Crawford County PA
Miscellaneous News Paper Articles From the Past

Meadville in 1805

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
January 29 1806 Page 1

Extract of a letter from a gentleman in Meadville, Crawford county, to his friend in this place, dated Dec. 12, 1805.

"I will beg leave to subjoin the following answers to the several queries, contained in your last letter.

"Ist query. What are the number of houses in Meadville; and its population and trade?

"There are in Meadville about sixty houses. I presume the population is about two hundred souls. The town in situated on the east branch of French creek, about 22 miles by land from its contlience with the Allegheny river. The creek is navigable 60 miles above the town. This week 14 flat bottomed boats, and fix keel boats, descended the creek, carrying about 2600 barrels of salt, each barrel containing five bushels - which will sell in Pittsburgh, and the neighbouring towns for twelve dollars per barrel. The smallest of the flat bottomed boats was 50 feet by 10 feet. The trade of Meadville is not yet so matured as to enable me to give a sufficient account of it; but the staple commodity of the country will be cattle and flour.

"2d query. What is the quality of the soil at the several distances of 3, 5 and 10 miles from Meadville?

"Ans. The soil in the neighborhood of Meadville is very good, and when well cultivated produces fine crops. The farmers in the neighborhood of the town say that they have raised forty five bushels of wheat to the acre; but this is by no means general; though it shews that by good cultivation the ground will produce large crops. The foil, at the several distances which you mention, is nearly of the same quality.

"3d query. What is the medium price of land at those several distances from town?

"Ans. The land at the several distances which you mention, sells at various prices, from two dollars and fifty cents to twelve dollars. Men who have got good farms, and who have improved them, ask what the land and improvements are really worth; but the Holland Company, who are the owners of a great deal of the land, sell very reasonable, and in fact for much less that the land is reasonably worth, because their object is to turn their property into money as soon as possible.

"4th query. Are the lands at the head waters of Sugar creek mountainous, or fit for cultivation, and what price do they bear?

"Ans. The lands on the head waters of Sugar creek are not mountainous, and all the lands lying on the head waters of Little Sugar creek are of the first quality. But there are two Sugar creeks in this country, the head waters of which include a tract of country nearly thirty miles wide. Little Sugar creek empties into French creek about ten miles below Meadville and Big Sugar creek empties into it about three miles from its mouth. Big Sugar creek has three branches, which meet together about ten miles from its mouth. I am not able to say what kind of land is on the head waters of the middle branch but the east and west branches take their sources on good land. I am not able to say at what price those lands would sell, for the price of lands in this country are so multitarious that it is impossible to fix a medium; but I should suppose that about two dollars would be the standard to regulate them by. The medium in the neighborhood of Meadville would be from three to four dollars."

McNight-Cochran Marriage

The Centinel, Gettysburg, PA, June 14 1809

Married on Tuesday, the 6th instant, by the Rev. d. McConaughy, Mr. William McNight of Crawford county to Miss Elenor Cochran, daughter of Thomas Cochran, Esq., of this county.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
December 20 1820

A Fine Roaster

John Reynolds Esq. of this place, killed a Hog on the 30th ult. which, when dressed, weighed 582 lbs. besides the gut fat. - Crawford Messenger

Gettysburg Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
June 19 1822

Meadville, Pa., June 1


A deed of unparalleled atrocity was committed in the neighborhood of Conneaut Lake, in this county, on Thursday evening last, the particulars of which, as far as we have heard, are as follows: - Mr. Samuel W. Smith, constable of Sadsbury township, while in the execution of his office, was instantly killed by David Lamphier, with the single stroke of an axe, which nearly severed his head from his body. Lamphier made his escape, but the Sheriff with a large number of enterprising citizens are in pursuit, and determined if possible to arrest him. He is about six feet high, grey eyes, light hair which is lighter on one side of the head that the other. He has a natural mark on one side of his forehead similar to a mulberry in appearance, and is a stout thickset man, about 33 years of age.

