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1843 History of  Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania

Contributed by Nancy Piper

[Source: Historical Collections of the State of Pennsylvania, by Sherman Day, Philadelphia, 1843, Page 362-372 ]


Huntingdon County

Huntingdon County, originally a part of Bedford, was established by the act of 20th Sept. 1787. Its limits were curtailed in 1804 by the separation of a part of Cambria co. Length 38 m., breadth 31 ; area 1,185 sq. m. Population in 1790, 7,568; in 1800, 13,008; in 1810, 14,778; in 1820, 20,142; in 1830, 27,145; in 1840, 35,484.

The county lies entirely within the great central mountainous district, and its surface is consequently rugged. In passing through the county from the southeast to the northwest, there occur successively the Tuscarora, Shade, Black-log, Jack's, Sideling-hill, Terrace, Allegripus, Tussey s, Lock, Brush, Bald Eagle, and the great Allegheny mountains; with some ridges of minor importance. The Broad-top Mountain is an isolated elevation on the southwest boundary, containing a small and singular bituminous coal basin, the seams of which are from one to four feet in thickness.

Between these mountains are a corresponding number of valleys, of every variety as regards their shape, and adaptation for agricultural and mineral purposes. Some are broad, containing undulating lands highly enriched with limestone; others are coves, of a canoe shape, enclosed between two spurs of a mountain; others so narrow as scarcely to allow their waters comfortable room to pass. The Raystown branch, which passes through one of these, writhes and wriggles itself about as if vexed with the restraint. The Juniata passes through the centre, and receives all the minor streams of the county. The Little Juniata, the Frankstown branch, the Raystown branch, and Aughwick cr., are the principal tributaries.

The county is perhaps not surpassed by any in the state, in the richness and variety of its mineral deposits, and the steadiness and extent of its water-power; it is inferior to but few in the fertility of its valleys, and its convenient situation for obtaining fuel of all varieties, for manufacturing purposes. Bituminous coal can be obtained, by railroad and canal, from the Allegheny Mountain: lead-ore is found in Sinking valley, and about the close of the revolutionary war one of the mines was worked to some extent. The predominating ore, however, is iron, of which vast deposits are found in almost every section of the county. The manufacturing of iron constitutes one of the principal branches of business, as may be seen by the following list of iron-works, extracted from Harris's Pittsburg Directory for 1837:-

On the Little Juniata-Elizabeth furnace and Mary Ann forge, owned by Edward Bell; Antis forge, by Graham &, M'Camant; Cold-spring forge, by John Crotzer; forge by A. R. Crane, (not finished in 1837;) Union furnace, owned by Michael Wallace, occupied by Dorsey, Green & Co.; and Barre's forge, owned by Dorsey, Green & Co.; Tyrone forges, (two,) by William Lyon & Co., Juniata forge, by G. & J. H. Shoenberger. On the Frankstown Branch, Allegheny furnace, by E. Baker & Co.; Etna furnace and forge, by H. S. Spang; rolling-mill and forge, by G. Hatfield At Co., (not completed in 1837;) furnace by H. S. Spang, (not completed in 1837;) Cove forge, by Royer & Schmucker. On the Raystown Branch-Frankstown furnace, by Daniel Hileman; Clinton forge, by Wm. Hopkins & Beightel. On Stone Creek-Greenwood furnace, owned by Rawle & Hall; forge owned by W. & A. Couch, leased to Rawle & Hall. On Spruce Creek-Elizabeth forge, by G. &. J. H. Shoenberger; Pennsylvania furnace and three Coleraine forges, by Shorb, Stewart & Co.; Elizabeth forge, by R. Moore; Franklin forge, by C. Wigton; Millington forge, by Wm. Hopkins; Stockdale forge, by John S. Isett. On Shade Creek-Rockhill furnace, by J. M. Bell; Winchester furnace, owned by T. T. Cromwell, occupied by J. M. Allen. On Aughwick Creek-Chester furnace and Aughwick, erected in 1837. On Warrior's Mark Run-Huntingdon furnace, by G. &. J. H. Shoenberger. On Little Bald Eagle Creek- Bald Eagle furnace, by Wm. Lyon & Co. On Big Trough Creek-Mary Ann furnace and forge, owned by John Savage, conducted by John Thompson. On Piney Creek-Springfield furnace and Franklin forge, by Samuel Royer & Co. On Clover Creek-Rebecca furnace, owned by Dr. Peter Shoenberger. In all, 16 furnaces, 34 forges, 1 rolling-mill; making 13,750 tons of pig-metal, and 9,309 tons of blooms.

The Juniata division of the Pennsylvania canal passes through the county, a distance of about 60 miles, terminating at Hollidaysburg, where the Portage railroad over the Allegheny Mountain commences. The construction of this public work, completed about the year 1834, has changed the whole course of business in the county. Arks and keel-boats, and river-pilots have found their occupation gone. Towns, that once controlled a large share of the business of the county, have lost that business, which has been diffused among small rival places along the line of public works; and small villages have grown into large bustling towns by the impetus of internal improvements.

The principal turnpike in the county is that along the Juniata to Hollidaysburg, and thence over the mountain to Ebensburg and Pittsburg. Other frequented thoroughfares pass into Bedford, Centre, and Mifflin counties.

Several curious caves have been discovered in the limestone valleys; and there are several mineral springs, which are efficacious in certain diseases.

The earliest attempt at a settlement by the whites, within the present limits of Huntingdon, (if indeed it be not in Bedford co.-see p. 117,) was probably about the year 1749, on Aughwick cr., in the extreme southern corner of the county. The adventurous pioneers of Cumberland co., disregarding the limits of purchases from the Indians, had penetrated to a number of places on the waters of the Juniata, beyond the Kittatinny Mountain. But, by order of the provincial government, and in consequence of complaints from the Indians, Richard Peters and others, in May, 1750, routed these intruders, and burnt their cabins. The report states that "at Aughwick they burnt the cabin of one Carlton, and another unfinished one, and three were burnt in the Big cove." Hence the name of Burnt Cabins, still given to that place.

