Everts, Peck and Richards, editors; Jas. B Rogers Printing Company, Philadelphia, 1886
Excerpts relating to the Genealogy of the Van Ormer Family

Microfilm copy at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main Branch
Original Bound Volumes at the Darlington Memorial Library - University of Pittsburgh

Index at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main Branch, Pennsylvania Room

Amos, 840; Chas., 840; John, 300, 840; Joseph, 301, 837, 840; Joshua, 752, 889; Kezzia (Burchfield), 882; Robt., 303; Sam, 840, 882; Wm., Capt., 269
p. 269 Civil War Service

Company I, Juniata County. - The following served in Company I of the fifty third Regiment, which was recruited at Perryville, Juniata Co. ... William Van Ormer, captain, mustered in October 10, 1861,three years: promoted from first seargent to second lieutenant May 17,1864; to first lieutenant Nov 2, 1864; to Captain Dec 14, 1864; mustered out with company June 30, 1865, veteran.

p. 298, 300 Civil War Service

Company A, Juniata County. - The following served in Company A of the ninety-second (a few of the men were from Mifflin and Perry Counties). ... John N. Van Ormer private, mustered in March 8, 1865, one year; mustered out with company June 25, 1865.

p. 301 Civil War Service

Company E, Juniata County - The following served in Company E of the one hundred and first (some of these men were from Mifflin and Perry Counties). ... Joseph Vanormer, second lieutenant, mustered in March 23, 1865, one year; mustered out with company June 25, 1865. ...

p. 303 Civil War Service

Company E, Juniata County, cont. ... Robert Van Ormer, private; mustered in March 23, 1865, one year; mustered out with company June 25, 1865.

p. 752 Tan-Yards
Vanormer, Joshua, 1821-22.

p. 882

Aquilla Burchfield from Maryland to Millford township in 1772 ... to Monroe township in 1774 ... died 1805 aged 68 ... wife - Elizabeth ... son - Robert ... Robert married Catherine Barrichman, by whom he had seven children of whom Kezia became the wife of Samuel Van Ormer, of Slim Valley. (The 7/5/1860 Census record says that Kaziah Vanormer was wife of Saml. Vanormer, aged 58. This would make his birth date just after the turn on the century. This could not be the same Samuel who first settled Slim Valley!)

p. 883 Robert Burchfield

Black Dog Valley, as the valley extending from Little Cocolamus Creek to the main branch of Cocolamus Creek, in Fayette township is called, was settled by few people prior to 1825. Of those located were Thomas Jones, Frank Shields, Robert Burchfield, John Hawk and Harry Auker. About 1856, a number of families from Chester County bought lands and settled, and the name was changed to Chester Valley.

p. 887, 889 Taxable Industries (compiled by A. L. Guess)

Taxable Industries - The tax-lists of Greenwood township, from 1769 to 1831, show assessments on the following in addition to land stocks. The division line of 1789 left in the new county only a small part of the old Greemwood east of the Cocolamus. In 1792 this part enlarged by addition of as much of Fermanaugh as lay east of McAlisterville and Thompson town. These lists are made to correspond to these enlarged bounds. ...

tanneries and tanners ...
Vanormer, Joshua, 1817

p. 832 - 846 Fayette Township



AT the December term of the Juniata County Court, in 1833, a petition was presented, asking for a new township to be formed from Fermanagh and Greenwood. Whereupon the court appointed James Hughes, George Gilliford and Alexander Patterson as viewers, who, in accordance with the order, laid out the proposed new township and reported to the court on March 24, 1834.

This report was confirmed at a court held December 4, 1834, and the new township was named " Fayette."

It is bounded by West Perry township on the north, Monroe on the east, Delaware and Walker on the south, and Fermanagh township on the west.

EARLY SETTLEMENTS. - The first settlers in this locality were designated as living on the North, the Middle or the South Forks, which unite and form the Lost, Creek, near Jericho. In early days the region of country near the confluence of these forks, and above it, was known as "the Lost Creek settlement." Conjectures are many and stories various as to how the creek obtained its name. It is mentioned in a receipt given by Edmund Physick, in charge of the Land-Office, to William Armstrong, and dated February 6, 1755, which makes it certain that the name was known in Philadelphia before that time. The following statement is by Robert McMeen, of Mifflintown, and is the most reasonable of the traditions:

"As early as the year 1749 the first white men who visited the east end of what is now Juniata County came up the north bank of the Juniata River, or possibly by canoe on the water of that stream. They had doubtless heard of the friendly Indians of the Cedar Springs, and of their being the principal source of the D. 0. Run. They, therefore, kept the course of the river till they came to the mouth of D. 0. Run. They took the course of this stream and came easily to the Cedar Springs. From this point they explored the surrounding country, and passing the ridge about half a mile north from Cedar Springs, came upon the creek.

"This party returned to Harris' Ferry, &c., without having made any settlements. When the secured exploring party came, composed in part, doubtless, of the first, they, by mistake, left the river at the mouth of Delaware Run, and soon became involved in the labyrinth of steep ridges and deep vales which lie between the river and the beautiful Lost Creek Valley. 'They wearied themselves' to find the creek, but in vain, and returned to the settlements east of the Susquehanna. The failure to find the valley and creek were discussed and it was determined rightly that the second party had left the river too soon, and the next season a third scouting party came up, took the course of the first party, arrived at Cedar Springs, pressed north and eastward and found the Lost Creek. It has bone this name in the earliest land warrants issued, viz., those of February, 1755, and that lovely and fertile valley having a pretty uniform width of two miles, bounded on the west by Shade Mountain, on the south by Cedars Spring Ridge, on the east by the Ridge at McAlisterville, and sweeping westward eight miles to the Juniata River, at Mifflintown, is called Lost Creek Valley."

The reader is referred to the article on "Taxable Industries" in Greenwood and Fermanagh townships for the early mills and other interests of Fayette.

There were four tracts of land, close together, that were taken up, February 3, 1755, by William Giltnockey, William Armstrong, John Irwin (now Washington McAlister's) and David Hope (Mitchell farm, now Benjamin Shellenberger's). The Giltnockey tract is that part of McAlisterville east of the alley between Dr. Weidman's office and Isaac T. McAlister's dwelling. It passed to Hugh Watts, and, later, to Peter Springer, who patented it May 20, 1812. He resided where Judge Jacob Smith now lives, and, about 1840, sold part of the tract to Jacob Suchman. William Armstrong located a tract, most of it on warrant also dated February 3, 1755, an account of which will be found in the sketch of McAlisterville. Samuel Mitchell and Hugh McAlister, Scotchmen, residing south of the Blue Ridge, after the opening of the New Purchase, started out to explore the country, with a view of selecting a site on which to settle. They crossed the Juniata and passed beyond where James Patterson had located, at Mexico, and came into what was known as Lost Creek Valley, and decided to remain there. William Giltnockey, William Armstrong, Edward Armstrong, John Irwin, David Hoge and others had already located lands in this valley. There were two tracts, that lay adjoining each other, that they selected, at that time owned by John Irwin and David Hoge, and which were warranted February 3, 1755. Hugh McAlister purchased the tract of John Irwin, which is shown in the draft of the Hoge or Mitchell tract as lying south of it. The following is the text of the deed as given by David Hoge to Samuel Mitchell:

"Know all men by these presents, that I, David Hoge, of the County of Cumberland, yeoman, for and in consideration of the sum of four pounds, ten shillings, to me in hand paid by Samuel Mitchell, of said county, have granted, bargained and sold my improvement on a claim and right to claim to a certain improvement and tract of land lying on the East branch of Lost Creek, bounded on the east by land named to William Armstrong, on the south by a small ridge, the line between it and John Erwin's land, and to the westward and northward by Barrens. In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this 22nd day of July, 1756.
"Jonathan Hoge, witness present."

