cornelius Freel, Joseph 
McGeehan, James Kean, James O'Kean and John Boyle. The 
descendents of Kearney and the Glass and other families still 
reside in that vicinity. However, there were few houses erect- 
ed. The village is on the crest and western slope of the divide. 




A spring on the farm of Andrew Strittmatter, in Carroll 
township, near Strittmatter 's tunnel, on the Cambria and Clear- 
field division of tlie Pennsylvania railroad, is the accredited 
source of the west branch of the Susquehanna. 

, Flowing in a northwesterly direction for half a mile, thence 
for an equal distance nearly west, the stream above mentioned 
is enlarged by another run, rippling down from Carrolltown, 
about a mile and a half to the northeast. This is the longer run 
of the two and is by some considered the source of the river, 
which from this junction of waters all unite in denominating the 
west branch of the Susquehanna. 

From this point, flowing northwest generally, though with 
many deflections to the right and left, the river passes through 
Carroll township to the northeast corner of Barr, from where 
it follows the boundary line of Barr and Susquehanna into the 
latter. On its way it is augmented by the waters of at least 
eleven runs, some small, others of more volume, bearing such 
names as Walnut run. Moss creek, and Long run. 

At this point, on the right bank, is the mining town of 
Spangler, which extends for about a mile and a half along the 
river. Here the river turns due north for a short distance, when 
it makes a left curve, about a mile in length, down to Garman- 
tovm, on the left bank. It is soon afterward joined by a small 
rivulet from the west, and Pine run which rises near Platt\TLlle 
and flows into it from the east, is the last large accession the 
west branch receives in, luit not from Cambria county. From 
this point the general direction of the river is northward until 
it leaves the county at the historic Cherrytree. 

Three other streams that rise in Susquehanna township 
flow north into the west ])ranch in Clearfield county, the last of 
which is Beaver run. 

The West Branch and its tributaries have been to Northern 
Cambria what the Conemaugh has been to Johnstown and its 
vicinity— except in disaster. As public highways, between 1857 


and 1880, they were of mueli more utility tlian tlie Conemaugh 
ever was, for on tliem were floated to the eastern markets hun- 
dreds of millions of feet of valuable timber, the proceeds from 
the sale of which built up thousands of happy homes and laid 
the foundation of the prosperity of Northern Cambria. 

The predominating timber in Northern Cambria and ad- 
joining districts of Clearfield and Indiana counties was white 
pine. The principal uses to which this species of wood is put 
are for lumber, shingles, and spars or masts for ships. Pine 
cut in the summer months would be speedily devoured by grubs, 
or worms, called sawj^ers ; hence, it became necessary to cut the 
timber in the fall and early winter months. Formerly, the prin- 
cipal part of the timber intended for lumber was cut down, and 
hewn on three sides, the other side being "barked" with a peel- 
ing ax. A tree was hewn forty, sixty, or eighty feet — according 
to height — straight on two sides, that the timber might be lashed 
or pinned together into rafts. On the other side it was hewn 
to suit the crooks if there were any. It was then hauled to a 
landing, generally on a dam, ])ut into the water, a number of 
pieces placed side b}^ side, several poles laid across them through 
which auger holes were bored down into the timbers, and pins 
of wood securely driven in. A rudder made of a long pole fas- 
tened on a pivot was fixed at the front and rear of the raft for 
the purpose of guiding it through the water. A shanty in which 
the cooking was done and which sheltered the raftsmen was 
then built upon it, and the raft was ready for high water, which 
generally occurred in the spring and fall of the year, 

'* Spars" were cut the length a tree would permit — eighty 
or one hundred feet — with some of them four feet and even 
larger at the base. As it is necessary to know if a mast is sound 
throughout, a simple expedient was used to determine that 
important point. Close to one end of the spar a man placed his 
ear, while another struck the other end with a heavy hammer 
or sledge. If the stick was solid throughout a sharp sound was 
heard by the person listening, while if the stroke was not 
heard, or but a dull thud was the result, the timber was con- 
demned as unfit for use. Spars were made into rafts, some- 
times along with square timber. The job of hauling them to- 
the water's edge was often a very laborious and expensive one, 
many men and teams being required for the undertaking. 

In later years much timber was floated down in sawlogs,. 
the logs being cut and peeled in the woods. It is remarkable 


how fast an expert '^ peeler" can remove the bark from a log 
or tree with his doublebit peeling ax, the bits being thin, about 
eight inches broad, each bit being shaped somewhat like an 
ancient battle ax. The logs ai'e hauled to the edge of a stream 
and placed on the landing or dumped into a dam made for the 
purpose. Sometimes logs were pushed for miles in chutes, or 
''slides," made of small trees. In making these chutes one tree 
was pinned on a piece of timber laid on the ground or some- 
times elevated on blocks to overcome unevenness of the line, with 
a piece fastened at either side as a fender. Into the groove 
thus formed the logs were placed — sometimes many in number 
— a team of horses was hitched to the hindmost log by means 
of a grab driven into the rear end, and this log being shoved on 
and bumped started those ahead of it. On reaching the dump 
the team was turned around or run to one side of a tree or pole 
close to the chute, and the grab released from its hold. 

As much of this logging was done on small streams, resort 
was had to splash-dams to drive the logs down to the river. A 
splash-dam is constructed with a wicket that may be raised or 
lowered at pleasure, and when ready it is opened, releasing the 
water held in store and carrying the logs below down 
the stream, along which men, provided with pike- 
poles, are stationed to keep them in the channel. 
The boots of these men are armed with spikes somewhat like 
the climbers used by linemen on telegraph and electric poles, only 
smaller, and thus provided they often leap on logs to release 
jams with the greatest imaginable dexterity and fearlessness — • 
a hazardous undertaking nevertheless. Sometimes a number of 
logs were made into rafts, but logs were often floated loose. 
When the spring had opened and the ice had left the river 
sufficiently to insure safety, the sluices of the great dams in 
which the rafts were securely held were opened and the down- 
ward journey" along the river began. 

This was a perilous journey, and none but the hardiest of 
men were desirable for raftsmen. To steer the raft aright was 
a very particular job. Sometimes bends were to be rounded 
where the current hugged the shore, often boulders and obstruc- 
tions bad to be avoided, and dams had to be "shot" through 
chutes provided for the purpose. Here, if the raft was not kept 
straight in the current as it entered the chute there was great 
danger of its being wrecked. If the front bowsman was not an 
expert there was the pi'obability of his being swept oif by the 


water or knocked off by the rudder when the front part of the 
raft dipped into the water below the chute. 

The rafts and logs were floated down the river to Lock 
Haven, Williamsport, Mnncey, and sometimes even to Havre 
de Grace, ^Maryland, on the right bank of the river near the head 
of Chesapeake bay. Arrived at their destination, they were 
secured in large dams or along the shore by means of ropes 
thrown around stakes or poles fastened to piers or driven into 
the ground. The logs were run into booms, near which were 
located great sawmills which manufactured them into lumber. 
A boom is an obstruction of long logs securely fastened together 
by clamps and swiveled chains, or by cribs thrown diagonally 
across the greater part of the stream — generally from the inner 
curve of a great bend in the river or in a dam — thus reflecting 
the logs from the current into the slack water, where they re- 
mained until taken therefrom to be worked up into lumber, as 
was also the square timber of the rafts. 

The fall rafting generally consisted of the timber that was 
left over from the spring "drive," or that was not ready at that 
time. Often a summer freshet was taken advantage of and some- 
times a lo-^mess of water prevented or delayed a drive at the 
usual time. 

At first raftsmen on their return were compelled to walk, 
or ride on horseback or in the stage to their homes, but after 
railroad facilities became available that method of traveling 
was adopted. 

Eafting on the Y\'est Branch of the Susquehanna is now 
practically a thing of the past, the people of Northern Cambria 
having turned their attention to agricultural and mining pur- 
suits, and, with ever increasing railroad facilities, the mineral 
resources of that thri\^ng section of the county are being rap- 
idly developed. 

After leaving Cambria county, the West Branch runs in a 
northeasterly and then in a northerly direction to McGee's 
mills, where it turns to the northeast, a few miles farther on 
receiving the waters of Chest creek, which general course it 
continues to Clearfield, where it is augmented by the waters of 
Clearfield creek. Down these two streams the greater part of 
the rafting from Cambria county found its way to the West 

Winding eastward to Xorthumberland county it empties 


its waters into those of the North Branch, forming there the 
greatest river of Pennsylvania — the historic Susquehanna. 

Chest creek rises near Kaylor Station, on the Cambria and 
Clearfield railroad, in Allegheny township, and joined by the 
AVest Branch, which rises in Cambria township, near Winterset 
Station, on the same railroad, flows in a slightly northwest di- 
rection through Clearfield township and between those of Elder 
and Chest into Clearfield comity, where it enters the West 
Branch of the Susquehanna. 

Before the town of Patton is reached, where the Little Chest 
creek flows in, Laurel Lick run. Chest Springs run and several 
others pour in their w^aters. 

Between the points where Flanagan's run and Blubaker 
creek join it, begins the outcropping of red shale that underlies 
the lower coal measures of the Westover and Johnstown basins, 
here separated by the Laurel Hill anticlinal. 

Blubaker creek, the largest tributary of Chest creek, rises 
in the southwestern part of Elder township, and passes through 
the town of Hastings to its junction with the Little Blubaker 
creek, four miles beyond. Blubaker creek unites with Chest 
creek, just a short distance before the latter enters Clearfield 

Of late years the development of the vast mineral resources 
of the Blacklick region following the construction of a railroad 
along the valley of the South Branch has brought that section 
of the county prominently before the people ; but pl'obably few 
are aware of the vast area of the drainage of the system, second 
only to the Conemaugh. 

The Blacklick in Cambria is composed of two large branches 
—the North Branch and the South Branch— and their tribu- 

The North Branch of the Blacklick— if preference is given 
length and size — rises in Carroll townsliip, about a mile north 
of the Cambria township line, near the old Ebensburg plank 
road. Beginning its course in a northeasterly direction, swerv- 
ing to the northwest, westward, and southwest, it unites, when 
between four and five miles in length, with another branch, 
which, rising about a mile to the southwest of the source of the 
stream already noted, runs in a less circuitous course toward 
the northwest. Forming from its source the boundary line be- 
tween the townships of Cambria and Carroll it flows northwest, 
receiving various runs and rivulets from the north and south, 


until it reaches the northeast corner of Blacklick township, 
wliich, in assuming a more westerly course, it divides from Barr 
on the north for a couple of miles. Flowing south, on the line 
of Blacklick to^^Tiship, it receives Dutch run. This run, rising 
in Indiana county, flows southeastward into Barr township, 
then in a southwesterly direction, crossing and re-crossing the 
line between that township and Indiana county, finally flows 
into the North Branch heretofore noted, from which place the 
united waters, now of considerable volume, continue their course 
southwestward, augmented from the east by what Pomeroy, 
who published the best map of the county ever produced, calls 
Elklick run, and its southern branch. Elk run, down to within 
a half mile of the southwestern corner of the township, where 
it enters Indiana county, and soon unites with the South Branch. 
The South Branch of the Blacklick, formed by the union of 
many considerable streams, the principal of which Pomeroy 
calls the Middle Branch, rises in Cambria, within a quarter of a 
mile of Allegheny township, the dividing line between which 
two townships at this point is the West Branch of Chest creek, 
about a mile from the headwaters of Clearfield creek and also 
of the North Branch of the Conemaugh. Flowing south, north- 
west and west and modified by several short windings past 
historic Beulali close to the line of Jackson and Blacklick town- 
ships, and later dividing them, it emerges into Indiana county to 
form tlie cqnsiderable stream known as the Blacklick, and crosses 
the southeastern end of that county to a point near Livermore, 
below Blairsville, on the Westmoreland county line, where its 
waters are merged with those of the Conemaugh. 

The principal tributaries of the South Branch are the East 
Blacklick, which rises a short distance north of Ebensburg and 
flows southwest to its junction with the Middle Branch, which, 
receiving another large branch which rises in the northern 
part of Cambria township, becomes the South Branch; then 
two smaller tributaries from the western part of the same town- 
ship and from Blacklick township four small runs, and from the 
south Steward's run, which, rising in Cambria, flows in a north- 
westerly course through Jackson township, augment its waters. 

Clearfield creek is the name of a stream which rises in two 
branches in Cambria county near the dividing ridge, along 
whose crest runs the Cresson and Clearfield railroad, one branch 
rising near Kaylor Station and the other near Cresson. They 


luiite in Himmelwrigiit's mil] dam and thence tlieir waters 
flow northward into Clearfield coimty. 

It is a misnomer to call this stream a creek, as it has the 
size and importance of a river, having served as an outlet for 
hundreds of millions of feet of pine lumber to markets along 
the West Branch of the Susquehanna of which it is a tributary. 

The name of the stream, which is perpetuated in that of one 
of the townships of- this county and also of a neighboring county, 
is derived from the "'Clear Fields" — a few small acres of 
cleared ground on which the Indians raised maize, located along 
its valley near the old Kittanning path, not far from the present 
town of Ashville. 

John Storm, or Sturm, is said to have erected a grist mill 
on the Clearfield creek, near Loretto in 1792, now Seibert's 
mill, Dawson Station, on the railroad. 

Along what is undoubtedly the main branch,, which, as be- 
fore stated, rises near Kaylor's, was the first permanent settle- 
ment of white men, viz : that of Captain Michael McGuire, who, 
in 1787, moved his family to a clearing and started a colony, 
with which Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin, i)rince and priest, 
twelve years thereafter cast his lot and established the Catholic 
•congregation of Loretto. 

Gallitzin was a man who looked after the temporal interests 
•of his people as the handmaid of their spiritual welfare, and 
on this creek, about a hundred yards up the stream from the 
bridge that spans the run, which is the highest name by which 
it can be here truthfully called, built the third grist mill in Cam- 
bria county. This was early in the present century, and was 
then an undertaking of considerable magnitude, as the fall in the 
stream is here so slight that a millrace about a half mile in 
length had to be dug to give the water sufficient "head." The 
water wheels of this mill might have been seen near the ruins 
of the mill until a few 3^ears ago. 

Some years after the erection of this mill Gallitzin had 
built on the eastern branch at the present site of the mill of the 
late B. P. Anderson a sawmill, the dam of which is still in use. 
It was built, according to the testimony of one of the old pio- 
neers, "at a cost of $1,500, at a time when men worked for fifty 
cents a day and did an honest day's work." 

This was probably the first water sawmill in the county. 
It was built on this stream at a distance of two miles from 


the grist mill for the reason that the water power at the latter 
was not deemed sufficient to turn the crank of a sawmill. 

About a mile below this mill the two branches nnite in Him- 
melwright's mill-dam, which, as well as Anderson's, can be 
seen from the Cresson and Coalport railroad, a branch of the 
Cambria and Clearfield division. Another mile further down is 
located Seibert's grist mill, near Dawson Station, a couple of 
hundred feet below which Bradley's run, which rises in Alle- 
gheny township, Blair county, enters Cresson township and 
flows down through Gallitzin borough and Gallitzin township 
and pours its murky waters into the hitherto comparatively pure 
stream of the Clearfield. Next from the west a small stream 
called Beaver Dam run comes in from Allegheny to^mship, Cam- 
bria county. 

On the eastern side, near the small mining town of Amsbry, 
a small, swift mountain stream, which formerly swarmed with 
trout, drains part of Gallitzin township, and at Ashville, a mile 
further down, Trexler's run empties in from the same side. 

At Ashville is Kratzer's saw^nill dam, and close to it on the 
western side is the site of old Ashland furnace, the ruins of 
which were dug up and hauled away about 1896. While quarry- 
ing stone for the foundations of this furnace, about 1840, the 
workmen found on a high rocky bluff the skeletons of several 
human beings, buried in a horizontal position with the feet 
towards the east. The bones of one of these skeletons indicated 
that in life the individual whose remains were ruthlessly dis- 
turbed, must have been of gigantic stature, probably eight feet 
in height. The mode of burial, so different from that of the 
Indians, who interred their dead in a crouching, vertical posi- 
tion, aud the size of the skeletons would appear to indicate that 
they were tliose of people of a pre-historic race of a higher 
degree of civilization than the Indians — a supposition that is 
borne out by the fact that many articles of potter}^ have been 
found in the vicinity. 

Within sight of this cemetery is one of the "Clear Fields,'^ 
about three acres in size, and about a mile farther up the creek 
is a smaller one, while about three miles to the northwest is a 
circular clearing, about three hundred feet in diameter, with 
a solitary old red oak tree exactly in the centre. To this place 
the old settlers gave the name of "The Indian Garden," but 
it was probably a place of meeting for the council fires of the 


red men who frequented the region, and near which several of 
their graves may yet be found. 

Between the first of the ''Clear Fields" and the qnarry 
where the large skeletons were found, lay the old "Kittanning 
Path," so well known to the early settlers of Northern Cambria. 

Tradition says that in the bed of the Clearfield creek at 
Kratzer's dam, and a mile below and also a mile above, lead 
ore of remarkable purity was known to the Indians. It was here 
the party that ea])tured Mrs. Elder and Felix Skelly in the 
Juniata valley in the early part of 1778 camped the first night 
of their journey to Detroit, and, according to the testimony of 
Skelly, replenished their store of lead, of which they molded 
many bullets, and also loaded him with a bundle of hickory 
withes, p]-esumably for bows. 

Just below this dam, some of the old settlers used to say, 
occurred a tragedy equal in atrocity to that of Hinckston's run, 
in which a poor Indian, who was standing on a log of a pile of 
driftwood, looking intently into the stream, was shot and killed 
by a white trapper named Beatty, whose brother had been mur- 
dered near Shaver's creek, now in Blair county, by a party of 
Indians during the Revolutionary war. 

From the west, a short distance beJow Ashville Swartz's 
run flows in from the direction of St. Augustine. This is the 
last stream of note on the west until the Beaver dam system 
pours in the largest volume of water the Clearfield receives at 
any one point in Cambria county. 

The name ''Beaver Dam" is probably of more frequent ap- 
plication to streams in this and Somerset county than any other 
appellation — "Laurel run" coming next. But this stream is 
undoubtedly entitled to the distinction of being the most import- 
ant of its name in Cambria county, deriving its appellation from 
the fact that on this run was formerly a large dam, covering sev- 
eral acres of ground, built by beavers. 

The valley of the Beaver Dam run, lying principally in 
White township, is a deep alluvial soil, bearing traces of having 
been at an early period covered with water. 

The main branch of the Beaver Dam run rises near St. 
Augustine and flows in a direction west of north to its junction 
with the main stream, the direction of which throughout is east 
of north. Into this stream about half a mile below the Clearfield 
township line flows the Slate Lick, the direction of which is 


In sigiit of the forks of the Shite Lick and the Beaver Dam 
run is a hill two hundred feet high, from the summit of which 
an unobstructed view for miles around is obtainable, and from 
which, in prehistoric times, another race of men viewed, with 
what emotions we know not, the extended landscape round about. 
This is ''Fort" Hill, so called because in the time of the early 
settlers there existed thereon earthworks of circular form, about 
three hundred feet in diameter and about five feet high, with two 
openings. The site of this work may still be seen from the ab- 
sence thereon of pine stumps, which are found all around the 
area of the inclosure. When first known to the white settlers 
it was covered with a growth of maple, elm, and beech trees, 
some of them twenty inches in diameter. Some of the old pio- 
neers think this was intended for a fort, but the absence of iron 
relics about the site indicates that it was not built by white men ; 
and the probability is that it was never used as a place of de- 
fense, but rather as the site of council fires of the Indians or a 
place of worship 1)y some former and more civilized race of 

Half a mile below the entrance of the Slate Lick, Mud Lick, 
which rises in Carroll township, flows in a northeasterly course. 

The North liiver Branch of the Beaver Dam run is the last 
stream of consequence that flows into the run from the west be- 
fore its junction with the Clearfield creek south of the Clearfield 
county line. 

In Chest township rises a run which Pomeroy sets down as 
Whitmer's, but which the Geological Survey of 1895 calls South 
AVilmer run. Its direction is about north northwest into Bec- 
■caria township, Clearfield county, where, after being joined b}^ 
its north branch, which rises in Chest township, Clearfield coun- 
ty, it enters Clearfield creek at Irvona. 

Going back to Ashville, where we left oft" the description of 
the eastern tributaries of the Clearfield, the first branch is Lit- 
tle Laurel run, which empties a short distance below the town. 
Next comes Big Laurel run, or Cook run, which rises near Bur- 
goon's Gap, up which ascended the old Kittanning Path. Then 
Sandy run, Figart run. Fallen Timber run, Curtis run brancli 
and Muddy run. 

Clearfield creek holds a position in the history of the county 
that but few people fully appreciate. It is for a great part of 
its length the dividing line between the townships of Dean and 
Reade on its eastern bank, and Clearfield and White on the west. 


Down its stream hundreds of millions of feet of the staple timber 
of Northern Cambria— the pine — have been floated to market, 
and along its conrse may yet be seen the remains of immense 
dams with wooden slnices where logs and rafts were impounded 
awaiting the rise of the water at the breaking up of the ice in 
the spring. An idea of the immense proportions of some of the 
lords of the forest may be formed when it is known that spars, 
or masts, one hundred and twenty feet in length and six feet in 
diameter twelve feet from the larger end have frequently been 
cut in Northern Cambria. The price of such a piece of timber, 
when floated to market, used to be $400, but the expense of get- 
ting it there, if it did not chance to stand near a stream, was so 
great that the profit was not as much as might be imagined. 
Now, along this noble stream another industry has developed, 
and the railroad annually carries thousands of tons of coal to 
the Eastern markets; and there is no telling what the future 
has in store for this ]>art of our country, as the earth beneath 
is undoubtedly as rich in mineral resources as the surface for- 
merly was in forest products. 

Bell's Gap run, in Eeade township, Beaver run, in Susque- 
hanna, and others in Keade and Jackson, helped to drain the 
northern part of Cambria county. 

First in prominence in the past, present, and future history 
of our county is the world-famed Conemaugh, for both in our 
early days and in more recent years its name is inseparably in- 
terwoven with the history of Southern Cambria in general and 
Johnstown more particularly. 

The name Conemaugh is derived from the Indian "Can- 
na-maugh" or Caugh-naugh-maugh, a more outlandish form of 
this appellation being "Quin-nim-mough-koong." The mean- 
ing of the name is Otter creek. 

The Conemaugh river proper begins its course at the junc- 
tion of the Stonycreek, the larger, ^nd in the early history of 
Pennsylvania the more notable, of the two rivers, and the Little 
Conemaugh a short distance above the historic stone bridge 
of the Pennsylvania railroad at Johnstown. 

The Little Conemaugh rises in Cresson township, this coun- 
ty, a few miles northeast of Lilly. The waters from the vicinity 
of Cresson drain into this liranch — Laurel run — above Lilly, 
and at Lilly another branch of about equal size— Bear Rock run 

unites with it from the southward. Into these two streams 

empty the waters from some of the best springs in Pennsylva- 


Tiia. Tliese springs— all the far-famefl Cresson water — will re- 
pay the tourist, or the busy toiler for a visit to them. Little the 
people in the crowded city, accustomed to the use of hydrant 
water, however pure, know of the delicious draughts that may 
he quaffed from these crystal fountains, bubbling up from the 
caverns of the earth in vast volumes from the centers of pools, 
some of them six or eight feet wide and from two to three feet 
deep, so cold that you can scarcely bear your hand in them long 
enough to draw forth a handful of the silver sand that is being 
continually forced up by the water. Leaving Lilly, the stream 
receives only a few rivulets from the springs on both sides of 
its course, shooting thrice through the roadbed of the Pennsyl- 
vania straight-line, until Benscreek pours down its rapid torrent 
of about four miles in length from Portage towii.sliip and the 
southern part of Washington township. 

On this stream, about two miles above the Benscreek.mines, 
the Pennsylvania Railroad Company has placed an intake and 
laid a line of pipe to Portage Station, where the engines on the 
mountain take water, and from which many a train load of the 
crystal liquid is hauled to Altoona in times of drouth. The 
headwaters of this stream are about 2,100 feet above sea-level, 
and the fall is probably one hundred feet to the mile, while 
some of the springs that drain into the Little Conemaugh are 
located at an altitude of at least 2,300 feet. 

After being swollen to a considerable stream by the waters 
•of Benscreek, the Little Conemaugh turns to the northward 
under the massive stone bridge of the Pennsylvania straight- 
line a few hundred yards below. It winds around through the 
woods and about half a mile further on receives a small stream 
— Noel's rim — from the north side; thence on down to the Old 
Portage, where it was at first spanned by a stone-arch bridge 
which grave wav in a freshet in 1847. On the abutments on 
Avhich were erected the second bridge now rests an iron bridge 
built by the county. Just below empties in Sonman run, aug- 
mented bv a little stream from Portage. Seven hundred vards 
further down — the stream here running in a southerly direction 
— the New Portage crossed the river on an iron bridge on sub- 
stantial stone abutments. About two hundred yards below this 
embankment the stream turns in a westerly direction, and a 
quarter of a mile below was recently turned from its course 
to make room for the Pennsylvania railroad improvements. 
This new channel is about half a mile in length and in part 


of the old course of the river. Trout run, which rises near the 
Blair county line, near Portage receives the waters of another 
stream from Summerhill township. Continuing on its westward 
journey, half a mile farther down is the dam that impounds the 
water for the AVilmore grist mill, now owned and operated by 
Sylvester Crum. A mile farther on, and about three hundred 
yards from Wilmore Station in a northwesterly direction, the 
North Branch mingles its waters in a stream of nearly equal 
size, forming a stream at a medium stage of about thirty yards 

Here we leave the Little Conemaugh for a time and ascend 
the North Branch to its headwaters, which we find to be in the 
vicinity of Ebensburg, one branch rising near the fair grounds, 
to the north of the town. On tliis stream is located one of the 
pumping. stations which supply the town with water. One of the 
other branches rises to the northeast, and the third to the east, 
and flowing southward, furnish the water-power for Ludwig's 
woolen mill. About two-thirds of a mile further down is what 
used to be called AVilliams' Dam, which was an unsightly ex- 
panse of water two hundred yards wide and six hundred yards 
long jotted over with hundred of stumps of forest trees that 
had been killed by the water and their trunks allowed to fall into 
the dam. This rabbish was cleared away a few years ago, neat 
houses were built near the head of the dam, boats were placed 
thereon, and the tourist or summer guest can now take a row 
on Lake Rowena. 

On the eastern bank of this resort, hidden by the dense 
foliage of small hemlock trees that fringe its border, is a cool 
spring, the temperature of which is said to be 52°. Ludwig's 
grist mill is run by water from this dam except when the water 
is low, when steam is used. A short distance below this, from 
the westward, enters a little stream that rises near Maple Park 
and flows past the Ebensburg steam tannery. Into this run 
the liquor from the vats is emptied, and when this is done the 
water in the north branch assumes an inky hue for the entire 
length of that stream. 

It is then augmented by the waters of Roaring run— some- 
times called McCarthy's run— formed of three branches, one 
rising near old Pensacola, in the southern portion of Cambria 
township, near New Germany, with a central stream shorter 
than the others, flowing in the general direction of the run, 
which is to the northeast, and continues its course in a general 


direction nnti) it reaches the mill dam of Samuel O'Hara, in 
Munster to^mship, receiving on its way Sanders' run from the 
noi-th and in the dam a creek whose headwaters are in the vicin- 
ities of Kaylor Station and Munster. This stream is marked on 
Caldwell's map as "the North Branch of the Conemaugh," but 
it is not. The East Fork of the North Branch would be a 
more appropriate name. 

Below O'Hara 's Dam a new iron bridge has been erected by 
county aid — the first on the stream. Spanned by another iron 
bridge, which probably is of use to fewer people than any other 
bridge of its class in the county, it enters Summerhill township, 
a large part of the water of which is drained into it through 
Settlemver's run. Less than one hundred feet from the con- 
fluence of these streams is a famous artesian well, drilled to 
a depth of 628 feet by Phillip Collins, of Ebensbui-g, while pros- 
pecting for oil in 1865. From a depth of ninety feet through 
a bore hole five inches in diameter has ever since been flowing 
a stream of water forced up from the subterranean channel of a 
stream thirty-two inches in depth. The water is slightly im- 
pregnated with sulphur, but is palatable to drink. The capacity 
of this well has been estimated at 60,000 gallons per day. Less 
than a mile from the oil-well spring the North Branch, which 
has in the meantime received but one small tributary from the 
westward, is crossed by an iron bridge, a span of one hundred 
feet, on the road from VVilmore to Ebensburg. One end of this 
structure is in Summerhill township aiid the other in Wilmore 
borough, the center of the stream forming the line between the 
township and borough for about a quarter of a mile to another 
iron bridge that crosses on the line of the Old Portage railroad 
on abutments built in 1847 to sustain the railroad bridge that 
took the place of the stone bridge that, like the bridge near 
Portage, was undermined by the flood of that year. Here the 
stream turns to the southward, and about one hundred rods fur- 
ther on unites with the Little Conemaugh. An idea of the 
volume of this stream may be formed when it is known that on 
the memorable 31st of May, 1889, the water at the junction of 
these streams extended from the embankment of the Pennsylva- 
nia railroad to that of the -Old Portage, a distance of about five 
hundred yards, about three feet liigher than the highest previous 
high-water mark. 

Resuming the description of the Little Conemaugh: That 
stream now flows for a distance of about one hundred rods in 


a direction south by west, where it receives a considerable ac- 
cession from waters of the central and western part of Smnmer- 
hiU township, south of Wihnore, turning its course it continues 
into Croyle township, where it is crossed by the stone bridge 
of the Pennsylvania railroad, prior to the late improvements 
between Lilly and Portage, designated as Little Conemaugh 
bridge No. 1, about one hundred yards east of the Deep Cut. 
Bending again to the west in a compound curve in the shape of 
an inverted S, about a mile in length, it is crossed below the 
Deep Cut by Bridge No. 2, and about three hundred yards east 
of Summerhill Station liy the three-span stone bridge desig- 
nated No. 3. From this point the river makes a regular curve 
to a point about half a mile west of Summerhill Station, where 
it is crossed by Bridge No. 4. Nearly midway on this bend is 
located the dam that furnishes the water power for the grist 
mill of D. A. Sipe, formerly the Thomas Croyle mill site, where 
he built a grist mill in 1801. This is the most powerful water- 
power as yet utilized in Cambria county. Into this dam flow 
the waters of Laurel run, a stream which rises in the north- 
western part of Summerhill township and flows into Croyle 
township, where it receives the waters of a branch flowing from 
New Germany, and rushes down through Summerhill borough, 
a rapid mountain stream, to its junction with the Little Cone- 

This bend in the river is crossed by two iron bridges — 
one above Sipe's mill on the township road leading to Southern 
Croyle and the other below, on the road to South Fork. From 
Bridge No. 4 the bend continues a short distance, when, curv- 
ing slightly to the left, the river makes a bend of half a mile, and 
then several shorter curves, receiving a large run from the 
vicinity of Webster Mines, after which it once more approaches 
the Pennsylvania railroad at Ehrenfeld Station, from which 
point it continues southwest to its junction with the South Fork 
a short distance below which it is crossed by the Pennsylvania 
railroad on a substantial stone bridge known as Bridge No. 5.- 

Leaving the Little Conemaugh once more, we commence 
the description of a branch, the name of which is inseparably 
associated with the history of Johnstown — the historic South 

The South Fork of the Little Conemaugh rises near the line 
between Bedford and Cambria and is the boundary between 
the townships of Croyle and Summerhill on the north ^ind 

Vol. 1—15 


Adams on the south. Its entire length approximates 
ten miles. Its waters before the opening of the mines 
along its branches were as clear as crystal, which even 
a heavy rainfall on its headwaters scarcely clouded, as lit- 
tle land was then cleared in those localities, the water draining 
principally from a mat of roots and stones and herbage. In 
these pellucid streams innumerable game fish — especially trout, 
some of them of i^rodigious size — -were found. Indeed it is 
doub"tful if any other stream of equal size in Pennsylvania has 
produced so many millions of speckled beauties as the South 
Fork and its branches. 

The first tributary of this stream is Beaver Dam run, 
which rises in Bedford county and flows westward through 
Summerhill township to its junction, at a point where both are 
about two miles in length. From the south, Rachel's run flows 
from the Somerset county line. It is much longer than the 
South Fork to their confluence, and is undoubtedly the parent 
stream. Some two miles further down, on the same side. Otter 
Creek, enlarged by the influx of Yellow run, j^ours in its wa- 
ters; and a half mile farther on, on the north bank, Cedar 
Swamp run, which rises about four miles eastward in Summer- 
hill, flows in through Croyle township. At the junction of these 
streams, a short distance below the present town of Lovett, is 
the head water-line of the old reservoir, a half mile farther 
down which the North Lick run entered, and on the south a 
larger run, not far from the breast of the dam. 

About a quarter of a mile above Sandy run is the site of 
the reservoir which will ever occupy a conspicuous place in the 
history of the Conemaugh valley. In 1835, S^^lvester Welch, 
engineer of the Old Portage road, suggested to the legislature 
the propriety of building a reservoir for impounding water 
sufficient to supply the canal from Johnstown to Allegheny, the 
previous sources of supply from the Stonycreek and Little 
Conemaugh, with what additional water was collected lower 
down, being inadequate to the demand. During the administra- 
tion of Governor Ritner, which was one of retrenchment, little 
outlay was made for public works ; but in 1838 David R. Porter 
was elected by the Democrats, or Masonic party, on a platform 
favoring the completion of these works. However, little was 
done until in about 1841, when the work was put under head- 

The dam was an embankment of clay, gravel, and stone, 


about three liundred feet through at the bottom, sloping to the 
top, about seventy feet high, at an angle on the upper slope, 
wbieii was counter-scarped with a stone slope wall, of about 
35= and on the lower, which was rip-rapped with boulders, at 
an incline of 45°. The width on top was about twenty-five feet. 
Through the middle was a puddle wall about twenty-five feet in 
thickness. On the north side through a spur of the hill was 
cut the spillway, about seventy feet in width. Through the em- 
bankment at the bottom was a stone arched culvert, in which 
were laid five water pipes, about thirty inches in diameter, and 
connecting with the valve-house above, where the water needed 
was let in by means of a wicket operated from a room in a 
frame derrick, which extended up above the water in the reser- 
voir, which, when full, formed a large lake — about eight hun- 
dren feet wide at the breast, about a mile in the widest part, 
and two and nine-tenth miles in length, with an average depth 
of twenty-five feet. In 1847 this dam, not yet finished was badly 
damaged by a freshet, and was subsequently completed; but 
in 1862 the stone arch gave way, by reason of a leak in the 
dam, and a huge break which incapacitated the dam for further 
use was the result. The South Fork Fishing and Hunting club 
of Pittsburg, rebuilt the dam in 1880, which broke on May 31, 
1889, as elsewhere noted. 

Below Sandy run, the South Fork unites with the Little 
Conemaugh below the railroad bridge at South Fork. 

As illustrative of the rapid growth of our mountain neigh- 
bor, it is only necessary to state that on Pomeroy's map of 
Cambria county, published in 1867, the name South Fork does 
not appear, except as the name of a branch of the Little Cone- 

From the junction of the South Fork the Little Conemaugh 
continues its course in a gentle bend, for about a mile and a 
quarter, where it sti'ikes the high bluft known as the "Hog- 
back." Around this it winds in a great bend, about a mile and 
three-quarters in length, at the middle of which Bear Run en- 
ters from the south, to the viaduct over that stream, a point less 
than two hundred feet from where it strikes the l)lutf before 
mentioned. Through the bluff in its narrowest part is Hog- 
back Cut, through which the Old and New Portage railroad 
ran and which is now occupied by the tracks of the Pennsyl- 
vania railroad. 

From tlie viaduct the river assumies a northw-est direction 


for about a mile and a quarter, receiving the waters of tlie 
formerly-famous Snl]^linr Spring from the south, to Mineral 
Point, where the waters of Salt Lick run flow in from Jackson 
township, through East Taylor. It is crossed by Xo. 6 Bridge 
of the Pennsylvania railroad, near the foot of Plane No. 1 of the 
Old Portage railroad. At the head of this plane may yet be 
seen the first tunnel pierced through a hill for the use of a 
railroad on this continent. 

Between this point and Conemaugli in many places are still 
visible, on the southern bank, the remnants of the slope wall that 
protected the fill of the Old Portage roadbed from the ravages 
of the river. 

From No. 6 Bridge the course of the river is for a short 
distance in a southerly direction to the junction of Clapboard 
run, which, rising in Pichland township, flows through Cone- 
maugli township, uniting its waters with those of the Little 
Conemaugli at the upper end of Franklin borough. From this 
point the course is southwesterly to PeggA^'s run, just above the 
Ninth ward, there commencing a right curve opposite the Elev- 
enth ward, and then another long gentle curve, more to the 
westward, down to a couple of hundred 3^ards below the Lincoln 
bridge, where another bend to the northwest reaches to The 
Point — the original course as marked on Pomeroy's map being 
west of north. 

The following figures taken from a profile of the Old Por- 
tage by Antes Snyder, civil engineer of the Pennsylvania rail- 
road, will give a pretty correct idea of the various elevations 
of different points on the Little Conemaugh and the South Fork 
Branch : 

Elevation head of Plane No. 6 — highest point on 

Old Portage 2,341 

Elevation foot of Plane No. 4, on a level with 

Bear Pock run, Lilly 1,906 

Elevation foot of Plane No. 3 — near mouth of 

Benscreek 1,756 

Elevation foot of Plane No. 2— Little Cone- 
maugh, near Portage 1,613 

Elevation at Wilmore 1,573 

Elevation at Summerhill 1,536 

Elevation, basin of reservoir 1,546 

Elevation of ordinary water in reservoir 1,615 

Elevation of AVater when dam broke 1,618.4 


Elevation of eliaunel of Little Couemaiigh — 

after the Flood— at South Fork 1,464 

Elevation of Little Conemaugh at viaduct 1,385 

Elevation of Little Conemaugh at Mineral 

Point 1,365 

Elevation of Little (Jonemaugh at No. 6 Bridge. 1,265 

Elevation of Little Conemaugh at Conemaugh. . 1,147 
Elevation of Little (Jonemaugh at Johnstown 

Station 1,154 

Elevation of Little Conemaugh at Stone Bridge. 1,147 

Flood line at Stone Bridge. .^ 1,179 


Length of river from reservoir to Conemaugh . . 13.9 
Length of river from reservoir to Johnstown 

Station 16.3 

Length of river from reservoir to Stone Bridge 16.6 

Sq. Miles. 

Area of territory drained by reservoir 32 


This noble stream, which from the extent of its drainage 
area,, about two-thirds the size of Cambria count}", and its size, 
should have been denominated a river, probably owes its present 
appellation to the rendering into English in Colonial times 
of its Indian name — •" Sinne-hanne, " or "Achsin-hanne," — 
' ' hanne ' ' meaning ' ' stream, ' ' especially a swift mountain stream. 
Had the noble red men digTiiiied it with "Sinne sipu" we would 
now doubtless be calling it "Stony River." 

A neatly-walled spring on the lot of Mr. Samuel Heffley, in 
Berlin, Somerset county, is the accredited source of Stonycreek. 
About a quarter of a mile westward another rivulet rises, the 
two streams flowing in a northeasterly direction for about three- 
fourths of a mile, where the first bends to the left and the 
second to the right and unite in one stream, which runs in a 
course nearly north northeast for about three miles, and then, 
deflecting gently to the northward, receives from the east the 
united Avaters of Buttermilk run, formed by the union of three 
rivulets, one of which rises close to Berlin. The second is 
formed by the mingling of the waters of two rivulets which rise, 
as do the others, in Brothersvalley township. After uniting, the 
augmented stream flows into Stonycreek township in a direction 
almost due north, where it receives from the east a large run 


formed by the junction of two rivulets that rise near the crest 
of the Alle^-henv monntain. 

The first confluent of note of the Stonycreek from the 
west rises in the northwestern part of Brothersvalley township, 
and receiving the waters of rnns from botli north and south, 
enters Stonycreek township and unites with the Stonycreek, 
which here makes a long, gentle curve of about three miles in 
length to Shanksville. 

From Berlin to Shanksville, a distance of about ten miles, 
the broad valley is so gently undulating that the fall is said to 
be only about twenty-seven feet from the source of the creek 
to the breast of Speicher's dam at Shanks\alle. Many fine 
farms, with large and substantial buildings, are to be seen in 
all directions. 

At Shanksville is located the grist mill and sawmill first 
built by Jacob Shank about three-quarters of a century ago. 
The old-fashioned burrs are still in use in the grist mill, while 
there is now not a great deal of use for the sawmill. 

At Shanksville, the volume of Stonycreek is greatly in- 
creased by the accession of Calendar run, of which Rhodes' 
creek is a tributary. Calendar run rises in the northern part 
of Stonycreek township, near Buckstown, and is augmented by 
the waters of Clear run. 

On Rhodes' creek is situated the sawmill of Josiah Walker, 
at which a considerable quantity of lumber is still cut. 

At Shanksville, the valley of the Stonycreek suddenly be- 
comes rugged, and high hills loom up on the western bank. The 
course of the stream from this place to a stream called by some 
of the people of the vicinity Foos creek is a curve, the general 
direction of which is northwesterly. 

Further down the stream Wells' creek, rising in Somerset 
township, not far from Geiger's Station, on the Somerset & 
Cambria railroad, finally merges its waters with those of the 
Stonycreek at Mostoller Station. Its valley affords a route 
for the Somerset & Cambria Railroad, which below this point 
follows the valley of the Stonycreek. Here is located the new- 
process flouring mill of E. Gr. Mostoller. 

From the mouth of Wells' creek, the Stonycreek speeds 
on, receiving the waters of Beaver Dam run — the first of a 
series of tributaries of the same name in the Stonycreek sys- 
tem, and passing Stoyestown on the east, about a mile and a 
half farther on receives the waters of Oven ran. 


At Stoyestown Station is located the woolen mill of W. L. 
Rininger, the grist mill of J. Coleman, the sawmill of Dr. Bur- 
net, and the Trostle grist mill, the latter being located higher 
up the stream. At Sprucetown is the grist mill of J. Speeht. 

Oven run rises in Shade township, and its entire length 
is somewhere about six miles. 

On the north side of the run, not far from its mouth, on 
land of Daniel Berkeybile, is the site of one of two forts — the 
other being on the Quemahoning — built by Colonel Bouquet, 
probably in August, 1758, during the memorable campaign of 
that year led by General Forbes against Fort Duquesne. Near 
the run is still to be seen the outline of an oven, in which it is 
said bread was baked for Forbes' soldiers and from which the 
run derives its name. 

The fort was a breastwork of earth of four ravelins con- 
nected together, pointing respectively northeast, southeast, 
southwest, and northwest, each ravelin being about seventy-five 
feet in length and from twenty-five to thirty feet in breadth, 
surrounded by a ditch. In the southwest ravelin, opening to the 
northwest, was the sally port, near which several relics have 
been found. These relics consist of sections of tire of wagon 
or gun wheels, each piece of tire being about three inches broad, 
beveled at the ends, with a groove in the middle about three- 
fourths of an inch wide, in which were sunk the rivets at the 
joints and broad-headed wrought-iron nails were evidently 
driven through the felloes and clinched on the inside midway 
between the rivets; worn horse shoes, etc., have also been 
picked up. 

It is probable that, in addition to these two forts, there was 
a stockade at the crossing of Stonycreek referred to in Colonial 
history as ''The Stockade at Stoney Creek" and 'Mollys." 
Bouquet was at Loyalhanna on September 7, 1758, but about the 
middle of October of the same year he was reported to be 
at Stonycreek with seven hundred men. A letter from him 
dated at Eay's Dudgeon October 13, 1758, speaks of having 
gone with eighty men that morning to reconnoiter Laurel Hill. 
Ray's Dudgeon may have been on the eastern slope of the Alle- 
gheny, near Breastwork run. From Post's journal, December 
27, 1758, we quote: "We encamped by Beaver Dam, under 
Laurel Hill; 28th— we came to Stoneycreek, where Mr. Quick- 
sell is stationed." 

In notes to Fort Ligonier (76), in "Frontier Forts of Penn- 


sylvania," we read: "Stonycreek was a station on the Forbes 
Road, where it crossed that stream, now Stoyestown, in Somer- 
set county. Guards and relays were kept here. There was a 
kind of stockade erected here when the road was cut by Bouquet 
and a small garrison stayed there. It was deserted for a time 
in Pontiac's War, 1763." 

Under date of October 13, 1777, in the journal of Fort 
Preservation of the Eevolution, erected at the site of Fort Lig- 
onier, api3ears the following: 

**At Two o'clock p. M. an Express from Capt. Lochry at 
Stoney Creek that he had three Brigades and Packhorses with 
Continental Stores under escorte; that a Man had been kill'd 
& Scalp 'd the day before within half a Mile of that place; that 
he Jook'd upon it unsafe to stir them without a further rein- 
forcement, as he had only fifteen Guns to defend one hundred 
and forty packhorses with their Drivers. At Day break Capt. 
Shannon with 24 Men march 'd to Stoney Creek to his Relief. 
The Works lay still for want of men — there being only a Guard 
for the Town left. 

"[Octr.] 14th. 

"About 4 o'clock this afternoon the escorte arriv'd safe at 
Ligonier without anv Accident on the Road; — The Works lav 

A short distance above the fort in the bed of this run may 
be seen quite a number of indentations in the stratified sand 
rocks somewhat resembling the foot-prints of animals of the 
elephant species, only very much smaller and irregular in shape, 
doubtless due to the influences of one or more of the forces of 

Below the site of the fort about a quarter of a mile is a 
fall in the run of about eight feet, below which is a pool of 
water about three feet deep, in which tradition says that two 
soldiers, whether of Forbes' army in 1758, or of Colonel Lough- 
rey's command during the Revolutionary war, it is difficult to 
determine, were fishing when they were fired upon and killed 
by Indians concealed in the bushes. Their graves are pointed 
out near the fort. 

After receiving the waters of Oven run, the Stonycreek 
enlarged by Foy run. Fallen Timber run and others, winds on 
its northward course to Hooversville, where Dixie run adds to 
its volume. 

At Hooversville Perry Plough's large grist mill is situated. 

From Hooversville the Stonycreek continuing its way north, 


})ending in and out, is greatly increased in volume by the acces- 
sion of its largest tributary — the Quemahoning. Its sources 
are the headwaters of the North Fork of the Quemahoning and 
tho South Fork of the Quemahoning, of which Ehodes' Camp 
run, the head of the former, is found in Lincoln township and 
the latter in Somerset township. 

From the confluence of Spruce run the direction of the 
North Branch is about east northeast to the mouth of Beaver 
Dam run, about two miles distant. 

This Beaver Dam run is augmented l)y the waters of Coal 
run and Picking's Little Trout run before it unites with the 
South Fork, and the united waters become the Quemahoning. 
The South Fork of the Quemahoning rises in Somerset 
townshijD, and, receiving Ferguson's run, soon joins the North 

The (Quemahoning joined by Picking's run and Carding 
Machine run flows past Jenner l^efore Roaring run and Gum 
run pour in their waters. 

Past the site of Morgan's woolen mill and Stanton's mills, 
and receiving Higgins' run and others, the Quemahoning joins 
its forces with Stonycreek near Holsopple. 

Although the drainage area of the Quemahoning is quite 
large, the volume of the water, except in times of freshets, does 
not appear to be as great as it formerly was, owing no doubt to 
the cutting away of the timber from the valleys and slopes along 
its tributaries. 

This system was formerly the home of many sawmills and 
grist mills, not many of which are now in active use, but, in ad- 
dition to those already noted, there is situated above Morgan's 
woolen mill the Eieville grist mill, the Covall sawmill, and the 
site of the Hoffman grist mill, while one mile below Stanton's 
Mill is the Bondrager grist mill, and farther down the grist mill 
of C. Boyer. Near the confluence of the creek with Stonycreek, 
not far from Holsopple, is situated the grist mill of the Farmers' 
Milling Company. 

On the Reiuinger farm, on the east side of the stream, be- 
tween the Bondrager and Boyer mills, is the site of an old fort 
built during the French and Indian war, near which numbers of 
arrow heads, some of them of large dimensions, have been found. 
This fort was somewhat similar in shape to the one found on 
Oven Run, but somewhat larger, and probably was the scene of 


the siege of Colonel Longlirey, mention of wliicli lias been al- 
ready made. 

Shade Creek is ,an important branch of the Stonycreek, not 
only on account of the considerable area of its drainage, but the 
historic interest that attached to it on account of its early iron 
industry and latterly of its extensive Imnber operations. 

The principal branch of Shade creek is Dark Shade creek, 
the two main forks of which rise in the southwestern part of 
Shade township on the western slope of the Allegheny mount- 
ains; then Beaver Bam run, composed of two forks rising on the 
mountain, soon flows in from the eastward, and a short distance 
below this confluence is the site of McG-regor's dam and sawmill, 
built nearly forty years ago, and three-quarters of a mile belo\r 
this dam, the course of the creek being nearly the same, is lo- 
cated Eeitz 's sawmill and grist mill. 

From Reitz's dam to Mill run, Dark Shade flows on past 
Mill creek, to where the combined streams become Shade craek. 

Clear Shade creek drains the southeastern part of Ogle 
township by its two upper forks, and is the site of the splash 
dam of the Johnstown Lumber Company. 

On Shade creek is the site of old Shade furnace, which oc- 
cupies in the early history of the iron industry of Western 
Pennsylvania so conspicuous a place. Of this furnace James 
M. Swank, in his first edition of ''Iron in All Ages," page 169, 
says : 

"Shade Furnace, on Shade creek, in Somerset county, was 
built in 1807 or 1808, and was the first iron enterprise in the 
county. It used bog ore, the discovery of which led to its erec- 
tion, although the location was otherwise unfavorable. It was 
built by Gerehart & ReATiolds upon land leased from Thomas 
Vickroy. In November, 1813, Mr. Vickroy advertised the fur- 
nace for sale, at a great bargain. A sale was effected in 1819 
to Mark Richards, Anthony S. Earl, and Benjamin Johns, of 
New Jersey, constituting the firm of Richards, Earl & Co., which 
operated the furnace down to about 1830. In 1820, the firm 
built Shade Forge, below the furnace, which was carried on by 
William Earl for four or five years, and afterward by John 
Hammer and others. About 1811 Joseph Vickroy and Conrad 
Pi]3er built Mary Ann Forge on Stonycreek, about five miles 
below Shade Furnace and half a mile below the mouth of Shade 
creek. David Livingston was subsequently the owner of the 
forge and operated it for several years. Richard Geary, the 
father of Governor John W. Geary, was the millwright who 
l)uilt the forge for the owners. Pig iron was sometimes packed 


on horseback to this forge from Bedford comity, the horses tak- 
ing salt from the Couemaugh Salt Works and bar iron as a re- 
turn load." 

Rockingham Fnrnace was situated two miles above Shade 
Furnace on Shade creek. It was built in 184-i by John Foust. 
and was subsequently operated by Custer & Little. 

About half a mile beloAV the mouth of this run, the course 
of the stream being northwestward, Koaring Fork, a stream 
some six or seven miles in lengtli, the two principal forks of 
Avhich rise near Ashtola, flows in a soutlierly direction ahnost 
its entire course. 

A curve in the Shade creek is the site of the Johnstown 
Lumber Company's dam, half a mile above where it unites with 
the Stonycreek. 

■ The "AVillomink," as the Indians named it,, or what is now 
Paint creek, another tributary of the Stonycreek, rises in what 
was formerly Paint township, now Ogle township, Somerset 
county, and flows in a direction — generally west to Scalp Level, 
on the line between Eichland township in Cambria and Paint in 
Somerset county. 

The Big Paint creek at Scalp Le\'el is augmented by the 
waters of Little Paint creek, which is formed near Elton, in 
Adams township, Caml)ria county, by the union of two runs that 
flow down from the southeast. 

Beginning at Scalp Level Paint creek flows almost due west, 
with short curves, to Stonycreek, aliout three miles distant, and 
from the confluence the Stonycreek flows northwest, the next 
runs of importance being the run flowing in from the vicinity 
of Davidsville, and nearer the l)end Benscreek, which flows in 
from the westward. 

Benscreek has quite a large drainage area. It is composed 
of two large branches and many smaller tributaries. 

The South Fork of Benscreek rises in the Laurel Hill region 
in the northwestern part of Jenner township and flows southeast 
through Forwardstown. The North Branch of Benscreek rises 
in the northwestern part of Conemaugh township, Somerset 
county. From the jmiction of its forks, the course of Benscreek 
is toward the Cambria-Somerset county line, Millcreek, on which 
are situated two dams of the Johnstown Water Company, flows 
in a southeasterly direction from the western part of Upper 
Yoder township, and, bending to the eastward, Benscreek a 
short distance below merges with Stonycreek, as already men- 


tioned, on the horseshoe curve, which is succeeded by another 
short curve around Ferndale; thence turning to a direct course 
north northwest for about a mile, past the Seventh ward, in 
Jojmstown, it makes another staple bend to the eastward, on the 
right leg of which Sam's run flows in from Richland, through 
Stonycreek township and the Seventh ward, and almost op- 
jDosite on the bend at the upper end of Dale borough, Solomon's 
run, which half a mile above receives Shingle run, flows in from 
the east; on the opposite bank, about five hundred and fifty 
yards further down, Cheney run flows in from the direction of 
Whisky Springs. 

At and below Cheney run the river curves slowly to a north - 
by-west course for about three hundred yards, and then swerves 
north by east eight hundred yards to the head of Baumer street. 
From this point the direction of the stream is about north north- 
west to a point opposite the upper end of Vine street. 

On this last stretch of the creek a run flows in from the di- 
rection of Daisytown. This is the last accession of note the 
Stonycreek' receives in its vast area of drainage, embracing 
about four hundred and fifty square miles. 

Near the head of Vine street, Mr. James M. Swank, in his 
''Iron in All Ages," says was built in 1809 the first forge in 
Cambria county, which marked the beginning of the great iron 
industry that has since made Johnstown an important and ever- 
increasing city. The forge was probably built by John Holli- 
day, of Hollidaysburg, John Buckwalter being its first foreman. 
The dam for this forge was swept away by a flood in 1811, and 
subsequently the forge was removed to the Conemaugh river, 
where the schoolhouse now stands on Iron street. It was used 
to hammer bar iron out of Juniata pig iron, and was operated 
down to 1822, liahm and Bean, of Pittsburg, being the lessees 
at that time. In 1817 Thomas Burrell offered wood-choppers 
fifty cents per cord for chopping one thousand cords of wood 
at Cambria Forge, Johnstown. About two hundred pounds of 
nails, valued at $30, were made at Johnstown in the census year 
of 1810. About this time Robert Pierson established an enter- 
prise bv w^hich nails were cut bv a machine worked with a 
treadle, the heads being afterward added by hand. 

From the head of Vine street the direction of the Stony- 
creek is northwestward for three hundred yards to the Kern- 
ville bridge, where it bends to the westward for about three 
hundred and fifty yards, and from this point northwestward 


five liundred yards to tbe AVestmont Incline Plane, and thence, 
bending gradnally to a nortli-by-east conrse about five hundred, 
and fifty yards in length, to The Point. Its waters are there 
blended with the smaller volume of the Little Conemaugh, and 
the rushing Conemaugh river is the result. 

Below the confluence of the Stonycreek and the Little Cone- 
maugh, the Conemaugh river runs in a northerly direction for 
a thousand yards, and then bends toward the northwest for two 
hundred and fifty yards, where Hinckston's run, which empties 
below the Cambria Works, brings down a considerable volume 
of water from Jackson township, in the northeastern part of 
which it rises, and flow^ in a south southwest direction for al)out 
nine miles of its course through East Taylor, receiving a large 
number of branches from either side of the stream ; then, bend- 
ing to the southward for half a mile, it deflects to a course nearly 
west by south to its mouth, a mile and a quarter distant. 

Hinckston's run derives its name from a tragedy that oc- 
curred at its mouth in ]\Iay, 1774, in which John (or Joseph) 
Wipey, an inoffensive Indian — the last of the Delawares — was 
shot to death while fishing from his canoe in the Conemaugh 
by two renegade white men named John Hinckston (according 
to his own signature to a deed "Hinkson") and James Cooper. 

When the Delawares left P'rankstown, Wipey remained be- 
hind and built a cabin in East Wheatfield township, Indiana 
county, and lived by hunting and fishing. He was an inoffensive 
Indian, and was regarded as the friend of the whites, being on 
intimate terms with the Adamses, the first white settlers within 
the borders of Cambria county. 

From Hinckston's run the course of the Conemaugh river 
is northwestward for about thirteen hundred yards to Elk run, 
which flows in from the southwest from Upper Yoder township, 
through Lower Yoder township. 

Below Elk run, Mill run, sometimes called St. Clair's run, 
flows in between the Eighteenth and Nineteenth wards of Jolms- 
stown, and receives near its junction Strayer run from the north- 
west. Prom this i:)oint to Sheridan Station, seven hundred yards 
distant, the direction of the stream is nearly northward, from 
which point, for six hundred yards, the direction is north by 
east to a point below the Twenty-first ward. At two right curves, 
six hundred yards across, bring us to Laurel run, which, rising 
in Jackson township, flows in through West Taylor in a south- 
westerly direction. 