Between the date of that event and 1756, a place called Aughwick is frequently mentioned in the old provincial records; but whether a settlement of whites or Indians it does not distinctly appear. It was probably the same place where Fort Shirley was subsequently built, in Jan. 1756- one of the line of frontier posts. After the defeat of Gen. Braddock, in the summer of 1755, scalping parties of Indians roamed throughout the whole frontier, cutting off all the defenceless settlements. The following extracts, from Sargeant's Abstracts of the Provincial Records, relate to this region:-

1755. From Aughwick, Oct. 9. That 14 days before, 160 were about leaving the Ohio to attack the frontiers. That the Indians meant to draw off all the Indians from out of Pennsylvania and from the Susquehanna, before they attacked the province.

1755. Nov. 2. Accounts from C. Weiser and others, that the people at Aughwick and Juniata were all cut off.

March 4. Conference with a number of Indians, one of whom had returned from his visit, in Dec. last, to the Indians on the Susquehanna, and the Six Nations; and those who lived at Aughwick before Braddock's defeat, and since at Harris's.

1756. Aug. 2. Mr. Morris informed the governor and council, that he had concerted an expedition against Kittanning, to be conducted by Col. John Armstrong, who was to have under his command the companies under Capt. Hamilton, Capt. Mercer, Capt. Ward, and Capt. Potter; and to engage what volunteers he could besides: that the affair was to be kept as secret as possible, and the officers and men ordered to march to Fort Shirley, and from thence to set out for the expedition. And he had given Col. Armstrong particular instructions, which were entered in the orderly book; and in consequence of his orders, and agreeable to the plan concerted. Col. Armstrong had made the necessary preparations, and has wrote to him a letter from Fort Shirley, stating that he was on the point of setting out Letter from Col. Armstrong, containing an account of the capture of Fort Granville by the French and Indians, and the garrison taken prisoners. That they designed very soon to attack Fort Shirley, with 400 men. " Capt. Jacobs said he could take any fort that would catch fire, and would make peace with the English when they had learned him to make gunpowder."

Col. Armstrong marched from Fort Shirley on the 29th. Aug. At the Beaver-dams, near the old Indian village of Frankstown, which appears to have been then in existence, he came up with his advanced party. (See Armstrong co.)

1756. Oct. 18. The governor related that he found the frontiers in a deplorable condition; Fort Granville being burnt by the enemy, Fort Shirley evacuated by his order, and the country people dispirited, and running into little forts for present security. An order was given to have them immediately examined, that such as were well planned and tenable might be continued, and the rest demolished.

The frontiers remained in an unsafe state until after the treaty at Fort Stanwix in 1768, when the country beyond the Kittatinny Mountain, as far as the West Branch of the Susquehanna, was purchased by the proprietary government. At that time this region was generally known as "the new purchase." The land-office was opened in the following year, and many of the Scotch Irish settlers from the Conococheague, Carlisle, and Paxton settlements, came to seek their fortunes in the lovely valleys of the Juniata. Of the adventures, however, of those early pioneers, previous to the revolutionary war, scarcely any records have been preserved, except here and there a memorandum in the voluminous documents of the land-office, or the reports of land titles tried in the courts. The Indians committed constant depredations upon the settlements near the Allegheny mountain during the whole of the revolutionary war. The following extracts from an article published in the Columbian Magazine in 1788, may serve to convey an idea of the state of a part of the county at that time.

Bald Eagle valley, (on the frontiers of Bedford county, state of Pennsylvania,) or, as it is commonly called, Sinking Spring valley, is situated about 200 miles from Philadelphia. It is bounded on the east by a chain of high, rugged mountains, called the Canoe ridge, and on the west by another called the Bald Eagle, or Warrior mountains, and forms a fine, pleasant vale of limestone bottom, extending about five miles in the widest part. This valley contained, in the year 1779, about sixty or seventy families, living in log-houses, who formed, within a space of seven or eight years, several valuable plantations; some of which are extremely agreeable on account of their situation, but possess, notwithstanding, very few inducements to an inhabitant of the more settled ports to sojourn long among them, on account of the proximity of the Indians. So little provision is made, indeed, against the attacks of hostile tribes, that instead of forming societies, whereby defence might easily be obtained, the settlers dwell, in general, remote from one another-few plantations being within less than two or three miles distance of its nearest neighbor-so that when any disagreement takes place, the greater number are left exposed to the enemy before it is practicable to spread the alarm of their approach.

This place, during the contest with Great Britain, was made remarkable on account of the numerous lead mines said to be there; and as the want of that article daily increased, and supplies grew more and more uncertain, it was deemed of so much moment as to induce a company, under the promises of the state, to settle in the valley, with a view to establish a regular set of works. In pursuance of this scheme, a large fort of logs was erected, and some miners employed, by whom regular trials were made of such places as were thought the most promising, and a considerable quantity of ore was produced, from which lead enough was made to give a competent idea of the real value of the mines in general. On account, however, of the danger of remaining in this situation while an Indian war continued-added to the consideration that the miners were all old-countrymen, utterly unused to this mode of life-reasons were suggested for quitting the service, and the whole undertaking fell to the ground.