The above-described tract is said to have been the first on which any white person settled in the valley.

Samuel Mitchell settled upon his improvement, but was driven off, as were all the settlers, in 1756, and returned to Carlisle or Sherman's Valley. He returned again in 1763, and, after getting settled, was again compelled to leave with his family, and did not return until 1766, from which time he, with others who had determined to settle here, remained. In August, 1766, he took out two warrants, for ninety acres and one hundred and two acres. He was one of the settlers, in May, 1780, who organized to protect the frontiers. He died in 1783, and in 1793 his widow is mentioned as owning the land he had purchased.

Their children were William, Robert, Jean net and Nancy. William married, in 1796, Nancy, a daughter of Major Hugh McAlister. She died in child-birth in December, 1797, and is buried in the Lost Creek Presbyterian Churchyard. The property later passed to David Myers, by whom it was left to his son Samuel and is now owned by Benjamin Shellenberger.

That portion of his land that was taken up in 1766 lies between Benjamin Shellenberger and the town of McAlisterville, and in time passed to Nicholas Myers and to his son David, and finally to John Musser, who now owns it.

The tract of John Irwin, adjoining the Hoge tract, which was sold to Samuel Mitchell in 1756, was soon after sold to Hugh McAlister. He was of Scotch-Irish descent. His father was Hugh McAlister, who emigrated from the north of Ireland to this country in 1730, and married a Miss Harbison. They had three sons - John, Hugh and William. John settled early in 1755 in Sherman's Valley, and Hugh and William both settled in Lost Creek Valley.

Hugh McAlister, Jr., settled upon his land in 1756. He joined the forces of Captain Forbes, and served faithfully until the close of the Indian hostilities which then resulted from the conspiracy of Pontiac. The families then living in Lost Creek were again compelled to flee to Sherman's Valley, Carlisle and other places of safety, where their friends were congregated in greater numbers. At this time several of the men of the settlement were out with the forces of Captain Forbes. These families of McAlister, Mitchell and others buried their pots and kettles, and taking the few things they could carry and tying packages upon their cattle, slowly and painfully made their way to Sherman's Valley and joined their friends.

Hugh McAlister and his brother William were, in 1776, enlisted in Captain John Hamilton's forces, which joined Washington's forces the day after the capture of the Hessians at Trenton. Hugh was successively promoted to he lieutenant, captain and major. At the close of the war he was in command of the forces stationed at Potter's Fort (now Centre County), and commanded an expedition sent to punish the Indians for depredations committed near Great Island (now Lock Haven) at the close of the Revolution, and settled upon his farm and lived peacefully the remainder of his days. He died September 22, 1810, aged seventy-four years, and his wife, Sarah, died July 6, 1802.

The children of Hugh and Sarah McAlister were Robert, Hugh, John, William, Nancy and Polly.

Robert married Elizabeth Thompson and settled in Tuscarora Valley; Hugh, the second son, married Catharine Elliot, March 12, 1795, and lived on the homestead. His wife, Catharine, died July 16, 1811. He established a store in McAlistertown, as it was then called, and, in 1817, moved into the new brick house he then built, and where he lived till his death, July 16, 1843, aged seventy-four.

Their children were John E., Sally N., Jane H., Hugh T., Elizabeth E. and James Sharon. John E. settled on the farm, for several years kept tavern in the stone house and moved to a farm north of McAlisterville, where he died. He has two sons living, ___ Russell, in Philadelphia, and James, in Harrisburg. Sally N. married William Richards, and, in 1840, moved to Illinois. Jane H. married John North, and lived at McAlisterville. He died there and Mrs. North is still living, eighty-four years of age. Of their sons, Calvin B. resides at Selinsgrove; Hugh McA. is an attorney at Columbia, Lancaster County; and Edmund D. is an attorney at Lancaster City.

Elizabeth E. became the wife of Robert C. Moore and settled in Walker township, where she still resides.

Hugh T. married Julia Ann Alexander, and settled in McAlisterville many years as a farmer. He was the first justice of the peace appointed in Juniata County. He is still living and is eighty-one. years of age.

James Sharon, the youngest son of Hugh and Catharine McAlister, died in 1872, aged sixty-three years.

John, the third son of Hugh and Sarah McAlister, married Polly Lyttle, and settled on a farm adjoining the old McAlister and Bole farms. He left two children, - Hugh and Polly; the latter married William Moore and settled over the ridge at Van Wert. Mrs. Dr. Henry Harshbarger is a daughter of Hugh.

William McAlister, known as Judge, married Sarah Thompson, and settled on the original McAlister farm, where he died December 21, 1847, aged seventy-three years. He served in the War of 1812, and was for many years an associate judge of Juniata County. His wife survived him until March, 1862, when she died in her seventy-ninth year. Of their children, Hugh Nelson became prominent as an at torney in Bellefonte; George W. is now on the homestead; General Robert, prominent in the late war, lives in New Jersey; Thompson settled in Ohio for a time, later in Virginia, where he died; Jane, a daughter, married David Banks, whose sons are William and Dr. Lucian Banks; Elizabeth married David Stewart (they settled in the neighborhood, died there, and are buried in the Lost Creek Presbyterian burial-ground).

Nancy, a daughter of Hugh and Sarah McAlister, married William Mitchell, the son of Samuel Mitchell, who settled on an adjoining farm at the same time her father located on the John Erwin tract. She died in December, 1797, in child-birth, and left a daughter, who reached maturity, married and moved West, and the old Mitchell farm passed to David Myers.

Mary, the youngest daughter of Hugh and Sarah McAlister, married John Allen, who settled in Northumberland County (now Columbia County), where their descendants now are.