On this run, which is the last stream of note to enter the 
Conemangh in Cambria comity, the Johnstown Water Com- 
pany has a dam; it also has one on Mill run, on the other side 
of the river. 

After a short curve to the westward the course of the Cone- 
mangh is nearly north northwest for about three miles, when 
it leaves Cambria county and forms the boundary between Indi- 
ana county on the north and A¥estmoreland on the south, as 
far as the junction of the Loyalhanna, from which point to the 
junction with the Allegheny at Freeport the name of the noble 
stream is Kiskiminetas, an Indian name, the signification of 
which is ''Cut Spirit," doubtless from the change in the char- 
acter of the stream after the influx of the waters of the Loyal- 
hanna, denominated hy the noble red man "La-el-hanne," mean- 
ing "Middle Stream." 

Even before the great disaster of eighteen years ago, which 
made its name familiar to the civilized world, the Conemaugh 
had a wide celebrity, for after the introduction of the iron in- 
dustry in 1807, as heretofore noted, its waters, which appear 
to have been too rough for the frail canoe of the Indian, bore 
many a flatboat loaded with iron to Pittsburg, and the town 
of Conemaugh sprang up at the head of navigation and con- 
tinued to grow under that historic name until 1834, when the 
name was changed to Johnstown, after the flatboat had passed 
awa}' and the packet proudly navigated the western division 
of the Pennsylvania canal. 

Mr. John McCormick of Yfilmore, a careful and industrious 
student of historical events, is the author of these graphic 
verses : 


O! Conemaugh, rapid and turbulent stream, 
Thy name is historic; thy water's bright gleam 

Reflects the warm sunbeam, the moon's silver light, 

In glory of noonday or dead of the night. 

Thy waters of old bore the dug-out canoe, 

Where later the flatboat came often in view; 

The packet succeeded; in time passed away — 
Man's greatest achievements are doomed to decay. 

Next rushed 'long thy valley the swift iron steed. 

Surpassing all things save lightning in speed. 

Or the swift-twirling bullet that sped through the air 
And pierced the wild panther that sprang from his lair, 

To feast on the lambkins that fed in thy vale, 
Whose people's proud spirit did never say "Fail"; 

Not e'n v/hen thy waters in torrents came down, 

O'erwhelming the dwellers in city and town; 


But rose from the ruins of that one dire day 
To clear the last trace of its wreckage away, 

To build a great city all over its track — 

Its victims, alas! they can never bring back. 

Then flow on, swift river, between those high hills. 

Indented so deeply with cold, sparkling rills; 

And be in the future what thou long hast been — 
A safe route for commerce our great States between 

While Time shall endure and our Nation shall be 

The home of the brave and the land of the free. 



The charter original for Johnstown, was not issued by 
virtue of government authority, as municipal corporations are 
now created, and such as was granted by Governor Beaver 
when it became a city of the third class, bearing date of De- 
cember 18, 1889, but it was given by a solemn pledge in writing 
by Joseph Johns, the founder. The dedication thus given was 
as follows : 

( ( 

To All People to ^^^lom These Presents Shall Come : 

'^ Joseph Johns, of Quemahoning Township, in the County 
of Somerset, in the* Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, yeoman, 
sends greeting. 

''Whereas, The said Joseph Johns hath laid out a town 
on the tract of land whereon he now lives, situate in the forks 
of, and at the confluence of, Stonycreek and Little Conemaugh 
rivers, known by the name of Conemaugh Old Town, in the 
township and county aforesaid, which said town contains at 
present 141 lots, ten streets, six alleys and one Market Square, 
as by the plan thereof will more fully and at large appear: 

"Now, know ye, that the said Joseph Jolms hath laid out 
the said town on the principles and conditions following, viz: 

"First, The said town shall be called and hereafter known 
by the name of Conemaugh, 

"Second, The purchaser or purchasers of each lot in the 
said town, upon the payment of the purchase money agreed 
upon, shall receive from the said Joseph Johns, his heirs or 
assigns, a deed regiilarly executed for the same lot, free and 
clear of all incumbrances, except the payment of a ground rent 
on each lot so sold of one dollar in specie on the first of October 
annually forever. 

"Third, The said Joseph Johns hereby declares the said 
Market Square, streets and alleys, public highways, and 
guarantees to the future inhabitants of the said town of Cone- 
maugh a free and undisturbed use of them henceforth forever. 

"Fourth, The said Joseph Johns hereby gives and grants 
to the said future inhabitants two certain lots of ground situate 
on Market street and Chestnut street, in the said town, marked 
in the general plan thereof No. 133 and No. 134, for the purpose 
of erecting school-houses and houses of public worship, free and 
clear of all incumbrances whatsoever. 

"Fifth, The said Joseph Johns hereby further gives and 


g-rants to the iiiliabitaiits aforesaid, free and clear of all in- 
cumbrances whatsoever, a convenient spot of ground at the up- 
per end of the said tract of land, not less than one acre, for a 
burying ground for the inhabitants of said town and neighbor- 
hood, which said spot of ground shall be mutually determined 
on, surveyed, and laid oft' by the said Joseph Johns and the 
several purchasers of lots in the said town, or such of them 
as may there be present on the first day of May next. 

"Sixth. The said Joseph Johns reserves the square on 
Main street, containing the lots Nos. 49, 50, 51 and 52, for a 
county courthouse and other public buildings, and he hereby 
engages, as soon as the said town becomes a seat of justice, 
to convey the same to the county for that purpose, free and 
clear of all incumbrances whatsoever. 

"Seventh, The said Joseph Johns hereby further declares 
that all that piece of ground called the Point, lying between the 
said town and the junction of the two rivers or creeks afore- 
said, shall be reserved for common and public amusements for 
the use of the said town and its future inhabitants forever. 

"In testimony whereof, the said Joseph Johns hath here- 
unto set his hand and seal the third day of November, one thou- 
sand eight hundred. 

"Joseph Johns (L. S.) 

"Sealed and delivered in the presence of 

' ' Abraham Moeeison, 
"John Berkey, and 
"JosiAH Espy. 

"Somerset countv, ss. 

"On the third day of November, one thousand eight hun- 
dred, personally came before me, the subscriber, one of the Jus- 
tices of the Peace in and for the county aforesaid, the above- 
named Joseph Johns, and aclmowledged the above instrument 
in writing to be his act and deed. 

"Witness mv hand and seal. 

"John Wells. ( L. S.) 

"Recorded Nov. 4, 1800." 

The one hundred and forty-one lots, each four rods wide 
and sixteen rods in length, were west of Franklin street. 

The land within the city of Johnstown remained in Cone- 
maugh township until January 12, 1831, when Governor George 
Wolf approved a special act of the General Assembly incorpor- 
ating "the town of Conemaugh, in Cambria County, into a bor- 
ough. ' ' 

The limits of that borough began at the corner of Franklin 
and Washington streets, thence down the north side of Wash- 
ington street to the north corner of Walnut street, thence to 

Vol. I — 16 



Union street, tlience to the north corner of Conemaugh street, 
thence to Stonycreek street, thence along the south side of 
Stonycreek street to Chestnut (now Carr), thence south 22 de- 
grees east 16 perches, thence north to Market street, thence to 
the south corner of Franklin, thence to the Bedford road, thence 





At iomerart h/ovemb»r i4u 1800 

S.tZ" e- 

tUsAington Street. 







rr 1 





































67 66 


























yU/)IAf S 









































































to the east side of Main street, thence to Feeder alley, thence to 
the north side of Basin street (now Railroad street), thence to 
Franklin street, the place of beginning. 

By a special act of Assembly approved by Governor Wolf 
on the 14th of April, 1834, the name of the Borough of Cone- 
maugh was changed to that of Johnstown. 


The limits of the municipality remained as we have stated 
until February 25, 1851, when Governor William F. Johnston 
signed a bill extending the boundary lines so as to include the 
Fifth, Six]th, and part of the Fourth and Seventh wards, as fol- 
lows : 

Beginning at a white walnut tree on the bank of Stonycreek 
near the township road leading to Millcreek Furnace, thence 
along Yoder Hill, on the present city line, to "a post on the land 
of Jacob Benshoff, " above Alderman Graham's residence; 
thence across the Stonycreek river to a white oak on the land of 
Jacob Horner, thence to the Bedford road, thence along the 
southwest line of Bedford road to a point "near the said Hor- 
ner's bam," thence across the road to the corner of Johnstown 
and Conemaugh boroughs, on Green Hill, above and near Adam 
and Main streets. 

All this territory, as well as that included within the bound- 
ary lines of 1831, composed the borough. 

By the Act of 1831, incorporating the borough of Cone- 
maugh, it was provided that ' ' in the general and ^^lectoral elec- 
tions the citizens of said borough shall not be separated from the 
citizens of Conemaugh township, * * * ]^yiI shall remain 
connected with said township * * * and also in support of 
the poor." 

On January 19, 1844, an act of the General Assembly was 
passed over the veto of Governor David Rittenhouse Porter, 
whereby the place of holding the election for Conemaugh town- 
ship was changed to the "schoolhouse on lot No. 77, on the Isl- 
and," but on May 8, 1844, the Governor approved another act, 
changing it back to the place where "borough elections" were 
held in Johnstown. The borough of Johnstown and the town- 
ship of Conemaugh remained a single election and school dis- 
trict until 1844. 

The municipality of Johnstown was a borough without di- 
vision by wards until April 8, 1858, when George Nelson Smith, 
of this city, was speaker pro tem. of the House of Representa- 
tives, and a bill was passed dividing it into four wards, in the 
following manner : 

"So much of the westerly part of said borough as is bound- 
ed by Franklin street, Main street. Market street, Washington 
street, the Conemaugh river and Stonycreek, shall be one ward 
and be called the First Ward; so much as is l)ounded by Mam 
and Market streets, the Canal Basin and Canal Feeder shall be 


the Second Ward; so much as is bounded l^y Franklin and Main 
streets, Conemaugh Townshi]D on the east and south and the 
Stonycreek shall he the Third Ward, and so much of the bor- 
ough south and west of the Stonycreek, commonly called Kern- 
ville, shall be the Fourth Ward. 


By this act the select and common councils were authorized, 
to consist of two members from each ward in select council, and 
four members in common council. But this system was not sat- 
isfactory, and it was abolished on April 4, 1861. During the 
time of its existence the councils met in a room over the postof^ 
fice, in the building opposite the joresent Tribune office ; quarters 
were then procured on the third floor of the Scott House, after- 
ward the Merchants' Hotel. Political jealousies ruined the dual 
legislative bodies ; if select council passed an ordinance common 
council declined to approve it; if common council originated an 
ordinance and passed it, select council would put a veto to it. So 
things went from bad to worse until such a system was abol- 
ished. The Act of April 4, 1861, changed the division lines of all 
the wards and created the Fifth AVard. The First, Second, and 
Third were made practically the same as they are now, with 
Main and Franklin streets the division lines, and the Fourth 
Ward the same also ; excepting that the Seventh Ward has been 
taken from it. The Fifth Ward included all the territory on the 
South Side, and each ward had three members of council. 

This single legislative body, with the addition of three 
members from the Sixth and Seventh Wards, when they were 
admitted, constituted the council of the borough of Johnstown 
until the incorporation of the present city government in 1890. 

By the Act of February 4, 1861, the boundary lines were 
slightly extended. The Fourth and Fifth Wards remained as 
they had been, but in the Third Ward the line began on the 
north side of Basin street, which was abutting on the old Basin, 
"thence down the middle of the stream or channel carrying the 
water of said Basin to the (Little) Conemaugh river, to the 
said river, thence down the (Little) Conemaugh river to its 
junction with the Stonycreek, thence up the middle of said 
Stonycreek to a point in said creek immediately opposite," 
which would be a continuation of the north-eastern line of 
Market street; "thence by a straight line to the place of be- 
ginning" at the white walnut tree on the Millcreek Funiace 

On the 11th of February, 1868, Governor Geary approved 


an act dividing tlie Fifth Ward and creating tlie Sixth Ward of 
the liorongh of Johnstown, which included all that portion ly- 
ing west of the Stonycreek and sonth of Dibert street. Not- 
witlistanding the petition of Samuel Douglass, Burgess of 
Johnstown, presented January 8, 1852, to the Court of Quarter 
Sessions of Cambria county, praying for the extension of the 
general Borougli Act of April 3, 1851, to the said borough, and 
a decree made by Judge Taylor, with a saving clause "that the 
provisions of the former charter be annulled, so far as they 
are in conflict with the provisions of said act," the courts 
did not have authority to divide boroughs into wards or sub- 
divide wards. That had to be created by special acts of the 

As heretofore referred to, the Sixth Ward was created by 
an Act of Assembly February 11, 1868, and included that part 
of the Fifth Ward soutli of Dil^ert street to the boundary lines. 

On September 10, 1900, that part of Yoder Hill beginning 
at Dibert street and extending up the hill above Hamilton's, 
thence south near the sharp curve in the public road, thence to 
the first alley south of Everhart street was annexed. 

But tlie laws had been amended, and on petition to our 
coiirt the Fourth Ward was divided, and on June 7, 1881, the 
Seventh Ward was formed, including all that portion of the 
Fourth ward Iving between the Bedford road and the Stonv- 
creek river, southeast of Brooks' Run between Hansman's Hall 
and Emmerling's brewery. 

On January 3. 1888, the Court of Quarter Sessions made a 
decree thereby annexing a portion of Stonycreek township to 
the Seventh Ward, which began at the ''white oak" on the 
east bank of the Stonycreek and ran up to Conrad Tross', to 
the Von Lunen road, thence followed the westerly line of said 
road to the old borough line. 

The old lines between the city and the township of Stony- 
creek and Dale Borough was always indefinite and caused con- 
siderable trouble. The true line ran through some of the dwell- 
ings on the south side of Bedford street, and in other places 
it was uncertain whether the sidewalk was in the city or the 
borough, which prevented both from maintaining good pave- 
ments. To meet these obstacles the city and borough ofBcials 
presented a petition to the Court of Quarter Sessions to No. 
90, ]\rarcli term, 1903, requesting that Commissioners be a])- 
pointed to fix the boundary line. Thereupon Joseph Hunnnel, 


Enoch James, and Frank D. Baker were appointed and located 
the disputed line, between Horner street and the Von Lunen 
road, a distance of 3,135.15 feet, twelve inches south of the 
south rail of the railway company on Bedford street. There- 
fore, all the property and sidewalks southwest of that line are 
in the city ©f Johnstown. 

The executive officers of the municipal government have 
been as follows: 

1831 — Burgess, George W. Kern; Clerk, Adam Bausman. 
1832 — Burgess, Adam Bausman; Clerk, George W. Kern. 
1833 — Burgess, James McMullen; Clerk, George W. Kern. 
1834 — Burgess, James McMullen ; Clerk, George W. Kern. 
1835 — Burgess, James McMullen; Clerk, George W. Kern. 
1836 — Burgess, George W. Kern; Clerk, James P. White, 
1837 — Burgess, George W. Kern; Clerk, Moses Canan, 
1838 — Burgess, George S. King; Clerk, Moses Canan. 
1839 — Burgess, Frederick Sharretts ; Clerk, Moses Canan, 
1840 — Burgess, John Royer; Clerk, Moses Canan. 
1841 — Burgess, John Royer; Clerk, Moses Canan. 
1842 — Burgess, Frederick Ijoyde; Clerk, Moses Canan. 
1843 — Burgess, Jacob Levergood ; Clerk, Moses Canan. 
1844 — Burgess, Jacob Levergood; Clerk, Moses Canan, 
1845 — Burgess, Peter Levergood • Clerk, Moses Canan. 
1846 — Burgess, Peter Tjevergood; Clerk, Moses Canan. 
1847 — Burgess, R. B. Gageby; Clerk, Moses Canan. 
1848— Burgess, R. B. Gageby; Clerk, Moses Canan. 
1849 — Burgess, Emanuel Shaffer; Clerk, Moses Canan, 
1850 — Burgess, Emanuel Shaffer and John Flanagan; Clerk, 

Moses Canan. 
1851 — Burgess, Samuel Douglass; Clerk, Charles Beilstine and 

John F, Barnes, 
1852— Burgess, Robert Hamilton; Clerk, T, L. Heyer. 
1853 — Burgess, John Flanagan; Clerk, Samuel Douglass. 
1854 — Burgess, John Flanagan; Clerk, John P. Linton. 
1855 — Burgess, William Orr; Clerk, John P. Linton. 
1856 — Burgess, Samuel Douglass; Clerk, J. Bowen. 
1857 — Burgess, Peter Levergood* and Samuel Douglass; Clerk, 

Samuel Douglass and John P. Linton. 
1858 — Burgess, Samuel Douglass* and George W. Easl}^; Clerk. 

J. K. Hite and James M. Swank. 
1859 — Burgess, George W. Easly'; Clerk, John P. Linton and 

J. K. Hite. 
1860 — Burgess, George W. Easly; Clerk, John P. Linton and 

John H. Fisher. 
1861 — Burgess, William McKee; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 

* Resigned. 



1862— Burgess, William McKee* and "William C. Lewis ; Clerk, 
John H. Fisher. 

BiTraess, George S. King ; Clerk, J. M. Bowman. 
George S. King; Clerk, J. M. Bowman. 


Bur ii' ess 

1865— Burgess 
1866 — Bnrgess 
1867 — Bnrgess 
1868 — Burgess 
1869— Burgess 
1870 — Bnrgess 
1871— Burgess 
1872 — Burgess 
1873 — Burgess 
1874 — Burgess 
1875 — Burgess 
1876 — Bnrgess 
1877 — Bnrgess 
1878 — Bnrgess 
1879 — Bnrgess 
1880— Burgess 
1881— Burgess 
1882— Bnrgess 
1883— Burgess 
1884— Burgess 
1885 — Bursress 

1 886 — Burgess 
1887 — Bnrgess 
1888— Burgess 
1889— Burgess 

William Orr; Clerk, W. H. Rose. 
A. Kopelin; Clerk, J. M. Bowman. 
A. Kopelin; Clerk, J. M. Bowman. 
Irvin Entledge; Clerk, J. M. Bowman, 
W. H. Rose: Clerk, J. M. Bowman. 
J. S. Strayer; Clerk, J. M. Bowman. 
J. S. Strayer; Clerk J. M. Bowman. 
J. S. Strayer; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 
J. S. Strayer; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 
J. M. Bowman: Clerk, John H. Fisher. 
George W. Easly ; Clerk, John H. Fisher, 

George W. Easly; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 

Irvin Rutledge; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 

James King; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 

S. J. Royer; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 

S. J. Royer; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 

Irvin Rutledge; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 

Irvin Rutledge: Clerk, John H. Fisher. 

Henry W. Storey; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 

Henry W. Storey; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 

Henry W. Storey; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 

Henry W. Storey; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 

Henry AV. Storey; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 

Chal. L. Dick; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 

Irvin Horrell; Clerk, John H. Fisher. 
1890 — Mavor, W. Horace Rose; City Clerk, James Tavlor. 
1893— Mavor, James K. Bovd; Citv Clerk, William S. O'Brien. 
1896— Mavor, George W. Wagoner; City Clerk, William S. 

1899— Mayor, Lucian D. Woodruff; City Clerk, John W. 

1902 — Mayor, John Pendry, jr. ; City Clerk, George E. Hamil- 
1905 — Mayor, Charles Young; City Clerk, George E. Hamilton. 

The compensation of the bnrgess was the same as fees 
allowed to justices of the peace until 1877, when a salary of 
$600 per year was fixed by council in lieu of fees. Mayor Rose 
received $2,500 per year during his term as mayor, but in 1893 
the salary was reduced to $1,700. 

On September 6, 1889, the Board of Trade appointed as a 
committee to consider and promote the consolidation of the sev- 
eral boroughs, Herman Banmer, Scott Dibert, Peter S. Fisher, 
John Hannan, Thomas E. Howe, Tom L. Johnson, Charles J. 


Mayer, George AV. Moses, A. J. Moxham, James McMillen, 
eJolm M. Rose, H. W. • Storey, George T. Swauk, L. D. Wood- 
ruff, and B. L. Yeagley. On September 16tli the committee 
met for organization, wliereujion Herman Baumer was chosen 
President: John M. Rose, Secretary; Peter S. Fisher, Thomas 
E. Howe, and George W. Moses an executive committee. 

A special committee, consisting of George T. Swank, John 
Hannan, and George W. Moses, was appointed to consult 
Senators Don Cameron and M. S. Quay, and Edward Scull, 
member of congress, in reference to national legislation atfect- 
ing the public streams. Another committee, to consider the 
most economical means of keeping wagon communications open 
during the winter between all the boroughs, was composed of 
A. J. Moxham, B. L. Yeagley, and Scott Dibert. 

On September 24th the committee of fifteen met in the 
office of Dick & Murphy, Alma Hall, when the committee on 
bridges made an elaborate report, providing blue prints, esti- 
mates, etc., for lattice girder bridges at Franklin street, Lincoln 
bridge (now known as \¥alnut-street). AVoodvale, and Cambria, 
at a cost of $6,400. 

The report was accepted, and a committee, consisting of 
John M. Rose, A. J. Moxham, and H, W. Storey, appointed to 
call a public meeting of the citizens of all the boroughs on 
Saturday, September 28th, to consider the question of bridges 
and the consolidation of the several boroughs. 

At 3 o'clock on Saturday afternoon a large meeting was 
held on Market street, at Main. The officers were: President, 
James Quinn; vice presidents^Dr. AV. AY. AYalters, Johnstown; 
Emanuel James, Afillville; John Dowling, Cambria; Edward 
Barry, Prospect; Samuel Vaughn, Coopersdale; John F. Seigh, 
Morrellville; AYilliam Cuthbert, Conemaugh; John Gruber, 
AYoodvale; Robert Niz, East Conemaugh; John B. Fite, Frank- 
lin; Daniel Luther, Grubbtown; Johnson Allen, Moxham; George 
Suppes, Upper Yoder; Dr. C. Sheridan, Lower Yoder; Secre- 
taries — George J. Akers, John E. Strayer, and C. H. Laughry. 

Air. Aloxham presented the following set of resolutions to 
the committee on bridges, etc. : 

''That the several districts contigiious to Johnstown rep- 
resent a population of 30,000 people; that the following prin- 
ciples should govern the question of bridges: 

"A — That there now exists no reason why the proper depth 
and width of our rivers, to ]^revent the periodical floods that 



have of late years visited us, slioiild not be at once taken up and 

"B — That this eommnnity will not sanction the rebuilding 
of permanent and costly bridges until this question has been 
properly settled. 

"Resolved, That as some central authority is positively 
necessary in order to receive and pass upon the proposed plans 
and reiiorts on the question of our rivers, it is the sense of this 
meeting that consolidation of the various boroughs at the No- 
vember election is H\(^ most feasible means to this end." 

The resolutions also authorized the expenditure of suffi- 
cient funds out of certain money which had been collected b}^ 
the local Finance Committee to erect permanent bridges of the 
proper width, if consolidation was agreed to. These resolutions 
were adopted. 

Then,, inasmuch as a system of permanent bridges had been 
adopted at this public meeting, the following resolution was 

"Kesolved, That the Chairman present a copy of the reso- 
lutions in reference to temporary and permanent bridges to 
the President of the Council of Johnstown Borough, with the 
request that he take such action as is necessary to the end that 
the Edgemoor Bridge Company will sto]> for the present any 
further expense to the permanent bridge at Franklin street 
until the pending questions as to our streams are definitelv set- 

On Tuesday, October 22d, the Board of Trade adopted the 
following resolutions: 

"Whereas, The Johnstown Board of Trade is composed 
of citizens of the several corporate municipalities, and it deems 
proper that it should take some action by which the citizens may 
be assisted to rebuild their homes with comfort and safety to 
their families, and that our commercial interests may be re- 
stored. To that end we believe that these declarations are 
truths that will solve the problem of the permanent situation: 

"First — We admit that the benevolent people of the world 
have done more for us than a suffering people could expect, and 
it is now time that we turn from the consideration of our i">er- 
sonal affairs to those which alfect the public interests, 

"Second — We believe it is essential to consolidate under 
a city charter for these reasons: Neither borough can raise a 
sufficient sum to restore its public property; the several sep- 
arate municipalities seeking public aid to dredge our rivers and 
protect their embankments weakens a just claim; consolidation 


would enable ns to Ibettei^ protect our rivers and prevent en- 
croaclimonts npon their banks; tlierefore, and for these reasons, 
consolidation is a necessity. 

"Third — If we operate nnder a city charter we will then 
be able to negotiate a loan, payable within thirty years. This 
fmid can be nsed to bnild all necessary bridges within the pro- 
posed city limits; to construct all pnblic buildings and school- 
houses; to open and improve the highways, rivers, sewerage, 
systems, and tire departments." 

On Saturday afternoon, October 26th, a joublic meeting in 
favor of consolidation was held at the Burgess' office in Cone- 
maugh borough. 

Peter S. Friedhoff, acting burgess, was chosen chairman, 
and the vice presidents were John Campbell, Henry E, Hudson, 
John Seibert, Adam Roland, Frank Taylor, John J. Devlin, Ben- 
jamin Kist, Joseph Reiser, Heniy 'Shea, George C. Miller and 
Frank Thomasberger; M. J. Carroll was secretary, and Colonel 
John P. Linton and A. J. Moxham were the speakers. 

On Monday, October 28th, the same speakers addressed a 
jiublic meeting in Millville, where Burgess Thomas P. Keedy 
was elected chairman and W. C. Bland secretary. Other meet- 
ings wfere held in Minersville, Grubbtown, and Cambria. Other 
speakers were L. D. Woodrutf, John M. Rose, Clial. L. Dick, 
A. J. Haws, and George J. Akers. 

The Committee of Fifteen, of which Herman Baumer was 
chairman, in addition to arranging for public meetings, pub- 
lished by posting and advertisements the advantages of consoli- 
dation, founded on the principles declared b}" the Board of 
Trade. On the question of taxation the following appeared : — 

Indebtedness, etc., in 1888 : 


Bonded In- Valuation of 

debtedness. Propertv. 

Johnstown $30,000 $l,173,23iF) 

Conemaugh 12,000 334,524 

Millville 8,000 754,297 

Cambria 1,200 161,182 

In addition, the rules for assessing property, and for the 
payment of the respective items of indebtedness by each district, 
were published. 

At the general election held Xovember 5, 1889, eight bor- 
oughs voted for consolidation and two against, as here given: 


Johnstown Borongli — For. Against. 

First Ward 243 1 

Second Ward 115 6 

Third Ward 126 2 

Fonrth Ward 155 

Fifth Ward \\ 191 \\ 

Sixth Ward 368 1 

Seventh Ward 192 10 

Cambria Borough — 

First Ward 77 22 

Second Ward 124 61 

Conemangh Borough — 

First Ward 243 103 

Second Ward 108 91 

Coopersdale 53 17 

East Conemaugh 30 114 

Franklin 11 95 

Grubhtown 53 29 

Millville Borough — 

First Ward 169 11 

Second Ward 112 67 

Prospect 90 13 

Woodvale , 73 13 

Totals 2,533 656 

Majority for charter, 1,877. 

East Conemaugh and Franklin boroughs voted against be- 
ing a part of the proposed city, and Coopersdale was in favor 
of it, but not being contiguous to the city, it could not be joined 
without adding a strip between the two districts. 

On Friday evening, November 22, 1889, the officials of the 
several boroughs which were in favor of consolidation niet in 
the Board of Trade rooms to make arrangements for organizing 
the new city government. 

Alexander Kennedy, of Johnstown, was chosen to preside, 
and W. S. O'Brien, of Millville, was made secretary. Thomas 
P. Keedy, of Millville ; H. W. Storey, of Jolmstown, and David 
Barry, of Prospect, were appointed a committee to have general 
charge of the arrangements, and were authorized to have an 
outline map of the proposed city prepared for the use of Gov- 
ernor Beaver. 

A finance committee, consisting of Herman Baumer, John 
N. Horn and Samuel Vaughn, was appointed. . 

At this time it was definitely decided that the name of the 
new municipality should be the ''City of Johnstown." The only 


opposition to this was on the part of some who wanted to go 
back to the Indian name of Conemaugh, the original name of 
the borough in 1831. 

On Monday, December 18, 1889, by appointment, W. Horace 
Eose and H. W. Storey appeared before Governor James A. 
Beaver, Secretary of the Commonwealtli Charles W. Stone, and 
Deputy-Secretary J. H. Longenecker, and filed an application 
for a charter, with the election returns, maps and certificates. 

It was the first application for a city charter under the 
Act of May 23, 1889, and the first one in the department where 
seven boroughs desired to consolidate, which was never con- 
templated by the Assembly that passed the Act of 1889, nor by 
the Wallace Act of 1874, The difficulties were many, as to har- 
monizing school, ward and election districts. It was finally 
agreed, after a consultation with Attorney-General Kirkpatrick, 
that the boundary lines of the wards should remain as they 
were. Therefore the first seven wards of Johnstown should be 
the first seven in the city; Grubbtown, the Eighth; First ward of 
Conemaugh, the Ninth, the Second ward, the Tenth; Woodvale, 
the Eleventh; Prospect, the Twelfth; the First ward of Mill- 
ville, the Thirteenth, the Second ward, the Fourteenth ; the First 
ward of Cambria, the Fifteenth, and the Second ward, the Six- 
teenth ward of the city of Johnstown. 

The charter for the city of Johnstown is as follows : 

"In the name and by the authority of the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania, James A. Beaver, Governor of said Com- 
"To All to Whom These Presents Shall Come, Sends Greetings: 
"A\liereas, In and by an Act of the General Assembly of 
this commonwealth, entitled, 'An Act for the incorporation and 
government of cities of the third class,' approved the twenty- 
third day of May, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred 
and eighty-nine, it is, among other things, provided in the first 
section thereof that 'cities of the third class shall be chartered 
whenever a majority of the electors of any town or borough, or 
of any two or more contiguous towns or boroughs, situate with- 
in the limits of the same county, having together a population 
of at least ten thousand according to the last preceding United 
States census, shall vote at any general election in favor of the 
same'; and in the second section of said act it is further pro- 
vided that 'if it shall appear by the said returns that there is a 
majority in favor of a city charter, the governor shall issue 
letters patent, under the great seal of the commonwealth, re- 
citing the facts, defining the boundaries of the said city, and 
constituting the same a body corporate and politic. ' 



"Whereas, It appears by the returns of elections held in 
the several boroughs of Johnstown, Grubbtown, Conemaugh, 
Woodvale, Prospect, Millville and Cambria, in the County of 
Cambria, on the 5th day of November, A. D. 1889, that there 
was a majority in each of the said boroughs in favor of a city 
charter; and, 

"Whereas, It appears that said boroughs have together a 
population, according to the last United States census, of at 
least ten thousand ; and, 

"Whereas, The requirements of the said Act of May 23, 
A. D. 1889, have been fully complied with: 

"Now, know ye, that I, James A. Beaver, governor afore- 
said, in compliance with the provisions of the said Act of the 


The Charter anrl Seals for Johnstown. 

General Assembly, and by virtue of the authority in me vested, 
do hereby declare the aforesaid boroughs of Johnstown, Grubb- 
town, Conemaugh, Woodvale, Prospect, Millville and Cambi'ia, 
in the County of Cambria, to be and for the City of Johnstown, 
and do hereby define the boundaries of said city as follows:" 

Then follow the boundaries and the subdivisions of wards 
as heretofore mentioned. 

"And I do also by these presents which I have caused to 
be made patent and sealed with the great seal of the state, here- 
by constitute the same a body corporate and politic by the name 
of the 'City of Johnstown,' and by the said name to be invested 


with all the rights, powers and privileges, with full force and 
effect, and subject to all the duties, requirements and restric- 
tions specified and enjoined in by the said Act of the General 
Assembly approved the twenty-third day of May, Anno Domini 
one thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine. 
"Given under my hand and the great seal of the State, at Har- 
risburg, this eighteenth day of December, in the year of 
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine, and 
of the Commonwealth the one hundred and fourteenth. 
' ' By the Governor : 

' •■ Charles W. Sto:ne, 
'^ Secretary of the Commonwealth." 

"W. Horace Rose, mayor-elect, called the members-elect to 
the select and common councils to meet on Saturday evening, 
March 1, 1890, for tlie purpose of making preliminary arrange- 
ments for the organization of the new city government. 

They met on that day in the temporary building on the 
northwest corner of Market Square. The mayor-elect pre- 
sided, and Edward A. Barry was chosen secretary. The re- 
sult of the meeting was the appointment of the following com- 
mittees : 

Committee on Ordinances, more especially those relating 
to the public peace — W. Horace Eose, George W. Moses, Dr. 
B. L. Yeagley, Edward A. Barry, Eichard Davis, and Thomas 

Committee to Secure a Suitable Place of Meetings — H. W. 
Slick, Charles Brixner, and John Neary. 

Committee on Finance, one member from each borough — • 
Andrew Foster, Johnstown; Thomas J. Fearl, Conemaugh; A. 
Ij. Miltenberger, Grubbtown; John Gruber, Woodvale; John 
Neary, Prospect; Charles Brixner, Millville; James P. Greene, 

On Police — H. Y. Haws, P. J. McLaughlin, Samuel Arthur, 
John Gruber, Thomas McConnell, and Edward A. Barry. 

On Salaries, etc. — Alexander Kennedy, L. L. Smith, AYill- 
iam Hochstein, Emil Beaujobn, and Henry O'Shea. 

On Printing — AYilliam A. Donaldson, Peter Buser, Benja- 
min Kist, Alfred Slater, Adam Huebner, and J. M. Davis. 

The committee to prepare ordinances met at the office of 
Mayor-elect Rose on Saturday, March 15, 1890, and outlined 
a criminal code, so as to rush it through as soon as the city was 
in full life, on the first Monday of April. All the old laws had 
expired with the borough, and there was no authority to enact 
new ones. 


The Committee on Police met Marcli 21, 1890, and decided 
there was need for twent^^-five policemen, their salaries to be : 
For the Chief, $80 per month; the Lieutenant, $70; patrolmen 

The Committee on Officers and Salaries met on the same 
evening and suggested the following schedule; Mayor, $1,800; 
Controller, $900; Treasurer, $900; Engineer, $1,300; Assistant 
Engineer, $500; City Solicitor, $800; City Clerk and Clerk of 
Select Council, $700; Clerk of Common Council, $250; City 
Assessors, each, $250; Marketmaster, $1 per day for time em- 
ployed and ten per cent of collections. 

The Mayor-elect called a joint meeting of the Councils to 
consider the reports, on Monday, March 26, 1890. Alexander 
Kennedy was chosen chairman and Edward Barry secretary. 
The reports were practically approved, excepting that the 
Solicitor's salary was reduced to $600 and subsequently that 
of the Mayor was increased to $2,500, but in 1893 it was re- 
duced to $1,700. 

On ^fouday, April 7, 1890, the day set for the inaugura- 
tion, rain fell until after high noon, but this did not prevent 
the officers-elect from turning out for duty, nor interfere with 
the prearranged program. 

The officers-elect met on the Market Square, where a 
platform had been erected for the occasion. Mr. Kennedy and 
Mr. Barry, councilmen-elect, and who were the temporary of- 
ficers, reassumed their positions. The meeting was called to 
order, all the city officers and councilmen being present. Chair- 
man Kennedy introduced Judge Robert L. Johnston, who spoke 
cheerfulh^ and in a congratulatory vein on the occasion of the 
community becoming a city. Judge Johnston administered the 
oath of office to Mciyor Rose and most of the others. The mayor 
delivered his inaugural address, and Colonel W. D. Moore, of 
Pittsburg, also spoke to the assemblage of residents and vis- 
itors from near-by places within and without the county. 

At the conclusion there was a parade of the citizens and 
visitors, with displays of our industrial works, and Johnstown 
was duly started as a city of the third class. 

To preserve the autonomy of the election, ward, and school 
district of the new city, the first seven wards of the Borough 
of Johnstown were made the first seven wards of the city, as we 
have given them. 



The Eiglitli ward was formed out of the borough of Grubb- 
to^vu, which had been incorporated June 5, 1882, being taken 
from Upper Yoder township. A remonstrance was filed at the 
time, praying that the name be changed to "Georgetown," but 
the remonstrators were not successful, and on March 3, 1884, 
another effort was made to change the name, but it remained 
to the memory of William Einaldo Grubb. 

The territory in Koxbury borough, excepting the Koxbury 
park, was annexed to the Eighth ward by an ordinance ap- 
proved April 6, 1901. 

The borough of Roxbury was incorporated March 12, 
1891, and on January 2, 1901, the council and burgess passed 
and approved an ordinance favoring annexation, which in- 
cluded the park, but on an appeal to the court of common pleas 
the park was eliminated. There are two election precincts in 
this ward. 


The Ninth and Tenth wards were fonned out of the two 
wards of Conemaugh borough, w^hich was the second borough 
to be chartered by the name of Conemaugh, by an act of as- 
sembly passed March 28, 1819, entitled "An Act to Incorporate 
the Island, in Conemaugh Township, Into a Borough, to Be 
Called Conemaugh. ' ' 

The act of assembly incoriDorating the boroughs of Johns- 
towm and Conemaugh is rather unique, when considering the 
scramble for office which takes place now. It reads thus : 

"That if any person elected to the office of Burgess, mem- 
ber of Town Council, or High Constable, shall refuse or neg- 
lect to take upon himself the duties of the said office, he shall 
forfeit and pay, for the use of said borough, the sum of ten 
dollars. But no person shall be compelled to serve more than 
once in any term of five years." 

Conemaugh borough was made a separate school district, 
being taken from Conemaugh tow^nship, and on May 3, 1850, 
it was made a separate election district, to "hold their general 
and borough elections at schoolhouse No. 1," and "that George 
W. Easly is hereby appointed Judge, and David Prosser and 
John Headrick Inspectors for the first election." By a special 
act of January 26, 1854, all the borough and township elections 
in Cambria county were held on the third Friday of February. 


The borough continued undivided until March 20, 1862, 
when it was made into two wards as follows: 


■All that part of said borough bounded by the Canal Basin 
on the north, Coal street and a line extending from the mouth 
and center of said street to the basin on the east. Main street 
and the borouigh line on the south, and the Canal Feeder on 
the west shall constitute the First Ward, and all the remaining 
part of said borough, not embraced in the above boundaries, 
shall constitute the Second "Ward." 

The First ward, as above described, is now the Ninth 
ward, and the Second ward is the Tenth ward of this city. 

Henry Scanlan's survey of the boundary lines, streets, 
and alleys was approved by the borough officials and confirmed 
by an act of assembly passed May 5, 1871. 


The Eleventh ward was formerly the borough of Wood- 
vale, organized in March term, 1870, by a decree of the court 
of quarter sessions. The first election was held July 19, 1870, 
and George W. 'Easly was elected burgess. It includes the 
territory north of the Little Conemaugh river, and extends 
up the river to a point just east of the new Maple avenue bridge. 


The Twelfth ward was the old borough of Prospect, or- 
ganized by a decree of the same court on December 9, 1863. Its 
territorial limits include the land north of the Little Conemaugh 
river and east of the Ebensburg road, and a portion above 
Tuttle and Masters streets, in Peelorville, west of the road. It 
joins the Eleventh, ward on the east and the Thirteenth on the 


The Thirteenth and Fourteenth wards were the two wards 
of Millville borough, which was also organized as a borough 
by a decree of the court on July 16, 1858, when William Canan 
was elected burgess. 

On the 12th of March, 1873, a special act of assembly was 
passed, wherein it was set forth that the original plot of the 
boundaries, streets, and alleys in the borough of Millville had 
been lost, and that the borough officials had directed that a true 
and correct plot of the borough be made by William Slick, jr., 
which had been executed, approved, and was by the said act 

Vol. I — 17 


MiUville horonoh was divi<lpd into two wards in 1875. The 
division line begins in the center of tlie Conemaugh river, about 
the center of the northwest side of the Stone bridge. 

The Thirteenth ward lies east of the river and northeast of 
the Stone bridge, taking in a portion of Fulton street, thence 
along the line of the Twelfth ward to a point in the river in the 
rear of the Penn Traffic store. 

The remaining parts of the old borough, north and west 
of the Stone bridge, are the Fourteenth ward. 


The Fifteenth and Sixteenth wards were the two wards of 
the borough of Cambria, created by a decree of the court on 
April 5, 1861. Francis Gallisoth was elected burgess. The 
borough was divided into two wards in 1877, the dividing lines 
being the center line of Third avenue, the portion east of it 
being the Fifteenth ward and west of it the Sixteenth ward. 


The Seventeenth ward was taken from the Seventh ward 
of the borough of Johnstown. In the fall of 1889 the land in- 
cluded in the Seventeenth ward was joined to the old borough 
of Johnstown, and was part of the Seventh ward at the time 
of the election held in November, 1889, but in 1891 the Seven- 
teenth ward was created bv a decree of the court. 

On March 27, 1899, an ordinance was approved annexing 
a part of the Alonzo Kodgers' farm to the Seventeenth ward. 
The part taken consists of 33 acres and 119 perches, of which 
5 acres and 136 perches were under water and formed a part 
of the Stonycreek river. 


In 1897 there were about four thousand people in the 
borough of Morrellville, and a large majority of them desired 
to be annexed to the city of Johnstown, while the sentiment in 
the city was overwhelmingly in favor of the project. 

On August 20, 1897, in response to petitions from three- 
fifths of the citizens of INIorrellville borough, council passed a 
resolution favoring annexation. This proceeding properly 
certified by M. V. Fry, president, and K. H. Overdorff, clerk, 
and approved by W. D. Galbreath, burgess, was duly presented 
to the select and common councils of the city. There was no 


opposition to it in either branch, and the officials were appar- 
ently going with the sentiment of the people. 

The ordinance annexing Morrellville was introduced in tlie 
city legislature by W. H. Repp, September 21st, and unani- 
mously passed by both branches of council, October 12, 1897, 
but vetoed by the mayor. The question was taken before the 
court and July 29, 1898, President Judge Rice filed an opinion 
sustaining the lower court, which confirmed annexation. The 
case is reported in 7 Superior Court Reports, 532. 

The Counsellors for the annexation were: Philander C. 
Knox, M. E. Olmstead, Thomas M. Marshall, H. W. Storey and 
M. B. Stephens. Those opposing were: George A. Jenks, W. 
Horace Rose, F. J. O'Connor and Horace R. Rose. 


The borough of Morrellville was incorporated October 8, 
1890, and was subsequently divided into three wards. It was 
named for Daniel J. Morrell, who was our most distinguished 
and useful citizen for over thirty years. Mr. Morrell died in 
Johnstown, August 20, 1885. 

The First ward included the territory between the Six- 
teenth ward of the city of Johnstown and the south side of 
Fairfield avenue, and became the Eighteenth ward. 

On December 1, 1900, that part of Lower Yoder township, 
consisting of 15.13 acres, between an extended line from Ninth 
avenue up the hill to the first alley in the rear of Virginia ave- 
nue, a part of the McConaughy plan of lots, was annexed to 
this ward. 

The first representatives from the Eighteenth ward were: 
Select council, F. E. Alter; common council, Alexander Wilson, 
and school controller, W. P. Davis. 


The Second ward of Morrellville was that part lying north 
of, or below, Fairfield avenue and west and south of, or above, 
Chandler avenue u]) to the boundary line, and became the Nine- 
teenth ward of the city. The first member of select council was 
Louis Leckey; common council, M. V. Frey; and the first school 
controller was James xV. Dick. 


The Third ward included the territory lying east and north 


of, or below, C'liaudler avenue, and north of, or below, Fairfield 
avenue, down to the center of the Conemaugh river and be- 
came Twentieth ward of the city. 

The first representatives were John L, Bash, select coun- 
cil; John F. Seigh, common council; and Albert M. Geer, school 


In the days of the Pennsylvania canal Coopersdale was 
known as the village of Perkiusville, and was the proud pos- 
ses soi* of a lock, known as Perkin's lock, for raising and lower- 
ing boats. 

The borough was incorporated by the old district court, 
October 7, 1869, and named in honor of James Cooper. Its 
burgess then was Jeremiah Vaughn; council, M. A. Brown, 
Caleb Butler, Leonard Boyer, G. W. Gageby, and John Mc- 

The loeople of this municipality were always in favor of a 
greater Johnstown, and at the election held November 5, 1889, 
to determine whether the several boroughs would consolidate 
and make a city, they voted 53 to 17 in favor of being a part of a 
new city. But as their boundary lines were not contiguous to 
the city, being cut off on the one side of the river by Morrell- 
viJle and on the other by a strip of West Taylor township, the 
governor could not see his way to make it a part thereof. 

However, as soon as the legal contest over the annexation 
of Morrellville was decided favorably, more than three-fifths 
of the citizens of Coopersdale presented a petition to their 
council, praying for action toward annexation at once. On 
January 15, 1898, such an ordinance was passed and approved 
by Morgan L. Williams, president; C. F. Schramm, clerk, and 
A. B. Cooper, burgess, and promptly presented to the councils 
of the city of Johnstown, whereupon the common council ap- 
proved the ordinance of annexation on March 22, 1898, and the 
select council on March 24, 1898, and it became the Twenty- 
first ward. 

The first member of select council was A. B. Cooper; of 
common council, M. L. Williams, and school controller, Samuel 

A foregoing plan (page 242) is an exact re]:)roduction, on 
a smaller scale, of the original plan of what has since grown to 
be Johnstown city, but was designated Conemaugh, by Joseph 


Johns, its founder, having previously been known by the Indian 
name of Conemaugh Old Town. The lots, it will be observed, 
are all numbered, and those set aside for school and church 
purposes, as well as for a courthouse and other public buildings, 
are so referred to in the charter printed elsewhere. 

The acre reserved for burial purposes is what is now 
kno\\m as the old Union graveyard. It does not, however, coin- 
cide with the description ' ' at the upper end of the said tract of 
land," as found in the charter,^ and the only conclusion is that 
when the people came together on the 1st day of May, 1801, in 
pursuance of the terms of the charter, they prevailed upon Mr. 
Johns to allow them to select another site for the graveyard. 
As will be seen, the town as originally laid out extended up the 
rivers only as far as Franklin street. 

There has been no way of learning how many people, if 
any, lived within the limits of the proposed town at the time the 
plan was made; possibly none as yet since the lots would seem 
to be laid out on an unbroken tract, but there were several 
residents in the close neighborhood. Joseph Johns' own house, 
which had already been built six years, was not in the new 
town, as will be observed by reference to the picture of the 
house and the accompanying description, printed elsewhere in 
connection with a sketch of Joseph Johns. 

The method of numbering the above, lots is worthy of 
notice. The lots were four rods wide and sixteen rods long. 

Ever since 1844 the borough, and afterward the city, of 
Johnstown, was a separate school district. Until the Seventh 
ward was created in 1881, the school board consisted of six 
directors, who were chosen from any part of the borough, the 
subdivisions of w^ards being disregarded in their selection. 
Afterward, because the borough exceeded six wards, each ward 
elected one director until the incorporation as a city, when a 
new board of school controllers was formed of one member 
from each of the sixteen wards. Now there is a controller from 
each of the twenty-one. 

Following are the votes in February, 1889, the last election 
held before the flood, and the general election held in November, 
1889, the first one after the flood, excepting the ballot on the 
amendment to the constitution prohibiting the manufacture of 
liquor, which was held June 18, 1889: 


Feb., 1889. Xov., 1889. 

WARDS. Rep. Dem. Bep. Dem. . 

First 242 113 181 60 

Second 141 81 84 36 

Tliird 74 107 39 87 

Fourth 89 67 101 58 

Fifth 158 90 115 73 

Sixth 216 93 245 112 

Seventh 89 123 83 128 

Totals 1,009 674 848 554 

Majorities 33o 294 

The Jnne election recalls the deplorable condition of the 
town and the manner of holding elections. The election on the 
constitutional question was eighteen days after the flood, and 
the people were scattered over the country, while some were 
living in tents and shanties in the vicinitv. In the Second ward 
the polls had been in the office of the late 'Squire Strayer, at 
Market street and Locust alley; but it, with every other house 
in the ward^ except probably five or six, had been swept away. 
Even the cellars had been filled with sand and debris, so that it 
was difficult to locate the polling place. The town was practi- 
cally under martial law, but not by an order of any authority. 
On the morniug of the election a sufficient number of the former 
residents of the ward were found to hold the election. They 
had difficulty to find the place, but finally, after consultation 
and taking the angles of the streets and scraping away the dirt 
and sand, the}^ concluded they had found the late residence of 
'Squire Strayer, and, using one of the government's tents, with 
the guards marching around in uniform with muskets on their 
shoulders, the vote was cast as peacefully and as freely as it 
ever was. 




The following is tlie vote in Johnstown for Mayor 
































































1890 1893 1896 1899 1902 1905 

First Ward 163 140 321 93 318 158 297 182 345 171 290 264 

Second Ward 71 51 116 38 159 46 148 76 181 72 141 95 

Third Ward 21 98 43 66 58 87 64 94 51 90 48 90 

Fourth Ward 98 115 129 61 104 86 106 84 137 88 67 171 

Fifth Ward 134 143 235 136 223 182 240 188 281 153 267 193 

Sixth Ward, No. 1 217 241 318 138 254 209 294 195 362 209 185 144 

Sixth Ward, No. 2 149 126 

Seventh Ward, No. 1. 126 296 177 152 150 229 203 230 230 234 161 222 

Seventh Ward, No. 2 135 110 

Eighth Ward, No. 1.. 58 41 94 49 65 53 106 53 245 75 111 58 

Eighth Ward, Roxbury 84 53 

Ninth Ward 58 308 109 234 96 281 79 320 95 304 74 347 

Tenth Ward 40 180 83 175 59 201 47 257 71 223 46 232 

Eleventh Ward 22 75 47 76 47 86 59 110 75 99 76 155 

Twelfth Ward 32 102 67 118 73 146 89 140 101 135 101 124 

Thirteenth Ward 125 96 161 59 162 87 160 73 155 70 130 105 

Fourteenth Ward 67 134 59 111 50 139 46 138 50 133 33 140 

Fifteenth Ward 5 121 13 90 16 117 11 128 11 162 14 124 

Sixteenth Ward 33 248 50 208 35 274 43 304 40 300 46 273 

Seventeenth Ward 209 127 136 189 212 16S 311 181 364 253 

Eighteenth Ward 127 41 162 60 141 99 

Nineteenth Ward 131 49 175 61 152 61 

Twentieth Ward 191 81 198 69 138 113 

Twenty-first Ward 135 16 134 18 113 28 

Totals 1270 2389 2229 1931 2005 2570 2788 2927 3410 2907 3066 3580 

Majorities 1119 298 565 139 503 514 

The vote for the other city officers for 1890 was: Treas- 
urer—Samuel M. Miller (Eep.)^ 1,569; George C. Miller (Dem.), 
2,075. Controller— E. T. Oarswell (Rep.), 1,709; John Dow- 
ling (Dem.), 1,939. City assessors — Emery West (Eep.), 1,- 
501; Irvin Rutledge (Rep.), 1,320, and August Hammer (Rep.), 
1,571; Joseph Kuntz (Dem.). 2,229; Gotttieb Bantly (Dem.), 
2,189, and John O'Toole (Dem.), 2,046. 

The borough of Johnstown had in 1840 a population of 
949, and adjoining it around the basin there were 328 addi- 
tional; in 1850 the population was 1,269; in 1860, 4,185; in 1870, 
6,028; in 1880, 8,380, and in 1890 the city of Johnstown had 

The borough was divided into wards in 1858, and the city 
organized in 1890. Since the former date the population by 
wards, according to the United States census, has been as fol- 
lows, the census of 1880 not reporting bv wards: 










WARDS. 1860. 

First 1,625 

Sec^ond 882 

Third 662 

Fourtli 1,016 











































Totals 4,185 


21,805 35,936 

In 1850 Conemaugh borough had 842 white persons and 12 
colored; in 1860, 1,866 white and 8 colored; in 1870, 2,336; in 
1880, the First ward had 1,561, the Second 1,937, a total of 
3.498. In 1890 Gonemangh, Cambria, Millville, Prospect, and 
Grubbtown boronghs were merged in the city of Johnstown. 

Millville had,' in 1860, 1,683; in 1870, 2,105, and in 1880, 

Cambria had, in 1870, 1,744, and in 1880, 2,223. 

Prospect had, in 1870, 576, and in 1880, 700, and Woodvale, 
in 1880, had 639. 

The number of inhabitants in the boroughs contiguous to 
Johnstown were: East Conemaugh in 1890, 1,158, and in 1880, 
756; Franklin, 1890, 662; in 1880, 734; Coopersdale, 619, and 
in 1880, 409. The following were villages: Morrellville, in 
1880, had 559, and in 1890, 2,827; Brownstown, in 1890, had 
550; Dale, in 1900, 1,503; in 1890, 1,014; and Walnut Grove, 
in 1890, 535. 


The city directory finds the population of the city of Johns- 
town to be 61,888 in 1905, distributed as follows: 


1903. 1905. 

First ward 2.490 2,422 

Second waixl 1,199 1^72 

Third ward 630 585 

Fourth ward 1,051 1,252 

Fifth ward 2,432 2,560 

Sixth ward 3,363 3,547 

Seventh ward 3,015 3,644 

Eightli ward 2,030 2,181 

Ninth ward 2,540 2,998 

Tenth ward 1,960 2,137 

Eleventh ward 1,674 1,924 

Twelfth ward 1,498 1,639 

Thirteenth ward 1,246 1,289 

Fourteenth ward 1,917 2,149 

Fifteenth ward 2,848 2,934 

Sixteenth ward 4,439 4,867 

Seventeenth ward 3,452 3,788 

Eighteenth ward 1,633 1,845 

Nineteenth ward 1,256 1,343 

Twentieth wai'd 1,785 1,890 

Twentv-first ward 751 772 

Population of city 43,209 46,938 

In the snbnrbs: 

Brownstown 800 904 

Daisvtown 433 315 

Dale 1,833 1,853 

East Conemaugh 2,484 3,425 

Ferndale 234 257 

Frankhn 1,029 1,364 

Eosedale 412 327 

Westmont 737 854 

Sheridan 223 218 

Walnut Grove 946 1,089 

(,'oneniangh township 435 604 

East Tavlor 238 250 

West Taylor '. 846 1,013 

Upper Yoder 316 391 

Lower Yoder 862 1,429 

Stonvcreek 285 657 

12,113 14,950 

1893. 1894. 1896. 1899. 1901. 1903. 1905. 

Citr 24,544 25,039 25,992 32,479 38,520 43,209 46,938 

Suburbs.. 11.600 11,949 12,736 9,340 10,009 12.113 14,950 

36,144 36,988 38,728 41,819 48,529 55,322 61,888 


Total pojuilation in Cambria coimtA": 

1810 2,117 I 1860 29,155 

1820 3,287 i 1870 36,569 

1830 7,076 I 1880 46,811 

1840 11,256 f 1890 66,375 

1850 ]7,773 I 1900 104,837 

The total vote in the borouoli and city elections: 

1840 71 I 1880 1,149 

1850 80 1 1890 3,654 

1860 434 I 1899 5,715 

1870 917 I 1902 6,346 

I 1905 6,763 


1900. 1907. 

First ward $1,141,900 $1,295,940 

Second ward 883,235 1,033,855 

Tliird ward 1,035,505 1,324,440 

FoiutJi ward 924,710 1,158,240 

Fiftli ward 737,913 871,190 

Sixth ward 766,367 920,730 

Seventh ward 745,429 1,270,740 

Eii^htli ward 326,525 654,315 

Ninth ward 565,490 583,400 

Tenth ward 689,730 797,715 

Eleventh ward 304,938 427,635 

Twelfth ward 153,028 180,015 

Thirteenth ward 231,490 254,140 

Fonrteenth ward 2,366,605 2,352,250 

Fifteenth ward 312,240 437,575 

Sixteenth ward 466,955 637,210 

Seventeenth ward 1,167,512 1,605,545 

Eiditeenth ward 230,135 322,395 

Nineteenth ward 236,945 273,555 

Twentieth ward 367,035 394,542 

Twentv-first ward 198,300 203,765 

Totals $13,851,987 $16,999,172 


The Doran map of 1854 and the Brawley survey of 1859 
are the two landmarks for the establishing of corners and di- 
vision lines. There are very few of the Doran maps in exist- 
ence, as they were almost all destroyed in the flood, but there 
are occasional copies to be seen, which are of much value. 

In pursuance of an order of the borough, John Brawley 
made a survey of the land lying between the two rivers, from 


the Point to Green Hill, by wliicli the center lines of all streets 
and alleys and the division lines of lots were established, "and 
caused stone blocks to be permanently fixed in the center of the 
streets where they cross each other, for the purpose aforesaid." 
This was approved by the borough officials, and by a special 
act of assembly of April 11, 1859, it was confirmed and directed 
to be recorded, and a certified copy of it would be ''sufficient 
evidence of the same in any court of this commonwealth." 

When the employees of the Johnstown Water Company were 
making the excavations for their main, on the introduction of 
their gravity system in 1868, the stone monuments on Main 
street were dug up and throwTi away, excepting, it is said, one 
near the sidewalk line at the southeast corner of Main and Bed- 
ford streets. 