The lead ore, from samples repeatedly produced, was of many kinds-some in broad shining flakes, and others of the steely texture. Several regular shafts were sunk to a considerable depth, -one of which was in the hill upon which the fort was erected, and from which many largo masses of ore were procured, but because it did not form a regular vein, this was discontinued, and another opened about one mile from the fort, nearer to Frankstown. Here the miners continued, until they finally relinquished the business. When they first began, they found in the upper surface, or vegetable earth, several hundred weight of cubic lead ore, clean and unmixed with any substance whatever, which continued as a clue, leading them down through the different strata of earth, marl, &,c., until they came to the rock, which is here in general of limestone. The shaft first opened, was carried down about twenty feet-from which a level was driven, about twenty or thirty yards in length, towards the Bald Eagle mountains ; but as strong signs of ore were observed behind the first shaft, it gave occasion to sink another, which fully answered every expectation; and when they had arrived to the depth of the first level, they began to drive it into the first shaft, intending, as soon as they had formed that opening and cleared it of ore, to begin a shaft lower down,-the vein of ore showing itself strongly upon the bottom of the old level. This intention, however, was likewise deserted. Another place was begun on the road towards Huntingdon, about one hundred yards from the fort, upon the top of a small hill. The people of the valley had made the first attempt, but the excessive hardness of the stone obliged them to give over their undertaking. Upon clearing away the first rubbish, the vein was discovered overlaid with mundic of the grayish steel-grained kind; and this work was continued, with much success, to the depth of 12 feet, until the fall of a heavy rain filled the springs so as to prevent all further discovery. A level was intended to be driven from the lowest part of the hill (having signs of ore) up to the shaft, but was, as the rest, given over for want of assistance.

Among other curiosities of this place, that called the Arch spring may be particularized, as it runs close upon the road from the town to the fort. It is a deep hollow, formed in the limestone rock, about 30 feet in width, with a rude arch of stone hanging over it, forming a passage for the water, which it throws out with some degree of violence, and in such plenty as to form a fine stream, which at length buries itself again in the bowels of the earth. Some of these pits are near three hundred feet deep; the water at the bottom seems in rapid motion, and is apparently of a color as deep as ink, though, in truth, it is as pure as the finest springs can produce. Many of these pits are placed along the course of this subterraneous river, which soon after takes an opportunity of an opening to a descent, and keeps along the surface among rocky hills for a few rods, then enters the mouth of a large cave, whose exterior aperture was sufficient to admit a shallop with her sails full spread. In the inside, it keeps from eighteen to twenty feet wide. The roof declines as you advance, and a ledge of loose rugged rocks keeps in tolerable order upon one side, affording means to scramble along. In the midst of this cave is much timber, bodies of trees, branches, &.C., and are to be seen lodged quite up to the roof of this passage, which affords a proof of the water being swelled up to the very top during the time of freshets, &c.: its mode of escape being, perhaps, inadequate to the prodigious quantities which must sometimes fall from the mountains into this channel, swelling it up to the very surface, as several places over the side seemed to evince the escape of water at times into the lower country. This opening in the hill continues about four hundred yards, when the cave widens, after you have got round a sudden turn, which prevents its being discovered until you are within it, to a spacious room, at the bottom of which is a vortex, the water that falls into it whirling round with amazing force. Sticks, or even pieces of timber, are immediately absorbed and carried out of sight-the water boiling up with excessive violence, which soon subsides until the experiment is renewed.

On the opposite side of the valley, a few hundred yards from the fort, and about half a quarter of a mile from the mountain, is a remarkable bog, composed of a black rooty mud, without any intermixture of stone whatever, although surrounded by amazing quantities. This place is about twenty-five or thirty yards over, and below its margin are large beds of iron ore, of a honeycomb texture. The solid parts of it, where fresh broken, arc of a fine glossy brown, and contain much iron-as was experienced in the lead furnace, where they used the ore by way of an addition or flux, when it produced so much as to oblige them to pull down the front wall of the furnace to remove the iron out of the earth. It was so malleable as to bear the hammer. Early in spring, the spot upon which the bog stands is readily found ; for it produces a most luxuriant plenty of a long sedge grass of a beautiful color, and a considerable time before the effects of spring are visible in any other part of the valley. This seldom fails to attract the notice of the poor cattle, which are sure, however, to pay dear for their attempt to obtain a mouthful of its produce, as in less than an hour it totally swallows and covers them. Five cows were, at one time, nearly conveyed out of sight-of which three were totally dead, the other two hardly recoverable.

Upon the road towards the town, and nine miles from the fort, there is a narrow pass through another chain, (Tussey's mountain,) which, for about a mile in length, is so confined that it does not admit any carriage whatever, and even a horseman finds it advisable to dismount, rather than to trust his safety entirely upon the dexterity of his horse in conveying him over these rude masses of rocks and stones. This pass, on account of a stream running through it, is called Water-street. The break in the mountain, on each side, is almost perpendicular, and seems loosely piled up with huge pieces, threatening destruction to the passenger below. A few miles from the town there is a set of sandy hills, high masses of which are in places left bare, and from the lowness of their nature, and the washing of the storms, have assumed different forms, some of which the country people have likened to pulpits, bowls, teapots, &c. In general, it is known by the name of the Pulpit rocks. A person visiting these parts, must cross the Juniata three or four times from Standing Stone, or Huntingdon, to the fort, from which it is computed to be about 21 or 22 miles distance.

The above article was republished in Hazard's Register in 1831, and drew from R. B. McCabe, Esq., of Indiana County, the following interesting reminiscences, dated June 5, 1832.

About the year 1800, perhaps in Nov. 1799, my family moved into this valley, and settled about six miles below the fort called the Lead-mine fort, near the foot of the Bald Bagle Mountain, or ridge, as it is now called. I continued to reside either in the valley or the neighborhood-seldom further off than Huntingdon, until 1820, with the exception of one or two excursions, the longest, short of six months. I was a lover of nature from my boyhood; and in no part of our happy state did she more freely exhibit her beauteous freshness than in Sinking valley, for it is by that name that the region described by B. is now known. It constituted Tyrone township in Huntingdon co. for many years. I believe it was divided into two election districts in the session of 1819-20. The census for Tyrone township for 1830,* I have not seen, but it will compare to advantage with the "sixty or seventy families living in log-houses," which B. gives as the population in 1779. In 1820, the following manufactories were in operation in this valley, viz.: one forge, four fires and two hammers; four grist-mills; five saw-mills; a furnace had been carried on for some time, but operations were suspended in 1817 or '18.