William McAlister, a younger brother of Major Hugh, came to this section of country in 1766, with his brother and others, on their return to their farms after the Indian troubles had ceased. He settled on a tract at the head of the Cocolamus, which was taken up by John Gallagher, June 4, 1762. William McAlister purchased, in 1766, and in the same year obtained an order of survey for, a tract called "Addition." In 1812 he obtained a warrant for seventy-three acres south and west. He also purchased other tracts of land in the neighborhood. On the Gallagher tract he settled, and, June 30, 1772, married Sarah Thompson. He joined Captain John Hamilton's company during the Revolution. Before leaving home he made his will, dated December 2, 1776, leaving his estate to his wife, Sarah, and only son, Hugh, then three years old. He went to the army and returned in safety. He cut his name out of the will he bad written with his own hand. It is now in the possession of John B. McAlister, his grandson. He was one of the party who gathered May 21, 1780, to organize to protect the frontier. In 1789 he built at the place now known as Brown's Mills a grist-mill, saw-mill and distillery, and in 1790 was assessed on one hundred and fifty acres of land, the mills, distillery and a slave. He lived at the farm until his death, July 7, 1819, aged seventy-four years; his wife, Sarah, having died a few years previous. The gristmill was burned in later years, and rebuilt by. John McAlister. It was about one mile below the Mansion House, and later was sold by the McAlisters to the Stitzer Brothers, who sold the property to Peter Brown, who now owns it and also keeps a store at the place.

William McAlister built a fulling-mill on the main road, at what is now Cocolamus, in 1814, which was completed, however, by his son William, who fitted it up for fulling and put in carding-machines. Robert McCulley and John Sudrich were fullers at the mill in its early days. The mill was torn down in 1848 and a tannery built, which was run by John McAlister until 1862. It is now owned by John Schell. The children of William and Sarah McAlister were Hugh, 1773, died young; William, 1780; John, 1782; Isaac, 1784; Mary, 1786; and Robert, 1788. William married Polly McCulley. He was a surveyor, and settled on the north part of the farm. William H. and John B. McAlister of McAlisterville, are his sons. John married Jane Thompson and settled on the west part of the tract. He was for many years a justice of the peace, and an elder of Lost Creek Presbyterian Church. J. Hutchinson McAlister, of Mifliintown, is his son. He lived several years on the home-farm. It is now owned by John Shelley. A daughter Sarah, married John Stitzer, and settled for several years in Snyder County, where he, with his brother, purchased the McAlister mill property; and resided there until sold to Peter Brown.

Isaac McAlister married Eleanor Wilson, and moved to Ohio. Mary, a daughter of William McAlister, the elder, married Thomas Bell and settled in Pittsburgh, where their descendants are numerous. Robert., the youngest, married Mary Crawford and settled on the old William McAlister tract and died there. His son, J. Allen McAlister, now owns it. Isaac, another son, is a merchant in McAlisterville.

The greater part of the Giltnockey tract lay east of McAlistertown. Part of it was bought by Hugh Watt in 1779. After his death it was bought of his heirs, Jean and Hugh, by Peter Springer, who settled where Jacob Smith now lives. It was divided in 1813. Part was laid out into village lots in McAlistertown; the rest was sold, part to Jacob Suchman. Peter Springer left three daughters, - Nancy (Mrs. David Landis), Catharine (Mrs. Samuel Shirk), Elizabeth (Mrs. Andrew Zehner or Seiner).

Peter Springer, in 1829, owned a tract which was granted, August 12, 1766, to John Quigley, and later sold to Nicholas Myers. This tract was sold by Springer to Joseph Sellers, February 10, 1829, who built thereon a stone mill, and sold it to George Rothrock, October 23, 1834. It now belongs to Samuel Gayman. Peter Springer owned other lands adjoining Dr. Thomas Whiteside's land, and in other parts of the township also. A part of the Giltnockey tract was sold by William Giltnockey to Colonel George Armstrong, who, December 24, 1762, conveyed to Alexander Armstrong, who sold to his son James. Alexander Armstrong also owned a tract adjoining east, which was granted on an order of survey September 12, 1766. It was sold in 1774 to James Jamison.

John Shellenberger came to this county from Switzerland and settled near what is now Richfield. He had sons - John, Peter and David. In 1792, John Shellenberger, Jr., was assessed on two hundred acres and Peter on two hundred acres. These sons settled near Richfield, where their descendants still live. David Shellenberger was then a single man. He was born in 1770 and moved with his father to the farm on which Bunkertown is now located, and which John afterwards purchased. John Shellenberger, Sr., was a clock-maker, and had learned the trade in Switzerland. He worked at the trade here, and a clock of his manufacture, with his name across the dial, is in the possession of Enoch Shellenberger, a great-grandson. He lived several years after 1800. David built the stone house now owned by George Martin. David died in 1862, ninety-eight years of age. He left several children, of whom were John, David, Anna, Isaac, Christian and Jacob. Of these Christian is the only one living. David, the father, built a tannery about 1810, which was conducted by himself and son John for many years and abandoned about eight years ago, Noah Smith being the last to run it. Of the daughters of John Shellenberger, Sr., Catharine became the wife of Peter Evey and settled in this township, where he had warranted a tract of land ; Maria married Christian Grabel, son of John Grabel, who laid out the town of Richfield in 1818.

The names of Hugh, James, William and Samuel Sharon appear in Fermanagh very early. Of these, Samuel only settled in what is now Fayette township. He was not a brother of the others, and may have been a cousin. He first appears upon the assessment roll in 1770 as a single farmer, and, in 1771 is assessed on one hundred acres of land, and in 1773 on fifty acres, a horse and cow. He had seven children, who were born between 1773 and 1792, - Sarah, James, Ann, Sarah, Samuel, Robert and William. James was born in 1775, became a Presbyterian minister, who settled in Dauphin County. Ann, born in February, 1778, became the wife of Joseph Sellers and settled at the old Hamilton mill, now the property of Robert Humphrey, in Delaware township. Sarah, the second of the name, the first dying when an infant, was born in July, 1782, and married William Shedden. Samuel, born February 23, 1785, married Sarah Davis, a daughter of Joshua Davis, of Slim Valley. Robert, born in 1789, died young. William, the youngest son, was born March 2, 1792. He married Susan Davis, sister of Sarah Davis, the wife of Samuel.

Samuel Sharon was settled in the vicinity soon after his marriage. He was active with the frontiersmen in 1780. He was executor of the will of Samuel Mitchell, who died in 1783. The tract of land on which he lived the later years of his life was warranted by him July 9, 1787, and was patented August 22, 1809. He was a justice of the peace many years and died about 1815. The property was held in common by Samuel and William as the homestead until 1843, when it was divided and Samuel retained the mansion-house and north part and William the south part. The mansion farm now belongs to Henry Smith. He died about 1862, and his sons were in the army and served through the war, after which they sold the farm and moved to Davis County, Iowa. A daughter resides in Sunbury, and one in Bloomsburg, in this State. William built upon and settled upon the south part of the farm. He was elected to the Legislature in 1830, and served in the years 1831, 1832 and 1833, and again in 1851. He died in 1858. Mrs. William Sharon resides in McAlisterville,with her son, William W. Sharon. Her daughter, Mrs. Mary Adams, resides with them. The farm is now in possession of Abraham Sieber.

James Jamison, a Scotchman, settled on the faun lately owned by Henry Sieber, and now by Jacob Witmer. This tract was adjoining William Giltnockey. It was warranted by Jamison May 26, 1773. The next year he purchased two hundred and sixty-four acres of land adjoining, which was granted on an order of survey to Alexander Armstrong, September 12, 1766. He died a few years after his settlement here, devising his property to his only son, John, by will, dated in March, 1776.