In 1893 John Downey, the city engineer, completed a map 
of the 'city, which is, with additions made by Emil Goldstein, a 
later city engineer, the only real survey of the city as it is now. 
On the organization of the borough of Johnstown in 1831 
the council met at early candlelight wherever accommodations 
could be found. On March 19, 1831, it met at the house of Mary 
Scott, and at other times at Crow's Mansion house, Graham's 
hotel, and the dwelling of Michael McGraw. In 1858, when 
there were a select and common council, these bodies met in the 
Osborne house, on Franklin street, opposite the Tribune build- 
ing. Prior to this, and also subsequently, the council had reg- 
ular quarters in the little old stone "lock-up," which was built 
in 1846, on the northeast corner of the park, opposite the Frank- 
lin Street Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1872, in the public 
building erected on the corner of Market Square, where the 
new city hall stands. It had a market place on the first floor 
and a council room, burgess' office, and lock-up on the sec- 
ond. The market house was destroyed in the flood of 1889, with 
all the records and minute books, excepting the minutes be- 
ginning in 1885. 

The council meetings after the flood were, like those of 
1831, held wherever it would be convenient, until temporary 
quarters were erected on the northwest corner of Market 
Square. But in 1890 the city leased the second floor of the Kose 
building, next to the Lutheran Church, and used it for offices 
for all the city officials and councils, excepting the police de- 
partment, until the new city hall was ready for occupancy in 


October, 1902. The city hall cost $66,484.17, exclusive of the 
ground, and the cost of furniture about $1,000. 


Nestled in the heart of Johnstown is the Public Square, 
rich in being the one place of reminiscences of bygone days of 
a public nature. 

It was originally a piece of ground 264 feet square, but 
now is 240^/4 feet, bounded on the north by Locust street, and 
on tJie south by Main, on the east by Franklin, and on the west 
b}^ Park place. 

The people who have enjoyed it for one hundred and seven 
years owe a debt of gratitude to Joseph Johns, the founder 
and the generous owner of the vicinage, for the benefits accru- 
ing therefrom. 

When Founder Johns laid out the village of Conemaugh, 
on the 3d day of November, 1800, he applied his natural busi- 
ness qualifications, and believing that the village which he was 
then* starting, with its valuable natural advantages, would some 
day be a city of some importance, he expected, also, that his 
town would be the site for the county capital, and gave the 
Public Square as a site for a court house. 

In addition to the Public Square, he gave the people the 
oblong square at Market and Carr streets, for a public school 
and church services; the old Union graveyard, the Diamond at 
]\[ain and Market streets, which in that day was considered 
necessarv to everv well established town, and "The Point" for 
a parade ground for the militia and public sports. 

The Public Square had always been used for all popular 
demonstrations and play grounds from its inception to 1880, 
when it was completed as a park. 

From the earliest period the Square seems to have been 
clear of trees and all vegetable matter, excepting that in the 
first days of its use some promiscuous shrubbery was permitted 
to grow along the Park place side of it. 

For many years there had been a contention about the 
ownership of the Square, and on the 20th of May, 1880, the 
borough paid Daniel J. Morrell the sum of $2,000, which gave 
the corporation an absolute title. Mr. Morrell had purchased 
the claim in the interest of the borough. 

It was the favorite location for the exhibitions of Dan 
Rice, Van Araburg, and all other circus managers until their 


modern aggregations became too large for the space; when 
they crossed the creek to Dibert's field, or the old race track, 
in what is now the Sixth ward, lying between Dibert and Mor- 
ris streets, now Franklin, and the Stonycreek river; and when 
it was abandoned and laid out in town lots, the menageries 
went to The Point and to Fronheiser's field in the Seventh ward. 

The first circus that visited Johnstown came in 1833, and 
located on the Pul^lic Square. An incident occurred on that 
occasion Avhich corroborates the theory of the power of an ele- 
phant's memory. David Ditwiller, a citizen, was among a 
crowd watching the animal feeding before the afternoon per- 
formance began, and, having dovetailed a potato skin together, 
after extracting the heart, held it out to ''Bolivar," who took 
and ate it. After the circus programme had been finished, 
Ditwiller went back, with a large number of visitors, to see the 
animal, and, with remarkable quickness, "Bolivar" broke for 
Ditwiller, caught him, and threw him up to the roof of the tent, 
and, wlien he fell, placed his tusks over Ditwiller 's body, on 
either side, and held him in that uncomfortable position until 
the keeper took the beast away. 

The first l)uilding of a permanent character erected on the 
Square, although it was nothing more than a rough shed, sixteen 
by sixteen feet, and ten feet in height, was built for the housing 
of a hand fire engine. It was put up on the Franklin street 
side in 1832, nearly opposite the Union National bank. 

In 1838 Thomas SliarjD and Frederick Tesh, butchers, were 
given permission by council to build a meat market on the 
square, which they did, placing it a short distance north of the 
engine house with the entrance on Franklin street. The build- 
ing was sixteen by twenty feet, and was large enough to ac- 
commodate these two enterprising business men. It was the 
second building on the Square, 

The fourth building was the successor to the Sharp and 
Tesh meat market. The village of Johnstown had prospered 
and in 1849 a larger and more pretentious market was needed, 
when tiie borough officials erected the second market house, on 
the corner of Main and Franklin streets. It was a one-story 
frame building, sixty feet long, with an interior space twenty 
feet wide and the overhanging roof extending ten feet on either 
side, making the entire width forty feet. 

The entrance was through large doorways in the gable 
ends, the main dooi'way being oif the Main street sidewalk. 



The interior, as well as the space under the projected roof, was 
furnished with blocks, tables, racks, and cranes, for the ac- 
commodation of the butchers, and divided into stalls, where 
most of the butchers assembled for business on Wednesday and 
Saturday mornings. The meat markets in that dav were con- 

. X^' ^-•. -^^ 

Market House and Lock-up, 1865. 

ducted in a very ditferent manner from those of today. They 
did not have ice houses and refrigerators to keep their meats 
juicy and sweet as now, and in the early days one or two beeves 
per week was a sufficient supph^ for the demand. The house- 
l^eeper could not get a porterhouse or a tenderloin at any hour 
of the day, as now, but, on the contraiy, would go to market 


at any time from 1 to 6 o'clock on market morninp^s to get a 
choice piece of meat, as the rule was ''first come, first served.'^ 

Many of the grandfathers and grandmothers, fathers and 
mothers of today remember with delight how they played 
around the "old" market house, as they called it; swinging 
on the cranes, climbing the racks, rolling marbles on the long 
tables, and playing mumblety-peg on the butchers' blocks. 

The old market house was a favorite place for the bill- 
posters to look at the notice, "Post No Bills," then put up a 
poster announcing that the "Fairy Queen" or the "Prince of 
Monte Carlo" would entertain the public in the Arcade, the 
hotels, or Fronheiser's hall. 

On the Franklin and Main street sides of the Square would 
be lined up the farmers' wagons, with their fresh and crisp 
vegetables, and until the numerous mining towns sprung up in 
the country lying around the town, truck farmers drove in from 
Bedford, Somerset, Indiana, and Westmoreland counties, and 
some from the southern portion of Clearfield county. 

In 1855, when William Orr was burgess, the borough of- 
ficials commenced the erection of a municipal building on the 
Square, near the lock-up. The foundation was made for a one- 
story building, but the opposition to it, led by Peter Lever- 
good, was so strong that the idea was abandoned. The prin- 
cipal objection was the expense. 

The second market house was taken down in 1872, when 
the new brick municipal and market building at the corner of 
Main and Market streets, was completed, which was destroyed 
in the flood of 1889. 

The third permanent building on the Square was the little 
one-story stone structure on the corner of Franklin and Locust 
streets, standing twelve feet back from the former and about 
on the line of the latter, as it was then, although Locust street 
has since been widened. 

It was the first prison in the southern portion of Cambria 
county, and was erected by Martin Hannan, father of the Hon. 
John Hannan, in 1846. Prior to its erection, it seems, there 
was no adequate provision made for violators of borough ordi- 
nances if they had no property, or would not voluntarily pay 
their fines, and, if it was necessary to keep a commonwealth 
defendant in Johnstown over night, before starting to Ebens- 
burg on foot, horseback, or by wagon, the prisoner was tied 
in a stable or some outbuilding, and the constable, with his 


assistants, kept guard over liim until daybreak, and then started 
witli him to the county jail. 

Prior to 1842, when imprisonment for debt was abolished, 
some of the prominent citizens of the town were victims of that 
unholy law and the object of relentless creditors was taken to 
Ebensburg because he had contracted a debt and could not 
pay it. 

One very prominent citizen refused to go. The constable 
had his commitment and the Shylock urged its execution. The 
debtor was placed on a horse and his feet tied together there- 
under. He could not get off, but he could and did turn his bodv 
under the horse. The constable had no authority to injure a 
prisoner under such circumstances and the result was that the 
debtor did not go to jail. 

The lock-u]) was divided lengthwise, with its door opening 
off Franklin street. One window in front and one at either end 
opened into the front apartment, which was the office of the 
burgess and the council room. The rear portion was divided 
into two cells, with no window except a barred opening in the 
door, through which the prisoner in the front cell could observe 
and hear the proceedings before the burgess and the action of 

The minutes of the council. contain evidence that the bur- 
gess' office at one time needed to be supplied with a table and 
''seven chairs, one of them with arms." 

The entrance to the second or dark cell was through the 
first cell, and was rather a dismal place. Subsequently these 
were changed, and the rear portion was made into four cells, 
opening into the burgess' office, but the Avindow in the southerly 
end was closed, and little openings under the eaves were made 
in the wall. 

The "lock-up," as it was always called, was the last perma- 
nent building placed on the public square until the erection of 
the music pavilion in 1891, which, however, was removed in 
1906. The ''lock-up" was taken off the square in 1873, which 
was then cleared of all buildings, and was thereafter used as a 
play-ground and for public demonstrations until converted into 
a. park in 1880, although trees had been planted and walks laid 
out prior to that time. 

In addition to these permanent buildings, temporary struct- 
ures were sometimes permitted to be located thereon. 

A daguerreotype room occupied a small space below the 

Vol. 1—18 


market house, fronting on Main street. It was known as the 
*' picture gallery'," as ''daguerreotype" was most too difficult 
for popular iDronunciation, and the photographic process had 
not been introduced. 


The Public Square was the popular place for political meet- 
ings. The Democrats, the Whigs and the Eepublicans used it, 
and sometimes two parties occupied it on the same daj^ or even- 
ing. The A\'liigs, or Eepublicans, would have a platform near 
the market house, facing toward Locust street, and the Demo- 
crats theirs near the lock-up, facing Main street. At other' 
times there would be but one platform, which both parties would 
use at their convenience. During the war a platform was 
erected near where the Gr. A. R. hall now stands, and from 
which many Union speeches were made, and there the departing 
and returning "Boys in Blue" were entertained and received. 
The boys and girls were always certain of having a bonfire 
on the Scjuare when the election returns were announced, no 
matter which party succeeded. Tar barrels, boxes, crates and 
wood of every description — many front doorsteps and gates 
even were missing — would be piled in the center of the square, 
and at dusk the match applied. 

Before the "electro-magnetic telegraph" was brought to 
town, in 1851, election returns were somewhat tardy, and our 
people depended on the packet boats and Portage cars to bring 
the latest news. 

The Public Square was the place where the quack doctor, 
the soap dealer, the razor sharpener and fakir of every descrip- 
tion plied his vocation and where the flim-flammer would con- 
vert a ten-dollar bill into a one-dollar note in making change for 
the unsuspecting ones. 

Many prominent men of national reputation have made 
speeches on the Public Square — Andrew G. Curtin, governor; 
John Covode, congressman; Colonel A. K. McClure, state sen- 
ator and editor; Lorenzo Danford, congressman; William Big- 
ler, governor; Heister Clymer, congressman and candidate for 
governor; George Francis Train, philosopher; Carl Scliurz, 
general and senator; Morton McMichael, mayor of Philadel- 
phia and editor; Francis Jordan, secretary of the common- 
wealth; Lewis W. Hall, congressman; W. H. Kountz, congress- 
man; S. S. Blair, congressman, and John W. Geary, general and 
governor, the latter of whom also resided in this town, in 1841, 


in a dwelling on Canal street, above the residence of the late 
John Ryan. In addition to these gentlemen, who made their 
addresses on the Square, George Aiifflin Dallas, vice-president, 
shortly after he cast the deciding vote for the Free Trade Bill 
in 1846, made a speech at the "Bennett House," where St. 
John's Catholic Church now stands, as did Eichard M. Johnson, 
vice-president under Van Buren; also R. B. Hayes, who was 
subsequently elected president, and James G. Blaine, in 1886, 
were here, and President Harrison, who, with Mrs. Harrison and 
party, spent a few hours in the cit}'- in 1890. Winfield Scott 
and Horace Greeley spoke in this place in their presidential can- 
vasses. President Johnston, General U. S. Grant, Admiral 
David G. Farragut, and Secretary of State William H. Seward 
arrived at the Pennsylvania Station about 11 o'clock, Septem- 
ber 14, 1866. An immense audience was awaiting them, when 
Senator Edgar Cowan introduced the president, but before he 
began to speak the platform fell, causing the death of three 
persons and injuring three hundred and eighty-eight. 


The presidential election when Harrison and Van Buren 
were the candidates was close, something like the Hayes-Tilden 
affair. In 1876, when we had the telegraph, it was reported 
Hayes one day and Tilden the next; but in 1840 it was Har- 
rison one week and A'^an Bureii the next, and here it was not 
known that Harrison was elected until cold weather had come; 
then there was a big time on the Square — bonfires, speeches and 
parades. One of the prominent celebrants was Old Daddy 
AVilliam Cole, who served his years of hardship with Wash- 
ington in the Revolutionary war. Dressed for the occasion, he 
was the principal guest of the tpwn. He was also present at 
the Fourth of July celebration in 1842, when the day's exercises 
were held in the Public Square, and was the hero of that day 
which he had helped to make one of rejoicing. Daddy Cole, 
who lived alone in what is now Morrellville, has been dead for 
many, many years. 


Of the many demonstrations of a public nature held on the 
square, one of the most popular and enthusiastic was the cele- 
bration of the laying of the Atlantic cable, in August, 1858. 

Of that event the Trihune of August 21, 1858, says that 
"on Mondav evening last the Queen's message of congratulation 


to President Buclianan was received by telegrapli," wliereiT])on 
the previous demonstration arranged in anticipation of the 
event was commenced. "A great bonfire was kindled in the 
center of the Public Square, while the fence surrounding it was 
studded with lighted candles, and crowds of men, women and 
children floclved to the scene. All the bells in town united in 
ringing out a merry peal. * * * The fire apparatus was 
brought out and illumined with candles, and drawn through tlie 
principal street amid the shouts of the populace and the 
strains of rich music." 

At that time a post and "top-rail" fence surrounded the 
Square, having been put up by the municipal authorities to pre- 
vent unlawful trespassing. On this top rail three nails were 
driven in a group, and these groups placed about twelve inches 
apart around the Square. The candles placed in each of the 
holders thus made were lighted when twilight had passed, and 
the bonfire in the center of the Square was started ablazing. 

In 1860 the Union hall, but known as Zouave hall, was 
erected on the lot now ow^ned by John Fulton and W. B. Tice. 
It was headcjuarters for the militia and the Union soldiers and 
the Square was the drilling ground. On the 24th of December, 
1863, while the Catholic congregations, with a splendid exhibit, 
were conducting a fair within the hall, the building and its con- 
tents were destroyed by fire. 

The first hay scales were erected in 1837 on Main street, 
in front of the present site of Hohmann's music store. Adam 
Fockler was the weighmaster, but in 1855 it was moved to the 
east side of the Square, on Franklin street, and twenty years 
later it was removed to the present location on Vine street. 

In the sixties the Hon. Robert S. Frazer, of Pittsburg, a 
president judge on the common pleas bench, then in his youthful 
days, was a clerk in his father's drug store, and one of the 
many persons who attended to the scales. Wlien the hay dealer 
brought in a load of hay on a wet day it was Mr. Frazer 's duty 
to go across the street in the rain to weigh it. Such instances 
imi:)ressed themselves upon him, and he declared that there was 
always more hay to be weighed on wet days than at any other 

Subsequently an office, about six by eight feet, was placed 
at the northerly end of the market house for the weigh office, 
where Henry Kratzer was weighmaster. 

Wlien baseball became the national game, in the sixties, the 


23ublic square was a favorite place for the ' ' Kickenapawlings " 
and the "Iron" chibs to practice. It was not large enough for 
a game, bnt a splendid place for throwing, catching and some 
batting. The batter and catcher stood in the rear of the market 
honse and batted toward the G. A. K. hall. The late Captain 
William R. Jones was an enthusiastic player, and when the 
"heats" wonld be nearly done he would go around the mill and 
quietly tell a player that he thought the work was about over 
and that they would have a little game ; one by one the players 
would leave, and in a short time there would be two nines on 
the Public Square ready for business. 

William Callan, the contractor for the municipal building, 
finished it in 1872, and in the following year the old buildings 
were removed and a landscape engineer laid out the ground 
in walks. The Public Square, which had been so long a favorite 
place for everyone, from the little ones who wanted to play 
"ring-around-rosy," to the politicians who used it for great 
popular demonstrations, was a thing of the past. 

In 1874 the officials of the borough had it laid out in straight 
diagonal walks, from comer to corner, with serpentine footways 
between them in a circle around the fountain, which stood in the 
center of the park and at equal distance from the corners on the 
two main walks. There were twenty-four silver maple trees 
planted on the four sides, within the park, and between these 
and the respective walks and the fountain were planted other 
species of trees. 

The trees planted within the Public Square, in addition to 
the twenty-four water maples, were ten American mountain ash, 
ten Norway maples, eight horse chestnuts, four American 
lindens, and four American white elms— sixty-four trees in all. 

The fountain in the center was adorned with a half dozen 
galvanized iron swans, but it Avas not satisfactory and was 
, removed. 

In 1876 the council planted thirteen trees, to represent the 
original thirteen states, on the Main and Franklin street sides 
of the Square, with "Pennsylvania" on the corner. At that 
lime there were eighteen councilmen, and they, with some of 
the other officials, planted a "Morrell" tree, a "Kennedy," a 
"Kountz" or a "Speedy" tree, as it might be, around the 
Locust street and Court place sides. 

In 1885, when the trees within had prospered and were beau- 
tiful in shape and for shadow, park seats were placed about 


them, making the ]place a great resort for men, women and chil- 
dren. But after mteen years of care and skiiifui attention, and 
when the trees were beginning to spread their branches and 
break the hot rays of the sun on the tired visitor, the hood oi 
May 31, 1889, swept the spot clear and clean, and debris ten 
to nfteen teet deep rested tnereon. Alter the flood the lr*ublic 
Square was again in use for bonfires, not lor elation, but for 
the destruction of inflammable rubbish and the cleanmg up ox 
the streets. 

When the people endeavored to conmience business, after 
the destruction of the city in that great catastrophe, there were 
very few storerooms or offices available, and in July, 1889, the 
Flood Kelief Commission constructed two-story frame build- 
ings on the four sides of the ISquare, facing the resjpective streets. 

But in the summer of 1890, after the several boroughs had 
been incoiq^orated into the City of Johnstown, these buildings 
were removed, and a park commission, consisting of l)r. John 
Lowman, Charles Ivress and John Fulton, was appointed by 
Mayor liose, who had the tSquare again prepared for park pur- 
X^oses. It is now controlled by the city, through the Park Com- 

A view of the market house and lock-up was taken by Pho- 
tographer Wesley Green in 1865, when his rooms were on the 
third floor of the Bibert Bank building, and, as the scene shows, 
the camera was pointing downward, and some of the men, con- 
sequently, had their limbs cut off at the knees. 

The second building was the burgess' ofdce, council room, 
lock-u^j, and a prison for commonwealth prisoners pending a 
hearing, or for temporary quarters before starting overland to 
the county jail. The crowd around it was not an unusual occur- 
rence, as many noted and sensational X->i'isoners have been con- 
fined therein. 

The next building was the office of Dr. Thomas McClure, a 
dentist, with an open porch on the first floor, at the corner. The 
little log building wdth the two little i)eep holes for windows, 
was one of the old houses of Johnstown, and stood back from 
Locust street, as the fence indicates, and belonged to the log 
house fronting on Franklin street, the xjroperty of John Buck- 
waiter. The next one was used by John Parke, a marble cutter. 
The residence of the Hon. George !S. King was on the lot ad- 
joining it, to the left, but the artist failed to catch everything. 

The church is the second one erected by the Methodist Epis- 


eopal congregation on this site, finished in 1854, by Emanuel 
Shaffer. The first one was hnilt by Joseph Shaffer and George 
W. Easly in 1838, and was a one-story brick, about 50 by 70 feet. 
The interior was in one room, which was used for the delivery 
of sermons, Sunday-school, classroom and prayer meetings. 

The second church was a two-story brick, with the main 
audience room on the second floor; it was torn down in 1866, 
when the Rev. Cornelius H. Jackson, late of Canton, Ohio, was 
the resident pastor. The third — the stone church — was built 
under his supervision, and was dedicated in the spring of 1870, 
when the Eev. A. H. Thomas was pastor. 

The house on the corner opposite the church was the store 
and residence of the late John Brady. Thomas Quinn, the 
father of James Quinn, resided in a brick beyond, which is 
hidden by the foliage. 

The house which stands in the roadway of Franklin street 
was the Simpson House, afterward known as the Mansion 
House. , It stood on the northerly side of the Canal, but in 1868, 
when Franklin street was extended to Pearl street in the rear 
of the Mansion House property, it was moved up and back in 
line with Franklin and Broad streets. 

The weigh scales were moved to Franklin street in 1855, 
and were placed close to the northerly side of the first telegraph 
pole. On account of the indistinctness of the jiicture, the scales 
do not show very well, but they were there. The i)latform can 
be noted, and the bulge on the pole, to the right of the gentle- 
man's head, is the upright which contained the balance bar and 

In the distance is Prospect borough, which had been incor- 
porated less than two years before — December 9, 1863 — and 
was not very large. 

The foliage on the easterly side of the street is a fair re- 
minder of all the streets in the residential portions of the city 
prior to the flood of 1889. One of the particularly beautiful 
spots was near the corner of Main and Walnut streets; for a 
square or more, on both streets, and on either side, the shade 
trees were as beautiful as any that ever grew. It was a bowery, 
not as the word is now used, but as it was in its primitive purity. 

1900. 1890. 

Population of Caml)ria county 104,837 66,375 

Adams township 3,613 3^'9?I 

Allegheny township 1,342 



Population— 1900. 1890. 

Ashville borough 393 289 

Barnesboro borough 1,482 

Barr township 1,336 920 

Blackliek township 1,622 624 

Cambria township 1,160 1,069 

Carroll township 2,284 1,226 

Carrolltown borough 790 634 

Chest township 674 508 

Chest Springs borough 202 255 

Clearfield township 1,135 1,205 

Conemaugh township 778 764 

Cresson township 1,572 

Croyle township 2,185 1,874 

Daisytown borough 435 

Dale borough 1,503 

Dean township 373 501 

East Conemaugh borough 2,175 1.158 

East Taylor township 698 845 

Ebensburg borough 1,574 1,202 

East ward 528 

West ward ' 1,046 

Elder township 1,504 711 

Ferndale borough 224 

Franklin borough 961 662 

Gallitzin borough 2,759 2,392 

Gallitzin township 1,473 1,076 

Hastings borough 1,621 1,070 

Jackson township 2,006 987 

Johnstown city 35,936 21,805 

First ward 2,253 

Second ward 1,118 

Third ward 595 

Fourth ward 1,115 

Fifth ward 2,036 

Sixth ward 2,635 

Seventh ward 2,627 

Eighth ward 960 

Ninth ward 2,429 

Tenth ward 1,692 

Eleventh ward 1,127 

Twelfth ward 1,420 

Thirteenth ward 1,254 

Fourteenth ward 1,726 

Fifteenth ward 2,288 

Sixteenth ward 3,011 

Seventeenth ward 2,774 

Eighteenth ward 1,1*11 

Nineteenth ward 1,255 


Population— 1900. 1890. 

Twentieth ward 1,701 

Twenty-first ward 809 

Lilly borough 1,276 915 

Loretto borough 240 236 

Lower Yoder township 2,194 4,290 

Munster township 429 400 

Patton borough 2,G51 

Portage borough 816 564 

Portage township 3,018 1,246 

Eeade township 2,980 2,235 

Eichland township 1,378 920 

Eosedale borough 386 

Eoxbury borough 808 

Scalp Level borough 450 

South Fork borough 2,635 1,295 

First ward 1,311 

Second ward 1,324 

Spangler borough 1,616 

Stonycreek township 1,275 1,788 

Summerhill borough 591 

Summerhill township 704 602 

Susquehanna township 1,898 1,160 

Tunnelhill borough 674 730 

Upper Yoder township 943 1,325 

Washington township 1,336 1,662 

Westmont borough 499 

West Taylor township 1,206 1,277 

^Ylute township 760 690 

Wilmore borough 264 350 


Prior to the appointment of Mr. Beaty, the first postmas- 
ter, the people of this vicinity were served from the office at 
Stoyestown, and after the office was established in Johnstown, 
on July L ISll, mail was brought from that office two or three 
times a week by messenger service. In 1830 the mails were 
carried by stage, messengers and canal, followed later by the 

The name of the office was Johnstown until February 23, 
1831, when it was changed to Conemaugh, but on March 17, 
1836, retook its old name. The first office was in John Linton's 
log house on Main and Franklin streets, which was burned in 
1867. While Shepley Priestly was postmaster and before 1832, 
the office was in his dwelling on the lot of the late P. C. Bol- 
singer, on Main street. It was in this building that a bread 


basket placed on a table was used to hold the mail. In the 
absence of the postmaster the patrons were obliged to look 
over the entire mail and take such as belonged to them. In 
1832 the office was moved to the Zimmerman building on Main 
street. In 1840, Mr. Renshaw changed it to the Exchange hotel 
building on the corner of Clinton and Locust streets. In 1841, 
Harrison ajDpointed Geo. AV. Kern who moved the office to the 
lot now occupied by P. S. Fisher, on Clinton street. Jordan 
Marbourg took it to what is now the Foster corner at Main and 
Bedford streets, and in 1849, George Savior moved it to the 
Thomas Gore building on Main street, east of Franklin, where 
it remained until Mr. Boggs changed it to the Osborne build- 
ing on the corner of Franklin and Ebbert alley. There it re- 
mained until the ^administration of Evan Eoberts who changed 
it to the Tribune building, where it stayed located until the 
term of Mr. Woodruff when it was taken back to Clinton street, 
in the Ruth block on tbe corner of Clinton and Locust. During 
Mr. Master's term it again found lodging on Franklin street 
in the Franklin building, on the corner of that street and Locust, 
where it is at present. 

Two days after the flood of 1889, Postmaster Baumer se- 
cured the brick building on the northwest corner of Main and 
Adam streets for the postoffice, and continued it there until the 
Tribune building had been repaired and arranged for the mails. 

The first postage stamps used in the United States were 
issued in August, 1847, although they had been introduced in 
England in 1840. The government issued but two denominations 
■ — a five and a ten cent stamp ; the former was characterized by a 
portrait of Franklin, in a bronze tint, and the latter by a profile 
of Washington, done in black. In 1851 these stamps were with- 
drawn, and eight new ones issued — of one, three, five, ten, 
twelve, twenty-four, thirty, and ninety cents value. 

But postage stamps were not popular, and less than ten per 
cent, of all the letters mailed were sent without them — having 
the word ''collect" written on the addressed side. This prac- 
tice continued until 1855, when prepa^mient was made obliga- 

Prior to this time letter sheets had taken the place of 
envelopes, which were not in general use. The letter proper 
was written on one side of the paper, which was folded and 
tucked in at the ends, then secured with wax. A common thimble 
verj' often served as a seal, although many persons had those 


of elaborate and individual design. The address was written 
on the back of the sheet. 

Until 1845 a letter meant a single sheet. If two sheets or 
a clipping were enclosed, the rates were doubled. The postage 
on second class matter was regulated by the size of the paper, 
magazine or periodical ; if it contained nineteen hundred square 
inches or less, the rate was one cent; if over that and sent from 
the office of publication it was two and a half cents. 

In 1888 the cost of an ordinary letter between Cambria 
county and Baltimore was eighteen and three-fourths cents. 
In 1847 the rate for a single letter to be carried under three 
hundred miles, and not exceeding half an ounce in weight, was 
five cents; the same weight for a distance over three hundred 
miles Avas ten cents. To send one from New York to California 
cost forty cents, and from New York to Great Britain, twenty- 
four cents. The postage on a single letter was subsequently re- 
duced to three cents between any points in the United States, 
and later it was still further reduced to two cents for each half 

The following are the names of the postmasters of this 
city with the dates of their appointments : 

John Beaty, July 1, 1811 ; John Linton, July 17, 1811 ; 
Shepley Priestly, October 18, 1818; Shepley Priestly, February 
23, 1831; Shepley Priestly, March 17, 1836; Samuel J. Renshaw, 
July 29, 1840: John K. Shryock, February 23, 1841; George W. 
Kern, June 4, 1841; Jordan Marbourg, June 13, 1845; George 
Saylor, April 21, 1849; Fphraim Buck, May 5, 1853; Henry A. 
Boggs, February 16, 1859; Isaac E. Chandler, April 8, 1861 
Evan Roberts, May 27, 1865; George Geddis, June 7, 1870 
George T. Swank, June 2, 1874; Herman Baumer, July 26, 1886 
James E. Ogle, July 29, 1890; Lucian D. Woodruff, January 
14, 1895 ; Samuel Masters, May 26, 1899 ; Levi J. Foust, December 
7, 1904. 

johjStstown" iisr 1856. 

One of the brilliant young men of Johnstown was Andrew 
Jackson Hite, a gentleman and a first-class printer and writer. 
He started a job oflice in a building where the Citizens' National 
Bank is now situated, and, as he said, not having much to do, 
he published a paper-back book of fifty-eight pages under the 
title of "The Hand Book of Johnstown for 1856, containing a 
short sketch of its history, together with a general business 


summary." Tlie advertisements and the history alternated, 
page by page. In referring to "The Present" he said: 

"Johnstown * * * — familiarly, — it includes the Bor- 
ough of Johnstown — embracing as well as the town proper, 
the villages of Ivernville, Sharpsburg, and Hornerstown ; the 
Borough of Conemaugh — embracing the borough proper, The 
Island, and Goose Island ; Cambria City, the Iron Works, Eheys- 
town, Prospect, & C, with a united population of over six thou- 

"The business of Johnstown is embraced in fifteen Dry 
Goods Stores, about thirty grocery and provision stores, four 
drug medicine and book stores, three clothing, two watch and 
jewelry, two fancy and millinery, two variety, one hat and cap, 
one hardware, one fur store, one eating house, four oyster 
saloons, one wholesale liquor, one brewery, one billiard room, 
one ten pin, one wall paper, one shoe findings, four paint shops, 
fourteen shoemakers', one tallow chandler, fifteen plasterers, 
four tailors, eight or ten carpenter shops, four cabinet, four 
barber shops, three tanneries, two newspapers, one job office, 
one daguerrean gallery, one stoneware manufactory, one mar- 
ble shop, three wagon shops, one carriage manufactory, three 
Sadler shops, twelve butchers, one cigar manufactory, six black- 
smiths, eight or ten bricklayers, seven lawyers, two dentists, one 
banking house and twelve teachers." 

The business men, their occupations and places of its trans- 
action were as follows: 

Charles Ambrose, barber and hairdresser; Main street, four 
doors from the Llansion House. 

John F. Barnes, lawyer; office on Franklin street, two 
doors from the corner of Main. 

Bell, Smith & Co., banking house. The partners were S. 
H. Smith and Daniel J, Morrell of Johnstown, J. M. Bell of Holli- 
daysburg, R. B. Johnston. William Jack and William M. Lloyd 
of the same place, Charles S. Wood and Richard D. Wood of 
Philadelphia. (The bank occupied the site of the Citizen's Na- 
tional Bank.) 

John Benton, carpenter and builder, Morris street, Kern- 

Casper Burgraff, grocer and confectioner, Clinton street, 
between Main and Locust. 

Daniel Burk, dry goods, clothing and groceries, corner of 
Clinton and Locust streets. 

William Burns, plasterer and stoker. Market street, op- 
posite the Union schoolhouse. 

Elijah Butler, Ijutcher, at stall No. 1, Market house, Pub- 
lic Square. 

W. li. Canan & Co., The Yellow Warehouse, near the head 


of Canal Basin. Wholesale and retail dealers in flonr, bacon, 
fish, dry goods, boots, shoes, salt, lumber and groceries. The 
partners were William H., Eobert H., and S. Dean Canan. 

Levi B. Cohick, justice of the peace. Main street, nearly op- 
posite the Cambria House (now the Merchants' Hotel). 

Moses Cohn, ready-made clothing, Suppes New building, 
Clinton street. 

John Conrad, lawyer, office on Clinton street, three doors 
east of McMillan's hotel. 

John Dibert, Main street, four doors east of the Mansion 
House;' dry goods, hardware, groceries, glass and nails. 

Samuel Douglass, druggist and justice of the peace, corner 
Main and Franklin, opposite the Public Square. 

William Dysart, painter and glazier, Main street, three 
doors above the Mansion House. 

George Engelbach, E::^change Hotel, corner of Clinton and 
Locust streets, 

Jacob Fend, grocer and confectioner, ice cream and ice, 
Main street, opposite the Cambria Llouse. 

John Flanagan, manufacturer of saddles and harness, va- 
lises, etc., Clinton street, two doors north of Good & Persh- 
ing's store. 

Adam Fockler, grocer and confectioner, Main street, two 
doors from Clinton, north side. 

Frankel & Hart, clothing, corner Kailroad and Clinton 

Jacob Fronheiser, dry goods, groceries, hardware, boots, 
shoes, and building material. Railroad street, three doors from 
Clinton street. 

Geis & Murphy, dry goods, groceries, hardware, queens- 
ware, hats, boots, etc., Fronheisers' building. Railroad street, 
two doors from Clinton street. The partners were John Geis 
and John J. Murphy. 

G. 0. Gibbons, furniture and cabinet ware. Arcade build- 
ing, fronting the mouth of Canal street. 

Good & Pershing, wholesale and retail dealers in dry goods, 
groceries, hardware, hats, boots, shoes, oil and lumber. Clin- 
ton street, opposite the mouth of Railroad street. The part- 
ners were Samuel Good and C. L. Pershing. 

S. L. Gorgas & Co., dry goods, groceries, hardware, hats, 
bonnets, boots and shoes, and drugs and oils. The partners 
were Samuel L. Gorgas and George W. Kern, on corner of 
Canal and Clinton street. 

Gregg & Bolsinger, drugs, books and stationery, Clinton 
street, three doors fi'om Main. 

Thomas S. Gregory', house, sign and ornamental ]iainter, 
Franklin street, nearly opposite the residence of D. M. Hay. 
Hart & Bro., wholesale and retail grocers, Main street, 


opposite the Cambria House. Tlie senior member was Cyrus 


Frank W. Hay, wliolesale or retail manufacturer tin, copper 
and sheet iron ware, stoves, etc., Canal street, one door below 
the collector's office. 

Michael Hay, physician and surgeon, Franklin street, three 
doors from the Lutheran Church, 

Haynes & Young, manufacturers light carriages, and coach 
makers, Water street, Kernville, immediately west of Stony 
Creek bridge. The partners were John Wesley Haynes and 
A. S. H. Young.. 

Heslops' wall paper, painting and glazing, Main street. 
The partners were James Heslop and Gale Heslop, 

George Hinish, lu'oprietor of the Mansion House, south cor- 
ner of Clinton and Franklin streets. (This is evidently an er- 
ror, f)s the Mansion house was on the southeast corner of Main 
and Franklin.) 

Hite & Kooken, carpenters and builders. Market street, 
west of Main. The firm was John Hite and Jesse Kooken. 

Cas])er Hoerle's, furniture ware rooms and undertaker, 
Main street, above Bedford. 

Holmes & Young, watchmakers and jewelers. Main street. 
The members of this firm were Joseph G. Holmes and James 

A. J. Hite's job printing establishment, after the first of 
April next will l^e found in the building two doors below the 
Mansion House, on Main street. 

8. Kimmell, surgeon dentist, Clinton street, one door south 
of the Exchange Hotel. 

John M. King, millinery goods, dress goods, etc. A ladies' 
store. Main street, one door above the Cambria House (near 
the Merchants' Hotel). 

Charles Koehler, physician and surgeon, Locust street, two 
doors from the Exchange Hotel. 

John Kooken, carpenter, builder and pump maker, Main 
street, two doors from Presbyterian church, ''Chain pumps 
always on hand and put in wells to order," 

Baltzer Kohler, groceries and provisions. Main street, Ger- 
man cigars, and liquors by the quart, 

Abram Kopelin, lawyer, Clinton street, one door west of 
Fronheisers' hall. 

Henry Kratzer & Son, drugs and family groceries, corner 
of Main and Clinton. (The son was John Kratzer.) 

W. C. Lewis, Variety Store, Clinton street, near the canal 

Valentine Louther, boot and shoe manufactory, Clinton 
street, two doors east of Main street. 

Elisha M. Luckett, millinery goods, dress goods and dress 


making, Main street, west side, between Franklin and Bedford 

Louis Lnckhardt, watchmaker and jeweler, Main street, be- 
low the Camln'ia House. 

Samuel B. McCormick, lawyer and county superintendent 
of schools. 

Marbourg & Co., dry goods, groceries, hardware, etc., east 
corner of Main and Clinton streets. (They were Alexander 
Frederick and Jordan Marbourg.) 

Andrew Moses, merchant tailor, Main street, next to the 

William Murray, lawyer. (A son of Judge John Murray.) 

John Parke, manufacturer of monuments, etc., Franklin 
street, between Locust and Canal streets. 

Pershing & Linton, lawyers, Clinton street, opposite the 
Arcade. (They Avere C. L. Pershing and John P. Linton.) 

Lewis Plitt, hardware and cutlery, iron, steel, etc., Clinton 
street, three doors west of Locust. 

James Potts, lawyer, Clinton street, two doors from Main. 

Pringle, Rose & Edson, iron and brass founders, machin- 
ists and car builders. (It was the Johnstown foundry, situated 
on the Island, now occupied by Gautier works. It would be 
about opposite to Hudson street. The firm were John P. Prin- 
gle, Wesley J. Pose and Walter L, Edson.) 

Riley & Kennedy, boots, shoes and gaiters. Locust street, 
between Clinton and Franklin, south side. (The members of 
the firm were Cyrus Riley and Alexander Kennedy.) 

John S. Rose, family groceries and produce, Franklin street, 
near the Stony creek bridge. 

Rutledge & Co., wholesale and retail groceries. Canal street. 
(They were Irvin Rutledge and William F. Boyers.) 

James Shannon, justice of the peace, office on ''the Island," 
six doors east of the waste weir bridge, Conemaugh ])orough. 

George Shaffer, carpenter and builder. Napoleon street, 

Cambria House, proprietors, Samuel Shaffer and A. J. 
Snyder, Main street, north side. A line of hacks runs to Cumber- 
land, via Stoyestown, Somerset, Berlin, Wellersburg, etc., start- 
ing from this house at 5 A. M. and arriving at 7 P. M. every 

George Spangler, butcher; every market morning, Wednes- 
day and Saturday, at stall No. 6. 

J. Swank & Co.. stoneware. Market street. (They were 
.Josiah and Jacob Swank.) 

J. W. Thompson, hats, furs and straw goods, Clinton street, 
between Main and Locust streets. 

Jacob Treftz, butcher, at stall No. 4, every market morn- 


Walters & Wehn, wholesale and retail dealers in dry goods, 


groceries, liardware, boots, slioes, drugs, lumber and shingles. 
(They were Henry Walters and John W. AVehn.) 

Henry Yeagiey, physician and surgeon, corner of Main and 
Bedford streets. 

Emanuel Young, butcher, at stall No. 3 every market morn- 

Charles Zimmerman, grocer and confectioner. Main street, 
four doors below the Cambria House ; also agent for C. B. Rich- 
ard 's Foreign Express, drafts, money, etc. 

Mr. Hite mentions the fact that there were two newspapers 
in this town but as only one saw fit to patronize him the follow- 
ing notice is given : 


Cambria Tribune, an American Newspaper, is published 
every Wednesday, on the second floor of the "Tribune Build- 
ing," Main street, opposite the postoffice. Terms of subscrip- 
tion, $1.50 per annum, in advance; $1.75, if paid within six 
months; $2.00. if not. 

As the Tribune has a much larger circulation in Johns- 
town and immediate vicinity, than au}- other paper, it is there- 
fore the best advertising medium for Johnstown business men 
and others. 

Terms of advertising: 1 square of 15 lines, 3 insertions, 
$1.00; ditto, 3 months, $2.50; 2 squares, 1 month, $2; ditto, 
three months, $1.00. Longer advertisements in proportion. 

James M. Swank, Editor & Publisher. 


Eastern mail, daily — 

Western mail, dailj" 
Stovestown, dailv — 

Arrives. Closes. 

11 A. M. 10 A. M. 

12:24 P. M. 8 P. M. 

11 A. M. 10 A. M. 

12 :24 P. M. 8 P. M. 

Arrives. Departs. 

7:30 P. M. 5 A. M. 

Somerset, tri-weekly, Tuesday, 
Thursdav and Saturday- — 

7:30 P. M. 5 A. M. 

Berlin, weeklv — 

6 P. M. 5 A. M. 


The car time was thus: Express trains, going east, 12:24 
A. M. ; going west, 10 :30 A. M. Mail trains, Sunday excepted, 


east, 11 A. M. ; west 8 :40 P. M. Fast trains, Sunday excepted, 
east, 5 :54 P. M. ; west, 11 P. M. 

The fares were: Conemaiigh, 10 cents; Viaduct, 20; Sum- 
merhill, 30; Wilmore, 40; Portage, 45; Altoona, $1.; Phila- 
delphia, $6.95; Conemaugh Furnace, 20 cents; Nineveh, 25; 
Florence, 35. Every fare was the multiple of five, that being 
the mode of fixing rates. 

George W. Munson was the agent at Johnstown. 


Distance by Plank Eoad. Miles. Fare. 
Johnstown to — 

Davidsville 8 $ .50 

Stovestown 19 1.25 

Somerset 29 2. 

Berlin 36 2.50 

Sandpatch 44 3. 

Wellersburg — 4. 

Cumberland 64 4.50 

Line of hacks connect with this one at Stoyestown, and runs 

through Jennerville, Ligonier, and Laughlinstown, connecting 

with the Penna. K. E. at Latrobe. 

On the back of the cover of the pamphlet the following er- 
rata appears : 

''Ehey's Furnace, mentioned in the foregoing pages, makes 
about 250 tons of metal per month instead of 150. In speaking 
of the Union School, Mr. George Shatfer should have been men- 
tioned as the architect. Col. Emanuel Shaffer is the contractor 
for the new engine house. The Cambria Iron Works can turn 
out nearly 100 tons of railroad iron per day." 

Vol. I — 19 



The subject of titles to land on the western hemisphere 
since its discovery has been an interesting one, especially at 
first between Spain and England, and latterly between the In- 
dians who were in possession and the sovereign of England. 
The royal charter of Charles II to William Penn, dated March 
4, 1681, for the land in Pennsylvania, is a classic. The diction 
is attractive, and for expression of thought, gratitude, honor, 
power and good will it is graceful and refined. The King, in 
expressing his good will, continued: ''and having regard to 
the memory and merits of his late father in divers services, and 
particularly to his conduct, courage and discretion under our 
dearest brother James, Duke of York, in that signal battle and 
victory fought and obtained against the Dutch fleet, commanded 
by the Herr Van Opdam, in the year 1665." The interest so 
continues. Elsewhere is noted the negotiations and treaties 
between Penn and the Indians. 

Canoe Place, or Cherry Tree, is one of the earliest land- 
marks in the county, being included in the negotiations between 
Penn and Dongan, for the Susquehanna river lands, between 
1682 and 1696, elsewhere noted. On November 5, 1768, by the 
treaty known as Fort Stanwix, in the State of New York, it 
was fixed as the boundary line of the Indian purchase of that 
date. On that occasion William Johnston, Richard Peters and 
James Tilghman, Commissioners for Pennsylvania, with rep- 
resentatives from New Jersey, met the chiefs of the Six Na- 
tions — the Mohawks, Onondagas, Senecas, Oneidas, Cajnigas 
and Tuscaroras- — with six thousand warriors looking on. At 
that time it was known as ''Canoe Place" from the fact that 
it was the highest point to which in ordinary times an Indian 
could paddle his canoe up the river. It was at the junction 
of the Cush-Cushion creek and the west branch of the Susque- 
hanna river. It was also on the trail to Kittanning, or to the 
upper Allegheny river. The name of Cherry Tree was derived 
from a wild cherry tree which stood on the bank at the junction 
of the two streams, but which was washed away in 1838. It is 



also the boundary corner of three counties, namely — Cambria, 
Clearfield and Indiana. Tlie borough of Cherry Tree is in the 
latter county. On account of its historical importance the state 
of Pennsylvania erected a granite monument on the original 
corner marked by the wild cherry tree, which was properly dedi- 
cated by the state and county officials on November 16, 1894. 
The shaft stands twenty-seven feet above the foundation, and 
thirty-five feet above the water level. It has three facings upon 
which is cut on the side next to the respective counties, the 
names ''Cambria," ''Clearfield" and "Indiana." The inscrip- 
tion is thus: 

Erected to mark Canoe Place 

the corner of the Proprietaries 

from the Indians, Bv the Treatv 

of Fort Stanwix, N. Y., Nov. 5, 1768. 

There were fifteen hundred people present at the unveil- 
ing of the monument. E. B. Camp was chosen president of the 
meeting, and E. E. Brilhart, secretary. Ex-Grovernor James 
A. Beaver made the dedicatory address, with Judge Harry 
White and Frank A. Shoemaker, of Ebensburg, speaking on 
local atfairs. 

The oldest paper title in Cambria county is dated October 
13, 1760, when the Proprietors of the province issued a warrant 
for the survey of Chest Manor, containing almost twelve hun- 
dred acres, now in Allegheny township. The manor is about 
two miles north of Loretto, and the Bradley schoolhouse, which 
is also the polling place for that township, is located near the 
center of the manor. It was reserved by the Penns for a bar- 
onial estate such as are common in England, and is the only 
manor within the county. It was the custom of the Penns to 
reser\^e such estates in diiferent parts of the province. There 
are several in Bedford, Somerset, Westmoreland and Indiana 
counties. However, Chest Manor did not develop, and it was 
sold to settlers, becoming vested in Thomas Duncan, of Cum- 
berland county. Thomas Smith, a deputy surveyor, surveyed 
it June 16, 1773, and made a return thereof showing that there 
were several other owners to the land adjoining the Chest 
Manor at that time. On the north were the Gilpin and Fisher 
lands; on the south it was joined by William HoUiday; on the 
east by Thomas Smith ; and on the west by William Holliday. 


The oldest title for land which was actually occupied and 
cultivated is the Horner title, in the Seventh ward of the city 
of Johnsto^vTi, extending into Dale borough and Walnut Grove, 
in Stonycreek township. It is officially known as the ''Adams 
Improvement, or the Mill Seat," or otherwise as the Peter 
Snyder survey, which became vested in John Horner in 1797. 
Samuel and Solomon Adams and their sister Rachel occupied 
it about 1770. Samuel Adams was on his way from this land to 
the block house at Bedford when he was killed in the Indian 
duel at Sandy Run in 1771. 

John Horner and his family came from Washington town- 
ship, in Franklin comity, about 1796. He died in March, 1814, 
at his residence on Solomon's Run. He was then blind, very 
old and feeble. Information of the family while they resided 
in Franklin county is meager; however, in his book of accounts 
as a merchant beginning in April, 1779, he has an account 
against John Horner, senior, in the following form. 

"April 3, 1779. John Horner, Senior, settled accounts. 
Balance due me, 1 pound, 11 shillings and 10 pence. * * * 

"July, 1780. 266 Dollars 5 shillings. 100 00 pounds; Off 
(to) Congress." 

On the credit side of the account he has entered a payment 
on this account as follows : 

"In the fall, 1780. Received of him 575 dollars. Congress. 
There remains of that 3 pounds 12 shillings 6 pence. Reduct 
into specie, 1 pound, 6 shillings and 8 pence." 

At that period the Continental Congress met at the follow- 
ing places : Lancaster, Pennsylvania, September 27, 1777 ; York, 
Pennsylvania, from September 30, 1777, to June 27, 1778; Phil- 
adelphia, from July 2, 1778, to June 21, 1783. John Horner 
was not a delegate to the Continental Congress at any time, but 
was probably attached in some official position. The John Hor- 
ner, senior, was probably the father of the accountant. 

Peter Snyder sold his warrant to Henry Hill on July 28, 
1774, and on May 28, 1776, thirty-six days before the Declara- 
tion of Independence was proclaimed, the commonwealth issued 
a patent for it to Mr. Hill, who sold it to George Clymer. The 
title passed through several parties and became vested in Mar- 
tin Reilly, who sold it to John Horner, June 3, 1797. The tirst 
paper title for the Adams Mill Seat is as follows : 




Whereas, Peter Snyder of the County of 

Philad'' liatli requested that we would allow him 

[seal] to take up three hundred Acres of Land on 

Stoney Creek and to hiclude a large run which 

falls in stoney creek and Solomon Adams's 

Improvement in Brothers Valley Township Bedford County 

(Provided the same Land does not lie in, or interfere with, our 

Manor of Bedford or any other of our Manors or appropriated 

Tracts,) for which he agrees to pay to our Use, within the Term 

of Six Months from the Date hereof, at the rate of Five Pounds 

Sterling, or value thereof in Current Money of this Province, 

for every Hundred Acres : and also to pay the yearly Quit-rent 

of One Penny Sterling for every Acre thereof, to us, our Heirs 

and Assigns for ever, with Interest and Quit Rent, to commence 

from six months after date hereof. 

These are therefore to authorize and require you to survey, 
or cause to be surveyed, unto the said Peter Snyder at the place 
aforesaid, according to the Method of Townships appointed, the 
said quantity of three hundred Acres, if not already surveyed 
or appropriated, and make return thereof into the Secretary's 
Office, in order for confirmation ; for which this shall be your 
sufficient Warrant: Which Warrant and Survey, in case the 
said Peter Snyder fulfil the above agreement within Six Months 
from the Date hereof, shall be valid, otherwise void. 

WITNESS JOHN PENN, Esquire, one of the said Pro- 
prietaries, who, as well in his own Right as by virtue of certain 
powers from THOMAS PENN, Esq., the other Proprietary, 
hath hereunto set his Hand, and caused the Seal of the Land 
Office to be affixed, at Philadelphia, this twenty-fifth Day of 
Julv One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventv-four. 
" To JOHN LUKENS, Surveyor-General. 


A return of the survey was made to the land office on 
May 14, 1776. 

John Horner built a dwelling and a storeroom near the 
Von Lunen road and Solomon's Run, and opened a store. About 
1800 he erected a saw mill and grist mill on the run, and also 
had some kind of a weaving mill connected with the enterprise. 
One of the rooms in the mill was used for pay schools during 
the winter season. Jacob C. Horner, the son of Jonas Horner, 
attended the school about 1822. In addition to the Snyder tract 
he acquired other land contiguous, so that at his death he owned 
478 acres, besides some lots, then in the village of Conemaugh, 
which he had purchased from Joseph Johns. 



We give below extracts from the ledger of Jolin Homer 
while he was operating the saw and grist mill on Solomon's 
Rnn, from 1799 to 1809. It is vahiable for the names of the per- 
sons who were then living here, and the prices then prevailing 
compared with the money valne at this date. The charges are 
made in pounds, shillings and pence. At that time the Pennsyl- 
vania valnes were : A pound, $2.66 2/3 ; a shilling was thirteen 
and a third cents, and a pence was five and fifty-five hundredths 
mills. These are the standards upon which the comparative 
prices have been based. It will be observed that in 1806 he 
sold a half quarter of beef weighing forty-three pounds at 
three cents per pound which would be $1.23, but in charging it 
he calculated it at ten shillings and nine pence, which is not 
twelve cents per shilHng. This means that the values of Penn- 
sylvania currency at Johnstown were less than in Philadelphia. 

The entries were: 

"John Shaffer, Dr. 

1796. To one peck coarse salt 

To one quarter of powder 

To half-pound tobacco 

Peter Fox, Dr. 

1799. To one bushel of corn 

To 2 bushels buckwheat 

To one bushel of oats 

1800. To 2 bushels of rye 

To 2 bushels of corn 


By weaving 38 yards linen 1 

By weaving 31 yards of tow-cloth 

By 2 days reaping in harvest 

By spinning 10 1/2 of hemp, at 15d 

By 10 pounds hemp tow, 28 pounds corntow 1 

By 1 day breaking flax 

By 1 day cradling buckwheat 

By 3 days work; he and Peter 

By work done on Race 

Joseph Johns, Dr. 
(Mr. Horner has the name spelled "Johns" 
in ledger.) 

1800. To 54 lath, 161/2 feet long, 900 feet 

1801. To sawing 193 feet of pine boards 

Jacob Snowberger, Dr. 

1800. To one bear skin 

Widow Beatty, Dr. 

1800. To 94 pounds of pork 1 

Jacob Good, Dr. 

1800. To 39 pounds of venison 

To going to Greensburg to the doctor 

Jacob Reed, Cr. 

1801. By making a pair of shoes 

Abraham Longanecker, Dr. 

1801. To sawing pine boards, inch thick, 512 feet 

To sawing poplar boards, inch thick, 613 feet.. 
Daniel Goughenour, Dr. 


value. 1907. 



$ cents. 










66 2/3 



1 24 




1 07 


1 07 



3 38 



2 41 





1 74 

2 66 2/3 







1 60 






1 76 





3 33 




2 00 



1 75 


1 74 


2 13 



£ S D 

1801. To 5 1^ pounds of iron, at 8 cts 3 8 

George Wimer, Cr. 

1801. By Vz bushel of potatoes 1 

By 15 gallons liquor 3 

By 2 girls, 1 day swingling flax 3 

By making 350 shingles 8 9 

Michael Fink, Dr. 

1801. To 226 pounds of flour 2 2 5 

To 3 days reaping 9 6 

Jacob Boyer, Dr. 

1802. To 3 dozen of eggs 2 

Abraham Hildebrand, Dr. 

1802. To 40 pounds of flour 6 

To 1 gallon of liquor 5 

Peter Erlinkiser, Dr. 

1802. To 1,012 feet scantling, 3x8 15 

To 500 feet poplar, inch boards 1 17 6 

To 100 feet oak, inch boards 5 


By half pound allspice 2 

By one gill of brandy 11 

By one pound coffee 2 6 

Ludwick Wissinger, Dr. 

1802. To one pound tobacco v 2 6 

To 2 yards of tobacco 6 

To 2 bushels of rye 9 

To 1 pound tobacco, by John 2 8 

Jacob Brumbach, Cr. 

1802. By 1 day cleaning Race 3 

Daniel Wertz, Dr. 

1803. To 2 bushels of wheat 10 

1807. To 2 bushels of wheat 12 

John Shayver, Dr. 
1803. To making 5,300 shingles 6 13 9 

John Studebaker, Dr. 
1805. To hauling half day, 4 horses 10 

Adam Ream, Dr. 

1805. To threshing ll^z bushels of rye 9 10 

Henry Smith, Dr. 

1806. To % quarter of beef, 43 pounds, at 3 cts 10 9 

Jacob Anderson, Dr. 

1807. To coat and trimmings 1 7 2 

To making, tailor's bill 8 3 

Adam Horner, Dr. 

1807. To 3 pounds of butter, at 9 cts 2 3 


By 2 days mowing 6 

By 2 days reaping 6 

Elias Horner, Dr. 

1808. To 1 horse 15 

Samuel Horner, Dr. 

1808. To 1 mare colt 9 7 6 

Jonas Horner, Dr. 

1808. To 1 mare 15 

Henry Kurtz, Dr. 

1809. To 1 pair shoes 12 

value, 1907. 



















































The following note, which, was well prepared, was written 
on a leaf of the ledger. It was dated 1808, and it will be noticed 
that the amount due was calculated in dollars and cents, the 
method we are now using, instead of the old style of pounds, 


shillings and pence. This is very good evidence the change was 
made in and around Johnstown about that time. 

''On demand I promise to pay or cause to be paid to John 
Horner, Sen. or his order, or assigns the just and full sum of 
Ninety Seven dollars and fifty four cents, good and lawful 
money of Pennsylvania, with lawful interest from date. Hereof 
for value received as witness my hand and seal this 2 day of 
July, 1808. 

''John Hoener, Jr. Seal. 
"Witness present: 

"Christian Horner." 

the john horner family. 

