HISTORY OF VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
ITS PAST AND PRESENT, INCLUDING ITS ABORIGINAL HISTORY; THE FRENCH AND BRITISH OCCUPATION OF THE COUNTRY; ITS EARLY SETTLEMENT AND SUBSEQUENT GROWTH: A DESCRIPTION OF ITS HISTORIC AND INTERESTING LOCALITIES; ITS RICH OIL DEPOSITS AND THEIR DEVELOPMENT; SKETCHES OF ITS CITIES, BOROUGHS, TOWNSHIPS, AND VILLAGES; NEIGHBORHOOD AND FAMILY HISTORY; PORTRAITS AND BIOGRAPHIES OF PIONEERS AND REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS; STATISTICS, ETC., ETC.
BROWN, RUNK & CO., PUBLISHERS.
Boundaries— Population— Organization— Pioneers— Industries of the Past and Present— Village Growth—Schools— Churches.
CRANBERRY township is the largest subdivision of the county. Bordering upon the Allegheny river a distance of twenty miles, its boundaries include a populous and diversified territory. The principal streams are Horse creek, Sage run. Lower Two Mile run, and Hall's run, a branch of East Sandy creek.
In 1870 the population was two thousand three hundred and thirty-seven, and in 1880, two thousand four hundred and thirty-four.
February 4, 1880, "Upon the petition of divers inhabitants of Cranberry township, east of the Allegheny river and now attached to French Creek township for separate organization, the court appointed Barnhart Martin, Benjamin Junkin, and John Jolly commissioners to inquire into the
necessity and propriety of the proposed change. At April sessions they reported favorably to the separate organization of Cranberry with the following boundaries: " Beginning at the mouth of the Six Mile run on the Alle-
gheny river, keeping up the main branches of the said Six Mile run until it crosses the east line of a tract of land warranted in the name of William Willink and marked on the draught of the county No. 2528: from thence a north course along the east line of the following tracts of land warranted in the name of William Willink and marked on the above mentioned county draught by the numbers 2529, 2549, 2552, 2661, 2670, 2683, and 2687; and from thence continuing a straight line until it reaches the Allegheny river at a point where Pinegrove township reaches the said river, and from thence down the said river to the place of beginning." This differs slightly from the language used in defining the township in 1806, when originally laid
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out under the name of Fairliokl. For many years Saliua was the place of holding elections, but in 188? (August 2th), three election districts were formed, adding greatly to public convenience.
The tax list for 1831, the first year in which the township was assessed individually, contains the names of the following resident taxable inhabitants: Samuel Alexander, William, Robert, James, and Elliott Brandon, David C. Cunningham, William Craig, Samuel Culbertson, John Caseman,
AVilliam Dickson, James Eaton, Thomas Curry, Jacob Foreman, Charles, John, and Joseph Gayetty, James Gray, Samuel Howe, Cornelius Houser, Jacob G. Housor, John Hays, James Haggerty, Patrick Harrison, Samuel and Edward Hall, Zelotus Jewel, James and Joseph Kennedy, Jacob and Isaac Karns, Samuel Lindsay, Stephen, John, and James Lindsay, James
Lamb, Davis McWilliams, John McBride, John and James McQuiston, John McCool, John and Seth McCurry, Gates Manross, John and James Moorhead, Alexander McWilliams, Henry and John Myers, William Nellis, William Parker, William Prior, John Peoples, Thomas Porter, William
Stewart, David Stover, Peter Smith, Isaac Smith, Israel Simpson. Ephraim Turk, James and William Thompson, Allen Williams, and Jacob Zeigler.
Of unseated lands Thomas Astley owned twenty one thousand acre tracts, upon which the aggregate tax was one hundred and five dollars. William Bingham, John Nicholson, Henry Shippen, and S. Wright were also holders of unseated lands.