The stone house now owned by Jacob Witmer was on the old homestead. John married Sarah, a daughter of John Watson, who lived at Mifflintown. His sons were John, D. Montgomery, William, Robert W. and Edmund L., Hannah (Mrs. Judson Hunt), Margaret (Mrs. David McClure) and Sarah L. (Mrs. Anderson Martin).

Montgomery settled on the homestead tract and was at one time sheriff of the county. William resided with him. Robert W. located three miles east, at the foundry and mill property which he bought of Joseph Van Ormer. Edmund L. settled on part of the homestead. Mrs. McClure settled at Lewistown, Mrs. Martin at Tuscarora Valley and Mrs. Hunt on part of her father's farm. Montgomery, Edmund L. and Mrs. Hunt are still living.

The name of Martin appears first in the assessment roll of 1767, when William owns one hundred acres of land, three acres cleared, and a horse and cow. In 1768 James appears, with fifty acres and a horse. In 1770 the name of David Martin first appears, and without land, and in 1771, David, William, John and James Martin are each assessed on one hundred acres and a horse and a cow. On the 5th of March, 1774, David Martin took out a warrant for a tract at what is now known as "Good-will," which later he conveyed to James Martin, who sold it to John Shellenberger, about 1785. David Martin married Grazella, the sister of Robert McMeen, and resided in this section until after 1792, upon other lands he owned.

Joseph Bogle, in 1771, owned two hundred acres, and in 1772 was living here and had two horses and two cows, and in 1775 Andrew Bogle appears as owning a horse and cow.

In 1779, Joseph Bogle bought the William Armstrong tract, and in the same year sold it to William Stewart. The Dames of Bogle disappear from the tax-list in 1779.

The land on which Oakland Mills is situated was warranted to Michael Stuhl, June 2, 1774, and about 1783 came into possession of John Hamilton, who is also mentioned as owning lands in the vicinity of the Purdys, Sharons, Banks, Lintners and Moores. This tract came in 1798 to James Alricks, who married his daughter Martha, and settled there. The log grist-mill stood a short distance above the present saw-mill.

Upon this place they lived until 1815, when he sold the property to James Banks, who kept it until about 1828 and conveyed it to Dr. Thomas Whiteside, of Harrisburgh. James Alricks removed to Harrisburg, where he engaged in business, and in 1820 was clerk of Quarter Sessions, and afterwards a magistrate. His descendants are living in that city. He died October 28, 1833, aged sixty-four years. His wife, Martha, died March 16, 1830, aged flfty-four years. Dr. Thomas Whiteside practiced medicine in the surrounding country and erected the present stone mill in 1830. He was very active in educational matters. He married Jane Alexander, daughter of Andrew Mitchell, whose wife was the widow of John Hamilton.

Dr. Thomas Whiteside remained at Oakland Mills until March, 1842, when financial difficulty led him to assign the property to Andrew Parker and Edmund L. Doty, who conveyed it to Samuel Thompson. It remained in possession of the Thompson family until April, 1856, when it was sold by Robert Thompson to Lucian, James B. ands Hugh L. Wilson. It is now owned by Lucian and James B., Hugh L. having retired a farm in Walker township.

Dr. Thomas Whiteside moved to Millerstown, and died June 27, 1845.

Michael Bashore cane to this county in 1802, and bought land in what is now Delaware township (now owned by Mrs. Robert M. Thompson), which he sold; he then bought land in Lost Creek Valley, now Fayette Co., where his sons David and Michael were born, and from where most of the family in this section descended. Solomon and David Bashore lived on the tract. David died May 12, 1880, aged seventy-one. His children were Andrew, Michael, David, Solomon, John and Peter and two daughters, Mrs. Amos Stouffer and Mrs. Calvin Watts. Michael resides on the Atkinson tract, better known as the Funk tract, in Walker township. Andrew lives on the Cedar Spring road, in Fermanagh township. Michael Bashore, son of Michael and brother of David, lives in Fermanagh township, on the road from Mifflintown to McAlisterville.

William Rannels purchased a tract of Robert Wilson about 1793, where he resided many years. It is now owned by Samuel Kinser and others. Of his sons were Samuel and Curtis, whose descendants are still living in this section.

Robert Wilson was born in Lancaster County, and about 1789 came to Lost Creek and bought a tract of land now owned by Samuel Kinser. He sold this tract, about 1794, to William Rannels, who resided upon it about fifty years. He then purchased a tract of land, which was warranted to James Dickey in 1769, and in 1793 was owned by his son, Nathaniel; upon this land he lived until his death, in 1840, aged seventy-one years.

The home farm was sold to Michael Brubaker, and is now in part owned by Isaac Shellenberger. The children of Robert Wilson were Hugh, Sarah, Elizabeth and Jane and ___. Hugh married Martha, a daughter of James Banks. He was for a time with James Alricks, in Harrisburg, but in 1835 began the mercantile business in McAlisterville, and continued till his death, in 1857. His sons, James B. and Hugh L. Wilson, continued the business for a time. Lucian and James B. Wilson, sons of Robert, are now in possession of Oakland Mills, and Hugh L. resides in Walker township. Of the daughters of Robert Wilson, Sarah became the wife of William Crozier, Elizabeth married Samuel McMeen, a daughter married William Meloy and Jane remained single.

Epenetus Hart, an Englishman, was a resident here in 1776, and in 1778 took out his warrant for one hundred and fifty acres of land. He was in sympathy with the settlers who organized for the protection of the frontiers in May, 1780, as his name appears among them. In 1786 he built on the place a distillery, which he continued as long as he lived there. On the 6th of November, 1787, he warranted a tract of one hundred and ninety-seven acres of land in Beaver Dam township (now Beaver, Union County), adjoining other lands of which be was in possession and lands of Alexander and Margaret Armstrong. On the same date he also warranted a tract of land (one hundred and twenty acres) in what is now Walker township, and which in 1827 was owned by Michael Bashore. On the 7th of April, 1791, he sold the tract on which he lived to Robert McMeen, who came from old settled parts of Cumberland County, where his family had for many years been prominent. He was a single man at the time, but soon after married Margaret, a sister of Samuel Curran, whose father, William, had located near Cedar Spring.

Edward Armstrong was granted a tract of two hundred and thirty-nine acres and allowance adjoining the tract of William Armstrong, his brother. He died a few years later with out issue, and in order to perfect the title to sell the lands, deeds were obtained from the heirs, brothers and sisters of Edward Armstrong, - viz.: John and William Armstrong, Rebecca, the wife of Colonel John Armstrong, and Margaret, the wife of the Rev. George Duffield - and the tract was sold to James Dickey, November 1, 1771. Upon his death it passed by will, dated April 7, 1783, to his son, Nathaniel Dickey, who, November 5, 1795, conveyed it to David Bole, of Pfoutz Valley (now Perry County). A portion of this land passed to William Shaw. Thomas Bole, son of David, settled upon the place and upon the death of his father, in 1824, he inherited it, and in 1840 sold it to William McMeen, who lived upon it and died in 1873. The property came to James N. McMeen, whose heirs now own it. The tract was patented as "Green Park."