* In 1840, 1,226.

Across the river was a rolling and slitting mill, paper-mill, oil-mill, and three nailing machines -water power. A very extensive flouring-mill, a large stone barn, stone dwelling-house, and numerous out-houses, have been built of beautiful blue limestone, near where the Arch spring "throws out" its water, "with some degree of violence," on a rich and well-cultivated farm. The lead mines have been long since abandoned. The upper lead mine, as it is called, on the lands now belonging to a German family of the name of Crissman, exhibits but the traces of former excavation, and trifling indications of ore. The lower one, about a mile in direct distance from the Little Juniata, was worked within my remembrance, under the superintendence of a Mr. Sinclair, a Scotch miner from the neighborhood of Carron Iron-works, in the land of cakes. The mine then was owned by two gentlemen, named Musser and Wells. The former, I think, lived and died in Lancaster co. Mr. Wells was probably a Philadelphian. Three shafts were sank to great depth on the side of a limestone hill. A drift was worked into the bowels of the hill, possibly a hundred yards, six feet high, and about the same width. This was expensive. No furnace or other device for melting the ore was ever erected at this mine. Considerable quantities of the mineral still lie about the pit's mouth. The late Mr. H , of Montgomery co., who had read much and practised some in mining, (so far as to sink some thousand dollars,) visited this mine in 1821, in company with another gentleman and myself, and expressed an opinion that the indications were favorable for a good vein of the mineral. But the vast mines of lead in the west, such as Mine a Burton, and the Galena, where the manufacture of lead can be so much more cheaply carried on, must forever prevent a resumption of the business in Sinking valley, unless, indeed, some disinterested patriot shall procure the adoption of a tariff of protection for the lead manufacturer of the happy valley.

B. speaks in his third paragraph of "the people of the valley" having "made the first attempt" at opening the earth on a small hill on the road to Huntingdon, Ate. I am informed by ancient letters, that the "people" were looking for "silver."

A remarkable, irregular trench, the vestiges of which can yet be seen, with occasional interruptions, runs from the upper lead mines to the neighborhood of the lower; it is at least six miles in length. It was found there by the earliest emigrants, and thirty years ago, stout trees grew on the banks of earth thrown out in excavating it. It was there, it is said, and ancient in its appearance, when Roberdeau erected or commanded the fort at the upper lead mines. Conjecture has attributed it to the French, whose exploring parties searched extensively for minerals in Ligonier valley, while that nation held Fort Duquesne. So great a labor, it was supposed, would only have been commenced in search of " a precious metal," and could only have been encouraged to perseverance by success. Not Black Beard's guarded hoards have been more sedulously sought after on the seaboard, than have those unknown and uncomeatible ores supposed to lie buried somewhere, either in Sinking valley, or on the bank of the Little Juniata, the eastern boundary of that valley.

The delusion passed off in proportion as the early settlers and their progeny died away, or removed to the "Great West." But it was current in my young days. Now, however, Sinking valley is not torn with the pick, the crowbar, and shovel, as formerly, but subjected to the fertilizing influences of the plough, the hoe, and the harrow. The change of implements has been every Way beneficial; it is the richest body of land-shows the best agriculture-and contains the beat and wealthiest farmers in Huntingdon county.

Mr. McCabe, in the spring of 1812, being then clerk at Messrs. Dorsey & Evans' Union Furnace, which had been erected two years previously, was enabled, by means of B.'s communication, to discover the deposit of bog ore in the swamp alluded to by B., and the ore from it was long used at the furnace. He says no valuable body of copper ore or of copperas had been found there. Concerning " the silver hunting business," to which he has alluded above, he relates the following:

The tract of land on which the Arch spring sometimes, when very high, debouches into the Little Juniata, was purchased by Messrs. Dorsey and Evans, from a Mr. J. I., who now owns the Arch spring itself, and the farm on which it arises. While the furnace and works appurtenant were in progress of erection, Mr. I. called one day at our boarding-house, an old log-building in which he had himself resided on his first settling on that tract of land. The day was wet, and much desultory conversation passed. Among other things, some one inquired why he had dug a mill-race which was spoken of, in a place where, to a very superficial judgment, a good site could not be had, and neglected an excellent one a very few perches lower down the river, both quite near the house. I do not pretend to give the words of his answer, but in the substance I am not mistaken.

"About ____ years ago, (I forget how many,) a man came here," said Mr. L, " from one of the cities, who said he had received a letter from Amsterdam, setting forth, that many years before, two men in descending the Little Juniata in a bark canoe, in which they had a quantity of silver bullion, met with an accident by which their canoe was broken. Being fatigued and unable to carry their burden on foot through a wilderness, they buried it near the mouth of a run, to the description of which this place answers well ' With your permission,' said the stranger, ' but not else, I will make some examination.' To this," said Mr. I., "I at once agreed. He then went on to tell me," continued Mr. I., "that on the south side of the run, such a distance from its mouth, was a spring; on the east side of the spring grew a white-oak tree, within a yard or two of the spring. He had found all these marks combined at my spring, and now wanted permission from me to cut into that tree on the side next the spring. If he was right in his conjecture as to the place and tree, a whetstone and an iron wedge would be found in the tree; so many feet in a southeast direction from its root, the bullion lay buried. There was no scar on the bark by which you might suspect that ever an axe had marked it. I told him to cut in and try it. He did so, and to my utter astonishment, a few chips being taken out, an axe mark was seen, and, as I am a living man, the whetstone was there. The iron wedge was not found; but some years after one was found by accident in splitting a tree for rails about a mile lower down the river, almost in the heart of the tree.