Gettysburg Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
June 26 1822

Meadville, Pa., June 8

The Murderer apprehended

Lamphier, the murderer of Smith, as stated in our last, after being closely pursued by the citizens of different parts of the surrounding country, who deserve much credit for their indefatigable exertions to apprehend him, finding it impossible to evade their vigilance, delivered himself up to the hands of justice on Monday morning last, at a small distance from where the act was perpetrated, after having traversed and secreted himself in the adjacent swamps for three days, enduring fatigue and hunger. He has been committed for trial. -- Standard

Gettysburg Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
November 13 1822


On Friday the 1st instant. David Lamphier was executed at Meadville, Crawford county, Pa., for the murder of a constable named Samuel W. Smith, on the 30th of May last.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
January 29 1823

Meadville, Pa, Jan. 14

Good Roads

We begin to feel many of the benefits arising from good roads. Iron, which a year or two since, retailed here from 12 ½ to 14 cents, may now be had for 6 and 7 cents per lb. Sleding is now excellent - we have noticed numerous sleds pass within a day or two past laden with pork, butter and cheese, flax, linen, &c. for Phillipsburg and Bellefonte to barter for that articles. - MESSEN.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) June 1, 1825

Meadville, Pa., May 19

Maj. Kearney, commanding the United States' brigade of engineers, has moved his detachment to the summit level. His instructions from the War Department, if we are not misinformed, require the examination and actual location of a Canal route from the Conneaut Lake to Lake Erie by one of two routs - viz., to the mouth of Elk creek in this state, or to the mouth of Ashtabula in Ohio. But one line is contemplated to be examined for the present leading to the south - to wit, by the valley of the Shenango, &c. to the mouth of Beaver.

Three separate brigades have been detailed and we learn from a late Uniontown paper, have commenced operations at three different points, in the location of a Canal between the waters of the Ohio and those of the Potomac. The whole line of Canal, from Lake Erie to Washington City, with in all probability be located during the present summer. - Mess.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
August 30 1826

Meadville, August 17, 1826

A board of the Pennsylvania Canal Commissioners convened in this village on Friday last, consisting of Messrs. Sergeant, (President) Darlington, Patterson, Mowry and Phillips, with Mr. McIlvaine secretary. On Saturday the commissioners visited Conneaut Lake, the summit level, accompanied by a numerous retinue, composed of citizens of this and several of the adjoining counties. Dr. Lehman, of the city of Philadelphia, who has distinguished himself for a succession of years, in the legislature of this state, by his zealous and indefatigable labors in furtherance of internal improvements, Major Douglas, of West Point, and Wm. Clark, Esq., state treasurer, were in our village, and partook of the excursion. On the following day the gentlemen composing the board took their departure for Lake Erie, intending to pass by the New York canal to the eastern section of the state.

The location of the feeder has been determined on by the board. Major Douglas has been engaged to make the necessary surveys and levels between Conneaut Lake and French Creek, the source of the feeder. Two routes are to be examined. The one on the west, and the other on the east side of French creek. By the latter it is intended to pass French creek by an aqueduct at the most practicable point between this village and the mouth of Conneaut creek. The surveys and levels are to be reported to the board, which convenes at Philadelphia, by adjournment, on the 11th September next. Major Douglas has organized his detachment and entered upon the duties assigned him with a promptitude that bespeaks an early, and we doubt not, from his high standing as an experienced Engineer, satisfactory completion. We have every reason to believe that the feeder will be located and offered to contractors before the close of the season. -- Messenger

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
October 31 1827

Meadville, Pa. Oct 18

Mr. Whippo closed the canal survey by French creek and the Beaver Dam summit, to the Bay of Presqu' Isle, on Saturday last. Distance to this village, 47 miles. Lockage from the southern slope of the summit to this place 128 feet. The distance of deep cutting, if it may be so called, on the summit, will not exceed half a mile and the average depth not more than 10 feet. The length of the feeder will not exceed 5 miles. Lockage on the northern slope 642 feet. The supply of water, we are assured, is abundantly sufficient to pass 80 boats per day - 40 each way. The summit presents many favorable positions ofr the construction of reservoirs. The brigade under the direction of Mr. Whippo, has completed 175 miles of canal survey since the 19th of July last. - Messenger.

Wilmingtonian And Delaware Advertiser (Wilmington, Delaware)
July 5 1827

A land Tortoise was lately found on the farm of Mr. Randolph near Meadville, Pa., with the letters "F. H." cut on the lower shell, said to have been done by Frederick Haymaker, in 1794, being 68 years ago. It was found on the same farm about 20 and again about 14 years ago. The letters "T. A. 1827," have been added.

Co. Magaw's Paper Mill
Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, March 12, 1828
We have on our table a slip of paper manufactured from straw at the Mill of Col. Magaw, near Meadville. The specimen before us, though without sizing, may be written upon without the ink spreading in the least; it is somewhat rough, but being the first that was made, great improvement may be expected to be made upon it.