The name of Epenetus Hart is not found in the records of the county from the time of the sale, in 1791, and he probably moved to his lands in Beaver Dam township. Robert MeMeen lived upon his farm until his death, in 1818, aged fifty-two years. His wife, Margaret, survived until 1827, when she died, aged seventy-three years. They are buried in the Cedar Spring burial-ground. Their children were Josiah, William, Samuel, Eleanor and Margaret. Josiah settled on the Samuel Vines tract, at Van Wert. William married Margaret, a daughter of General James Banks, and settled on the homestead, where he lived until 1840, when he sold the farm to Michael Yoder, and it is now owned by the estate of Edmund S. Doty. William McMeen then purchased the farm, April 22, 1840, on the south fork of Lost Creek, which lies south of McAlisterville (known as the Edward Armstrong tract). Upon this place William McMeen lived until his death, December 9, 1873. He devised the farm to his youngest son, James N. McMeen, who died in 1883, leaving a widow, Catharine S. McMeen, and seven children, who now own it. One hundred acres of the tract were sold, April 4, 1855, to Jacob Smith, and are now owned by John Musser.

Hugh Watt purchased a part of the Giltnockey tract in 1779, and lived upon it. He was the contractor to build the Lost Creek Presbyterian Church in 1800. He sold the land on which he lived to Peter Springer. He left sons - Hugh, Thomas and John - and daughters - Jean and Rebecca. They all moved away.

The tract lying west of the William Armstrong tract (now the site of McAlisterville), in 1792 belonged to Hugh McElroy. It is not known by whom it was warranted. Soon after this year he sold it to Nicholas Myers, who came from Ohio, and became a speculator of lands in this section. He sold seventy acres of it to Michael Myers, of Berks County, in 1812. On the 7th of May, 1809, he purchased thirty acres of land of Hugh McAlister, Sr., which was a part of the old Mitchell tract. The tract he sold to Myers he bought in the spring of 1819, and in the same year sold the one hundred acres to John Musser. Nicholas Myers resided part of the time in the house he built in 1807, where 'Squire Dunn now lives, which land he bought of Peter Springer; before that in a house which stood where John Musser's brick house now stands, and in a house northeast, on part of his land. The Rev. David Myers was his son, and bought the old Mitchell farm west of where his father lived (now John Musser). His children were Samuel, of Lewistown, Dr. Seth F., Mrs. G. W. McAlister and Mrs. Dr. A. J. Fisher.

John Musser came from Lebanon County in 1815, and bought a tract of land southeast of McAlisterville and settled upon it., which was patented by James Harris in 1805. His sons were John, David, Martin, Christian and Isaac. Martin and Isaac moved to the Wcst; David settled on the homestead, two miles southeast from McAlisterville, where his son David now lives; John purchased, in 1819, one hundred acres of land of Nicholas Myers, where his son, John Musser, now lives; Christian settled on part of the glebe lands of the Cedar Spring congregation, which he bought about 1824, and where his son John now lives.

The tract of land owned by Reuben Leonard and Mrs. Samuel Leonard was granted, on order of survey No. 4906, Apri1 5, 1768, to William Oliver, and later came to John Book, and, in time, to Thomas Leonard, who left it to his two sons, Samuel and Reuben.

Jonathan Kearsley, in 1767, owned one hundred and fifty acres, which, in 1775, was owned by John Kearsley. It later came to Thomas Leonard, and is now part of the estate.

About 1780, Richard Dunn settled on the ridge south of McAlisterville, partly in Delaware and Fayette townships, which later he purchased and where he died. His sons were Thomas, William, Richard, James, Samuel and Alexander. Thomas settled at Middletown, below Harrisburg, as a miller. William and Samuel lived and died near the homestead. Richard settled in Thompsontown. James taught school and owned a farm, now owned by William Rannels, in Fayette township. William Dunn, a son of James, taught school in his younger days, became a surveyor, and is now justice of the peace in McAlisterville. Other sons of James settled in the vicinity.

John Pauly, in 1766, took up a warrant for a tract of land on Cocolamus Creek, near Leister's saw-mill. Thomas Pauly, as his administrator, in 1808, sold it to David Longenecker, who patented it in 1837. He sold it in 1838, to John Heim, who, in 1842, conveyed it to William Sellers.

John Lauver, a son of Michael Lauver, warranted a tract of seventy-two acres of land May 17, 1794, which was patented February 23, 1796, as "Park Gate." He built there a log blacksmith-shop and dwelling, which, when he bought a lot in 1810 in McAlisterville, he tore down and moved into the new town. The land is near Smith's grist-mill.

Slim Valley lies on the north side of the township and south of Shade Mountain. One of the first settlers in the valley was Leffert Houghawout, who lived at the head of one of the branches of Lost Creek. His sons were Peter and John, who settled near there for a time and emigrated to the West.

Joseph Woods, an old Revolutionary soldier, settled along the mountain and lived there many years. A large tract of land along the mountain was claimed by parties who lived in Philadelphia. It was surveyed and the people who had settled upon it were obliged to move off or compromise. A few remained and Joseph Woods, with others, vacated the premises.

Samuel Von Ormer located in Slim Valley before 1800, where he cleared land and built a log house. His sons were John, Amos, Charles and Joseph. The latter is living in the neighborhood and is now about ninety-four years of age and the oldest person in the township.

Joshua Davis, in 1804, came from Chester county to Union county and settled in Buffalo township, where Michael Lincoln, the brother of his wife lived. In 1812 he came to Slim Valley and bought one hundred and fifty acres of Davit Watt of Carlisle, at the gap, west of Samuel Van Ormer, where George Trego now lives. He died in 1828. Of his children, James lived in McAlisterville and was justice of the peace many years; Sarah married Samuel Sharon, and Susan married William Sharon, his brother. She is living with her son and daughter at McAlisterville and is ninety-two years of age.

LOST CREEK PRESBYTERIAN CONGREGATION. - The history of the Cedar Spring congregation, of which this was originally a part, will be found in the history of the Mifflintown congregation until 1797, when this society became a separate congregation, but under the same pastorate and retaining the same property rights in Cedar Spring glebe lands and its proceeds until the separation, in June, 1875. The account of the pastors will be found in the sketch of the Mifflin congregation.

The movement to effect a separate congregation was made in 1796-97. Major Hugh McAlister and David Boles each donated a plat of ground from their farms adjoining. These two plats were surveyed, by request of the trustees, by William Harris, of Mifflintown, June 27, 1797, and contained one hundred and forty-three perches. Soon after this time an agreement was entered into with Hugh Watt to erect a hewed-log church.

The first official mention of the Lost Creek congregation is found in the records of the Huntingdon Presbytery, October 2, 1799, when Lost Creek and Cedar Spring congregation requested permission to apply to Carlisle for supplies, which was granted.