John Horner, the ancestor, died in March, 1814, at his resi- 
dence in what is now known as the Seventh ward of the city of 
Johnstown. At the time of his death there were nine children 
living and two grandchildren as follows: Second generation: 
Adam, John, Elizabeth Horner-Eeed, Susannah Horner-Hess, 
Jacob (b. 1774), Christian (b. Dec. 1, 1778, d. Oct. 6. 1865), 
Frederick, Samuel, Eli, and Jonas Horner. John died before 
his father and left to survive two minor children, John and 

John Horner died intestate, and in 1825 the land was 
divided in partition proceedings and the estate settled. This 
land was divided into four parcels and described thus: '"No. 1. 
Part of a tract called the Mill Seat containing 140 acres 85 
perches, adjoining lands of Peter Morgan, Joseph Harshberger. 
et al, and now in the possession of Jonas Horner. Value $8 95 
per acre." Jonas- Horner took this part at the valuation and 
paid the other heirs their share of the estate. All of this parcel 
lies south of what is now known as Messenger street, and south- 
east of Von Lunen road. No. 2, contained 108 acres 116 perches 
and adjoined lands of John Anderson and others, then in the 
possession of Jacob Horner. It is likely all of it lies north of 
Messenger street and extends to the Charles Cam]ibell survey. 
It was valued at $6.62 per acre. Jacob Horner accepted this 
purpart at the valuation and likewise paid the other heirs. No. 3 
contained about 150 acres and lay on both sides of Solomon's 
Kun, adjoining the lands of Lewis Wissinger and others, then 
in the occupancy of Adam Horner, who took it at the appraised 
value of fifty cents per acre. It is in Stonycreek township. 
No. 4 was a parcel held by improvements, containing eighty 
acres, situated on the Stonycreek river, adjoining lands of 


Samuel Kulms and others, then in the occupanc^^ of Joseph 
Aish. It was vahied at $15, and taken by Frederick Horner. 
It lies on the west side of the river, above the Moxham bridge. 

Tims it will be observed the three sons, Adam, Jacob and 
Jonas Horner, became the owners of all the land on the east 
side of the Stonycreek river, which is now included in the Sev- 
enth ward. Dale and Walnut Grove. On April 1, 1835, Adam 
sold 33 acres 43 perches of his parcel to Jacob C. Horner for 
$225. This Jacob C. was a son of Jonas Horner. In 1836 and 
1837 Adam sold the remainder to Peter Jacoby for $10 an acre, 
this land being in Stonycreek township. Again, it will be ob- 
served the present owners of lots in the Seventh ward procure 
their titles through the line of descent of either Jacob or Jonas 
Horner, and those in Dale through Jonas Horner. 

The Horner family rarely made wills. Occasionally the 
land has been divided by partition proceedings in court, but fre- 
quently the family did it by an amicable partition, giving deeds 
to each other, and in many instances did not record them, which 
omission makes a break in the paper chain of title. Inasmuch 
as the members of the Horner familv are verv numerous, and 
there being difficulty in tracing the title to the lots within the 
city, we give the descendants of the two brothers, Jacob and 
Jonas Horner: 


Jacob Homer, b. 1774: died July 28, 1842, and Susan, 
his wife, b. 1778: died April 1 in that year; their children 
were: 1. Martha Horner-Tibbott. 2. Susan. 3. Catherine 
Horner-Smelk'er. 4. Elizabeth Horner-Tibbott, 5. Nancy 
Horner-Bheam. 6. Jonas W. 7. Elias B. 8. Emanuel. 9. Peter. 
10. Jacob C. 11. John J. 12. Samuel or Simon Horner. 

1. Martha Horner, b. Feb. 11, 1821, now residing in Cone- 
maugh; married Samuel Tibbott, April 27, 1842; they had five 
children, namely: 1. Wesley Bosworth, b. Aug. 11, '44; d. Aug. 
24, '49. 2. Priscilla J ., b. July 24, '45 ; m. George W. Oatraan, 
July 25, '60; second m. T. W. Shoemaker, Nov. 26, '85. 3. 
Alonzo Elliott, b. Oct. 24, '47; d. Aug. 22, '49. 4. Charles Edgar, 
b. March 23, '51 ; m. Nancy McKee, Nov. 23, '70. 5. Catherine 
Ann, b. June 10, '53; m. Henry Page, Dec. 25, '77. 6. Mary Isa- 
bella, b. Sept. 26, '61; m. L. A. Clark, Sept. 18, '79. 

2. Susan Horner-Goughnour had four children, namely: 


I. Daniel W. 2. Walter S. Magill. 3. Mary Kennedy. 4. Jane 

3. Catherine Horner, b. Dec. 10, 1818 ; m. John C. Smelker, 
and had three children, namely : 1. Thedore, b. 1839. 2. Irvin, 
b. 1841. 3. J. P. Smelker, b. 1844. 

4. Elizabeth Horner, b. Jan. 10, 1816 ; dead ; married Eich- 
ard Tibbott, and had three children, namely: 1. Henrietta, b. 
Nov. 3, '44; dead. 2. Amelia, b. May '51; dead. 3. William 
Tibbott, living in Iowa. 

5. Nancy Horner, b. May 25, 1799 ; d. May 31, 1885 ; mar- 
ried George Blieam, and had thirteen children, namely: 1. 
Jacob, b. about 1818. 2. Elizabeth, b. Ang. 13, '20; m. Frederick 
Dishong; both living on Blaine street, this city. 3. Mary, b. '22; 
ra. John Rodgers ; both dead. 4. Samuel, b. July, '26 ; m. Sarah 
Fry; he died Sept. 15, '93; she died April 25, '93. 5. George, b. 
July 10, '28; m. Nancy C. Horner, a daughter of Emanuel 
Horner; dead. 6. Susan, b. Aj^ril 12, '30; m. Philip Bird; went 
west. 7. Catherine, b. Feb. 10, '32; m. John Riblett; second hus- 
band, William Harding; all dead. 8. Martha, b. March, '34; m. 
Alfred Greek. 9. Nancy, b. Jan. '36; m. James Stewart; second 
husband, Weatherholt. 10. Daniel, b. Dec, '38; single, dead. 

II. Paulina, b. Feb., '40; ni. John Sheehan; went west. 12. Eliza,, 
b. Feb., '42 ; single, dead. 13. Infant, dead. 

6. J onas W. Horner married and had six children, namely : 
1. Elizabeth, or Bessie, m. Harvey Welsh. 2. EUa, m. Albert 
Myers. 3. Florence, ni. Elias Benton Horner, Jr. 4. George 
Washington. 5. William J. 6. Lynn Horner. 

7. Elias B. Horner, b. May 20, 1812; married, April 30, '35, 
Sarah Horner,' b. Se^pt 8, '19, a daughter of Frederick Horner,, 
and had seven chi'dren, namely: 1. T^ouisa, m. 2. Julia Ann, 
m. Jacob Jacoby. 3. William F. 4. Sarah Elizabeth, m. Charles 
Edwaix] Henderson. 5. Elias B., Jr. 6. Aaron A. 7. Cyrus L. 
P. Horner. 

8. Emanuel Horner, married Eleanor Cole, and had seven 
children : 1. Susan, m. Valentine Louther. 2. George Washing- 
ton. 3. Marquis de Lafayette. 4. Jane, m. George Brubaker. 
5. Sarah, m. George Geddes. 6. Nancy C, m. George Bheam, 
Jr. ; m. second Richard Tibbott. 7. Samuel Horner, died in the 
Civil war. 

9. Pet^-r Horner, bachelor, dead. 

10. Jacob Christian Horner, b. Nov. 10", 1803; d. Dec. 25, 
1875; marrL3d Catherine Horner, a daughter of Christian 


Horner, b. Oct. 30, 1810 ; d. Sept. 23, 1894 ; they had seven chil- 
dren, namely: 1. Nancy Horner-Crosby. 2. Mary Horner- 
Oraffe. 3. Edward Horner. 4. Allison. 5. Watson. 6. Jacob 
C, Jr. 7. Jonathan Homer. 8. Simon Horner. This Jacob C, 
the father, was the founder of Sand^^^ale Cemetery. 

11. John Jacob Horner married Elizabeth Horner, a daugh- 
ter of Adam Horner, Sr., and had six children, namely: 1. 
Daniel. 2. Nancy, m. Christian Good. 3. Jacob. 4. Lucinda, 
m. Daniel Cobangh. 5. Sylvester. 6. Jefferson, m. Jane Stras- 
baugh; second wife, Christina Singer; no children. 

12. Samuel or Simon Horner; no record. 

1. Nancy, a daughter of J. C. Horner, founder of Sandy- 
vale ; b. 1838 ; d. 1897 ; m. James Crosby, and had nine children, 
namely: 1. George. 2. Catherine. 3. James Watson. 4. 
Charles Melvin. 5. Ida. 6. Jennie. 7. Edith. 8. Matilda. 9. 
Gertrude Crosby. 

2. Mary, a daughter of same, married Oscar Graffe, and 
had four children, namely: 1. Jacob, Feb. 3, '65; m. Clara 
Stickler. 2. Edward Albert, b. March 26, '67; m. Lilly Corbin. 
3. John Arthur, b. Nov. 5, '71 ; m. Caroline Corbin. 4. William 
T., b. Dec. 12, '74; m. Nellie Gruber. 

3. Edward Horner, a son of same; married Mrs, Matilda 
Karnes, and had two sons, namely: 1. Charles Allison. 2. Ed- 
ward Horner. 

4. Allison Homer, a son of same; married Annie Clark, 
and had seven children, namely: 1. James Franklin, b. Aug. 
28, '70 ; m. Margaret Houseberg. 2. Charles Watson, b. Feb. 20, 
'72 ; m. Ling. 3. Jacob 0., b. Sept. 18, '73 ; dead. 4. Emma May, 
b. May 12, '75; m. Clarence Love. 5. '^'iira B., b. July 7, '77; 
m. Edward Worley. 6. Minnie E., b. Mar^h 7, '80; dead. 7. 
Allison Grant Horner, b. Feb. 26, '84 ; second wife was Rebecca 
Clark; no children. 

5. Watson Horner, a son of same, b. Jan. 19, '44 ; married 
Emma Burkholder, and have six children, namely : 1. Jacob L., 
b. July 12, '73; d. Oct. 10, 1906; m. Efifie Williams. 2. William 
A., b. Nov. 26, '75; m. Katie Landis. 3. Watsor C, m. Dora 
Simons. 4. Chester K. 5. Frazer E. 6. Robert B. Homer, b. 
June 12, 1896. 

6. Jacob Christian Horner, a son of same ; b. July 26, 1835 ; 
d. Oct. 4, 1906 ; m. Mary A. Shaffer, Dec. 1, 1857, t'.nd had nine 
children, namely r 1. Eva Belle, b. July 13, '59; m. George 
Waters. 2. Dora Catherine, b. Sept. 22, '61; m. A^onzo Sin^ser. 


3. Edward Watson, b. Aug. Q, '63 ; m. Elizabeth Knepper. 4. Cur- 
tis Eldon, b. Feb. 11, 'QQ ■ m. Anna Richardson. 5. Jacob Martin, 
b. April 26, '66; m. Nettie Scott. 6. Bertha Ethel, b. Feb. 1. 
71; m. James Flowers. 7. Elda, b. Feb. 6, 74; dead. 8. Otho 
Ira, b. March 8, 75; m. Elizabeth Eitz. 9. Emory Cleveland, b. 
Feb. 22, 79 ; m. Emma Harvey. 

7. Jonathan Horner, a son of same, b. Dec. 3, 1828 ; d. Noy. 

4, '95 ; married Liicinda Cover, Sept. 3, '51, and had eleven chil- 
dren, namely: 1. Mary C; m. Christian Glitch, April 21, '73. 

2. Francis, b. May 14, '53. 3. Nancy J., m. Henry Roberts, Julv 
23, '84. 4. Martin J., b. Feb. 10, '56 ; d. Dec. 2, '60. 5. Susan s', 
b. Oct. 3, '58; d. Jan. 9, '81. 6. Sarah E., b. Jan. 11, '61; m, 
Zachariah A¥ing-ard. 7. Merrick C, b. March 2, '63; m. Olive 
Kuntz. 8. Cyrus P., b. Sept. 21, '65; m. Clara Dunlap. 9. Harry 
H., b. Aug. 1, '67; m. Ida Miller. 10. Jessie E., b. July 24, '70; 
m. Albert Miller. 11. Aaron F. Horner, b. May 30, '74; m. Grace 

8. Simon Horner, a son of same, b. Oct. 22, 1832 ; d. Sept. 7, 
'62 ; died in the Civil war ; m. Mary Horner, a daughter of Jacob 
C. Horner, who was a son of Jonas Horner; no children. 


Jonas- Horner, b. Dec. 4, 1780; d. Feb. 12, 1855; married 
Martha Fox; b. Dec. 4, 1783; d. May 15, 1863; and their chil- 
dren were: 1. John. 2. Susannah Horner-Farner. 3. Chris- 
tina Horner-Kuntz. 4. Jonas B. 5. Martha Horner-Metz. 6. 
Catherine Horner-Horner. 7. Samuel J. 8. Jacob C. 9. Eliza- 
beth Horner-Ferner, 

1. John Homer, son of Jonas, married Nancy Horner, 
daughter of Christian Horner, and had three children, namel}^: 
1. Eliza Horner-McCartney. 2. Martha Jane Horner-Roberts. 

3. Christina Horner-Hildebrand. 

2. Susannah Horner married David Ferner, and had 
seven children, namely: 1. Jeremiah. 2. Lucinda. 3. Martha 
Jane. 4. Austin. 5. David. 6. AVilliam. 7. Susan. David 
Ferner also married his sister-in-law, Elizabeth, but they had 
no children. 

3. Christina married Adam Kuntz, and had five children, 
namely: 1. Chauncy. 2. Frank. 3. Martin. 4. Luther. 5. 
Mary Jane. 

4. Jonas B. Horner married Christina Singer, and had 
seven children, namelv: 1. Lavina Horner-Hildebrand. 2. 


William. 3. David Jonas. 4. Benjamin F. 5. Dennis. 6. Al- 
mira Horner-Mellingei'. 7. Mary Martlia Horner-Kuutz. 

5. Martha married Airwine Metz, and had ten children, 
namely: 1. Christina, m. James James. 2. Caroline. 3. Jane, 
m. George Campbell. 4. Lucretia, m. Samuel Masters. 5. Ceylon 
H., m. Alice Huston. 6. Martha, m. Gr. D. Penrod, 7. Buhama, 
m. Theodore Judy. 8. Elizabeth, m. Charles Scott. 9. Ells- 
worth J., m. 10. Fremont J. Metz, dead. 

6. Catherine married Christian Horner, a son of Chris- 
tian Horner, a justice of the peace, and had six children, 
namely: 1. Magdalene, m. David Ford. 2. Archibald, m. first, 
Polly Helsel; second, Mrs. Elizabeth Henderson-Mull, 3. Har^^ey 
single. 4. Daniel, m. Lovina Speigler. 5. Elizabeth, m. Solomon 
Baldwin. 6. Lovina, m. Samuel Judy. 

7. Samuel Jonas Horner married Hannah Varner, and 
had six children: 1. Nathaniel. 2. Aaron Jonas. 3. Henry 
Samuel. 4. Annie, m. Clinger. 5. William Lemon. 6. Erastus 

8. Jacob Christian Horner married Caroline Cover, and 


Jiad eight children, namely: 1. Amos. 2. Samuel 3. Sylvester. 
4. William. 5. Mary Horner-Patton-Barnacle. 6. Harriet 
Homer-Peden. 7. Sarah Horner-Irvin. 8. Annie, single, dead. 
His second wife was Mary Ann Garland, and had five children, 
namely: 1. Emmett. 2. Jonas Little. 3. Ida Dell, dead. 4. Lucy 
Jane Horner-Cobaugh. 5. Harry H. Horner. 

9. Elizabeth, as stated, also married David Ferner, 


The Joseph Johns and Peter Levergood titles include all 
the land in the First, Second, Third and Fourth wards of the 
city of Jolmstown, and the greater ]^art of the Ninth and Tenth 
wards, and a small ] portion of the Thirteenth, and by the Henry 
Wise survey include the Twelfth and Thirteenth wards. After 
the Fort Stanwix treaty the commonwealth opened the land in 
that purchase to settlers, and fixed the third day of April, 1769, 
as the date when applications could be filed. On that day 
Charles Campbell, grandfather of the late Joseph H. Campbell, 
took out a warrant for the land lying between the two rivers, 
and ]:)art of the Thirteenth ward, containing 249 acres, with six 
]>er cent additional for roads. On February 1, 1780, he sold it 
to James Wilkins, who on October 31, 1781, conveyed it to John 
Johnston. On September 24, 1782, Johnston sold the warrant 












to James McLanalian, incorrectly written "McClenalian," for 
fifty ponnds, colonial currency. The commonwealth granted 
a patent to McLanahan on April 26, 1783, on the Campbell war- 
rant. On September 30, 1793, he sold it to Joseph Johns. On 
November 4, 1800, Johns laid ont the town of Conemangh, 
which included all the lots west of Franklin street, as has been 
noted elsewhere. Mr. Johns sold several lots before, disposing 
of his holding in bulk. The lot on the southeast corner of 
Main and Walnut streets, lately partly occupied by Mrs. Ann 
Morlev. and the lot on the southwest corner, each of them hav- 
ing a frontage of 66 feet on Main and extending back 261 feet 
to Sycamore alley, now known as Lincoln street, were sold to 
James Brown for $20 each, in January, 1803. The Griffith and 
Barry lot adjoining that of Mrs. Morley was sold for $10, be- 
cause it was not on a corner. The lot on the comer of Main and 
Park place, ^6 by 261 feet, now occupied by Mrs. Webster B. 
Lowman, John Fulton, W. B. Tice, the Grand Army hall, and 
W. C. Lewis, was sold for $10. The four lots — 45, 46, 47 and 
48 — between Franklin and Park place on the south side of Main 
street, extending back to Lincoln street, were sold for less than 
$150. The square is now known as the Bank Corner. 

On May 2, 1807, Johns sold the remaining plotted lots and 
other land in the Campbell and Henry Wise surveys to John 
Anderson and William Harley of Bedford, and on March 30, 
1808, they conveyed the same to John Holliday, of Hollidays- 
burg. On June 21, 1811, Holliday sold the entire interest to 
Peter Levergood, and August 26, 1813, Peter Levergood and 
Susanna, his wife, conveyed it to Thomas Burrell, George Bren- 
heiser, Sr., and George Brenheiser, Jr., for $12,583.33, and gave 
a mortgage for the larger portion of the consideration. On 
November 2, 1816, Burrell and the Brenheisers sold about three 
acres of that part of the Third ward lying between Clinton and 
Franklin streets, from Cover's alley to Washington street, with 
the exception of a few lots otherwise disposed of, to Adam 
Cover, the father of the late William Cover. The mortgage was 
foreclosed, as the purchasers had failed, and Peter Levergood 
bought it back at sheriff's sale, his deed being given by John 
Murray, sheriff, bearing date of March 3, 1818. About 1828, 
Levergood and Cover laid out their holdings east of Franklin 
street to Clinton, and subsequently ])lotted the lots in the Ninth 
and Tenth wards. 

The corner at Main and Bedford streets, now known as 


Swank's corner, ^as at this time Mr. Levergood's garden 
patch, hut in 181)6 he erected thereon a residence and store room 
for his son-in-hiw, Jacoh Myers, the hnshand of Lncinda Lever- 
good. The hind ahove the garden patch as far as Adam street, 
between Bedford and what was tlien known as the F'^rankstown 
road and now Main street, was purchased by Eobert Hamilton, 
the father of David Hamilton, who plotted it, and, July 18, 1829, 
sold the Cover lot, which has been the residence of William 
Cover and his family since. The land lying between Bedford 
and Baumer streets, out to the Horner line, was acquired by 
Thomas Shar]i, in consideration of a cow. Mr. Sharp plotted 
it and sold the lots. As late as 1870 it was known as "Sharps- 

With the exceptions noted, all the titles for lots in the 
(■ampbell survey have come through Peter Levergood to the 
time of his death, July 26, I860; then by his executor, Jacob 
liovergood, his son, and since his death by M. L. Levergood, the 
son and executor of the latter 's estate. 

The land in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth wards is a part of 
the James Dougherty warrant, dated April 7, 1769, who held it 
for eighty years and sold it to Williamina E. Smith, of Phil- 
adelphia, who procured a x>atent for it August 9, 1849. On 
September 13, 1849, she sold it to Jacob Brallier, who on Feb- 
ruary 25, 1854, conveyed the part which is included in these 
wards to David and James P. McConaughy. They laid it out 
into town lots about the time the Cambria Iron Company con- 
structed the works. James P. McConaughy acquired the in- 
terest of his brother, and all the titles have come through them. 

The A¥oodvale Titles: On July 30, 1776, Benedict Dorsey 
procured a warrant for all the land now in the Eleventh ward 
of the city of Johnstown, extending across the river into Cone- 
maugh to^vnshiyj and the lower part of Franklin borough, and 
which contained oOlV-j acres. It joins the Henry Wise survey 
on Prospect, and the Campbell and Flack tracts on the west 
and south. The Flack survey includes Green Hill and lies be- 
tween the Campbell and the Peter Snyder surveys. Henry 
Cauffield bought forty-fiVe acres of it, the part known as "Peg- 
gy's Bottom," on September 17, 1845, and Peter Daniels about 
that time ac<|uired a parcel of it which laid on the hillside above 
the bottom, or as the latter was afterwards known "Murray's 
Grove." On September 12, 1857, Daniel J. Morrell acquired 

Vol. 1—20 


the Oauffield holding and May 18, 1864, conveyed it to the Johns- 
toAvn Manufacturing Company, who plotted it and sold the lots. 

The Minersville Titles: Thomas Afflick procured a war- 
rant for the land which is now in the Fourteenth ward on 
March 12, 1785. In all he had 390--)4 acres. Afflick sold it to 
Espy L. Anderson, who procured a patent for it on February 
24, 1837: on the 28th of April, 1837, he sold it to Mark Graham. 
May 18, 1837, Graham sold it to Eli Benshoff, who sold the 
mineral rights to George S. King & Co. on September 26, 1845 ; 
however, the titles to the lots come through Eli Benshoff and 
his heirs. 

Osborne-Suppes Titles: A portion of the ground in the 
Eighth ward was acquired on a warrant in the name of Martin 
Eeilly, but on September 15, 1787, a patent was granted to 
Martin Eeilly and Thomas Vickroy for a tract of land called 
"Stony Point," containing 237 acres. On October 29, 1793, 
they conveyed it to Jacob Frazer, who on May 22, 1813, sold it 
to Jacob Stutzman. On the same day he conveyed it to William 
Proctor. On March 22, 1818, his interest in it was assigned to 
Isaac Proctor. Isaac Proctor sold it to John Buckwalter, who 
on the same day, April 25, 1818, conveyed it to Jacob Stutzman, 
a former owner. Mr. Stutzman acquired another tract con- 
taining 108 acres, adjoining the Reilly survey, by patent dated 
August 31, 1814. On November 1, 1855, Mr. Stutzman sold 108 
acres to George W. Osborne for $7,150, who sold twenty-nine 
acres of it to Conrad Suppes on January 27, 1866, for $4,330, 
Mr. Osborne and Mr. Suppes died intestate. The Osborne 
property was divided by partition proceedings in court, and 
the Suppes heirs made an amicable distribution of their prop- 
erty, and all the titles to lots in that survey come through them. 
The Suppes lots have not been placed on the market. 

Titles in the Twelfth and Thirteenth wards : Henry Wise 
procured a patent for a tract of land on November 22, 1787. It 
was described as ''a certain tract of land called 'Maldon,' sit- 
uate on the north side of the Little Conemaugh, and north- 
eastwardly from the mouth of Stonycreek, adjoining the 'Old 
Town,' in Quemahoning township, Somerset county," contain- 
ing 283 acres. On December 11, 1787, Wise sold it to Thomas 
Vickroy, and June 19, 1799, it was conveyed by Vickroy to 
"Joseph Phontz," intended for Johns, who now owned the 
Campbell and AVise tracts, making in all 532 -acres. This also 
became vested in Peter Levergood by his purchase from Johns. 


On June 1, 1835, Peter Levergood sold a small piece of the 
Campbell survey to Jacob Brallier, described as "beginning 
at tbe foot of the embankment of the bridge crossing the canal 
on tlie Ebensburg road." On March 18, 1848, Brallier sold it 
to Jacob Levergood, Robert P. Linton, John Linton, Peter 
Levergood, jr., and John Galbreath, and on February 6, 1819, 
Peter Levergood conveyed to the same gentlemen and John 
Bensholf, his son-in-law, fifteen acres more which uicluded the 
blast furnace called the "Johnstown Furnace," consisting of 
a bridge house, casting house, engine and engine house, a two- 
story hewed log house, four one-storied hewed log houses, one 
one-story frame and three two-story frame houses, a store 
room, office, wagon and blacksmith shops. This furnace was 
directly opposite the station of the Pennsylvania Railroad 
Compan}-. The Levergood and Benshoff interests were trans- 
ferred to eJohu and Robert P. Linton and Galbreath, who oper- 
ated the furnace until October 8, 1851, when it was sold to 
George Rliey, Levi Mathews and "William Ebbs of Pittsburg for 
$4,175. Rhey, Mathews & Company operated it until February 
6, 1854, when they sold it to Christian Ihmsen, of Pittsburg, 
for $20,000. Rhey, Mathews & Company also purchased from 
Peter Levergood in addition to the furnace property 149 acres 
of the Henry Wise tract and a small parcel of the Dorsey sur- 
vey. Mr. Ihmsen acquired this land under his purchase and 
plotted the lots on Prospect hill, now in these wards. 

The Kern, Haynes and Libert titles in the Fifth and Sixth 
wards : On October 2, 1795, the commonwealth issued a patent 
to Robert Adams for seventy-four acres which included most 
of the land in tiiese wards. On May 17, 1805, a patent was is- 
sued to William Adams for another tract lying to the south 
of it which contained fifty-nine acres. Robert Adams acquired 
the ownership of it by deed of May 13, 180G, and now held 133 
acres on that side of the Stonycreek river. Adams sold the 
first tract to David Stutzman, and on the 26th of April, 1806, 
Stutzman conveyed it to Adam Croyle. On March 18, 1818, 
Croyle conveyed it to Mary Ann Burrell for $2,128, who sub- 
sequently married Thomas H. I'owler. On August 4, 1827, the 
Fowlers sold thirty-four acres and forty-eight perches of the 
Robert Adams survey, or that below Libert street, to Shepley 
Priestly. On April 19, 1833, Priestly conveyed fifteen acres of 
it to Joseph Ha^mes, who also procured another strip extending 
from Libert street to Water street, west of Apple Tree alley, 


and plotted it, wliieli is known as the Haynes plan of lots. On 
June 18, 1834, Priestly sold the remaining nineteen acres to 
John Taylor, Daniel 0. Morris and George W. Kern for $800. 
On July 7, 1840, Joseph Kern, the father of George W. Kern, 
purchased the two-thirds interest held by Taylor and Morris. 
The Kerns sold the strij) of land to Joseph Haynes, referred 
to above, being described as beginning at a point on "the road 
leading from the bridge to Amish hill, along the west side of 
Apple Tree alley." This deed bears date of August 2, 1847. 
The Kern land belonging to father and son lay below Dibert 
street and east of Apple Tree alley, which was between Franklin 
and Xapoleon streets, extending to the Stonycreek river. The 
titles for all the lots below Dibert street come from the Haynes 
and Kern plan of lots. 

On January 30, 1846, George S. King purchased the re- 
mainder of the Fowler land, which lay above Dibert street, and 
sold thirteen acres of it, or that part south of Everhart street, 
to Jacob Benshoff for $125. On June 9, 1848, Mr. King sold 
the remainder of the Fowler purchase to John Dibert for $2,500, 
and on August 9, 1849, John Dibert gave Benshoif a deed for 
the thirteen acres bought from King. Jacob Benshoff died 
intestate. His heirs were Mary Ann Everhart, John Everhart, 
Susanna M. Benshoff, Jemima Benshoff, Eliza Cramer, Daniel 
Cramer, J. Q. A. Benshoif, Ethalinda Benshoif, who married 
Captain Patrick Graham, and David Benshoff, who plotted it 
and sold the lots. 

John Dibert came to Johnstown in 1846 from Dibertsville, 
in Somerset county. He died testate in November, 1849, leav- 
ing to survive, Rachel, his widow, and eight children: David; 
John; Elizabeth, intermarried with Judge Malilon W. Keim; 
Sarah, intermarried with Henry Yeagley; Mary D., intermar- 
ried with the Rev. John D. Knox; Jacob; Samuel, and Abraham 
C. Dibert. Jacob died in his youth. Dibert's field, which lay 
above Diliert street and between Franklin street and the Stony- 
creek river, was used for a race track an^ was the S]iot where 
the larger shows ])itched their tents. Mr. Dibert in his will di- 
, rected that the undisposed land should not be sold until his 
youngest child — Abraham C. — should become of full age, and 
which was then to be sold and the fund equally divided. 

Abraham C. and Samuel conveyed their interests to John 
Dibert. On April 16, 1866, Racliel Dibert and the other heirs 
concluded to sell the remainder of the estate, and David Peelor 


made a plot of it, which is recorded in Vol. 26, at page 696, in 
the recorder's office. These lots were sold at public sale in 
Jnne, 1866. Lots Nos. 18 and 14 on the southeasterly corner 
of Napoleon and South streets, 100 feet on Napoleon and 150 
feet along South sold for $-160. 

The Moxliam Titles: There are two surveys for the land in 

and contiguous to the Seventeenth ward of the city, namely, 
the Solomon Vickroy tract and that of William Barr. On May 
6, 1786, the Commonwealth granted a patent to Solomon Vick- 
roy for fifty acres situated ' ' on the east side of the Stonycreek 
river, adjoining lands of "William Barr and Solomon Adams' 
old place." On October 18, 1786, Solomon Vickroy, who was 
single, sold it to Thomas Vickroy, the father of Edwin A. Vick- 
roy of Ferndale. On April 24, 1800, Vickroy conveyed it to 
Daniel ULIery. 

The other tract was warranted in the name of William 
Barr, single, dated October 30, 1788, and on November 3, 1788, 
the Commonwealth granted a patent to him for 2781/0 acres. 
The Barr tract joined the Solomon Vickroy survey. On May 
3, 1790, Barr sold it to William Matthews, and June 17, 1795, 
William and Martha Matthews conveyed it to Daniel Ullery, 
who now owned 328 '^^ acres. Ullery having died, his executors 
by deeds dated April 18, 1820, and June 11, 1822, sold both 
tracts of land to ^Joseph Harshberger, who on March 29, 1850, 
sold them to Carl von Lunen, Senior. 

As early as 1861 Mr. von Lunen plotted some lots along the 
Stonycreek river, each having over three acres of ground. On 
Novem1)er 29, 1861. he sold one lot to Lewis Plitt for $259, 
which belonged to the Vickroy warrant. He sold others to 
William Miller, William Orr, Joseph Kost, Lewis Baumer, Sr. 
and David Berkey. On September 13, 1864, Carl or Charles, 
Senior, sold to his son Carl, or Charles von Lunen, forty-one 
acres lying along the Bed Bridge road where the brick house 
was erected, and adjoining the Matthews farm, which Charles 
Jr., also purchased. The Matthews farm contained over 217 
acres. On November 30, 1868, Carl von Lunen, Senior, sold 
259 acres, the remainder of the Vickroy and Barr surveys, to 
liis son Louis von Lunen for $20,786. On September 9, 1871, 
Louis purchased from Henry Constable nineteen acres which 
adjoined, making his holding in all 279 acres 117 perches. 

On February 19, 1887, Louis sold an acre to Samuel Schrock 
for $225, and on March 31, 1888, another acre to Cyrus Wissin- 


ger for $250, On May 26, 1884, lie also sold a piece containing 
36 acres to Henry Stremmel for $3,695. 

On May 12, 1869, Lonis von Lnnen sold to liis brother 
Charles, 13 acres, which lay on the east side of the Red Bridge 
road, and on November 20, 1877, he sold him another parcel 
of 20 acres, lying below that road. 

The Johnson Purchase: On November 1, 1887, Louis von 
Lnnen sold to the Johnson Steel Street Rail Company, which 
was changed to The Johnson Company, on December 17, 1888, 
two pieces of the land, containing 95 acres, for $40,000. The 
mills were erected on this land. On the same day he sold to Al- 
bert L. Johnson of Cleveland, Ohio, ninety-fonr acres, pins, for 
$25,250. The Johnson sales included all of the remainder of 
the Barr tract and the nineteen acres coming from Henry Con- 
stable. A. L. Johnson, a brother of Tom L. Johnson, now 
mayor of Cleveland, made the plan of Moxham and sold the 
lots. Louis von Lnnen also made a plan of Jots as an addition to 
the Moxham plot and sold them. On May 3, 1887, Henry Strem- 
mel sold his thirty-six acres to Alonzo Rodgers for $5,542.50, 
and on June 29, ]888, Mr. Rodgers purchased forty-three acres 
from Charles von Lunen for $2,000. On November 19, 1887, 
Mr. Rodgers sold nineteen acres of the Stremmel land to E. B. 
Entwisle for $6,600, and on June 28, 1888, he sold the remainder 
of it, being about seventeen acres, to Charles von Lunen. 

Charles von Lunen also made a plan of lots as an addition 
to Moxham, which he and his executors have sold, and are now 
selling, as most of the Matthews land lies beyond the city limits.. 

George Bhram was the owner of the principal part of 
Morrellville and plotted it for town lots about 1878. Isaac E. 
Chandler acquired a large part of the Strayer land and made 
an addition to the Bhram plot. The. titles for Coopersdale lots 
came from James Cooper who laid it out about 1868. 



Beside the very favorable topographical location of the 
city of Johnstown as well as the invaluable deposits of coal and 
other minerals, which are within its limits and in the surround- 
ing country, it has an ample water supply in the two rivers — 
Conemaugh and Stonycreek — which flow through and unite at 
the westerly end of Main street, and, besides, the pure mount- 
ain water furnished to its inhabitants from the several reser- 
voirs built between the hills, have sufficient pressure to throw 
a stream from any of the water plugs in the business portion 
of the citv to a height of fiftv feet. 

The Johnstown Water company has tapped the Little 
Conemaugh i-iver and also the Stonycreek, beside having three 
reservoirs built on mountain streams, namely: Laurel Eun and 
Wild Cat, in 1867; St. Clair in 1877; Millcreek in 1881, and 
Dalton Run in 1902. The dam in the Little Conemaugh is nearly 
five miles above Johnstown, a short distance beyond Bridge No. 
6, at the old tunnel, and was erected in 1876, and connected with 
a twenty- inch main. The Cambria Steel Company also have 
dams in Conemaugh river a short distance Avest of South Fork 
and west of Coopersdale. 

The Stonycreek is tapped about one-third of a mile above 
Border's Station, some eight miles from the city, with a thirty- 
six inch main, which was connected in 1891, the inlet being 
regulated by a valve without the use of a dam. 

The Stonycreek and Little Conemaugh are divided at Johns- 
town by Green Hill. The Stonycreek rises near Berlin, in Som- 
erset county, and drains the Southern, or Quemahoning, valley, 
on the western slope of the Allegheny mountains. The terri- 
tory adjoining on the eastern slope is drained by the Juniata. 

The name of Stonycreek was appropriately chosen, inas- 
much as its channel was filled with boulders of immense girth 
and diameter, probably fifteen to twenty feet through. About 
fifteen miles above Johnstown these large rocks are yet in 
the watercourse, but in the city and near to it they have been 


quarried and used for building purposes. There are houses in 
this town of which the foundations were made from the quarries 
in the channel of the Stonycreek. Xow, after a period of many 
years, it is clear of large rocks. 

Although the Stonycreek was made a highway in the early 
days of legislation, it was never used to a great extent. In 
high water barges have been floated from the Benscreek to 
town, and pig iron has been shipped by barges from the Stony- 
creek, by the Conemaugh, Kiskiminetas, and Allegheny rivers, 
to Pittsburg. The stream has also been used for floating logs 
from the upper fastnesses of the mountains to the various log 

The source of the Little Conemaugh is near CarroUtown, 
not a great distance from Canoe Place, the corner of the Indian 
purchase by virtue of the Fort Stanwix treaty. 

It drains the Conemaugh valley, on the western slope of 
the mountains. The land adjoining it on the eastern side is 
drained into the west branch of the Susquehanna, and the water 
thereof flows into the Atlantic, while that of the Conemaugh 
reaches the Grulf of ^Mexico. 

The Conemaugh and Stonycreek, of course, furnished the 
water to the pioneers for the grist and saw-mills, and both were 
utilized by the state to provide water for the Pennsylvania 
canal which was commenced in 1826. 

The Conemaugh river proper begins at the junction of the 
Little Conemaugh arid the Stonycreek, but it is commonly called 
the Conemaugh to its source. 

The first bridge across the Stonycreek was the "Bed 
Bridge," above Hogback tunnel, which was erected about 1800, 
and was the only means of crossing the stream to get to Johns- 
town, excepting, of course, the fordings, until 184:2, when the 
Kernville bridge was erected. The first bridge across the Cone- 
maugh was built at Blairsville in 1820; it was a beautiful speci- 
men of bridge building for strength and length of span — two 
hundred and ninety-five feet — and stood for fifty years or more. 

It is probable that the first regular fording and ferry on 
the Stonycreek river was at or about the mouth of the old 
Feeder, at Suppes' dam. It was in use for many years, and 
was one of the principal crossings to town, and in fact is still 
used as a fording. In 18L3 Jacob Stutzman came into posses- 
sion of two hundred and thirty-seven acres at this place, which 
was known as "Stonv Point." and for manv vears he and his 


family operated the ferry which v^s known as Stiitzman's 

Another fording leading into Jolmstown, which the Som- 
erset county people used, was the old Beulah crossing, at Frank- 
lin and Willow streets. However, during high water they 
crossed the Eed l)ridge and came down the Von Lunen road. 
The Beulah crossing received its name through the road lead- 
ing to Stoyestown from Beulah — the same Beulah whose people 
sought to make their town the county seat in 1804. 

In addition to the footwalks made during the low-water sea- 
son, another method of passage across the Stonycreek for foot 
travelers was either by the ferry of Adam Trefts or that of 
Joseph Haynes. Mr. Trefts' ferry was about where the Haynes 
street foot-bridge is now swung, and the Haynes ferry was off 
Market street. Gray's ferry, operated by William Gray, plied 
between The Point and the present west end of the Stone bridge. 

Peter Daniels ran a ferry on the Little Conemaugh almost 
opposite the old Woodvale mill. 

After 1831, when the aqueduct was completed, it was used 
by foot passengers until the bridge was erected. 

The ferry charge was three cents for each person, but some- 
times, when the water was high and the current strong, it would 
cost a tip to cross by either ferry. 

The two most important fordings on the Conemaugh and 
the Little Conemaugh were the Broad Fording, near the Cam- 
bria bridge, and another near the Walnut street bridge. The 
liighways on which these fordings occurred were the main thor- 
oughfares through the Laurel Hill Gap and to Ebensburg. 

The Broad fording was about four hundred feet in width, 
hence its name. It had a good bottom, but had deep water, which 
frequently ran into the beds of vehicles. It continued in use un- 
til the erection of the Cambria Toll Bridge, in 1853. 

The fordings near the Walnut street were many, and were 
important crossings for the people going to Ebensburg and to 
Westmoreland and Indiana counties. One was located in the 
rear of the Cambria offices, another about the present site of 
the Walnut street bridge and a third several hundred feet below. 
After the canal was in operation the Laurel Hill I'oad was prac- 
tically abandoned. 

^A^iere the Woodvale bridge is now located was a fording 
used from the earliest days of pioneering in going to Ililde- 


brand's grist-mill, at Sylvania, subsequently Conemaugli, but 
incorporated as East Conemaugli borough. 

The first flood which inundated what is now the city of 
Johnstown was the "Pumpkin Flood," in the fall of 1820. Both 
rivers were high, but the Stonycreek swept everything within 
reach — pumpkins, cattle, barns, houses, fences, etc., and on 
Vine street, which was lower then than now, the water was 
"fence high." Paul Benshoff farmed the land which now in- 
cludes the Fifteenth and Sixteenth wards, and all his stock, 
crops, etc., were destroyed except one cow, which was rescued at 
the iDoint where Coopersdale is now located. 

The next overflow was that of 1847, caused by the breaking 
of the South Fork reservoir. The water was from four to six 
feet high on the "Island" and the lower parts of the city. The 
vraste weir from the Basin and the overhead bridge from Canal 
street to Portage street, were destroyed. A short distance below 
where is now located the Baltimore & Ohio Station, the northerly 
bank of the Canal was washed out for a distance of a hundred 
feet. Boats which were in the Basin were washed through the 
break and carried away, passing under the acqneduct, and one of 
them knocked off the corner of Gaffer Davis' brick house on 
"Goose Island," which was still standing at the time of the 
flood of 1889, when it was swept out of existence. 

In 1859 both rivers were in flood, and that portion of the 
town below Walnut street, as well as the mill, were entirely in- 

Until 1868, when the Kernville bridge was taken the town 
was subject to overflows on account of ice gorges, but since that 
time, has not been troubled in that way. Daniels' Bottom, now 
the Eleventh AVard, was always much affected by these ice 
overflows, and frequently Mr. Peter Daniels and Mr. Henry 
Caufifield were unable to plow and plant their spring crops until 
late in the season. 

The highest overflow, previous to the flood of May 31, 1889, 
was that of June 7, 1887, before the removal of the old railroad 
bridge which spanned the Conemaugh river where the Stone 
Bridge is now located. The Fifth, Sixth and Seventh wards 
and all that part of town below Jackson street, were covered 
with water, it being eighteen inches deep in front of Quinn's 
store, on Clinton street. That flood made a high-water mark, 
and surveys were made for the purpose of locating future build- 


The flood of May 31, 1889, caused by excessive heavy rains 
thronghont the central and western parts of Pennsylvania, and 
by the breaking of the South Fork reservoir, was, of course, the 
greatest the city has ever known, but reference to it will be 
made hereafter. 

On February ]7, 1891, the business and lower portions of 
the city were submerged by reason of both rivers being in flood. 
The volume of water discharged from the Little Conemaugh was 
12,950 cubic feet per second, and from the Stonycreek 22.000 
cubic feet. The flood of 1887 was exclusively from the Stony- 
creek, when there was a flow of 30,000 cubic feet per second. 
The Little Conemaugh was normal. 

In 1891 the Conemaugh below The Point was widened to 
260 feet, which it was believed would give sufficient relief, but 
on May 20, 1894, the lower portions of the city were again 
under water. Both rivers were high, but the Little Conemaugh 
was wild, and between the hours of 11:15 and 12:15 midnight 
rose six feet. 

Again on March 14, 1907, the city was under water to a 
greater height than at any previous flood, barring that of 1889. 

After the flood of May 31, 1889, General Hastings raised the 
elevations on The Point by depositing a large amount of earth 
taken from cellars and streets while cleaning up the town. Also 
in 1891 after the city was organized, the lower part of it, up to 
Market street was raised ; the average fill being about five feet, 
as follows: 

Tide Eleva- Tide eleva- 
tions, 1906. tions, 1887. 

Main and Market 1164.78 1164.78 

Main and Potts Place 3.9 

Main and Walnut 3.67 1164.85 1161.18 

Main and Morrell Place 7 

Main and Union 6.5 1164.79 1158.29 

Main and Johns 9.7 1166.51 1156.81 

Washington and Market, 0; Washington and Potts Place, 
2; Washington and A¥alnut, 0. 

The sea levels at Johnstown, and the high water marks in 
the flood of June 7, 1887 : 


Sea Levels. Flood of 

June 7, 1887. June 7, 1887. 

Walnut and Locust, curb 1161.56 1164.85 

Walnut and Washington, curb 1164.03 1165.26 

Walnut and Main, curb 1161.18 1164.85 

Market and Main, curb 1165.27 1166.12 

Market and Lincoln, curb 1166.18 1167.73 

Foot of Market street 1165.84 1166.39 

Franklin and Stonvcreek, curb 1168.19 1169.94 

Franklin and Main, curb 1169.06 1169.69 

Franklin and Locust, curb 1168.32 1169.09 

Clinton and Main, curb 1168.99 1170.66 

Top of rail, S. & C. R. R. at Bedford street 1173.44 1171.80 

Top of rail, opposite South street 1172.40 1173.71 

Somerset and South, curb 1169.92 1171.93 

Franklin and South, curb 1170.99 1172.14 

Bottom of waste weir, Wildcat dam 1325.33 

Bottom of waste weir, St. Clair dam. . . . 1353.07 

Bottom of waste weir, Millcreek dam. . . . 1357.88 

South rail, P. R. R. station at Johnstown. 1184. 

Bridge Seat, S. & C. R. R. bridge 1181.34 1176. 

Top of rail, S. & C. R. R. at Hogback tunnel 1201.06 1198. 

Top of rail, P. R. R. at Fairfield avenue . . 1159.31 

Stone base, Peelorville Schoolhouse .... 1352.45 

Top of Indian Mound, Westmont 1783.56 

Highest Point, Grandview Cemetery.... 1657.40 

Elevations of high water of the Conemaugh and Stony- 
creek rivers at Johnstown, Pennsylvania. 

Locations. Elevations above tide at Philadelphia. 

June 7, May 31, Feb. 17, May 20, Mar. 14, 

1887. 1889. 1891. 1894. 1907. 

Coopersdale Pumping Station 1143.70 1144.2 1146.8 

Ten Acre Railroad Bridge 1152. 1151.81 1151.7 1157.8 

Mouth of Hinckston Run 1158.72 1160.42 1157.1 1159.6 

Below Stone Bridge, P. R. R 1163.57 1159.2 1164.7 

Above Stone Bridge, P. R. R 1164.46 1164.65 1161.3 1165.6 

Franklin Street Bridge 1169.94 1168.94 1170.2 

Poplar Street Bridge 1172.52 1174. 

Valley Pike Bridge 1178.58 1179. 

Walnut' Street Bridge 1165.26 1166.64 1165.4 1168.2 

Railroad Street Bridge 1179.25 1184.2 1184.9 

Main and Walnut Streets 1175.05 

Main and Walnut Streets 1164.88' 1184.95 1165.18 1166.99 

Main and Union Streets 1164.90 1165.2 1166.13 

General Offices, C. I. Co 1174.20 1167.2 

General Offices, C. I. Co 1184.35 

The measurements for 1889 were taken at 3 o'clock, and at 
4:15 p. m. 

The first effort made to erect a bridge at Johnstown was 
under an Act of Assembly of April 10, 1835, reviving the act for 
the construction of bridges, and extending the time for comple- 


tion for a period of two years, and authorizing the govenior to 
incorporate the Somerset & Conemangli Road Company, which 
intended to bnild a bridge at Franklin istreet across the Stony- 
creek river. On March 30, 1836, another act was passed, re- 
pealing a portion of the first act, but authorizing the company 
to build a bridge and extending the time for a period of one 
year. But these efforts were unsuccessful. 

In 1842 a joint stock company was formed and a bridge 
was erected over the Stonycreek at Franklin street. Allen Rose 
and Jacob Brallier were the carpenters, and Martin Hannan and 
Thomas Howe laid the masonry. It was built 300 feet long and 
12 feet in height, with an eighteen-foot roadway, and was cov- 
ered, as all bridges were in tliose days, and being a toll bridge, 
cost a foot traveler one penny to cross. In 1857, the north 
span was washed away, and was replaced, with the addition 
of a sidewalk which had not been provided on the first one. It 
was known as the Kernville bridge, and gave splendid service 
until 1866, when it was washed away at the time of what is 
known as the "big ice gorge." To replace it, an iron bridge, 
the first of that material in this vicinity, was erected by the 
Phoenix Bridge Company, and when it was taken down in 1887 
each piece was marked by the contractor, so that it could be 
reconstructed at Poplar street. An elegant iron and steel bridge 
of one span and 175 feet in length was put in its place, with 
a roadway of 30 feet and a sidewalk of 10 feet on each side. 
This bridge was destroyed in the flood of 1889. The power of 
the water was sufficient to lift this immense weight of iron and 
steel, and carry it two hundred yards below its abutments, 
but the braces, angle irons, etc., were so twisted and bent that 
it was not practical to attempt to again use them for that 

The Edgmoor Bridge Company were the contractors for 
the present Franklin street bridge, which was opened to the 
public on February 3, 1891. It is 225 feet between abutments, 
with a roadway and sidewalks of the same width as the bridge 
of 1887. 

The borough purchased the stock of the old Kernville 
Bridge Company in 1868, and made it a free bridge. 

The old Franklin street bridge was transferred to Poplar 
street in that year — 1887 — but was reduced a panel at each 
end, thus making it 175 feet instead of 245. This was the first 


bridge at Poplar street, and two y'ears after its destruction in 
the flood of 1889 was replaced by the present structure. 

Until 1887 it was the custom to have a notice posted on 
both ends of all bridges to the effect that a fine would be im- 
posed on any person driving a horse over it faster than a walk. 
But one of the conditions of the Franklin street structure built 
in 1887 was that it should be strong enough to allow a horse 
to pass over it at the will of the person driving, and the ob- 
noxious notice never appeared on it, nor its successor of 1891, 
nor of any of the other bridges. 

In 1888 the Valley Turnpike Company finished its bridge 
across the Stonycreek at Moxham, between Stonycreek and 
Upper Yoder township now the Eighth and Seventeenth wards. 
The Valley Turnpike Company also erected another toll bridge 
from the upper end of Moxham to Ferndale soon after. 

On the 13th of April, 1868, Governor Geary signed an Act 
of the General Assembly incorporating the '^ Stonycreek Bridge 
Company," wherein Jacob Fronheiser, Jacob Fend, Lewis Plitt, 
John Geis, Jacob Wild, Conrad Suppes, and Jacob Swank were 
authorized to secure subscriptions to erect a footbridge over 
the Stonycreek, "at or near the lanyard of Jacob Levergood 
on the one side, and tlie mouth of Haynes street on the other 
side of said stream," The bridge. had to be completed within 
two years. l)ut the company did not succeed in procuring suf- 
ficient money, and it was not built. 

It seems that this location for a bridge has been a favorite 
one for many years, but its promoters never succeeded until 
March, 1896, when a light suspension footbridge was swung. 

The first bridge across the Little Conemaugh was erected 
in 1829, and stood for one night, when it fell of its own weight. 
It was what is known as a "straining-brace" bridge, and was a 
single span. It was located between the Walnut street bridge 
and the aqueduct, nearer the latter than the former. About 
this time the aqueduct was constructed, and horses, with their 
riders, passed over it on the towing-path, but it was not wide 
enough for a vehicle. 

The first successful bridge for the use of all kinds of travel 
was a two-span frame bridge, erected in 1848 by popular sub- 
scription. It was replaced by another in 1853, which stood 
until 1862, when the boroughs of Johnstown and Millville 
erected the first municipal bridge, under power of an Act of 


Assembly passed March 15, 1862, of wliieli the preamble is 
as follows : 

"^^Tiereas, The Boroughs of Johnstown and Millville, in 
the County of Cambria, have erected at their joint expense a 
bridge connecting said boroughs on the Conemaugh River, at 
Johnstown, etc." 

The Act then gave jurisdiction to the Burgess of either 
borough for punishing violations of ordinances thereon. 

It was called the Lincoln bridge in honor of the president, 
and continued in use until 1883, when a single-span iron bridge 
of 110 feet in length, and the first of the restricted kind, was 
put in its place by the two boroughs. It was destroyed in the 

The present Walnut street bridge was commenced Feb- 
ruary 4, 1890, and part of it was washed away February 16, 
1891, but it was rebuilt and opened to the public March 4, 189X 

By the Act of Assembly of April 4, 1856, John Murray, 
Jacob Fronheiser, James H. Pennel, John Fenlon, David 
Prosser, C. P. Murray, P. Cauffield and William Howard were 
aj^pointed Commissioners to receive subscriptions for the 
"Conemaugh Bridge Company." 

The intention was to construct a bridge across the Little 
Conemaugh at AYooclvale, but the promoters did not succeed 
in securing sufficient subscriptions, and the project failed. 

In April, 1861, however, the county commissioners erected 
a two-span frame bridge across the Little Conemaugh about 
where the present Woodvale bridge is located, but when it was 
about finished a freshet swept every stick of it away. 

AVesley J. Eose and George W. Easly were the contractors, 
consequently the loss was theirs, and they at once replaced the 
bridge, but before the second structure was completed Mr. 
Easly enlisted in the L^nion Army and was elected Captain 
of Company H, of the Tenth P. V. Regiment, recruite'd April 
26, 1861. 

On February 21, 1862, Governor Curtin signed an Act of 
Assembly authorizing the Commissioners of Cambria county 
*'to make settlement with the said George W. Easly and Wesley 
J. Rose, and to allow them such compensation * * * as may 
seem just and reasonable," which they did. 

That bridge was replaced by an iron structure built in 
1884, by the boroughs of Woodvale and Conemaugh. On July 
16, 1884, the county commissioners appropriated $1,000 toward 


its construction. It stood until 1889, when it was, like all the 
others, destroyed by the flood, and in 1891 it was replaced 
by a substantial iron and steel bridge. 

On the 18th of April, 1853, the legislature authorized James 
P. McConaughy, George S. King, Evan Eoberts, James Potts, 
R. B. Gageby. Cyrus L, Pershing and J. A. Cox to create the 
"Cambria Bridge Company" to erect a toll bridge "at or near 
the Broad fording, in Conemaugh township," which they ac- 
cordingly did. Notwithstanding its great value to the public, 
it was not a financial success, and on November 27, 1865, the 
General Assembly authorized a dissolution of the company and 
a sale by the sheriff. 

The bridge of 1853 was a Howe truss, of four spans, each 
90 feet in length, and after it was disposed of the Cambria Iron 
Company built an iron bridge on its site about 1870. This 
bridge was washed away in 1889, and its successor was built 
in 1891, when the other city bridges were replaced, and was 
located one full scpiare below Branch street, opposite E ail road 
street, whereas the bridges of 1853 and 1870 were at the en- 
trance of Brancli street. 

In 1880 an iron bridge was erected across the Little 
Conemaugh, between Woodvale and Franklin boroughs, above 
the street-car barn. This changed the route of travel to Cone- 
maugh, which had been via the Bluff crossing to the Franklin 
side of the river, where the horse-car tracks were, and along 
the fair grounds, where the trotting track was, as well as the 
baseball grounds. But bridge, road, street-car tracks, cars, 
barns and fair grounds were swept away — even the soil down 
to the gravel — by the great flood of 1889. A new steel l^ridge 
was built in May, 1896, to re})lace the one destroyed. 

The Pennsylvania Railroad Company built a single-track 
iron bridge across the Conemaugh river on the present site of 
the Stone Bridge, in 1852, and in 1864 it was made wide enough 
for double tracks. It was replaced in 1887-88 by the present 
four-track stone arch structure. 

The right of way for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Com- 
pany was procured October 21, 1879, and the road was com- 
pleted within a year. A three-span single-track steel bridge was 
built across the Stonycreek, between what is now the Seventh 
and Eighth wards. 

In the tripartite compact of 1882, between the boroughs of 
Johnsto^m and ]\Iillville and the Cambria Iron Company, it 


was agreed that the Cambria Iron Company should construct 
a railroad bridge across the Little Conemaugh at The Point, 
with a passage way on the upper side for foot travelers, and 
should build a railroad along the northerly bank of the Stony- 
creek river up to Bedford street, leaving an opening for Beulah 

The bridge was built shortly thereafter and was used up 
to the time of the flood of 1889, when it was also destroyed and 
never replaced. The filling for the railroad was partly made, 
but it was not even finished, as far as Market street. 

In 1890 the Cambria Iron Company erected a steel bridge 
over the same stream, a short distance above the Railroad street 
bridge and below the Stone bridge, for the purpose of hauling 
coal from the Mill Mine in Yoder Hill to the boilers by means of 
a cable. 

In the same year the Westmont Incline Plane Company built 
a steel bridge across the Stonycreek river, below Union street, 
for the accommodation of its patrons. 

In 1896 the Pennsylvania Railroad Company erected a 
steel bridge across the Little Conemaugh at the Woodvale 
Factory for the spur to the new freight depot. 

In 1874 the Cambria Iron Company erected a single-track 
bridge over the Little Conemaugh at the old Basin-Feeder 
Dam, in rear of the Gautier Works, for the purpose of re- 
ceiving raw materials for their Works from the Pennsylvania 
Road at Conemaugh. shipping their finished products by the 
same road over bridges at Branch street and Morrellville, but 
high water destroyed all of them, and the Morrellville bridge 
was the only one replaced, and that in the fall of 1889. 

After the Cambria Iron Company became possessed of the 
old Basin and Canal bed, and Old Portage roadbed u]> to 
Franklin, they used the old wooden aqueduct for a railroad 
bridge until 1868, when the Phoenix Bridge Company put u]) 
an iron structure which was destroyed in the flood of 1889. The 
next year it was replaced by a single-track steel bridge, with 
a footwalk on the lower side. 

In the latter ]iart of the sixties a modern bridge was built 
by the Johnstown Manufacturing Company across the Little 
Conemaugh, in the rear of the Woodvale Mill and Factory, to 
haul coal from the Coshun Hill to these industries. It was also 
used for teams until taken down some years ago. In 1890 
the rjambria Iron Company erected a wooden railroad bi'idge 

Vol. 1—21 


at about the same place, or a little above it, to take the place 
of the one in the rear of the Gautier Works lost in the flood, 
but this bridge was removed by the company in the winter of 
1894,. to allow the ice, which had gorged at that point, to pass 
otf. The single-span bridge of the Pennsylvania Eailroad here- 
after referred to is about on its location. 