"The stranger dug first in the proposed direction, and then in every other; be was not successful, and at length went away. Because I soon after began this unfinished mill-race, people in the neighborhood have always suspected that I found the silver; but," said Mr. I., pleasantly, " I wish I had." He was right, it was early and generally believed that he had found it, and that belief was encouraged by the statements of a laboring man, who worked in the mill-race all day, and heard I. at work there all hours in the night. The laborer added, that one night unusual movements in the lower story, such as whispering between Mr. I. and his wife, and the attempt to remove the puncheons of the floor, led him to believe the treasure was found, for soon after the mill-race was abandoned.

Mr. I. is a wealthy man. He was poor when he lived first in the log-cabin by the mouth of Arch Spring run.

I remember having seen one of the miners who had been employed at the upper lead mines. He was a Highlander, and when animated by a "highland gill," could box, dance, or sing in Gaelic, without a competitor. He said that an Englishman named Gibbon, was very fortunate in refining the ore, and extracting silver. He further stated that he saw a mass of silver which Gibbon had procured about the size of a tin bucket. Honest John McL. was a man of integrity, and I have no doubt that he meant to speak the truth. He did not say the tin bucket, of which he made a standard, was of any particular size.

The following facts are stated in a paper published a few years since:

Huntingdon furnace was built in 1795 or '96. It has belonged, until lately, to Judge Gloninger of Lebanon, Geo. Anshutz of Huntingdon, Peter Shoenberger, now of Allegheny co., and Martin Dubbs of Philadelphia. The company originally commenced with about 15 acres of land, one horse, and a pair of oxen, at what is termed the "old seat," about a mile above the present furnace. The location was unfortunate, and a second furnace was erected. The business was chiefly attended to by Mr. Anshutz, and was conducted with the care, economy, and skill for which the Germans are so celebrated. Out of the proceeds and profits of this furnace grew the Tyrone Iron-works, consisting of the lower and upper forges, rolling-mill, slitting-mill, nail-factories, saw and grist mill, with large bodies of farm and wood land. These Tyrone work* produced the Bald Eagle furnace; and a forge was built on Spruce creek. In 1819 the lands of the Huntingdon Furnace Company extended about 16 miles in length, and exceeded 40,000 acres.

The iron business thus early introduced has ever been a favorite object of attention and investment with the citizens of Huntingdon co. The census for 1840 gives for this county, 20 furnaces, making 13,850 tons; 27 bloomeries, forges, and rolling mills, producing 14,093 tons. The number of men employed in the iron manufacture, including those in mining operations, was 1,357. Capital invested, $780,000. There are also in the county, 6 fulling-mills, 9 woollen manufactories, 34 tanneries, 15 distilleries, 4 printing offices, 4 flouring-mills, 65 grist-mills, and 182 sawmills.

The Juniata iron is famous for its toughness and other excellent qualities, throughout the whole country. The iron business continued to prosper until the severe pecuniary crisis of 1840-'42, during which many works were compelled to suspend; others adopted the system of orders, -that is, checks given to their workmen upon their own stores for goods in payment of wages; and when that system began to be odious, it is said some establishments returned to an ancient practice of paying their hands in long dollars, a new species of metallic currency, being neither more nor less than the bars and pigs of iron which themselves had made. With these the workman realized his money or his necessaries of life, wherever he could pass his long dollars.

Huntingdon, the seat of justice, is situated on the left bank of the Juniata, just above the mouth of Standing Stone creek. The town is built upon an elevated bank sloping gently up from the river, and behind the town rising into a hill, upon which, in a beautiful shaded cemetery, rest the ashes of the dead. A traveller says, "the approach to the town is peculiarly beautiful. At about half a mile distance, the road, cut through a valuable quarry of solid rock, acquires an elevation of some 20 or 30 feet above the canal. On rounding the hill, the aqueduct across the mouth of Stone creek-the town beyond, with its spires, gardens, and adjacent cultivated fields-the canal, river, and surrounding hills, burst at once on the vision. The ' graveyard hill,' within the limits of the borough, covered with half-grown forest-trees, is an admired and much frequented spot by the living."

Huntingdon has long been noted for the wealth, intelligence, hospitality, and sociability of its citizens. It is not, however, a very beautiful town. The streets were originally made too narrow; and too great a proportion of the houses are of wood; though in this particular an improvement is visible within the last few years.

The place to a stranger has an ancient and quiet air. It contains an elegant and spacious courthouse, recently erected, a large stone jail, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist, Seceder, Catholic, and African Methodist churches, an academy, three printing offices, &c. Population in 1840, 1,145. A substantial bridge across the Juniata conducts to Smithfield, a small village opposite Huntingdon.

Huntingdon for many years commanded the trade of the whole county; the progress of public improvement has extended equal facilities to other portions, and of course deprived it of many of its former sources of traffic. It is the natural depot and outlet of the surplus products of Woodcock and Stone valleys. The former, though rather hilly, has a rich limestone soil, well cultivated by German farmers. In Stone valley are situated the "Warm Springs," a place of considerable resort. The water is light on the stomach, diuretic, and is said to contain magnesia.

The following memoranda relating to the early history of this place were learned from some of the older inhabitants:

The town of Huntingdon was laid out a short time previous to the revolutionary war by Rev. Dr. Wm. Smith, Provost of the University of Pennsylvania. The doctor had been over to England soliciting funds in aid of the University. The Countess of Huntingdon* had been a munificent donor: and in her return for her liberality he perpetuated her memory by giving her name to this town. The county in 1787 took the same name. Previous to that time the place had been noted as the site of an ancient Indian village called Standing Stone. A tall slim pillar of stone four inches thick by eight inches wide-had been erected here by the resident tribe many years since-perhaps as a sort of " Ebenezer." It then stood at the lower end of the town, near the river bank.

* Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, second daughter of Washington Earl Ferrers, was born 1707, and married Lord Huntingdon. From habits of gayety and scenes of dissipation, she became, all at once, after a serious illness, grave, reserved, and melancholy. Her thoughts were wholly absorbed by religion, and she employed her ample resources in disseminating her principles through the instrumentality of Whitefield, Romaine, and other eloquent Methodists. Not only her house in Park-street was thrown open for the frequent assembling of these pious reformers, but chapels were built in various parts of the kingdom, and a college erected in Wales for the education of young persons intended for the ministry. After many acts of extensive charity, she died in 1791.

The tribe regarded this stone with superstitious veneration, and a tradition is said to have existed among them, that if the stone should be taken away, the tribe would be dispersed; but that so long as it should stand they would prosper. A hostile tribe once came up from the Tuscarora valley, and carried it off during the absence of the warriors; but the latter fell upon them, recovered the stone, and replaced it. It is said that Dr. Barton, of Philadelphia, learned, in some of his researches, that Oneida meant Standing Stone; and that nation, while living in New York, is said to have had a tradition that their ancestors came originally from the south. It is generally understood about Huntingdon that the original stone had been destroyed or taken away by the Indians, but that the whites erected a similar one, a part of which remains. It is certain that the whites removed it from its original position into the centre of the town. When Mr. McMurtrie came here in 1776-'77, it was about eight feet high, and had on it the names of John Lukens, the surveyor-general, with the date of 1768; Charles Lukens his assistant; and Thomas Smith, brother of the founder of the town, and afterwards judge of the supreme court. It stood thus for many years, until some fool, in a drunken frolic, demolished it. A part of it is now built into the wall of Dr. Henderson's house, and a part is in his office. It is evidently a stone from the bed of the creek, bearing marks of being worn by water.

The venerable Mr. McMurtrie, still living in the place, was one of the earliest settlers. He was a young man in Philadelphia at the time of the declaration of independence; and his father, a prudent old Scotchman, immediately after that event, started his son into the interior, ostensibly to look after his wild lands ; but probably with a view to remove him from any temptation to join the rebel army.

When Mr. McMurtrie came to this place in 1776 or '77, there were only five or six houses here, one of which was the tavern kept by Ludwig Sills. On his way up, he had stopped at the solitary tavern of old Mr. Buchanan, were Lewistown now is, and at another cabin at Waynesburg. The first settlers at Huntingdon, were his father-in-law, Benjamin Elliott, Abraham Haynes, Frank Cluggage, Mr. Ashbough, and Mr. Sills. The early settlers here were chiefly from Maryland, probably from the Potomac valley, near the mouth of Conococheague. People from the same quarter settled Wells' valley. One of the Bradys, the uncle or father of the famous Capt. Samuel Brady, had previously resided across the river, at or near the mouth of Crooked creek ; but he removed to the West branch of Susquehanna before the year 1776. For some years after the year 1776, hostile Indians annoyed, and frequently murdered the unprotected settlers. There was a fort built during the revolution just at the lower end of the main street The town was once alarmed at the appearance of lurking Indians on the neighboring hills; and within a day or two afterwards the unfortunate scout, from the Bedford garrison, was murdered near where Hollidaysburg now stands.

Hollidaysburg is situated at the west end of the county, about 23 miles west of Huntingdon, and near the eastern base of the Allegheny mountain. It stands partly on a plain, and partly on a hill of moderate elevation, commanding a delightful view of the surrounding mountain scenery. It is located on the great northern turnpike leading from Harrisburg to Pittsburg, at the junction of the Juniata division of the Pennsylvania canal and the Portage railroad. To this junction, and the consequent change of the mode of transportation, it owes much of its prosperity. It is of recent growth: a few years ago it was an obscure village, containing in 1830 but 72 inhabitants; but when the canal and railroad were completed in 1834, it increased in population, business, and wealth, and has steadily improved in its appearance. Now the two boroughs Hollidaysburg and Gaysport, separated only by a small branch of the Juniata, have the appearance of one town, and are said to contain, together with the environs, upwards of 3,000 inhabitants. Hollidaysburg borough alone contained 1,896 by the census of 1840. It is the centre of a fruitful country, now rapidly opening to cultivation, and teeming with abundant resources both mineral and vegetable. It is in the midst of an abundant iron region; and bituminous coal, obtained on the summit of the Allegheny, descends by its own gravity to the town.

There are at this place Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Catholic, and African churches; six public schools, one classical school. A missionary of the Seamen's Friend Society labors among the boatmen along the canal. There are also several foundries and machine shops, a large steam flour-mill, a screw dock, and marine railway; ten or eleven forwarding houses, with immense warehouses; and several spacious hotels. A large basin, formed by the waters of Beaver-dam creek, accommodates the boats of the canal.

The annexed view shows in the foreground the canal packet-boat transferring its passengers to the cars; beyond is the central part of the borough: on the right are some of the warehouses and shops connected with the landing-place. The distance from Hollidaysburg to Johnstown, by the railroad, is 39 69-100 miles; to the summit 7 or 8; and by the canal to Huntingdon 38 2-3; to Harrisburg 143 miles.

Under the head of Cambria co. a more detailed account is given of the Portage railroad, together with a narrative of the passage of the first boat over the mountains, in Oct. 1834.

The following particulars, relating to the early adventures of the pioneers of this region, were derived from a respectable citizen of Hollidaysburg:-

Among the first settlers of this section were Daniel and William Moore, two brothers, from Cumberland co., and Adam Holliday, from the Conococheague settlement, in Franklin co., whose name has been perpetuated by the town. His farm was situated just southwest of the railroad bridge, near the town.