The first pastor was Rev. Matthew Brown, who was called to be the pastor November 10, 1801. He was installed by the Presbytery in April, 1802. He remained until March 20,1805, when he resigned to take charge of a church in Washington, Pa. The Rev. John Hutcheson was called October 1, 1805, and was ordained at the Lost Creek Church April 15, 1806. He remained as pastor until his death, November 11, 1844. The Rev. Mathew Allison succeeded him, having received a call to become pastor March 26, 1845, which he accepted, and was installed the following April. He remained pastor until his death, July 8, 1872. The Rev. T. J. Sherrard became an assistant in 1871, and after the death of the Rev. Mr. Allison, became the pastor. He resigned April 15, 1875, and accepted a call from the Mifflin congregation, which had then become separated. From that time to the present the Lost Creek congregation have been served by supplies.

After the building of the new church, in 1800, the old Cedar Spring Church was mostly abandoned and several years later was taken down. The glebe lands were sold at various times, in parcels, and the proceeds divided between the Lost Creek and Mifflin congregations, the last land having been sold about 1828.

petition to the Presbytery, and with a protest on the part of the Lost Creek congregation, a division was made, and the decision of the Presbytery was read by the Rev. Samuel Laird on the morning of June 15, 1775, to the Lost Creek congregation, and in the evening.

The old log church answered its purpose until about 1838, when it was decided to build a new brick church. Contract was made with William Crozier to do the work. The old school-house, that then stood on the site of the present church, was moved down to the foot of the knoll, where it is now used for a tenant-house. The old log church was used for a shop, and, when the walls of the church were nearly up, one morning, when the men were at breakfast in the old school-house, a crackling was heard, and the old church was in flames, having caught fire in some manner in the shavings. It was impossible to extinguish it. The morning was foggy and the flames could not be seen from McAlisterville. The shouting of the men and the smell of the smoke, however, started the citizens to the place; but it could not be saved. Another church was erected, which has been used to the present. About 1845 many catalpas were set out around the church, which now form a fine grove around the church building.

The burial-ground, at the south of the church, contains the remains of many of the old families. The earliest date now legible on a tombstone is of Nancy Mitchell, wife of William Mitchell and daughter of Major Hugh McAlister, who died in December, 1797. The site was doubtless the burial-place of the family of Major Hugh McAlister before the ground was selected for the church. The McAlisters, Sharons, Banks, MeMeens and many others rest within its limits.

MENNONITE MEETING-HOUSE. - The Mennonites in this section of the county built a meeting house in the eastern part of old Greenwood township, near Richfield, and about 1800 one was built of logs on the Cedar Spring road, between McAlisterville and Mifflintown. About 1815 the lot was enlarged, and in 1872 a brick meeting house was built in place of the old one. The preachers are Jacob and William Graybill.

GERMAN BAPTIST MEETING-HOUSE. - The Good-will German Baptist meeting-house was built in 1841. Prior to that. time services were held in the house of David Shellenberger, who was also a preacher. Solomon Kauffman, Andrew Bashore and Solomon Sieber are preachers at present. This denomination is familiarly known as the Brethren or Dunkers.

THE FAYETTE SCHOOLS. - Probably the earliest school-house in the limits of Fayette township was situated on the road from Washington McAlister's to Oakland Mills, on land now owned by Miss Martha Book. It stood in the centre of the present road and was burned down before 1800. Hugh McAlister, who died in 1843, was a pupil in that house. The old road ran round the knoll on which the house stood. William Pelaw was one of the teachers there.

A log school-house was built on the Presbyterian Church lot soon after the church was built, in 1799. It was used until the present church was built, and stood on its site. It was then moved down to the foot of the bank and was used as a boarding-place and dining-room while building the present church, and is now used as a tenant-house. Of later teachers there were James Lytle and Robert McAlister. A school-house was erected about 1800 near the site of the Hoffman tannery.

Andrew Banks was a teacher in this house at one time. Stephen George was a schoolteacher about 1812. He owned a farm on Lost Creek, about one and a half miles west of McAlisterville, now owned by James Shillingford. George Keller, also a teacher of later date, lived on this place. He taught the German school in McAlisterville. In 1818 a school house was built east of "McAlistertown," now in the town. A fuller account of schools in that place will be found in the sketch of McAlisterville. Dr. Thomas Whiteside built a school-house in 1830 at Oakland Mills, which is still standing.

The school law passed in 1834, and November 4, 1834, delegates met in County Convention at the court-house to take measures to carry out the provisions of the law. Fayette accepted the provisions of the common-school law of 1834 soon after its passage. Dr. Thomas Whiteside, William MeMeen, Judge William McAlister and William Sharon were prominent supporters of the system established by this law. In 1838 David Kauffman, William Sharon, William McMeen, Thomas Kinser, John Von Ormer and Henry Hart were directors of the township, and on the 6th day of January, 1838, in consideration of one dollar, purchased of Dr. Thomas Whiteside a tract of land containing two thousand square feet, on which a schoolhouse was then erected, and in the event of changing the road, the directors were to have the same amount of land, in a convenient location, and move the house thereto.

The road was changed in later years, and Robert Thompson, then owner of the land (1852), conveyed to the school directors six thousand square feet, on which the present school-house stands. The old lot reverted to the estate, and with the house is now owned by Lucien and J. B. Wilson. A High School was established in this house, and geography, grammar and surveying were taught by William Knox, an Irishman, who was a fine mathematician. He was succeeded by Dr. Jones, a brother of William Jones, who taught many years in the county.

The German school-house, which was situated west of and adjoining the original academy tract at McAlisterville, was built on a lot purchased of John Musser in 1827, and surveyed March, 1761, and school was taught by Christopher Clark, Benjamin Landis, George Keller, William Dunn and others. Upon the building of the present school-house, in 1855, this house. and the old one at the east end of the town was abandoned, and the German school-house lot was sold, March 26, 1856, to John Musser, the original proprietor. Henry Lauver and Benjamin Bashore were the first trustees. On the 8th of March, 1840, the school directors purchased thirty perches of land of John Yodel, on which to erect a school-house. It was situated below Brown's Mills, and was known as Cold Brook. The school-house for that section is now half a mile west. The Union School lot, near Cocolamus, was bought September 29, 1860. The Red Bank school-house lot, near Evandale, was bought by Peter Brown, February 8, 1872.

In 1836 there were four log school-houses in the township; in 1884 there were nine houses, which accommodate five hundred and fifteen pupils. The names of the school-houses are as follows: Oakland, McAlisterville, Union, Cocolamus, Liberty, Fairview, Rockland, Mount Pleasant and Red Bank.


The town of McAlisterville, with its present limits, is situated on a site originally taken up by the authority of two warrants. The warrant on the east was taken out by William Giltnockey the 3d day of February, 1755, and was for a large tract of land which later passed to Hugh Watts, who sold to Peter Springer, who patented it May 20, 1812. He lived on the place now occupied by Judge Jacob Smith. The old school-house, built in 1818, was on the tract now owned by Judge Samuel Watts.