As will be observed, all the bridges in this vicinity were 
destroyed in the great catastrophe of 1889, and the finance com- 
mittee of Johnstown, consisting of W. C. Lewis, John D. Eoberts, 
James McMillen, Cyrus Elder, Geo. T. Swank, A. J. Moxham 
and Tom L. Johnson, expended for temporary bridges at the 
various places the following sums of money: 

At Mineral Point, $50 ; at Poplar street, $363.84 ; at Frank- 
lin street, $410.86; at Woodvale, $609.24; at Walnut street, 
$2,761.20; at Cambria, $2,833.21; for permanent bridges at 
Franklin, Walnut, Cambria and Woodvale, $75,000; total, $82,- 

Before the temporary bridges were erected, and within a 
few days after the flood, Secretary-of-War Proctor sent pon- 
toons belonging to the Federal Government, which were an- 
chored in the Stonycreek, at Poplar and Franklin streets, and 
were of great value for the passage of people and teams. 

A number of citizens, of whom Daniel J. M, Stackhouse was 
one, succeeded in getting a rope ferry across the Conemaugh in 
the rear of the Cambria Company's office on Sunday after the 
flood. This was of great use to the bereaved and their friends, 
and Mr. David Boyle rendered great assistance by construct- 
ing a raft and ferrying people from Frank W. Hay's residence 
to the Presbyterian Church, on Main street, on Saturday, going 
across the cut made by the Conemaugh river, where the water 
was five feet deep. 

In 1890 the finance committee referred to above of which 
James McMillen was chairman, employed Mr. Carl Schenk, of 
Cincinnatti, to make a survey of the Stonycreek valley, to 
ascertain the best method to prevent future overflows. He made 
an elaborate examination, and prepared maps from actual sur- 
veys, etc. He recommended the filling up of the old bed and that 
a new channel be made for the Stonycreek from Poplar street 
bridge to the base of Millcreek road, keeping close to Yoder 
Hill, the bed to have 225 feet at low-water mark and 250 feet at 
the .top of the embankment, which would straighten the conduit. 
The opposition was strong, and no one person desired to under- 


take the labor of prosecuting it, although ample capital was of- 
fered to purchase all the property that would be taken. 

The Board of Trade secured the services of Mr. J. J. E. 
Croes, of New York, who made a survey of both rivers, and 
prepared photographs, maps, and drawings of every essential 
thing affecting or likely to produce overflows, which report 
was made June 19, 1891. 

In the report of Mr. Croes, one of his conclusions is as fol- 
lows: ''As regards the rivers within the city limits, the inunda- 
tion of that part of Johnstown south of the Little Conemaugb 
in floods such as (from experience of 1887, 1889 and 1891) may he 
expected every second year, is caused almost entirely by the con- 
traction of the channel of the Stonycreek, between the south end 
of Market street and the point where the Valley Pike strikes 
the river, about 1,000 feet below the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad 

Until about 1870 the average width of the Little Conemaugh, 
within the limits of the city, was 195 feet, and that of the Stony- 
creek was about 288 feet, and the Conemaugh, below The Point 
about 350 feet. However, some filling in spots had been done 

To understand the situation at that period it is proper to 
consider the topographical conditions of the city, as well as 
other causes. 

Johnstown is situated in the valley, between the Prospect 
and Yoder Hills, which are 3,700 feet apart at Franklin street ; 
2,800 feet at Walnut; 1,400 feet at the Stone bridge, and 1,700 
feet at the Cambria bridge. Above Franklin street, the valley 
between Green Hill and Prospect Hill at Adam street, is 1,800 
feet ; at Singer street, 1,800 feet ; at Church street, 800 feet and 
in Woodvale 1,400 feet. Above Franklin, between Green Hill 
and Yoder Hill, at Adam street the valley is 1,800 feet ; at Horner 
and Bedford streets, 1,300 feet, and at Po]:)lar street 1,300 feet. 

Thus it will be observed that the business portion of the 
town was somewhat limited, and with the increased demand 
for the products of the iron and steel mills, and the increased 
facilities required for transportation, succeeding the Rebellion 
of 1865, it became a necessity to have more room, and ground 
was made on both sides of the rivers, which caused the officials 
of the boroughs of Johnstown and Millville on March 28, 1882, 
to agree— in which they were supported by public opinion — that 


the width of the Little Conemangh should be fixed at 110 feet, 
and the Stonvcreek at 175. It was a mistake. 

The following tables show where the rivers have been nar- 

The width of the Little Conemangh river in 1854 and 1907, 
at the several points given in feet was thus : 

1854. 1907. 

At The Point 112 125 

At Union street 262 125 

At Walnut street bridge 150 125 

At Market street 114 125 

At Franklin street 242 125 

Above mouth waste weir 262 125- 

At Smith's Foundry 188 125 

Below Basin Feeder Dam 150 125 

At the Basin Feeder Dam 562 125 

At Woodvale bridge 225 125 

In 1854 the average width of the river from the dam down 
to The Point was 195 feet. 

The space between the southerly line of Conemangh street 
and the Little Conemangh river, in feet, was thus : 

1854. 1907. 

At Johns street 38 100 

At Union street 37 138 

At Morrell place 19 104 

At Morgan's 30 96 

At southeast corner Washington and Walnut. . . 45 93 

The width of the Stonj^creek river at the same period, in 

feet, was as follows : 

1854. 1907. 

At The Point .'300 30a 

At Union street 281 228 

At Walnut street 282 200 

At Market street 394 330 

At Court allev 262 160 

At U. B. Church 280 175 

Above Franklin street bridge 262 175 

At Willow street . 318 175 

At Havnes street 282 175 

At Dibert street 262 245 

At South street 262 128 

At Everhart street 300 225 

At Poplar street bridge " 300 225 

The average width from Poplar street bridge to The Point 
in 1854 was 288 feet, and in 1907 it was 206. 


The space between the property lines on the southwesterly 
side of "Water and Somerset streets and the Stonycreek river, 
at the same periods, in feet, was thus : 

1854. 1907. 

At Napoleon street 75 150 

At Mrs. Parker's, southwest corner Franklin 

and Water streets 38 100 

At Taney's drug store, at southeast corner of 

same 37 80 

At Willow street 56 100 

The number of feet from the property line on the northerly 
side of Stonycreek and Vine streets to the Stonycreek river was 
as follows: 

1854. 1907. 

At Johns street 19 106 

At Union street 93 105 

At King street 75 94 

At Walnut street 75 120 

At Carr, west end 56 120 

At Carr, east end 19 80 

At School alley 19 56 

At Court alley 18 96 

At Franklin, above bridge 75 120 

At John Thomas' 38 110 

At Levergood street 56 106 

From the westerly line of Baumer street to the Stonycreek 
river, comparing Baumer street with the Old Feeder, up to 

Cherry street, it is thus: 

1854. 1907. 

At Bedford and Baumer 45 110 

At 300 feet above 57 90 

At 300 feet above 83 90 

At 300 feet above 30 104 

At 300 feet above 30 120 

At Spruce street 38 120 

At Cherry 57 42 

As to the mouth of the Conemaugh river below the junction 
of the Little Conemaugh and the Stonycreek, in feet, it is thus : 

1854. 1907. 

At Stone Bridge 300 260 

At Railroad street, in Cambria 450 260 

At Hinckston's Run 318 260 

At City line 300 260 

The channel of the Conemaugh river below the junction of 
the Little Conemaugh and the Stonycreek rivers is 260 feet 


wide; tliis width was fixed by the ordinance of 1890, which also 
made the standard width of the Little Conemaugh 125 feet, and 
the Stonycreek 225 feet. 

Prior to 1882 the channel of the Stonycreek came up to a 
stone wall on the westerly side of Vine street, known then as 
Stonycreek street, which street was about 38 feet in width in 
front of John Thomas' residence, then Dr. Lowman's. 

Before men decided to build a large city in this valley the 
views along both rivers were as beautiful as an;^^where in the 
mountains. The high ranges hide the sunlight from one side of 
the stream in the morning and the other in the evening; an 
eminence extending from a range of mountains, cuts off the 
channel from a direct course, forcing it back around the 
hill to within a short distance of where it was broken, 
as at the Viaduct and Bridge Xo. 6, on the Cone- 
maugh, and at Benscreek on the Stonycreek. The bottom lands 
were cultivated on either side, with the Avhite farmhouses and 
barns among the cherry and apple blossoms; and in the dense 
forest the trees in foliage covered the hills and dipped their 
branches in the stream, with the blc^ssoming dogwood to add to 
the charm. 

One of the most beautiful scenes was the view from the top 
of Benscreek Hill, where the Stonycreek makes a graceful curve 
around Hogback. Everj^thing thereto belonging was pleasant 
to the eye and ear except the name — ^Hogback. The bottom lands 
were rich and fertile; the hills on every side were high and cov- 
ered with trees of mountain growth; the banks on either side 
had foliage sufficient to outline a division between the water and 
the cultivated fields; the rippling Benscreek flowed into the 
Stonycreek, above an uncultivated island, decorated with the 
trees of the forest; and the Hogback eminence extends from the 
river to the range of mountains of which it is part, like a cape in 
a placid sea. To the south is the embryonic village of Millcreek, 
with its mill and toll gate, and a few houses for company, and 
near by the old brick residence of the man who was manager of 
Benscreek charcoal furnace, when the battle cry was ''Polk, 
Dallas and Shunk, and the Tariff of '42," and when pig metal 
Avas hauled to Johnstown in the winter and shipped on the Ca- 
nal in the summer. 

All this lay within a knot's length of the top of the hill, and 
away beyond were the hills of Somerset and Scalp Level, and 
to the west the apparently unbroken Laurel Hill. All in all, it 


was one of the most beautiful views on the Allegheny mount- 
ains — a sight fit for a goddess. 

But man's ingenuity and civilization have robbed this fair 
valley of all its natural charms; trolley poles have taken the 
places of the giants of the forests ; railroads trace their barren 
paths ; and a modem amusement park is located where the many 
of God's first temples stood. 


It is sometimes important to have the several elevations 
above sea level at hand. The first list is correctly and ac- 
curately located while those in the second are only approxi- 
mated. All those in the first list are taken from the top of the 

rail of the Pennsvlvania Eailroad. 


Philadelphia, at Thirty Fourth street station 70.5 

Altoona, Passenger station 1178.9 

Kittanning Point 1624.2 

East End of Tunnel, at Gallitzin 2125. 

Top of Tunnel, westbound track, at Gallitzin 2350. 

Gallitzin, westbound station 2161.1 

Arch at Cresson 2022.6 

One mile east of Lillv 1952.5 

800 feet west of Lilly 1885.3. 

Bens Creek Arch 1797.9 

Portage station 1673.8 

Wilmore station, road arch 1583.7 

Summerhill station, arch east of station ' 1562.9 

Ehrenfeld station 1519.5 

South Fork, arch west of station 1485.1 

Viaduct, west of South Fork 1457. ^ 

Mineral Point station 1414.5 

Cambria Steel Co's dam, west of Mineral Point 1334.4 

No. 6 Stone Arch Bridge, east of Conemaugh 1311.5 

Conemaugh Round House 1226.5 

Woodvale, Third street bridge, llth ward, Johnstown . . . .1186.2 

Johnsto^m Passenger station 1184. 

Stone Bridge west of station, Johnstown 1180.7 

Sang Hollow 1U3.6 

Pittsburg Passenger station 744.8 


Cresson ^022.6 

Munster l-^^^- 

Kavlor 2044. 

Winterset 2130. 

Ebensburo; 2034.5 




Ebensburg at Court House 2138. 

Beulah Road 1899. 

Nant Y Glo * 1716. 

Vintondale 1402. 

Amsbry 1910. 

Ashville 1844. 

Bradley Junction 1787. 

Patton^ 1734. 

Garway 1432. 

Tunnel Siding", near Carrolltown 1985.7 

Carrolltown Road 1855.2 

Spangler 1467.7 

Barnesboro 1450. 

Cherrv Tree 1368. 

Dean" 1610. 


South Fork 1491. 

Lovett 1651. 

Dunlo 2200. 

Summit 2164. 

Windber 1689. 

Ashtola 2107. 


Susquehanna township : north of Douglass Run, 1700 ; Gar- 
man's Mill, 1429; northeast of same, 1700; southeast of same, 
1600; southeast of Spangler, 1600; southeast of same, highest, 
1800; Plattville, 1830; northwest of Hastings, 1987. 

Elder township; Junction of Chest Creek and Bluebaker 
Run, 1418; west of same, 1800; Hastings, 1735; east end of 
Mitchell's Mines, 2100; south of same, 2300; southwest of same, 
2,000; southwest of Aldburn, 1600. 

Chest township : above junction of Rock Run and Chest 
Creek, from 1700 to 1900 ; Head of North Branch of Rock Run, 
1900 to 2100; Head of south branch of same, 2100; St. Lawrence, 
2144; east of Thomas's Mill, 2000; northeast of Fatten, 1800 
to 2,000. 

White township : Northeast of Glendale, 1500 ; west of same, 
1600; southeast of junction of Rock Run and Mudlick Run, 

Reade, northeast of Flinton, 1600. 

Clearfield township: Southwest of Dean, 1700; southwest 
of Dysart. above Indian Run, 1700; west of junction of Clear- 
field creek and Little Laurel Run, 1700 to 1900; southwest side 
of Swartz's Run, 1700 to 1945; east of Fatten, 1817. 

Allegheny township: Chest Springs borough, 1969; junction 
of Beaverdam Run and Clearfield creek, 1650; northwest of 


same, 1800; northeast of Loretto, 1900; northeast of Wild- 
wood Sprmg, 1798; southeast of Loretto Road, 2,000. 

Carroll township : North of Eckenrode Mill, 1900 ; south of 
same, 2000; west of same, 1900; northeast of Carrolltown, 2100; 
southeast of same, 2000; north of Leslie Run, 2100; west of 
B]-adley Junction, 2000. 

Barr township: Nicktown, 1967; north of Vetera, 2094; 
junction of Blacklick and Teakettle Run, 1766. 

Blacklick: Belsano, 1828; Pindleton, 2301; Ivison, 1775. 

Cambria township : East of source of south fork of Black- 
lick, 2100 ; north of Winterset, 2064 ; north of Ebensburg, 2100 ; 
south, 2000; southwest 2094; west 2000. 

Gahitzin township: South of Amsbry, 2100; west of Syber- 
ton, 1822 ; south of Syberton, 1858 ; east of Syberton, 2200 ; west 
of Elstie, 2300; west of Burgoon Cap, 2400; north of Coupon, 
2400; south of Ashville, near junction of Clearfield and Beaver- 
dam Run, 1644; south of Sugar Run Gap, 2300; northeast of 
Gallitzin borough, 2400. 

Cresson township : Blair Gap, at line of Blair and Cambria, 
2332 ; east of the source of Burgoon Run, 2600 ; south of Laurel 
Gap, 2600; north of Summit, 2200. 

Washington township : North of Lilly, 2097 ; Big Spring 
Gap, 2601 ; south of Big Spring Gap, 2700 ; north of Ben's Creek, 

Portage township: Northeast of Bobs' Creek Gap, 2700; 
south of same, 2700; Puritan, 2000; south of Portage, 1700 to 
1900; south of Martindale, 2555. 

Summerhill township: South of Mock Creek Gap, 2600; 
head of Beaverdam Run, 2500; east of Wilmore, 1555; head of 
Birch Run, 1976. 

Adams township : Near Bedford and Cambria line, 2800 ; at 
Blue Knob, in Bedford countv, 3136; north of Bear Wallow, 
2700; southwest of same, 2700; west of Rachel's Run, 2700; 
north of Dunlo, 2566; southwest of Llanfair, 2500; north of 
Allendale. 1900 ; head of South Fork branch of Conemaugh river, 
2700; east of Onnalinda, 2444. 

Crovle township: North of Lovett's, 1800; west of Mud 
Run, 1925. 

Munster township: East of Kavlor, 1900; west of same, 
2155; east of Noel, 1900; Luckett's, 2048; head of North Branch 
of Little Conemaugh river, west of Munster, 1989; head of 
Clearfield creek, 1900. 

The elevations in the City of Johnstown and vicinity will 
be found in the chapter on the rivers and floods. 



Do the residents of Jolmstown know that portions of the 
Third, Ninth and Tenth wards of the city from 1832 to 1857 
formed one of the important points of the great transportation 
system of our country ; that this territory was covered with wa- 
ter from four to six feet in depth, and scores of boats floated 
over the space now occupied by the Gautier Steel Department 
of the Cambria Iron Company, the electric street cars, stores, 
shops, mills, churches and houses'? 

The Acts of the General Assembly for the State of Penn- 
sylvania passed March 27, 1824, and April 11, 1825, authorized 
surveys to be made to ascertain the most practicable route to 
connect the effete East with the wild and woolly West, wherein 
the Allegheny mountains were the division line. 

The Act of April 11, 1825, authorized surveys to be made 
for the Pennsylvania Canal, directing that the following routes 
be examined: 

First. From Philadelphia, through Chester and Lancaster 
counties, and thence by the west branch of the Susquehanna, 
and the waters thereof, to the Allegheny and Pittsburg; also, 
from the Allegheny to Lake Erie. 

Second. From Philadelphia, by the Juniata, to Pittsburg, 
and from thence to Lake Erie. 

Third, From Philadelphia to the northern boundary of 
the State, toward the Seneca or Cayuga Lake. 

Fourth. And one other, through Cumberland and Frank- 
lin counties, to the Potomac river. 

Fifth, And one other, by the Conococheague, or Mono- 
cacy, and Conewago to the Susquehanna. 

Sixth. And one other, through the county of Bedford, to 
connect the route of the proposed Chesapeake & Ohio canal with 
the Juniata route, as aforesaid. 

The Board of Canal Commissioners made their report, af- 
ter an examination of the aforementioned routes had been made, 
and adopted the one through Johnstown, and they were author- 
ized to build the line by Act of Assembly of February 25, 1826. 


This action of the General Assembly determined the question 
of the natural advantages which we possessed over all others. 

The first systematic method of transportation after the 
pack mules were the turnpikes. The Federal Government built 
the National Pike in 1822, under the Monroe Administration. 
It began at Cumberland, Maryland, and terminated at Wheel- 
ing, West Virginia, but was subsequently extended to Illinois. 
The Somerset and Bedford pike had been authorized in 1816, 
and the Northern pike, passing through Ebensburg, and other 
turnpikes were in operation on the Alleghenies. In competition 
with these methods the State of Pennsylvania attempted the ex- 
periment of crossing the mountains by a railroad, and built the 
Pennsylvania canal, and the Allegheny Portage Eailroad. The 
former was ready for business in the spring of 1832, and the lat- 
ter in the spring of 1834. The Erie canal between Albany and 
Buffalo had been opened in 1825. 

The Pennsylvania system of improvements contemplated 
and constructed consisted of a canal, with locks and dams, from 
Pittsburg to Johnstown; a railroad on which the cars were to 
be drawn by horses, afterward by locomotives, between Johns- 
town and Hollidaysburg ; a canal from HoUidaysburg to Colum- 
bia, through the Juniata Valley and along the Susquehanna 
river, and a railroad from Columbia to the Schuylkill river, in 

It was a combination of steam and water. When this sys- 
tem was completed Andrew Jackson was serving his second term 
as President of the Union of States, and, considering the prog- 
ress made in the arts and sciences, and the better means men 
and women have of gaining a livelihood, the nineteenth century 
bids fair to stand as a chief epoch in the history, of the world, 
and when it is thus truthfully recorded, Johnstown will be one 
of the landmarks in the methods of transportation. 

To operate the canal system it was as essential to have a 
basin for the loading and unloading of boats and transferring 
goods in bulk from the railroad on land to the boats on water 
and vice versa, as it is now for railroads to have transfer depots 
and great yards for the shifting of cars and making up trains. 
There were two basins on the Pennsylvania canal— one at Pitts- 
burg and the other in Johnstown— the latter, with its appur- 
tenances, occupying that part of the Third, Ninth, and Tenth 
wards between Clinton and Eailroad streets on the west and 



south and the ''Five Points" and Portage street on the east and 

That portion of land lying between the Basin and the Little 

Conemangh river, from the "Five Points" to the waste weir, 
at the Overhead Bridge, was known as Long Island, but com- 
monly received only the name of "The Island." The waste weir 


at the entrance of the basin and under the bridge, was one hun- 
dred feet in width, and from the waste weir to the aqueduct, in 
the rear of the Cambria Iron Company's office, all the land ly- 
ing between the canal and the river was known as ' ' Goose Isl- 
and." The widest point on ''The Island" was about three 
hundred feet, while ''Goose Island" was a little less. The "Five 
Points" was so called on account of the converging of five thor- 
oughfares at that place, namely: Portage, Railroad, Church, 
and Depot (also known as Fenlon) streets, and the Old Portage 
railroad, coming in from the east. This was the connecting link 
of tlie land and water system of transportation of that day. 

The Overhead Bridge, built in 1835, was a wooden structure, 
extending from Canal street, below Clinton, across the canal 
and waste weir, and a point of "Goose Island" to "The Island." 
It was three hundred feet long and sufficiently wide to allow 
teams to pass ; it rested on an abutment and pier on the Canal 
side, and had a gradual grade to the level of Portage street, 
on the Island. 

The roadway on the Canal-street side was rather steep, 
with steps on the lower side for foot travelers. The bridge was 
not taken away until after the war. William Flattery was a 
justice of the peace, whose office was on the "Goose Island" 
side and midway on the bridge. Here justice was administered 
in an able manner for many years. The 'Squire was elected 
one of the associate judges in the old district court when it 
was established in this city in 1869. 

The water for the basin and canal was let into the former 
through a sluice from the Little Conemaugh river at the 
"Five Points" also in another way, through a forty-foot feeder, 
from Suppes' Dam, in the Stonycreek, down along the present 
line of the Baltimore & Ohio road, through Sharpsburg (named 
thus in honor of Thomas Sharp, and a part of the present 
Fourth ward, between Green Hill and the Stonycreek river, 
from the corner of Bedford and Baumer streets, up to the Hor- 
ner line), thence across, in a straight line with Feeder street, to 
the Basin. The Feeder was the division line between the bor- 
oughs of Johnstown and Conemaugh, and is now the line sep- 
arating the Third and Ninth wards of the city. The Feeder was 
finished in 1833, a year after the opening of the canal. 

The canal proper, which was about sixty feet wide on the 
top line and intended to contain at least four feet of water, be- 
gan at the Overhead bridge, situated about fifty feet below 


the mouth of Clinton street, and followed the present line of 
the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the continuation of the 
tracks of the Cambria Steel Company to the hlast furnaces. 

For the i^urj^ose of controlling the quantity of water neces- 
sary to float the crafts, or to draw otf the water to make repairs, 
a waste weir was run from the Basin to the Little Conemaugh 
river, dividing ''Goose Island" and "The Island" commenc- 
ing at the upper side of the Weighlock. It also formed an outlet 
from the weighscales which were immediately west of the bridge 
connected with the waste weir. 

"Within a short time after the canal was put in operation 
it was discovered necessary to have a reserve body of water to 
fill the canal during the dry season, and in 1835 the State began 
to construct the South Fork Reservoir, which was situated about 
sixteen miles from Johnstown, at an altitude of four hundred 
feet above the town. It was an immense affair, having a basin 
of thirty-two acres, its extreme length being three miles, from 
one-fourth to a mile in width, and at the breast about seventy- 
two feet in height. The State exliausted its finances, and did 
not have money enough to finish the dam, which was abandoned 
for a few years. In 1845 it was completed, and water was stored 
therein. In 1847 it broke and caused considerable damage to 
the canal and basin in Johnstown. One boat was taken through a 
break in the canal and passed under the aqueduct, in the rear 
of the Cambria Iron Com^Dany's office. In July, 1862, two small 
breaks occurred but no serious damage followed and the dam 
was again practically abandoned until about 1880, when it was 
rebuilt by the South Fork Fishing Club. On the 31st of May, 
1889, the dam broke the second time, with terrible results to 
human life. 

The Weighlock was on the north side of the canal, at the 
entrance to the basin, about a hundred and fifty feet below Clin- 
ton street, and immediately below the bridge which connected 
"The Island" with the town. From the beginning of the opera- 
tion of the canal up to 1835, when the bridge was erected, the 
only way to get a team to town from that portion of ' ' The Isl- 
and," or "Goose Island," was to cross under the aqueduct on 
the bed of the river, which became impassable during high wa- 
ter, or go up around the "Five Points." Until 1835, when a 
weighlock was built here, all the boats, with their lading, were 
weighed in Pittsburg. The manner of weighing a boat was a 
very interesting proceeding. After it had been run into the lock 



at either end, the water gates were raised, and the lock being 
made as water tight as possible was drained through a race 
leading to the waste weir. Thus the boat was left resting on 
the cradle, or frame of the scales, when it was as accnrately 
weighed as if on land. Then the gates were lowered and the 
water let in nntil it became level with the body of the canal. 

The position of collector was one of great prominence and 
importance, and paid a salary of $1,000 per year, with house 
rent. The office of collector, as well as that of weighmaster, was 
sought after by politicians from every part of the State. The 

Weighlock at Johnstown, 
Near the Corner of Clinton and Washington Streets. 

collectors were: John Mathews, of Johnstown, 1833-36; Fred- 
erick Sharretts, of Johnstown, 1836-39; James Potts of Butler, 
1839-44; W. A. Wasson, of Erie, 1844-47; Obed Edson, of War- 
ren, 1847-50; David FuUwood, of Greensburg, 1850-53; Albert 
Marchand, of Greensburg, 1853-57, and Frank W. Hay, for the 
Pennsylvania Bailroad, 1857-1860. 

The collector's office was opposite the Weighlock, on the 
ground now owned by the George Ludwig estate. 

After the weight of the boat and its lading had been ascer- 
tained, the captain of the ''Cambria," the "Transit," or the 
''Philadelphia," as it might be, at the Collector's office, paid 


his toll and received his "clearance" papers, which were in 
effect, authority to use the canal. At several points between 
Johnstown and Pittsburg the captain would have to produce his 
clearance for indorsement by the State officials to guard against 
an increase of lading. 

The basin was semi-circular in shape, commencing at the 
packet slip, at Canal (now Washington) and Clinton streets, and 
following Eailroad street around to Depot street (or which be- 
came more familiar, Fenlon street) at the "Five Points/* 
thence to Portage street, and thence in a straight line to the 
bridge at the waste weir and the weighlock. It was six hundred 
yards in length, and at Singer street, which was the widest 
point, two hundred yards in width. The first slip off Clinton 
and Canal streets was used by the line of packet boats which 
carried passengers during the years 1832 and 1833. In 1834 it 
was moved to the first dock above the bridge on "The Island," 
and remained there until the flood of 1847, when it was dam- 
aged; again it was taken back to the corner of Clinton and Ca- 
nal streets, where it remained until the system was abandoned, 
Richard M. Johnson, vice president under Van Buren, was one 
of the prominent passengers sailing on the packet from "The 

In 1832, Henry Clay, the great leader of the "National 
Republicans," had been defeated for the Presidency by Andrew 
Jackson, and in the fall of 1835 he came to Jolmstown on the 
Pioneer line of packets, on his way to assume his duties as 
United States Senator at the opening session of Congress. 

The packet slip was the centre of attraction for the public, 
and at times that portion of the town was thronged with many 
hundreds of travelers waiting at the wharf for the arrival 
and departure of boats to and from the West, and for passenger 
trains to and from the East, 

On both sides of the Basin were warehouses and docks, or 
slips; on each side of the warehouse was a slip, fifteen by eighty 
feet, so that two boats could be loaded or unloaded at one time. 
A warehouse occupied a strip of land about seventy-five feet 
in width, and extended into the Basin from either Railroad or 
Mortage streets (or, as the latter was also known. Broad street) 
about one hundred feet, with one or two sidings from the road 
to the rear end of the dock. The slip where the boat ran along- 
side of the warehouse, was from sixty to seventy-five feet in 


width. The tracks of the Portage road ran on State ground, 
to Clinton street, between Eailroad street and the Basin. 

When the big cars whicli were eight feet in widtli and from 
sixteen to twenty in length were introduced, some difficulty was 
experienced in getting them from the main tracks to some of 
the sidings. At this time, about 1851, the Pennsylvania Rail- 
road commenced hauling through freight, before its line was 
connected between Johnstown and Pittsburg, and the Canan 
brothers- — William, Robert and S. Dean Canan — were its agents 
at this place. Quite frequently the late Thomas A. Scott, presi- 
dent of the company, who was assistant secretary of war under 
Lincoln, took a hand as an ordinary laborer in carrying or truck- 
ing goods between the warehouses and the big cars. 

The tracks of the railroad also ran down Portage street 
from the "Five Points" to the packet slip on ''The Island" 
for the same purposes. 

Prior to the flood of 1889, Portage street was about ninety 
feet in width, the widest thoroughfare in this vicinity, and many 
inquiries were suggested by this feature. Its original width had 
been three rods or from the Basin to the tracks of the Portage 
railroad, which occupied forty feet, leaving sufficient room for 
hauling the traffic between the warehouses and road. AVhen 
the Canal was abandoned, Messrs. Sylvester Welch and Samuel 
Jones, who owned ''The Island," donated the forty-foot strip 
to the public. Thus it became Broad street. 

The first warehouse on Railroad street was the "Brick 
AVarehouse" next the packet slip, which was used for a short 
time by the Reliance line of boats, for which George W. Swank 
was agent, but subsequently for commercial purposes by Mr. 
Swank and Henry Sutton, a son-in-law of Peter Levergood, 
who were partners in the merchandise business. Afterward 
the Canan Brothers occupied it for the flour trade. The site 
is now used by Love, Sunshine Co. 

The second warehouse was used by the Dispatch line, of 
which Thomas Bingham was the agent, and the third was on the 
site of Barnes' blacksmith shop at the time of the Flood, near 
the mouth of Jackson street. It had been used by John Roj^er 
for a short time for the Pennsylvania & Ohio Line. 

The third warehouse was also occupied by John O'Neill, 
agent for the Ohio & Kentucky line, and for a short time by 
the Merchants' line and Kiers'. Evan Roberts was agent for the 
Western line, Messrs. Walsh & Johnston for the Reliance line, 

Vol. 1—22 


Jesse Patterson also was agent for the Mechanics' line, Frederick 
Leid}^ for the Pilot line and Henry Keatzer for the Union line. 
Others were occupied by the Perseverance line, whose 
agent was John Harrold, about 1837 ; also the Independent line, 
with Jesse Patterson as its agent. Samuel Leidv used the first 
warehouse west of the Feeder for a short time, and, in 1854, 
AVhite & Plitt the warehouse above the Feeder. This was after 
the opening of the Pennsylvania road. For many years before 
that time the Pennsylvania & Ohio Transportation line oc- 
cupied the latter, and the Union line of which John Royer was 
agent used the warehouse and space between that of the Penn- 
sylvania & Ohio and Singer street. 

Above the Union line slip was the warehouse of John Pick- 
worth, who conducted a line of boats for way traffic. Xext to 
it was Speer's yellow warehouse, near to Singer-street en- 
trance occupied by the Canan brothers while agents for the 
Pennsylvania Railroad Com])any. Xext to it was the warehouse 
of Peter Levergopd. Above Haynes street (Conemaugh 
Borough) and toward the "Five Points" was the boatyard of 
Captain Thomas Young, who did a large business, and who 
erected the palatial "American House," on Church street, about 
1832, and owned "Young's field," above that famous hostelry. 
The "Five Points" was the workshop of the Pennsj^lvania 
improvements, for here were located the shops, locomotives, 
woodyard, boatyard, railroad, weigh-scales ; the tracks running 
into the Basin for section boats; the "Y" for turning engines, 
which run from Railroad street across Fenlon street to State 
depot, then out the upper leg to tlie Portage road. A short dis- 
tance above the ''Y" there was also a turn-table, built in the 
tracks, and to let the water into the Basin through a sluice the 
little Conemaugh river was dammed near the head of Portage 
street, or about two hundred feet north of the present intersec- 
tion of Railroad and Centre streets. 

"The Island" was the strip of ground between the Basin 
and the Little Conemaugh river, extending from the dam to 
the waste wier. It was about one hundred yards in width, and 
on the north side of Portage street was used for the State depot 
and shops, for a distance of about three hundred feet below the 
breast of the dam ; below that a parcel of ground about the same 
size was vacant. It was owned by Welch & Jones, as all the land 
on the Island was in their possession. 

Below the vacant strip was a square used by the Johnstown 


Fouudiy, subsequently occupied by Pringle, Rose, and Edson, 
a firm of contractors -and builders, composed of John P. Pringle, 
Wesley J. Rose, and Walter S. Edson. From this point do^ 
to the waste wier was one of the busy places of Johnstown, with 
its stores, offices, hotels and some residences. Headrick's Hotel, 
with its town pump on the sidewalk, was one of the leading inns 
of the village. 

On the basin, or the southerly side of Portage street, Welch 
& Jones erected a series of docks, similar to those on the other 
side of the basin. The first slip above the overhead bridge, at 
the wa,ste weir, was used for the packets for about thirteen years. 
The packet lines for hauling passengers were tlie Express, 
Good Intent, Pioneer, and Leech boats. At times emigrants and 
other passengers flocked across the bridge from "The 
Island," the former with their blankets, buckets and baggage. 

On the basin side of Portage street, and above the ]iacket 
slip, the first warehouse was Binghams', for their line of boats; 
next to it was the Leech warehouse, for their boats; above it 
was Jenkin Jones' boatyard, and just beyond it a wharf, oc- 
cupied by Taff & O'Connor for their line of car-boats. They did 
not need a warehouse, as their boxes, or car-boats, as they were 
termed, were lifted from a barge to a truck, by a crane and 
vice versa. 

Above the breast of the dam, at the "Five Points," the wa- 
ter was about five feet deep, and extended from Prospect Hill 
to the Portage road, a breadth of over five hundred feet. 

In those days the business center of Johnstown was on 
Canal street (now Washington), Clinton, Railroad and Portage 
streets. The Foster House on the northeast corner of Clinton 
and Locust streets, where the St. John's Catholic church is 
erected, was one of the handsomest and most pojui-lar hotels on 
the whole system of transportation. 

On the southerly side of Railroad street were stores, hotels 
and residences, some of which were owned by Mrs. Catherine 
Curran, hotel; John Barnes; John Kingston, hotel; J. Flattery, 
R. H. Canan, Dr. Shoenberger, John Stormer, John Berlin, John 
Farrel, R. Brown, and Judge Murray, residences. 

Probably the most popular and interesting resident on "The 
Island" was "Kaiser," with his inseparable com])anion— a dog. 
A few persons knew his name, Jacob Gaschnidley, but to the 
public he was always "Kaiser." He was a quaint character, 
and a favorite with everv one on account of his pleasant dis- 


position, and especially with the boys and girls, who would 
greet him with the refrain: 

"Mister Kaiser, do you vant to py a dog? 

Hes only got dree feet, 

Und a leedle stiimby tail. 
Say, Kaiser! do you vant to py a dog?" 

Or this: 

' ' Say, Kaiser, will your dog bite I ' ' 

Washington street was then known as Canal street, and 
had a water frontage from Clinton street to the Cement mill, 
at the east end of the aqueduct, which was built by Robert 
Sutton and James P. White, in 1828, but was subsequently op- 
erated by the late Major John Linton and George Merriman. 
The first aqueduct was a wooden structure, with a roof like 
those of the covered bridges formerly in use, and had a towing 
path on either side with no window^s or openings, except one 
the width of a strip of weather-boarding under the eaves. The 
towing path on the south side of the aqueduct and canal was 
used for hauling the boats until the weighlock was constructed in 
1835, when a bridge was thrown across the canal near the 
crossing at the Pennsylvania Eailroad Station, and the north 
side of the canal was used thereafter for that purpose. The 
first aqueduct was swept away by a flood in 1855, and was re- 
built by Wesley J. Rose, of the firm of Pringle, Rose & Edson. 
It was not covered, like its predecessor. 

It is probable that "The Island," which, prior to the con- 
struction of the canal and basin, included what was afterward 
known as "Goose Island," was created by natural law. 

There was always a run, or a little race, from a point in 
the Little Conemaugh river, above the "Five Points," down 
through the territory afterward used for the basin and canal 
to the aqueduct. The best proof of this is Buckwalter's grist- 
mill, which was erected about 1800 when Joseph Johns laid out 
the plan of the town, and which stood on the "Goose Island" 
side of the race, just below Franklin street. The house used by 
the late David Creed, as a dwelling and store, on the southwest 
corner of Washington and Franklin streets, and torn down by 
him a few years before the flood, was the house occupied by 
the Buckwalter family in connection with the running of the 

Frequently there were from twenty to forty boats lying in 



the basin, and, when some unusual demand was made, transpor- 
tation facilities were as difficult to procure as now with the 
scarcity of freight cars. 

The section boat was the invention of Captain John Dough- 
erty, of Hollidaysburg, who held a patent for it. As originally 
designed, it was in three sections, which when coupled together 
made it about the size of a regular line boat of seventy-five feet 
in length, sixteen feet in width and eight feet in depth. A\Tien 
brought to Young's boatyard the sections were detached and 
each run on a truck and hauled over the Portage Railroad to 

Aqueduct Across Little Conemaugh River, 1845. 
George W. Storm, Artist. 

Hollidaysburg, where the three parts were placed in the canal, 
coupled together, and taken on East. 

Captain Dougherty sold his interest in the three-section 
plan to Peter Shoenberger for a good price, but immediately 
thereafter he placed a four-section boat on the market, which 
being a great improvement, as the carrying capacity was largely 
increased at a very small expense, completely supplanted the 
three-section plan. 

The former were introduced about 1834 and tlie lattei- in 


The size of tlie locks was the only disadvantage in the nse 
of the four-section boats. They had been constructed for boats 
about seventy-five feet in length, and the four-section class be- 
ing longer, encountered some difficulty in getting into a lock. 
But by running the boat into the lock diagonally and swinging 
the rudder at right angles, the feat was j)erformed. 

The section in the bow of the boat was used for the mules' 
feed and harness, the two middle sections for merchandise, and 
the last one for the living quarters of the crew. It was a room 
eight by ten feet and served as kitchen, dining room, parlor and 
chamber, with a row of bunks on either side, and lockers on the 
floor. The section boat was the consummation of the projectors 
of the great state improvements to transfer goods from Pitts 
burg to Philadelphia and vice versa, without breaking bulk. 

These section boats were the forerunners of the idea of 
bulkheads, now considered so necessary in the great liners be- 
tween New York and London, altho for an entirely different pur- 
pose. The former was for a rapid and economical method of 
transferring goods, while the latter is regarded as the one great 
method of saving life. If one part of the vessel is stoved in, 
the closed bulkheads, put up in sections in the hold of the ocean 
liners, will prevent a ship sinking. 

The regular line canal boats were of one piece and were 
loaded and unloaded by hand and cranes, at the various slips; 
but there was another class of boats known as barges or car- 
boats. These were about seven and a-half feet square. A car- 
boat was loaded with through freight at Pittsburg or Philadel- 
jjhia, and brought to the basin by their respective methods — on 
the canal by loading several of these boxes on a barge, and on 
the railroad by having a single box put on a truck. At the up- 
per end of the basin a crane lifted the box from a barge to a 
truck, or vice versa without breaking bulk, and thus the car-boat 
passed on, either by land or water. 

A barge on the canal could haul ten car-boats l)y ijlacing 
them in two rows, each five car-boats in length. These boats 
were operated by Messrs. Taff & O'Connor. A regular line 
freight boat was constructed to carry about forty tons of freight 
or three hundred and fifty barrels of flour. 

Human muscle and skill moved the ]3oats from one place to 
another in the basin, and to or from the basin to the weighlock. 
With the aid of a twenty-foot pole, a man on each side of the 
boat could shift the craft from place to place. 


During the operation of the canal tlie Laurel Hill Gap was 
a lively and interesting place; Johnstown was the eastern 
terminus, and Blairsville, four miles beyond the gap, and thirty- 
three miles from here was two hundred and twenty-three feet 
lower, therefore it was necessary to have locks and dams through 
the gap for the safe and proper movement of boats. 

Between these points there were thirty-five locks, five dams, 
and two aqueducts across the Conemaugh river, and a small 
one across Tub-Mill run at Bolivar. The old boatmen who blew 
the horn and snubbed the boat for and at these locks will remem- 
ber Patch's, which was the first one going west, and was located 
near the blast furnaces of the Cambria Iron Works. The old 
lock house built in 1833, was torn down April 28, 1894. Then 
thev followed in this order: Ellis' lock, at Prosser's run: Per- 
kins', at Coopersdale; Bolton's lock, nearly opposite Dornick 
Point; Stokes', Nos. 1 and 2, which were in dam No. 1; locks 
Nos. 1 and 2, at the One-mile dam, below Sang Hollow; Louther's 
lock, at Conemattgh Furnace, at Guard-lock dam. No. 2; Steel's 
lock, one mile west; Lawson's, at Nineveh; Logan's, one mile 
west; two at Abnerville — Reilley's and Mills'; Centreville locks, 
Nos. 1 and 2, at Centreville; Liggett 's, opposite Lacolle; Lock- 
port, Nos. 1 and 2, at Lockport; Bolivar locks, Nos. 1 and 2, at 
Bolivar. Prom this point to Blairsville, a distance of eight miles 
through the ridge, the fall was about sixty feet, and required 
thirteen locks, which were: McAbee's lock, one mile west; Mar- 
ron's, or O'Connor's, one-fotirth mile west; Brantlinger's, one- 
fourth mile west; Walkinshaw's, one-fourth mile west; Sims', 
one-fourth mile west; Henderson's, one and a half miles west, 
at Guard-lock dam. No. 3; Nixon's lock, at the tail of the Ridge 
dam. No. 4, and Donnelly's, at its head; Doty's, near Blairsville 
Intersection; Lowry's, three-fourths of a mile west; Grays, at 
Cokeville; Wolf's locks, Nos. 1 and 2, one-half mile west, and 
one in the slackwater of Guard-lock dam No. 5, at Blairsville. 
The dams were the One-mile dam, below Sang Hollow; the 
Three-mile dam, at Conemaugh Furnace; Eidge dam, ])etween 
Sims' and Llenderson's locks, and Pack-Saddle dam, in the 
Ridge, between Nixon's and Donnelly's locks. 

Wliile no serious accidents ever occurred, to the line of 
passenger boats or cars, yet they did happen to freight boats, 
as will probably always occur when the movement of ]3ersons or 
goods is heavy. In the spring of 1853, the "Cambria," of the 
Clark & Thaw line of boats, of this city, was captain, was sunk 


at the warelioiise in the basin in Pittsburg. A large quantity 
of flour had been placed on the second floor of the warehous'i, 
and the big brick building collapsed while the "Cambria" was 
being unloaded and the debris fell on the boat, sinking it and 
injuring some of the crew. 

The first boat to use the canal was a flatboat, commanded 
by Captain John Pickworth who brought it into town in Decem- 
ber, 1831. But it was the only one that year, and it ''grounded" 
in the aqueduct, for the want of sufficient water to float it. 
However the citizens were so enthused over the fact that a boat 
bad come, that hundreds turned out to help the captain get his 
boat through, and by means of ropes fastened to the vessel 
the men and boys pulled her through in safety. 

It must be remembered that the Pennsylvania system of 
traveling and transporting freight was the most expeditious 
method known at that time. The average time required for a 
section boat to make a round trip between Pittsburg and Phila- 
delphia was three weeks. This, of course, included the time for 
loading and unloading, laying up on Sundays, detention on ac- 
count of a break in the canal or for the want of sufficient water, 
or probably, a tie-up to let some of the crew go to a country 
dance. Seven days was a very quick return trip for a passen- 
ger between these points. In this day the trip can be made in 
fifteen hours. 

The passenger on a packet paid $3.50 for his fare and $1.50 
for his meals, and had the privilege of spending thirty hours en 
route to Pittsburg. 

Probably the last boat to bring a load of merchandise to 
this city was the " Monongahela, " commanded by Captain 
George Rutledge, of Napoleon street, who brought a cargo of 
salt and grain from Livermore about December 1, 1860. At 
that date the canal system was practically abandoned, as no 
repairs had been made and there were no lock-tenders. Mr. 
Eutleclge had spent from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening 
coming that far east, twelve hours being necessary to make the 
trip from Nineveh Lock to Johnstown. 

On August 29, 1851, there appeared in the newspaper two 
items — "The Last of the Packets" and "The First Train" — 
containing an account of the departure of the last of the packet 
boats on Sunday previous, which thereafter for a short time 
were run from Lockport, and the passing through the town on 
Monday, August 25th, of the first Pennsylvania railroad train 


to Lockport. On April 18, 1855, a steamboat made her appear- 
ance in the basin. It was nothing more nor less than one of 
the Pennsylvania & Ohio line canal boats that had been made 
into a steamboat by placing an old Portage engine on her. She 
was intended to tow stone boats on the Monongahela. This was 
not the first steamboat that appeared on the canal. In 1834, 
according to the Ebensbnrg Sky, a steam canal boat called the 
"Adaline" made a trip from Allegheny to Johnstown. She was 
moved by a propeller in a compartment in her stem, not- 
withstanding which she washed the bank of the canal to such 
an extent that her use on the canal had to be discontinued. 

Ephraim Stitt, of Blair sville, was probably the last captain 
to carry through freight from Pittsburg. He brought pig metal 
and iron to the Cambria Iron Company in 1859. Mr. George 
Knowlton, of Walnut Grove, one of the oldest practical boat- 
men on the canal, ran a flatboat between Jolmstown and Cone- 
maugli furnace in 1860. 

The flood of 1889 swept ''Goose Island," "The Island," 
and the basin clear and clean. In that year the council of 
Conemaugh borough abandoned the popular and wide thorough- 
fare of Portage street, with all other highways north of Centre 
street. That street is about midway between Portage and Kail- 
road streets, and lengthwise across the basin from Clinton street 
to the "Five Points," and, as will be observed from the accom- 
panying diagram, which was copied from a survey made in 
1854, Portage street began three hundred feet north of AVash- 
ington street and extended up to the "Five Points." 

The boats ran day and night, and laid up invariably on 
Saturday night not later than 11:59 o'clock until Monday, with 
one or two exceptions. The motive power was six mules or four 
horses, to each boat, three mules or two horses whichever were 
used, in service hauling the craft and the others in the bow of 
the boat, resting until their turn came ; but in some way, boats 
that were not in a huriy got along with either one horse or one 
mule. They were changed every six hours, the term of service 
being called a "trick," and at the same time the steersmen 
and drivers exchanged places. 

The boating season was usually from March 10th to De- 
cember, sometimes extending to Christmas. 

The Laurel Hill Gap was, therefore, a very important piece 
of topography in a commercial sense during the operation of 
the canal, and it is the best opening in the mountains for a steam 


road. The nearest gap on tlie north is the Blacklick, and on 
the south the Castleman river, a tributary of the Youghiogheny, 
neither of which makes so direct and practical a route between 
the east and west as the Laurel Hill Gap. 

Since 1851 the Pennsylvania railroad has occupied the south 
side of the gap for its main lines, and since 1887 has used a por- 
tion of the north side for its through freight traffic bv wav of 
Allegheny City. 

The average grade between Johnstown and Blairsville In- 
tersection is about two and a half feet to the mile. In traveling 
one passes through the beautiful and romantic Pack Saddle in 
the Chestnut Ridge, where there is a roadway for two tracks, 
and no more, blasted from the rocks. At one place the tracks 
are about one hundred feet, almost perpendicular from the 
Conemaugh river ; an unobserving traveler would likely believe 
he was crossing a bridge. On Chestnut Ridge it is from six 
hundred to eight hundred feet from river to peak. The land 
is covered with forest and rock, and the only use that h?.s been 
made of these two great features is as a thoroughfare and a 
place from which to quarry stone. There is mountainous 
scenery and little else, and at the narrowest point the pass is 
about three hundred feet at water line. 

May 1, 1863, the Pennsylvania Railroad abandoned the 
canal between Johnstown and Blairsville, and to-day the Canal 
system of transportation in the state has almost entirely ceased 
to be a factor. The only ocular proof that it ever did exist in 
this town is the house in which the lock-keeper resided, at Ellis 
Lock, which is still standing at the lower end of the Fourteenth 
ward, and some spots of the old Feeder along the Sandyvale 
cemetery. The Basin has been gradually filled since its aband- 
onment, but it was entirely so in 1878, when stone piers were 
built in the bed for the erection of the Gautier Steel Depart- 
ment. The building now occupied l)y the Baltimore & Ohio 
Railroad for a passenger station, on the corner of Franklin & 
Washington streets, was built in the bed of the canal in 1866. 

Johnstown has lost its importance as one of the leading- 
features of the canal system, but the canal's successors — the 
Pennsylvania and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroads — have done 
more for it, and, with the unlimited quantity of cheap fuel and 
other natural advantages, it remains one of the leading steel 
manufacturing cities of the world. 



In the whole range of the Alleglieny mountains, extending 
from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Alabama, no county has been 
more generously favored with sublime scenery than Cambria. 
Lying as it does on the crest and western slope of these moun- 
tains, with Johnstown at the western base, nature had given it 
glorious views to reward the traveler wearied with his journey. 

It will be observed in all the surveys made by the direction 
of the "Assembly of this commonwealth, that the route from 
Philadelphia to Pittsburg, to connect the East with the great 
West by way of Johnstown, was deemed the most available and 
practicable. This was so determined in 1826, when the com- 
missioners appointed to locate the line, reported that it was 
feasible and practicable for the state to own a canal from Pitts- 
burg to Philadelphia, so that a boat with its lading could start 
at the western end and deliver its cargo in bulk on the wharf at 

To read the brief report of the commissioners, which did 
not go into details, it suggests the inquiry: How could the state 
build a canal across the Allegheny mountains from Johnstown to 
Hollidaysburg, with Johnstown 1,183 feet above sea level, and 
Hollidaysburg 953 feet, between which rose the summit of the 
mountains — 2,341 feet! It did not mean a canal water way, but 
a canal railroad between these points. 

Notwithstanding the Act of 1826, autliorizing the construc- 
tion of the Pennsylvania public works, there seems to have 
been some doubt as to the best means of crossing tlie Allegheny 
mountains. On the 9th of April, 1827, Governor Shulze ai)proved 
of a supplement for the extension of the canal system, in which 
it authorized the canal commissioners to locate and contract for 
"a canal, locks, and other works necessary thereto, u]) tli<» Kis- 
kiminetas and the Conemaugh from the western section of the 
Pennsylvania Canal to a point at or near Blairsville. * * * 
And the said Board shall proceed to make, or cause to be made, 
such examinations and surveys from Frankstown, on the Junia- 
ta, to Johnstown, on the Conemaugh, across the Allegheny moun- 


tains, as may enable tliem to determine in what manner and by 
what kind of works, whether by the constrnetion of a smooth 
and permanent road of easy graduation, or by railway with lo- 
comotive or stationary engines, or otherwise, the portage or 
space between tlie said two points may be passed so as to insure 
the greatest public advantage." 

By virtue of this authority the plane system was adopted, 
and the common noun portage was thereafter raised to the 
l^roper noun Portage, from whence the road derived its 
name. The word means "a break in a chain of water com- 
munication over which goods, boats, etc., have to be carried, as 
from one lake, river, or canal to another;" also means "to 
carry. ' ' 

The planes and levels were the connecting links between the 
Juniata and the Conemaugh. The Allegheny Portage Railroad, 
commencing at the "Five Points," at the upper end of the 
Basin, at Johnstown, and ending at Hollidaysburg, was among 
the first railroads constructed in this country for public pur- 
poses, and was finished, as a single-line road, in the fall of 1833. 
The canal was completed and in operation in 1832. 

The old Portage road was not opened for general business 
in connection with the Canal until the spring of 1834, when the 
"only great system of rapid transit and an economical method 
of transportation to connect the East and the West" was open 
to the people. 

The extreme length of the Old Portage road from Johns- 
town to Hollidaysburg was less than thirty-six miles. The Old 
Portage had ten planes and eleven levels, so called (there was 
only one which was level), to overcome the rise of 1,138 feet, 
between Johnstown and the top of the mountains, about two and 
one-half miles in an easterly direction from Cresson, which was 
the head of Plane No. 6. There were five planes and six levels or 
the western side of the mountain and five of each on the east- 
ern, the planes being numbered eastward from Johnstown. The 
distance to the foot of Plane No. 1, was 3.54 miles, and the plane 
was 1,700 feet in length. At the head of the plane there was cut 
througli rock the only tunnel on the Old Portage. It was 900 
feet long and only a few hundred yards south of bridge No. 6, 
on the Pennsylvania Railroad, and can be observed approaching 
it from the west. The long level began at the head of Plane No. 
1, and extended to the foot of No. 2, a few hundred yards north- 
east of Portage Station, and was 13.04 miles long. Plane No. 2, 


was also 1,700 feet in length; the level from the head of No. 2 
to the foot of No. 3, was 1.47 miles ; the length of Plane No. 3 
at Benscreek, was 1,500 feet. The level from No. 3 to No. 4, at 
Lilly, was 1.89 miles, and its length was 2,200 feet. The level 
from No. 4 to Plane No. 5 was 2.57 miles, and plane No. 5 was 
2,300 feet long, being situated near the Summit, and was the 
longest plane on the western side of the momi tains. At this 
point the road took an easterly course, toward HoUidaysburg, 
and the last level on that side — from No. 5 to Plane No. 6, at the 
Lemon homestead — was 1.59 miles; at its head was the highest 
l^oint on the road, rise from Johnstown being 1,158 feet — twenty 
feet higher than at the Summit, so-called. The length of Plane 
No. 6 was 2,716 feet, and the distance from the foot of No. 6 
to the head of No. 7 was 800 feet. Plane No. 7 was 2,600 feet 
long and at the head of it the altitude was 891 feet above 
Johnstown. From the foot of No. 7 to the head of No. 8 was 
3,600 feet ; and the length of the plane was 3,100 feet. It was 
the longest, and with a rise of 604 feet, was the highest lift on 
the system. The distance from the foot of No. 8 to the head of 
No. 9 was 6,500 feet, with an altitude of 307 feet. Plane No. 9 
was 2,600 feet in length. From the foot of No. 9 to the head 
of No. 10 the distance was 9,500 feet, with difference in altitude 
of 87 feet. Plane No. 10 the last one, was 2,300 feet long. From 
the foot of No. 10 to Duncansville Station it was 6,300 feet; 
from the station to the Duncansville ^'Y" was 4,700 feet, and it 
was 6,000 feet from there to HoUidaysburg, where the traffic 
was reloaded and the section boats dropped into the Juniata 
and proceeded eastward. HoUidaysburg is 230 feet lower than 
Johnstown, and about the same altitude as Blairsville. 

The lifting power of each plane was as follows: No. 1, 
149.5 feet; No.' 2, 133 feet; No. 3, 133 feet; No. 4, 188 feet; No. 
5, 195 feet; No. 6, 267 feet; No. 7, 259.5 feet; No. 8, 306 feet; 
No. 9, 190 feet, and No. 10, 178 feet. 

The grades on each level were thus: From Johnstown to 
the foot of No. 1, it was an average of 29.55 feet per mile; 
From No. 1 to No. 2, the longest level, it was an average of 
13.80 feet per mile; to No. 3, 6.78 feet; to No. 4, 8.93 feet; to 
No. 5, 12.42 feet; to No. 6, 12.42 feet; to No. 7, on a dead level; 
to No. 8, 11.1 feet: to No. 9, 8.93 feet; to No. 10, 16.67 feet, 
and to HoUidaysburg, an average of 44.51 feet per mile. 

The elevations above the sea level at Sandy Hook were: 
At Johnstown, 1,183 feet; foot of Plane No. 1, 1,273.5; ^t the 


head 1,423: at the Viaduct, 1,459; at South Fork, 1,481; at 
Summerhill (Half-way House), 1,536; at Wilmore, 1,573; foot 
of Xo. 2, 1,613; at its head, 1,746; at foot of No. 3, 1,756; at 
its head, 1,889 ; at the foot of Xo. 4, 1,906 ; at its head, 2,094 ; 
at the foot of X^o. 5, 2,126 ; at its head, 2,321 ; on the top, at the 
head of Xo. 6, 2,341; at its foot, 2,074; at the head of Xo. 7, 
2,074; at its foot, 1,814.5: at the head of Xo. 8, 1,807; at its 
foot, 1,501; at the head of Xo. 9, 1,490; at its foot, 1,300; at 
the head of Xo. 10, 1,270; at its foot, 1,092; at Duncansville 
Station, 1,028, and at Hol]idaysl)urg, 953 feet. 

When the road was opened for business, in 1834, it was 
but a single-track railroad, and during that year and part of 
1835 all the cars — passenger and freight — were hauled on the 
levels by horse power, there being four horses to a freight 
train of five or six short cars, each of which was about eight 
feet long. These cars were taken up and let dovm the planes 
by stationary engines. The driver, starting with a train at 
Johnstown, would take it through to Hollidaysburg. Some of 
the section-boat drivers \)\\i their mules in the front section 
and had them hauled over the mountains, while others took 
them over the Frankstown road to meet the boats at Hollidays- 
burg. On May 24, 1834, the contracts for the second track 
were made at Hollidaysburg and the work completed the fol- 
lowing year. 