They came here about the commencement of the revolutionary war, and endured to the fullest extent the privations and sufferings incident to a wilderness still inhabited or haunted by the red men. Stockade forts were built to protect the inhabitants in case of invasion. Mr. Holliday, however, on one occasion had not availed himself of the fort, and was engaged in the labors of the field, when the savages appeared suddenly. The family took to flight; Mr. H. jumping on a horse with his two young children, John and James. His elder son, Pat, and daughter Janet were killed while running from the enemy. "Run, Janet, run '." said the old man. The cruel savage repeated his words in derision, as he sunk the deadly tomahawk into her brain.

There was another fort in Sinking valley, at the lead-mine; and William Moore, finding it necessary to go there for ammunition, started very early one morning, with a boy by the name of M 'Cartney. As he was passing a log by the side of the road, with some brush behind it, a shot from an Indian in ambush caused him to jump several feet into the air; and he started off into the bushes, in a direction opposite to that which he should naturally have taken-his brain being undoubtedly bewildered by the shot. The boy and the Indian at once jumped behind trees; but the latter peeping out from his tree, which was not large, the boy availed himself of the chance to put a bullet into his buttock, which was exposed at the other side. The Indian ran, and dropped his belt and knife; and the road was found strewed with bunches of bloody leaves, with which he had attempted to stanch the wound. But the man himself was not found, though bones were afterwards found, supposed to be his.

The boy returned and reported the occurrence, when Mr. Daniel Moore assembled a band of men to seek his brother, and if possible to drive off the savage. The poor man was found at Brush cr., nearly upright, leaning against a pile of driftwood.

The depredations and murders of the Indians became so frequent, that the few and scattered colonists were compelled to abandon the settlements, and retire below Jack's mountain, to Ferguson's valley, near Lewistown, where they remained five or six years ; and then returned again to their desolated homes, and settled in Scott's valley. More joined them after the war, and among others Messrs. John Blair and John Blair, Jr., who gave name to Blair's gap, where the old Frankstown road used to cross the Allegheny mountain, and which is now surmounted by the proud monument of the enterprise of Pennsylvania-the Portage railroad. Mr. John Blair, Jr., was a most useful and intelligent citizen, and earned and deserved the character of the Aristides of the county. A Mr. Henry also came about the same time.

The first village here consisted only of half a dozen or a dozen houses, on the high ground along the Frankstown road. Old Frank was the Indian chief of this region, and had a town about two miles below Hollidaysburg, called Frankstown, or Frank's Oldtown. It was on the flat, on the right bank of the Juniata, at the mouth of Oldtown run, near where the mill now is. From this place, in later days, the Frankstown road led over Blair's gap to the Conemaugh country, by which the commodities of the east and west were transported on pack-horses. What a contrast presents itself now, at this same summit, between the locomotive and the old pack-horse!

Burgoon's gap was about four miles north of Blair's, and through it, or rather through the Kittanning gap near it, led the old war-path through the north end of Cambria co. to Kittanning. It was out upon this path that a band of tories, from the eastern parts of Huntingdon and Mifflin cos., went to escort the British and Indians from Kittanning, to cut off the defenceless settlements of the frontier. They met the fate that traitors always deserve. On arriving near Kittanning, they sent forward messengers to announce their approach and their errand; but as they had been for some time on short allowance, the whole body, on seeing the fort, were so elated at the prospect of better supplies, that they simultaneously rushed forward, and overtook their own messengers. The garrison, seeing the rapid approach of such an armed force, took them for enemies, and welcomed them with a warm discharge of bullets, which killed many of their number. The rest fled, in the utmost consternation, on the route by which they had gone out. Their provisions had been exhausted on the way out, and the poor fugitives were compelled to recross the mountains, in a most famished condition. Two of them contrived to crawl over the mountain, and arrived at an old deserted cabin, in Tuckahoe valley, where the inhabitants had happened to leave a small portion of corn-meal and hog's fat Forgetting everything but their hunger, they carelessly stood their rifles against the house outside, and fell tooth and nail upon the meal, seated upon the hearth inside, where they had kindled a fire to cook it Samuel Moore and a comrade happened to be out hunting, when they approached the cabin, and espied the rifles leaning against the house. Moore crept very cautiously up, secured the rifles, and then opening the door with his rifle in his hand, called on the poor starved tories to surrender; which of course they did. They were conducted into the fort at Hollidaysburg. While going from the cabin to the fort, the tones could scarcely walk without being supported. One of them was disposed to be a little obstinate and impudent withal, when Moore's comrade, an immensely stout man, seized him, tied a rope round his neck, and throwing one end of the rope over the lintel of the fort-gate, swung upon it, and run the poor fellow into the air. Moore, however, being of a cooler as well as more merciful disposition, did not approve of this summary justice, and ran immediately and cut the rope, in time to save the fellow's life.

Near Hollidaysburg, about 2 ½ miles below, on the canal, is Frankstown, now comparatively a small place, but formerly an important point on the road over the mountain. It is an incorporated borough, containing 357 inhabitants. There is a furnace near this place.

Two miles west from Hollidaysburg, on the northern turnpike, is a flourishing village which has recently grown up around a very extensive iron-works.

Newry is another small village, 4 miles southwest from Hollidaysburg.

An attempt was made in the legislature of 1843 to establish a new county, to be called Blair, out of parts of Huntingdon and Bedford cos.; but it failed to pass. The details of the bill are not known to the compiler, but it is presumed Hollidaysburg was to be the county seat.