In later years, when McAlisterville began to thrive, lots were sold by Peter Springer on his land, and the town grew to the east along the road. This tract of land was warranted February 3, 1755, which was the first day on which warrants were issued from the Land-Office for "the new purchase."

The tract of land on which McAlisterville was originally laid out was warranted by William Armstrong, of Delaware, February 3, 1775, the same date as the adjoining tract of Giltnockey's. He located other lands in what is now Mifflin County, where he resided. Edward Armstrong warranted a tract of land southeast of it September 8th the same year. Alexander Armstrong also took up a tract of land on application No. 1201, September 12, 1766, east of William Giltnockey and James Diven. Peter Springer also bought this property. William Armstrong retained the tract he warranted until January 8, 1779, when lie sold it for two hundred and forty pounds to Joseph Bogle, of York County, who, on the 19th of February, the same year, conveyed it to William Stewart, who at once moved upon the place, as his name is found in May, 1780, among the list of those who organized for the defense of the frontier. He built a log house on the place, and resided there in 1791. The reader is referred to the erection of Greenwood township and the enlargement of its boundaries, in 1791-92, for mention of William Stewart's house. It will be noticed that in the petition William Stewart's house was mentioned as being on the east side of the line, and in Greenwood township. But Hugh McAlister, who purchased the property May 21, 1790, applied to the court, asking that William Stewart's house may be and remain in Fermanagh township. This was granted, and the line ran east of the Armstrong land and through the lot on which the old Jacob Hamerly house now stands, leaving the most of the Armstrong land in Fermanagh township. Hugh McAlister came into possession of the land in the year 1792. The tract was surveyed to him as one hundred and sixty-six acres, March 31, 1792. The tract was then bounded on the west by lands of Widow Mitchell, on north by Hugh McElroy, east by Hugh Watts (later Peter Springer) and on the south by William Shaw. Hugh McAlister conveyed it to his son Hugh, March 23, 1804, who received a patent for it May 23, 1804.

The old log house that many years ago was torn down, and which stood on the road leading from the hotel corner toward the church, and on the farm now owned by Judge Watts, is supposed to have been the old Stewart house. In 1807 Nicholas Myers built a house on the lot now owned by Squire William Dunn. This lot was sold to Henry Lauver, September 14, 1813, and in 1819 was conveyed to John Showers. It passed through several hands, and in 1840 came into possession of William Dunn.

Hugh McAlister, in 1810, employed William McAlister to survey and lay out a town, which was done. Seven lots, each containing half an acre, were laid out, three on the south side of the road and four on the north side. On the 27th day of December, 1810, Hugh McAlister and his wife, Catharine, sold to John Lauver, a blacksmith, lots Nos. 1 and 2, on the north side of "McAlisterstown," in consideration of sixty dollars, with the "free privilege of using water out of the spring forever, but no power of hindering any other person the same privilege," John Lauver owned a log dwelling-house east of the new town some distance, which he tore down and moved to the lots and erected thereon. These lots later came to Henry Lauver, and the house was torn down in 1856, and the store now owned by Isaac T. McAlister was erected on the site. The spring mentioned is on a small lot adjoining, now owned by Hugh McAlister and just east of Dr. A. J. Fisher's residence. In the next year, 1811, Hugh McAlister erected, on the lot on the south side directly opposite No. 1, a stone house, which is still standing, and in which Thomas Gallagher, of Licking Creek, and James Knox, of Mifflin, opened a store, which they kept until 1815, when they sold to Hugh McAlister, who kept there until his brick house was finished, in 1817, when he moved the store to the room in the east side and kept till his death, in 1844. He remained several years and was succeeded by William McCamman. He moved up town, in a small log house built by Nicholas Myers, now occupied by William Dunn. After a few years he moved to Liverpool. In 1816, Hugh McAlister began the erection of the brick hotel now standing, and finished it in the next year, where he lived until his death, in 1843. The brick house came to John North, a son-in-law, April 1, 1846, who opened it as a store and kept it for ten years, and in 1856 changed it to a hotel. It was sold in 1875 to William W. Sharon, who now keeps it. Herman Caveny, a school-teacher and stone-cutter, lived in the stone house several years and also had his marble-shop there. It was kept as a tavern by Dr. Thomas Rowland, who remained about two years and returned to Chester. John E. McAlister was the landlord from about 1825 to 1842. It was later kept by Edward Margretz. ____ Barth, Jacob Auman and last, in 1877, by Cyrns Seiber.

The growth of the town caused Peter Springer, about 1813, to lay out lots on the east of the new town on the Giltnockey tract, which were soon after sold. In 1814 a petition for a road was made from McAlistertown to the county line on Shade Mountain, near Romick's Gap. Viewers were appointed and report made, but not confirmed. It was afterwards, however, laid out and opened.

A postoffice was established at the place about 1815, and a mail-route opened from Fannetsburg, Franklin County, to Selinsgrove, and mail first carried in saddle-bags. Hugh McAlister, then keeping store, was postmaster. In 1820 a petition was sent in to the Postmaster-General, by Captain William Turner, to have the name of the post-office changed, and Michael Lauver was appointed postmaster, and the name of the post-office was changed to Calhounville about 1821, which it retained for about four years and was changed to its former name. Hugh McAlister was reapppointed and held the position until his death, in 1843. He was succeeded by J. B. Wilson, Calvin B. North, John North, James Davis, Dallas North, S. B. Caveny, John Muthersbough and William W. Sharon, the present incumbent, who has held the position since April, 1873.

Soon after the town was started Hugh McAlister built a tannery on the Main Street, which was conducted by John North, a tanner, and who, in 1822, married Jane, a daughter of Hugh McAlister. In 1825 Hugh T. McAlister came into possession and continued until 1845, when it was sold to Henry Bohn, who continued several years and sold to Peter Witmer, by whom, in later years, it was abandoned.

A school was taught in the settlement in 1812-14 by Stephen George, who was an early teacher throughout the county. The first school-house was built in 1818, and was a little east of the village. It is still standing on the original site and is now owned by Samuel Watts. Other teachers who taught there were Stephen George, William Pelaw, ____ McCormick, Matthew McKinstry, James Murray, Sarah Abrams, Samuel Mathers, Samuel B. Wilson (1828), William P. Huntington (1830), William J. Jones, James M. Sellers, William Quick, George Lewis and William Kinsloe.

The school-house was abandoned in 1855 and the present house was built by Jacob Bechtel, and is now, with the exception of the orphan school, the only school of McAlisterville. William W. Sharon was the first teacher. The German school-house was built about 1827 and used until 1855. Christopher Clark, Benjamin Landis, George Keller and William Dunn were the teachers in the German school-house. Hugh McAlister says that in his remembrance there were twelve distilleries between the mouth of Lost Creek and Richfield, which were all running in the winter. It was the only market for corn and rye, and each farmer took a barrel of whiskey in part pay. The distilleries were owned by Lewis Horning, near the month of Lost Creek; James Bryson, on the old Samuel Bryson farm at Jericho, of which David Kauffman was the distiller; James Alricks, at the Oakland Mills; William, Robert and James Turner, west of McAlisterville; John Jameson; David Shellenberger; William McAlister, Robert McAlister; William Sellers, at Evandale; John Grabel, at Richfield.