The rails were something like the T rails of today in- 
verted, but were much lighter in weight. These and the chairs 
were brought from England. The flat side of the rail being 
uppermost, the neck was set and wedged in a cast iron chair 
which rested on a stone block, or tie. Each of these blocks 
supported one rail, and was about eighteen inches deep with a 
face two feet square. Probably every six feet there was placed 
a stone binder, seven feet in length and eighteen inches in 
width and depth, which supported both rails. Holes drilled 
in the blocks and binders on each side of the rail were filled 
with locust pins, to which the cast iron chairs were fastened 
by means of spikes. The rails did not have fish plate joints, 
but were joined in the chair, where they were fastened by 
wedges or keys which had to be tightened every day. The 
"keydriver" had a daily trip of six to eight miles to drive 
them to their places. The guage of the tracks was four feet 
eight and one-half inches, the same as how on all standard 



The iron rails and chaii'S and stone ties were used only 
on the levels, bnt on the planes a primitive track was built 
of long wooden stringers, about five by eight inches in width 
and de]ith, with strap iron si:)iked on the top. These stringers 
rested on wooden ties and were in use until the New Portasre 
Road was constructed, when the old style of rails, chairs, and 
stone .blocks was abandoned, and modern rails and ties were 

When the road was contemplated, the great obstacle to 

Head of Plane No. C. Old Portage Railroad. 
Geo. W. Storm, Artist. 

the civil engineers was to get a track around the many sharp 
curves which would necessarily be required in passing over the 
mountains. They did not believe a long rail could be used, 
and actually ])nrchased rails four feet in length for this pur- 
pose, but they were never used for making curves (though they 
were put in service to a limited extent on a straight line), as 
it was discovered a long rail could be laid around a curve of 
a ]n-actical radius. If this had been known at the time the 
roadbed was made it is probable there would not have been 
any planes, but a road of gradual ascent, such as was finally 
adopted, twelve years afterward. 


A stationary engine was built at the head of each plane to 
draw np the cars and let them down. The method of doing 
this was by an endless rope, turning around a shive at the 
head and the foot of the plane, and it was preferred to have 
a ear go down when it was necessary to take another up, that 
they might balance each other. The "hitcher," at the foot, 
wrapped the ''stop" chain around the hook on the end of 
the truck, then tied it to the rope, and away the car started. 
AVhen it reached the top of the plane, another "hitcher" loosed 
it. Sometimes the rope broke, the cars would come down as 
fast as gravity permitted, and in the collision which followed 
everything within reach was destroyed. "When the rope broke, 
''riggers" were called out to make the splices. Hemp ropes 
were used until 1843, when one of the first wire ropes made 
by the inventor — Roebling — was put in use on Plane No. 1. 

To prevent these accidents, John Tittle, of Johnstown, in- 
vented a safet}^ car, which was adopted by the state. It was 
a two-wheeled car, with a concave top, and a strip of notched 
iron on the bottom, which slid along on top of the rail. The 
safety car was attached to the rear of an ascending truck and 
in front of a descending one, and, if the rope broke, the truck 
ran into the concave surface, and thus its own weight, press- 
ing the notched iron on the rail, was sufficient to hold it. The 
safety car was a success. 

When the road was opened it was intended to draw the cars 
on the levels by horses, and this power was used until June, 
1835, when the first locomotive was put in service. It was 
brought from Pittsburg to Johnstown on a flat boat. And what 
a time there was in this town on that occasion ! It was only 
equaled when the first boat "grounded" for the lack of water in 
the aqueduct and was pulled through by the enthusiastic citi- 
zens. When the flat containing the locomotive was launched at 
the warehouse, a great crowd of people were there to see it, and 
the managers had great difficulty in unloading a cargo so great 
in bulk and weight. The man in charge announced to the as- 
sembly of people that whoever would give the best service in 
getting the engine from the boat to the track should be the fire- 
man of that particular engine, which was the "Boston." Very 
many assisted and finally the "Boston" was anchored on the 

It is claimed by some that the fortunate man was Joseph 
Parks, the father of Joseph Parks, of Tyrone, while many say 


the first fireman on the "Boston" was Barney Collier. Bnt it 
is generally admitted that Charles Wliiting was the first engi- 


The "Boston" was built in the city of that name and taken 
to Pittsbnrg, where two more engines — the "Allegheny" and 
the "Delaware"-^ we re built over her pattern, and these three 
locomotives were put in service the same year — 1835. 

The "Boston" a leviathan in those days, would not now 
be considered even a dinkey. It had one jDair of driving 
wheels of forty-eight inches diameter, with wooden felloes 
and spokes and an iron tire, without a flange. These rested be- 
hind the boiler, which was supported in front by a four-wheeled 
truck. The cylinders were eight inches in diameter, with a six- 
teen-inch stroke. The steam pressure was 125 pounds to the 
scpiare inch, but as there were no steam gauges, excepting a 
spring scale something like the old time "balances," it was 
only a matter of possibilities, especially when the engineer want- 
ed a good supply of steam, and would tie the "stilliards," ap- 
parently so that it couldn't go too high. 

The average speed in the early days was fifteen miles per 
hour, and in one instance the "Berks" ran from the head of No. 
1 to the foot of No. 2 — the fourteen-mile level — in forty-five min- 
utes. This was wonderfully fast traveling. 

In those days an engine like the "Boston" could haul ten 
short cars, but the larger engines, such as the "Cherokee" or 
the "Niagara," could haul thirty or forty. The four sectiqns of 
a boat were considered equal to ten cars, and two boats were a 
good load for the big engines. 

The freight cars first introduced were eight feet in length 
and width, and seven feet in height, and had one truck; Imt in 
1851 larger cars were brought into use, which had two trucks 
and were from sixteen to twenty feet long. 

The Taff & O'Connor barge cars were about eight feet 
square, and two rows, five in length, were a boat load. They were 
transferred by the crane. These cars had no springs, and were 
coupled together with a chain six feet long, thrown over a hook 
on either end of the truck. 

The passenger cars were about the size and had the gener- 
al appearance of our street cars, except that the platform and 
canopy were not so large, and the wheels were larger, probably 
twentv-eight inches in diameter. 

In the very early days of the Old Portage there were no bag- 

Vol. 1—23 


gage cars, and baggage was carried on the tops of passenger 
cars as in the old coaching days, but later they were introduced. 
Nor were there any brakeman on the passenger trains. These 
were only stopped by the engine, unless the captain had time 
to drop the loose brake such as is now used on wagons, and 
then sit down on it. 

Among the very first persons employed as firemen was 
William Cover, late of this city. The wages paid firemen ran 
the same as those of other train hands. As the others did not 
have to polish up the machines after sunset, nor get out of bed 
before sunrise to get up steam ready to start at the usual time, 
Mr. Cover resigned his position after a trial of three weeks. 

The daily wages for employees at the planes, in June, 1840, 


Engineer $1.75 

Assistant engineer 1.25 

Fireman 1-121/2 

Hitcher 1.00 

The single pair of driving wheels on locomotives used up 
to 1851, when the "Juniata" was brought here. She had two 
pairs of drivers, and was followed by the ' ' Cherokee ' ' and the 

Every day there was one regular passenger train each way. 
Tt was a daylight railroad, never running any kind of trains at 
night. AVhen sunset appeared the freight trains stopped at the 
first place until the sun rose again the next morning. The pas- 
senger train usually left Johnstown between 6 and 7 o'clock in 
the morning, on the arrival of the packet from the west, and 
ran to Plane No. 2, where the favorite hotels were, for break- 
fast, arriving at HoUidaysburg between 1 and 2 o'clock. The 
west-bound train left about the same hour and arrived at Johns- 
town before 2 o 'clock. 

A passenger train, in the latter days, consisted of a baggage 
car and two coaches, and hauled sixty people, a comfortable load 
for a packet. The fare between the above-mentioned points was 


During the forties and fifties the immigrant travel was 
heavy, but these people were hauled on trains specially run for 
that class of passengers. They usually carried their food in the 
cars, and frequently the train would stop along the road at a 
suitable location for them to cook and eat their meals. Some 
were carried in section boats, and other kinds of cars, where 


they did tlieir cooking and sleeping while the trains were rnn- 
ning. It is generally supposed that Woodraff was the inventor 
of the sleeping cars about 1860, and that Pullman brought out 
the dining cars as we know them in the modem system of rail- 
roading, but the original dining and sleeping cars were used on 
the Old Portage twenty years and more before. The section 
boats had but one compartment for cooking, eating, sleeping, 
and storing food, a little den about 8 by 12 feet. 

The regular passenger trains stopped for meals at the two 
or three hotels at the foot of No. 2, which was a very important 
point for the management of the road. William Palmer, after- 
ward the jDroprietor of the Foster house, in this city, and Gideon 
Marlett and Richard Trotter kept the railroad hotels, which 
were good ones, too. It was a popular place for people to go 
for dinners and parties, and many a frolic took place at the foot 
of No. 2. 

Before the double track was finished there were two ' ' turn- 
outs" between Johnstown and Plane No. 1. The first was lo- 
cated near where Bridge street crosses the Old Portage, in 
Franklin, and the other at Corktown, near the. log house, subse- 
quently known as Eodgers', above the Williams' farm. The 
schedule was about the same as that of a single-line road now. 
If a train, hauled by four horses, made one of these 'Hurn-outs" 
and another train approaching from the opposite direction was 
not in sight, it would proceed, and if the two should meet, the 
half-way post decided as to which train would have to go back. 
The first half-way post east of Johnstown was about where the 
log house at the old brick yard was situated and where Henry 
Layton, the father of Joseph Lay ton, lost his leg, in 1837, while 
he was a captain of a train. 

The cars were run by gravity from Plane No. 1 to Johns- 
town. The stone blocks and iron rails were laid to a point below 
Hudson street, this city, adjoining the north side of Railroad 
street, and from there to Clinton, between Railroad street and 
the Basin, were four tracks for passengers and freight. These 
tracks consisted of 5 by 8-inch oak stringers, with strap iron 
spiked thereto, all resting on wooden ties. All except a few of 
the transportation lines had two sidings to their docks, one on 
either side of the warehouse. Cars were taken from the main 
tracks bv a turn table, was a neat job to turn a two- 
ti-uck CRY on a one-truck table. The track on Portage street, 
somewhat similar, was owned by individuals. In the early days 


cars were hauled from the warehouses and slips by horses, but 
later engines were used. The warehouse sidings extended to 
the end of the dock where the cars were shoved as fast as they 
were loaded until the work of lading was completed. 

When President Taylor died in Washington on July 9, 
1850, his body was brought over the mountains on the Portage 
Eailroad, and taken from here on the Canal, "Old Whitey," 
the general's favorite saddle horse that had been with Mm 
in his campaign in Mexico, leading the cortege as it came down 
Eailroad street. 

Wood was the fuel for tlie locomotives, used until about 
the time of the abandonment of the Old Portage. The small 
locomotives could cany a quarter of a cord of wood, which 
was sufficient for a seven-mile run, but the larger engines after- 
wards used from five to seven cords of wood in a good day's 
work. Coal burners were used on the New Portage. 

The w6odyard was on the north side of the road, opposite 
the old Catholic graveyard, and the foremanship of the wood- 
yard was a much sought position. The duty of the foreman 
was to have the cordwood, which was about four feet in length, 
sawed in halves, and ranked in quarter and half cords. 

Some of the Old Portage workmen relate queer things that 
occui-red about the ranking and sawing of wood, during the 
political days of that great highway. He was a clever man 
who could rank a quarter that would have as little wood in it 
as possible — the larger the holes, the less the quantity of wood ; 
and a piece that had a knot or a bump on it too large to go in 
the fire-box was a prize for the sawver. It alwavs remained in 
the rank, because the fireman would not take it, but he paid for 
it every time; and sometimes each quarter, or half space, con- 
tained two or three or more knotty pieces, which never lost 
their virtue. 

It is said that in the heyday of })olitical manipulation the 
Inspector, whose duty it was to accept wood from certain par- 
ties, would start at Johnstown and inspect and take up — that 
is, accept — all the cordwood ranked on the right -hand side of 
the road uj) to the Suramit; then the Inspector would return 
and inspect and accept all the wood ranked on the left-lmnd 
side of the road coming down, and make his report accordmg- 
ly, he thus accepting and the state paying for the same wood 
twice. It was a case of "heads I win, tails you lose." Some- 
times, when a new Inspector would take up the wood on the 


south side of the road and proceed eastward, the parties in 
interest would carry the wood to the north side of the road 
and re-ra]ik it before his return, when it would again be ac- 
cepted. They would thus get a double price for the same fuel. 

The weighscales where the weight of all freight passing 
over the road was ascertained were on the south side of the road, 
.iust below the graveyard. The cars from the warehousees 
and the section boats were taken out of the basin to the weigh- 
scales and then delivered on the main track, where they were 
hitched to the locomotives to be taken over the mountains. 

The position of Weighmaster, paying $(300 per annum, 
with house rent free, was looked upon as a choice one by the 

The weighniasters at the upper end of the basin like 
those at the lower end — came from all parts of the state — and 
were: Samuel Kennedy, of Indiana, 1834-36; Jacob Dritt, of 
Johnstown, 1836-39; C. B. Cotter, of Clearfield, 1839-42 ; Thomas 
Ford, 1842-45; Robert Philson, of Somerset, 18'45-48; James 
Shannon, of Johnstown, 1848-51. 

Peter Levergood was one of the Canal Commissioners, 
by appointment of Governor Ritner, in 1836-38. 

After the Old Portage had been in operation for twelve 
years, and the practicability of running a railroad over the 
mountains was admitted, the progress of the times required a 
more expeditious and economical highway for transportation. 
The system of canals, locks, and planes was out of date, and 
as the State could neither sell nor give its property away, the 
Pennsylvania Railroad was organized April 13, 1846, to supply 
the want. Its road was opened February 15, 1854, for through 

As the Old Portage system was being operated at a daily 
loss, and the state authorities knew it would have to meet the 
opposition of the Pennsylvania on the new order of business, 
they determined to Imild another road between Johnstown and 
Hollidaysburg that would not have the objectionable planes. In 
1852, while the Pennsylvania was' building its road, the state 
commenced the New Portage, which was finished in the fall of 
1855, and was only operated in 1856 and to August 1, 1857. 

During the year 1856, and until it was abandoned, the 
Pennsylvania and the New Portage ran in competition, but by 
a traffic agreement, which was advantageous to both roads, 


both lis eel the same tracks a portion of the way, and at other 
points paralleled each other. / 

The state owned the Viaduct, while the Pennsylvania had 
the only practicable route to pass around Plane No. 1, but 
would have had difficulty in getting over the Little Conemaugh 
at the Viaduct. So they agreed to use the same track to South 
Fork bridge. 

The route of the New Portage from Johnstown was on the 
roadbed of the Old Portage to Conemaugh, where it crossed the 
Little Conemaugh below the point where the overhead bridge 
between Conemaugh and Franklin is now located and used the 
Pennsylvania tracks up to the western end of the bridge west 
of South Fork. Here the roads diverged, the Pennsylvania 
crossing to the south side of the Little Conemaugh river, and 
the New Portage keeping on the north side, on the bed of the 
long level of the Old Portage. Beginning a serpentine course 
it crossed under the Pennsylvania Eailroad west of Summer- 
hill, and back again at the long bridge at the little town, again 
crossing under it at the bridge west of the deep cut east of 
Summerhill, and recrossing at the other side of this cut, it passed 
on through Jefferson, now known as Wilmore. About two. miles 
east of Wilmore it left the Old Portage, turning to the south 
to pass around Plane No. 2, near Portage, and about a half mile 
west of Ben's Creek, it came back in the roadbed of the Old 
Portage and practically paralleled the Pennsylvania road to 
Cassandra, where the New Portage passed around Plane No. 
3, at Ben's Creek. At Cassandra, it passed under the Pennsyl- 
vania, and from that point, passing through Lilly and Cresson 
it x-ractically paralleled and was near the grade of the Pennsyl- 
vania road, up to and above the high bridge west of Gallitzin. 

The Old Portage and the New Portage diverged at the foot 
of Plane No. 3, west of Ben's Creek, and did not touch again 
until they crossed at or near the foot of Plane jSIo. 8, on the 
eastern slope of the mountains. 

East of the high bridge, a mile and a half west of Gallitzin, 
the New Portage took a southeasterly course and leaving the 
Pennsylvania, passed through the southerly part of Gallitzin and 
through the tunnel, which was made before the tunnel on the 
Pennsylvania road was finished, the two being within a few hun- 
dred yards of each other at the east end. After passing through 
the tunnel the New Portage road lay on the south side of. the 
Allegrippus Gulch, and the Pennsylvania on the other. 


The New Portage skirted the mountains and gulches until 
it reached Plane No. 8, on the Old Portage, where it crossed it, 
and again touching the Old Portage roadbed near Duncansville, 
used it to Hollidaysbnrg, where the merchandise and section 
boats were transferred to the Juniata, as during the days of 
the Old Portage. 

The distance between Johnstown and Ilollidaysburg on the 
New Portage was forty-one miles, or five miles farther than by 
the old, but a train could make the trip in four or five hours. 
It only hauled freight, however ; the Pennsylvania then being in 
operation, passengers always traveled by that route. 

It is claimed that there never was a passenger injured on 
the Old Portage — probably trne because the trains did not go 
fast enough to cause an accident. 

The New Portage was constructed to meet the competition 
of the Pennsylvania road, and was opened in October, 1855. 
In order to claim that it was ready for business that month the 
state authorities sent the locomotive "Pittsburg" from Johns- 
town to Hollidaysbnrg, but nothing more was done until the 
following spring. 

Mr. Henry E. Hudson, who was probably the oldest prac- 
tical engineer in active service in this country, and resided at the 
corner of Eailroad and Hudson streets, in this city, was the 
engineer on the "Pittsburg," and, of course, was the first en- 
gineer to use the New Portage road. 

In 1847 he was employed as a fireman on the "United 
States," a locomotive whose engineer was John Campbell, also 
of this place, and four years later was promoted to the position 
of engineer of the "Berks." In 1858 Mr. Hudson was brought 
to the Pennsylvania by the late Thomas A. Scott, with whom 
he was in continual service until his death. 

"While the Old Portage was in operation ten to twelve hours 
was required to transport a freight train or a section boat to 
. Hollidaysbnrg, but the New Portage system only required four 
hours, and a day's work was to run there and return to Johns- 
town, the round trip being eighty-two miles. There were no 
regular brakemen and the stops were made 1)\- the engineer, 
with the reverse lever, and by the fireman twisting the tank 
brake. After dusk the officials were not particular what^the 
employees did with the engine, and frequently they would raise 
steam and start oft' to attend a country frolic, and leave the 
locomotive stand on the main track, without guard or a light, 


as no lamps or torches were provided for night work. On 
Sunday the engine would be taken out at the pleasure of the 
crew who would go where they desired. Even on week days, 
while hauling a train, the engine would stop anywhere to take 
up a weary traveler — man or woman, boy or girl, or a lot of 
either — and many a funeral cortege was put on the engine and 
tank and conveyed to its destination. No charge, and every one 
was made happy. 

The importance of the several surveys made to cross the 
mountains is shown at a point above Ben's Creek, near the head 
of Plane No. 3, where the Old Portage, the New Portage, the 
Old Pennsylvania road, and the new route of the Pennsylvania 
road, are less than one hundred yards apart. The Old Portage 
is immediately above the Old Pennsylvania road, and the New 
Portage immediately below it, while the new route of the Penn- 
sylvania crosses all of them within the distance mentioned. 

The grade of the New Portage on the eastern slope, was 
not as steep as it is on the Pennsylvania, the highest point be- 
ing 2,199 feet above the sea level, or 143 feet lower than on 
the Old Portage, and 1,016 feet above Johnstown. The maxi- 
mum grade from Gallitzin to Hollidaysburg on the New Portage 
was 84.58 feet, which on the Pennsylvania road to Altoona it 
is 100.32 feet 

The state authorities were facing the inevitable in their 
endeavor to compete with a road that was open all the year and 
an all-rail route. As the New Portage could only be operated 
in connection with the canal, such a proposition was not prac- 

The $75,000,000 expended by the people to establish the 
practicability of constructing a mountain railroad was well 
spent, but as the road was being 0]:)erated at a daily loss the As- 
sembly authorized its sale, ])roviding that no bid should be re- 
ceived for less than $7,500,000. It was sold at public sale in 
Philadelphia, and the deed executed on the 31st day of July,. 
1857. Mr. S. H. Smith, of this city, was present on that oc- 
casion. The auctioneer had been trying to get a bid for some 
time, but could not, and late in the day J. Edgar Thomson with 
a wink and a slight nod of his head agreed to take the property 
at that price. Then the crowd set up a cheer and cried aloud, 
"We've got a bid," and the New Portage Railroad sold at the 
figure offered. 


The only evidence of the Old Portage Railroad in or close 


to Johnstown is a part of tlie roadbed from the ''Five Points" 
np to a point near Franklin Borongh. From there np to Plane 
No. 1 it was entirely swept away by the flood of 1889. Bnt the 
most substantial thing to be seen is the bed of Plane No. 1 and 
the tunnel. The masonry in the openings of the tunnel is a 
beautiful piece of work, and an object of sufficient interest to 
still invite the inspection of mechanics. 

It was constructed sixty-five years ago, and is as strong as 
when the arched stone blocks were first laid, piece by piece, and 
the keystone put in place, except at the east end, where they 
have been taken out for building purposes. Prior to the flood 
the Old Portage roadway was a fair passage way for carriages, 
hut since that the only way to reach it is by way of the Pennsyl- 
vania road to Bridge No. 6. The tunnel was formerly used as 
a roadway for vehicles, but is now rarely trod. There is a sort 
of a road over it now. 

The Viaduct spanning the Little Conemaugh about eight 
miles from town was a magnificent piece of workmanship and 
the admiration of engineers and mechanics. It was used by the 
Pennsylvania Eoad for its double tracks up to the time of the 
flood. It was in its day one of the highest single-span arches 
known, and was as strong the day it was swept away as when 
constructed in 1833. 

It was what was termed an eighty-foot arch, that is, eighty 
feet across at water level, eighty feet from water level to the 
top of the arch, and eight feet to the tracks. It is said that there 
was seventy-nine feet of water behind it before it gave way in 
that terrible flood, while employes of the Company contend that 
there were ninety-eight, inasmuch as it held the eighty-eight feet 
to the level of the duct, and the water ran through the little cut 
on the easterly side of it to the height of ten feet like a Niagara 
Falls. Marks which seem to verify this view were there and 
may be there to this day. 

In the "American Notes" of his trip in 1842, Charles 
Dickens writes of Johnstown and the Canal and road as follows : 
^'The canal extends to the foot of the mountain, and there, of 
course, it stops, the passengers being conveyed across by land 
carriage and taken on afterward by another canal boat — the 
counterpart of the first — which awaits them on the other side. 
There are two canal lines of passage boats; one is called the 
Express, and one (a cheaper one) the Pioneer. The Pioneer 
gets first to the mountain and waits for the Express people to 


come up, both sets of passengers being conveyed across it at the 
same time. 

"We were the Express company but when we had crossed 
the mountain, and had come to the second boat (at Johnstown) 
the proprietors took it into their heads to draft all the Pioneers 
into it likewise, so that we were five and forty, at least, and 
the accession of passengers was not at all of that kind which 
improved the prospect of sleeping at night. Our people grum- 
bled at this, as people do in such cases, but suffered the boat 
to be towed off with the whole freight aboard, nevertheless. At 
home, I should have protested lustily, but, being a foreigner 
here, I held my peace. ' ' 

He refers to a thin-faced passenger who became famous, and 
continues in this manner: 

"He cleft a path among the people on deck (we were nearly 
all on deck), and, without addressing anyone whomsoever, 
soliloquized as follows : 

" 'This may suit you, this may; but it don't suit me. This 
may be all very well with Down-Easters and men of Boston 
raising, but it won't suit my figure nohow, and no two ways 
about ihat; and so I tell you, now! I'm from the brown for- 
ests of the Mississippi, I am; and when the sun shines on me, 
it does shine — a little. It don't glimmer where I live, the sun 
don't; no, I'm a brown forester, I am; I ain't a Johnny cake. 
There are no smooth skins where I live; we're rough men there, 
rather. If Down-Easters and men of Boston a raising like this, 
I'm glad of it, but I'm none of that raising, nor of that breed, 
no. This company wants a little fixing, it does; I'm the wrong 
sort of a man for 'em, I am; they won't like me, they won't. 
This is piling of it up a little too mountainous, this is. ' " 

"At the end of every one of these short sentences he turned 
upon his heel and walked the other way, chuckling to himself 
aljruptly when he had finished another short sentence, and turn- 
ing back again. 

"It is impossible for me to say what terrific meauing was 
hidden in the words of this brown forester, but I know the 
other passengers looked on in a sort of admiring horror, and 
that presently the boat was put back to the wharf (at Johns- 
town), and as many of the Pioneers as could be coaxed or bullied 
into going away were got rid of." 

In another note Dickens says: "We had left Harrisburg 
on Friday. On Sundav morning we arrived at the foot of the 


mountain (HoUiclaysburg), which is crossed by railroad. * * 
* Occasionally the rails are laid upon the extreme verge of a 
giddy precipice; and looking from the carriage window, the 
traveler gazes sheer down, without a stone or scrap of fence 
between, into the monntain depths below. * * * Jt was very 
pretty traveling like this, at a raiDid pace along the heights of 
the mountain in a keen wind, to look down into a valley full of 
light and softness; catching glimpses, through the treetops, of 
scattered cabins; children running to the door; dogs bursting 
out to bark, whom we could see without hearing; terrified pigs 
scampering homeward; families sitting out in their rude gar- 
dens ; cows gazing upward with a stupid indifference ; men in 
their shirt sleeves looking in at their unfinished houses, plan- 
ning out to-morrow's work; and we riding onward, high above 
them, like a whirlwind. It was amusing, too, when we had 
dined, and rattled down a steep pass, having no other moving 
power than the weight of the carriages themselves, to see the 
engine released, long after us, come buzzing down alone, like 
a great insect, its back of green and gold so "shining in the sun 
that if it had spread a pair of wings and soared away no one 
would have had occasion, as I fancied, for the least surprise. 
But it stopped short of us in a very business-like manner when 
we reached the canal (at Johnstown), and before we left the 
wharf went panting up this hill again, with the passengers who 
had waited our arrival for the means of traversing the road by 
which we had come. ' ' 

In those days the journey from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, or 
vice versa, was one of three and a half days' duration, the cost 
of which was ten dollars, not including the price of food. 

At the Columbian Exposition, Chicago, one of the most inter- 
esting objects to transportation people, and especially to the 
residents of Johnstown, was the relief map of the Old Portage 
Kailroad from Jolmstown to the tunnel at the head of Plane No. 
1, which had been prepared and was exhibited by the Pennsyl- 
vania Kailroad Company in its building. 

The map, showing the basin, roadway, river, mountains, and 
gulches, was prepared from actual surveys and measurements, 
and had diminutive cars to explain how section boats, etc., were 
taken out of the water and carried over the mountains. The ex- 
hibit is now in the possession of that company in its Historical 
Department, in Philadelphia, where almost everything, from the 


wooden spoke and felloe to its successor now in use, is kept to 
show the progress made in transportation facilities. 

The only inland competitor of the Old Portage road for the 
AVestern and Southern trade was the National turnpike, with its 
Conestoga wagons, traveling from Pittsburg to Cumberland, 
and a railroad from the latter place on to the East, beside the 
Bedford & Somerset turnpike, chartered March 13, 1816, and lat- 
terly the Stoyestown pike, and the Pittsburg and Hollidaysburg 
l^ike. The products of the West and South were brought to 
Pittsburg on the Ohio river, and at Pittsburg were trans- 
ferred to one of these routes to the east. The Johnstown route 
was the most expeditious and economical for nine months in the 
3'ear, and was the preferable mode of shipment. 

It seems incredible that less than fifty-seven years ago the 
situation of the commercial interests of the country and the 
question of transportation were in the condition depicted in the 
following letter, written by the man who became one of the 
greatest railroad men of the world — J. Edgar Thomson — the 
president of the Pennsylvania railroad. It was written in reply 
to a request made by William S. Campbell, the superintendent 
of the Old Portage, to arrange better connectious with the Penn- 
sylvania, which was then in partial operation. Being out of 
the question to make close connections at both places — Holli- 
daysburg and Columbia, it was his opinion then that the planes 
would have to be operated until midnight— at least, in the fol- 
lowing year — but that event never occurred, as no trains were 
run over the road after dark: 

Engineer Department P. R. R. Co. | 
Harrisburg, Nov. 21st, 1850. \ 

Dear Sir : I have received yours of the 16th. The differ- 
ence between our case and yours is — 

First. That we have a single track and must run one way 
at least to schedule or we would delay all of the trains on the 
Toad, so as to cause. indescribable confusion. 

Secondly. We run between two of the Commonwealth 
roads, and if we don't break connection with the Portage by 
waiting, we will with the Columbia road, and at the same time 
derange all our trains. 

Of the two horns of the dilemma we have to choose the 
least. However, the season is now nearly over, and next year it 
seem to me that you will have to keep your planes going until 
midnight by two sets of hands. The business over the road, it 
appears to me, will require this arrangement. Yours truly, 

J. Edgar Thomson, 

Win. S. Campbell, Esq., Supt. P. R. Road. 


The State records show that between 1830 and 1859 the 
receipts for tolls and the expenses of its operations were : 

Receipts $32,270,712 

Expenses 30,400,433 

Surplus $1,870,279 

This would make an average annual profit of $64,495. 

In 1835, the first year after the opening of the Canal 
through to Philadelphia with its two railroads, the following 
business was transacted: 

Twenty-five thousand passengers were hauled, 15,437 of 
whom were westbound and 9,563 eastbound. 

It carried 52,719 tons of freight of 2,000 pounds to the ton. 

Of it 29,740 tons were westbound, 15,439 were eastbound, 
and 7,540 were local shipments. Each car only carried 7,000 
pounds, and the regulations would not penuit them to run 
faster than five miles per hour, unless the c^irs were provided 
with extra, strong springs. 

In the early days of trails and paths, to transport a barrel 
of flour between Pittsburg and Philadelphia it cost $14 ; in 1835. 
by the Canal, $1,121/0, and now about 22 cents. 

In 1800, to transfer a ton of merchandise bv wagon cost 
from $120 to $220 and took over two weeks in time, the rate 
depending ui)on the classification of the goods. 

In 1835, when the Canal was in operation, these rates were 
reduced to $14 and $22 per ton, respectively.. 

In 1851 it was further reduced to $9 and $18, and the rates 
of the same classification would today be from $1.75 to $10 per 

This decrease in the cost of transportation applies locally 
as well as upon through carriages ; for instance, one of the 
larger boats, like the Cambria, could carry 300 barrels of flour, 
for which the cost would be twenty-five cents from Pittsburg 
to Johnstown; while at the present time a car holding 400 bar- 
rels will be carried the same distance for ten cents, or $40 for 
the service, as against $75 by water. 

In 1828, after the Northern pike was opened and the Canal 
in operation between Pittsburg and Blairsville, it cost over 
$15 per ton to haul metal from the Sligo Iron Works in Hunt- 
ingdon county to Blairsville, a distance of 53 miles; in 1838, 
when the Canal and Old Portage were ready for business, the 
same service could be had for $4, and in 1835, when locomotives. 


were first used on the levels in place of horses, the rate for the 
same was ninety-six cents per ton. 

A captain of a boat of the Cambria class received $125 per 
month, ont of which he was required to pay all the labor and 
their maintenance, leaving $55 to pay for his service and the 
cost of lines and oil. 

The railroad employees on the Old Portage and the Penn- 
sylvania Railroad were paid the following rates for a day's 

washes of twelve hours : 


Locomotive engineer $2.00 

Locomotive fireman 1-12^ 

Conductor or Captain 2.00 

Flagman 75 

Brakeman 75 

John Matthews, collector at Johnstown, publishes the re- 
sult of the first month's operation of the Portage railroad and 
<janal (the Old Portage being first opened for traffic MaVch 18, 
1834) as follows: 

Collected on canal $3,576,091/2 

Collected on railroad 805.361/2 

Total $4,381.46 

Arrivals on canal 80 

Departures on canal 81 

Number of cars arrived on railroad 639 

Number of cars departed on railroad 751 

Tonnage on canal 3,657,447 

Tonnage on railroad 3,200,003 



In the list of newspapers of Cambria county the Western 
Shy, a paper edited in what was then known as ''the town of 
Beula, Somerset county," during the year 1798 (Cambria 
county had' not then been organized), is given precedence as 
the first attempt at the establishment 'of a permanent news- 
paper within its limits. Although the literary part of the work 
was done in Beula, it was printed in Philadelphia by E]>hraim 
Conrad. It was designed principally as an advertisement for 
the projected town, and, according to the statement of John 
Lloyd, of Ebensburg, whose grandfather was its editor, but 
one number of the Shy was published. 

The certainty of the publication of the second paper in 
the county cannot be established, but it has been said that a 
paper was in existence in Ebensburg at as early a date as 1810. 
If this were the case it could not have had any show, of per- 
manencv, as the county advertising was done either in Phil- 
adelphia, Blairsville, or Bedford papers for many years. 

The late John Scott, of the firm of Canan & Scott, publish- 
ers of the Ebensburg Sky, is authority for the statement that 
when he came to Ebensburg in 1817 at the age of five years, 
a paper was published at Beula. 

John Lloyd remembers an early paper which he thinks was 
called the Adrocate, edited and pubhshed in Ebonsburg in 1818 
by Thomas Foley; and Mrs. Catherine Dimond, who died in 
Summerhill townshi]) at an advanced age, said that Foley pub- 
lished several papers in Ebensburg — one she thought as early 
as 1815. 

Professor A. L. Guss, formerly a teacher in Johnstown, 
in an able paper treating on the subject of journalism in west- 
ern Pennsylvania, read before the Juniata Valley Newspaper 
Association, in referring to Mr. Foley's efforts, says that 
Thomas Foley established the Olive Branch and Cambria 
Record in Ebensburg in 1818, but that the venture failed in 

Professor Guss also savs that the Cambria Gazette was 


started in 1828 by John Murray and Thomas McFarland, bnt 
after two years tlie materials were removed to Blairsville, 
Indiana county, for use on the Record. They were subse- 
quently brought back by John J. Canan and William B. Brown 
for the use of the firm in the publication of the Sky. 

Guss says that the paper known as the Mountain Telegraph 
and Cambria Gazette was first issued November 6, 1828, by Dr. 
Robert and Samuel Young, but was so-on suspended. From the 
title, it seems probable that it was a merger of the Cambria 
Gazette with the Moimtain Telegraph, as the idea of :two papers 
having existed simultaneously in a towm the size of Ebensburg 
at that time appears unlikely. 

W. R. Thompson, of Ebensburg, editor of the Mountaineer- 
Herald, has in his possession a copy of this paper which is 
No. 13, Vol. 1, bearing date January 29, 1829, which contains 
some interesting information concerning the then projected 
Portage railroad; also an item regarding an "enormous cheese" 
which had been presented to President-elect Andrew Jackson 
by one Israel Cole. It weighed one hundred pounds, and was 
considered such a curiosity that as it joassed on the road from 
Troy, New York, to Washington, many persons flocked to see 
the box containing it. The pajoer also contains a description 
of the then new and magnificent Capitol building at Washing- 
ton. The publishers of the Telegraph and Gazette accepted 
''grain of every description in payment for subscription," and 
''linen and cotton rags" were taken in payment at the office, 
as notices in several conspicuous places in the paper testify. 

The census of 1830 credits Cambria county with one print- 
ing press, but says nothing about the existence of a news- 
paper; hence, we are forced to the conclusion that this was 
the press that was removed to Blairsville, and which was 
brought back in 1831 by Canan & Brown, and that no jDaper 
had an existence in the county at the time the census was taken. 

The journal next is the Shy, and Robert D. Canan, of Al- 
toona, has the file of the paper during the time it (vas under 
the control of his father — the late John J. Canan. This file in- 
cludes, with two exceptions, all the numbers of the Sky from 
the time it was established in Ebensburg in 1831 until it passed 
into the hands of Steele Sample, in Johnstown, in the latter 
part of 1837. The Sky was a quarto, five-column paper, the 
editorials of which were in pica type. It was printed on a 
Ramage press, and at first balls were used to ink the type. It 


was published by John J. Canan and William B. Brown. No. 3, 
Volume I, bearing date Thursday, July 28, 1831, would indicate 
that the birth of the paper occurred July 14, 1831. Originally 
the paper was neutral in politics, as it circulated among people 
of all shades of opinion. Communications from persons of both 
parties were published, and notices of mass meetings, political 
conventions and so forth, are found in its columns. It was not 
until after the Cambria Democrat^ which was published by 
Arnold Downing in 1832, had for years upheld the cause 
of the Democratic, or Masonic, party, that the SIcij came 
out during the Eitner campaign in 1835, as a Whig, or anti- 
Masonic, journal. Its aspirations, however, were intensely pa- 
triotic, and there was not any friendliness for the "mother 
country" exhibited in its columns — probably for the good rea- 
son that Moses Canan was the grandson of Captain William 
Henderson, who fighting under General Sullivan at the battle of 
Long Island, was there taken prisoner, confined for three 
months in a British prison ship in Wallabout Bay, and, upon his 
exchange after the battle of Trenton, served his country until 
the end of the war. 

Moses Canan himself fought against England in 1812, and 
if his pen did not write the editorials of the new paper, his 
judgment doubtless dictated them, for Moses Canan, besides 
being a patriot and a lawyer of ability — one of the three legal 
gentlemen who attended the first court of Cambria county — was 
a man of literary tastes, and as early as 1810 he was a partner 
with W. E. Smith in the publication of the Huntingdon Literary 
Museum and Monthly Miscellany, sl compilation of gems of 
poetical literature from the best authors of the time. 

The editorials of the 8ky were remarkable for their intelli- 
gence and dignity. 

On May 13, 1836, M. A. Canan became a partner in the 
publication of the Sky. Tuesday, October 7, 1837, is the date 
of the last issue of the files under the Canans. The paper was 
afterward run for about a year by Steele Sample, and was 
then purchased by Abraham Morrison, but suspended for three 
years, when, under the napae of the Cambria Gazette, it was 
revived by Moses A. Canan, and, under various names, and 
under the control of different persons, continued to be the organ 
of the Whig party until, on December 7, 1853, the Cambria 
Tribune was launched on the sea of Cambria county journalism. 

The issue of Cambria Gazette from Tuesday, July 27, 

Vol. 1—24 


1841— being No. 4 of Vol. I— to Wednesday, February 1, 1843, 
bad Moses A. Canan, son of Moses Canan, and brotber of S. 
Dean Canan, of tbis city, for its accredited editor and proprie- 
tor, altbougb tbe editorials give evidence of tbe style and force 
of Moses Canan, wbo was undoubtedly tbe writer of tbe greater 
part of tbem. Moses A. Canan bad in 1835 edited and publisbed 
a small society paper for young people in Ebensburg, wbicb 
was called tbe Mountain Clarion. It was devoted to social 
amusements, society notes and literature. 

Tbe Cambria Gazette (tbe second paper of tbat name to 
be publisbed in tbe countj^) was a four-page, five-column paper, 
tbe columns eigbteen incbes in lengtb. Tom Slick was its 

Moses A, Canan died wliile editor of tbe Gazette, and tbe 
paper was for a time conducted by bis fatber, and bis brotber — 
Kobert H. Canan. Afterward Andrew J. Eckels and Tbomas 
S. Reed conducted it for a twelvemontb, to be succeeded by 
James Morgan; but finally tbrougb lack of management, tbe 
paper came to a standstill. In 1848 William Foster, a young 
jDrinter wbo bad learned bis trade in tbe office of tbe Bedford 
Inquirer, took bold, revived tbe paper, and changed its name 
to tbe Johnstown Neivs. 

A copy of tliis paper, tbe Johnstoiun News, Vol, II, No. 17, 
dated August 8 and 9, 1849, is a neat four-page, six-column 
paper printed and publisbed by Foster & Cooper. A consider- 
able part of tbe paper was devoted to a communication signed 
H. Yeagley, being a comparison of tbe relative merits of Dr. 
AVilliam A. Smitli and Jobn Fenlon, Democratic and Wbig can- 
didates for Assembly. Tliere was about balf a column of for- 
eign news, but not a local item. A note explains, bowever, tbat 
one of tbe editors was sick tbat week. 

George W. Cooper, besides bis ability as an editor, was 
also a successful practicing pbysician, and after be sold the 
Journal, wbicb be publisbed at Gamett, Kansas, until 1885, be 
resumed tbe practice of medicine at Peoria, Illinois, until bis 
deatb at tbis former place, ten years later. 

In 1848 William Foster procured tbe press and materials 
of tbe Camhria Gazette and launched tbe Valleif Wreath as a 
weekly paper in Johnstown. It was a Wliig advocate. In 1849 
or 1850 Dr. Cooper joined Foster as a partner, and became 
the editorial writer. In 1850 Frank W. Hay acquired the in- 
terest of Dr. Cooper, wbo bad gone west, but withdrew in less 


than a year. Foster continued to publish it until 1852, when he 
quit. It was at this time that James M. Swank began to publish 
the Cambrian. 

The Cambrian was a Whig campaign paper edited and pub- 
lished in 1852, to advocate the candidacy of General Scott for 
the presidency. James M. Swank, not then twenty years of age, 
edited and published its first eighteen numbers, the first con- 
taining an account of the death of Henry Clay and the last an 
obituary of Daniel Webster and an account of the defeat of 
General Scott at the election that year. After the election its 
publication was continued by S. B. McCormick until that fall. 

James Moore Swank founded the Cambria Tribune Decem- 
ber 7, 1853. It was the weekly successor of the Cambrian. 

The Tribune was a six-column folio, 22 by 32 inches, printed 
on an old Kamage hand-press. The subscription price was $1.50 
in advance, and transient advertising was "one square, three 
insertions, $1.50," making the rate about twenty-two cents per 
inch for each insertion. For other advertisements he took what- 
ever he could get in exchange. The early numbers, as was the 
custom of all country papers, were largely made up of litera- 
ture and national politics, with a great scarcity of local news. 
Mr. Swank's change of plan with special attention given to local 
events was soon followed by other county papers. 

On May 28, 1856, when Mr. Swank temporarily withdrew 
from the Tribune and went to Wisconsin with his brother, 
George T. Swank, Colonel John M. Bowman became the editor 
and represented Mr. Swank's interest. During his absence 
D. J. Morrell and other Republicans procured a Washington 
press, which was substituted for the old Ramage. On March 
20, 1858, Mr. Swank returned and entered into partnership for 
three years with Colonel Bowman, the former being the sole 
proprietor of the plant. They moved the office from the Man- 
sion House building to the brick building on the northwest cor- 
ner of Franklin street and Ebbert alley. On July 3 they 
printed the outside of the Tribune in blue and the inside in red. 
While Mr. Swank was absent Colonel Bowman, being a good 
newspaper man, enlarged the local features, which have been 
strictly observed in that office till this day. The Tribune was 
always a consistent and strong advocate of the Whig and Re- 
publican parties, and never bolted a regular nomination. 


On February 5, 1861, the partnership was dissolved by lim- 
itation, when Mr. Swank was appointed superintendent of the 
public schools for Cambria county. Colonel Bowman continued 
as editor. On July 5, 1863, Cyrus Elder became an associate 
editor, continuing for a few months only. On October 14, 1864, 
Mr. Swank again assumed editorial control and changed the 
name to that of the Jolinstoivn Tribune. On January 8, 1869, 
he enlarged it by making it an eight-column folio, 26 by 38 
inches, which made it the largest weekly paper in western 
Pennsylvania. In December, 1869, he sold the plant to his 
brother, George T. Swank, who moved it to the front part of 
the second floor of the present Tribune building, where he had 
his job office. On January 7, 1870, the first edition of nine hun- 
dred copies under his management was issued. These rooms 
were tpo small for the Tribune and the job office; therefore, on 
April 30 of that year, he moved the office and equipments to 
the second floor of the Mansion House, on the southeast corner 
of Franklin and Main streets, where it remained until March 7, 
1874, when it was again moved to the second floor of the present 
Tribune building. In a few years thereafter Mr. Swank pur- 
chased the ground and building and made it the permanent 
home of his newspaper, 

George Thompson Swank was a son of George W. and 
Nancy Moore Swank, born near Saltsburg, in Indiana county, 
November 6, 1836. He learned to be a printer on the Valley 
Wreath, the Mountain Echo, the Cambrian and the Cambria 
Trihune. In 1854 he went to Eock Island, Illinois, to work on 
the Roclv Islander, and the following year was engaged on the 
Napiersville Journal, Illinois. In 1855 he returned to the Cam- 
bria Tribune. In the summer of 1856 he again went west and 
visited friends at Earlville, Illinois, but not finding employment 
at his trade, he started for Chicago, with a large deficit in his 
finances. When the train stopped at Aurora, Illinois, it was 
after dark. A strange and sudden impulse led him to alight with- 
out knowing a soul in that vicinity. Early the next morning he 
called at the office of the Aurora Beacon, seeking work, and to 
his surprise was given immediate employment as foreman at 
$12 per week, with board and lodging at the best hotel in the 
town at $4. The blues had taken flight, and he remained there 
until late in the fall of 1856, when he accepted a position on 
the Transcript in Prescott, Wisconsin, During the next two 
years he attended the Eldersridge Academy, and taught the 


public schools at or near Fallen Timber, in White township, 
and the Benshoff school in "West Taylor township. He then 
went to Pittsburg and became a printer on The Union, a daily 
then just started, and which was edited by John M. Bailey, sub- 
sequently elected a judge of the court of common pleas for that 
county. The paper failed and he had difficulty in securing his 
wages. In 1859 he went to St. Louis and became a printer on 
the Neiv Era, an abolition paper started by Francis P. Blair 
and Henry T. Blow. The office was located in Carondelet, a 
suburban town. The paper was an aggressive advocate for the 
overthrow of slavery, and one night the office was dismantled 
and the press and types were thrown into the Mississippi river. 
Blair was the candidate for vice-president in 1868, and Blow 
was our minister to Venezuela under Grant. 

In 1860 Mr. Swank went to New York city, and with the 
assistance of Salathiel Tudor Sellick, a Johnstown boy, he pro- 
cured a position as "sub" on Horace Greelej^s Tribune. It 
was difficult to get a case on that paper, but being coached by 
Sellick and Ben Gillespie, one of the fastest typesetters in the 
country, he soon had a case of his own. He remained there until 
his enlistment in Company D, Seventy-first New York Infantry. 
Upon the expiration of that term he re-enlisted as a private in 
Company D, Twenty-seventh Connecticut Infantry, and was pro- 
moted to corporal and then to first sergeant. He followed Han- 
cock the Superb in the several assaults on Marye's Heights at 
Fredericksburg, and was with him at Chancellorsville and 
Gettysburg. On July 2, when Hancock went to the assistance 
of Sickles in the wheatfield, Mr. Swank was seriously wounded, 
and his colonel, Henry C. Merwin, was killed, with many of his 
company. Owing to his wound Mr. Swank was honorably dis- 
charged, and upon his recovery returned to Greeley's Tribune, 
and took his old case, but was in a short time made a proof- 
reader. In 1866 he and a companion, Alexander W. McDonald, 
established a job office in the Potter building, 37 Park Row, 
which was very successful. They printed the Galaxy, the Turf, 
Field and Farm, the Army and Navy Journal, and Richard 
Grant White's excellent book on the ''Use of Words," and 
other high class periodicals and books. In 1868 he came to 
Johnstown and started a job office, as heretofore mentioned. 

When he took charge of the Tribune Mr. Swank was well 
equipped for his new position. He had what Greeley called a 
"nose" for news, and made a special feature of publishing all 


the local events worthy of notice. On Monday, March 3, 1873, 
was published the first dailj^ Johnstoivn Tribune. It contained 
President Grant's message to Congress, and was on the streets 
five hours after the message had been delivered to the House, 
with a full Associated Press report of the day. It was a folio, 
14 by 20 inches, five columns, excepting on Fridays, which being 
a combination of the daily and weekly issues, consisted of eight 
pages. Since March 3, 1880, the editions have been separate. 
The daily was three cents a copy, or $7 per annum, and the 
weekly, $1.50. On March 4, 1878, the daily was reduced to $5. 
The advertising rates were $100 per column for the year in the 
weekly, and $250 in the daily, and fifty cents per inch for tran- 
sient patronage. On March 8, 1895, the weekly was enlarged to 
eight columns of eight pages. 

Mr. Swank modeled his paper after the style of the Neiv 
York Tribune, and the rules of the office as to make-up, punctua- 
tion, spelling, capitalization, etc., were those of Greeley and 
McElrath. He never used plate matter in either editions, nor 
inserted locals between reading matter. He would not permit 
his employes to solicit subscriptions, advertising or job work, 
but depended upon the merits of the office and paper as did his 

The weekly began its existence with a circulation of 450, 
and in 1870 it had 900. When Mr. Swank retired it had in- 
creased to 3,000, which consisted of the best list outside of the 
large daily papers, and was equivalent to cash payments in ad- 
vance. The daily started with about 800 subscribers, and he 
closed it with 4,000. The Tribune is the only paper in the county 
having a complete file for fifty-three years, or of any other near 
it by thirty odd years. There were no papers issued between 
May 31 and June 13, 1889, both inclusive, inasmuch as the 
flood had almost destroyed the plant. 

When the daily was established and for many years there- 
after, Mr. Swank was the editor, foreman, pressman, jobber, 
and business manager. Casper W. Easly was the first local, 
or city reporter, and an excellent one he was, as were all who fol- 
lowed. On the death of Mr. Easly, George J. Akers succeeded, 
and on the latter 's death George C. Gibbs became the local. 
Mr. Gibbs was a versatile printer, and^could do anything from 
a leading editoral to collecting bills, or setting up type. El- 
mer E. Conrath succeeded Mr. Gibbs. Mr. Swank assumed the 


responsibility of every word put in the paper, either in court 
or out of it; he read every line and gave out all the copy; he 
stood over the imposing stone and directed what should go in; 
and he met the irate who came in to tell him that ''it wasn't 
so." On April 5, 1902, on account of ill health, he announced 
the sale of the Tribune plant to Anderson H. Walters and 
others, for a sum exceeding $82,000, and affectionately closed 
the editorial with "Good Bye." In due consideration of all 
the essential requirements for a newspaper man, — as. editor, 
publisher, printer, foreman, jobber, pressman and in business 
quahfications, Mf. Swank was pre-eminent in his profession 
and trade, and all in all was excelled by none. 

He was twice appointed and once elected clerk of the dis- 
trict court, which existed in Johnstown from '69 to '75. He 
was postmaster of Johnstown for three terms beginning in 
1874. He was chairman of the Republican county committee in 
'72 when 'Grant carried the cou^nty against his old friend and 
preceptor, Horace Greeley, and was chairman at other times, 
and delegate to state conventions and congressional confer- 
ences on many occasions. He was an alternate delegate to the 
Hayes convention of '76, and that of Grant in '80. He was a 
delegate to the Harrison convention of 1888, and a presidential 
elector for McKinley in 1896. Mr. Swank is a member of the 
famous No. 6 Typographical Union of New York city; the 
Grand Army of the Republic, and of Jolmstown Lodge of 
F. & A. Masons. 

When Mr. Walters assumed control of the Tribune, the 
Johnstown Tribune Publishing Company was organized. May 
2, 1902, with a capital of $75,500. The officers were Anderson 
H. Walters, president, treasurer and editor, and Elmer E. Con- 
rath, secretary and associate editor. That year three Mergan- 
thaler typesetting machines were introduced, when type setting 
and distribution by hand ceased in that office. In April, 1905, 
a Goss straight line rapid press was put in use. In March, 1907, 
the daily contained from twelve to sixteen pages, and the weekly 
from ten to twelve, seven columns each, and twenty inches in 
length. On December 1, 1905, the price of the daily was re- 
duced to one cent, or $3 per annum. The weekly remains at 
$1.50. An early edition is printed for the afternoon trains, 
and at 4:15 the regular edition appears with a circulation of 
10,000. The weekly has about 3,000. 


The Cambria Democrat was founded in Ebensburg in the 
year 1832 by Arnold Downing, then burgess of Ebensburg, 
Ai'oses Canan being clerk, it was, as its name indicated, a 
Jackson paper. ' After a couple of years of precarious exist- 
ence it suspended, doubtless owing to the fact that Johnstown 
was then just beginning to forge to the front, and the estab- 
lishment of a paper of that part}' in the canal and railroad town 
did not leave the paper at the county seat sufficient patronage 
to justify its publication. 

No. 16 of Yol. II. of the Johnstown Democrat and Cambria 
and Somerset Advertiser, bearing date of April 26, 1836, would 
seem to indicate that the journal was started about the begin- 
ning of 1835. It was a four page, six colimm paper, the col- 
umns seventeen inches in length, and was printed and pub- 
lished by William Latshaw, on Canal street, next door to the 
collector's office in Johnstown. Its publication was abandoned 
in the latter part of 1836. 

A source of official patronage was the publication of the 
then proposed constitution of the state during the last year of 
Ritner's administration in 1838, the law requiring it to be pub- 
lished in two newspapers in the county, and as there was but 
one Whig paper in Cambria county — the Sky, in Johnstown — 
it was determined by James Fenlon and Alexander McConnell, 
then supervisor of the Allegheny Portage Railroad, to start a 
paper in Ebensburg for that purpose, and the Democrat Jour- 
nal, with John Scott as publisher, was the result. The late 
Hon. John Fenlon was the writer of the editorials which, in 
dealing with political opponents, were generally caustic in the 
extreme. No. 4 of Vol. I., bearing date September 20, 1838, 
published what purported to be a receipt given by David R. 
Porter, then Democratic or Masonic candidate for governor, 
to one George Davis, and charged that Porter in taking the 
oath required by the insolvent laws, the benefit of which he had 
taken, had perjured himself. The reply of the Porterites was 
that their candidate had acted in good faith, had been forced 
into bankruptcy by reason of indorsing the obligations of 
friends, and did not mean to defraud any creditor. 

''Wood taken at this office for subscription," is promi- 
nently advertised at the bottom of page 3. 

Shortly after this time Robert L. Johnston assumed the 
editorial control of the Journal. 

The Democratic Sentinel was published in Johnstown dur- 


ing the presidential campaign of 1844 to advocate the election 
of James K. Polk. No. 2, of Vol. I. bears date of September 20, 
1844. George Nelson Smith was the editor. It was printed 
on ' ' medium-size ' ' paper, four fifteen-inch columns to the page, 
four pages, and the price was $1.50 per year. Judging from 
the import of a set of resolutions passed by a meeting of mem- 
bers of the party in Summerhill township, published in the 
paper, there was an urgent necessity for the leaders to get to- 
gether. There was, it appears, a bitter fight between John 
Snodgrass, Thomas A. Maguire, Dr. William A. Smith, Joseph 
McDonald, and the Mountain Sentinel, on the side of the rail- 
road faction, and George Murray, Colonel John Kean, James 
Potts, and the Democratic Sentinel, on the other. 

In 1835, the ^^ear after the opening of the double-track rail- 
road system across the Allegheny mountains, between Johns- 
town and Hollidaysburg, William Bernard Conway came to 
Johnstown and commenced the practice of law. His office and 
dwelling were on Canal street, now Washington, adjoining the 
Cambria Library. He was probably the first lawyer to locate 
in this town, and there were then but two others in the county 
— Moses Canan and Michael Dan Magehan — both at Ebensburg. 

Mr. Conway was about thirty-three years of age at that 
time, and came here from Pittsburg. He was slender, probably 
five feet nine in height, and weighed less than a hundred and 
fifty pounds; neat in dress, usually wearing a frock coat and 
silk hat, and used spectacles, with an entire absence of whiskers 
or mustache. But Mr. Conway was a genius, and gave more 
thought to literature than to the science of law. The Johns- 
town Democrat, the first Newspaper published in this town, had 
suspended, which gave him an opportunity to develop his nat- 
ural bent toward journalism. He purchased the plant, and, in 
the early part of 1836, founded the Mountaineer and Cambria 
and Somerset Advertiser, which was commonly known as 
the Mountaineer. The office was on Canal street, next to the 
collector's office, about where Ludwig's store is now situated. 

In the winter of 1836 Mr. Conway moved the Mountaineer 
plant on sleds to Ebensburg, where he continued to issue weekly 
installments of wit, sarcasm, and eloquence until the latter part 
of '37, when it seems the paper suspended. During odd mo- 
ments he was defendant in criminal libel suits, of which he had 
twenty on hand in a period of a few months, but only four were 
ever brought to trial. 


The Mountaineer was an individuality; it was Conwayism 
from the first to the last letter on the editorial page, and it had 
a state re^jutation of value, as he was a most brilliant and ver- 
satile writer. 

Mr. Conway was a follower of Andrew Jackson, and at 
that time a vigorous opponent of Joseph Kitner, the anti-Mason 
and Wliig governor, and a close friend of David R. Porter, who 
succeeded iiitner in 1838. During the year of 1837 he pub- 
lished many articles favoring Porter's nomination by the Dem- 
ocratic party, but he left before the election occurred. 

In the early part of 1838 friends in Philadelphia offered 
to fit out a newspaper plant in that city and give it to him to 
manage, but in June President Van Buren appointed him sec- 
retary of the Territory of Iowa, and he chose the latter xjosi- 
tion, which he held up to the time of his death. At this time 
Joseph Williams, Esq., a lawyer at Somerset, was also ap- 
pointed one of the Federal judges of that territory. On one 
occasion, when Judge Black was in Buchanan's cabinet. Judge 
Williams called on him, with whom he had an intimate acquaint- 
ance, and sent in his card, which did not receive x)rompt atten- 
tion. He thereupon sent in another with the following addi- 
tional information, "When you were Jerry and I was Joe," 
which gave him an audience at once. 