Williamsburg is a flourishing borough, 14 miles below Hollidaysburg, on the canal, and 10 miles, by road, west of Huntingdon. A copious spring which issues from a limestone rock behind the town is sufficient to drive a flour-mill, woollen factory, and saw-mill. The town contains Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, and German Reformed churches. Two miles above is a forge; and a little above that is Canoe furnace. Population in 1840, 637. The town was laid out in 1794, by Jacob Ake, a German, who owned the land. He leased the lots on ground rent; a circumstance which has since created some unpleasant feelings between the citizens and the proprietor. Favored with a fine waterpower from the spring, and enjoying the trade of the large and fertile valley of Morrison's cove, the place continued for some years to flourish; but the completion of the canal has not tended to increase the prosperity of the place, though it has greatly benefited the farming interest in the vicinity. Among the first settlers near the town, were Judge Stuart and "Esq." Phillips. One mile above this place, on the left bank of the Juniata, is a remarkable perpendicular ledge of rock, thin, sharp, and broken into fantastic forms, jutting out some eight or ten feet from the more friable rocks of the hill to which it is attached. It has much the appearance of the flying buttresses and turrets of a Gothic church.

Alexandria is a handsome borough, on the left bank of the Juniata, 7 miles above Huntingdon, near the mouth of Little Juniata. It contains a Presbyterian and a Methodist church. Population in 1840, 574. East of Alexandria, three miles, is the small borough of Petersburg, also on the Juniata, at the mouth of Shover's creek. It contains 196 inhabitants. Two miles above Alexandria is Water-street, so called from the circumstance of the road in early days passing through a gap in the mountain literally in a stream of water. The iron-works in this region are valuable.

Birmingham is a thriving borough, 15 miles N. W. of Huntingdon, on the Little Juniata, near the old lead mine, and in the midst of the ironworks of Sinking valley. In 1824 it contained but nine houses. It now contains enough to accommodate 235 inhabitants. It was incorporated in 1828.

Shirleysburg is in the Aughwick valley, near the creek, 16 miles S. of Huntingdon, containing 247 inhabitants. Some reminiscences of Fort Shirley will be found above in the history of the county. In Aughwick valley, four miles S. of Shirleysburg, stood Bedford Furnace, the first one erected in western Pennsylvania. It has long since fallen to ruins. The estate, formerly Ridgley and Cromwell's, has changed owners, and a town has been laid out at the site of the old furnace, called Orbisonia, from the name of the present proprietor, William Orbison, Esq., of Huntingdon. Two furnaces and a forge have been built; and the inexhaustible mines of valuable ore, and steady water-power, promise to make it a growing place.

There are several other small villages in this county. McConnellsburg, about five miles S. W. of Huntingdon, in Woodcock valley; Ennisville, at the upper end of Stone valley; and a number of little hamlets connected with the principal iron-works. The annexed extracts are from Philadelphia papers.

On Saturday, 30th May, 1840, within two miles of Shirleysburg, Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, a series of murders were committed, which, for atrocity, have scarcely a parallel on record. No less than six human beings were hurried from time to eternity, by the hand of a coldblooded murderer, viz.: a Mrs. Brown, and her five children, from the age of 21 to 10 years The old lady was found with her throat cut-the son aged 21, and the daughter about 16, with rifle balls through their bodies-the three younger ones, with their brains knocked out with stones, in a field hard by the dwelling-house-supposed to have fled on witnessing the butchery of their mother, &.c. Mr. Drown was from home, and on his return, a short time after his family were murdered, was fired at twice from the barn, the last ball taking effect, ranging along the lower jaw and passing through the ear. He was stunned, but did not fall. At the moment of receiving the second fire, he saw a man jump from the bam loft, and make for the woods. This man he believed to be his own son-in-law, by name, Canaughy. On this suspicion, or rather strong belief, Canaughy was arrested, and the testimony taken before the examining and committing magistrate, went to fur guilt strongly upon him. It appears Brown, the father-in-law, owns a farm worth three or four thousand dollars. Canaughy, the morning of the murders, started with his wife for the residence of his mother, some miles distant in the mountains. He had contrived, however, before starting, to procure the return to their father's residence of the son and daughter, who were absent aiding a neighbor, not far distant, in his field labors, by coining a plausible story, so that his motive for the deed might be made fully and effectually available. Had he succeeded in destroying the father-in-law, his (Canaughy's) wife, the only survivor, would have inherited the estate. This was, undoubtedly, the moving cause to the hellish deed. In addition, it was in evidence, he had borrowed his father-in-law's two rifles, and they were found in the barn from whence the murderer fled. Canaughy was arrested, in bed, at his mother's residence the same night He denies,-but there is little doubt of his guilt. The community, in the neighborhood of this horrible transaction, is greatly excited.

Robert Canaughy suffered the awful penalty of the law at Huntingdon, on the 6th Nov., 1840. He was executed in the jail-yard, a few minutes before 3 o'clock, P. M.

The closing circumstances of his guilty and miserable career were peculiar: down to the hour of his execution, nay to the very moment the drop fell, he stubbornly persisted in asserting his innocence. All hope of his making any acknowledgments was entirely removed by his dogged conduct. He was taken upon the scaffold-everything adjusted-the moment arrived, the drop fell, and not a word confessed. But the rope broke, and instead of hanging, very much to his astonishment, we suppose, he found himself upon the ground, under the gallows! He thought lie was "clear," but the illusion was present with him but a moment. He was immediately taken up on the gallows again; everything made ready; the drop about to fall, when he begged for " time to talk a little," and proceeded " to make a full and detailed confession of his crimes to the clergyman present, Mr. Brown and Mr. Peebles, who reduced it to writing in his own words, as he made it," and who will cause it to be published for the benefit of his wife and children. His confession, it is said, casts yet deeper and darker shades of cruelty over the bloody affair.

He had scarcely concluded his confession, when the last minute that the execution could be delayed arrived and he was again swung off, and paid his life a forfeiture for his crime!-Sentinel.


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