Of merchants who have been in business in McAlisterville since 1835 are the following: Hugh Wilson, from 1835 to 1856. The business was continued by his sons - J. B. Wilson & Co. - for several years, and sold to Feghtly & Strayer.

In 1857 David Myers erected the store building on the corner where Isaac McAlister now has a store. It was the site of the first building in the town. The firm of D. Myers & Co. was composed of David Myers, Reuben Caveny and James M. Sellers. The firm had several changes, and, in 1862, the store was sold to Isaac McAlister, who now keeps it.

In 1876 S. S. Beaver built the store building, and opened a store, now conducted by Joseph Page, who purchased in 1882.

S. S. Beaver, after the sale of his store, in 1882, opened a drug-store, which, in 1884, was purchased by Murray & Smiley.

EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH. - About 1830, the Rev. Elsenmoyer, a German minister, came to this neighborhood and began preaching in the German language to the people of the Lutheran and German Reformed denominations. Meetings were held in the old school-house in the upper end of the village. A Lutheran congregation was soon formed, with John Seighman and Daniel Showers as trustees.

In the summer of 1834 a lot was purchased of Hugh McAlister, in McAlisterville, and in the season of 1835 a frame church was erected. The Rev. S. R. Boyer, who took the charge of Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Lewistown,March 1, 1835, assumed charge also of this congregation and served until he resigned, March 15, 1846. He was succeeded by the Rev. Jacob Martin, 1846-48 ; Rev. Levi F. Williams, 1848-58; Rev. Philip Willard, 1858-61. From the time the Rev. S. R. Boyer took charge of the church, in 1835, until 1861 the congregation was in a charge with Mifflintown, Thompsontown and Centre. At this time, 1861, Mifffintown became an independent charge, and the congregation remained one with Thompsontown and Centre. The Rev. DI. L. Shindell became pastor and remained until 1865. The congregation was without a pastor one year, and, in 1867, the Rev. A. Kopenhover assumed the pastoral relation, and remained fifteen years in the service. In the fall of 1883 the Rev. William Wieand was called, and accepted. He served until the summer of 1885, and resigned.

During the pastorate of the Rev. A. Kopenhover, and mainly through his influence and zeal, the present brick church was built, in 1876, on the site of the old church, at au outlay of four thousand dollars, much work and material having been contributed by the members.

I. O. O. F. - McAlisterville Lodge, No. 716, was chartered May 20, 1870, with the following list of officers: D. B. McWilliams, N. G.; G. Shivery, V. G.; W. W. Sharon, Secretary; S. M. Shelley, Assistant Secretary; J. W. Muthersbough, Treasurer. Meetings were held in the second story of McAlister's store until about 1875, when the Odd-Fellows' Hall was fitted and is still used. The lodge has a membership of fourteen.

THE SOLDIERS' ORPHAN SCHOOL. -This institution was originated as an academy in 1855, the first trustees of which were H. T. McAlister, Wm. McMeen, Abraham Seiber, Montgomery Jameson, R. W. Jameson, Sam]. Watt and David Myers. A subscription list was obtained, and in the summer of 1855 the three-story brick building, forty-eight. by fifty-four feet., now standing on the west side of the street, was erected at a cost of about three thousand dollars. The Rev. Philander Camp, a Presbyterian minister from Bradford County, was elected principal. He served two years and was succeeded by Mr. Diven, who taught two terms. In 1858 the stockholders sold the property to Professor George F. McFarland, then principal of the Freeburg Academy, who enlarged the accommodations and conducted the academy until 1862. Having then a good normal class composed largely of teachers, he enlisted them in the service of the United States, and took the company to Harrisburg, where it was assigned to the One Hundred and Fifty-first Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, of which he became lieutenant-colonel, and one of the teachers, W. L. Owens, captain of the company.

Returning after the battle of Gettysburg, in 1863, in which he was badly wounded, ColonelMcFarland re-opened the academy, and in the following autumn converted it into a soldiers' orphans' school. From this time forward it received soldiers' orphans, the number reaching sixty-one by April 1, 1865, and one hundred and forty-one the following December. At the first vacation July 27, 1865, the children were accompanied by Dr. Burrowes, State superintendent of schools, to Mifflintown, where the first concert was held in the court-house. The large audience was deeply interested in the peformance, the explanation of the system by Dr. Burrows and the patriotic speeches that followed. It was one of the three schools that visited Harrisburg, March 16, 1866, and influenced the Legislature to abandon the pauper bill and continue appropriations for the support of the schools.

The school also participated in the ceremonies incident to the reception of the battle-flags, at Philadelphia, July 4, 1866. Twenty-two acres of land bought were adjoining the original purchase. The corner-stone of a new building was laid, with interesting ceremonies, July 23, 1866. The Hon. S. P. Bates, LL.D., delivered the address. The building is of brick, thirty-nine by sixty-seven feet, and four stories in height.

On the 1st day of January, 1876, the control of the school passed into the hands of Mr. Jacob Smith, of McAlisterville, who had for many years been steward of the institution. He remained in charge of the institution until September, 1880, when he was succeeded by Colonel George F. McFarland, who, in June 13, 1883, leased the property to George W. Wright, of Mercer County. The school is now under the charge of Professor J. M. Sherwood, who was in charge of the Mercer soldiers' orphans' schools for five years previous to taking charge of this in September, 1884. The roll of the institution shows that one thousand one Hundred and eighty-five children have enjoyed its advantages as a home and a school. Twenty-eight deaths have occurred, and nine hundred and seventy children have been discharged, leaving at present in the institution one hundred and seveny-seven children.


Cocolamus is a settlement at the forks of the heads of the stream. The land was taken up by John Gallagher in 1762, and soon after purchased by William McAlister, who obtained a patent in 1790. It. was the intention of Mr. McAlister to lay out a town at the place, but it was not done. A fulling-mill was built in 1814, which was torn down in 1848 and the tannery erected on its site. A store was established at the place in 1862, and kept by William Harrison McAlister until 1881, when it was purchased by Edward Kelly, who now keeps it.

A hotel was kept there several years by Abram Landis and by Lewis Amy. A postoffice was established in 1865, and Abraham Haldeman was postmaster from 1865 to 1872. He was succeeded by W. H. McAlister from 1872 to 1881, and since that time the office has been held by Edward Kelly. The tannery is now owned by John Schell. A frame church was built near the place in 1884 by the United Brethren.


The place was named by Dr. Thomas Whiteside when lie built the present stone mill, in 1830. It had long been a mill-seat, and the old mills stood above the present mill. The first store was established in 1830 by David McClure, who was about the same time appointed postmaster. He was succeeded by John Heckman in both the store and postoffice. Lucian Wilson, the present postmaster, succeeded in the store and post-office in April, 1844, and has continued to the present time. He, with his brothers, purchased the mill property in 1856.

The above text was transcribed and/or "OCR"ed, edited and hypertext marked-up by Cole M. Van Ormer