AVilliam Bernard Conway was a son of John Conway, a 
native of County Fermanagh, Ulster, Ireland. His i^arents 
were married before emigrating to the new world, which was a 
short time after the Revolution of '98. When they came here 
they located on the Brand\"Vfine in Newcastle county, Delaware, 
probably at Wilmmgton, where AVilliam B. Conway 
was born about 1802. He was a weaver's apprentice 
until his father moved to Westmoreland county in 1818, 
when he purchased a farm one mile from Livermore, near 
Spruce run, which has remained in the Conway family until 
this date. It is now owned by the estate of John Conway, a 
nephew of William B. and the father of William B. Conway, 
a grandnephew, and ex-recorder of Westmoreland county, who 
now resides in Latrobe. 

It is not known when William B. Conway left the farm, 
but between 1825 and 1833 he read law and was admitted to 
practice in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, and also 
formed a partnership with Thomas Phillips, of Pittsburg, and 


published in that city the American Manufacturer, a Demo- 
cratic newspaper. 

It was also during this period that he married Miss Char- 
ity Anne Kinney, of McKeesport. Their first child was Mary, 
who married Eobert Daley, of McKeesport, and their children 
are Edward, Eobert, and Annie Daley, now residing in that 
city, who are the only lineal descendants of this talented man. 
Their second child was a son, born in Ebensburg in the early 
part of 1837, and who died there November 7, 1837. 

William B. Conway died in Davenport, Iowa, in Decem- 
ber, 1839, while he was secretary of the territory, and was 
buried on the westerl}^ bank of the Mississippi river. His wife 
came to McKeesport and died there. Mary Conway Daley, his 
daughter, also died there in 1886. Mrs. Margaret Conway, a 
sister-in-law of William B. Conway, died at the Summit, this 
county, 1879. 

After Mr. Conway's retirement the Mountaineer was pub- 
lished for a time by Seely & Glessner, the first number being 
new series. Vol. II., No. 1, bearing the date June 20, 1838. It 
was a four-page, six-column paper. From this it would appear 
that Conway began a new series of the paper in Kbensburg. 
The terms of the Mountaineer were $2 per year if paid within 
the first three months, or $3 after that time. A notice at the 
bottom of the fourth page reads: ''AH kinds of country pro- 
duce taken in exchange for the Mountaineer." On September 
17, 1838, Seely & Glessner dissolved partnership, Glessner re- 
tiring and Seely assuming full control. 

In the issue of Wednesday, April 10, 1839, S. S. Seely gives 
notice that his connection with the Mountaineer has ceased, but 
that it will be continued by Thomas Lloyd, whose salutatory 
appears in the same column. At the top of the column is this : 

' ' For President, 
Martin Van Blren, 
The Constitutional Treasury." 

Shortly after his accession to the editorial cliair Islv. Lloyd 
published ''proposals for continuing the publication and in- 
creasing the circulation of the Mountaineer," but, despite these 
declarations of principles and claims to patronage, the Moun- 
taineer- appears to have had a hard road to travel. Party ani- 
mosities were running riot, often even to deeds of malicious 
mischief and violence, and one night, probably in the fall of 


1839, its office was entered and the type carried off it is said 
by a journe^^nan x)rinter and dumped into a vault not far dis- 
tant. This malevolent act caused the suspension of the paper 
for some time. It was resuscitated, however, and in 1842 John 
B. Brown had editorial charge, reducing the paper to four col- 
mnns to the page. The following year Thomas C. McDowell, 
Esq., was the avowed editor, and after him James McDermitt 
assumed control of its destinies, to be succeeded in 1844 by 
John G. Given, late of Mexico, Indiana, who changed its name 
to the Mountain Sentinel, which in time gave way to the Dem- 
ocrat and Sentinel, and that, in 1867, to the Cambria Freeman. 

In an article under head of "The Press in Ebensburg," 
the Alleghenian of Maj' 24, 1866, says that in 1842 McDermitt 
succeeded Lloyd, who went west, where he died some years aft- 
erward, and that, after having run the paper a year, James 
Brown took hold of it and conducted it until his death, which 
resulted from his being thrown from a bugg}% in 1844. John 
G. Given succeeded him and changed the name of the paper to 
the Mountain Sentinel; but in the files of the Cambria Gazette, 
under date of ]\ray 25, 1842, may be read an account of an ac- 
cident which befell John B. Brown, editor of the Mountaineer, 
by being thrown from a buggy and so severely injured that at 
first his life was despaired of, after which we see no notice 
of him in the paper. The conclusion is that the above state- 
ment is correct. Brown may, however, have lingered for years, 
and may have succeeded McDermitt, and may have afterward 
died from the result of the injury referred to. 

The Mountain Sentinel was the name given to the Mountain- 
eer by its new proprietor — John G. Given. It supported Polk 
and Dallas, the Democratic candidates for president and vice- 
president of that year, and favored the annexation of Texas. 
Mr. Given continued to edit the paper until the breaking out of 
the war with Mexico, when he enlisted in the Cambria Guards, 
and served with distinction in that memorable war. 

During the absence of Mr. Given, Daniel Zahm graced the 
sanctum of the paj^er as editor, and the Sentinel had ample 
opportunity to supply its readers with accounts of the stirring 
events of the conflict. 

On April 12, 1849, Mr. Given resumed the editing of the 
Mountain Sentinel, and continued in that capacity until Feb- 
ruary 27, 1851, when A. J. Rhey succeeded to the editorial 
chair. Mr. Rhey edited the paper through the campaign of 


1852 and until August 26, 1853, wlien the paper was merged 
with the Mountain Democrat, founded the previous year by 
Richard White, into the Democrat and Sentinel. 

Of this continuation of the Mountain Sentinel William B. 
Sipes became editor and proprietor and Robert Litzinger 
printer. This arrangement was not of long duration, for on 
December 9, 1853, Richard White and H. C. Devine assumed 
the roles of editors and proprietors, and Charles Wimmer that 
of printer. White and Devine continued in partnership in the 
editorship and proprietorship of the paper until May 13, 1857, 
when Mr. White retired and Mr, Devine assumed sole control, 
calling to his aid as assistant editor C. D. Murray, a talented 
young man of Ebensburg. 

The Mountain Democrat was a venture of Richard White 
in the arena of journalism. The paper was published in Ebens- 
burg in 1852 ; but after an existence of one year was merged 
with the Mountain Sentinel into the Democrat and Sentinel. 

In 1859 we find Mr. Murray editor and D. C. Zahm, pub- 
lisher and proprietor, who retired March 13, 1861, to be succeed- 
ed by James S. Todd as publisher on April 10th of that 
year. Mr. Murray continued to grace the editorial sanctum 
until June 18, 1862, when Mr. Todd succeeded him, retiring on 
April 13, 1864, to be succeeded on May 4th of the same year by 
Michael Hasson, Esq. 

On June 7, 1865, Clark Wilson bought the plant and the 
''good will" of the paper, and J. Ellison Downes became assist- 
ant editor. August 16, 1866, W. H. McEnrue became editor and 
proprietor, and conducted the paper until the time of its demise, 
about two months afterward. 

Robert L, Johnston, Esq., and Philip Collins, about the be- 
ginning of the year 1867, purchased at sheriff's sale the press, 
types, etc., of the defunct Democrat and Sentinel of Ebensburg. 
Mr. Johnston, as editor and proprietor, and Mr. Henry A. Mc- 
Pike, as publisher who had previously acted in a similar cap- 
acity on the Crusader, a Catholic paper published at Summit, 
this county, and on the Mountain Echo in Johnstown, on Jan- 
uary 31, 1867, launched the Cambria Freeman on the precarious 
sea of journalism as the organ of the Democratic party at the 
couutv seat. John S. Rhey, Esq., a writer of much force, 
perspicuity and ability, wrote the greater part of the editorials 
for the Freeman while it was under the control of Messrs. John- 
ston and McPike, the latter becoming sole proprietor about the 


year 1875, and continuing in that relation to the paper nntil, in 
the early part of 1884, he sold the "good will" of the paper and 
the appurtenances of the office to J. Gr. Hasson. 

After leaving Ebensburg, Mr. McPike became one of the 
projectors and proprietors of the Altoona Times, but along in 
the early '90s disposed of his interest in that venture, and now 
lives in Washington City. 

On July 1, 1903, Thomas A. Osborne and H. Gr. Andrews 
purchased the Freeman. On January 1, 1905, Mr. Andrews sold 
his interest to Mr. Osborne. It is a folio, eight columns to the 
page, and 22 inches in length, with a circulation of 1,672. 

The Democratic Courier was published in Johnstown, No. 1, 
Vol. I, New Series, bearing date September 2, 1846. On the 
first page appears, ^'The Democratic Courier and Tariff Advo- 
cate — Not Bound to Swear According to the Dictates of Any 
Master." The paper was one of four pages, five columns to 
the page. In the first numbers the name of H. C. Devine ap- 
pears as publisher, and later on that of Thomas A. Maguire 
as editor. What "New Series" means, unless the Courier was 
a revival of the Democratic Journal which had been also a tariff 
advocate, is not apparent. On March 16, 1847, the arrangement 
between Maguire and Devine having expired by limitation, the 
patrons of the paper were called upon to settle up, and that 
was the last of the Courier. 

The Cambria Transcript was the successor of the Demo- 
cratic Courier. H. C. Devine was the publisher and John B. 
Onslow, a brother of James Onslow, of Pittsburg, was its editor 
and proprietor, as may be seen from a card published by him in 
the Mountain Echo and Cambria Transcript, the successor of 
the Transcript in No. 3, of Vol. 1, of which paper bears date 
August 20, 1849, he says that, having disposed of the Transcript 
to Captain G. Nelson Smith, all persons indebted to him are 
authorized to pay the same to Captain Smith. . 

Under various modifications of its name, and often under 
adverse circumstances, the Mountain Echo had a desultory ex- 
istence, at different periods extending over a space of more than 
twenty years. Captain George Nelson Smith was for the greater 
part of the time its editor. 

Smith had fought in the Texan War of Independence, 
being present at the battle of San Jacinto, where Texan in- 


dependence Tvas won. He was an able writer, and advocated the 
principles in which he believed in a rational and generallv 
decorous manner, in striking contrast with the generality of 
the newspaper men of his time. He had in 1844 and' for 
some time subsequently edited the Democratic Sentinel. He 
bought the Cambria Transcript from John B. Onslow, and 
changed the name to the Mountain Echo and Cambria Tran- 
script. The third copy of this paper, bearing date Augiist 29, 
1849, noticed that Queen Victoria had at last paid her long- 
promised visit to Ireland. 

Volume II, No. 3, of the paper, under the heading the Moun- 
tain Echo, bearing date Friday, February 14, 1851, is a four- 
page, six-column paper. Much of its space was given to ed- 
itorial matter, correspondence and news. The issue of May 11, 
1853, under the flaming head of the Mountain Echo and Johns- 
toicn Commercicd Advertiser and Intelligencer — -''New Series 
Vol. I, No. 2, Wliole Number CVI," would seem to indicate that 
the Echo had been resurrected after a period of suspension. 
In this issue appears the name* of Emanuel J. Pershing as asso- 
ciate editor, a position he held until May 31, 1854, when he 
severed his connection with the paper, and on August 21st of 
that year, accomiDanied by Messrs. A. J. Hite and Geo. T. 
Swank, then recently employes in the Echo office, went to Eock 
Island, Illinois, to establish the Bock Islander. 

On August 26, 1853, in an editorial notice commenting on 
the salutatory of the Alleghenian, started the previous week in 
Ebensburg, the Echo — by that time the Allegheny Mountain 
Echo, etc. — says : 

''FoETHCOMTNG — Tlic A^^iig paper of this place is again to 
be resuscitated by James M. Swank, Esq. The first issue will 
appear about the first of December. It is now to be called the 
Cambria Tribune. Every time this paper is revived it comes 
out under a new name. This makes the sixth since it was first 
published in this place." 

Mr. Swank, in the first issue of the Cambria Tribune (now 
the Johnstown Tribune), December 7, 1853, retorted as follows: 

''The above courteous allusion to the resuscitation of 'the 
AVhig paper of this place' is, we presume, by the senior of 'one 
of the neatest weeklies extant!' We do not deny that in a period 
of thirteen years the name of the Whig journal 'of this place' 
has undergone the changes referred to, Imt, without addition or 
subtraction, we claim to have discovered a striking coincidence 
in the historv of the Locofoco paper 'of this place.' The only 


defect in tlie coincidence arises from the fact that this Locofoco 
jjaper has had six names in about as many years, being in this 
respect a trifle more progressive than the 'AYliig paper.' Let 
us look at tlie record: First, we have the Democratic Courier 
and Tariff Advocate; second, the Cambria Transcript; third, 
the Mountain Echo and Cambria Transcript; fourth, the Moun- 
tain Echo; fifth, the Mountain Echo and Johnstown Commercial 
Advertiser and Intelligencer, and sixth and last, though not 
least by half a dozen tri-syllables — the Allegheny Mountain Echo 
and Johnstoivn Commercial Advertiser and Intelligencer. There, 
now ! Great snake country, this ! ' ' 

In 1855 Mr. Smith, the Union candidate for the legislature 
in Cambria county, was elected. The Union ticket was nomi- 
nated by Democrats and Old Line Whigs who would not join 
the Know-Nothing party. 

On January 1, 1856, Cyrus L. Pershing, Esq., became ed- 
itor of the Echo, during the absence of Mr. Smith at Harrisburg 
as a member of the legislature that winter. On May 1st follow- 
ing, Mr. Pershing, who throughout the winter had acceptably 
filled the editorial chair, published a graceful valedictory, and 
Mr. Smith once more assumed control as editor and joroprietor. 
In the issue of October 22, 1856, the result of the election 
was announced under flaming heads and large spread-eagle cut, 
underneath which was the legend: "Cambria County, the 
Banner County of the Keystone State." 

On January 1, 1857, Editor Smith, having been a second time 
chosen Representative from this county, had consequently to 
temporarily^ relinquish the quill in the Echo sanctum, during 
which time Cyrus L. Pershing, Esq., for a second time became 
editor, but withdrew on the 28th of the same month "for many 
reasons not necessary to be stated," without however impair- 
ing any of the friendly relations existing between himself and 
Captain Smith. For a considerable time Smith's name appears 
as publisher and j^roprietor, where it once more appears as 
editor and proprietor. In 1858 the editor returned to the 
legislature a third time, and H. A. Boggs took his place. 

On May 5, 1858, Henry A. McPike, who had formerly pub- 
lished the Crusader at Summit, and had for several years 
previous been foreman in the Echo office, became associate editor 
and partner with Mr. Smith. On November 7, 1860, the partner- 
ship between Messrs. Smith and McPike was dissolved, the for- 
mer retaining control of the paper and the latter retiring. 


The War of the Rebellion coming on shortly after this time, 
and the determination of the men of Johnstown, withont regard 
to party lines, to save the Union at all hazards, and Captain 
Smith's determination to be at the seat of war in behalf of the 
Union, caused the Echo to be abandoned, to be replaced shortly 
afterward by the Johnstown Democrat as the organ of the 
Democratic party in the south of the county. 

In the issue of the Tribune of April 26, 1861, appeared an 
item stating that the Echo had suspended publication that week 
for the reason that owing to the unsettled state of the country, 
Captain Smith had been publishing the paper at a heavy loss 
for some time, with no bright prospects for the future. 

Colonel A. K. McClure, in his entertaining volumes of "Old 
Time Notes of Pennsylvania," relates an incident occurring in 
the legislature in the ses-sion of 1858, when George Nelson Smith 
saved the bill authorizing the construction of what is now the 
Philadelphia & Erie Railroad. 

Governor Packer was intensely interested in the measure. 
The bill did not reach him until within a few days of the final 
adjournment, and upon careful examination of it the governor 
discovered a single sentence in it which would possibly nullify 
the project. He could not return it and have it passed over 
his veto ; there was no time for the passage of a new bill ; and 
it could not then be amended without a joint resolution. A 
joint resolution was required to lay over a day, and to suspend 
this rule would have required a two-thirds vote, which delay 
would be fatal. 

Speaker Longenecker ruled, when interrogated, that a 
joint resolution could not be read and passed finally on the same 
day. The friends of the bill were in distress. George Nelson 
Smith, well versed in parliamentary law, was not inclined to be 
defeated where the merits overbalanced the objection. He was 
one of the most popular of all the members; he told a good 
story, sang a good song, and had been with Sam Houston at the 
battle of San Jacinto. Under these circumstances it was sug- 
gested to Speaker Longenecker that if he would permit Smith 
to preside the difficulty could be evaded and the amendment 
passed in time. He consented. Smith took the chair and the 
resolution was changed from the usual form of a joint resolu- 
tion by stating: "Resolved, If the senate concurs," giving it 
the appearance of a house resolution requiring simply the con- 
currence of 'the senate. As soon as it was read the point was 

Vol. I — 25 


raised that it was a join resolution and must lie over for a day, 
but Smith faced the emergency with magnificent boldness, de- 
ciding that it was not a joint resolution, and directed a final 
vote to be called, which was duly taken, and the bill passed. 
The senate concurred and the bill was saved. 

From one of a series of articles entitled "The Press in 
Ebensburg," published in the Alleglienian of that place in 1866, 
the following facts relating to the founding of that paper are 
gathered : 

"August 23, 1853, the first number of a new paper called 
the Alleglienian made its appearance. It was Whig in politics 
and edited by Messrs. A. C. Mullin and Charles Albright. Its 
motto was, 'The free communication of thoughts and opinions 
is one of the invaluable rights of man.' The Alleglienian was 
edited with much talent and more vigor, yet all its days were 
numbered by the brief space of two years. During these two 
years it had for its editors, besides Messrs. Mullin and Al- 
bright, Joseph R. Durborrow, E. L. Johnston, and John M. Bow- 
man. Upon the suspension of the paper in 1855, the establish- 
ment was bought by Dr. A. Rodrigue, who took the press, type 
and fixtures to Kansas. Arriving in that then turbulent Terri- 
tory, the office was seized l)y a body of border ruffians, and 
thrown into the Missouri River. The stock was subsequently 
fished out, however, and was afterward used, first, to spread 
abroad the pestilential heresy of pro-Slaveryism, and next, as a 
countervailing good, to preach the doctrines of Abolitionism." 

A notice from a paper called the Union, jDublished at Junc- 
tion City, Kan., in speaking of the old type of this paper, which 
the editor thereof was then about to throw into the "hell box," 
says that Dr. Rodrigue was the founder of the town of Lecomp- 
ton. Messrs. Mullin and Albright, it appears, were in 1853 prose- 
cuted for libel by Colonel John Piper, and mulcted in a small 
sum in the Blair County court. 

On Augiist 25, 1859, a paper called the Alleglienian and 
bearing at its head Bolsinger & Hutchinson, was started in 
Ebensburg to fill the long-felt want of a Republican paper at the 
county seat. About three months later Bolsinger dropped out, 
and the name of J. Todd Hutchinson alone appeared. After 
two years A. A. Barker appeared as editor and J. Todd Hutchin- 
son as publisher. 

The AUeghenian was a four-page, six-column paper, the 
columns twenty inches in length. The editorials were vigorous 
and uncompromising, the literary and historical selections, 
many of which bear unmistakable evidences of being the work 


of Mr. Hutchinson, are as near perfection as it is possible for 
snch tilings to be in a country printing office. 

A few weeks before the close of the seventh volume, Mr. 
Barker announced that he would vacate the editorial chair at 
the end of that volume, and offered the paper for sale. On Octo- 
ber 18, 1866, he published his valedictory, giving as the reason for 
retiring that his private business demanded his entire attention. 
No arrangement for the continuation of the paper having been 
entered into at that time, it suspended until January 24, 1867, 
when publication was resumed, with J. Todd Hutchinson as 
editor and William E. Hutchison as publisher. 

William E. Hutchinson having died on December 19, 1867, 
from the effects of an illness occasioned, it is said, by over- 
exertion in a game of baseball three months previously, the 
name of his brother appeared as editor and publisher until the 
end of the eighth volume, on February 20, 1868, from which 
time until August 13, 1868, the commencement of the ninth vol- 
ume, in the first number of which appear the names of J. Todd 
Hutchinson and E. James as editors, the paper was suspended. 
This new arrangement continued for a year, when Mr. James 
dropped out and Hutchinson was once more editor and pub- 

The Crusader was a Catholic paper published by Henry A. 
McPike at Summit, then the seat of the diocesan seminary, the 
first number appearing about the first of January, 1852. Eevs. 
John Walsh, of Hollidaysburg; Joseph Gallagher, of Loretto; 
Thomas McCulloch, of Summit, and T. Mullen, of Johnstown, 
afterward Bishop of Erie, were its editors. Whether the paper 
had, like many secular papers of the county, its period of sus- 
pension, or whether the publisher forgot to change the Roman 
numeral at the head of the paper- — ^a mistake he sometimes 
made — cannot positively be told, while inclining something to 
the former opinion, but Vol. I, No. 6, of a Crusader in the 
Tribune office bears date March 10, 1853. Some time in that 
year, however, it was merged with the AUeghenian and 
the seminary was about the same time moved to Pittsburg. 

In September, 1871, Edmund James changed the name of 
AUeghenian to the Cambria Herald, which continued until 1881, 
when Festus Lloyd purchased it, and his name appeared as 
editor at the head of its columns until his appointment to the 
postmastership of Ebensburg in the early part of 1898, when 
he sold out to a syndicate of politicians. It was soon merged 


with Walter R. Thompson's Mountaineer, the result of which 
amalgamation is the present Mountaineer-Herald. 

During- the agitation caused by the opposition of Stephen 
A. Douglas to the admission of Kansas as a state under the 
Lecompton constitution, which the administration of Buchanan 
espoused, the Democrat and Sentinel being an administration 
paper, the friends of Douglas in Ebensburg formed an associa- 
tion to start a Douglas paper. The result was the resurrection 
on February 4, 1858, of the Mountaineer (No. 2), with Philip S. 
Noon, Esq., editor and proprietor, and D. C. Zahm, publisher; 
but the new editor retired on the 22d of September of the same 
year, giving as his reason therefor that he preferred to give 
undivided attention to the legal profession. He was succeeded 
in the next issue of September 29th by his brother — James 
Chrysostom Noon — the name of Robert Litzinger appearing at 
the same time as publisher. 

During the political campaign of 1860, on August 20th, Mr. 
Noon retired from the editorial chair, and the adherents of 
Douglas, anxious to continue the publication of the paper, in- 
duced John Llovd to liecome its editor for one vear, guarantee- 
ing that he should not lose pecuniarily by his association with 
the paper. The defeat of Douglas at the general election in 
that year removed the motive for the continuation of the paper, 
and at the expiration of Mr. Lloyd's contract with the proi3rie- 
tors the paper ceased to exist. 

On April 11, 1856, the Beohachter, the first German news- 
paper of Johnstown, was printed on a press and types that 
had previously belonged to the Allegheny Republikaner, a 
Whig paper that had been published in Somerset. Germanus 
Voegtly and AVilliam Hermann were the publishers and the 
latter was the editor. It w^as a four-page, five-column paper, 
sixteen ems wide to the column. On November 28, 1856, the 
name of the paper was changed. Der Johnstown Demokrat 
was the new name given, which, it was stated, was more sig- 
nificant than Beohachter (Observer), the politics of the paper 
being Democratic. The firm name was then changed to G. 
Voegtly & Co., and on April 24, 1857, to Voegtly & Young, Jo- 
seph Young then becoming the editor. On August 19, 1857, 
Richard White, of No. 4, bought out the interest of Voegtly, 
who it appears was sole owner, for the reason, the Tribune 
then asserted, that Young, while a good editor, had a, leaning 
toward the Republican party, and was opposed to G. Nelson 


Smith's legislative aspirations. White, who was quite a lin- 
guist, occupied the editorial chair until April 5, 1858, when he 
made Hermann associate editor, which arrangement lasted for 
some time. White and Hermann both joined the army, the latter 
in a New York regiment. 

About the beginning of the civil war, Victor Voegtly bought 
Der DemoJcrat and conducted it for several years. A man 
named Lechner afterward became owner. 

In 1871 the name of the paper was changed to the Freie 
Presse by Mr. Lechner, from whom C. T. Schubert bought the 
paper about the year 1877. He continued to conduct it until 
the great flood of 1889, in which he lost his life. His office be- 
ing on the third story of the building now occupied by the Dol- 
lar Deposit bank, on the corner of Main and Franklin streets, 
escaped uninjured, and a couple of weeks later the paper was 
started anew by Mrs. Schubert, as publisher, and George A. 
Bauer, as editor. In 1900 William F. and F. J. Schubert be- 
came the proprietors, with the former as editor. The office 
is in the Fend Imilding on Main street. It is an eight page 
paper, 17x24, and the only German paper in the county. It 
is Democratic, and has a weekly circulation of 1,700. 

The Johnstown Democrat, the second paper of the name to 
be edited and published in the place, made its first appearance 
on March 5, 1863, with James F. Campbell, Sr., as editor, and 
James F. Campbell, Jr., as associate editor. The elder Camp- 
bell had previously edited a paper in Blairsville. He was a 
violent anti-war Democrat, as was apparent from the first issue 
of the paper, in its editorial notice of which the Tribune made 
this prediction, which was soon fulfilled: 

"Altogether, if the initial number is to be taken as an in- 
dex of the future, the Johnstown Democrat will soon earn for 
itself a precious load of odium in the estimation of Union men 
who are less loyal to 'the ])arty' than to the government." 

The journalistic career of the Messrs. Campbell in Jolms- 
town was a most stormj^ one. So bitter was the feeling en- 
gendered, it was alleged that at the time of the return of the 
nine-month men, the editors, expecting violence at the hands of 
the exasperated volunteers, had an armed body of friends in 
the office of the paper ready to repel any attack. The friends 
of the defenders of the Union averred that such had never been 
contemplated. Once afterward there was a disturbance on one 


of the streets, the responsibility for which the Tribune charged 
to the editors of the Democrat, 

A vile caricature of the president, entitled "The Ebony 
King" was published in the paper, and the Hon. Cyrus L. 
Pershing, then member of the legislature, was charged with 
being an accessory, as he was reputed to be the owner of the 
paper at the time; but he disclaimed all responsibility there- 
for. In the fall of 1864 the paper was suspended for a short time, 
but was revived, as appears from the Tribune of December 2d 
of that year, and the terms of the paper raised to $3 a year in 
advance, or $3.50 if not so paid. 

On December 23, 1864, the Tribune in an editorial notice 
said : 

"The Johnstown Democrat has at last changed hands, Mr. 
James F. Campbell being succeeded as editor and publisher by 
H. D. and L. D. Woodruff— the father and son— late of New 
Bloomfield, Perry county. Personally we welcome these gen- 
tlemen to Johnstown; pecuniarily we hope they may meet with 
the most gratifying success; politically, we tell them frankly 
we do not like their first editorial about 'the reserved rights of 
the states,' nor do we admire the tone of the following sen- 
tences : 

" 'We have just closed a presidential contest, and com- 
mitted the destinies of this nation for years to the Abolitionists 
of the north and the Secessionists of the south, and we must 
await the development of the future. The election has been 
carried against us, with a less majority than there are officials 
whose tenure of office is dependent on the will of the presi- 
dent.' " 

In 1870 the elder Woodruff was the Removal candidate 
for the legislature, for which position he was supported by the 
Tribune as well as the Democrat, and opposed by the Cambria 
Freeman and Alleghenian of Ebensburg. During this cam- 
paign the anti-Eemovalites started a paper in Johnstown in 
opposition to the Democrat, called the Mountain Eclio with G. 
Nelson Smith as editor. He was succeeded in turn by Thomas 
E. Myers, Casper W. Easly, and D. W. Hite. W. Horace Rose, 
Esq., who was the candidate on the regular Democratic ticket 
that year, was elected by a majority of 222 votes. 

In 1876 the senior editor retired, leaving his son, L. D. 
Woodruff, editor. For two terms, 1876-80, Mr. Woodruff was 
one of the representatives of this county in the legislature. He 
was also postmaster for Johnstown in Cleveland's second term 
and mavor of Johnstown from 1899 to 1902. 


Ou Wednesday, August 22, 1888, began the publication 
of tlie Daily Democrat. The plant was damaged but little in 
the great flood of May 31, 1889, and publication was resumed 
in July of the same year. Mr. Woodruff edited and published 
the paper until February 1, 1893, since which time it has been 
conducted by Mr. Warren Worth Bailey, assisted by his brother 
—Edward Homer Bailey. On the night of March 4, 1896, the 
Hannan block on Franklin street, in which the office of' the 
paper is located, was badly damaged by fire and the Democrat 
suffered severely, without, however, any serious interruption 
in its business or delay in its publication. 

Warren Worth Bailey entered the office of the Kansas 
(Illinois) Citizen in 1868, when thirteen years of age, and held 
the position of ''devil" for three years. He then became a 
telegraph operator on the Big Four Railroad, and was made 
station agent when he was eighteen. Two years thereafter he 
returned home to attend school, and again went into the office 
of the Kansas Neivs, the successor of the Citizen, where he 
worked before and after school hours and on Saturdays. His 
brother, Edward Homer, was also employed on the Netvs from 
73 to 77, and was an apt apprentice in the art. Homer Bailey 
accepted a position on the Carlisle (Indiana) Register in the 
latter year, when he was nineteen. After working there a short 
time he was offered the plant in partial pajanent for wages due, 
which he accepted. He invited Warren to join him in its man- 
agement, under the name of the Democrat. They found it a 
heart-breaking proposition for some time. The public never 
knew how close they were to "Starvation Hollow," but the pro- 
prietors were doing good work and kept up appearances in a 
businesslike manner. Wlien returns suddenly began to come in, 
the paper leaped- into prosperity. In 1879 the brothers bought 
the Vincennes (Indiana) Reporter, and consolidating it with the 
Carlisle Democrat, changed the name to the Vincennes Neivs. 
This venture also was successful, and in 1887 they sold out, 
and both entered journalism in Chicago. 

Warren Worth Bailey became attached to the reportorial 
and later to the editorial staff of the Evening Mail, and with a 
brief interruption was on the editorial staff of the Chicago 
Daily Neivs until he came to Johnstown. In the meanwhile he 
did incidental work for the Times, the Tribune, the Herald, the 
Globe and the Evening Post. While on the Neivs he exploited 
his radical views along economical, social and reform lines, con- 


sisting of single tax, free trade and control of public utilities, 
or payment for the same, which he has continued as the policy 
of the Democrat. 

Edward Homer Bailey engaged with the BlakeJey Printing 
Company, a large job office in Chicago. He then became editor 
of the Lake View Record, in a suburban town, and later ac- 
cepted a position on the editorial staff of the News in the city, 
In 1889 he was news editor on the Railroad Age. The next two 
years he was editor of the Bloomington (Illinois) Daily Leader , 
a Refjublican journal, relinrjuishing that to become a part owner 
of the Normal (Illinois) Advocate, where he remained until he 
came to Johnstown. 

On Februar}^ 1, 1893, the brothers purchased the Daily and 
Weekly Democrat; the former had a circulation of about 300, 
and the latter 900. The Daily was a seven-column folio, with 
twenty-inch columns. It was a morning two-cent paper, or $5 
a year subscription. In April, 1907, this daily edition has from 
twelve to sixteen pages, printed on a Webb perfecting press. 
The price was reduced to one cent on January 1, 1894, be- 
coming the first penny paper in the county. In 1895 they intro- 
duced the Merganthaler type-setting machines, and now have 
four. Its circulation on April 6 was 8,900, and on the opening 
of the baseball season it rose 700. The Weekly has about 1.100, 
A Sunday edition was published from October 4, 1903, to Feb- 
ruary' 28, 1904, when it was discontinued. Warren Worth Bailey 
is the editor and publisher, and owns two-thirds of the plant, 
wliile pjdward Homer Bailey, tlje associate editor, owns one- 
third. A ens-}) offer of $100,000 was made for it recently. 

During the existence of Smith's Mountain Echo the paper, 
to use that gentleman's facetious expression, had been fre- 
quently threatened by the Tribune with the specter of an Alle- 
gheny Mountain Voice. This phantasm at last took shape in 
the founding of a pa])or by a number of persons to politically 
oppose the Echo's editor, of whom H. A. Boggs was one of the 
leading spirits. If we are to judge by an item in the Tribune 
of April 17, 1858, the "publishers, proprietors and editors" re- 
mained incog., but to a certain John McCormick, a school 
teacher by profession, was given the credit of writing the lead- 
ing editorials. 

The first issue of the National Democrat appeared in Johns- 


town on September 21, 1857, in opposition to the Echo, whifh 
was an anti-Lecompton organ. A. J. Hite was the publisher. 
Joseph Young was the reputed editor of this publication and 
of the Herald, a German paper of the sam.e proclivities that 
appeared about the same time. As Lecompton Democrats were 
not very plentiful in Johnstown, the paper did not long survive. 

The Johnstown Herald, according to the Echo of that time, 
was a German sheet printed in Pittsburg in 1857 on the press 
of Victor Scriba, of the Pittsburg Democrat, at the instigation 
of National Democrats, headed by General Bowman, of Bedford, 
to fight the regular, or Administration, ticket in Cambria 
county. Joseph Young was the reputed editor. 

Mountain Echo No. 2. In 1870, after Henry D. Woodruff 
had accepted the nomination for Assembly on the Removal 
ticket, the friends of Ebensburg started a paper (the Mountain 
Echo No. 2), in opposition to the Democrat and the Tribune, 
both of which favored the removal of the county seat, and 
George Nelson Smith was placed in control as editor. He was 
succeeded successively by Thomas E. Myers, Casper W. Easly 
and D. W. Hite. 

The Voice and Echo was a weekly paper started in opposi- 
tion to the Tribune a short time before the inauguration of the 
Daily Voice. James F. Campbell, Sr., was its editor. Its name 
was probably a compound of the Allegheny Mountain Voice and 
the Mountain Echo. 

On July 2, 1872, J. B. Campbell, Jr., and brother started 
the Daily Voice in Johnstown. After an existence of two years 
this paper suspended. This was the first attempt at establish- 
ing a daily newspaper in Johnstown. 

The Sunday Times was published in Johnstown for a short 
time in 1879-80. James F. Campbell, Sr., was the editor. The 
demand for a Sunday paper did not justify the expense of 
publication, hence it was discontinued. McPike in the Freeman 
facetiously alluded to the cause of its demise in the following: 

"Dimes and rlollars, dollars and dimes, 
The want of money, the worst of crimes. 
Was what was the matter with the Sunday Times." 

The Ebensburg Local Neivs was a Republican pajter estab- 
lished by S. E. Humphreys in 1887. Its publication was suspend- 
ed in 1890. 

The South Fork Courier was ushered into existence by 
S. E. Humphreys after he had discontinued the publication of 


the Local News in Ebensburg, and was by him conducted for 
several years, when he sold the press and good will of the 
paper to the proprietors of the Record. 

The South Fork Record succeeded the Courier in 1894, 
with John L. Sechler as one of its first editors. On August 13^ 
1897, W. I. Stineman became the editor and proprietor, with 
Otis C. Lloyd as manager. On August 8, 1898, it was moved 
into its own building. H. C. Stineman is the present editor and 
publisher. It is a folio, twenty by twenty-six inches, issued on 
Thursday, and has always been a Kepublican journal. 

The U. B. Conference Journal began publication in 1888, 
Kev. W. H. Mingle being its editor and Rev. L. W. Stahl pub- 
lisher. It is a monthly journal devoted to religious intelligence, 
dated at Johnstown. 

Thompson's Mountaineer was founded in Ebensburg in 
opposition to the Cambria Herald by W. E. Thompson and J. L. 
Sechler, June 18, 1891, but in October of the same year Mr. 
Secliler retired, leaving the paper in control of the senior editor, 
whose name continued at the head of its columns down to the 
merging of that paper with the Herald, and still appears at the 
head of the Mountaineer-Herald. The consolidation took place 
in April, 1898. The Herald had been an eight-column folio, 
but since the consolidation it has been one of six columns of 
eight pages, twenty inches in length. It is well equipped, having 
a Cottrell drum cylinder press and a Mergenthaler double- 
magazine linotype, which were introduced in that year. The 
machinery is run by electricity. Eighteen hundred copies are 
issued every Thursday. It is the only Republican paper in the 
county seat, and Mr. Thompson is editor and owner. 

The Teachers' Advocate was an educational paper first 
issued in January, 1867, by J. Frank Condon and T. J. Chap- 
man. Its subscription price was seventy-five cents per annum,^ 
with a circulation of about five hundred copies. In January, 
1868, Mr. Chapman retired and was succeeded by A. C. John- 
son. Four months later the proprietor sold to George W. Cope, 
who moved the paper to Ebensburg. In December, 1869, the 
Advocate again changed owmers, George J. Akers and David 
W. Hite assuming control, with T. J. Chapman as editor. Johns- 
town again became the place of publication, and the Advocate 
took the shape of a pamphlet, but its publication was given up 
in the year 1870. 

At the beginning of the year 1873 George W. Wagoner, now 


a physician in Johnstown, started in this place a weekly i^aper 
called the Literary Herald, whose life went out at the end of a 
year. It was 13 by 26 inches in size. Dr. Wagoner, at the time 
of its pnblication, was but seventeen years of age, having pre- 
viously worked a couple of years at the printing trade in the 
Tribune office. 

The Gallitzin Netvs was published for a short period prior 
to the founding of the Vindicator. J. I. Campbell was its ed- 
itor, but he soon became convinced that the position of mail 
agent on the Pennsylvania railroad was more remunerative 
than that of editor of a paper on the mountain top. 

About the beginning of 1887 Mr. James W. Kilduff, who 
in his youth had been a miner by occupation, and had taken 
a conspicuous part in the Greenback-Labor movement and in 
the United Mine Workers and Knights of Labor organizations, 
projected the Gallitzin Vindicator and Industrial Liberator as 
the official organ of the United Mine Workers of America of 
District No. 2 and of the Knights of Labor and other labor 
organizations of this county, and afterward of the Ancient 
Order of Hibernians. AAHiile the circulation was large, many of 
the subscribers did not pay, with the result that the iiaper had 
to succumb to the inevitable. The press and office fixtures were 
sold, and on them the Gallitzin Times was printed. 

The Gallitzin Times was started in 1891 to succeed the 
Vindicator. W. S. Strickland was its editor and publisher. It 
suspended publication in the summer of 1906. 

The Gallitzin Ifott was established in November, 1906. 
Charles Piatt is the editor and proprietor. It is exclusively a 
paper for local events. 

The Carrolltown News was established in 1879 by T. Scott 
Williams, who was succeeded by T. W. Letts and W. H. Waltz 
as publishers. It was afterward edited by J. S. Foley, when it 
had passed into the hands of Joseph A. Gray. It was for a time 
edited by Joseph E. Farabaugh, and then became llio ])roperty 
of sons of Joseph A. Gray. It has always been Democratic in 
politics, and is a six-column, eight-j^age pai)er, issued on Fri- 
day, G. E. Hipps being the editor and publisher. 

The Johnstown Daily Nervs was a venture of .lolm E. 
Strayer in 1888, a short time before the establishment of the 
Daily Democrat. It was for a time fairly successful, but l;n-k 
of sufficient capital to carry on as expensive an undertaking 


as the publishing of a daily paper caused its suspension. The 
iirst issue was on February 20. 

Johnstown Herald, Weekly and Daily, was started in 
April, 1891. It was published by the Herald Publishing Com- 
pany, Frank C. Hoerle being the editor. The daity was a four- 
page, seven-column paper, published at first for $5 per year. 
A weekly paper was also published at $1.50 per year, being 
established previous to the Daily. This was afterward, in Jan- 
uary, 1894, changed to a semi-weekly at the same price, at which 
time the price of the Daily was reduced to one cent per copy. 
This effort to secure patronage, however, did not meet with 
success, and the result was the suspension of the paper. 

The Hastings Herald and Tribune was started at Hastings 
with the assistance of General D. H. Hastings, who donated a 
lot on which to build an office for a paper for the then new 
town, the first number appearing February 7, 1889. The paper 
was ostensibly independent, with Republican proclivities. R. M. 
Huston was its editor. R. J. Kaylor purchased the plant August 
1, 1890, and when appointed postmaster in 1893 leased the paper 
to G. A. Gill, who conducted it for one year, when he relinquished 
the paper to its owner, who thereafter, until the summer of 
1898, continued its publication. In the latter year, believing 
there was an opening for a Democratic paper at the county 
seat, Mr. Kaylor endeavored to buy the Freeman in Ebensburg, 
but the owner — Mr. Hasson — being unwilling to sell, the plant 
of the Hastings Tribune was moved thither, and on June 1, 
1898, with R. J. Kaylor and H. G. Kajdor, of Johnstown, as 
editors and publishers, the first issue was put out under the 
name of the Cambria Tribune. The Tribune was changed from 
a seven-column folio to a six-column, eight-page paper, columns 
eighteen inches. On June 1, 1903, Louis E. Kaylor purchased 
the plant. Since June 1, 1906, it has been a seven-column, eight- 
page paper, with a circulation of 1,800. R. J. and H. G. Kaylor 
then organized the Journal company in Johnstown. 

Beulah had its Sky printed in Philadelphia, and Johnstown 
had its Herald printed in Pittsburg; so likewise Ebensburg had 
its Democrat printed in Patton on the press of the Herald in 
1898. The first issue was also the last. 

The Johnstown Daily Times, a four page, eight column 
daily paper, was started in December, 1895, by F. W. Clark. 
In conjunction with this iDaper Mr. Clark continued the publi- 


cation of the A[orrellville Times, which he had run as a weekly 
paper for several years previous to coming to Johnstown. 

The Lilly Signal was started in December, 1896, by a stock 
company, the late James W. Kildufe being employed as editor, 
who was succeeded by James McCann. The original company 
was named the Signal Publishing Company, but Mr. McCann 
changed the name to the Lilly Publishing Company. It has now 
a subscription list of thirteen hundred, and circulates in every 
mining town in the county. It is a folio 17 by 24 inches. While 
not an official organ of the miners from choice it nevertheless 
publishes the official mining news of District No. 2, U. M. W. 
of A., and is considered an authority on mining matters in this 


The Johnstown Presbyterian was a monthly paper, pub- 
lished, as the salutatorj^ of the editor— the Rev. Dr. C. C. Hays 
— stated, to keep the somewhat scattered members of that de- 
nomination informed with regard to church services, works of 
benevolence, and so forth. Its first number made its appear- 
ance in February, 1894, when the congregation had two chapels. 
The publishing company was composed of Messrs. Campbell 
Rutledge, John P. Lloyd, Charles H. Alter, H. V. Smith, 
Charles W. Horrell, and William Boyes. The paper was well 
edited. It was printed on the Tlicocrat press, and the sub- 
scription was twenty-five cents per year. After five years, 
publication was suspended, the want which called the paper into 
existence having passed away when the members in the sub- 
urbs organized independent churches. 

The Aloyslan is the euphonious name of a quarterly pub- 
lication edited by the pupils of Mt. Aloysius Academy, Cres- 
son. It is devoted to college news, essays, poems, etc., the liter- 
ary productions of the pupils, and was started about 1899. 

The Neue Welt was the name given a German paper, or 
New World, in the English signification of the term. After a 
few months Otto Nickel bought out his partner Paul Schmidt. 
It suspended May, 1901. The Neue Welt was an eight-page, 
six-column paper. 

After the Neue Welt had been established the coiii[i;iny 
that had formerly published the paper for Mr. Nickel continued 
the publication of the Neue Zeit with Louis (Jolder as manager. 
This arrangement, however, was not of long duration and ceased 
in 1899. 

The Patton Courier was established in 1893 bv the Patton 


Publisliing Company. E. Will Greene was its editor. It is in- 
dependent in politics, and is devoted principally to general and 
local news and literary selections. It is an eight page weekly, 
15x22. E. E. Decker is the editor. 

The Patton Herald was a Democratic paper started in Pat- 
ton by E. A. Kinsloe, Jr., as editor and publisher in 1898. Its 
life was not of long duration. 

The Johnstown Theocrat was a religious and temperance 
paper started by the Eev. M. L. Weaver. Barring temporary 
suspensions on account of adverse circumstances it was pub- 
lished weekly until it was discontinued in. 

The Spangler Sentinel was a Eepublican paper established 
at Spangler in 1893. Milton Spencer was the editor and the 
Spangler Printing Company the publishers. About 1900 it 
was removed to Barnesboro and became the Barnesboro Star, 
published by the Star Publishing Company, as independent in 
politics. It contains 8 pages, 15x22, and is issued on Fridays. 
Mr. Spencer is the editor. 

The Morrellville Journal was the first paper started in 
Morrellville, the first issue bearing date of January 4, 1895, and 
the last January 17, 1896. It was a neat four-page, five-col- 
umn paper, and was devoted to local and general news. C. E. 
Hurrell was its editor. 

The Item was a small paper published in Johnstown 
about 1891 by J. Morrell Goughnour. It came out Saturdays, 
and devoted its space to sporting and society news. It lived 
only through a few issues. 

The Cresson Record was established in 1895 by Joseph E. 
Farabaugh, who bought the plant of the Cherrytree Record and 
moved it to Cresson. After a short time he sold out to Swope 
Brothers, A. H. Swope being the editor. At this time F. N. 
Harrington is the editor. It is Independent in politics, and has 
four pages, 17x24, published on Friday. 

The Johnstown Journal is an Independent-Democratic 
daily, first issued December 5, 1903, from its office, corner Main 
and Clinton streets, by the Journal Publishing Company, which 
was incorporated September 27, 1903; H. M. Benshoff, presi- 
dent; Geo. Wild, vice-president; E. J. Kaylor, secretary, and 
H. G. Kaylor, treasurer. It is a seven-column, twelve-page 
morning paper. When the Wild building was destroyed by 
fire, March 28, 1906, the plant was moved to 221 Franklin 
street. (3n June 1, 1906, a new Hoe press was installed. At the 


present time it is made up of from ten to sixteen pages, the 
columns being twenty-one inches in length. It has no weekly 
issue. R. J. Kaylor is the managing editor, and H. G. Kaylor 
business manager. Its circulation in February was 6,900. K. 
J. Kaylor is a practical printer, having learned the trade on 
the Freeman, the Altoona Mirror and the Altoona Sunday 
Morning. January 1, 1889, he became foreman of the Carroll- 
town Neivs. In '90 he was engaged in the Times Printing 
Company job office in Philadelphia, owned by John Wana- 

The Northern Cambria News is published l)y the News 
Publishing Company, at Hastings, with H. E. Williams as edi- 
tor. It was established in 1902, and now has eight pages, 13 
by 20, and is issued on Friday. 

The Portage Press was established in 1903, as an indepen- 
dent newspaper. F. W. Eicher was editor and publisher. It 
had eight pages, 13 by 20. It ceased to appear in the fall of 

The Conemaugli Valley Monllily was a magazine published 
in Johnstown by the Conemaugli Valley Publishing Company, 
the first number appearing in August, 1906. Rufus Hatch Hol- 
brook was the editor and Benjamin F. Watkins, business man- 
ager. It was a literary production and especially aimed to 
portray picturesque views in the valley; the illustrations were 
taken from very fine photographs. But four numbers of the 
monthly had been issued when on December 1, 1906, the Satur- 
day Night appeared in its place. The latter, controlled by the 
same parties and published by the Conemaugh Publishing Com- 
pany, was a twenty-page, 11 by 14, illustrated weekly, consisting 
of general literature, cartoons and portraits, and pictures of 
local scenery, which suspended publication in March, 1907. 



The Cambria Steel Company, formerly the Cambria Iron 
Company, the leading manufacturing industry in the city of 
Johnstown, and which lias been such since 1853, is of so great 
importance, that its early history and a description of the man- 
ner in wiiicli it was originated, should be recorded. 

The Pennsylvania system of transportation, consisting in 
part of the canal from Johnstown to Pittsburg and the Old 
Portage railroad over the mountains from Johnstown to Hol- 
lidaysburg, was completed and ready for business in 1834. Its 
opening was a national event, and it seemed probable that busi- 
ness would center around Johnstown. 

In 1833, George Shryock King, then in the twenty-fourth 
year of his age. was a merchant in Mercersburg, Franklin 
county, and his attention was drawn to Johnstown by the pub- 
lic works. Tn that year he came here, looked over the situation, 
and, concluding it was going to be a better place for business 
than Mercersburg, the following year transferred his stock of 
merchandise to Johnstown. He bought the lot on the north- 
east corner of Main and Franklin streets, which then ex- 
tended up Main street so as to include the Hamilton lot, and 
erected a store building on the Hamilton portion, at the same 
time purchasing for a residence the lot later occupied by Dr. 
S. M. Swan, and several other lots from Abraham Morrison. 

Mr. King opened his store and continued in business until 
1840, when he sold out to John K. and William L. Shryock, 
with the intention of going to Pittsburg and engaging in the 
wholesale dry-goods trade but the effect of the i)anic of 1837 
was so serious that it changed his course. This was the real 
beginning of the Cambria Iron Company. This panic was the 
same as all otter business stagnations, bringing misery until 
revival came, and of course there was a scarcity of money as 
a medium of exchange. It is stated that there was actually no 
money here. Probably two thousand people dwelt in the com- 
munity, and Mr. King came to the conclusion that if some 



means were devised by which the natural products of the vicin- 
ity could be taken to Pittsburg, he could there exchange them 
for groceries, dry goods, and other articles, besides furnishing 
employment to a large number of men here. He believed there 
was sufficient iron ore in the hills around Johnstown to carry 
out his idea of an exchange in that direction. 

A little before this time David Stewart and Samuel Ken- 
nedy were carrying on a foundry on the '^ Island," but, owing 
to the panic, the fimihad dissolved. Mr. King made known 

George Shryock King. 

his views to Mr. Stewart, a practical foundryman, who favor- 
ably considered the proposition, and the two started prospect- 
ing for iron ore in all the hills around Johnstown. The search 
was continued for a long time before a vein of sufficient size 
was discovered to warrant the building of a furnace. 

In 1840 a crop of ore was found on the John Seigh farm 
on the Laurel run, above the "Bucket" factory, now in West 
Taylor township, and to ascertain the thickness and ([uality of 
the ore, they sank a shaft thirty-seven feet, and found a fifteen- 
inch seam. Several tons of ore were taken out and hauled over 

Vol. 1—2 6 


the Laurel Hill to the Ross Furnace, in Westmoreland county, 
to be made into pig metal, for the purpose of testing the qual- 
ity. The metal was taken to a forge on the Juniata river, in 
Blair county, and proved very good bar iron, excepting that it 
was excessively hard or brittle. But the prospectors had con- 
fidence in the OBe and purchased from Mr. Seigh the land on 
which their first find was located. 

The terms for acquiring ore and limestone for Ben's Creek 
Furnace were as follows: 

''We, the undersigned land owners in the Township of 
Conemaugh and County of Somerset on the Ben's Creek and its 
waters, do hereby convenant and agree that Geo. S. King of 
Johnstown, and such other persons as may join with him in 
Company, shall erect a Furnace on said Ben's Creek for the 
purpose of making Iron Castings, etc., that in such case, We, 
the undersigned do hereby grant to him and them the privi- 
lege of using any Iron ore and Limestone that can or may be 
found on the Land of all or any of the undersigned, and do 
hereby grant to him and them the privilege of making immedi- 
ate examination and search for the. same; and shall pay to 
the person or persons from whose land the ore shall be taken 
ten dollars a year in advance from the time they commence 
hauling the same for use, so long as they may continue to haul 
and use the same; provided always, nevertheless that whatever 
damage may accrue to the owners of the lands where said ore 
may be found in raising and hauling the same, by roads, lanes 
or other wise, the same shall be paid for to the owner of said land 
by tbe person or persons using said ore. 

"Witness our hands this March, 1841. 

"William McCov bv his attornev in fact, Abraham Mor- 
rison, grants the above privilege on three tracts, including the 
forks of Ben's Creek for the names of John Clark, Stephen 
Clark and James Dalton. Garit Beam." 

Mr. King and Mr. Stewart formed a partnership under 
the firm name of George S. King & Co., and built the Cambria 
Furnace, on the Seigh tract, which was finished and blown in 
in 1842, and was the first furnace in this county. They shipped 
the pig metal to Pittsburg, exchanging it for dry goods, etc., 
and continued the store formerly owned by Mr. King. 

In 1843, Mr. King finding a better vein of ore in Benshoif 's 
Hill, operated it, hauling the ore to the canal, transporting it to 
the Bucket factory, and then hauling it up to Cambria Furnace. 
The vein of ore on the upper and lower sides of Hinckston's 
run was the best in quantity and quality of all those about 
Johnstown, and was mined for some vears after the Cambria 


Iron Company, nnder the present organization, had control of 
it. The vein passed through the lands of Peter Levergood, 
David Prosser, and Judge John Murray, up to East Cone- 

The ore mines on the Millcreek were opened in IS-tS or 
1844. The Prosser ]\Iine was opened by David Prosser, on Pros- 
pect Hill, about 1847, and was subsequently purchased by the 
Cambria Iron Company. 

About 1843 Dr. Shoenberger, of Pittsburg, bought the in- 
terest of David Stewart in the Cambria Furnace and store for 
$6,000, and on September 24, 1844, Dr. Peter Shoenberger, then 
of Bedford, George S. King, and John K. and William L. Shry- 
ock, of Johnstown, ^entered into a partnership, to operate the 
furnaces then erected; the first two partners to have one-third 
interest each, and the remaining third to be a joint Shryock 
interest. The firm then owned about 10,300 acres of land in 
Cambria and Somerset counties. On February 9, 1846, the 
Messrs. Shryock sold their interests therein to King and Shoen- 
berger for $9,000. 

After selling to Shoenberger, Mr. Stewart built the Black- 
lick Furnace, situated on the Blacklick creek, in Indiana county, 
about three or four miles in a northeasterly direction from 
Armagh. Mr. Stewart built a road from his furnace to Ar- 
magh, and hauled his pig metal to Nineveh, the shipping point 
by canal. He was not successful at the Blacklick Furnace, and in 
1847 King & Shoenberger bought it, and formed a new partner- 
ship with Michael Berry, for the purpose of operating it ; Berry 
was to have a one-fourth interest and the remainder to be joint 
between Shoenberger and King. 

In 1845-6 King & Shoenberger, with John Bell, of Indiana 
county, under the firm name of John Bell & Co., built the Mill- 
creek Furnace. The same parties, under the firm name of 
George S. King & Co., built the Benscreek Furnace, which in 
a short time was operated under the name of King & Shoen- 
berger. Mr. Bell was a general contractor and did not remain 
in the firm very long. Selling his interest therein to the other 
partners, he left Johnstown and went to California, becoming 
one of the ''Forty-niners." 

The firm was then operating four charcoal I'uruaces — 
Cambria, Benscreek, :\Iillcreek, and Blacklick— in this vicinity, 
and a block coal furnace which they had built at Sharon, Mercer 


On July 10, 1850, Mr. King sold his interest in the Bens- 
creek furnace to Dr. Shoenberger, and on September 17, 1852, 
sold him his one-fourth interest in the Sharon furnace. These 
sales did not ail'ect the other partnership property. 

No coke was made here in those days, and it was necessary 
to use charcoal in the furnaces; consequently a large amount 
of timber land was required, which the firm owned to the extent 
of about twenty-five thousand acres. 

The machinery for making a blast was very crude and to 
bank a furnace was a dangerous undertaking, in consequence of 
which it was kept going day and night to prevent a " chill. '^ 
Subsequently improved appliances were introduced by which 
the matter could be safely controlled and operation sus- 
pended temporarily. A furnace in Blair county was the first 
to introduce the new machinery which permitted work to cease 
on Sundays, consequently to this day the place is called ' ' Sabbath 

On February 14, 1847, the partners in Mill Creek and Bens 
Creek furnaces were George S. King, P. Shoenberger and John 
Bell. They made the following list of lands belonging to these 
furnaces, located in Conemaugh townshij^s of both Somerset 
and Cambria counties : 

"2 tracts purchased of Oliver Woods and . . 

Gi-eorge Gates 811 acres. 

1 tract of David Shrock 150 

3 tracts of David T. Storm 1,320 

1 tract warranted in name of J. Bell 41 

1 tract of Jonas Yodder •. . . . 2181^^ • 

2 tracts of William R. Thompson 819 

1 tract of John Wertz 271 

3 tracts of Jacob Miltenberger 1,038 

1 tract of C. Hershberger 75 

1 tract of John Alwine 100 

1 tract of Garret Ream 282^^ 

6 tracts of King & Shoenberger 2,500 

7,626 acres." 

Each of these furnaces had an output of from four to five 
tons of pig metal per day, the market value of which was from 
$22 to $25 per ton in Pittsburg. Sometimes it was sold as low 
as $17 and at other times bringing $30, but its value was always 
about twelve per cent less than other metals on account of its 
hardness, which will be referred to in detail hereafter. 


At this time, King & Shoenberger were producing about 
one hundred and twenty-five tons of pig metal per week, of a 
market value of about $3,000. They had an agent in Pittsburg 
and a metal yard, to which they shipped it by the Pennsylvania 
canal, but on account of its brittleness they had some difficulty 
in selling it or exchanging it for dry goods and groceries. 