New Meadville Gazette
Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, April 2, 1828
Meadville, March 20.
The first number of the Meadville Gazette by Mr. Jacob Williamson, made its appearance on Tuesday last. Although no express avowal is made by its editor as the course he proposes to take in the pending Presidential question, we are led to infer from the character of its matter that the Gazette will prove an able and efficient auxiliary to the cause of General Jackson. - Messenger

Joseph Sloan Killed by Lightning
Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, September 17, 1828
On the 24th ult. nine young men in Crawford county, Pa. sheltered themselves under an Elm tree during a thunder storm. The tree was stuck which laid the whole number prostrated and senseless. Joseph Sloan of Ohio was killed; the rest recovered.

Samuel Seely Killed by Falling Tree
Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, November 23, 1830
Meadville, Pa. Nov. 11
A distressing occurrence took place on the farm of Capt. T. Burchfield in Fairfield, in this county, on Friday last, at a chopping party. Mr. Samuel Seely, one of four persons engaged in felling a large tree, instead of retreating from danger, when it was in the act of falling, by a strange fatality, apparently threw himself into the jaws of death. The tree struck him at a distance of sixty feet from the stump and literally crushed him to atoms. Mr. Seely was in the prime of life, and much esteemed as a good citizen. - Messenger.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
October 1 1833

At a Court held in Meadville, Crawford county, commencing on the 16th Sept., 8 persons were tried for the murder of Charles Higginbottom. Fiver were acquitted; George Gosnell, was convicted of murder in the 2d degree, and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, and John Mallone and Jas. Kenny were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 6 years imprisonment.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
July 25 1837

A great flood occurred at Meadville on the night of the 4th inst. In consequence of the unparalleled rise in the waters of French creek, a stream running near that place, great damage was done to bridges, saw mills, mill dams &c., besides ruining many corn, wheat and grass crops in that vicinity. About sixty feet of the bank of the canal was also swept away. The "Democrat" says "Such a flood never occurred in this county (Crawford) before, and we sincerely hope never may again." -- Carlisle Volunteer

The Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
July 9 1849

The Fish Dying - A letter has been received at Boston from Meadville, Pa., dated the 22d ult., which says - "It is said that the fish in Conneaut Lake are dissatisfied in some way, that they are dying by thousands and floating ashore, that they cause a horrible stench at the lower end of the Lake, and that the people are collecting as many as possible, and burying them. The disease appears to exist in the head, and when attacked, the fish will rise to the top of the water, make a few weak struggles, and die.

Weekly Indiana State Journal January 29, 1896

Contributed by Barbara Ziegenmeyer


'"Harry Vandegriff" an Alleged Fire Bug, Proves to be a "Woman,
MEADVILLE. Pa. Jan. 27

On Saturday night. Jan. 15. the barn of W. A. Peters, four miles west of the city, was destroyed by fire, and the following day Harry Vandegriff, who had been working for Peters, but had been discharged, was arrested. Vandegriff was brought to the city and placed in jail to await trial. The prisoner has been ill most of the time since being incarcerated, and this evening a physician was called and requested to make an examination. He discovered that "Harry Vandegriff" .is a woman. When the true state of affairs became known, the woman said her real name Is Henrietta Vandegriff, and that she hails from Harrisburg; that she Is a widow about forty years of age. and has a son aged fifteen years. She said she had been masquerading in male attire for some time. Last year She spent some time at the city Almas-house, but her sex was not discovered. She worked for Mr. Peters and stayed at his house six months prior to her discharge. She says she did not burn the barn of Mr. Peters. The discovery is the talk of the town to-night.

Spinks-Reib Engagement

Wedding Set On March 27 Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Reib Sr. of Monahans, Texas, have announced the engagement of their daughter, Colteen Joyce, to Robert Ray Spinks Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert R. Spinks of Monahans, Texas. Miss Reib is a graduate of Monahans High School, attended Career Academy in Houston and is medical assistant to a Kermit physician. Spinks is a finance major at Texas Tech University and will receive his degree in August. The wedding will take place March 27. Miss Reib is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. E. Wakefield and the late Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Reib, all of Titusviile TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17. 1970 THE TITUSVILLE HERALD. TITUSVILLE. PENNA.  -- Contributed by Janice Rice

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