Settlement, in all probability, was first made near the river. Beginning at the mouth of East Sandy, the southern limit of the township, the earliest settler was Samuel Lindsay. Here he farmed to a limited extent and derived
a precarious subsistence from the river. Some years later he crossed the river into Victory township and from there he removed to Meigs county, Ohio. One Thomas, a Welshman, was the earliest resident at the mouth of Lower Two Mile run. He worked at the early furnaces; when Anderson's furnace in Scrubgrass was built he removed thither and lost his life
by drowning. A man named Seidels first improved the Porter farm, but disposed of his interest to Patrick Harrison before this part of the township had passed the period of its early history. The first settler at the Cochran
flats was Andrew Downing, and one of his nearest neighbors was Isaac Smith, who kept the ferry at Franklin, then located between the Franklin and Big Rock bridges. Smith subsequently removed to Franklin and then to Bully hill, where he died. He sold the ferry to John Hastings, who kept
what is still known as the "red house" as an inn, and died in Sugar Creek township. John Hays settled half a mile above the mouth of Deep Hollow in 1825. He was one of the pioneers of the county, and served in the war of 1812. He died in 1876 at the age of nine-six. The farm adjoining above
622 HISTORY OF VENANGO COUNTY.
was first owned by Samuel Howe, who removed to Oil creek. Sage run derives its name from Joel Sage, who came to Venango county in 1807 and settled on that stream.
Four brothers, John, William, James, and Elliott Brandon were the first to penetrate the interior of the township. Originally from Ireland, the family located near Big Spring, Cumberland county, Pennsylvania.
From here the sons removed to the west. John lived in Pittsburgh six years and in Allegheny five years; there he was engaged in the seine fishery. After his removal to Cranberry he farmed and kept hotel. "William located
in Sandy Creek township prior to 1801 and enlisted in the American army for service in the war of 1812 after his settlement in Cranberry. He was a hunter of some local celebrity and served as constable many years. Elliott
lived on the bank of the river, where he owned an island. One member of the family afterward removed to Steubenville, Ohio, and others to various points so that it has but few representatives here at the present day.
The construction of the Susquehanna and Waterford turnpike was an important event in the early history of Cranberry. The old Franklin road crossed East Sandy at the mouth of Zeigler run and the abutments of a bridge built here by John Houser with his sons Peter and Philip are still visible. This was one of the earliest public works of any importance attempted by the county. It was fifty-five feet long, built entirely of wood, and all the timbers were hewed, including the floor. The construction of the pike was begun in 1818 and finished in two years. The two miles westward from East Sandy were awarded under contract to James Dickson,
Samuel and Edward Hall. Dickson was the son of Benjamin Dickson, originally from Ripley, New York, and an early settler near Meadville, Crawford county. The Halls were native Irishmen. They built a mill on Hall's run and gave the name to that stream. This part of the township
was then entirely uninhabited. The contractors obtained provisions for their men from Pittsburgh by flat-boat, excepting the supply of meat, which was amply provided from the game of the surrounding forests. The cabin built for the accommodation of the men was at the sixty-sixth mile stone
from the Susquehanna river near a tine spring of water.
In the eastern part of Cranberry township there is a considerable body of comparatively level land locally known as "The Meadows." Among the first to locate here was James Crawford, formerly of Rockland, where he was the first justice of the peace. Joseph Kennedy, from Cumberland
county, Pennsylvania, also an early settler in Rockland, was likewise attracted to "The Meadows," and among the first to locate there. He was followed in 1825 by his son, James Kennedy, who had made an improvement two years previously on the farm of Perry Huft. He married Mary, daughter of James Crawford, and reared a family of seven sons and one
daughter. Between the farms of Joseph Kennedy and his son, James
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Thompson lived on a tract of one hundred and fifty-six acres. James Moorhead was an early resident near Ten Mile Bottom; both lie and Thompson arrived prior to 1825. John McCool removed from Scrubgrass to this neighborhood in 1823 and improved a farm on the mill road. He was followed by his brother Alexander McCool, in 1842. In 1838 Cornelius
Hoiiser purchased and improved a tract of two hundred and seventy five acres on the road leading from East Sandy to Tionesta. He was the grandson of John P. Housor, originally from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, and a veteran of the Revolution, who first settled in this county at the
mouth of Big Sandy creek and was afterward ferryman at Franklin. Alexander Shannon, from Brush Valley, Centre county, Pennsylvania, came to the township in 1835 and located where his son, Peter Shannon, now lives.
He was the first elected justice of the peace and held that office thirty -three years.