By itself it did not make good bar iron, but when mixed 
with Juniata or Hanging Rock pig, or other softer metals, in 
proportion of one-fourth Cambria, it made the best iron in the 
market, especially for nails; but the skill for making proper 
mixtures was not as perfect then as now, nor was it so scien- 
tifically looked after. 

The local managers of the several furnaces in the order "of 
their service, were: Cambria, John Gralbreath, George Long 
and James Cooper; Benscreek, Samuel Bracken and William 
McCormick; Blacklick, John Mathiott and David F. Gordon; 
Millcreek, John Bell, Gordon Clifford, John Stewart and W. L. 

After an abandonment of about forty six years, the furnace 
at Millcreek was the only one that could be recognized as ever 
having been used. It stood about four miles from Johnstown, 
on the westerly side, and not far from the source of the Mill- 
creek, a beautiful mountain rivulet. 

The old stack was recently torn down. In construction 
it was thirty feet square at the base, and tapering to a height 
of forty-five feet, the inside was shaped something like an egg, 
with the slender part at the top. It rested on the bosh, so that 
the raw material would drop as it was consumed. Many of 
the stones were two feet square and four feet in length. Some 
of the fire-bricks which rested on the bosh had been taken out 
to a height of five feet, but from there to the top of the stack 
they seemed to be as perfect when torn down as when put in 
place. The inside of the bosh was about four feet square. The 
tuyere, where the engine was located, was on the northerly side 
of the stack, and the casting house, 30 by 40 feet, was on the 
easterly side. The arch on the easterly side was about twelve 
feet wide, while those on the northerly and southerly sides were 

about eight feet. 

On the westerly side was the bridge house, and above it on 
the hillside were the charcoal beds. Charcoal as fuel for fur- 
naces was abandoned for coke forty years ago, therefore a 
charcoal kiln is a matter of interest. These beds seem to have 



been about twenty-five or thirty feet square. Logs of wood of 
almost any variety were placed end to end, like a V inverted, 
with a draft and a vent to permit combustion for a while, after 
which the air would be excluded by covering the wood with 

Ritter Furnace, near Vintonclale. Abandoned in 1857. 

earth. After several hours' smouldering the covering would 
be removed, and the charcoal, when properly treated, would 
consist of carbon mixed with inorganic ash. 

The Benscreek Furnace has been entirely obliterated, and 
nothing remains of it except the level ground on the hillside, to 


mark where the stack stood. A small portion of the Cambria 
Pumace stack remains. 

At the time the erection of the Cambria rolling mill was 
begun, the projectors also commenced to build four coke fur- 
naces at a point below the mill, but thev were completed by 
Wood, Morrell & Co. 

"We give the product of two of the Cambria Iron 
Company's Furnaces last week, as follows: 

"Furnace No. 2 made 188 tons, 800, and 2 quarters. 

"Furnace No. 3 made 201 tons, 200. 

"Now, that's what we call making iron by the wholesale. 
And they could have made more — at least No. 2 would have 
yielded as much as the other one, but she was with smaller sized 
tuyeres than No. 3, and so did not come up to her full capacity. 
We give this as a specimen of what the Cambria Company's fur- 
naces have done, and we have the authority of Thomas M. Col- 
lins, the founder, to challenge any establishment in the State, or 
the world, of the same size, to equal it. When that is done, we 
will do better. Will our Hollidaysburg neighbors accept the 
hsLntevV— Tribune^ April 22, 1857. 

Messrs. King & Shoenberger had great confidence in their 
plant and had a large amount of money invested; their output 
was satisfactory; they had a large number of men employed; 
they believed the raw materials were ample for future opera- 
tions; and, notwithstanding the partial embargo placed on the 
Cambria pig metal by the iron men of Pittsburg, they looked 
for another market. In after years their judgment was con- 
firmed, and the stone which had been rejected became the iiillar 
of the American iron rail market on account of its hardness. 
The rails made by the Cambria Iron Company led in an open 
market, and on one occasion J. Edgar Thomson, president of 
the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, said he always preferred 
them, especially where heavy hauls were made or on curves, as 
they were much harder and, more nearly than any other, ap- 
proached the English steel rail, which 'was then selling at $200 
per ton. 

In 1893 a gentleman of this city was traveling on the Queen 

and Crescent line, en route to Birmingham, Alabama, when, in 

passing over a particularly smooth piece of track, the conductor 

.took care to inform him that they were running on iron rails 

made by the Cambria Iron Company in 18G7. 

About 1850 the opening up of the great AVest to civilization 
began, and from then to 1860 may be considered as the first 


decade of railroad building in this country. During the earlier 
part of this period, also, there arose a considerable demand for 
iron kettles to be used in making sugar and molasses on the plan- 
tations of Louisiana. With these two different channels opening 
up for the disposal of their product, a question as to what was 
the best thing to do arose in the minds of Messrs. King and 
Shoenberger. Dr. Shoenberger advocated the erection of a 
foundry in Johnstown by which to turn their metal into iron 
kettles, while Mr. King had faith in it for railroad bars. The 
question required and received due consideration, and in Feb- 
ruary, 1852, they agreed to build a rail mill, and Mr. King at 
once started East to organize a company. 

At Boston and New York he met parties who were inter- 
ested in the iron business, and it was agreed between them that 
the Cambria Iron Company should be organized with a capital 
of $1,000,000. Messrs. King and Shoenberger were to put in 
their twenty-five thousand acres of land and four furnaces, with 
all the tools, teams, tracks and appliances, at a valuation of 
$300,000, and were to receive $100,000 in stock and $200,000 in 
cash. The Boston parties, who were Daniel Wild and John 
Hartshorn, were to provide the necessary cash in six months. 

At the expiration of six months the Boston parties had 
failed to meet their obligations in the enterprise. A further 
extension of six months was given them, at the end of which, 
they and those interested in the project residing in New York, 
united and agreed to take $300,000 as their portion of the stock. 
Simeon Draper became security for this payment. Thereupon 
a permanent organization was effected by electing Dr. Peter 
Shoenberger, president; Simeon Draper, treasurer; George W. 
Hodges, of New York, secretary, and George S. King, manager. 
At this organization King & Shoenberger changed their subscrip- 
tion to $200,000 in stock and $100,000 in cash. 

The company issued $500,000 in bonds, but they were not 
negotiated. There had been no investment of cash or its 
equivalent, except what King & Shoenberger had contributed in 

The company was incorporated under the General Act of As- 
sembly relating to manufacturing industries, and a supplement. 
When it became financially involved through the failure of the' 
eastern parties to perform their part of the contract, the Gener- 
al Assembly passed the following act, which was approved by 
Governor Bigler February 27, 1854: 



^ "Whereas, The Cambria Iron Company, incorporated un- 
der tlie laws of this Commonwealth, have been induced by lar^e 
subscriptions to the capital stock of the Company to contract 
debts to mechanics, laborers and others, in the construction of 
their works, and which stock the Company have been obliged to 
take back; and 

' 'Whereas, At a meeting of the stockholders of said Com- 
pany it was resolved, in order to pay said debts and complete 
the works of said Company, to sell and dispose of said stock and 
to issue and sell five hundred thousand dollars of the bonds of 
said Company, secured by a first mortgage on the entire real 
estate of said Company, and convertible, at the option of the 
holders thereof, into the common stock of said Companv; there- 

; ''Be it enacted, etc., That the aforesaid acts and proceedings 
of said Company are hereby approved, and the Directors thereof 
are authorized to sell and transfer the stock and bonds of said 
Company on the best terms they can procure for the general 
interests of said Company, and that the sale of such bonds or 
stock at less than the par value of the same, or an agreement to 
pay a larger rate of interest than six per cent per annum shall 
not be deemed usurious, or in any manner invalidate any con- 
tract authorized to be made by this act. 

"Section 2. That the holders of the bonds aforesaid, be- 
fore and after their conversion into the common stock of said 
Company, be entitled, for every twelve dollars and one-half paid, 
to the same privileges of voting, according to the scale of votes, 
as the stockholders of said Company are now entitled by law," 

Notwithstanding the unfortunate financial complications, 
the erection of the rolling mill and the four coke furnaces was 
commenced in February, 1853, and just at that time a trust 
agent for the Ohio & Toledo railroad appeared in New York 
to purchase rails to finish the road. He had no money, but he 
had bonds of the company worth $200,000, which he was willing 
to exchange for railroad bars. Mr. Draper agreed to take the 
bonds and deliver the rails at $85 per ton, which terms were 
accepted. This was before the mill was completed. The bonds 
were sold and the order given to the Cambria Iron Company at 
$55 per ton. 

The market value of rails was about $80, but the order was 
so large and the Cambria Iron Company so eager to get it that 
with this combination they furnished the rails, and it is a fact 
worthy of note that the profits of this order was the only money 
that went into the original rolling mill, as Simeon Draper, who 
had secured the subscription of $300,000, had failed. 


After the preliminary meeting Mr. King was authorized 
to procure a charter for the Cambria Iron Company, He pro- 
ceeded about it in the usual manner, but it required a s^Decial 
act of Assembly to remove a restriction which prevented a cor- 
poration from holding more than five hundred acres of land. 
This limitation was repealed by an act passed in 1852. Mr. King 
procured the charter in blank and took it to Philadelphia, to 
have Francis W. Hughes, secretary of the commonwealth, sign' 
it, but the secretary declined to do so until twenty-five per cent 
of the stock, or $250,000, was actually paid in, or that much de- 
livered to him in trust. 

While they were discussing the subject, Jeremiah S. Black,, 
who was then chief justice of the state, came in. He was well 
acquainted with Mr. King and interceded with the secretary in 
his behalf, but to no avail, and the result was that the evidence 
of the pa^Tuent had to be produced. As it was then, as now, 
somewhat unusual to. carry that much money, Mr. King went to 
New York, and Simeon Draper, an eminent broker and banker, 
gave him a certificate of deposit for $250,000. With this he re- 
turned and presented it to the secretary, who promptly signed 
the charter; and the certificate, having served its j)urpose, was 
returned to Mr. Draper. 

Mr. King then came back to Harrisburg to have Governor 
Bigler execute the document. Arriving at a late hour, he ascer- 
tained that the governor intended leaving the capital early in 
the morning, and time was an element of value. Accordingly 
he called at the residence of the governor, who had retired, 
and was conducted to his bed chamber. After apologizing 
for appearing in his night robe, the executive signed the charter, 
on June 29, 1852. 

The preliminary^ agreement to organize the Cambria Iron 
Company was as follows : 

"Articles of agreement made this 21st day of April, 1852, 
by and Between Daniel Wild and Jolm Hartshorn of the City 
of Boston, Mass., of the first part, and Geo. S. King of Johns- 
to^ii, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, of the second part, Wit- 
nesseth : That the parties of the first part together with such 
other ]3ersons as they may associate with them, not to exceed 
more than three persons, agree with said King to become joint 
owners in a company or companies for the purpose of mining 
and manufacturing at Johnstown, or near said town in Cam- 
bria, or adjoining counties, Pa. 

"That it is herebv understood that they are to be joint. 


owners in the undertaking of getting up said Comi)anY. The 
stock of which is to be one million (or more) dollars, divided 
into eighty thousand shares, to purchase the property as per 
article of agreement entered into by said Wild and Hartshorn, 
with P. Shoenberger, dated April 21st, 1852. Eight thousand 
shares of which are to be given to said Shoenberger as part 
payment on said property. Thirty thousand shares to be dis- 
posed of for working capital. Twenty-five thousand shares to 
be used by said Wild and Hartshorn and to be equally divided 
between the said Wild, Hartshorn and King to do with as they 
shall jointly determine for getting up the company, paying ex- 
penses, etc., and to be the property of the aforesaid parties — ■ 
W^ild, Hartshorn and King — together with such other parties 
or persons they shall admit into the project. 

''And it is further understood that any sales of said stock 
sold by any of the owners is to be for the mutual benefit of the 
whole. A correct account to be kept of the same in order that 
reference may be had thereto by the parties. No expense paid 
by either one of the parties can be called for only from the 
sale of the stock which is for the present to be held in common, 
and no part is allowed to come into this agreement without the 
consent of every one hereunto signing. 

"Witness our hands and seals. 

"Witness: "Daniel Wild, seal. 

"Eugene Homek Haetshorn, "John Hartshorn, seal. 

"Hiram E. Felch." "Geo. S. King. seal. 

The subscriptions for stock were as follows : 

' ' New York ( Janua ry ) 81 , 1853. 

"Memorandum of an agreement entered into by and be- 
tween the undersigned for the subscription to the C'aml)ria Iron 
Company stock, of two hundred and eighty thousand dollars. 

"The said subscription is made by i>. Wild, Williaui A. 
Shepard, and George W. Hodges for themselves and others and 
has reference to two contracts entered into this day, — one for 
the ]mrcliase by them of 12,000 tons Iron rails at $55 from the 
Cambria Iron Company; the other for the sale of 8,000 tons of 
rails by them at $571/2" to J. P. Resner: Now, therefore, it is 
agreed' that the profits or losses that may arise from this sub- 
scription and from the above contracts shall be apportioned and 
borne in the following manner, namely: 

"One Eighth ])art by and for William A. Shepard. 

"One Eighth ]iart by and for Daniel AVild. 

"One Eighth part by and for Geo. W. Hodges. 

"One Eighth part by and for Geo. S. King. 

"One Fourth part by and for J. P. ]»esner. 

"One Eighth part by and for Eugene Eedentu. 

"One Eighth part by and for 
and we hereby authorize and empower the said Daniel Wild, 


William A. Sliepard and Geo. W. Hodges to subscribe the said 
amount of $280,000 to the Cambria Iron Company's stock for 
us in proportion to our respective interest as above. 

''AV. H. Tayloe. 

"Daniel Wild, seal. 

"Geo. W. Hodges, seal. 
■EuGEisrE Ledentu, seal. 
Geo. S. King, seal. 

"J. P. ReSNER. " SEAL. 

The following shows the value of property February 15, 

"It is hereby agreed by and between the undersigned, Geo. 
8. King and Dr. P. Shoenberger, that the sale made by them to 
the Cambria Iron Company is to be divided in the following 
way, to wit: 

"For Cambria Furnace $ 80 000 00 

"Ben's Creek Furnace 65 000 00 

"Mill Creek Furnace 60 000 00 

"Blacklick Furnace 55 000 00 

"Horner tract of land 5 000 00 

"King's tract of land 5 000 00 

"Dr. P. S. other lands 20 000 00 

$300 000 00 

"And for all .the Jackson lands in the schedule of prop- 
erty furnished three dollars per acre is to be allowed for to 
Cambria, or K. & S., the owners. 

"Witness our hands and seals this 15th dav of February, 

The by-laws of the Cambria Iron Company read as fol- 
lows : 

"Articles of Association of the Cambria Iron Company, 
made in pursuance to an Act of Assembly, passed June 16, 
1836, P. L., 799, and a supplementary Act passed June 29, 1852. 

"Witness that the subscribers, citizens of the United 
States, whose names are hereto affixed have associated them- 
selves under and pursuant to the acts aforesaid for the purpose 
of making and manufacturing iron from the raw material, with 
coke, mineral coke and charcoal, and mining the mineral and 
using the product of the land of the association, and do certify 
and declare the articles and conditions to be as follows: 

"Article 1, The name and style and title of the Company 
shall be the Cambria Iron Company. 

"Article 2, The lands to be purchased and held by the Com- 


pany shall be in the counties of Cambria, Indiana, Somerset 
and Westmoreland. 

"Article 3, The capital stock of the Company shall con- 
sist of one million dollars. 

''Article 4, The said capital stock shall be divided into 80,000 
shares of $12.50 each. The subscribers have subscribed for the 
number of shares set opposite to their respective names and 
appointed Daniel Wild as Receiver to receive $250,000, said 
sum being 14 of the capital stock subscribed. 

''Article 5, Tbe Board of Directors shall consist of seven; 
one of whom shall be chosen President. 

"Article 6, The company shall in all things be subject to and 
governed by the provisions of the acts of Assembly under which 
it is created, and shall have the same and no other or greater 
powers, privileges and franchises than are conferred on it by 
virtue of said Acts." 

Dated August 1, 1852. 

The rolling mill, when completed in 1853, was a balloon 
frame structure, one hundred and fifty by six hundred feet, 
with two wings and four heating furnaces and thirty puddling 

During the financial embarrassments a syndicate of Phila- 
delphia people, of whom Matthew Newkirk was the active mem- 
ber, came into the company, and Newkirk was elected president. 
Under this organization the company issued and disposed of 
$500,000 in bonds, at from sixty to seventy per cent., in addi- 
tion to the $500,000 in bonds issued and held as collateral by the 
New York organization, and the balance of the stock, which 
was $800,000. This was the first money that was ever realized 
from stock or bonds. 

The New York organization did not operate the works for 
more than sixteen months, when the Newkirk organization took 
control Mr. King resigned as manager. 

On September 20, 1853, Dr. Peter Shoenberger and Sarah 
K., his wife, executed a deed for the property to the Cambria 
Iron Company for a consideration of $300,000, and on Decem- 
ber 9, 1853, Mr. King and Eliza King, his wife, executed their 
deed for the half interest to Dr. Shoenberger. 

The first rail was rolled on July 27, 1854, and the Cam- 
bria Trihime for Monday, July 31, 1854, had this item: 

"On Thursday the Cambria Iron Com])any made a fair 
and, we are gratified to say, satisfactory trial of the entire ma- 
chinery of the rolling mill. It worked admirably. Four large 
T rails were rolled and pronounced perfect by competent 


judges. Thursday may be regarded as the eomiiiencement of 
an era in the history of the iron manufacture of Pennsylvania, 
worthy of special remembrance. On September 18, 1854, it 
also notes that the mill is making 'a hundred T Kails per diem.' " 

For the week ending May 14, 1859, the output of iron 
rails was 722 tons, which broke the record and exceeded that 
of any other mill in the United States. 

On occasion, pig metal was used as collateral security. 
Bell, Smith & Co. were bankers in Johnstown, Two months 
before the leasing of the works to Wood, Morrell & Co. on 
May 1, 1855, by the Newkirk organization of the Cambria Iron 
Company, the latter had secured a loan of $1,000, and gave 
about sixty tons of pig metal as collateral. The details were: 
'* Having sold to Bell, Smith & Go. a lot of Pig Metal now lying 
on the bank of the Canal in Johnstown, say about 60 tons, and 
delivered to said Bell, Smith & Co. said metal as collateral se- 
curity for the payment of the Cambria Iron Co.'s note in favor 
of Geo. C. Ferree, agent, dated March 8, 1855, at 60 days for 
one thousand dollars." After authorizing the sale if the note 
"be not paid at maturity, it provided ''that said metal shall 
not be sold by said Bell, Smith & Co. until the expiration of five 
days after the maturity of said note." The instrument was 
dated at Johnstown. 30th day of March, 1855, by Cambria Iron 
Co., Per John Anderson, Agent. 

The Cambria Iron Company, on May 21, 1855, by M. New- 
kirk, president, and John T, Kille, secretary, leased its prop- 
erty to Wood, Morrell & Co. — Charles S. Wood, Daniel J. Mor- 
rell, Edward Y. Townsend, Wyatt W. Miller, William H. Oli- 
ver and Thomas Conarroe. ''To have and to hold unto the 
second party, their executors and administrators, for and dur- 
ing the full term of five years, one month and eleven days, from 
the date hereof, which term is to be fully completed and ended 
on 30th June, 1860. ' ' Then follows the description of the proper- 
ties : The Cambria Furnace lands, about 8,570 acres; the Black- 
lick lands, 3,723 acres; the Ben's Creek lands, 5,930 acres; the 
Mill Creek lands, 5,044 acres; the lands 'along the river and 
railroad, and in Johnstown and vicinity, upon which were erected 
the rolling mill, etc., 2,577 acres. Total 25,844 acres. 

The conditions were that the lessees could surrender the 
lease at any time, upon giving six months' written notice to that 
effect, or if the rent were in default, or the works ceased opera- 
tion for a period of thirty days, unless caused by unavoidable 


accidents, fire or flood, the company reserved the right to re- 
enter and take possession. The rents were fixed thus : 
For the one month and eleven days, expiring, 

June 30, 1855, $ 4,555.55 

For the year expiring June 30, 1856, 40,000. 

For the year expiring June 30, 1857, (50,000. 

For the year expiring June 30, 1858, 70,000. 

For the year expiring June 30, 1859, 80,000. 

The lessees were authorized to make improvements to the 
value not exceeding thirty thousand dollars in any one year, and 
deduct the same from the rent. 

The inventory of the personal property at Johnstown at 
the time Wood, Morrell & Co. leased the Cambria Iron Com- 
pany, amounted to $192,378.32. The schedule is complete in 
detail, and some of the items are important in view of values 
and quantities of materials and equipments, namely: 

^'Lumber $5,200.00 

Red brick burnt and unburnt 1,500. , 

14 carts 450. 

5 wagons 200. 

21 head horses 1,890. 

Tools, shovels and picks, etc 600, 

12 cars, at $90 1 ,080. 

6 cars, stone, at $60 360. 

Coal and ore cars .-7 . . . 450. 

Foundry tools and flasks 1.000. 

Blacksmiths ' tools, etc 1,500. 

Machine shop tools, etc 5.000. 

Ore raised 2,000. 

Castings for puddling and blast 5,000. 

Fire brick 5,000. 

Rolls, etc. 2.000. 

Bedplates, etc 2.000. 

Squeezers, etc 2,000. 


'^/Vbout 1400 tons metal, part in town @ $40 $56,000. 

Addition to charcoal at furnaces 16.000. 

Tolls, teams, etc., at furnaces 32,239.03" 

Messrs. Wood, Morrell, Townsend and Conarroe then re- 
sided in Philadelphia, Mr. Oliver in New York, and Mr. Miller 
at Safe Harbor, Lancaster county. They fonned a partnership 
to operate the Cambria Iron Company, the purpose being set 
forth thus: ''taking from the Cambria Iron Company a lease 
of all their estate, lands and works in Cambria and adjoining 


counties, and purchasing the stock for carrying on the manu- 
facture and sale of Iron in any form or any kind, Brick, Cement, 
Charcoal or any other article of merchandise that can be manu- 
factured or produced out of or from the lands and property of 
the Cambria Iron Company." 

They were to commence operations May 1, 1855, and to 
continue until July 1, 1860, unless the same should be sooner 
terminated by giving such notice as was agreed upon in the 
lease. Each of the partners contributed the sum of $30,000. 
The active managers were Charles S. Wood and Daniel J. 
Morrell, each of whom was to receive $5,000 per annum for his 

On October 12, 1855, the term was extended until July 1, 
1861, and in November, 1860, the firm extended its partnership 
agreement to February 1, 1862, unless the Cambria Iron Com- 
pany should take possession and operate the works prior to that 

On Januaiy 31, 1856, Mr. Conarroe sold his interest to 
George Trotter. Notwithstanding the fact that Wood, Morrell 
& Co. were obliged to rebufld the frame mill and replace the 
machinery, which had been destroyed by fire in August, 1857, 
the firm was financially successful, but it became entangled by 
reason of the death of some of the partners, and by an assign- 
ment for the benefit of the creditors of other parties who in- 
herited interests. On May 8, 1858, Mr. Oliver made a declara- 
tion of trust for the benefit of Mary Newkirk Oliver, his wife, 
George Heberton Newkirk, William Henry Newkirk and 
Matthew Newkirk, Jr., whereupon the latter assigned his in- 
terest to William Henry Smith, of Philadelphia, for the benefit 
of his creditors. Mr. Oliver appointed Thomas Marsh, of Phila- 
delphia, to represent his interest in accordance with the terms 
of the declaration, and died May 8, 1858. Mrs. Mary Newkirk 
Oliver also died, and they not having issue, her father, Matthew 
Newkirk, Sr., inherited an interest in the firm, while he was in- 
solvent. On March 29, 1862, he made an assignment 
for the benefit of creditors, naming William Henry Smith as 
the trustee. Marsh and Smith were making claims for the same, 
or parts of the same, interests of William Henry Oliver, which, 
of course, was ver^' unsatisfactory to a successful firm. On July 
5, 1862, Wood, Morrell & Co. paid Marsh $10,000 on account of 
his claim. 

The firm again became entangled by a new partner with- 



out its consent, when George Heberton Newkirk died intestate, 
on September 22, 1861, leaving an infant daughter, Emma New- 
kirk, to inherit his estate. 

The stockholders of the Cambria Iron Company met on 
December 10, 1861, and decided to take over the property and 
operate it as the Cambria Iron Company, and to pay Wood, 
Morrell & Co. the sum of $51,099.35 for its equity in the prop- 
erty. This transfer took effect on January 1, 1862. 

In 1862 the bonds were due, and instead of foreclosing, 
Wood, Morrell & Co., who held them, proposed to buy all the 
outstanding stock at ten per cent, and to pay King & Shoen- 
berger the sum of $100,000, which the New York and Boston 
parties had agreed to give at the time of the New York organiza- 
tion. The proposition was accepted, and King & Shoenberger 
secured something like $160,000 for their interests, thus cancel- 
ing the bonded indebtedness. 

Cambria Iron Works, about 1864. 

In 1862 the Cambria Iron Company was reorganized by 
electing Charles S. Wood president, E. Y. Townsend vice- 
president, John T. Kille, secretary, and Daniel J. Morrell gen- 
eral superintendent. 

The firm of Wood, Morrell & Co., so far as it applied to 
the lease of the works, was abandoned, and the property was 
reconveyed by deed, etc., to the Cambria Iron Company, about 
September 1, 1862. 

Mr. Hite, in describing the Cambria Iron Company in 1856, 
states its works consists of a "rolling mill, 650 feet by 350 feet, 
with fifty-six puddling furnaces and five steam engines; a mn- 
chine shop, two stories high, with a blacksmith shop attached; 
a foimdry, with a pattern shop upstairs; a pig metal house, 
for storing the metal previous to puddling; a covered bi-ick- 
yard, of ample dimensions, in which a small engine furnishes 
power to grind the clay for two brick making machines; four 
furnaces, of double the usual capacity, two of which only are 
yet in operation; besides wagon making shops, carpenter shops. 

Vol. 1—27 


stables, etc. Two hundred dvv'elling houses are erected for the 
operatives, besides a boarding house of three stories, offices, 
storehouses, etc. About 1,500 men and 300 horses and mules 
are employed directiy, exclusive of those engaged at the four 
other furnaces in connection with them." 

Also the "Johnstown furnace, owned by Rhey, Matthews 
& Co., employs over a hundred men and thirty mules. The yield 
of metal per month is near 150 tons." 

In 1865, Thomas J. Chapman published a "History of The 
Coneraaugh,'.' and refei'ring to the Cambria Iron Company, in 
describing the new brick building completed after the fire of 
August 1, 1857, adds: "In 1863, another mill, 300 feet long by 
100 feet wide, was Imilt. It stands parallel with the old mill, 
and not more than thirty or forty feet distant. * * Another 
mill is now in the course of erection. It is attached to the north- 
ern end of the transverse portion of the old mill. It will cover 
over an acre of ground. * * * There are now in operation 
twenty-two heating furnaces and thirty double puddling fur- 
naces, a train of rail-rolls, squeezers, * * * three vertical 
steam engines, and the fly wheels are immense castings, weigh- 
ing forty tons, and make as high as seventy-five to eighty revo- 
lutions per minute." He describes the process of making an 
iron rail thus : ' ' The ore is taken from the mines near the works, 
and after being ])ut through the roasting process, which re- 
quires some time, it is thrown into the blast furnace, of which 
there are four in number, capable of running 190 tons per week; 
thence the metal is transferred to the puddling furnaces, and 
after imdergoing the process of puddling, it goes thence through 
the squeezers, and thence through the puddle rolls, when it is 
ready for the heating furnnccs. After being heated in the latter, 
it is prejjared for its final rolling into bars. These works em- 
ploy 2,700 men and from 300 to 400 head of horses and mules." 
The output of finished rails was 40,000 tons in 1864, and adds, 
that when the new building is in ojoeration it would have a 
capacity of from 60,000 to 70,000 tons. That there are over 
thirty-five engines used in the works. * * * <'The amount 
of business transacted by this establishment may be judged 
from the fact that the internal revenue tax alone, paid by this 
company for the year 1865, will be over $200,000, or more than 
one-half of the total collected in the district during the year 

? ? 



Prospect Hill is a part of the Laurel Hill range, and extends 
along the northern side of the city of Johnstown, from the up- 
per end of Woodvale (now the Eleventh ward) to Hinckston's 
Enn, in the Fourteenth ward. More properly speaking, it in- 
cludes the Twelfth and portions of the Thirteenth and Four- 
teenth wards lying above the river bottom. The Ebensburg 
road divides the Twelfth and Thirteenth wards. Prospect Hill 
runs partially in a line parallel with Yoder Hill, on the south- 
ern boundary line, up to Green Hill, which it then parallels up 
the Conemaugh river. 

Prospect Hill is not as high as either Yoder or G-reen Hill. 
The greatest elevation in the Twelfth ward is nearly opposite 
the Woodvale bridge, where the altitude is 451 feet above the 
curb line at Main and Franklin streets, and the highest point 
in the Thirteenth ward is at the reservoir, where the altitude is 
411 feet from the same place. The distance in an air line, from 
the Thirteenth ward schoolhouse just below the reservoir, to the 
postoffice is 1,800 feet, yet to travel by the most direct road and 
streets, it is 4,560 feet, or two and a-half times as far by the cir- 
cuitous route taken in order to overcome the abrupt height. 

Prospect Hill is divided into what are locally known as Up- 
per and Lower Prospect. The first bench of the hill is on Lower 
Prospect and the second on Upper. Thus it will be observed 
that Johnstown lies between Yoder Hill and Prospect Hill up 
to Green Hill, where that prominence divides the city. Yoder 
Hill and Green Hill form the Stonycreek valley, and Green Hill 
and Prospect Hill, the Conemaugh valley. The Little Cone- 
maugh river flows at the base of Prospect Hill and the Stony- 
creek river along Yoder Hill to The Point, where thereafter it 
is the Conemaugh river. Between the two rivers and in the 
business part of the city, the distance from river to river, at 
Franklin street, is 2,250 feet; at Market street, 3,800 feet; at 
Walnut, 2,065 feet, and at Union street, 1,375 feet. 

From about 1846, when Rhey's Furnace was built at the 
foot of Prospect Hill, within two hundred feet of the present lo- 
cation of the passenger station of the Pennsylvania railroad 
and nearly opposite thereto, until 1868, when the Bessemer steel 
process revolutionized the iron and steel industries, Prospect 
Hill was a valuable factor in creating the prosperity of Johns- 
town. The ore deposits, the abundance of coal in this hill, and 


the transportation facilities afforded by the Pennsylvania ca- 
nal, were the primar^^ causes of locating Ehey's Furnace there; 
and when the canal was abandoned and was succeeded by the 
Pennsylvania railroad, the Cambria Iron Works were located at 
the base of Prospect Hill for the reason that a superior quality 
of ore, in great abundance, was to be had in this hill. The ore 
therein mined ceased to be a factor, however, when the Bessemer 
process was introduced, as it did not possess the qualities neces- 
sary to make good steel. But it did make the best iron that was 
offered in the market. 

The railroad rails made of iron by the Cambria Iron Com- 
pany always had an advantage over all others in open competi- 
tion, owing to their superior quality. They possessed an ele- 
ment of flexibility that other manufacturers could not obtain in 
their products, for which the ore in Prospect Hill was largely 

Before the introduction of steel rails the great danger to 
the railroad traveler during the winter season was an accident 
caused by broken rails, which were, at that time, made of iron. 
Daniel J. Morrell frequently related, with profound satisfac- 
tion, an incident which occurred on a Western road, where the 
foundation of a small culvert was washed away by a flood and 
the tracks were suspended across it by the Cambria rails, over 
which an engine and train passed safely. This, he thought, was 
a sufficient recommendation for the Cambria rail. 

The mineral right to all the ore, coal, and other deposits in 
the Thomas Afflin survey, which included the lower end of Pros- 
pect Hill, was sold by Eli Benshoff to George S. King & Com- 
pany, on September 26, 1845. Benshoff had purchased the whole 
tract, consisting of 39034 acres, from Mark Graham, on the 18th 
of May, 1837. 

Shortly after the purchase by King & Company four iron 
ore drifts were opened in Prospect Hill, on the easterly side of 
Hinckston's Eun, and the ore was used in the Ehey & Mathews 
furnace, by King & Company and the Cambria Iron ComiDany. 
Other ore mines were worked along the slope of the hill from 
that portion of Prospect Hill eastward to a point above the 
Woodvale factoj-y. 

Probably the richest piece of real estate ever known in this 
vicinity was the "Eound Mound," as it was called, where the 
reservoir now stands. It is said that its yield of wealth was 
equal to that of any piece of land of similar size in the gold 


fields of California. The vein of iron ore in the hill was from 
one to four feet in thickness, and under the "Round Mound," it 
was mostly from three to four feet. It was common wages for 
the ore miners to make $5 and $6 a day, and sometimes $8 to $10 
when the four-foot lodgment was struck, as they were paid $2.70 
per ton. 

It is said the ''Eound Mound" was purchased for $800 and 
that the company declined $80,000 for it. This was the top vein 
above the cokeyard seam of coal. Under the coal was another 
vein of ore known as the ''Kidney" seam, but it was not so 
valuable, nor was it worked to any great extent. 

There are very few people who know that there is a tunnel 
from the lower end of Ihmsen avenue, through old Prospect 
Borough up to Woodvale, but such is a fact, although it has 
probably fallen in and would be difficult to find. It was made by 
the ore miners, and was used as a roadway for hauling the ore 
from the crop above Woodvale to the furnaces. The ore mines 
were worked to some extent until 1871. 

In 1854 a stone quarry near the top of the hill, above the old 
blast furnaces of the Cambria Iron Company was operated, from 
which an inclined plane extended to the works. 

At that time a spring of water was flowing from the hillside 
a short distance east of the stone quarry, and about midway up 
the hill, but it has long since ceased to flow as it did fifty years 

The ore beds are yet discernible in the opening made along 
the ridge of Prospect Hill above the Pennsylvania railroad, run- 
ning through the Eleventh and Twelfth wards and the aban- 
doned mines in the hill on the east side of Hinckston's Pun, in 
the Fourteenth ward. Drifts were also made near the Ebens- 
burg road, but not to a great extent. The coal in Prospect Hill 
that was convenient and could be economically mined was taken 
out many years ago, but, farther back, some yet remains in its 
natural seams. 

The old' slope mine of the Cambria Iron Works operated by 
an incline near where the old blast furnaces are, brought the 
coal from the "B," or Miller, vein to the mills and to the coke 
yard, which at that time, so it was considered by furnace men, 
had to be on a level with the mouth of the furnace. It was aban- 
doned in 1879. By the modern process the coke is made in the 
Connellsville district, and in the by-product plant at Franklin.^ 

The older citizens will remember the poi)ulnr Murray's 


Grove, in Woodvale, at the foot of Prospect Hill, on the north 
side of the Pennsylvania railroad, where picnics were held until 
1871, when it was abandoned because of the progress of indus- 
tries and the destruction of a portion of the trees therein. These 
picnics were popular resorts for the public, and much frequent- 
ed by candidates for office and their friends. 

Prospect Hill has lost all its foliage, therefore its beauty 
had been marred by the smoke and gas from the mills and 
furnaces at its base, but it has been one of the works of Nature 
most valuable to the prosperity of Johnstown. 


On April 2, 1860, P. L. 702, an Act of Assembly, was ap- 
proved authorizing Wood, Morrell & Co. to construct a lat- 
eral railroad from the Cambria Iron Works across the Cone- 
maugh river to connect with the Pennsylvania railroad, and fur- 
thermore, to connect with the abutments and piers of the Cam- 
bria Bridge Company, if it was deemed expedient. The Cam- 
bria Bridge Company was incorporated by an Act of Assembly 
dated April 18, 1853, P. L. 540, and its capital was not to exceed 

On July 20, 1863, Wood, Morrell & Co. purchased from Wat- 
son, Dennison & Co., of Hollidaysburg, three furnaces known 
as the "Chimney Rock," "Gaysport" and "Frankstown" fur- 
naces, and formed the Blair Coal and Iron Company. 

John Fritz came to Johnstown when Wood, Morrell & Com- 
IDany leased the works, and was the chief engineer until July 5, 
1860, when he took his departure for Bethlehem, where he as- 
sumed the management of what is now known as the Bethlehem 
Steel Company. There he has made an international reputation 
as a steel expert and engineer. While in charge of the Cambria 
works he invented the three high roll mill, and received a patent 
for it dated October 5, 1858. It was a great success. On the 
two roll mill the rail bars could only be passed through the one 
way, but by placing a third roll above the two the bar could be 
passed back, which almost doubled the output, and it also pre- 
vented the bars from lapping around the rolls. In six days in 
May, '59, he rolled 722 tons of rails, which exceeded that of any 
other mill in the Union, 

His pre-eminence has been recognized for many years, but 
to establish it the more firmly, and to perpetuate the memory of 
his achievements in industrial progress, at a banquet given by 











six hundred of his associates, in the Waldorf-Astoria, New York, 
October 31, 1902, in honor of his eightieth birthday, there was 
founded the "John Fritz Gold Medal" award. The rules 
governing the awards are substantially as follows: 1. The med- 
al shall be awarded for notable scientific or industrial achieve- 
ment. There shall be no restriction on account of nationality or 
sex. 2. The medal shall be gold and shall be accompanied by 
an engraved certificate which shall recite the origin of the medal 
and the specific achievement for which it was made. 3. It may 
be awarded annually, but not oftener. 4. The awards shall be 
made by a board of sixteen members composed of an equal num- 
ber from each of the four national societies of engineers, name- 
ly: The American Society of Civil Engineers, the American 
Institute of Mining Engineers, the American Society of Me- 
chanical Engineers, and the American Institute of Electrical 
Engineers. It was a pleasure to the leading steel engineers and 
manufacturers to acknowledge his pre-eminence. Irving M. Scott, 
the builder of the "Oregon," wired his congratulations, in 
which he said: "All hail, Unser Fritz, father of us all." An- 
drew Carnegie said: "All honor to John Fritz, rolling mill pio- 
neer, friend and counsellor of us all." Charles M. Schwab ad- 
mitted "that he has done more for the steel industry than any 
man living, and we all acknowledge him as our master and prize 
him as our friend." Carl Lueg Schroedter cabled from Dus- 
seldorf : "Happy salutation to the well-deserved chief of iron 
masters." Robert Hadfield, the inventor of manganese steel, 
also cabled from England: "Sheffield's heartiest greetings to 
John Fritz." 

Mr. Fritz gives his experience in building his new train of 
rolls: "I now prepared to suggest building a three-high mill, 
which! I did, and the suggestion was met with a rebuff, which was 
not unexpected. * * * The officials called a meeting, and after 
consultation with some practical iron men, decided to put up a 
geared two-high mill, and, by greatly increasing the speed of the 
rolls, the rail would be finished jn much less time, and conse- 
quently at a higher heat, which would prevent the serious trou- 
ble of rough and torn flanges. I was ordered to build a new mill, 
two-hjigh, geared. * * * i most emphatically said I would 
not do it, as two of the most objectionable features of the pres- 
ent sVstem would still be retained. * * * i consequently 
concluded that I would do as I had been compelled to do before 
and many times since — assume authority and go ahead, which 


1 did, and commenced work on the patterns. The drawings had 
already been practically completed. After the pattern for the 
housing was well advanced Mr. E. Y. Townsend, the vice-presi- 
dent, came out J;o the works, and I informed him of what I was 
doing. * * * In about a week he came to the works again. 
This time he was armed with a legal document opposing the 
spending of the money in the way it was being done. He hand- 
ed me the document to read, which I did. * * * After some 
friendly talk on the condition and the importance of the change 
proposed he said: 'Go ahead and build the mill as you want 
it.' 'Do you say that officially r To which he replied: 'I will 
make it official. ' And he did so. 

"When I look back to that talk, which took place on a Sun- 
day morning long years ago, and recall to mind Mr. Townsend 
and myself, with evidences of failure on all sides, and surround- 
ed by the gloom of future uncertainties, I cannot but feel it was 
a critical period in my own history as well as that of the Cam- 
bria Iron Company. To Mr. E. Y. Townsend belongs the credit 
not only of the introduction of the three-high rolls but also for 
a large share of the subsequent marvelous prosperity of the 
Cambria Iron Company which followed the introduction of the 
three-high mill and its many accompanying improvements. * * 

"At length the mill was completed, and on the third day of 
July, 1857, the old mill was shut down for the last time. * * * 
The starting of the mill was the crucial period. There were no 
invitations sent out. As the heaters to a man were opposed to 
the new kind of a mill we did not want them about at the start. 
We, however, secured one of the most reasonable of them to 
heat the piles for a trial. We had kept the furnace hot for 
several daj^s as a blind. Everything being ready we charged 
six piles. About ten o'clock in the morning the first pile was 
drawn out of the furnace and went through the rolls without a 
hitch, making a perfect rail. You can judge what my feelings 
were as I looked upon that perfect and first rail ever made on a 
three-higli train. * * * 

"Everything worked well up to noon on Saturday, it being 
our custom to stop rolling at that time. About six o'clock in 
the evening Mr. Hamilton and myself left the mill, and on our 
way home congratulated ourselves on the fact that our long line 
of troubles and disappointments was now over. About an hour 
later I heard the fire-alarm whistle blow, and rushing back to 
the mill found it a mass of flames from one end to the other. 
In less than one hour's time the whole building was burned to 
the ground, and a story was started that the new mill was a 
failure and that we had bunied the mill to hide our l)luuder- 
ing mistakes. The situation of affairs on that Saturday night 
was such as might appall the stoutest heart. * * * The next 
day being Sunday it was devoted to rest and to thinking over 
the matter. On Monday morning we commenced to clear up 


the wreck, all the workmen giving a full day towards it, and to 
begin the work of rebnilding. 

"In four weeks from that time the mill was running and 
made 30,000 tons of rails without a hitch or break of any kind, 
thus making the Cambria Iron Company a great financial suc- 
cess, and giving them a rail plant far in advance of any other 
plant in the world. This position they held, unquestioned, for 
both quality and cpiantity, imtil the revolutionary invention of 
Sir Henry Bessemer came into general use." 


There was a conflict between Sir Henry Bessemer, of Eng- 
land, and William Kelly, of Eddyville, Kentucky, as to the 
priority of this valuable invention. Mr. Kelly obtained the 
American patent for it, but Sir Henry is the general accredited 
inventor. He successfully completed it in 1858. 

The Cambria Iron Company took a prominent part in es- 
tablishing the new process in the United States. Mr. Kelly 
came to Johnstown in 1857 and 1858, and made experiments at 
the Cambria works. On his first visit he made his tests in a 
furnace having a hearth similar to a puddling furnace. The 
iron was melted in the foundry and carried in ladles to be 
poured into the furnace and then fired with a blast until it 
was supposed to be steel, but it was not. It could neither be 
drawn nor forged like steel, and yet it was harder in texture 
than cast iron. In 1858 he came back and made new tests in a 
different manner. James H. Geer who was then in the pattern 
shop, and now superintendent of construction for the company, 
with Evan G. Lewis, Isaac Jones and Valentine Eipple, made his 
patterns for the trunnions and other castings. It was at this 
time that Mr. Kelly made the converter which was the first one 
used in America. "Wlien the hot metal was poured into the con- 
verter and the blast turned on for the first time it was too strong 
and blew the charge out. On its second attempt he was more suc- 
cessful as the metal he produced could be drawn out on the anvil 
or in forge and in appearance was more like wrought iron than 
either steel or cast iron. It is understood that all of Mr. Kelly's 
tests were made at the Cambria works. The converter referred 
to is the one which was on exhibition at the Columbian Exposi- 
tion, in 1893, and is now at Johnstown, in the Cambria Steel 
Company's yard at the southern end of the Walnut street bridge. 

Daniel J. Morrell and his associates secured control of the 
Kelly patent, while John F. Winslow of Troy, New York, and 



Ms associates, obtained the right to use the Bessemer process 
in America. However, when it came to operate the macliinery 
of the respective patents it was found there was an interference 
not only between Bessemer and Kelly, but in an improvement 
on the Bessemer process which was patented by Robert F. 
Mushet, of England. To make the process entirely successful 
a combination of these three patents was made in 1866, whereby 
Mr. Winslow and John A. Grriswold were the owners of seven- 
tenths of the right, and Daniel J. Morrell, in trust, for the 
Kelly interest held the other three-tenths. 

Kelly Steel Converter, 1858. 

The first Bessemer steel made in Amorica was })roduced 
by William F. Durfee, at Wyandotte, Michigan, in Se})tember 
1864, and the first steel rail was rolled at the North Chicago 
mill. May 24, 1865. Mr. George Fritz of Johnstown was present 
on the latter occasion. However, the first lot of steel rails rolled 
to fill an order were made at the Cambria works in August, 

The Open Hearth process was introduced in Cambria, and 
the first output was in October, 1879. Mr. Geer without the 
use of technical terms concisely defines the distinction thus: 
In Bessemer steel the carbon in the pig metal is eliminated by 


forcing a blast of cold air through the hot metal in the con- 
verter, but as some carbon is necessary, it is resupplied in 
proper proportions by adding manganif erous pig metal, or f erro- 
manganese while it is in a state of fusion. Open Hearth steel 
is a product of j^ig metal containing any percentage of carbon 
that may be desired. It is obtained by melting the metal on 
the hearth of the furnace by means of the flame passing over 
the bath, thereby eliminating the carbon, which is then re-car- 
bonized as may be desired. It requires much more time to make 
the latter, but it is of a finer quality. It is a competitor of 
wrought iron and other kinds of steel, and is used in the con- 
struction of ships, buildings and all kinds of tools. The latter 
process was made successful in 1864, by Dr. Charles William and 
Frederick Siemens, natives of Hanover, but citizen,s of England, 
in conjunction with Emile and Pierre Martin of the Sireuil works 
in France. In March, 1907, Cambria has four 20-ton and fifteen 
50-ton capacity open hearth furnaces in operation, with two 
additional 50-ton furnaces in course of construction. 

The ingots for the first steel rails rolled at Cambria works 
were made at Harrisburg. They were hammered into blooms 
under a five ton hammer. George Fritz, the chief mechanical 
engineer, became convinced that was not the proper method to 
treat steel, and devised a set of blooming rolls which he placed 
in a 21-incli rail train. It was a great advance in the primary 
days of the introduction of Bessemer steel. In conjunction with 
the train of rolls, he invented the driving rollers in the tables and 
the hydraulic pusher for turning over and moving the ingots. 
These two features constitute the Fritz Blooming Mill patent, 
which was instantly adopted in all the Bessemer works in this 
country and is now used. Mr. Fritz also constructed the con- 
verting mill according to his own ideas for the manufacture of 
steel. He built vertical disconnected blowing engines, and ar- 
ranged the converting building under one roof, without any 
dividing wall between the melting and casting houses. 

The first steel blow was made at Cambria on July 10, 1871, 
when Robert W. Hunt had charge of the Bessemer plant. 
George Fritz died August 5, 1873, in the prime of his success- 
ful life. In the following September Mr. Hunt left Cambria 
and became engaged at Troy, New York. John E. Fry suc- 
ceeded Mr, Hunt, and Daniel N. Jones was made chief mechani- 
cal engineer, vice Fritz. Captain William R. Jones then became 
connected with the Edgar Thomson works at Bracldocks, where 


he has made a brilliant record in the manufacture of steel, and 
especially in his invention of the "mixer," in order to use the 
hot metal as it came from the blast furnaces to the steel works. 
On the death of George Fritz the "London Engineering" 
said : 

"It is not much to say that Mr. George Fritz, and his 
brother, Mr. John Fritz, have created the American rail mill, 
and established the success of the manufacturer, chiefly in their 
radically new system of arranging and working three-high rolls, 
but largely, also, in every detail of plant— in heating apparatus, 
in adaptation of power in finishing machinery and in general 
arrangement; they have put their mark on every feature, not 
only of the rail mill, but of the American rolling mills at 
large." * * * One of his remarkable talents was "his nov- 
elties always worked well at the first trial." 

Great rivalry existed between the Cambria and the Edgar 
Thomson w^orks in the seventies. The record breaker for the 
output in Cambria Bessemer plant on March 21, 1876, was 297 
gross tons in twenty-four hours; 1475 in a week and 6051 tons 
in a month. About the same time the latter had an output of 
265 in a day and 5403 gross tons in a month. 

Mr. Hunt and Mr. Fry were the joint patentees of the prin- 
ciple of filling an ingot mould from the bottom, the steel being 
poured into the top of an adjoining mould. 

There was also intense rivalry in the output of the blast 
furnaces. The largest daily output in those days was 750 tons 
from one furnace, but such records are not entirely satisfactory, 
as better results can be obtained by a continued and settled out- 
put of 550 tons daily. 

The miners' strike in the panic of 1873 was the most seri- 
ous labor dispute that ever occurred at the Cambria works. The 
distress throughout the country was severe, but there was lit- 
tle discontent here until the spring of '74. On March 17 the 
miners met in their hall in the Fronheiser building, on the cor- 
ner of Clinton and Eailroad streets, and decided to cease work, 
as their wages were too low. Their demand was for a sliding 
scale, to receive one cent for each dollar on the market price for 
rails; this meant an increase of one mill. In 1873 iron rails had 
sold for $83 per ton, but at the time of the strike the price lin<l 
fallen to $60. 

On the 26th, John Siney, president of the Miners' Union for 


the state, arrived in the city, and npon consnltation appointed a 
committee to call ujjon Mr. Morrell. The latter declined to treat 
with the committee in its collective capacity, but agreed to do so 
as individuals, and with all of the emploj^ees. A large meet- 
ing was held, Mr. Siney spoke and advised a settlement, but if 
the strike was forced he would be the last one to saj' quit. On 
April 6 Mr, Morrell issued a circular to the employees stating 
the financial situation, as well as the depression in the iron and 
steel trade ; that the company would continue to operate its mills 
if it had the co-operation of its employees, and all those who 
were satisfied to work should report at once, and those declining 
to accex)t the situation would be regarded as withdrawing from 
the service. The steel works were started that dav, but on the 
morning of the 7th work was suspended owing to a large num- 
ber of the employees in the blooming mill, who belonged to vari- 
ous unions, leaving their work. However, their places were soon 
filled, but the majority of the miners took their tools from the 

On April 21 the mill was in fair operation, having sixteen 
puddling and eight heating furnaces active. This caused serious 
difficulty between the workmen and the strikers. On the 21st 
Michael Smith, who was subsequently convicted of the murder of 
John Minnahan, but escaped a few days before the day of his 
execution, went to the mill while he was under the influence of 
liquor, and became very abusive. Being requested to leave, he 
drew a dirk, which he threatened to use, but withdrew. On the 
22d William AValton, a roller from the Pennsvlvania Steel 
AVorks at Harrisburg, came here to work, and while sitting 
on the porch in front of the Merchants' Hotel about 9:15 p. 
m. was struck by a large stone thrown from the street, which 
fractured his skull. On the next day Mr. Morrell offered a re- 
ward of one thousand dollars for information leading to the ar- 
rest and conviction of the person who threw it, but he was not 

On May 8 Mr. Siney, at a meeting in the Union hall, recom- 
mended the miners to go to work in a body if they considered 
they were defeated. This proposition was submitted to Mr. 
Morrell, who directed that all who desired work should apply to 
James Morley, the superintendent, who would assign them to 
such i^laces as were vacant, at the old rate of wages. These con- 
ditions were not satisfactory to a large portion of those who 
were discontented. The places of the absentees were being 


filled, and on June 1 notice was posted that the rate of pay would 
be increased to ten mills, instead of nine mills under the old 

A serious disturbance took place on June 3 on Washing- 
ton street, near Park Place. Revolvers were fired, but no one 
was severely injured. 

Public and i^rivate interests were becoming demoralized 
throughout the town. Under these conditions, and in face of 
great distress in the country, George T. Swank, editor of the 
Tribune, advised the discontented men of the impropriety of 
their actions, and recommended that they return to their employ- 
ment. This was unpopular, of course, and brought the question 
into politics. On June 12 a meeting was held on "The Point" 
to consider financial and political affairs. A large assembly had 
gatliered, and upon the organization resolutions were adopted 
principally upon financial affairs, except the sixth paragraph, 
which was as follows: "Resolved, That in the appointment of 
George T. Swank as postmaster, the wishes of the people have 
been disregarded and violated, and that while their votes are 
solicited for certain candidates they cannot be heard in matters 
of great interest to themselves; therefore, we will repudiate at 
the polls the i:)olitical aspirations of those who were instru- 
mental in procuring so obnoxious an appointment. ' ' Mr. Swank 
was appointed and sers^ed for twelve years. 

The situation continued to be serious. On June 20 two 
large cinders were thrown through the window of a dwelling on 
Union street, one of them striking the wife of the occupier. On 
the 25th the Mill mine was entered, the cars were wrecked and 
the miners' tools broken. On July 18 the Miners' Union an- 
nounced the disbanding of the local union, and soon thereafter 
the rollers, the puddlers and other trade unions also disbanded. 
Since that date there has been no substantial effort to reorgan- 
ize these unions, nor has the policy of the company changed in 
reference thereto as provided by the rules of the company adopt- 
ed in 1862. 


The Gautier Department of the Cambria Steel Company 
occupied the ground bounded by the Conemaugh river and Cen- 
ter street, on the east by the Woodvale bridge, and on the west 
by the Cambria railroad bridge, near the Pennsylvania R. R. 

It was the successor of a plant for the manufacture of steel 



products, conducted by Josiali H. Gautier and associates in Jer- 
sey City, New Jersey, transferred to Johnstown in 1878. For the 
first three years it was a distinct subsidiary institution of the 
Cambria Iron Company, and was organized under the law appli- 
cable to limited partnerships with the above title. The finn began 
its legal existence May 1, 1878, and was to continue for twenty 

Daniel Johnson Morrell. 

years, unless sooner dissolved. At that time the capital was 
$300,000. Its object was to manufacture "wire rods, wire 
spring steel, wagon tires, steel carriage springs, hay rake 
teeth, mowing machine fingers, bars and other shapes and ar- 
ticles of iron and steel." 

In May, 1879, the capital was increased to a total of $500,- 


000, with these members of the firm and distribution: Daniel 
J. Morrell, $249,800; George Webb, $100; Daniel N. Jones, $100; 
Josiah H. Gautier, $200,000; Thomas B. Gantier, $25,000; Dud- 
ley G. Gautier, $25,000. 

In July, 1881, it was decided to dissolve the limited part- 
nership, whereupon, Daniel J. Morrell, Powell Staekhouse and 
W. S. Eobinson were delegated liquidating trustees, who pro- 
ceeded to close the current accounts and on December 12, 1881, 
the firm was legally dissolved. Thereafter it became the property 
and a department of the Cambria Iron Company. 

The Gautier Department was entirely destroyed in the 
great flood of May 31, 1889, when the lower mill and steel works 
were greatly damaged. On February 23, 1890, the Cambria Iron 
Company leased a mill in Cumberland, Maryland, and operated 
it until the Gautier mills were rebuilt. 

Hon. Daniel J. Morrell died at his home in Johnstown, 
Pennsylvania, on Thursday morning, August 20, 1885, at the 
age of sixty-four years and twelve days. His career was thus 
told by James M. Swank: 

''Daniel Johnson Morrell was a descendant of one of three 
brothers, who in early colonial days emigrated from Old Eng- 
land to New England. From these three brothers there prob- 
ably descended all the Morrells and Morrills in the United 
States today. David Morrell, grandfather of Daniel J. Mor- 
rell, made his home in Maine considerably over a centurv^ ago, 
and here, in a settlement of Friends, or Quakers, in the town, or 
township, of Berwick, and county of York, was born, one hun- 
dred and two years ago, on the farm on which he died eleven 
years ago, Thaddeus Morrell. When about twenty- three years 
old he married a neighbor's daughter, Susannah Ayres. They 
were married on February 17, 1806, and were buried on the 
same day, June 10, 1874. Ten children were given to this 
Quaker couple, of whom eight grew to manhood and woman- 
hood. Daniel was the seventh child. He was born on the farm 
on August 8, 1821. 

"The childhood and youth of Mr. Morrell were attended by 
such vicissitudes as are experienced by most boys whose lot has 
been cast in pioneer homes. His immediate ancestors were true 
pioneers, whose scanty fortunes had been carved from prime- 
val forests and gleaned from the virgin soil amid many hard- 
ships and at the risk of life itself. His father's family wore 
homespun, woven from threads of flax and wool which had 
made acquaintance with the family spinning-wheel. When old 
enough Daniel was taught to assist in the labors of the farm, and 
when the winter school was in session he was a regular attend- 

Vol. 1—28 


ant. But the entire time spent by liim in the school-room did 
not exceed two years. The education thus acquired was, of 
course, limited to the most elementary studies. The only addi- 
tional 'schooling' he ever received was obtained in a course of 
study at a commercial college after his entrance upon a business 
life. His religious training was such as prevails among the 

"Those citizens of York county who were not engaged in 
farming sixty-odd years ago found profitable and needed em- 
ployment m some form of manufacturing industry. If they did 
not make iron the first settlers of Y